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S&W Model 19-3 ; YOM?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Burn Em Up, Aug 31, 2011.

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  1. Burn Em Up

    Burn Em Up Member

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    Hi,

    I am a new member to the forum, just having joined today.

    I bought a used S&W Model 19-3 .357 Magnum revolver (6-inch barrel) back in the summer of 1991. I bought it at a gun shop in Fremont, CA, as I recall, and was told at the time that it was a Law Enforcement trade-in. It has the diamond-checked wooden hand grips on it, and it's bluing shows 'holster wear'. The serial number is: 9K64228. Can anyone tell me how old this is?

    I have had this hand gun for 20 years now, and on Sept. 7th, I am going to fire it for the first time... after I take a "Firearms Safety and Range Familiarization" course at the local shooting range.

    Should I start out shooting 'lighter' .38 Special ammo instead of the 'heavier' 357 loads, due to having no prior experience with a hand gun?

    I have hunted and shot skeet and trap ( in leagues) with various shotguns in the distant past and have also used various rifles over the years, but I have never fired a handgun. I'm really looking forward to this new experience.

    Thank you for your time... Burn Em Up
     
  2. tpelle

    tpelle Member

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    .357 Magnum is not the "rip your arm off" cartridge that some folks make it out to be. IIRC, the Model 19 is a K-Frame revolver, which, being a little smaller and lighter than the original .357 Magnum N-Frame, may have a little more kick to it, but nothing like my .357 Magnum Centennial J-Frame.

    Starting out with .38 Specials won't hurt, though, but I would probably refrain from feeding it a steady diet of .38 Specials just because of building up a ring of fouling in the chambers which might later interfere with chambering .357's.
     
  3. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    Practice with what you plan to shoot. A 4" .357 is more loud than anything - recoil from a 19 isn't going to bother you. Just wear muffs.
     
  4. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    YES, you should start with .38 specials. If you have never fired a handgun before, you have to get used to something making a big noise and concussion 2' in front of your face. The .357 isn't going to slam the gun into your face on recoil, but it is significantly louder and has more recoil than the .38. Most people are best served by starting off with a .22, honestly, but if you start with some light wadcutter .38 Specials, and then move to stouter .38 loads, before trying the magnums, you should do fine. You might even be fine doing all of that in one range session.

    .357 Magnum revolvers are DESIGNED to shoot both .38 Special and .357 Magnum ammunition. Just make sure you clean your gun after each range session, and you won't have any trouble with switching back and forth between them. If you don't clean the chambers in the cylinder, after shooting a lot of .38 Special, it might be difficult to chamber a .357 cartridge because the .38 cases are shorter, so they will leave powder residue and possibly bullet lube and lead where their case mouths are in the chambers. It's not hard to clean, though, even if you are shooting loads that leave an excess amount of debris behind.

    .38 Specials through a 6" model 19 shoot very sweet. That should be a very accurate, fun to shoot weapon that is also versatile because of the various power levels you can run through it. You will love that revolver!

    Welcome to the S&W club! Let us know how it goes!
     
  5. valnar

    valnar Member

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    I second what sixgunner455 said, and start with .38sp.
     
  6. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Member

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    Let me be the first to say that- if you dont like shooting the 357's outa that Smith...I will give you what you paid for it!!!!!
     
  7. Shienhausser

    Shienhausser Member

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    I rented my first .357 at a range years ago. The guy behind the counter grabbed a box of .38's for it. I gave him a puzzled face and he said "it's a little cheaper and easy on the hand" I said BAH!, why am I renting a .357 to shoot .38's? Give me that full power stuff, he grabbed some 158 gr .357 instead. (on a funny note, I still feel that way about .357 revolvers, ammo prices be damned).

    I, at the time only having seen the mighty .357 on movies didn't know what to expect. When the first round went off I was so elated I ripped off another and another and... I turned around to my brother and had a smile from ear to ear. I had plans to buy a .40 or .45 and more but after firing that revolver I immediately had to have one (S&W 686). Now .38/.357 are pretty much my exclusive calibers. Now I find myself dry firing my favorite revolver a hundred times a night with snap caps. Then I got a trigger job on it....

    The point of this is .357 shouldn't make you weary, it may be the most fun you've had at a range in a while.

    Now, I will say and I hope you are still reading at this point, .38 will help you develop a good DA technique more than .357. Reasoning is you are less likely to flinch and once it becomes habit it will carry over. Buy some "Snap Caps" and dry fire some, watch how your sight picture moves. Your muscles in that finger will get stronger and you will get better over time.

    ENJOY!
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yes, or at least midrange .357's.
     
  9. highpower

    highpower Member

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    To answer your other question........Manufactured in 1976.
     
  10. Burn Em Up

    Burn Em Up Member

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    Thanks!

