Is it worth it? Model 19 Question.


July 2, 2008, 11:17 AM
About 4 years ago my dad bought me a 4'' blued S&W M19. It only cost him about $250 at a pawn shop. The gun hasnít been in anywhere near great shape since I got it. The grips are the Rubber wrap around and the bluing is mediocre with a lot of wear and tear around the muzzle and around the grips.

The gun shoots great and is very accurate and fun to shoot. It is incredibly well balanced and has a great trigger. My question is this: I have recently started looking into having the gun re-blued. Gander Mountain says they have to send it off and it will cost 200 and take a few weeks. This is not my only gun so I am not worried about being defenseless while it is gone. I have also found some nice ivory style grips with finger groves and a Masonic Square and Compass etched on them that I would like to see on the pistol as I am a Master Mason.

Do yall think it is worth it to spend more money than the gun was bought for to make it a really classy gun? It still has the original bluing but it is I would say 65% at best. I know that it is a very good gun and I would like to treat it right and have it to pass down my children when I have them. I donít really know much about collectorís value and I know that these guns are getting harder to find as everyone that has one loves it and usually ends up grabbing any others that they can get their hands on.

So I am asking yall what your opinions are. The final decision is still far from being made and I want to hear ideas and see what everyone thinks.

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July 2, 2008, 11:54 AM
Here's what I think. If it makes you happy go ahead and have it re-blued, put on some grips you like and are comfortable to you. If you plan to keep it and use it, it might as well be just like you want it. I'm sure your father would be happy to see you have fun with the gun he gave you. Don't worry about what other people have to say, just have fun!

+1 on the Masonic S&C, my brother.

July 2, 2008, 12:05 PM
I have a Mdl 19 that I bought used. Sent it to S&W for a renewal ... mechanical tuneup and rebluing came back beautiful and 10 years ago was only $150 or so. Mdl 19 are a classic pistol. Keep and enjoy it.


The Bushmaster
July 2, 2008, 12:36 PM
If you plan to use it for field carry or regular use...No. If you will only be using it for range work and showing off to others. Yes. Or as Revolverman357 said..."...if it makes you happy..."

S&W Mod 19's are becoming a classic firearm and are also becoming a very much sought after revolver.

July 2, 2008, 02:13 PM
Why don't you contact S&W and see if they will refub and sr-stock your M19. While they are at it, they could do some hand or laser engraving to make it truly yours.

July 2, 2008, 03:11 PM
I'm with the Bushmaster. If you're going to carry it in the field or for self defense it ain't worth it. If you're going to baby it and use it under controlled circumstances, go for it.

July 2, 2008, 03:23 PM
Howdy Brother(MM and York Rite here). One thing to keep in mind is that a reblued gun will have less resale value, it's generally a losing proposition to reblue a gun.

If you do decide to reblue it, S&W will do a fine job. There is another company many of the people on the S&W forums brag on--the name is Ford's(something or other after that, can't remember right now). I would absolutely not let Gander touch any firearm I own......

Did you pick those grips up from an individual, or manufacturer or ??? I have a few guns I'd like the S&C on.

July 2, 2008, 03:32 PM
Go with S&W. I've seen a lot of pictures of their work, and it is very nice. They're pretty cheap, too, at $180 + shipping costs.

July 2, 2008, 03:37 PM
Get some new grips. I like the Hogue monogrips, they are only about 18 bucks.

As to the bluing, like everyone else I would ask how you are going to use it. If it is a carry piece or truck gun, I wouldn't do it.

If it is going to live in a silicone sock on the shelf of the safe, I would say absolutely.

Remember, you can always work on the finish in the future.

July 2, 2008, 03:42 PM
If you can justify the money, do it!

Jim K
July 2, 2008, 03:52 PM
The Model 19 is hardly a rare collectors item. I see no reason not to do as you propose. S&W does do a good job at a reasonable price. And they can probably get it back together again, which one shop I heard of couldn't.


July 2, 2008, 03:57 PM
Send it to S&W. They have a reasonable shipping service/price, do great work, and keep the papers as a "factory" reblue is much more desirable than an aftermarket one, unless it was done by the handful of really talented aftermarket people.

PS, I second the ivory or ivory-look grip idea. I think the ivory-look and deep blue is just gorgeous on a 19...

July 2, 2008, 03:59 PM
Refinishing is not economically feasible. As is the gun is worth $350. Spend $200 to refinish and you have $500 in it. But wait, a reblued M19 is worth maybe $350. Whaaaaat? That's the way it is.

Spending $200 to make the gun worth the same make sense to you because it doesn't to me. You could sell this one for $350 and for $450-$500 buy one in nearly perfect shape and you wouldn't have a reblued gun. Of course, it wouldn't be the one your dad gave you. But then, if you refinish it, it's not the gun your dad gave you either, is it?

I would treasure this revolver as is.

Then start saving to buy a shiny new looking gun to go along with it.

