View Full Version : Price Check: NiB S&W Model 19, special edition.

April 10, 2006, 06:46 PM
I'm looking for guidance, and I figure there's some people here who'll be able to weigh in on this...

Today I found a NiB Model 19 4" in blue steel. Its unfired, as a matter of fact there's barely a turn ring on the cylinder (and its tied off, so as to prevent unwanted abuse). It comes with the carved wooden presentation box.

The revolver (and box) itself is engraved for the PA State Police 75th anniversery, 1905-1980, thus I presume the revolver is from somewhere between 79 and 81 (I forgot the jot down the serial) due to the engraving.

I want a .357 magnum for .38spl and .357m range use. It will be a shooter, but not a carry piece.

The price, with box, was $525.

I could afford it, but it'd come from savings (not a problem, its like extending a line of credit to myself)... What should I do? I was originally looking for a L frame 586 or 686.

So, at the price.. is it a deal I should absolutely not pass up, or shall I continue to look for a N frame and leave this Model 19 to some other collector?

EDIT: I made a mistake in frame sizes. I meant an L frame. Pardon my mistake, and making the first half of these responses somewhat confusing. I'm a bad, bad man. :)

April 10, 2006, 07:05 PM
To me, that sounds pretty expensive for a "shooter" K-frame. You might be able to sell the box and tools to make up some of the difference, but I bet it will still be high. For what you want I wouldn't pay more than $300. My model 19 cost $200 in a face-to-face deal without box or papers in at least 95% condition.

April 10, 2006, 07:24 PM
My 19-4 nickel snubbie 98% with box and papers cost me 350 in massachusetts a few years back. It was a steal in mass.

April 10, 2006, 07:30 PM
The 586 and the 686 is an L-frame.The N-frame is the Model 25, 29 and plus others:eek: :)

Tommy Vercetti
April 10, 2006, 07:34 PM
I'd buy it :) carry it and shoot it

April 10, 2006, 07:48 PM
You can get a model 28 all day long for less than $400. It seems a shame to shoot a presentation piece. I'd pass, unless youre collecting.

April 10, 2006, 08:16 PM
If there is a turn ring on the cylinder, no matter how faint, it has no collector value. The value is the same as for any other model 19 of that time period depending on condition.

Go ahead and look for an N frame, but no collector will touch that model 19. I bought a model 544 because I wanted a shooter. I found one that had been dry fired and paid $375 for it, which was a fair price for an N frame in this area at the time.

April 10, 2006, 08:29 PM
"A few years back" is no longer a good point of reference. Prices have been going up.
For my parts a little high, but I expect prices to be there soon. I passed on some that were lower priced (19-3 and 19-4 with 4" barrel) around Christmas because of other spending. I'd take them now.

On a side note, the 586 and 686 S&W are built on the L-frame. The 27 and 28 are the .357 Magnums that are built on the N-frame.

If you don't like the K-frame, wait for what you want. The 686 is pretty common. I think among S&W revolvers the K-frames with the 4" barrels have the best balance and just move so sweetly in the hand. YMMV.

April 10, 2006, 08:50 PM
Whoops, meant an L frame, not an N frame. My bad. I've made a minor edit.

I actually found the pistol somewhat appealing, and most of the 4" 686es I see around here tend to run from $400 on up, mostly around $425.

Ergo, I'm paying an additional $100 for the almost pristine pistol, blued and with the anniversery markings and the presentation box.

What its sounding like is that while its admittedly a fair price, its not a killer price. As such, perhaps I should continue looking, and if the money should make itself available while the firearm is in stock, its a go.

How was the quality of S&W for this period? Will the model 19 hold up ton regular .357m usage, or will it loosen up with time making the heavier L frame a wiser option?

April 11, 2006, 12:40 AM
I have gotten mixed responses on this one.
The upshot is that if you stay away from the hot loaded 125 grain .357 magnums, you will be fine. It really is made to be mostly used with the .38 Specials and 158 grain magnums on occasion (people say about 9-1 Special/Magnum). Remember that it was designed in an era when most police agencies issued .38 Special and few departments went with .357 magnum. It is meant to be a gun that is pleasant to carry while still being useful in combat.

Of course the confusion of that is, the gun will not heal. Are people seriously suggesting 100 .357 Magnums in one year and nothing else (100% of its use being with magnums) is going to wear more than 1800 .38 Specials and 200 .357 Magnums? No, certainly not.

