Smith & Wesson 19-3 date of manufacture help


October 3, 2006, 12:32 PM
Hi there, I have a Smith & Wesson Model 19-3 revolver that was passed down to me from my grandfather and I'm curious as to when this gun was manufactured. The serial number is 4K40932. There are also a couple other stampings on the cylinder that read "F16" and "40837." Thanks very much for any help you can give me. I really appreciate it.

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Ron James
October 3, 2006, 06:03 PM
The serial number range for the Model 19 in 1973 was 4K1628 to 4K54104.

bigger jon
October 3, 2006, 07:14 PM
I got a 2k593xx
It`s kind of funny when i was younger I couldn`t figger out why anyone would want a K frame 357 when you can get a L frame,But now when i hunt or just hike around I wouldn`t want tne extra L frame weight? go figger?

October 3, 2006, 11:53 PM
Thanks very much for the help!

October 20, 2006, 06:57 PM
I just purchased a S&W model 19-3 also! Could you please tell me the date of manufactor for Serial #7K76043

Thanks so much!

Ron James
October 20, 2006, 08:10 PM
The Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson shows 1975.

October 28, 2007, 03:15 AM

I just bought my first handgun yesterday at a gun show, and is a model 19-3 I saw. The serial number is 2K49081. The price was $249 just wonder if this was a good deal or not and how old it might be by the serial number.



October 28, 2007, 06:43 AM
In good condition, sounds like a steal to me!.... I recently purchased a 19-4 for $325 and I'm happy as hell with it.

October 28, 2007, 11:12 AM

Your gun was shipped in 1971. If your gun is in good shape, you did good on the price. I recently bought a 19-4 with 4" barrel in 95% condition for $375, which is about the "going price" in my part of the world (Texas).

Enjoy your new toy!


October 28, 2007, 12:05 PM

for the info on my 19-3. This is my first handgun, I only owned a single shot 12 gauge H & R years ago, so am new to guns. I did notice the outside of the barrel is green and is scratched up some before this green was put on. Also the safety doesnt always seem to stay on. Should I take to a gunsmith? Just now with the safety on, I wiggled the revolver cylinder, if that is the right terminology and the safety popped off. Is this normal? I can take pics of it but not sure how to upload it on here. I am in Knox County Tenn

October 28, 2007, 12:50 PM
This is my first handgun, I only owned a single shot 12 gauge H & R years ago, so am new to guns. Also the safety doesnt always seem to stay on. Should I take to a gunsmith? Just now with the safety on, I wiggled the revolver cylinder, if that is the right terminology and the safety popped off. Is this normal?

Congratulation on your purchase. The 19-3 should serve you well for years to come.

Revolvers don't have I'm not sure to what you're referring. Perhaps the cylinder release latch on the left side of the frame? If you could post a pic, that would be great.

Here's a link on how to post pics on THR:

October 28, 2007, 12:52 PM

The S & W model 19 does not have a safety. Are you referring to the Thumbpiece, as shown in this picture of my model 19? (
(click for big)

Since this is your first revolver, I suggest that you study the owner's manual shown here:

This manual is for the newer S & W models which have integrel locks and some other variations from your gun, but the basics are the same.

I'm not sure what the "green" on your barrel is. If you want to email me a picture, maybe I can venture a guess.


October 28, 2007, 12:55 PM
Since you're new to handguns James (as I was just a few years ago), I'd recommend you read through a Smith & Wesson owner's manual to familiarize yourself with its safe operation.

I couldn't quickly find one for the Model 19 online, but this current manual should provide a good starting point.

edit: Skeezix beat me to it!;)

October 28, 2007, 01:29 PM
Hey Doug,

They don't call me "nimble fingers" for nothin'.:rolleyes:


October 28, 2007, 02:10 PM
Ok thanks for the info. Yes that is what I was referring to the thumbpiece skeezix seems sometimes it locks the trigger and hammer and other times it aint maybe when opening the cylinder it stays locked but I am able to lock it at times when the cylinder is in too.

I will check out the Smith & Wesson link on the model 19 manual.



October 28, 2007, 02:35 PM
Good grief!

I hate to tell you this, but if you paid $249 for that, you got the Big Purple Shaft!

It looks like it got burned up in a house fire, and then spray painted green over the rust scale.

