classic revolver

The Smith and Wesson Model 19 ranks high among many classic .357 revolvers. With its beautiful look and hard-hitting accurate shooting, the Model 19 is a must have for any classic firearm collector.

I own a standard Model 19 with a blued finish that I inherited from my grandfather. He used it as his duty pistol during the early part of his 30+ year law enforcement career before his department switched to the semi-auto model 59 Smith and Wesson.

S&W Model 19 .357 Revolver
.357 Magnum packs quite a punch

Origins

The model 59 was first introduced in 1957 for law enforcement use. Law enforcement agencies wanted a more powerful alternative to the .38 special, and with the increased popularity of the .357 magnum, the Model 19 was born.

The Model 19 was adopted by law enforcement agencies and select military units all over the world from the late 1950s until they were replaced by various semi-auto pistols throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

Features

Chambered for six rounds of .357 magnum or .38 special, most Smith and Wesson Model 19 revolvers include a walnut grip, 4.25” barrel, and a blued finish.

Other variants of the model 19 were produced with varying length barrels, different grip materials, and other types of finishes, but these variants are less common.

The Model 19 has an exposed hammer, which can fire single or double action. The rear sight is adjustable for windage, while the front sight post is fixed. For later models, fiber optics come standard on the front sight.

model 19 revolver smith & wessonS&W Model 19 revolver open

Performance

The simple and reliable revolver action is hard to beat. Revolvers are notoriously foolproof and durable, and the Model 19 is no different.

In my experience, the Model 19 feels comfortable in the hand and shoots very well. The recoil is perfectly manageable with .357 magnum rounds, and barely noticeable with .38 special.

I’ve also found the model 19 to be quite accurate. Extremely tight groups at handgun ranges are attainable, especially when using the lighter trigger pull with single action.

Availability & Price

If you’re a classic firearms collector looking for a Model 19, luckily their pretty easy to find.

Many Model 19s were made over the decades, so there’s a plentiful used market for them. In addition, Smith and Wesson still manufactures new Model 19s as the “Model 19 Classic”

Although finding a Model 19 is relatively easy, they often command a relatively high price point for a revolver. For a brand-new Model 19 Classic, they come in at an MSRP of $900. If you’re looking for a used one, it will be difficult to find one under $750, but the more collectable and mint condition older models can go for upwards of $2,000

If you’re new to firearms or classic firearms collecting, the Model 19 may not be the most budget friendly for an entry level firearm. Instead, you may want to seek out lower cost options for your first gun.

Conclusion

The Model 19 is a beautiful and classic wheelgun that is beloved by many vintage firearms enthusiasts, including myself.

If you love the look and feel of a quality .357 revolver, the Smith and Wesson Model 19 should definitely be on your radar.

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Alex Johnson
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