    Hi,

    Thank You to all of the responders so far. Your advice/input is much appreciated :). I am really looking forward to the three-hour training course on "Firearms Safety and Range Familiarization" at 'The Range' next Wednesday night. After owning this gun for the past 20 years, I'm finally going to learn use it... safely. The instruction sheet for the course tells me to bring 100 rounds of ammo. The gun will definitely need a good cleaning after that. I could rent smaller caliber gun to use during the range session, but that wouldn't be any fun!

    As far as dating this S&W Model 19-3 .357 Magnum (SN 9K64228), I have found it dated to 1965 and 1967 at two different websites, and now 'High Power' says 1976... :confused:.

    One thing that I forgot to mention, I paid $179.95 for it, back in the summer of 1991.


    Burn Em Up
     
  11. Burn Em Up

    Burn Em Up Member

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    'Snap caps' were recommended by 'Shienhausser'... which is an excellent idea. Which 'snap caps' are better... plastic or metal?

    Thaanks, Burn Em Up
     
  12. fatcpa

    fatcpa Member

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    A bit of advice if you want to shoot 357 mag vs 38 specials. CCI Blazer 357 Mag is a full length 357, but it is a very week 357 mag round. I shoot a lot of the Blazer round in my Model 19. It is cheap, a little dirty and very low recoil. About like shooting 38 Special +p. Good practice ammo. I've read about some people having an occasional stuck case in the cylinder, but I've not experienced that.
     
  13. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    I've got a 4 inch 19-3, I think mine was made around '59 if I remember.
    Nice revolvers.
    I suppose if you've never shot much it wouldn't hurt to go through a couple boxes of 38 SPL's, but then you ought to learn to shoot what it was made for, the 357 mag.
     
  14. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Member

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    I shoot CCI Blazer 357s and I agree. I have four K frame magnums, a L frame and three Rugers. This round is easy on any 357 magnum revolver. And its accurate. I buy a box of fifty for $19.99 at Turner Outdoorsman in California. There is no reason to buy 38 special ammo to shoot in a 357 magnum when you can buy Blazer for the same price. Plus a person will not have the buildup in the front of the cylinder as a result of using 38 specials.

    Regards,
    Howard
     
  15. Shienhausser

    Shienhausser Member

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    "Which 'snap caps' are better... plastic or metal?"


    Not sure what's better per say but I use the red anodized aluminum .357 from A-Zoom. I bought 2 packs so I could practice speed loading and ejecting.
     
  16. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    My SCS&W has your gun made in 1976. I think you are going to be VERY happy with it! :D

    My guess is that the grips, AKA stocks, aren't original to the gun. The diamonds went away in 1968, but if you got a set of diamonds, those are good! ;)

    The forcing cone issues with the K frames are usually associated with the light bullet, slow powder combos people put together seeking hyper velocities.

    Lots of people report thousands of rounds of Big Dog magnums through their K frames without problem. Personally, I only run heavy (158gr) bullets with slow powder & use faster powders for lighter (125gr) bullets. But most of my practice is with .38sp.

    My advice would be to learn with the .38s & try out the Big Dogs when you get a good feel for the gun.

    Bill Jordan said it. ".38s for practice, magnums for business." :D

    EDIT: If you shoot .38s you'll need to scrub out the chambers before firing .357s. The shorter .38 case leaves a ring in the chamber that can bind up the longer .357 case making for difficult extraction. In extreme cases this can also cause pressure problems if you're running close to max loads.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  17. Burn Em Up

    Burn Em Up Member

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    Hi,
    Things went pretty good for me at last night's training course. The two hours in the class was time well spent, and I learned a lot of stuff that I didn't know about handguns. The included info regarding shotguns and rifles that I already knew from having prior experience with them but it was also good for me to review.

    In the 45 minutes of 'range time, I shot 78 rounds of .38 Special +P ammo through the Model 19. What 'a kick in the pants' it was! Yes, the 38 rounds definitely left a very visible ring of powder residue at the far end of each chamber in the cylinder.

    After the firing range, I opted to stay for the optional "California Department of Justice Handgun Safety Certificate" course. That certificate is valid for five years, and is required to 'legally' purchase a hand gun in CA. I'm thinking that I may want to look into acquiring a 9MM semi-automatic handgun in the near future.

    Thanks again to all of the responders or their ideas, hints, and tips. You tube was also big help to me, especially in warning me about keeping the fingers on my left hand out of the path from the hot gas discharge from the slight gap between the cylinder and the barrel when firing a revolver. Surprisingly, the instructor didn't mention that.

