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Old 10-31-2005, 09:59 AM   #1
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A Snubby for Chubby

As of today, I have completed all the shipping arrangements for an unfired, LNIB, 1978 production S&W Model 19 Combat Magnum with a 2 1/2", pinned barrel, and recessed chambers. The gun is coming with its box, it's papers, and all the factory goodies. It cost me $425 dollars, which I thought might be a bit excessive, but I've wanted one of these ever since the first time I saw a picture of one.

I already can't stand the wait!!

This is my first S&W, and my first wheelgun, ever. How'd I do?
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Old 10-31-2005, 10:51 AM   #2
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Well you couldn't have done any better for your first revolver. I've owned a few 19's in 2.5 & 4" and loved them. I can't remember why I got rid of them now, but it must have been a brain fart of some sort. My favorite k frame .357 now is a model 65 3''.
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Old 10-31-2005, 05:33 PM   #3
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Sounds Great,

My pocket carry is an S&W Model 60 Cheifs Special, S.S., 2" Bbl, in .357 Mag.

She sees a lot of range time and has never failed at any time. I was given a three day shooting trial on her when I purchased and I pumped 300 - 400 rounds of full house ammo thru her, trying for a failure. No problem.

At one point, I had a cylinder that the brass would stick in. I contacted S&W; They replaced the cylinder and set the gap Free of Charge.

They told me to shoot the crap out of it and if it breaks, they will fix it for life! Can't get better than that!

And it shoots!

At the range, this past Saturday, a friend asked where the .357 was, as he wanted me to burn some ammo for him (Good Friend)!

Loaded up and "Popped the Plates" at 60 feet!

You can't go wrong with the S&W Snubbies!

Thanks,

Dillo
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Old 10-31-2005, 06:59 PM   #4
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Chubs,

All you need is a $10 Tyler T-Grip adapter and you're in bidness!

Welcome to the club.
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Old 10-31-2005, 09:22 PM   #5
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I had definitely already decided to go the grip-adaptor route, for handling improvement. This gun's stock grip panels have a rather unusually bright tone to them, that makes me want to keep them.

I'm trying to decide what color T-grip I think will look better on it. I think the medallions on the grips are silver, so I might get an adaptor to match. If they're gold, then I think I'll go with black, because the tint of the wood in this gun's grips is already very light, and almost yellow, and the gold wouldn't look good next to it, even with the similarly-colored medallion. Unfortunately, I couldn't really tell the color of the medallions from the pictures I saw, because of the camera's flash, (though that same flash really brought out the blue, which seems perfect, except for a tiny scratch or two from the cylinder being turned) so I'll have to wait and find out.

Yet more suspense!

When I get it here, I'll borrow a friend's digital camera and post some pictures.
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Old 11-01-2005, 03:32 PM   #6
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I've been thinking. What I'd really like to do on my model 19 is put a really nice set of wood grips on it, but I have a problem. all the grips that I've seen would cover the large S&W logo, on the right side of the frame, and to me, that just looks sloppy.

I know that a gun is supposed to be useful first, and pretty second, but I'm always happiest when I can manage to make both work together. The T-grip seems like an excellent way to do this, and while I like the "retro" cop look, I still have to say that they look a teensy bit makeshift.

Does anyone know of a good boot-style grip of some sort that would fill the gap behind the trigger, but leave the logo uncovered?

If there's no such thing, I'll go with the adaptor, and be happy. As I said, I like the retro look. I'm just trying to see if there's an alternative.
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Old 11-01-2005, 04:05 PM   #7
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I have a bunch of aftermarket grips for mine--Herrett's and Mustangs and a couple different kinds of Pachmayrs--but I like it best with the T-grip. Anything that hangs down below the grip frame looks unbalanced on a 2 1/2" 19 and sort of defeats the purpose of compactness.

On my 3" 66, I like the Pachmayr Professional Compacs, with exposed backstrap and only a small bit of grip overhang. Those look very balanced on that gun and feel great.

For what you want to accomplish, Chubs, the Herret's might work well for you. Remember you can always cut or reshape and refinish them, too.

Here's the model I'm talking about, mounted on the 6" Diamonback. The round-butt ones are a bit more compact, of course.
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Old 11-01-2005, 07:28 PM   #8
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Does it mimic that shape on the right side of the gun, too? I'm just a big fan of that big, honkin' S&W logo that they put on the pinned/recessed guns, a feature that a lot of people never notice they dropped around the same time as the barrel pin and recessed chambers.

I agree that a 2 1/2" K frame needs no extension below the frame.

Hmm... maybe if we got enough people together, we could beg off somebody like Hakan Pek or Esmerelda into making S&W revolver grips...

Ah, I'm just dreamin'.
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Old 11-04-2005, 08:51 AM   #9
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Chubby,

You did alright on your S&W. Right now, the large frame guns are all the rage and are considered the "classics" of today. At some point, people are going to realize that the best of the K frames have gone away and your gun will rise in desirability. I like the Spegel Boot Grip for the K frame round butt. Another option would be to go with some of the more "regular" grips in either wood or stag from Eagle, and add the afore mentioned T-grip. That would get you good looking, good feeling and you can gaze at your S&W logo all day long...Just try not to drool.
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Old 11-04-2005, 01:02 PM   #10
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The stag sure looks nice, but I kind of like the American Elk, too. It's got a bit more subtle pattern to it, and it looks like it has a nicer contrast between the darks and lights. It would probably be quite durable, as well, considering that animals of not-inconsiderable size use this material to beat the living snot out of each other, regularly. I might try a pair of those out.

