Classic S&W Model 19 vs. New Model 19

July 28, 2019

357 Magnum is a caliber that's wholly American a guy by the name of Elmer Keith started playing around with a 38 special and the 38 special was you know kind of a popular cowl back then but he was a wildcatter and he was pushing the limits of the capabilities of that 38 special and he was kind of the impetus behind what winchester would ultimately develop into the 357 magnum caliber and that happened in 1935 when that caliber was introduced so it's quite a long time ago and the 357 Magnum became very popular the 357 Magnum became popular especially with police and if you want to talk about police involvement with the 357 Magnum which served the police nationwide for from you know the 1940s through the 1990s the 357 Magnum was just pretty much in every holster and the model 19 that I'm holding here was the brainchild of a famous law enforcement officer border patrol and also a famous gunfighter and his name was Bill Jordan bill Jordan went to Smith & Wesson and said hey look I got the idea for the perfect peace officers firearm I want it built on a K frame which is smaller than the Smith & Wesson n frame and I wanted to have a small cylinder a smaller lighter frame but I want a heavier barrel and I think that would be the perfect combination for law enforcement and so the u.s. Border Patrol adopted what was then called the combat Magnum we know today as the model 19 and other departments also adopted it because as you can see from this older Smith & Wesson Model 19 this is a 19-4 it's an earlier generation because it does have a pinned barrel and you can tell that also has the firing pin on the hammer but yeah this this revolver became very popular with law enforcement and even civilians and so this is an original and this was discontinued I believe in 1999 well right around 2014 2015 Smith & Wesson reintroduced the model 19 and we have one of those out here this afternoon as well so we're gonna talk a little bit about the model 19 and I want to compare the new one to the old one and see what differences differences there are because I've seen a couple already just simply looking at the two side-by-side the model 19 is it looks like the grip is almost too big for the gun because it is such a small frame the K frame is a very very small light frame and these are the target wood grips which fill my large hands just fine to load it you just push forward swing the cylinder out I stick my two fingers in like that now you can use a speed loader it can just drop rounds in now you'll notice that the cylinder walls are really thin on the model 19 the cylinders smaller than something like a model 27 which would be built on the end frame the little K frame has this tiny cylinder and those cylinder walls are really really thin and thanks to modern metallurgy it can handle the pressures of 357 magnum now I had one of these back in the 80s it was my first 357 Magnum firearm sadly I sold it I needed money when I got out of the military I sold it that was a 19-3 it took me many years to find one in good condition this one's a 19-4 externally they look identical to the original gun that I had that I wish I would have kept so anyway holds 6 rounds and it you can shoot 38 special or of course 357 Magnum now the the smaller revolver like this it was rumoured and I don't know if this is true that you should shoot 38 specials as part of its regular diet and only use 357 magnum sparingly because of the small dimensions and tight tolerances of those you know chambers in that really small cylinder now whether or not that's true or not I don't know I've never fed one a steady diet of superhot full house load 357 magnums but back in those days people told us shoot 38 carry 357 magnums for self-defense the gun is a single action or double action so has this nice wide spur pocket and has a really nice trigger nice light crisp trigger but it also has a good double action all right hit the ejector kicks out the empties reload repeat so let's do some shooting with the original and let's do some shooting with the new one and take a look at those differences the model 19-4 that I showed you at the opening of the video has would target stocks on it and they're very thick the new model 19 with its four inch barrel the other one has a four inch barrel as well has wood stocks again except they're not quite as thick here you'll find that they're more narrow at the top and they kind of bulge as you get towards the bottom of the grip it feels really good it also feels like it's maybe a little bit more vertical and I would say that the new grips actually fit my hand even better it's more ergonomic even though the the thicker wood grips of the first generation or the fourth generation gun do feel good in my hand that narrowness at the at the top actually does feel pretty darn good and that palm swell is in the right spot you'll notice on the new gun the cylinder release you just push for it is right there where the other one is similar location but if you look right on top of it that's an internal lock and that internal lock allows you to lock the mechanism the gun so it can't be fired and it's been affectionately called on the internet the Hillary hole I think it dorks up the appearance of the gun if you want a lock on the gun Smith & Wesson just ship a lock in the box which I think they already do anyway and please in the future we all beg you get rid of the Hillary hole it's awful the other thing you'll notice that pops out at is when you cock the hammer on the current generation the firing pin is gone now just because the firing pin is gone on this gun doesn't mean it's safer than the earlier Smith & Wesson's it had the firing pin on them even though you have six rounds loaded with the original with the firing pin on the hammer the hammer and the firing pin pin could not touch the primer of the cartridge unless the trigger was pulled if you didn't pull the