The cylinder release should snap to the rear every time the cylinder is closed.
You should be able to push it foreword to open the cylinder.

At no time should it stay foreword, even part-way foreword, with the cylinder closed.

At no time should you be able to move it foreword with the cylinder closed and have it stay there.

It should only stay foreword with the cylinder open.

I think it is gummed up with paint, or the spring has been softened by a fire.

In any case, I would suggest you have it checked over by a gunsmith for fire damage, and the cyclinder locking system repaired if the gun hasn't been fire damaged.

Do not attempt to shoot it with the defective cylinder latch.

October 28, 2007, 02:56 PM
I asked the man several times who sold it to me who has a gun store if this was safe to use and he kept saying yes, he finally said he had not shot it himself but was ok. He said the scratches on the barrel were maybe it was dragged on the road somewhere. The thumbpiece definately hangs in either direction locked or unlocked as I call it and if you push all the way, then you can open the cylinder. I just tried and the thumbpiece does stay forward when the cylinder is open, but that is about the only thing according to your above list that works right. When the cylinder is closed and it sometimes stays or sticks forward the trigger is locked then.

October 28, 2007, 03:25 PM
It is supposed to stay foreword with the cylinder even slightly open.
At the same time, it should also lock the trigger & hammer from moving to preclude any possibility of the gun firing with the cylinder unlocked.

From what I can see in the photo's the deep scaling & pitting all over the cylinder, and left-front of the frame above the trigger guard, look more like scaling / pitting from a house fire then from rust damage.

If it has been fire damaged, the frame & cylinder heat treatment have been destroyed, and the gun is unsafe to fire with any .357 Magnum ammo.

If the cylinder lock is not working properly and hanging up, it is unsafe to fire, period!

If I were you, I would take it back and get my money back.
There are much nicer 19's around, that still work right, for the same money you paid for that one.

October 28, 2007, 03:56 PM
Tactical Two-Tone. Very fashionable. :scrutiny:

October 29, 2007, 10:40 PM

Well I took it took an indoor range today, and showed it to some people and nobody thought it had fire damage. Maybe the pictures I posted were not that all clear though. I shot 28 rounds of 38 ammo and was surprised of the loudness and the kick, I did have ear protection on. I then later in the day found a gunsmith and he tried different things to fix the thumbpiece but so far no luck. He changed the spring which was soft and filed the cylinder as he checked the gap between the cylinder and the barrel and one place was closer, but he is still working on this. He did a hardness test and fired some 357 magnums and said he could not see any fire damage which I was glad to hear.

October 29, 2007, 10:50 PM
I don't think you can easy predict fire damage from just photos of something that's been painted. But judging just from what the surface looks like under that coating that must be a very abused or rusted gun.

October 29, 2007, 11:40 PM
The gunsmith did say it looked like water damage from all the pitting and what not. I am just looking for a gun for self defense that is safe to use, nothing more, dont care what it looks like.

November 4, 2007, 07:37 PM
I recently received a .357 mag from my parents house. My dad is in his 3rd year of battling brain cancer and we wanted to remove the guns from the house....I am not real familiar with guns, and was just wondering about when it was made, and what kind of price I could get if I sold it? Thanks, Rob

The serial # is 7K75793, from earlier posts I believe it was manufactured in the mid-70's...The gun is in pristine condition! Not a scratch on her...Doesn't even look like it has been fired!

November 5, 2007, 07:39 AM

Sounds like you have a nice gun there. Manufacture/ship date was 1975.

Do you know the model number? Open the cylinder and look here:

What is the barrel length? What type of grips? Do you also have the original box with instruction sheet and other documents, and the little package of "tools" (cleaning rod, bore brush, bore mop, and screw driver)? All of this, as well as your locale, will influence the value of the gun. Depending on what model it is, you are probably looking at $400 or so, maybe more.

If you can you post a picture, or email it to me, I might be able to give you a better estimate?


November 5, 2007, 09:40 AM
Thanks for the info, my gun is the 19-3 model...and for what it's worth the stock or handle of the gun is made from wood. I have no idea where my dad got this there any way I could find out if and where it is or has been registered? He probably didn't even register it. And no there were no booklets, or cleaning kits in the case. There was this .357 and a 32 calibre colt handgun. The colt looks really old. Again thanks for the info and I appreciate the input!


