Smith & Wesson Resurrects Model 19: ‘It’s your dad’s gun, but with better engineering’

Authors Industry News Jordan Michaels
Smith & Wesson Resurrects Model 19: 'It’s your dad’s gun, but with better engineering'

The classic law enforcement favorite is back!

Smith & Wesson’s iconic Model 19 is back, and it looks like it could be better than ever.

It’s been nearly two decades since the company stopped producing the 357 Magnum revolver, but they’ve responded to customer demand and made some improvements on the old design.

Company reps told us at this year’s NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits that the 2018 model features a ball detent cylinder lockup, which allows for easier cylinder rotation when shooting double action. The gun also has a sleeved barrel, which provides straighter sight alignment and enhances accuracy.

Smith & Wesson Resurrects Model 19: 'It’s your dad’s gun, but with better engineering'

Two of the gun’s new improvements can be seen here: the detent cylinder lockup and the sleeved barrel.

Smith & Wesson Resurrects Model 19: 'It’s your dad’s gun, but with better engineering'

The rear sight is adjustable and the hammer features aggressive checkering.

The gun weighs in at a solid 37.2oz and includes walnut grips, a 4.25″ barrel, a black adjustable rear sight, and a red ramp front sight. Smith aficionados will also recognize the classic cylinder release thumb piece. The polished blued finish looks great, and the trigger feels even better.

Smith & Wesson Resurrects Model 19: 'It’s your dad’s gun, but with better engineering'

The revolver holds six rounds of magnum stopping power. The thumb piece is also a nice touch.

“It’s Dad’s gun, just with new engineering,” they told us at the Smith & Wesson booth.

SEE ALSO: WOW! New Performance Center T/C Long Range Chassis Rifle

The company is also offering a version of the Model 19 from its Performance Center. The Performance Center Model 19 Carry Comp shortens the barrel to 3 inches and adds ports for recoil management. The gun also features a tritium front night sight, a trigger overtravel stop, and a Performance Center tuned action for a smooth double-action and light single action trigger pull.

Smith & Wesson Resurrects Model 19: 'It’s your dad’s gun, but with better engineering'

The Performance Center version shrinks the Classic Model 19 with concealed carry in mind.

The shorter boot grip combined with the 3-inch barrel makes the Model 19 ideal for concealed carry, and the 357 Magnum chambering can handle any trouble that might come your way.

The suggested retail price for the Classic Model 19 is $826, and the Performance Center model runs above a grand at $1026.  You’ll be able to find them for a bit less here on GunsAmerica once they begin shipping.  For more information visit

***Buy a Model 19 on GunsAmerica***

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  • PeterC January 4, 2021, 2:52 pm

    A couple of years ago, I bought new S&W Performance Center 442-1. Interestingly enough, it DOES NOT have an inbuilt safety lock nor a sleeved barrel. Sights are fixed and rudimentary, but surprisingly right on. No complaints whatsoever.

  • J. Patrick Doyle October 5, 2020, 11:53 am

    No matter what, I’ll stick to my beloved (more than ever now) model 19-3 3-T. Whoever the fine chap was at S&W who had the bright idea of that stupid lock, as my father’s yard foreman used to say: “They oughta take and cut his **** off!!” ’nuff said.

  • Willie-O May 29, 2019, 11:18 am

    I won\’t pick on any one little snowflake specifically, but I\’ll address you as an obnoxious group – Terry, Stephanie, Oaf, et alia –
    • this is a comment section and it is intended for readers to do just that, make comments
    • the vast majority of us doing so seem to be of the same opinion regarding the internal-locks: we don\’t like them
    • there is no law requiring S&W to utilize them
    • contrary to what some of you lock loving firearm experts think, there have been verified instances of the locks \”self-engaging\”. The occurance is more common with Taurus than S&W, but has happened with both.
    • those of us that dislike the internal locks are well aware that we can simply not use them. We can also choose not to purchase S&W products as long as they contain useless, potentially dangerous features.
    • to most of us the internal-lock goes well beyond a useless feature on a firearm. It is an example of a politically correct, politically motivated, anti-2A sellout. It is a solution to a non-existent problem and an answer to a question that no one asked.
    I have no way of knowing whether you are actually closet libtards or you just aren\’t bright enough to see beyond the locks and grasp the larger issue. Regardless, those of us that don\’t like the internal-locks or what they represent don\’t give a rat\’s ass what you think.