trigger the hammer could not fall all the way forward so I'm not sure why Smith & Wesson did that it's it's one of those things that that I wish they hadn't done because I'm one of those old-school guys that loves having the firing pin on the hammer both of the guns have target sights this one has an orange insert in the front blade but the sights over the years with the Smith & Wesson revolvers have changed the trigger on this one is a little bit more narrow I have a wide trigger shoe on the 19-4 this new one has a little bit more narrow trigger it's rounded and it feels really really good now the weapon is empty you can see nothing in the cylinder if you take a look at the muzzle end you'll notice that it almost looks like the barrel sleeved you can see a distinctive ring there like the barrels pressed into an outer sleeve for some reason that's one of the differences I noticed also and we'll show you some pictures of this with the new revolver right here next to my index finger there's a detent and on the ejector rod it's rounded now in the older Smith & Wesson's they would lock in the rear here where this depress that we need to press this it will push forward on the pin on the back of the cylinder and release the lock from the frame so the cylinder can swing open well this is behaving more like a Ruger now because it has a detent here and has gotten rid of the front lock here on the old revolvers when you push this lever it pushed this pin and it would push a pin inside the rod that would push against the locking pin in this lug under the barrel that's changed that's a pretty significant change I don't know that it makes any noticeable difference in terms of the action of the gun but it seems like Smith & Wesson's changed quite a bit internally we have a lock we have a relocation of how the crane locks or how the arm here on the cylinder now is part of locking mechanism and the ejector rod is no longer part of the locking mechanism and we've ditched the firing pin and it looks like we have a sleeved barrel let's go ahead and shoot it though with some 38 specials and then we get some 357 Magnum rounds out now these are really really light handguns and with full house 357 Magnum loads they got quite a bit of punch to them I never invest in speed loaders revolvers enough revolvers are nice if you like to target shoot a lot and you reload because you don't always have to bend over take up the brass all right let's try that single action and see how it compares to my original gun very nice they feel very similar a short stroke that it pull the hammer all the way back and sure enough I short stroked it now this is not a problem with the gun it's just me but you'll see hit hit hit skip hit so yeah leave it to me so when you're in a gunfight don't try cocking the pistol just use double action all right let's lock her back up in the double action yeah it feels just as good so the action I really can't tell much of a difference in the action between the two guns they both feel really really good Smith & Wesson has always had really nice triggers on their revolvers I know some folks will send them out to have trigger work done but honestly the double action smooth the single action super light and crisp yeah and the rounds all fall free so the new one is beautiful it's blued just like the original has a nice high polished blue on it hmm I'm liking it this is its first day out the range by the way this new Smith & Wesson Model 19 was sent to us by our friends over at Big Daddy unlimited they send us firearms for use in video at no charge but they also don't send us a paycheck we are able to use these guns offer our honest opinions we can say whatever whatever we want if we don't like it we'll say we don't like it if we like it we say we like it they don't care if you want evidence of that go back and check out our cz 527 video I pointed out several problems with that firearm at the end of the day I said I wouldn't buy it they sent us that rifle for video so I'd like to gehen to thank our friends over at bt u– for making this possible today here we have some old-school Remington 158 grain 357 Magnum loads so we're going to stick these in the new pistol and see how she fares honestly I shoot more 38 70 357 magnums let's walk on over here try not to get too much into the sunlight so you guys don't have a horrible video image let's see how she shoots now one thing you got might be mindful of is to keep your thumb away from that latch when you're shooting these magnums because that will take a hunk of skin off alright so the recoil isn't that bad on the little gun I will say that the the back of the trigger guard is whacking me in the knuckle you can kind of see the impact there so the recoil is pretty stiff you want to get a good tight grip on it but that's not uncommon the grip still feels really really good now one thing I did notice it's also different with the newer gun versus the older the older the backstrap metal comes all the way down and follows the contour of the wood if you take a look at this you'll notice it looks like a round butt frame and then they've put a longer wood grip on it keep in mind this is the 4 inch classic barrel they also make a shorter barrel with a round butt that is a you know a carry gun and it looks like they're just using the exact same frame for the different models where in the past you would have different cut frames for different models so there's a cost-saving measure that takes place right there and you can just see a little bit of ledge of wood there but honestly does it change the feel the grip at all and still feel still feels pretty darn good so let's run some of those old Remington rounds through the 19-4 the old classic girl so again you can see where it's hitting me on that top knuckle same thing with those stout loads man they're really pushing back 357 Magnum has some oomph to it guys it's not a putt cartridge it's it's actually