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Old August 15, 1999, 09:10 PM   #1
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Join Date: December 17, 1998
Posts: 1,885
We finally got a break in the weather. Last couple of weeks it's just been plain HOT! Today was beautiful! So off to the range I went.
I've got this 4 inch S&W Model 19-3. It's an older gun with recessed case heads and a pinned barrel. Looked good when I bought it. However it didn't care for the .357 loads that I've been using for years. I figured the gun was just picky about it's loads. So over the last week or two while it's been too hot to enjoy a shooting session, I've been going thru the books and my cabinet to work up as many loads as I could find.
I started with a Winchester 125gr JHP. I buy these in bulk from Midway. I came up with loads for 10 different powders that I had on hand. These covered the whole range from Bullseye to W296. The trick was to find a load that both of my .357s liked. So I loaded ten rounds each of ten different powders. The plan was to shoot one five round group of each load from each of the two revolvers off a sandbag rest at 25 yards. That much went fine.
Needless to say, the results with the Model 19 were disappointing. About the best this gun will do is 3 1/2 inches, most loads ran about five inches. This is simply not acceptable to me. My personal cut off point for any handgun I own that might be used in the field is 2 1/2 inches at 25 yards. Since I bought this gun intending to use it as a camp gun, it just don't cut it.
Even the best manufacturer of any product, be it a car, a computer or even a gun, occasionaly turns out a lemon. Looks like I got one.
On the bright side, I did come up with three excellent loads for my 6" 586. One really surprised me. A load of 7.6 gr of Universal clays came in at just over one inch. Hogden's data lists it at 1450fps. As soon as I get a chance, I'll run some of these over the chronograph. I didn't really expect that load to do that well. Just proves you need to try everything.
I finished off the day with my Gold Cup. That always makes me feel better.
At any rate, I guess the 19 will go to the next gun show to be sold or traded and I'll get something else. Maybe I'll try my luck with another 19, I do like the gun. Maybe a 4" L-frame, then there's always Ruger, how about a new rifle, hmmmmm.............. decisions, decisions.

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Old August 17, 1999, 02:07 PM   #2
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Join Date: August 16, 1999
Posts: 1,173
I am sure a decent gun smith could work over this Smith for you - sounds like its timeing could be off a hair - or the pin the cylinder revolves on could be off - or the barrel could be shot out... or severly leaded...

Anyways - take it to a Gun Smith and have him take a look. Guns, these days are too valuable to give up on!

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."


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