  • Josh May 27, 2019, 4:48 pm

    Target trigger, target hammer, red ramp and pinned and recessed. Now they know.

  • Deadeye56 May 15, 2019, 2:35 pm

    I live in CA and just purchased a new Model 19. Sure i’d Love to have the same quality of my first revolver a M65 purchased in the 70’s (that I foolishly sold) however that’s just not the case anymore. To have anything in CA, we have to constantly fight for our rights everyday. All things considered my new M19, is a beautiful piece that shoots accurately. I’m now looking at picking up a new M27 before they tax the shit out of them or eliminate them altogether. As a community it’s good to give gun makers feedback so they provide what we want but our support for them is also important. Living in the past has merits but bitching wont change the future. Future “classics can be improved but give S&W a little credit for reviving a model that was lost.

    • Willie-O June 3, 2019, 2:27 pm

      It won\’t be long before CA outlaws the following:
      • model 19 because it\’s simply too powerful for a civilian to own. Make that ALL .357\’s and above.
      • ALL semi-auto rifles because they have too much in common with assault weapons.
      • ALL semi-auto shotguns because they also have too much in common with assault weapons.
      • ALL semi-auto handguns because they\’re like really concealable assault weapons.
      • ALL .22LR weapons because they can penetrate some body-armour.
      • anything else deemed dangerous or scary by a group of \”progressive\” libtards that have no experience with or working knowledge of the firearms under consideration.
      This may be (and likely will be) further amended without prior notice for our arbitrary purposes and based solely on emotional reaction to recent news reports.

  • Kim Tate August 3, 2018, 9:21 am

    I’m interested but only if the lock is removed.

  • Texf6 August 3, 2018, 8:59 am

    Purchased a 629 classic N frame quite a few years ago now. Has the lock which I’ve never engaged. It does not have a sleeved barrel. Full under lug 5 in barrel has the beauty of an old L frame. I’ve owned several 80’s model 29’s and while like most of us, I wonder what got into me that I would trade those off so many years ago? That said, the original stocks are missed for the sheer beauty that they afforded the eye. However, if most of us are honest, changing those to Pachmayer (sic) grips made the Firearms immensely more shootable for most with magnum loads due to filling the area just after the grip hump transition on the back strap. In the original configuration, that area would ride up hard in the webbing of the shooting hand between the thumb and index shooting finger making it uncomfortable for extended shooting sessions with full factory loads. Of course shooting gloves would have helped but who wore those back in the day? I’ve got the NRA salute (holding hand to ear) to hear people speak today because of the amount of shooting done without hearing protection. Stupid I know but quite the norm for macho young men in the I’d to late 70’s. Kinda of like using baby oil for suntan lotion instead of sun block as is done today.

    I would love to have the original grips for my older model 19 but that would be akin to having a 70 Camero in stock form which would be for the nostalgia of it all. (Most of us would change the rims and tires and radio systems in our cars back then because stock wasn’t cool.) Time marches on. Is a sleeved barrel as good or better for accuracy? Some sides of the argument think so and some of the arguments contain sound logic. Dan Wesson had that back when Pythons and 19’s, 27’s 28’s, 29’s were all still coming off the factory lines. Don’t recall much bitching about that then but rather what a novel concept it was to be able to change barrel lengths using your same tuned action. Never bit but the concept wasn’t the reason. Poor young man syndrome was my ailment. Lots of good Firearms available to us today than ever before. Choose based upon your criteria and budget and move along. The market will dictate survival of those that meet the customer’s needs.


