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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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  #1  
Old 04-20-2014, 04:30 PM
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I recently purchased a S&W revolver that seems to be a "Pre-Model 19." It has the screw at the front of the trigger guard. It is not marked as "Combat Magnum."
The serial number on the butt is K260692, repeated on the rear of the cylinder.
There is an apparently unrelated number and the letter "Y" on the frame under the yoke.
Looking up "Combat Magnum" in the SCofS&W 3rd Edition, on page 136 production dates are shown as "1955 - 1999," with the moniker "Model 19" given them from 1957 on. Introductory serial number is shown as "K260001."
THEN, I go to the serial number section of the book, page 398, and find this one falls into the year 1955.
And THEN I go to page 186 where I find "Model 19 serial number K33333 attributed to J. Egdar Hoover." Wouldn't that be WAY before the range shown for the Model 19? Page 398 seems to indicate it was from 1948.
AND, on page 185, production dates for the Model 19 (presumably named such) are 1955 - 1999.
HELP!
pix attached (note the FABULOUS finish!)
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:43 PM
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You definitely have a very nice pre-Model 19 and the serial number fits right into the correct range of known pre-19s. The J. Edgar Hoover info is somehow incorrect......not to worry...any such book has errors that get corrected in subsequent editions...if there are any. I believe the Hoover serial number on page 186 is simply a typo and one more numeral would make it correct. Note it says Model 19 to Hoover...not pre-19.

Enjoy your beautiful pre-19.
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:56 PM
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Nice gun. Interesting front sight with the green.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:02 PM
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Thanks, S&WIowegan.
That's kinda where I thought this was going, but I'm originally from that foreign land just across the Great River from you, so I'm easily confused. (My Iowa-born wife does try to help.)
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:05 PM
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Wetdog:
I don't find any reference in the SCofS&W about green inserts. The ramp does not seem to have been taken off, replaced or fiddled with. If it's aftermarket it's well done, I think.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:23 PM
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Beautiful pre 19. Have you shot it?
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:34 PM
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The J. Edgar Hoover weapon is the so-called "Sweet Gun," so named because it was presented to Mr. Hoover by Mr. William Sweet. It is embellished with full engraving, gold inlay, and has the FBI Seal engraved, among other things, on the weapon. It was engraved by Alvin White. The correct serial number of this weapon is K333333. It was sold at auction a couple of years ago. Pictures are here:

*HISTORIC ALVIN WHITE ENGRAVED & GOLD INLAID J. EDGAR HOOVER PRESENTATION SMITH & WESSON MODEL 19 COMBAT MAGNUM DA REVOLVER.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:37 PM
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lowhog:
I just got it this weekend and haven't been to the club, yet. Later this week, though, with some of my handloads. They are all in .357 Magnum shells, but range from .38 Special +P to full-house .357 Magnum loads that push a 158-gr Barnes Bullet to about 1350fps from a 6" Python. I won't be shooting many of those more powerful loads, not because I'm concerned about damaging the gun - I can't imagine shooting that many of them - but because *I* may not hold up to them!
BTW, the finish on this gun equals any of the Pythons I had or have and lockup and timing are among the best I've ever seen from S&W.
Lockup is tight, no slop anywhere. Seems to have been little used.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:43 PM
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That is one sweet Combat Magnum Harkrader. Congratulations on your acquisition.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:47 PM
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Thanks, Shawn McCarver! Wow! That's fabulous.
I wonder what it sold for, and
I wonder if it's on display somewhere.
And thanks for clearing up the serial number. I'm making a note in the book.

