Smith & Wesson Model 19-4 Nickel
As with all compromises, some problems did occur. The Model 19 developed a history of cracked forcing cones, usually occurring at the 6:00 position, where the barrel is relieved for the cylinder rod. The cracks occur much more frequently with 125 grain .357 magnum ammo, as does flame cutting of the top strap. Over time, problems with excessive endshake will develop on a steady diet of full house .357 magnum. The Model 19 was meant to be carried with magnums, but it needs .38 specials for practice. Smith and Wesson later concurred with this opinion. Today, there are no more Model 19 barrels at S&W. A cracked forcing cone means the demise of a fine gun. Care must be taken not to use 125 grain .357 magnum ammunition.
A couple of weeks ago, I found this pristine example of a nickel Model 19-4 Combat Magnum in a local pawn shop for $279. I did not hesitate to place it on layaway. The seller even threw in a suede lined holster to go with it.
Today, the Model 19 remains the epitome of S&W craftsmanship and design to many shooters. It is built on the beloved K frame, and has all the features of the hallowed K-38, with the addition of occasional .357 magnum capability. Yep, I finally got my nickel Model 19-4 off layaway. It's a good 'un!
Butch Kent's research on the forcing cone issue.
Labels: Smith and Wesson