1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

S&W Model 19-2 vs. 686-2 (4" bbl)?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Juna, May 16, 2009.

  1. Juna

    Juna Well-Known Member

    I saw a two guns at a pawn shop that I'm interested in: a model 19-2 and a model 686-2, both 4" barrels in .357 mag. I want to get one of these, but I'm trying to decide which one.

    I've read a whole spectrum of things about the Model 19, ranging from "the best .357 mag ever made" to "cracks due to unsupported barrel". I've read comments about how the trigger of a 686 isn't as nice, but other comments about how the fully supported barrel will never wear out even with a steady diet of full house .357 mag loads.

    Comments? Suggestions? Which would you buy & why? What is a good price for these guns (used in VG condition)?

  2. billybob44

    billybob44 Well-Known Member

    Model 19/686

    I HAD an older model19 (pinned barrel/ recessed cyl) 4". I sold it awhile back, and kept my Model 681. I could always get better results with the fixed sight 681, than I could with the Model 19. With the price now of all S&W's now, I wish that I had held on to the Model 19 longer. Would have made a lot more $ on it if sold today!:neener:
  3. 20nickels

    20nickels Well-Known Member

    Each gun is an island unto itself as far as the trigger, just pick the one you want and have a proffesional work the guts over (not S&W). The 686 should be cheaper because they are still making it.
    What are you using it for? Just the range and a little carry.. get the 686.
    Carry gun that see's range time... get the 19.
    Both great guns. Nickels.

    get both
  4. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Well-Known Member

    The 19-2 would be my pick! :cool:
  5. Ateam-3

    Ateam-3 Well-Known Member

    First I agree with Nickels, buy both. If this isn't an option, then I would go with the 686. I had a model 19, but it was stolen from my house a couple of years ago. It was a very nice gun and I enjoyed shooting it.

    I suggest the 686 because it is a little beefier and can handle a larger diet of 357 magnum vs. 38 special. The forcing cone and front strap are noticably improved. The trigger can be worked on by a gunsmith. I am not against the model 19 and I hope to get another one someday, but I enjoy my 686.
  6. Juna

    Juna Well-Known Member

    I guess that's my concern. It seems most people prefer the feel of a 19, but its durability is what I'm questioning. I don't necessarily plan a steady diet of full house magnum loads, but I guess I do like the piece of mind of durability if I do opt for more .357 than .38.

    I plan to use it more as a HD/range gun and possible occasional trail gun. I already have enough carry guns.

    Also, what about price? Both are VG condition. The 19 is nickel plated with some minor finish wear. The 686 is stainless with some minor finish wear. The prior 686 owner apparently shot exclusively .357 out of it (not sure how the shop worker knew this, but that's what he claimed).

    Is $400 a reasonable price for a 19-2 4" nickel in VG condition? What about $500 for a 686-2 4" stainless in VG condition?
  7. 20nickels

    20nickels Well-Known Member

    The prices seem fair, maybe a bit high on the 686, but you said it was VG condition so mebe not. That 19 is an investment if taken care of.
    Another thing to consider, most people (me included) shoot the larger frames more accurately and faster if you so desire that the K's. The frame is taller and comes to my eye more naturally, I find myself "shrugging" my shoulders more with the K's. Your mileage may vary. Compare them side by side.
    Tough decision!
  8. wraco

    wraco Well-Known Member

    My choice would be the M19-2 if it checks out. What beats up the M19 is not so much the 357 ammo but the type of 357 ammo. The 125 gr, 357 magnum is not recommended for the M19 because the bullet is too short and by the time it hits the rifling the bullet is not sealing the barrel to cyl. gap tightly. Also, some of the powder used in the 125 gr. 357 was hard on the forcing cone.

    It doesn't take much look-seeing to check out the M19. If it's still tight and the forcing cone is not burnt or cracked; it's good to go.

  9. Oro

    Oro Well-Known Member

    I agree with 20nickels. The price is good on the 19 if it is mechanically good and passes the "check out" - also matters if there flakes in the nickel and if it has original grips. If the nickel is all good and not worn through of flaked anywhere, and it has original grips, that is a VERY good price I think. If it has bubbles, flakes, or worn through places, and rubber grips, then I think it's too high. Be sure to examine the forcing cone carefully for damage.

    $500 for a 686 is I think a bit high by about 10%. $450 would be a more "market" price I think.

    I use a snubby 19 for carry; for a trail gun and .357 whomper I prefer the 4" 686. I had a 4" 66-1 (same as 19 but stainless) and once I got my hands on my 686 the 66 got left behind as a trail gun. The 686 and 19 are both sweet shooting guns. The 19 is more "collectible," but the 686 is just a great all-around gun. I am a huge fan of the 4" 686 as I've posted about frequently.

    The 19 does handle better because of it's size, weight, and non-lugged barrel. It is safe to shoot with any standard pressure .357 ammo, and unless you are shooting LOTS of .357, the 19 is just fine. The 686, because of size and weight, make .357 much more fun to shoot as it absorbs recoil better (and this is where that lug out there really comes in to play). With .38 light loads/target loads, it feels more like a .22LR. But it is slightly heavier and larger to carry, though not a whole lot more. Trade offs, trade offs. But you gotta love S&W for giving us so very many options!

    At those two prices, if the 19 is in good shape, it is a better deal; there is no doubt.
  10. sparkyguy66

    sparkyguy66 Well-Known Member

    That comment the gunshop guy said about the 686's previous owner shooting 357's exclusively has my spidey senses out.:scrutiny: Sounds a bit like he's setting up an excuse when you bring it back after finding its' timing to be out. But, what do I know? I've only been around that glowing thing in the sky forty-two times.;)
  11. Cpt. America

    Cpt. America Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't get ride of my model 19-4. But its a tough one, just flip a coin or buy both.;)
  12. RatDrall

    RatDrall Well-Known Member

    You can still buy L frame smiths. If the 19 is in good shape, buy it and don't look back.
  13. CSA 357

    CSA 357 Well-Known Member

    I love my nickle 19, i like the k frame better than the l, its lighter, and just points good foe me, sold my 686

Share This Page