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S&W Model 19-3 (6") Ammo

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by slimmoney, Dec 20, 2006.

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  1. slimmoney

    slimmoney Member

    Feb 24, 2006
    I recently picked up a S&W 19-3 w/ a 6" barrel. I just read an interesting article, as I am trying to learn a little about my new gun. http://freepatriot.com/model19.php

    It appears that 158gr ammo is generally recommended to be used. I have been researching what would be appropriate ammo for both self-defense and hunting. For self-defense, it appears any of the premium 158gr JHP (Federal H-Shock, Speer GD's) would be fine. Which leads me to my main question.

    Is it fine to use 180gr ammo in this gun, particularly for hunting purposes?

    Any specific recommendations/thoughts on specific ammo for self-defense and hunting. Thanks in advance.
  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    Happy Valley, UT
    Probably don't want to shoot many hot-loaded/heavy hunting loads through your 19, IMO.
  3. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

    Oct 16, 2005
    Northeast USA
    IMO the .357 magnum 125 gr. JHP is the perfect CCW round for your S&W. The 158 gr. is good too, but I'd choose the 125 gr. for carry. Remington, Winchester and Federal all make a good one.

    There is nothing wrong with using a 180 gr. load in the Model 19, but the K-frame isn't a really strong gun and moderation is recommended.
  4. TexAg

    TexAg Member

    May 31, 2005
    I was curious about the answer to this question as well as I have my father's 4" model 19.
    My understanding is that, while yes 125s are great rounds for self defence, those and lighter ones are the ones that in large numbers are more responsible for the infamous cracked forcing cone. 158s seal gasses better apparently?
    How do 160s and 180s do? Other than the forcing cone issues on 19s are there any othere inherently weak points on the 19 that shooting 180s would expose or begin to cause?
  5. redneckdan

    redneckdan Member

    Jul 2, 2006
    the problem with the light bullets is they are too short. The rear of the bullet clears the cylinder before the front has sealed the throat. Thus gas can blow by the bullet causing gas erosion of the throat and the infamous cracking. I load 180s in .38 special case with a modest powder charge for bowling pin shooting. I prefer the heavier bullets. Your practice should be done with .38 special class loads and carry/hunting/occasional practice with .357 mag loads. Stick with the heavier bullets, if you want to get a gun to beat the piss out of, get a ruger. If you want a gun with the sweetest trigger around, keep the smith k-frame.

    HSMITH Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Factory loaded 180 hunting rounds are absolutely fine to use in a M19. Start handloading 180's to the top of the data and you should be careful, but not any more so than with a 158.

    PRESSURE is the problem not bullet weight when considering the strength of a revolver.

    The M19 isn't anywhere near as weak as most would have you believe.
  7. tantrix

    tantrix Member

    Mar 2, 2004
    Louisiana, CSA
    I probably wouldn't either, simply because these guns are getting harder to find and you don't want to continuously beat them up with magnums.

    Don't take this the wrong way, it's not going to self destruct if you fire .357's through it. Since it was originally a .38 revolver later chambered to fire the .357 magnum, firing more .38's through it than magnums will no doubt increase the life if your model 19. By how much, who knows.

    The general rule of thumb for older revolvers is to avoid the lighter 110gr and 125gr .357 loads to reduce flame cutting on the topstrap, and to also cut down on battering the forcing cone and frame too much.

    Practice with .38SPL and fire a couple of cylinders of .357 at the end of your shooting session and you will be fine.
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