Last edited by Harkrader; 04-20-2014 at 07:13 PM. Reason: fumblin' fangers
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harkrader View Post
lowhog:
I just got it this weekend and haven't been to the club, yet. Later this week, though, with some of my handloads. They are all in .357 Magnum shells, but range from .38 Special +P to full-house .357 Magnum loads that push a 158-gr Barnes Bullet to about 1350fps from a 6" Python. I won't be shooting many of those more powerful loads, not because I'm concerned about damaging the gun - I can't imagine shooting that many of them - but because *I* may not hold up to them!
BTW, the finish on this gun equals any of the Pythons I had or have and lockup and timing are among the best I've ever seen from S&W.
Lockup is tight, no slop anywhere. Seems to have been little used.
I agree on the finish compared to a python or pre 29. I have been fortunate enough to own two pythons in the past. And boy o boy are they shooters. Now I'm fixen to take this registered magnum out today, and shoot some 38 special wadcutter thru it..357 Magnum "Pre-Model 19"  serial number Question-dscn0547-jpg

.357 Magnum "Pre-Model 19"  serial number Question-dscn0553-jpg
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:43 PM
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Very nice Combat Magnum that dates to 1956. The green ramp was most likely installed on a plain Baughman ramp or is a replacement for a red ramp (unlikely).

Bill
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:29 PM
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Very nice early Combat Magnum.
It has target grips without the "football" cutout on the left side, they're not see quite as often as the football cutout style.
Be careful at the range and don't damage that beauty. Those guns can be valuable. S&W Pre model 19 Combat magnum : Revolvers at GunBroker.com
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc44 View Post
Very nice Combat Magnum that dates to 1956. The green ramp was most likely installed on a plain Baughman ramp or is a replacement for a red ramp (unlikely).

Bill
Well, it could be a replacement. Back when I was doing some gunsmithing for my fellow police officers, I was brought at least three or four S&Ws that had lost the red insert or had had it damaged. I did several white inserts and I know two green inserts.

At one time I had a sheet of red plastic (approx 4" x 6") that supposedly came from S&W and I used that up. Afterwards, I used toothbrush handles.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:22 PM
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Doc44:
Do you know if they shipped with a red insert? I didn't see any listed for the Pre-19s in the SCofS&W. It makes me wonder if someone had an expert cut the ramp and insert the plastic, like you said. It is very well done; expert, I'd say.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:24 PM
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FAAAR OUT, JayCeeNC!
$3500 and it is over 300 serial numbers later. It does have that box, the cleaning stuff, etc. Still, WOW!
I wonder what made it that special.

Last edited by Harkrader; 04-20-2014 at 10:36 PM. Reason: Cleaned up the language.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:38 PM
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Harkrader, there was a long discussion over that auction gun a few days ago, would make for some interesting reading in light of your Combat Magnum acquisition.

Part 2 Please tell me why this model 19 and 44 sold for so much
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:40 PM
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Hey, JayCeeNC,
What is "the football cutout style?"
I haven't heard that term before.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:49 PM
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Thanks for the Link, JayCeeNC.
Too much to think about!
I'll just have to be happy to have it and have fun with it.
IDPA revolver . . ..

Last edited by Harkrader; 04-20-2014 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:26 PM
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Beautiful early Combat Magnum,
The green insert is definately not original, if the rear site is white outline may have had a red insert at one time, if plain black probably not. The grips appear to be 4 years older than the gun and are called "Non relieved K Targets", the "Football relieved K targets" have a scalloped area that allow the empty casings to be ejected without jamming up against the left grip panel and were introduced just prior to the introduction of the K Magnum.
IMO if you only want a shooter a 1956 K Magnum does not have the strength of the L or N frame magnums or parts availability if something breaks (God forbid) like a forcing cone it would seriously depreciate in value.