  • Mack Lack August 3, 2018, 7:19 am

    No thanks S&W. No lawyer lock hole on the frame for me. Forget it!

  • Frank July 19, 2018, 11:14 am

    I am another who would never buy a new Smith because of the ridiculous lock on the side. I find it amusing that a few of the folks here feel compelled to put others down because of their distaste for that lock. Really? They must either work for S&W or they are trying to justify their purchase of an ugly gun. I have lots of their early revolvers and love them but have never come close to purchasing a new one because of my distaste for the lock. I know I “don’t have to use it”, so I do not need to be told that or to be told to “grow up” because I choose not to purchase a gun with a lock. If other markets demand that, then let them make separate export models for that. That ridiculous lock is a complete deal breaker for myself and most folks I know.

  • Craig Shane June 27, 2018, 1:44 pm

    Are the sleeved barrels really any better or just a cheaper way of making a revolver?

  • ejharb June 1, 2018, 11:51 pm

    Mim parts no more hammer mount firing pin and that disgusting hole above the cylinder latch.PASS!
    any smiths I buy the company got their money in the 60s 70s and 80s

  • Hatchetman May 19, 2018, 12:12 am

    My favorite revolver is the 19-5 that I inherited from my grandfather. It’s a very well put together pistol that just feels right when you hold it. I’ll have to consider the Performance Center one just as an easier to carry version.

  • Jeffrey L Clutter May 15, 2018, 6:38 pm

    I’ll keep my 19-2 and 19-4, both with S&W bright blue, 4″ barrels, thank you. Couldn’t they at least have left off the Clinton & Wesson lock?

  • frank May 15, 2018, 8:20 am

    No way is this your fathers Oldsmobile or his model 19.

  • Zack May 14, 2018, 11:30 pm

    What smith and wesson mean by better engineering is that, we can build I cheaply to keep cost low so more people will by them. The quality is definitely not the same as the older ones

  • Cookie Girl May 14, 2018, 10:59 pm

    From an aesthetics perspective, these firearms look cheap. They have none of the Euclidean beauty of being attractive to the eye. The furniture looks like plastic or Chinese wood. There is zero richness or warmth in the wood as the older Smith and Wessons.
    As for the metal, it looks the worst of foreign manufacture in why buyers cringed at Russian and South American craftsmanship.
    I have a Chiappa 22, with the same barrel sleeve, same parts and it is more pleasing to the eye and is just as functional at 1/5th the price. The around 1000 dollar price tag for this gun is ridiculous. It appears less quality than the Taurus lines.
    American firearms used to be the most beautiful firearms in the world. What is appearing now from corporate America and foreign concerns owning American companies are firearms which gouge consumers for a cheap and tawdry look.
    The best favor everyone could do is stop buying this second rate manufacture to force the stock holders to remove the board or force a sale to a group who is willing to do what John Olin did with Winchester, which is now another company of plastics and camo at high prices.

    • Logan May 23, 2018, 2:37 pm

      Well, Taurus has really come quite a way. We can’t really beat that dead horse as hard any more.

      Based on the ridiculous rate of inflation, you would be spending a few grand on gun of the original quality. The US economy has been tanking for nearly 100 years due to Fed monopoly money and Nixon nixing the gold standard.

  • FirstStateMark May 14, 2018, 8:24 pm

    For the gun collectors and others that appreciate the hand tooled craftsmanship of Smith & Wesson of yesteryear, this new gun doesn’t deserve the name “Model 19”. But there are others that have no idea of yesteryear’s S&W and the workmanship, so this would be just fine with them. They don’t know what Three Ts are or TH, TT, RR, W/O, P&R. But that’s OK, let the newbies buy this and we will know better and just ignore it.