By the way, I just read the 2006 tactical annual, and I'm really glad you were there to stick up for blued steel, boned leather, and burled wood, after that rather lengthy foray into Glockophelia, at the beginning.
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Old 11-13-2005, 08:09 PM   #11
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Well, I took the gun out and shot it, yesterday, for the first time...

Wow.

So that's why everyone makes so much noise about these older S&Ws!

It's crazy... It's closer to a living creature than a firearm. The smooth way it cycles through a DA pull is astounding. I've already said it elsewhere, and I'll say it, again: it's less like a mechanical process, and more like the gun is taking a breath.

Shooting's a blast, too. .38s are nice and easy, and .357s are... satisfying, to say the least.
The best part is that if you put in .357 ammuntion with a non-flash-retarding powder, you get to see that little 2.5" barrel belch the most magnificent gout of flame you've ever seen.

I've never had so much fun with a gun in all my life. I'm going to borrow a digital camera, if I can, and put some pictures up this weekend.

This gun has definitely found a permanent home. The trouble is that it seems so lonely, off in wheelgun land, with just the autos to keep it company...

I might have to do something about that -- something like an 8.75" Model 17.

But I need a Battle Rifle, first... and I want to build a Caspian 1911.

There really is always another gun, isn't there?
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Old 11-13-2005, 08:16 PM   #12
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If you want it to stay nice and tight, Chubs, limit the number of .357s you put through it. Smith K frames will begin developing end shake with as little as one box of .357s, and I am speaking from personal experience here.

I consider my K frame .357s to be the world's finest .38+P guns.
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Old 11-16-2005, 11:32 AM   #13
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But what about those of use who have put thousands upon thousands of .357 magnum loads through our Model 19s and never had any endshake problem?

In my opinion the 1970s Model 19s were the cream of the crop.
I've personally never seen one with less than 10,000 rounds through it that had any sort of problem.


Of course me having been my department's armorer back in the late 1970s/1980s when everyone was still carrying wheel guns and the issue ammo was the Remington R357M1 - 125 gr SJHP doesn't really make my opinion worth much.
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Old 11-16-2005, 12:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesBear
But what about those of use who have put thousands upon thousands of .357 magnum loads through our Model 19s and never had any endshake problem?
Your experiences are yours, I guess, and mine are mine. I have personal knowledge of three '70s M19s--a 2.5, a 4, and a 6; two owned by me, the other by a friend--that went from ZERO fore-and-aft play to some--not much, but enough to feel--in ONE box of .357s. Two of these had previously fired many hundreds of rounds of .38s with no endshake showing up at all. One box of mags started the process.

My friend went on to shoot many hundreds of rounds of full mags in his 6", while I went back to .38s for the most part in the other two. When he traded the gun off after a few years, you could definitely feel the cylinder move fore and aft. How much I really can't say, maybe somewhere in the .002-.004 range. Never affected its functioning, I guess it would mainly just be an annoyance to someone used to NO play in there.

Glad to hear you had such good luck with yours.
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:30 AM   #15
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The only way that I can see that little bit of play being a problem would be if the cylinder gap was very wide, to begin with. You could start having some velocity problems with the gap being widened a bit more.
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Old 11-17-2005, 04:42 PM   #16
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The problem with endshake isn't that the cylinder gap may widen, but rather that headspace may increase. One of the problems here is that reliable ignition begins to suffer as headspace increases.
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:58 PM   #17
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Think about the hammer strike

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubby Pigeon
The only way that I can see that little bit of play being a problem would be if the cylinder gap was very wide, to begin with. ... .
If the cylinder moves fore & aft, it may weaken the impact of the firing pin on the primer, thus reducing reliability.

Also, a "variable" barrel-cylinder gap would lead to variable projectile velocity.

Would like to hear from CP or some other knowlegeable person as to whether these guesses are real concerns, or just hypothetical.
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:17 PM   #18
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I'm going to have to learn about this, eventually: Define Headspace, please.
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:53 PM   #19
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I have a Colt King Cobra, a very early one, that came out of the box with some combination of headspace/end shake and tight barrel gap problems that caused a weird hangup.

Ignition was 100%, but after a few rounds, the cases would set back upon firing and lock there, jamming the cylinder face tight against the barrel. It would only do this in live fire, of course, and the problem couldn't be induced or replicated on the bench, even using dummy ammo, so it took me a number of range sessions to accurately diagnose what exactly was going on. I'd never heard of this problem before. Or since, either, come to think of it.

When I had it figgered out, in only took a few careful file strokes on the assend of the barrel to open up the gap another couple thousandths, which cured it of THAT problem completely. (It had another one later, but that's another story.)

This is the only new Colt revolver I've ever owned, and by far the crappiest. I should have bought a Smith 686, but I didn't really need one. Didn't need the KC either, come to think of it, but you know how that goes.
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Old 11-20-2005, 11:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubby Pigeon
I'm going to have to learn about this, eventually: Define Headspace, please.
Headspace effects the distance between the breechface and the head of the cartridge case when it is fully seated. However, it is technically measured from the breechface to the point in the chamber where the cartridge fully seats. There are gauges which are used to test for proper headspace dimensions.
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