quite powerful now another thing I'm going to show you guys there's a couple of other things that are different between the old model 19 and the new one so here on my classic 19 the front sight blade is machined into the barrel it's not pinned if you look at the front I'm gonna go ahead and open it so you don't have to worry about the gun being loaded you can see it's flush and it's clearly machined into the barrel then the barrel screwed in and pinned now if we take a look at the newer pistol gun is clear take a look at the newer pistol we have that sleeve we're talking about it looks like a sleeve I haven't confirmed whether or not it is but you'll also notice there's a pin there so now you can swap out your front sight blade now both guns as you can clearly see we have the new gun on top and the old one on the bottom they have the adjustable sights they're adjustable for elevation and windage target sights in other words and you can see that they have the same basic texturing on the top to get rid of glare and you can notice also the spur on the older gun is bigger and really yeah they it's about the same in terms of aggression or how aggressive it is but you definitely have a much smaller spur on the hammer of the newer 19 also if you take a look at the cylinder on the newer gun you'll notice it's blush so when you put a round in it the rim sticks up it does not sink into a recess if you take a look at the older model 19 you'll notice it's cut out extra machining processes so obviously there's some cost savings that's being done to the newer Dunn's when you put a round in here see how it sets flush so pretty interesting the subtle differences between the old versus the new but when it comes to shooting them they feel nearly identical I will say I think I favor the more modern slimmer grips of the new gun but I can't get past just the absolute beauty and sexiness of the older generation Smith I really like them I like the fact they don't have that stupid safety I like the fact they have a firing pin on them yeah but they both seem to be really really nice pistols so on the new generation model 19 I had pointed out that it has a little detent on the frame right there that then locks into the crane here on the arm that the cylinder rests on now this is the 19-4 and you'll notice on the front of the ejection rod there is a hole and it passes all the way through to the locking pin here on the rear so when you push the release button it pushes forward on this pin and you can see how the pin pushes forward through the ejector rod the ejector rod locks into that little detent right there inside the under lug of the original model 19 so they moved the locking from the front of the ejector rod and the lug to the receiver right here on the new gun doesn't make it stronger I don't know shoot some more 38s here I do like the wide target trigger on this older 19 as well as 38 sarso mild all right yeah that's pretty cool yeah people say I don't like revolvers I do do I think they're practical for modern carry man for nostalgic purposes probably but give me an automatic any day of the week for self-defense after a while law enforcement came to the conclusion that six rounds just wasn't enough so law enforcement agencies across the United States ditched their 357 magnum revolver zin their Model 19's in favor of Chinese AKMs and 760 by 39 which hold 30 rounds in the clipazine and the rest is history I'm just kidding guys a chase from definitive Arms is out here today test firing some stuff he's working on this is a transferable AKM and it is Chinese made and it was a real mess when chase got ahold of it he made it beautiful again and we just wanted to test-fire it this afternoon and he let me pull the trigger on it obviously it works just fine and we thought that would be kind of a fun insert for the video an Easter Egg for you guys the new model 19 sells for right around seven hundred and twenty dollars and you know what it seems to be a beautiful gun I have read some reports of Smith & Wesson's quality control lacking in some cases like barrels not being screwed into frames straight I've not seen that personally with any of the guns that I've handled at gun stores and certainly not with this particular Evolver other newer Smith's they do own the blue on it looks just like a classic blue it's a high luster blue it's kind of hot and muggy and humid out here right now and everything has condensation on it but it seems to be nicely finished the wood grips look good everything's nice and tight shoots straight and overall I think it's a pretty neat little pistol if you want to pick up a model 19 now that these are back on the market you're not going to have to pay exorbitant prices for an old one like my original I keep called an original my 19-4 so for about seven hundred bucks you could get a nice little hand gun like this and you know you're a revolver guy and you want to use it for self-defense that's what this model nineteen was built for it was supposed to be the ideal peace officers firearm so and I should mention it has a 4.25 inch barrel alright guys if you'd like to support a certain military arms channel you can do that by clicking the link down below and becoming a patreon supporter we do not take any industry money we don't take paychecks from Smith & Wesson or Big Daddy unlimited or anybody else we're supported by you our viewers and that's the only way that we can assure you that we're giving you our honest opinions also please swing by and check out copper custom comm and last but not least swing by and check out twitch there is a link down below to our twitch account yes we do like to play games we play games on the PSN network if you're a patreon supporter shoot us a note let us know what your gamertag is we'll add you as a friend on the PSN network and you can join us in a live stream over on Twitch guys thanks for 11 years of support and we'll talk to you guys soon