November 5, 2007, 01:18 PM

Depending on where your Dad bought the gun, it may or may not have been "registered". If he bought it from a federally licensed dealer (either new or used), he had to complete an ATF Form 4473, which is not "registration", but documentation of the transaction which is kept by the dealer if it is ever needed for anything. If he bought it from a non-licensed individual, it may have been transferred through a licensed dealer and a 4473 completed. Some state laws require a gun purchaser/seller to jump through more hoops than federal regulations dictate. So, if you are going to keep it for yourself, you should check with your local authorities to see what may be required in your place of residence.


January 28, 2009, 09:51 PM
Jamesmb, your gun sounds like some of the Katrina guns "floating" around SE Louisiana. What is your location?

August 2, 2009, 06:29 AM
I was wondering if anyone could tell me the approximate date of manufacture on a model 19-3 I just picked up in a trade for a ppk?
gun has zero wear looks amazing. PPK that was traded away also pictured(1994 Interarms). I think I made the right choice.

serial number is 8k813xx


August 2, 2009, 11:49 AM
Hi siscolee,

Nice looking 19-3. According to SCSW-3, your gun was shipped in 1975.

And I think you made a good trade.


August 2, 2009, 03:48 PM
thank you very much Lorin,
It's a beautiful piece I took it to the range today with various ammo very slick DA trigger extremely accurate. I'm very happy with the trade.

March 29, 2010, 11:52 PM
I've received a Mod 19-3 in fair conditoin with serial number 9K581xx and was wondering if you can help me determine when it was manufactured?


Steven Mace
March 30, 2010, 07:36 AM
MByrd, according to SCSW-3, your gun was shipped in 1976.

Steve Mace

March 30, 2010, 11:42 PM
Thank you Steven!

April 18, 2010, 10:59 PM
Hey guys, I'm trying to help my grandma sell a few of my grandfathers guns. is there anyway someone can point me in the right direction for finding a manufacture date? The model is 19-3 SN#2k33299. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Steven Mace
April 18, 2010, 11:07 PM
hardcorevanilla, according to SCSW-3, your gun was shipped in 1971.

Steve Mace

April 18, 2010, 11:12 PM
Thank you so much Steve! I appreciate it.

May 14, 2010, 11:28 PM
also got a 6in, nickel, wood grip 19-3 from grandfather. when was 9k16868 DOB

May 17, 2010, 08:23 AM
Your model 19-3 Combat Magnum was manufactured in 1976.

June 26, 2010, 01:14 PM
I Have a 19-3 nickle finish 2-1/2" barrel with rubber grips. In excellent condition serial#0288x. does anyone know the date on it and if it is a rare model and maybe even approx. value? I paid $425 with a nice holster. My blue book says that they didnt make the 2-1/2 barrel with nickle finish so im a little confused. Thanks so much

Ron James
June 26, 2010, 02:20 PM
I've always wondered why people will tack onto a 3 year post instead of starting a new one. Mystery to me. Whatever, there is a problem with your serial number, are you getting the number from the bottom if the grip? or, are you posting the assembly number which means nothing outside the factory? I don't know where in the blue book you are reading that the 2 1/2 inch barrel Model 19 was not made in nickle. The only thing my Blue Book states about nickle finish is that it was discontinued in 1991. It reads absolutely nothing about the 2 1/2 inch Model 19 not being made in nickle. Repost with the correct serial number from the bottom of the grip and we can tell you more.:)

June 26, 2010, 02:42 PM
sorry! the serial# is 1K537xx.
My blue book says word for word "Nickel finish is available with a 4 or 6 in. barrel only."

Ron James
June 26, 2010, 05:10 PM
Made in 1971, Could be wrong, but I believe your Blue Book has an error or misprint. The 2-1/2 inch 19 was discontinued in 1991,but every thing I have shows it to be available in nickle until 1991 but it is not cataloged in nickel after 1990. It is still a very nice gun and they seem to be in demand since they have been discontinued ( always the case ). You got it for a fair price if it is in good condition. I could be wrong, been wrong before. A shipping letter from S&W is only 50 dollars and will show the exact configuration it left the factory.

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