So anyways, if you want to shoot .357 Magnum a lot, go with the L-frame. They are made for the high energy rounds. But if you want a gun that can shoot .357 magnum while mostly shooting .38 special, the 19 is the way to go.

April 11, 2006, 05:03 PM
I see it like this; If you plan on buying this commemorative and shooting it you're pissing away $200-250.00 in cash.

You can easily find a model 19 for less money and probably alot less money.

You can even find an L frame for less money if you plan on shooting it.

April 11, 2006, 05:42 PM
Here's a thought,

April 11, 2006, 08:25 PM
Well the commemorative part puts me off (don't like engravings/inlays and the case is of no use to me). Of course if he buys it and doesn't shoot it, he is pissing away $525.

When thinking of buying online, don't forget to ask your local gunshops what their cost is for recieving the gun. Locally many stores are adding enough to make it not worthwile (which sucks if the gun cannot be found locally). Fortunately, Gander Mountain will handle the transaction cheap.

What are gun prices like in PA compared to other states? The price he quoted for a 686 is similar to what I find here. But I would never find a 19-4 for $275-$325 as Gonzo_308 suggests. Maybe years ago, but I have to pay the prices of today.

April 11, 2006, 08:34 PM
This deal sounds more like a collector piece than a shooter. If you want a shooter I would look else where, if you want an investment it may be a good deal.

April 11, 2006, 08:39 PM
you can do better on a used 686....

April 11, 2006, 11:59 PM
Eghad... that seems to be consensus here and at the S&W forum I posted the same query on.

At this point, I'm not going to tap savings and pick it up. On the other hand, when all is said and done and I have the money, if its there I'm going to buy it.

Why? Because its different. Admittedly, its somewhat sad to take a collector's peice and use it, perhaps, but on the other hand in 20 years from now it'll still be worth more than a run-of-the-mill Model 19, and the fact that there's a little history on this guy makes it appealing.

When I first posted this, I was under the impression it might be a Good Find, mainly because I get baffled by the S&W naming conventions, and thought the model 19 was synonomous with "Registered Magnum," which I know fetches a premium.

The same store tells me they had a pair of Pythons in the last two months, one went for $625 and the other $725. If I don't end up with the 19, perhaps I'll find a Python instead.

Whatever happens, happens.

April 12, 2006, 04:56 AM
But I would never find a 19-4 for $275-$325 as Gonzo_308 suggests. Maybe years ago, but I have to pay the prices of today.









Less than 10 minutes!

I didn't break a a sweat and didn't even go through the whole search query. Good enoguh for ya?

April 12, 2006, 05:45 AM
Add $40+ for shipping and transfer.

They don't fall into that magical $275-$325 range anymore.


April 12, 2006, 08:15 AM
But I would never find a 19-4 for $275-$325 as Gonzo_308 suggests. Maybe years ago, but I have to pay the prices of today.

Why a 19-4? For a shooter you don't need P&R and the extra price that goes along with it.

19-5 (http://www.gunsamerica.com/guns/976661218.htm)

April 12, 2006, 05:53 PM
Add $40+ for shipping and transfer.

They don't fall into that magical $275-$325 range anymore.

Take more than 10 minutes on the net and visit a gun show.:rolleyes:

Yesterday at a pawn shop was a 15-5 with a very nice trigger for......$175.00

Maybe I'm blessed but I don't think so.

April 12, 2006, 07:31 PM
Maybe I'm blessed but I don't think so
You must be. Every gunshow, gunshop, and pawnshop I've visited listed M19 for $400+. I haven't seen a sub $400 19 (that wasn't in very rough shape) locally in several years.

I put them in the same category as the sub $200 Model 10s that everyone claims exist in large numbers.


April 12, 2006, 08:02 PM
I walked into a gunshop today to have some repair work done.... mdl 686 w/4" SS about $375 in what looked to be excellent shape.

when you start popping caps in it....the history will maybe get you $25.00 extra.

April 12, 2006, 08:35 PM
I said 19-4 because I thought that was the gun being discussed.
As for why for me personally, I have various guns for all my handgun niches already. I only want a 19-4 or earlier.

April 13, 2006, 05:36 AM
Croyance, It's a model 19 4" barrel. unless everybody else is reading it wrong.

Either way and regardless of the sidetrack about my math.

There's no reason to drop almost $600.00 on a shooter when one can be had for $400.00 just as easily.

There, for the measly cost of $25.00 there can be peace and harmony in Whoville again.:D