  • Reply UNKNOWN3554 July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    I’m not sure if this was mentioned, but the relocation of the locking lug on the newer 19s also eliminated the forcing cone cutout on the bottom. If you look at your older 19, you’ll notice that the forcing cone is thinner on the bottom due to the small frame size. This area was notorious for cracking when firing .357 magnum loads, particularly with lighter, faster bullets in the 110-125gr range. With the newer 19 and the full thickness forcing cone, this is no longer an issue. I suspect these newer 19s are much better suited for magnum use.

  • Reply PinkOld July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I don't believe Winchester was involved with development of the .357 Magnum cartridge.
    That was Remington, working in collaboration with Smith & Wesson, who developed their model 27 for the cartridge.

  • Reply R. Venturelli July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    The firing pin being mounted on the frame makes it more durable. The Colt Python for instance, always had it mounted on the frame. having it on the hammer makes it more likely it will brake in case you drop the gun or that it will just get crooked like Hillary Clinton over time.

  • Reply R. Venturelli July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Makes me so happy to see more revolver videos!

  • Reply bigghoss762 July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    My first revolver and my second handgun ever was a 4" 19-3. My dad used to carry one like it as a cop so when I came into a GP100 I gave the 19 to my dad.

  • Reply C.A.H. July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    The Hillary hole is why I haven’t bought any new S&W’s. I still love the old Model 19 though.

  • Reply SpittingTruth July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    I have Bill Jordan's book "No Second Place Winner." Excellent book!

  • Reply Kevin Connelly July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    I never owned a Model 19, but I really loved my 3-inch Model 13 when I had it. What a beauty! I recently found a 4-inch Model 13 with some minor issues. I sent it off to Robar and I now have a beautiful "new" gun that I will keep forever. I may have to buy a new Model 19 just to have one, though. Thanks for the review, MAC!

  • Reply DirtyDeuce July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Love that easter egg.

  • Reply Gunfan53 July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm


  • Reply Lew Blain July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    My very first pistol I bought was a Smith & Wesson Model 19-4 6” Nickel, through the years I’ve shot nearly 15,000 rounds… mostly hand loaded .357 Magnums. It is still a real shooter, and as beautiful as the day I paid $215.50 cents in 1979. It was my carry gun, (shoulder holster) until the mid 90’s.

  • Reply david christ July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    $720…..Ummm…..Little to much for my blood….

  • Reply Tactical Tightwad July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    A Model 19-4 in 4" bbl was the first handgun I ever bought. That was in 1980. The 19-4 was the last generation with a pinned barrel and recessed cylinder. The 19-5 through 19-8 eliminated both the recessed cylinder and the pinned barrel.

    The issue with the older Model 19 was that shooting a regular diet of 125 grain .357 could cause flame cutting of the top strap. and cracking of the forcing cone.

  • Reply Phil P July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    My new models are for hard use. The older models are for range fun.

  • Reply Wild Bill July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    I love full auto 30 caliber clipazines.

  • Reply Jari Norvanto July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Haha! Hilarious 'easter egg' surprise! Never say no to an easter egg.

  • Reply TreeDee71to75 July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Always making Quality, great looking revolvers. Long live S&W!

  • Reply Fuelled by Hate July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Clipazine lol

  • Reply N8imusmaximus July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Love the tshirt

  • Reply alaskajohn907 July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    The firing pin not being on the hammer was likely an attempt to reduce hammer mass and potentially lighten the double action pull by a little bit

  • Reply Evan n July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Those Hillary holes have had guns fail before, same with the two piece barrels. I'll never buy one.

  • Reply David La Faber July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    I prefer the finesse/classy aspect of the old school model 19. Like the hammer mounted firing pin. Sleekness of the old barrel with crowned muzzle. Other aspects also. Don't make 'em like they used to! 🔫 👍… Smith & Wesson

  • Reply IDeO July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    I have a 3" Model 13-1which is what the FBI issued pre semiautomatic days. That is a no b.s. classic carry revolver. God I miss those p&r classic magnums. Even the Bango Punta ones.

  • Reply Jessy Beavers July 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    I have a 1975 dated Smith and Wesson Model 64-1 and it's one of my favorite handguns. They don't make 'em like they used to.

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