  • Greg May 14, 2018, 3:58 pm

    Hillary Hole. Mim. No TT or TH. Mim instead of cold hammer forged Color Case Hardening. Sleeved barrel. No white outline rear sight. Sorry, not my father’s gun. Not mine, either. When I compare the bluing on these new Smiths to the older ones I have, I almost feel embarrassed for S&W.
    As another poster mentioned: When is S&W going to understand that the Hillary Hole lock absolutely kills their sales? You’d think they’d gotten that by now!

  • David Sherburne May 14, 2018, 3:37 pm

    What ever happened to deep blueing. I mean deep deep blue.

  • Richard May 14, 2018, 3:18 pm

    Better engineered….. is this a joke?

  • JHG May 14, 2018, 2:33 pm

    I haven’t purchased any Smith & Wesson manufactured since late last century because of that stupid, ugly, worthless lock. I don’t know, if I want to lock my firearms, I put them in a safe, purchase a lock on my own and use it or USE THE CABLE LOCK THAT COMES IN THE BOX. What I don’t do is drill a hole on the side of my firearm and engrave arrows or letters on it. I think I understand why S&W added the lock so long ago and that was their and the stockholder’s choice just as it is my choice not to purchase their products. Besides, this thing is a cop out, uses cheaper materials (to be expected) and is a compromise in every sense of the word peddled under the guise of “better engineered”. It’s not dad’s Model 19 and it’s not mine.

  • cisco kid May 14, 2018, 2:20 pm

    Forgot to mention that Smith now ‘burns in” the rifling with an EDM machine. I mean come on how cheap can you be when rifling a barrel.

  • cisco kid May 14, 2018, 2:09 pm

    Ha, ha, what a joke. Dull blue job (gone is the hand high polished bluing of yesteryear), Gone is the one piece machined barrel of yesteryear replaced by a two piece barrel cranked into the frame with a tool they insert into the rifling (this does wonders for accuracy “sarcasm”) MIM brittle cast internal parts, Gone is the goncalo grips of yesteryear. Seriously it would make a good tomato stake out in your garden or a good boat anchor. Offer Smith 10 bucks for it that is all its really worth.

    • Logan May 23, 2018, 2:42 pm

      Okay, start a business and make those guns of that quality. You’ll find that nobody wants to buy your $3,000 guns. Ever wondered by everybody has a plastic brick?

  • Andrew May 14, 2018, 2:05 pm

    And it has the “lock hole” so most people will say “Nyet!”

  • Grant Stevens May 14, 2018, 12:57 pm

    “Better engineering?” Perhaps what they really mean is cheaper production methods and less hand craftsmanship. I know S&W is in business to sell more guns, but not sure if their advertising and marketing boys will ever convince “dad” that his “pinned and recessed” Model 19 is inferior to the current offering. Maybe they should just say their new Model 19 is different. But better? Not really.

  • Norm May 14, 2018, 12:07 pm

    I have not6iced that some of the J-Frame with the Hillary hole are +P rated. That’s good enough for me. All one needs to do is to disengage the integral lock and FORGET ABOUT IT! Not really all that difficult, but there are those who are not happy unless they’ve got something to whine about. Nothing onerous, just deal with it.

  • Terry May 14, 2018, 10:20 am

    Man – LAY OFF THE LOCK. It doesn’t automatically engage, It only engages IF YOU CHOSE TO ENGAGE IT. Disengaged, IT DOESN’T DO ANYTHING TO THE ACTION.
    It helps them sell in various markets, and helps provide against law suits that could break the company.

    Hell, might as well be complaining that it doesn’t have recessed chambers and a pinned barrel. Welcome to the 21 century.

    Grow up. If you don’t like either don’t use it, or find yourself a used old model.

