S&W Model 19 Frame
I am looking to buy a particular blue, Smith & Wesson, model 19-3 chambered in .357 Magnum / 38 Special.
Any idea when, what year the Model 19-3 was manufactured?
Is the model 19 a K or an N frame?
If the model 19 is a K frame then what is the difference between a S&W model 19 and a model 10?
Anyone know of site that clearly explains the differences between no dash and the final dash guns and the differences between models?
Thanks For Your Time
It is a 'K' frame.
The Model 10 is a 'K' frame as well. Along with different heat treating, the Model 13/19 have longer cylinders to accommodate the .357 Magnum.
You can ask on the S&W Forum for a book on explanations of the various dashes.
Or you can call Smith and Wesson, prepare to wait about 15 minutes once you've reached customer service, but they will tell you the date of birth.
My 19-3 was born on July of 1974
I have one, love it. The 19-3 is only available in 357 common barrel sizes of 6 inch, 4 inch, and snub. I have a preference for the 4 inch because its what I grew up shooting with my dad, also the 4 inch was a common service firearm for police departments. You can get similar 38 models but they are less desirable and not as fun, also you can shoot 38 in your 357 all day. A decent price for a 19-3 in good to very good should be about 500-550. I normally see one or two at the gun shows i go to, almost always they want about 650, you can work them down.
Important, when you are looking to buy, check the forcing cone. This is the part where the cylinder lines up with the barrel and bullet travels through, it will be milled flat on the bottom and this thin area is where the crack may develop. The K-frame is a little small for the .357 caliber and years of abuse with hot .357 loads can cause cracking in the forcing cone. The gun is not safe to fire with a crack. If everything looks in good condition then you'll have the chance to own a fine firearm. This is not very common but is a problem for people who shoot predominantly .357 magnum loads.
Special points if it has a target trigger, or red ramp front sight.