Friday, March 30, 2007

Smith and Wesson Combat Magnum Model 19-3

Well its taken me long enough, but I finally took some pictures of my latest aquisition. A couple of weekends ago, Judge and I went to the Indy 1500 Gun Show and I picked up one of the guns I've been wanting for a while. Judge will tell you that he "saw her first!", well he may have beat me to his wife, but he didn't get the Model 19-3 snubbie (who's laughing now!).

Anywho, what I ended up with is a Smith & Wesson made back in the golden ages of magnum revolver production. The gun was built sometime between 1967 & 1977, that makes it roughly as old as I am and I might say it's held up better. At the show, Judge showed a lot of interest in the old revolver, but it wasn't what he was really looking for, Judge was looking for something in stainless so he can fill the set of magnum wheel guns he's envisioning. Myself, I have no other S&W revolvers, so anything goes, the only thing I was wanting was a more concealable gun for summer carry. The 5" 1911 is a huge hunk of metal to hide.

The gun I ended up with checked out OK, it locked up tight as a drum with no endshake and excellent bore. There were rust spots that I could see in the dimmly lit showfloor, but the gun was original sans grips and that puts it in good to very good range. The seller was asking $350, I paid $325 cash for it. I nearly skipped out of the show because the price of these types of guns in this area run in the $400 range. Once I got it home, my enthusiasm was tempered by the finding of scratchmarks on the right-hand side where the gun was dropped and apparently skidded on asphault or concrete. After testing the gun at the next cowboy shoot, I found that it indeed is a fine shooter, so now I'm back to feeling good.

Next stop was some accessories. I spent almost as much on accessories as I have on the gun itself. A holster, speed strips, springs, ammo, reloading equipment, brass, powder, bullets... After shooting the little revolver, I took to cleaning it up and swapping in new Wolf Springs to make certain everything interally is A-OK. This was maybe the make or break on this gun and the true determiner of whether I got my money's worth. I was very pleasantly surprised when I opened the side plate and cheaned off years of gunk to find an action that was in nearly perfect condition. I mean the sear has NO wear on it and the hammer has just a couple of wear marks on the side. After I cleaned everything up, I really don't think you could tell some parts from brand new. If those scrathes worried me, this put everything to rest.

So I put in the new springs, lubed everything good and put her in the safe while I made up the ammo for the nifty little gun. After listening to Judge extoll the virtues of Federal's C357B ammo and bemoan the fact he couldn't find it locally, I decided to load up my own ammo. I found some Hornady 125gr XTP bullets and looked up a good powder for it and settled on Hodgdon's H110. At 21g of powder, the little bullet is pushed out of a 4" barrel at a reported 1357fps, at 22g, it goes all the way up to 1506fps! I made up 25 at 21g and 25 at 21.7g to test out. Judge and I are going to hit the range Saturday afternoon to see how things go (crossing fingers). I also made up some 158g SWC loads for a milder experience.


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Anonymous said...

this is very good for you, ybg :)