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Old February 22, 2013, 04:31 PM   #1
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Model 19 with 2 1/2 inch barrel questions

I am beginning my quest for one of these. More like an overwhelming urge for one. I want it to shoot but would like good condition.
Questions are; anything to look for dash-wise and pricing and availability? Any info would be great.
I currently own a 686+ and a colt detective special.

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Old February 22, 2013, 04:57 PM   #2
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This is just my opinion, but the in reference to the engineering changes ( that is what the dash numbers refer to ) I really don't think there were any engineering changes that would be classed better or worst. Some of the changes were nothing more than stamping the Model number, changing the grips or relocating the sights.JMHO
Ron James
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:23 PM   #3
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It seems like anything under $600 is a decent deal nowadays. Over $700 is probably too much, unless it's perfect and you like it. They certainly go for more than the 4" Model 19s.

I don't know about the 19s, but the no-dash model 66s were sometimes said to bind cylinders from overheating with too much of a magnum work out at one time. I think it's a rare problem, and it was fixed with the first variation.

You could also look for flame cutting on the topstrap near the forcing cone from firing too much hot 125 grain ammo, but I suspect that problem is also exaggerated.

Good luck! I with you on the attraction to these guns. My grandfather carried one for work a few decades ago.
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:48 PM   #4
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1955 = Introduction of the Combat Magnum (no model number).
1957 = S&W begins assigning model numbers. Com. Mag becomes Model 19
1959 = 19-1 Change extractor rod from right to left hand thread.
1961 = 19-2 Cylinder stop changed. Delete trigger stop screw.
1967 = 19-3 Relocation of rear sight leaf screw.
1977 = 19-4 Gas ring moved from yoke to cylinder.
1982 = 19-5 Elimination of the pinned barrel, counter bored cylinder. Cylinder length changed.
1988 = 19-6 New yoke retention system, radius stud, floating hand and hammer nose bushing.
1994 = 19-7 Rubber grip, drill and tap frame, change extractor and rear sight leaf.
1998 = 19-8 Change frame design. MIM parts. Floating firing pin.

Standard production of 2.5" barrel started in 1966.

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Old February 22, 2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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As others have opined, none of the changes were really all that big a deal. Some really don't like MIM parts (not an issue for me). P&R / counterbored cylinder models are more collectable, and though undeniably cool, their precence or absence doesn't really impact functionality.

The only change that was truly a benefit, particularly for guns to be used for protection, was the change in the extractor rod from right to left hand thread which makes the chances of the ejector rod unscrewing and locking up the gun much less likely.

In my area, I'd say $550 to $600 for a good condition Model 19 would be about right. P&R models will be around $600.
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:28 PM   #6
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Missed out on one this morning. Worked midnight last night and by the time I saw the add it had already been sold. This was the first one I've seen locally for awhile and has me questioning availability. Wondering what others are seeing availability-wise.
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Old February 22, 2013, 09:51 PM   #7
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I have noted more barrel problems with -5 models than all the others combined. I am not saying every 19-5 is going to break, but I would not buy one.

I got this one in 1989 from a retired federal officer.

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