I purchased my M19 new in January 1979. I had it in my mind that it is built on an L frame. In looking at the serial number today I am now wondering if I have a K frame instead. The serial number is xxkxxxx. Does the 'k' indicate a K frame or do the S&W serial numbers from this period have no intelligence built in them? Also, the model designation is M19-4 but my Model 19 has a 6" barrel; what does the '-4' in the model designation indicate? I know I could write to S&W but I really don't want to pay them the $30 bucks for the background info.
Thanks for your help/insight.
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January 27, 2005, 06:22 PM
Your model 19 is a K-Frame. The little "-#" represents different changes to the model 19 over the years.
January 27, 2005, 06:26 PM
The 19, as well as its stainless sister the 66, is a K frame. The serial number is just a matter of chance, there is no indication in most S&W serial numbers to indicate frame size/type (I say most because there may be a rare exception I'm unaware of). As for the -4, that is a generation that indicates what changes have been made and has nothing to do with barrel length. Based on the info in the Standard Catalog of S&W, the -4 started in 1977 and changed the gas ring from yoke to cylinder. Hope this helps!
January 27, 2005, 08:14 PM
The S&W serialization system takes some getting aquianted with for sure. Actually untill the early 80's, many model ( not all) of S&W J,K and N frame revolvers had the frame designator in the first through 4th place.
K prefixed serial #'s were issued from 46-83 on "normally target frame revolvers " such as the 14,15, 16,17,18,19,48,53,66,67 and 68. ( Note these are adjustable sight versions. Fixed sight K frames like 10,13,64,65... of the 68-83' vintage had a D prefix)
N prefix's were used during the N prefix from 70-83' on mod 25,27,28,29,57,58,520,629 ( note mixed sight options)
Jframed 36,37,38,49 and 50 used the J prefix from 69-83
Having said all that, there were other letters (R, H, S,L ,M,B thrown if for specific modle and or production periods just to muddy the water. :-)
Finally, they phased in to the general/ non-model specific 3 letter prefix in 83 . Whew, hopefully I got all that right. ( It's tough with all the quirks in S&W revolver production.I'm sure there are exceptions)
p.s The L frame was introduced into production in 1980.
BTW, Source of info is the Standard Catalog of S&W (2nd Ed.) Great refference/read for any S&W enthusiast and a MUST for any collector.
January 29, 2005, 12:05 PM
Although the 19 is a K frame not an L, you have purchased what is considered to be one of the finest 357 magnum revolvers ever made. This gun and its stainless cousin the 66, were the private purchase police gun for decades untill the change to semi autos.
Departments bought 38 special model 10s or 357 model 13s. Many that could went with the 19/66 with their own money. When I got hired in 81 these guns were still hard to come by and the 2 1/2 in versions commanded a premium.
The L frame is an excellent gun also, but you won't be sorry you got a 19. If you plan on using a steady diet of magnum loads, stick with the 158 gr bullets rather than the 125 gr loads.
Edit: I just went back and raed your post again, if you've had the gun since 1979 you already know what a great gun this is, but this info may be useful to new shooters considering a 19/66.
January 30, 2005, 08:21 PM
Sorta look like this?
Model 19-4 6"
January 30, 2005, 08:46 PM
I am hoping soon to take custody of (and cherish) an M19-3 from one of our respected members here - it is something I have always wanted in my Smith collection, altho I am first and foremost an ''N'' frame man.
The 19 tho is in a class of its own .. partly history I guess but also because it was in the opinion of many - one of Smith's finest. :)
January 31, 2005, 03:27 AM
Hey Chris... congrats! I've got a 19 coming this week myself. 2.5" 19-5. Enjoy that baby!
January 31, 2005, 06:01 PM
Here is a picture of my Model 19. I paid new about $180+tax. I enjoy shooting it but not as much as my 1991A1; on the other hand, I haven't shot it much lately (lately hell, the last 10 years or so) I guess it is time to get out the 357 dies and use it when the weather breaks here.
January 31, 2005, 06:07 PM
All of the Model 19s were K-frames.
There was no such thing as an L frame in 1979.
The 581/581 didn't start until 1981.
February 20, 2005, 10:07 AM
Greetings to all S&W enthusiasts...
I was reading your posts so here is my Mod. 19-4.
Mfg in 1979, this pistol has never been loaded, because I just love my
February 20, 2005, 07:57 PM
I have a model 19 in 4". The finish is beat to heck. That said, it is probably my favorite revolver with the smoothest action and most accurate aim Ihave encountered. I consider it maybe the best revolver ever built. And I also own a Python.
I read somewhere that the Secret Service for a while issued 2 1/2 inch Model 19s.
I wouldn't quite equate it with the Python (besides, they're different frame sizes for different purposes), but the 19 is a classic indeed. Pulling the creamy DA trigger on a good one should count as one of your three daily servings of DAiry.
February 20, 2005, 09:37 PM
Thanks for the photos of the M19-5 (and all your photos on all the forums).They're in a class by themselves and I always look forward to seeing them. Always brings out the " I gotta get me one of those" emotions! Eye candy for the gun addicts. Take care. :D
February 21, 2005, 01:10 PM
a few weeks ago, a 19-4, my first revolver. I can't get over the trigger, and it's quite accurate.
February 21, 2005, 02:02 PM
I have the evil twin. :D
On the bottom. Don't have a pic solo.
for replacement neoprene-type grips for this gun? The wood stocks are handsome but the butt slides down my palm as I fire.
February 22, 2005, 02:35 PM
Khornet... most comfortable, best feeling rubber grip for a .357 K is (for me anyway) the Pachmayr Compac (NOT the Professional Compac). They fill the hand nicely with a meaty feel which absorbs recoil very well. The Pro Compac has an open backstrap and is less meaty, making it a little smaller but a lot less comfy to shoot. Here are a pair of Pachy Compacs on a M65 3", .357 magnum (K-frame):