    Burn Em Up
     
  18. NoirFan

    NoirFan Member

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    I totally agree. A Model 19 was my first handgun as well, and I recommend you stick to light .38s for a while. If you are just starting out learning how to shoot a handgun then the recoil and blast of the .357, while not terrible, will only slow your progress. Nothing wrong with firing magnums to satisfy your curiousity, but serious learning should start with dry firing and .38 specials.

    I'm no expert shooter but here's my favorite basic revolver drill. Randomly load two rounds without looking at the cylinder and then give it a spin before closing. Then click through all six chambers double-action, paying close attention to your front sight at the moment the hammer falls. It shouldn't move; if it does, go slower and smoother. This has really helped me fight flinching and gives me the most education per round fired, as opposed to blazing away with a full cylinder.
     
  19. Cop Bob

    Cop Bob Member

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    I own two 6" 19-3's, my distinguished guns... I also own several variants of that gun, in 2 1/2" and 4", in both Stainless (model 66's) and Blue (19's)..

    All of them have lived their entire lives with a steady diet of 38 Spl's.. The standard loading that I use is a mid-range match, wadcutter. or 150, or 158 grain semi wadcutters, also known as a "Keith Style" bullet.. loaded to about 750-800 FPS (feet per second, I forgot your a newb) .. you really don't need more than that for practice..

    If you are going to load your pistol for Self Defense after your range sessions, just a good scrubbing of the cylinders will take care of that ring..

    Take care of that pistol and it will give you three lifetimes of service... you will be hard pressed to wear it out..

    Practice with the 38's.. you, your wrist and hands, and your pocket book with thank you.. Load the 357's for social endeavors, under stress you will preform pretty much like you practice. You don't really need the +P's for practice...

    Save your brass !!.. When the bug hits, and it sounds like it is starting to dig in,, you will learn to reload.. that is when the education begins, and the total fun of the sport starts to sink in...

    However, If you decide that this is REALLY NOT FOR YOU, I will double your original price and take that boat anchor off your hands for you... (just kiddin).. welcome to the fold !

    One Recommendation....Get a good coach, one with a Practical/competitive REVOLVER shooting background.. and don't pick up any habits or practices that you have seen on TV or in the Movies.. NONE of them are real shooters... (well maybe Selleck, but it is still Hollywood) Let him/her teach you the right way from the ground up... You would not believe how much range time is eaten up trying to break bad habits...

    Again, Good Luck to you, and welcome aboard....
     
  20. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Fouling From .38 Specials

    The crud left in the cylinder chambers from shooting .38 Specials can
    be easily removed, by running a FIRED .357 magnum cartridge case into
    each chamber. This will "cut" the fouling; but your weapon still needs a
    proper cleaning~! ;) :D
     
  21. Burn Em Up

    Burn Em Up Member

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    Hi,

    Getting back to the YOM of my Model 19-3, various Internet sources (one being wikipedia) show it's serial number (9K64228) as being from 1967, and also show that S&W deleted the "diamond-insert grips" in 1968. My Model 19-3 (P&R) has the wooden diamond insert grips on it, and they appear to be original, showing signs of wear from it's original duties in law enforcement.

    "Highpower" reported in a previous post that the serial number dates to 1976. My Thanks to "Highpower" for the input. 1967 or 1976? Maybe there might be the possibility that someone has possibly transposed the last two numbers of the YOM?

    Thank you for your time.... Burn Em Up
     
  22. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Per the Standard catalog of S&W, the serial range 9K10001 to 9K99999 was used during 1976.
    The serial range for 1967 was K715997 to K779162.
     
  23. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    If it helps, I own a factory nickel 4" S&W model 19-3 [in the original box,
    with all the correct paperwork for that period], and its 7K serial prefix
    indicates its DOB was from 1975. Its original walnut target grips are not
    of the earlier diamond-cut design~! ;) :D

    So - sorry, there is NO WAY that a S&W model 19-3 with a 9K S/N prefix
    could be from 1967~!
     
  24. Burn Em Up

    Burn Em Up Member

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    Hi,

    Radagast, Thank You for that date information, and naming the source. That answers my question. The dating information at 'wikipedia' is obviously incorrect:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_&_Wesson_Model_19

    This information from that link: "(1968): Delete diamond-insert grip" must also be in error, as my 19-3 has the S&W wooden diamond insert grips on it, and they do appear to be originals to the gun.

    It seems to me that due to the serial number prefix beginning with "K" is for guns produced in 1967, 1968 production should be '1K', 1969 should be '2K', etc. and 1976 is '9K'. That makes sense to me....

    Burn Em Up
     
  25. camar

    camar Member

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    You received good advice in the above posts. You might want to look up the history of the Model 19, if you have not already.
    Getting started with .38 Spl. until comfortable then moving up to .38 Spl. +P then the .357 Mag. is a good idea. Go at your own pace and enjoy yourself.:)
     
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