Can't cock my S&W Model 19


April 12, 2003, 10:32 PM
When I bought this used gun, I noticed how light the single action pull was, and kinda fiqured that maybe the internals were worked on to achieve the fabulous light trigger.

Now, it won't cock in single action, the hammer just flies back to the frame.

It could be too dirty inside, but maybe the sear was over-stoned, or the 'notch' is worn out.

Has anyone had a similar problem? Should I write S&W and have them repair it (are they even still in the USA) ? Perhaps it is a drop in part I can order from Numich or Brownell, and I can repair the gun myself ?

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April 13, 2003, 05:30 PM
S&W is once again, thank goodness, back in the U.S. of A. Sounds like the trigger was modified. Did the hammer ever cock in single action mode? Sometimes revolvers are modified to be double action only for competition or duty/defense.

April 13, 2003, 07:31 PM
There is a pin inside, just above the trigger that sometimes gets bent and will cause the action to lockup like you described. Remove screws and CAREFULLY work the access cover off. The pin I mentioned sticks out from the frame. The pin can be straightened or replaced. If I had a schematic of the M-19 it would help.

April 14, 2003, 09:27 AM
Remove screws and CAREFULLY work the access cover off.

I get a little nervous when I read something like this. The proper way to remove the S&W sideplate (access cover???) is a) unload the revolver and check it to be sure. b) Close the cylinder. c) Remove the grips. d) Remove the sideplate screws using a hollow ground screwdriver e) hold the revolver in your hand with the sideplate up and with the grip frame sticking out, and whack across the grip frame with a wooden hammer handle. The plate will pop up. "Working it off" is a sure prescription for damage.

I can't really picture the pin that was referenced. The posts inside an S&W revolver are not serviceable by an amateur. I would suggest that sending it to S&W would be the best move for you.

April 14, 2003, 09:42 AM
Clemson is correct. The method he describes is what you will find in Jerry K's books. Definitely get the book before you open up the revolver.

April 14, 2003, 02:54 PM
Sorry about not mentioning to "unload" etc.

Perhaps you'd like to explain "whack" also

This is a simple device and from my own personal experience, a simple fix.

April 14, 2003, 04:02 PM
No flame intended. The post left the impression that you could pry up the sideplate, and that usually leads to scratches and scars.

April 14, 2003, 05:40 PM
When you bought the gun, it would not have passed the famous "push off" test which is standard for any wheelgun. Cock it and then apply firm pressure to the back side of the hammer. If it can be pushed off so the hammer falls, the SA sear is buggered up. This usually requires a trigger or hammer replace and refit. Your gun now has zero push off force, it falls from the force of the mainspring. Shoot it as a DAO gun or get it fixed. Just don't try to shoot it SA.

April 14, 2003, 08:32 PM
Fortunately, the trigger safety ( transfer bar?) prevented any mishaps during the Match this weekend. I lost a few seconds in the beginning and a few points in the match, but it does seem to work fine in DA only.
I had one light primer strike during the 72 round Match, but I have only fired SA in the past matches.
I have a 22 revolver that will infrequently do the same light primer strike in DA, but always fires in SA mode.

Jim K
April 15, 2003, 11:09 PM
Hi, Redfern,

Sorry to be blunt, but some idjit screwed that gun up royally and you are stuck with the result. I would have it fixed to work right before firing it again. Thanks to the safety features, the gun is probably not dangerous, but it sure is not right.

With all respect, you do not sound like you have a lot of experience working on revolvers, so the job is probably not one you can do yourself. The problem is that by the time you get a new hammer and trigger installed (both may be needed) plus whatever else is folded, spindled and mutilated, you will have more in the gun than it is worth. It is very likely that the previous owner found this out and dumped the gun rather than spending money to fix his mistakes.

Being very good at hindsight, I will mention Jim March's post on evaluating used revolvers for future reference; it is on the Revolver forum.


Master Blaster
April 17, 2003, 12:01 PM
Depending on you source for this gun, I might take it back and look for a repair or a refund.

The Gunshop owner who sold it to you Knew darn well that the gun was unsafe, pushoff would heve been obvious when he took it in the door, but sold it anyway with out a warning.

The part that burns my A** bigtime is that the gentleman who sold this gun to you did not warn you of an unsafe condition.

Suppose you bought this for your wife to carry and the first time she cocked it an accidental discharge resulted, someone could have been KILLED.

I would take it back, there is no excuse for selling a gun in an unsafe condition, NONE.

If the dealer refused to make good I would not EVER do business with them again.

But that is just me YMMV:fire: :fire:

Mike Irwin
April 17, 2003, 01:10 PM
"When you bought the gun, it would not have passed the famous "push off" test which is standard for any wheelgun."

Not true.

If some bananahand did a "trigger job" he could have easily cut through the case hardening on the sear face.

The trigger/sear engagement would still hold....

For awhile.

Once it starts rounding over, though, because of the soft, exposed, metal being worn, that's when the push off problems start.

As for what constitutes "whacking," it's a firm, sharp strike across the flats of the grip frame.

Word of advice -- when removing the side plate, ALWAYS hold the gun in such a manner that you have your thumb or fingers over the side plate so as it won't pop off and fall on the floor.

I've seen a number of badly damaged sideplates that got that way from taking a bounce off a concrete shop floor.

As others have mentioned, the side plate should never be pried off. At the very least it will leave a VERY distinct ridge along the sideplate seam that screams "SOME A-HOLE WHO DIDN'T KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING OPENED ME UP!" (which is always a warning signal for me when buying or working on an S&W).

The worst possible problem could be warping of the side plate, which will cause fit problems.

The ONLY time a side plate should be "pried" off is if it simply won't budge when using the "whacking" method, and that prying method is very specific, and involves lifting the sideplate with a number of wooden wedges, inserted and tapped into place very slowly and evenly.

I've had to do that once, and it's not pleasant .

Johnny Guest
April 21, 2003, 10:46 AM
Happliy, Redfern discovered his own cause-and-fix for the problem. Details are found at

In consideration of the above, I'm closing this thread, to avoid additional suggestions. Thanks for all the participation.:D


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