Smith and Wesson Model 19-3


July 1, 2010, 11:36 PM
I recently acquired a Smith and Wesson Model 19-3 "Combat Magnum" with original paperwork, warranty card, box, and unopened cleaning kit in PRISTINE condition. Probably less than 50 rounds through it. I was wondering how to determine the age and any possible information on this gun.

If anyone has any information, please do not hesitate to add it!

Thanks guys!

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July 2, 2010, 12:14 AM
Post a serial number and someone should be able to track down the approximate age. XX out the last two numbers if you like.

July 2, 2010, 12:19 AM
I've wanted one for years! The timing will be of these days!

All I can say is..."atta boy"


July 2, 2010, 01:27 AM
Be careful, my 19-3 turned into 4.:)

July 3, 2010, 12:28 AM
Yeah... I'm afraid I have been bitten by the 19 bug. I feel a collection coming on....

Anyway, the S/N is:


Anyone who can give me an approx. age on this gun- it would be GREATLY appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

July 3, 2010, 01:45 AM
Congrats on your "new" 19-3! According to the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson 3rd Edition, it was made in 1970.

July 3, 2010, 04:21 AM
Congratulations! That is next on my list I think.

Is it a 4"?


July 3, 2010, 05:30 AM
Hello friends and neighbors // inthelineofire Congrats on the great find ---if you click on the word revolvers at the top of this page you will be taken to the revolver main page.

At the top of the revolver main page there are "sticky" post ( important or highly used revolver info ) the first " sticky" is a Date Of Birth thread.

I'd be interested to know the year if you would not mind post it here.

I know you are happy
IC 1970 folks are fast here--nice

Ala Dan
July 3, 2010, 08:11 AM
I have a 4" Smith & Wesson factory nickel model 19-3, in this same kind'a
condition; correct box, paperwork, blank warranty card, spec sheet, and
tool kit. Mine is from 1975, and I've been offered as much as $575 for it;
but it's NOT FOR SALE~! ;) :D

July 3, 2010, 08:44 AM
Congratulations! I keep hoping to stumble across a pristine 4" 19-3, 19-4, or (I think) 19-5 when I actually have money in my pocket. I do love my Rugers, but there is something so "just right" about a blued Model 19.

July 3, 2010, 11:20 AM
Rexster has it correct... I was INCHES away from putting a down-payment on a BRAND NEW 686+... That is, until I stumbled across the 19-3. My mind was made up as soon as I viewed the photographs. I will attach some pictures momentarily.

July 3, 2010, 11:25 AM
See attached photos... First time doing this so let's see if it works.

July 3, 2010, 11:37 AM
Very Nice gun. I have a 6" 19-3 in about the same condition with box and papers.
They really used a pretty, deep blue back in those days.
I like the 66 stainless guns too, just not as classy!

July 3, 2010, 03:03 PM
That finish is probably what made the decision for me. I wanted a blue finish, but when I saw the deep, shiny blue of that particular era I was SOLD.

It's a shame they don't make a finish like they used to.

Had the gun lock up on me today when shooting .357 ammo. Worked fine with .38 though. Anyone have any idea why it would do this?

July 3, 2010, 03:04 PM
It doesn't matter what you paid for it - you scored!

July 5, 2010, 09:29 AM
Loverly! One is on my list "to get."

July 5, 2010, 09:35 AM
Your Model 19-3 Combat Magnum was manufactured in 1970.

July 5, 2010, 09:45 AM
Thou shalt not covet...
Thou shalt not covet...
Thou shalt not co....
Thou shalt no.....
Thou sha....
Thou shall...
Thou shall find thine own S&W model 19!!!!!

Sweet gun! Congrats!!!

July 5, 2010, 10:16 AM

Beautiful specimen. You did well.
RE: Locking up. The previous owner may have fired a bunch of .38's in it and not cleaned it adequately before selling it. Did you shoot the .38's before you fired the .357's or did you clean the gun before firing it?

The shorter .38's will leave a carbon ring in the cylinder, thus the longer .357's have a problem seating properly in the chambers. This may force the longer cases back against the breach face of the gun and cause it to drag somewhat when trying to rotate the cylinder.

Look in the cylinder and see if there is a build up visible in the chambers. Clean the cylinder real well and I'll bet your problem goes away.

