A broken S&W 19 coming to live with me...


April 18, 2009, 01:08 AM
Four days ago I saw an add on the local internet classifieds, for a 4" S&W model 19. The single photo looked good (but for one thing). It had a pinned barrel and service stocks and showed little holster ware. The add said $200 and went on to explain that the cocking mechansim wouldn't work.

I quickly called. The seller told me that the hammer was very hard to cock, but if you opened the cylinder and held the "saftey" ahead you could cock it.

Ah! something under the extractor star maybe, but in the photo it looked like the end of the extractor rod was bare metal. A loose rod?

My only problem was he was half a state away and I was working. He was also at work, I asked him to hold it for me and I would have someone waiting for him with the cash when he got off work. I called one of my good daughters, luckly not far from where he lived. Anyway I got it.

She called when she picked it up and told me she could not open the cylinder. Yea a loose rod for sure.

She surprised me with a call two hours ago, she was on her way home with the 19. Soon I''ll know. Extractor rods are cheap.

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April 18, 2009, 01:36 AM
That could be a real find. Let us know how it works out...and post a pic, please?

April 18, 2009, 01:03 PM
Excellent buy...

I rarely get lucky like that. SOMETIMES, I do, but very rarely.

April 18, 2009, 01:07 PM
The revolver is a M 19-3. It shows normal holster ware on the frame and barrel, but not on the cylinder. The problem appears to me to be that the cylinder is a replacement and not fitted to the gun. The gas ring on the cylinder rides tightly on the yoke (all my other Smiths have a noticeable space between the gas ring and the yoke).

When the cylinder is closed, with much effort, the gun is totally locked up. The extractor star is pushed back against the rear of the frame. After swapping parts back and forth with another M19 it appears only the cylinder is a problem.

Can I cut back the gas ring ?

And how much dose Smith & Wesson charge to rebuild a revolver?

April 18, 2009, 01:20 PM
And how much dose Smith & Wesson charge to rebuild a revolver?

You can call them and find out. It sounds like it would be well worth it.

April 18, 2009, 01:35 PM
Sounds like you got a mix and match setup.

Where you need to relieve the cylinder would depend on what the cylinder gap is like. If the cylinder gap is good or just a hair on the fat side then relieving the gas ring would be the correct option in this case. But if it's the rims of the bullets when loaded that are pushing the cylinder forward and into lockup then you'd want to relieve the back of the cylinder and the star a hair and then get it re-blued. This takes into consideration that the center of the star is what should be bearing on the back of the frame and not the actual casings. Just loading up two rounds and then using a small straightedge will soon tell you if the bearing center of the star wheel is the issue or not.

This is coming from a newbie amatuer gunsmith that is learning a lot as I go so take it with a grain of salt but this is how I see it.

April 18, 2009, 05:19 PM
Take it to gunsmithing and repairs (http://www.thehighroad.org/forumdisplay.php?f=16). They can answer your questions.

April 18, 2009, 05:29 PM
The gun is a 19-3 and the gas ring should be on the yoke. Maybe the cylinder is from a -4 with the gas ring on the cylinder?

Either way your good deal is now going to quickly become a headache that will likely cost more to fix than you would have spent if you had bought a decent gun in the first place.

Took me about 20 years to learn to walk away from projects, damaged guns, guns missing parts, etc. NEVER worked out well.

OK, the one time was the S&W with the bulged barrel for $60. Found a replacement on ebay for $5 and swapped it myself.

April 18, 2009, 06:13 PM
Ok so now I know bought the KSL gun.

Looked at the ad just before it was sold.

April 18, 2009, 06:38 PM
BCRider "amateur" gunsmith nailed it I think. A mix and match, besides the cylinder problem the side plate is the worst fitting job I've seen on a S&W.

Once I was convinced what the problem was I used a Lee case trimmer with a home made pilot and a stone. Cut a little on the gas ring, put it back together and try. repeat 6 times. Each time was an improvement. Its fixed! Trigger pull is like a new gun, rough, but usable.

I'll dry fire it 1000 + times and shoot it a couple hundred then lightly stone any high or rough spots. I'm a happy shopper. (lucky? I knew what was wrong when I bought it, I was just wrong.) ha.

sorry weisse52, I'm usually second too. I live faraway from the good deals.

April 18, 2009, 08:45 PM
photos maybe. accuracy, so so, 25 yards 12 shots and 10 yards 5 shots...The stocks didn't come with the gun, they have been hanging around my place waiting for a home.

April 18, 2009, 08:47 PM
Did you check the BC gap after that cutting? Cylinder shake or end play?

April 18, 2009, 09:06 PM
Zero end shake, is that good or should I have a little. I did not measure the BC gap, but I did eye ball it and it's a litte more that normal. I'm thinking about taking off a little more from the gas ring.

Jim K
April 18, 2009, 09:35 PM
Be very careful. Headspace and end shake in an S&W is controlled by the back end of the center arbor bearing on the INSIDE rear of the cylinder hole, not by the gas ring.

That interface is manually set at the factory, which is why cylinders often will not interchange.


April 18, 2009, 10:42 PM
Because of the overly long gas ring it didn't allow the arbor to contact the inside rear of the cylinder. I'm not sure its touching even now. I'll check tomorrow. How ever the revolver is functioning now. I removed very little metal to go from locked up to working normal.

Is zero endshake a good thing? I'd be more comfortable with a little, because Iv'e never had a Smith with out some.

April 18, 2009, 11:01 PM
Excellent find! I'm terribly jealous.

April 19, 2009, 12:32 AM
Never mind. I should read the whole post before commenting.

April 19, 2009, 01:36 PM
Because of my concern with zero end shake and Jim Ks concern about the end of the arbor bearing on the inside rear of the cylinder I cleaned off all oil and painted the "arbor" end with marking paint. I reassembled, put empty cases in the cylinder and dry fired 300 times.

Then inspected the arbor, paint was gone from only about 10 to 20 % of the rear of the arbor, showing less than 20% contact. I don't dare attempt to square the rear of the arbor by hand or risk shorting it.

I then cut and stoned the front of the gas ring and repeated the process (dry fire and check paint ware. 30 % of the paint was worn off, it now has a very small amount of end shake and happily the trigger pull is even better.

30 plus years ago I was sent by my department through a one day armorers school for section firearms instructors. It was of course very basic, just enough to make some field repairs. Its been 23 years since I've done much with Smiths and I'm very weak on terms in procedure and parts. Hope I haven't been confusing.

I'm done thanks for all the help.

April 19, 2009, 09:48 PM
Sounds like you're doing just fine at all this. You have confirmed that the gun is set up well and where there's some potential issues. Not bad in my book.

tasco 74
April 19, 2009, 09:54 PM
i think i'd send it to smith&wesson and get back into shape....... i'm not sure if they'd charge you anything or not but i'd try it........

LIFE IS SHORT..................

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