Question about mods on S&W Model 19 - Pistolsmith
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:13 PM   #1
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Location: Newton, KS
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Question about mods on S&W Model 19

I just purchased a Model 19 that was, according to the dealer, a police department issue piece. It's a Model 19-5, 4" barrel in generally good condition. Dealer told me that the hammer had been "hacksaw bobbed" so he replaced that. First note of observation is that the cylinder has more and a different wear pattern than the frame and barrel. Is this possibly a difference in bluing success on the 19-5 or should I suspect a cylinder transplant? Here's a picture that shows the color difference:


Other strange observations, the cylinder appears to have had the charge holes chamfered, but the extractor star face does not show matching chamfering. See arrow #1 in the photo below. Is this common to chamfer the holes wihtout the extractor, or is this some more possibly armory assembly I should be wary of?


Also note in this photo (Arrow #2) that someone had stamped numbers (1 through 6) on the margins of the cylinder between the charge holes and has since ground the numbers out-- mostly. I confess my first thought is that someone was trying to make a competition combat revolver out of this?

Next is turning to the bottom of the grip. There is a setscrew (see arrow in picture, below) that locks the hammerspring screw in place, allowing you to adjust hammer spring tension by turning the hammer spring screw. I was always told that the hammer spring screw was to be turned in flush and that there were other ways to enhance the DA trigger pull.


Finally with the pictures, the rear site looks like S&W stock, but it doesn't occupy the entire top strap and there is a screw hole (not the factory drilled & tapped hole) barely visible in front of the site base. Anyone got any cluse here? Is this going to weaken the frame or should I just get the correct site and ignore it?:


I bought it because (1) I could get into it right even if it did need some "touch up". (2) It seems to lock up tight with correct timing on all cylinders. (3) the DA and SA trigger pull is absolutely amazing!

Anyone got any clues on my oddities for me?
Thanks.
 
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:27 PM   #2
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It's basically a hack job.

I'm not sure about he finish on the cylinder, it's common fro the bulging cylinder to wear more than a frame or barrel.
However, given the other alterations, a cylinder replacement is very possible.
I don't like the looks of the center of the ejector. That's the area that actually contacts the breech face and sets head space.
That one looks like Billy Bob used a file or coarse stone to stone it.... not well.

The strain screw is NOT a trigger pull adjustment screw. That's another Billy Bob alteration.

When chamfering the chamber mouths the ejector is NOT chamfered.
This is because it's way to easy to cut into the ratchet lugs.

The rear sight is the wrong one that that frame.
I suspect that the frame was drilled and tapped for some sort of optical sight mount and the original sight was lost. Sooo, Billy just installed whatever he could find.
The hole isn't going to weaken the frame.

As to the gun being a PD issue gun: Probably not unless it was actually owned by the officer. Departments get all huffy about officers modifying guns that belong to the department, and especially about carrying modified guns on duty.
Here's it's a "maybe".
Possibly a department gun modified to shoot the PPC course and dumped by the department on a trade in deal for new guns.

Some recommendations:
Check the head space.
Cylinder end shake. (Back and forth movement of the cylinder in the frame).
Barrel/cylinder gap.
Alignment.
Timing.

Likely some or all will be out of spec.

In short, a shooter you don't have to worry about beating up.
 
Old 03-19-2011, 06:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post
It's basically a hack job.

<clip>
Some recommendations:
Check the head space.
Cylinder end shake. (Back and forth movement of the cylinder in the frame).
Barrel/cylinder gap.
Alignment.
Timing.

Likely some or all will be out of spec.

In short, a shooter you don't have to worry about beating up.
That was kinda what I figured. I can find a proper Model 19 site in time, replace the strain screw, and attend some cosmetics. Timing seems good, end shake is less than on some known condition S&W revolvers I have. I'll get the feeler gaugest out and check the head spacing on it. Don't see any obvious signs of a bulged chamber or barrel, no visible cracks in the forcing cone, or other disasters. Did I mention it was a Puerto Rican PD that this supposedly came from? Dealer had quite a collection of Model 10's and a few 64's and this one 19. All shows some signs of "creative" gunsmithing. This one looked like it was probably not deadly dangerous on the surface.
 
 
Old 03-20-2011, 04:54 PM   #4
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Since PR is considered to be a third world environment, seeing alterations like this on a department owned gun is another story than one from here.

Here, departments are accountable for the condition of guns and alterations are not usually encouraged to the point of disciplinary action.
THERE...... not so much.
 
Old 04-09-2011, 07:10 AM   #5
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Thanks, dfariswheel. Headspace and endshake are within tolerances (less than .002 endshake). I think that this is a partial hack and a partial qualified smith work. Evidence of hack job is that the cylinder bolt plunger and spring were missing . One of the hacks concerns me: Someone had drilled the top strap for a scope mount. The forward most hole is square drilled and bottom tapped and does NOT extend through the frame material into the barrel threads. However, with the topstrap looking this much like swiss cheese, I am concerned that it may have been weakened a bit more than should be.
Any opinions or thoughts about safety concerns?
Thanks.
Dave
 
Old 04-09-2011, 03:50 PM   #6
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I'd think it'd be fine as long as you don't feed it "Blow down the barn door loads".

Holes in those locations don't really weaken the top strap that much, although you might keep an eye on the frame in front of the front hole for possible cracks.
This is unlikely.
 
Old 04-09-2011, 06:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post
I'd think it'd be fine as long as you don't feed it "Blow down the barn door loads".
Thank'ee most kindly sir. I was planning to keep loads relatively light with 158gr fmj or swc at modest velocities.
I'm a bit nervous about this one because I've never set out inentionally un-booger a gun before. Am taking everything very cautiously, measuring twice, and just about memorizing the Kunnhausen shop manual in the process. It's a real education to study what has been done, what should not have been done but was, and what should have been done but was not.
Dave
 
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