  • Ed Bernacki May 14, 2018, 10:14 am

    I have a M19, with 4 inch barrel purchased new in 1982 for, ready? $175.00. At least mine came with a white outline rear sight, no lock, and no shrouded barrel. I had a local gunsmith smooth up the action for me and she is one sweet shooter. I seldom shoot magnum rounds, preferring .38 special loads in the +P range.
    What I also find interesting is Smith’s line of “new classic” N frames. They sell for about as much as the older guns that had pinned barrels and machined cylinder ratchets. At a recent gun show I attended I saw an older N frame model 29 in near mint condition selling for less than a new classic model, and you can’t get the newer guns with an 8 3/8″ barrel anymore. The bright side is at least Smith sticks with revolvers where Colt tossed in the towel on wheelguns years ago.

  • Dexter Winslett May 14, 2018, 10:06 am


    • Oaf May 14, 2018, 11:57 am

      Well aint you special, you get a cookie!

  • Eric Hosfelt May 14, 2018, 10:04 am

    I have an original that I bought in 1970. Probably haven’t fired it 25 years. It is a beautiful piece with its deep polished bluing, factory target hammer, target trigger, Goncalo Alves target grips. I would be interested in a new version if the finish and factory target upgrades were available, and the GOT RID OF THAT DAMNED WORTHLESS LOCK! If not there is no need for me to buy another classic.

  • Charlie May 14, 2018, 9:45 am

    Snith-Wesson needs to get away from the Clinton era and remove the lock from all of their revolvers. I have passed on many because of the Clinton hole in the frame as many of my shooting friends have.Defeats the idea of a revolver always being ready.

  • Tom May 14, 2018, 7:49 am

    Dear Smith & Wesson,

    Like a lot of people have already mentioned, get rid of the lock. Also, make the damn thing look better as well. Those stocks, while nice to look at, are way too narrow at the top of the back strap to do anything other than accentuate recoil.

    Let me know when you come out with something worth considering.

    • Sundance98 May 14, 2018, 10:14 am

      Got one of the earliest Model 19’s, the blue was spectacular, the action smooth as silk. Ran exactly 10 rounds of Magnum
      and the rest was 158 gr. standard. Gonglavo-Agave Grips are still the best. When they came out with the 66, considered one
      because it was stainless. It felt clunky compared to the original. The action was somehow off for our taste. Anyway, this
      model reminds us the Wartime Version of the Colt .38 – parkerized. Will have to go to the Gun Shop, pick it up and get the
      feel….before making any further decisions.

    • Terry May 14, 2018, 10:16 am

      Hummm- Maybe YOU just should be smart enough to NOT USE the lock if you don’t want to. Not like it automatically engages, and it allows them to sell in all the various markets.

      Grow up, learn to use your brain and CHOOSE whether to use it or not, just like any safety feature.

  • shrugger May 14, 2018, 6:57 am

    Better than ever? What’s that behind the cylinder release? Is that a lock?
    Until THAT is removed S&W can eat a bag of dicks!

    • James May 14, 2018, 7:44 am

      I think we all feel that way at least hid it like Taurus

    • Terry May 14, 2018, 10:12 am

      When everyone starts voting enough to get rid of the LAWS that put that lock there, deal with it. Quit shooting the messenger. Just because it is there doesn’t mean you have to use it.

  • Red May 8, 2018, 11:35 am

    Glad to see them bring back these beauties. I own a 1976 model 19 and always wanted to get a PC Comp 19 but the originals were just as pricey back then. For all the people complaining about how these aren’t like they use to be, just shut up already. 20 years from now S&W will be using other modern methods to make revolvers and you’ll be saying the same thing, about how 20+ years ago they were better.

  • Paul May 8, 2018, 11:14 am

    The original 19’s / 66’s were designed for a bullet at least 158 grs or heavier . I have talked to numerous LEO”s that used them during their time in law enforcement . They would shoot 12-15000 rounds before a trip back to the factory to tighten them up and that was included some very hot 357 rounds . The cracked forcing cone problem was very limited in numbers , but it did happen . Forcing cone erosion using a steady diet of hot 357 magnum loads using a 125gr or lighter bullet isn’t just limited to the Smith K frames . I personally know of a ruger Blackhawk that had a steady diet of those hot lots , it’s on it’s 3rd barrel .
    Modern day factory loads w/158 gr bullets is not like the factory loads of ” yesteryear . The hot loads of yesteryear used as much as 21-22 grs of H-110 powder . That’s the same modern day charge in a 41 magnum using a 210 bullet in a ” N ” frame revolver . A little common sense is what’s needed here .