Just my 2 cents.

July 2, 2008, 04:08 PM
I'm with the others who have said to send it back to S&W. If you're going to pass it on to your children, collector value isn't an issue. It's been said about horses but I guess it could be adapted to pistols...'there's something about the outside of a gun that's good for the inside of a man'.

July 2, 2008, 04:09 PM
SaxonPig's "sell and buy" scenario makes a lot of sense to me if you want a 19 in better shape.

Of course my answer is to sell it to me for what you have in it and then buy what you want.

July 2, 2008, 04:15 PM
My 2 cents is that if you were going to reblue go with S&W the 19 is getting harder to find good deals on and they are growing in popularity. I would consider every post someone may have posted something that you didn't consider. Reblued guns are never valued as high as original finish even with a factory reblue. And even with a factory reblue there will be tell tale signs that is has been done. Bottom line is its up to you but ganders in my opinoin is not the way to go.


July 2, 2008, 04:19 PM
I voted refinish and Ivory grips, but I would send it to S&W over Gander or anyone else.

July 2, 2008, 06:13 PM
You're planning to hand it down to your kids, that's cool. So get the finish and custom grips that you want. Turn it into your gun, so that it truly will be Dad's Gun when you're gone, and not just some old pistol dad kept around.

July 2, 2008, 11:29 PM
Well, Brother, I'd be tempted to put the money for re-blueing on another handgun, but if you're going to have it engraved with a Square and Compass, you may as well go for the old Colt look - most of them I've seen from the 50's and 60's were blued better than many of the Smiths I've owned.

Myself, I'd rather start with some really nice grips, because I shoot mine a lot, and really good fitting grips do more for me than the finish or any engraving, but to each his own. If it's really something special to you, no point in trying to talk you out of it.

Just have it done in the dead of winter when you're not shooting that much. You KNOW custom work always takes 3 times what you figure plus six weeks.:banghead:

Stay on the level.

July 2, 2008, 11:33 PM
Get it all's your gun. Enjoy it the way you want and do not worry about what other say.

And yes, let S&W do the work.....

July 2, 2008, 11:40 PM
Instead of spending money on a pretty face. use the money for a great DA action job and upgrade the sights.

July 2, 2008, 11:44 PM
Revolver as stated condition- leave it alone and shoot it please.

July 3, 2008, 01:09 AM
I would tend to leave it be. There is a beauty unique in the finish of a weathered gun.

Go ahead and put the ivories on it if you like.

July 3, 2008, 01:54 AM
Thanks for all the advice guys. It completely skipped my mind to check on S&W re-bluing. Like I said in the original post I am not sure what I will do right now. I am still contemplating it. It will not be a carry gun but I do like to take it to the range and shoot it still. The gun has amazing accuracy and is a blast to shoot. I know that re-bluing wonít help and can actually hurt resale value and that the gun isnít worth much to begin with, that is one reason I havenít decided what I am going to do yet.

One reason I was thinking about re-bluing is because the blue has completely warn off in some spots on the frame and barrel apparently from holster wear and I was worrying about rusting being a problem. I keep the gun well maintained and it never gets water on it but I still worry about it.
The grips I am wanting are almost as much as re-bluing, at least from the one place that I have found them. So it is still largely undecided as to what the fate will be. I still plan on it being something to pass down to my children, not something that I will likely ever sell.

But then, if you refinish it, it's not the gun your dad gave you either, is it?

It would still be the same gun, just a better looking one. This is by no means a family heirloom. My dad picked it up at a pawn shop for me because he used to have one similar that he sold when my brother and I were really young and thought it would make a good starter for my future collection. I am sure he wonít mind me fixing it up if that is what I decide. I have even been considering getting him a Model 19 or similar pistol so that he might get back into shooting, etc. At the least it will be a good self defense gun for him when he is out in the oilfield.

But like I am saying nothing is final yet. I am still weighing whether or not it is worth it to fix it up. Spending a lot of money on something just to spiff it up wonít help its value but it would definitely raise sentimental value for future kids etc.

July 3, 2008, 05:18 AM
I would spend money on what counts, the inside! Have a good smith break it down, clean it throughtly, check it out, replace springs and what nots if needed. Then just get some sexy walnut grips and T grip for it!

Worn blueing is like scars and nicks, they are what is on a working weapon.

Maybe upgrade the sights.


July 3, 2008, 05:31 AM
As you have not posted a pic of the gun nor told us exactly how you plan to use it, all I can do is state my general approach.

Re blue a gun only when they need it. This to me means when the metal needs protecting from the elements and the worn finish allows for rust to develop. If not leave it be and if any rust or freckling appear clean that off and use cold blue to protect the effected area. Muzzle wear and holster wear are part of any working gun. If the appearance of it bothers you it makes more sense to buy a new one than to reblue.

Get the grips you like. These grips should both look good to you and work good for you when shooting.