The Bushmaster
July 5, 2010, 10:26 AM
This M19-3 looks to be "pinned and recessed". Is that so? If so it might be hard to load .357 magnums in the chambers and be able to close the cylinder. S&W tend to have close tolerances at the cylinder to barrel gap. Check for fouling (lead and/or carbon) on the cylinder face and barrel forcing cone.

When shooting .38 Specials [especially lead] you should clean the cylinder chambers well. Most critical is at the chamber mouths to remove carbon buildup from the shorter .38 Specials. Then go for it with the .357 magnums.

July 5, 2010, 06:31 PM
Thanks for all your help, guys. Radagast- thanks for the info. I appreciate you looking it up!

Bushmaster and Iggy:
Yes, it is pinned and recessed. I ran a bore snake through it that was saturated with Hoppe's #9 before shooting it. I will do a more detailed cleaning of the forcing cone/cylinder chambers/cylinder mouths before I take it out again.

Thanks again!

Jon Coppenbarger
July 5, 2010, 07:45 PM
Nice revolver's I sold my 19-4 today as well as a 57 no dash and a nib 29-2. Smiths are nice guns.


July 5, 2010, 08:30 PM
This M19-3 looks to be "pinned and recessed". Is that so? If so it might be hard to load .357 magnums in the chambers and be able to close the cylinder.
All model 19's from introduction through the -4 were P&R. This in and of itself has no affect on the ability to load magnum ammunition.

July 7, 2010, 05:52 AM
S&W tend to have close tolerances at the cylinder to barrel gap.

Well, not compared to every other revolver maker out there. S&W's will on average be a wee bit wider on average when it comes to more modern guns like a 19-3 or later. Guns made prior to WWII tend to be more consistently .003/004". After that date it opens up a bit and by the build dates of the 19-3, you could find them from .000" (yes, I had a 1970 model 27 come that way, you had to force it closed. And this was a 27.) up to .010".

The 1970s were just not a great decade for S&W for quality control, "P&R" and all that. What matters is how well and individual gun is made, not what is stamped on the frame.

The OP's gun may be fantastic; I'm not impugning it. But it's not possible to make blanket statements about S&Ws over a wide span of years, or to say at any time a gun was guaranteed good or bad in the post WWII-years.

The Bushmaster
July 7, 2010, 09:22 AM
zoom6zoom and Oro. Your statements are not worth hashing as they do not pertain to the OP's question and problem...:evil:

July 7, 2010, 02:08 PM
I found my 19-3 a couple of years ago and just twp weeks ago I got lucky to find a 19-4-both are 4' barrels. Here are some pictures of my 19-3 and my 66-0(No ash#)for comparison:

Ala Dan
July 7, 2010, 03:17 PM
I personally haven't found but one Smith from the 70's era too be bad;
and it was a blued, NIB Smith model 19-3 that had a lock-up problem
from the factory. All other's, I've owned have been superb revolvers;
both, fit & finish wise. My current model 19's ( the previously mentioned
factory nickel 19-3, and a blued 6" 19-5) are both worthy of compliment.
Both have beautiful sets of Goncolo Alves (walnut) factory target stocks;
and neither is red-ramped, or with a white out-lined rear sight.

*FootNote: one of these days, I will take the time too post a few new
pics of the two; along with my Smith 2.5" model 66-4.

Sniper X
July 7, 2010, 03:20 PM
i had a problem once with some primers on some .357mag backing out a hair whilst shooting my 6in GP100. It would do the same thing you describe, as in not lock up with ,38s. when I bought different .357 ammo it stopped doing that.

November 23, 2010, 05:56 PM
I recently recieved a 19-3 with a 6in barrel in deep blue. My father in-law passed and I remember him telling me about it and saying it was worth a pretty penny. It's beautiful and has initials (not his) engraved on the frame. I will take pics and post.

November 24, 2010, 01:15 AM
Welcome to the forum.

Getting a gun from a relative is really special. I have my Dad's guns now that he is gone. I also got a pistol from my father-in-law, which came from his dad.

Pictures are required.
My 19-3 which was nib to me a few months ago. I put Ahrends grips on it for the range.
My 6" from Vermont.

November 24, 2010, 05:24 AM
I agree with Oro, I have seen a few older S&W revolvers that were not set up right from the factory but the model 19 is overall very nice. I paid in between $200 to $235 for mine and have given the 19-2 with the Pachmayr grips to my son years ago.

If a revolver binds up, I check if it is clean under the extractor star and then for end shake, the most likely cause.

If you enjoyed reading about "Smith and Wesson Model 19-3" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!