  • Stephanie Belser May 7, 2018, 7:48 pm

    Ditch the lock and S&W can take my money. Otherwise, I’ll stick with my Security Six.

    • Terry May 14, 2018, 10:14 am

      So just be smart enough NOT to use the lock. It doesn’t automatically engaged or anything, and it does nothing to the action. Grow up.

  • Brian Robertson May 7, 2018, 5:16 pm

    The 4.25″ Barrel is there to be able to sell it in Canada. Their laws say it must be greater that 4″.

  • John May 7, 2018, 4:50 pm

    It is not a “New 19” just like their “new 66” is nothing like the original. I bought one and it is an ok revolver but the frame shape and shrouded barrel make it slightly larger. Plus hold it up to an original and it looks like a homely cousin.

  • Trent Woodfin May 7, 2018, 4:00 pm

    S&W would really be wise to stop putting on the side safety lock on the Gun . It’s ugly and many prefer it not to be there . They would sell more revolvers if they stopped putting it on there

  • Dexter Winslett May 7, 2018, 10:35 am

    I will buy no weapon with a safety lock. Period.

  • Grigori May 7, 2018, 8:55 am

    Why does S&W insist on inflicting these Hillary Hole locks on its customers, decades after the Clintons left the White House? This is a potential failure, waiting to happen at a very inopportune time.

    Also, the “sleeved barrel”, while maybe accurate, sure doesn’t look like anything on the original model 19. Why a 4.25 inch barrel instead of a 4 inch barrel? Are they trying to make sure the new gun won’t work with an old holster you might have laying around that fit an original M-19? Why?

    I bet this gun doesn’t have the original firing pin on the hammer either, does it? Again, why? The original firing pin on the hammer worked just fine and was plenty safe for decades.

    Also, since Smith and Wesson now only test fires there guns at a whopping (sarc) 10 yards, and considers the gun to have met their “standard” if it hits the target at that distance, chances are that this is another expensive paper weight. At least it has adjustable sights like the original, so hopefully, unlike their fixed sight guns, you might be able to hit a target at 25 or 50 yards if the sights are off.

    Like a poorly done “re-make” of a classic movie, this “Classic” M-19 bears very little resemblance to the original at all. Thanks, but no thanks!

    • Andrew May 14, 2018, 2:17 pm

      I bet the 4.25″ barrel is so they don’t need a separate model for Canada.

  • James Hopkins May 7, 2018, 8:28 am

    Sorry. S&W. I’m still having a hard time getting the taste of your betrayal to go away from the Clinton crap you jumped on board with.. the only one. Hoping to be the sole winner of so many government contracts. As such I do not and will never own a weapon or a caliber bearing your name.

    Sincerely James Hopkins

  • James Dean Brown May 7, 2018, 8:11 am

    You need to bring back the NightGuard 8 shot, 357 !

  • Mainegrw May 7, 2018, 5:25 am

    The most burning question about the new new Model 19 that I have is whether the new design is more resistant to forcing cone erosion from consistent use of the 357 magnum loads than the original Model 19s. I had a Model 19-2 than was made in 1962 for a while, and ultimately traded up to a Model 28-2 when I wanted to shoot 357 magnum only, because of the erosion issue.

    Lately, I haven’t shot much 357, preferring 38 wadcutters instead, so maybe the point is moot…

  • Michael Bewley May 6, 2018, 7:44 pm

    Get rid of that damn lawyer lock and you will sell a lot of these revolvers. You would think ya’ll would have figured it out by now.

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