A Sad Mdl. 19


Jan 8, 2017
Auburn, AL
I ran across this old girl (1971) at a somewhat local show last weekend. On the outside, it has the typical "patina" of a gun that sat in an underwear drawer in a house with no AC. I asked to take a closer look, and that's when the seller informed me that it "had some issues". It would only operate in DA about half the time, and zero times in SA. There was no way that hammer was coming back when you pulled on it. I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the $825 price on it. I had a hunch what the issue might be, and the smooth targets grips were calling me, so I told him the best I could do was a straight trade for an ATI 9mm Commander that I had brought, which I was only into for less that $300. He jumped on the trade and I brought her home.

First thing I did was pull the side plate and yup, it was full of gunk inside. All the internals had a nice varnish of dried oil on them too. After an overnight soak in Kroil, multiple blasts with brake cleaner and brushing, I generously oiled it and put it all back together. Well gee, it runs like a champ now, which I confirmed at the range Wednesday. She's now resting 30 minutes away, at a gunsmith that does hand polishing and hot bluing. This gives me plenty of time to restore those purdy grips.


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Since the finish is a bit of a mess, for something different, I'd have it bead blasted and then parkerized. Ive don't just that on a couple of older Smiths I got in kind of rough shape on the outside and was very happy with the results. You end up with something pretty cool you don't see every day, and its very functional and useable.

Original, pretty blued 19's are a dime a dozen and you have the opportunity to do something different. ;)

For what those grips go for these days, you can clean them up and sell them, and probably pay for the park job. :)
Cool to see the gun wasn’t Bubbaed, just neglected. I have seen a few revolvers over the years with shellac coating the innards so badly they were paperweights until given some TLC.

Can’t wait to see how it turns out., :thumbup:

Stay safe.
There is just something about a 4" Model 19 that just looks right. I have 3 Model 19s, but none with a 4" barrel. Always on the lookout for one. You would have to have worn a ski mask to get a better deal.
Good TRADE! What happened to that 19?? looks like it took a 7 1/2 shot on one side

Who doesn’t love a Old Smith!
Somehow, I dont think the IRS is going to buy that. :)

But be sure, you will still need to contribute to "their" gun and ammo fund so you can be safe at your next audit. :)
Fortunately it was rescued before the finish got any worse. There really is just some very minor pitting on the right side of the top strap. The rest of it is just surface ugliness. The Smith seemed pretty confident that it would all polish out without destroying the stamping. Worse case is that he ends up doing more of a mdl. 28 satin finish. I've seen parkerized revolvers and, while certainly functional, they just don't do it for me. I was originally going to rust blue it, but when I saw how little imperfections there were, I decided that hot bluing was the way to go.

Bubba definitely had his fingers in this one at some point. The screw heads weren't exactly pristine, but they cleaned up nicely. There's a mark at the top of the side plate, in the hammer opening, that looks like it was either dropped or pried on. Thankfully the plate isn't bent. The hammer block has been removed. Some people incorrectly think that removing it improves the SA. It doesn't, but it also doesn't negatively impact the function if it is removed.
I've bought a couple of used guns so full of crud that they barely functioned. The worst one was a Dan Wesson 15-2 that was almost totally full of unburned powder. I don't know much about powder, but the flakes were very large and almost looked like mouse droppings. You could barely cock the gun SA, but DA was ok.
Waiting a month to a month and a half to get her back will seem like forever, but it's better than sending it out and waiting five to eight months like the big shops are quoting right now. It's like when you started dating a new girl for a couple of weeks, and you really like her, and then she goes on a 6 week European vacation with her family.....