I would keep that K Magnum as a collectable or sell it and buy a 19-4 with the gas ring on the cylinder for a range weapon and an L frame Model 686 or N frame Model 27 or 28 with the money left over which will endure a lifetime of full house 357 loads.

thanks for sharing it.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:40 PM
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Forgot to mention there are certain loads that are known to crack the forcing cone on the Combat magnums , IIRC lighter loads moving fast so a word to the wise is do some research on what loads are safe for K Magnums and save those 1350 fps hand loads for the L and N frame magnums or risk turning a highly collectable gun into a pretty paper weight.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:01 AM
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My opinion on CM stocks:
I have a comment from Mr. Roy Jinks in a history letter on one of my Combat Magnums which wears football grips (K316xxx) that since the original advertisement flyer for the Combat Magnum showed non-relieved Target Stocks then they would be correct.
However, I've seen early CMs with football grips and no evidence that they were replaced. Since very few K-frame target grips were numbered it is nearly impossible to tell which style shipped on a CM.
I suspect some may have randomly shipped with non-relieved grips until the inventory was depleted.
Again, just my opinion.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harkrader View Post
Hey, JayCeeNC,
What is "the football cutout style?"
I haven't heard that term before.
This is Jack, not JayCeeNC, but here is a photo of the type stocks he referred to. These are on a Combat Masterpiece a bit later than your Combat Magnum, but at least they illustrate what the relieved stocks looked like. They were introduced about the time your gun shipped. The idea was to provide some extraction relief. The earlier style (like yours) tended to interfere with ejection. If nothing else, this would tend to scratch up the stock panel on the left side of the revolver.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:08 AM
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Beautiful gun.

Seems like during the 4 screw era the finishers at S&W were really on top of their game.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:10 AM
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Anything is possible with S&W and I also used to think the non relieved Target grips were period correct based on this early B&W depiction of a CM wearing those grips but to date have yet to see any proof that one shipped with them.


As for the theory they shipped with what was handy dont forget the CM was a premium revolver,
the new style football relieved grips were in stock and the older style had known issues with .38 special extraction where the new Combat Magnum used longer .357 cartridges.


I would be more inclined to believe a set of non relieved Rosewood presentations might have shipped on a 1956 shipped engraved presentation gun but will remain skeptical on the non relieved checkered targets as OEM until I see a pair that number or proof otherwise.

Side note the pair pictured on the Combat Masterpiece in Jack's post above are beautiful diamond GA's that I would guess were made around 1965/66.

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Old 04-21-2014, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
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Side note the pair pictured on the Combat Masterpiece in Jack's post above are beautiful diamond GA's that I would guess were made around 1965/66.
Thanks for the compliment, Guy!
That revolver shipped in 1966, so your estimate is right on.

This is a very special piece to me. It was a gift from my father, who is now deceased. It will go to my daughter when I am gone.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:01 PM
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Jack
My favorite range gun is a former LEO 3T's 15-2 with Rosewood diamond targets and while the "3 T's" setup is fairly uncommon on the CM making your gun interesting to begin with those diamond GA's had a very small window of production (maybe 1.5 years) that make it extra special IMO....Very nice !
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:24 AM
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Thanks everyone for a lot of great information.

I WAS going to shoot it this weekend. But our professional military son came home for a Memorial Day visit and we always have a challenge at the range. I win. Because I cheat.
Anyway, he wanted to shoot my Colt King Cobra, which is excellent with full-house 357 Magnum ammo because it weighs a ton and is obviously built like a tank.
When I do shoot the S&W, it will be with my "just barely" magnum handloads. 158-gr RNFP hard-cast lead hitting about ~1150 from a 4" barrel.

It sounds as though the gun is probably not original enough to warrant a factory letter. I like shooters!

Thanks to everyone for all the super info.
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Old 05-24-2015, 02:25 PM
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I'm amused at how some of these old threads get resurrected.

Anyway....Harkrader....I just got a letter from Mr. Jinks on my 4 screw CM.

He states ; The first production medium-framed Magnum was completed on November 15, 1955 and was serial number K260003 and was named "The .357 Combat Magnum" .

The first block of serial numbers used for the CM's were #K260001 to #K265000.

My Letter shows that my CM , #K260026 was shipped from the Factory on June 1, 1956 to it's west coast Sales Rep.

FN in MT

Last edited by Frank237; 05-24-2015 at 02:27 PM.
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