July 3, 2008, 06:48 AM
Personally I would have it hard chromed if I was gonna send it away ...

I have several smith revolvers I would like to have done. They look good and wear better than about anything if done right.

July 3, 2008, 09:30 AM
I havent posted pics yet because my camera is in the shop getting a lens error fixed.

I plan to mainly use it at the range once in a while and keep it basically as a safe gun.

July 4, 2008, 01:44 AM
I'd do the Full Monte.

In fact I am - I purchased a S&W Model 19-3 4" which was pretty beaten up. The previous owner had replaced the hammer & trigger with Target models but, otherwise it was a beater. And to top it off, a set of real ugly Pachmyr wood/rubber grips.
But, she has potential.
She is now at the gunsmiths being tuned. When that is finished she'll be going to either S&W or Fords for a refinish/reblue. By the time she's back I'll have a new set of grips for her.
Another project but, also a labor of love & individuality.


July 4, 2008, 02:05 AM
My suggestion is to send to Homer and Larna at Ford's. They have a beautiful "Master Blue for around 250 or so and they can deliver. They're a good service for any gun work you like. I recently gave my late father's M-19 to my son. It'll stay with him and join the rest of what I have when I die.

Old 112
July 4, 2008, 02:41 AM
Shoots great and has nice balance. Great trigger and accurate.
Finish worn a fair amount. (Paraphrase of your description)

I have a model 15 from around 1960 that fits that descrption perfectly.

I have NEVER looked to see if the finish has been "marred" when I take it out of it's holster.

I do have a couple of revolvers that I do not holster carry at all because I am concerned about the finish. I do not shoot them often either, for the same reason. Sometimes I wonder why I keep them.

Sounds like you have an Excellent shooter grade 19.
I would not even change the stocks if they fit your hand satisfactorily.

Old 112

tasco 74
July 4, 2008, 02:44 AM
if it was your dads and you are going to hand it down i would send to smith&wesson and have it gone through and reblued... but i would shoot it too....... your dad would like to have you get enjoyment from it...... i have a 1968 vintage model 27 i've been thinking about sending it to them and i WOULD shoot mine too if i did guns are for shooting not putting away and not useing....

Ala Dan
July 4, 2008, 11:31 AM
Its worth "going all the way"~! :scrutiny: ;)

July 4, 2008, 05:59 PM
If you want it blued, go for it, but be aware that many places that blue revolvers nowadays use a different process that's not as luxurious as the blue in the old days. The reason they stopped the old process had to do with environmental concerns.

I recently had a pistol hard chromed at Mahovsky's (, and they did a magnificent job. They also do bluing, so you might try them. Their rates and work make them a bargain, but they do take a few weeks to do the work; however, if you ask them to do a little polishing, they'll probably do it free. (They did for me.)

Hard chroming has the benefit of never wearing off, keeping the parts of the gun from wearing, resisting corrosion big time and looking great.

Here's my Beretta 70S that they did.

Black Knight
July 4, 2008, 06:58 PM
It depends on how bad the blueing really is. If the whole blueing is less than 80% I would send it in to S&W or Fords. Years ago I sent a Colt Python back to Colt for reblue and have not regretted it one bit. If you do send it in you can ship it directly to them by FED-EX Overnight and they will send it back the same way (refinished of course). The grips you have in mind sound great. Don't send the new grips with the revolver, send the rubber grips (in case they get lost at the factory). Enjoy it no matter what you do. The Model 19 has a rich and proud history as far as guns go. Many cops carried them when they were allowed to.

July 5, 2008, 06:15 PM
Caution: Not verybody does as good a bluing job as S&W. Not even S&W.
Both of my 19s are from the mid-late 70s and have fantastic, mirror-like, bright blue finishes. Some friends have 19s from the early 80s and they are much darker in color and not nearly as shiny. I don't know how good their current bluing jobs are. Check before you send the gun out. Ask for a sample done by the same shop that will do yours.

Suggestion: If you're going to use the gun in the field or for carry, look into some of the more wear-resistant finishes like NP3, Armoloy, etc. If you decide on one of these finishes, do any action work before the gun gets refinished.

July 10, 2008, 05:29 PM
Tough call... I love my model 19, and seeing that one with the ivory grips makes me like it even more. Mine has a few light spots in the blueing, but nothing to make me send it back for rebluing yet.

If you're planning to sell the gun, don't have it done. If it's a "keeper", do whatever you want with it, and keep all the original pieces so you can put it back to the original condition if you change your mind. Once it's reblued, it's a keeper, because you won't get your money back out of it unless you find one of P.T. Barnum's customers out there.

In the end, what any of us think isn't going to help you at all. You need to make your own decisions about whether it's a keeper or a trade-off, and if it's a trade-off, maintain as much value on it as you can.... which means probably don't have it blued. Whichever way you go, do it so when you tell us your final disposition, you can go....:neener:


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