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Old October 25, 2011, 04:35 PM   #4615
Senior Member
Join Date: January 20, 2009
Location: Overlooking the Baker River Valley
Posts: 1,641
Welcome to TFL. That serial number would make it 1970. A mint condition P&R (pinned and recessed, which yours is) Model 19 would fetch at least a couple hundred dollars more than you paid in this neck of the woods (eastern Massachusetts).

As you may already be aware, you'll run into conflicting reports regarding feeding a steady diet of .357 through a Model 19. Under certain conditions, it's possible to develop cracks in the bottom of the forcing cone where there's a slight flat spot on K-frame S&Ws. Some folks claim they've run thousands of full-house .357s through theirs, others claim problems from the first few shots. There must be some truth to the issue because S&W subsequently developed the slightly larger L-frame (Model 686 and similar) which avoids the need to have the flat spot.

One seemingly consistent theme is that problems are more likely with hot 100 and 125-gr loads, and if leading is allowed to develop in the forcing cone area. If you really want to shoot .357, the 158-gr loads appear to be the safest.

I have a 19-2 from 1963. These guns are becoming increasingly harder to find at anything approaching reasonable prices and replacement barrels - really the only fix for a cracked forcing cone - are also becoming scarce. My gun sees .38 Special just about exclusively, actually .38 Special loads in .357 cases, and I save the real .357s for my L- and N-frames. Others may feel that's being too careful, but as long as I have other guns that are more suited to the hotter cartridge I'll "baby" my fine old Model 19 and expect it to outlast me.

(Mods may want to move this to the revolver forum)
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