Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just In Time For The Big Show

I do not know if Mr. Rummel is a religious man. Heck, I’m not, but you don’t have to be religious to recognize when someone is doing the Lord’s work – and Mr. Rummel most assuredly is.

A day or so ago he posted an insightful piece about America’s pistol – the .45 ACP government model of 1911 its heirs and assigns.

And now the Gun-O-Sphere has once again gone up in flames with .45-vs-Glock-vs-who all knows what fever.

I have thought back, and to the best of my imperfect memory, I don’t believe I have ever fired John Moses Browning’s (PBUH) masterpiece. I’ve shot a fair amount of forty five auto – through Glocks, XD’s and other polymer wonders, but never a 1911.

I don’t feel a void in my life for this lack of experience, but nonetheless, one should own and fire this quintessential firearm – it’s a kind of duty which has been laid upon us by history.

So, when one of these showed up at my local gunshop, I felt it was time to do my duty, and make America proud. I realize it is not a Colt or Kimber, but it was half the price of their compact models, all steel, reasonably small so it could serve as a carry pistol, and with the right magazines and tuning, reliability wouldn't be a big issue.

So, without further ado, allow me to introduce my newest boomstick…



You’ll notice it doesn’t really look like a government model, and there’s a story that goes with it. I was saving up the money for the .45 and lining up all the stuff that needs to go with a new gun, and making frequent visits to the store to commune with my future purchase. When I noticed the Smith Model 19 in the rental case.

It just kind of stood out among the Taurus, and Glock, and Springfield Armory offerings, so I asked to see it, and it felt GOOD. So I put it back - I was buying a gummint model.

Next time at the range for a little practice with the J-Frame, I asked to see it again. It had been in the case for two weeks and I don't think anyone had rented it, or if they had, they had only put a few rounds through it. I asked for a bore light... the inside of the barrel was like a mirror and the rifling was sharp and distinct.

Nope, I've got revolvers, and I'm buying that .45 auto, I said to myself.

I happened to be at the range a week later, and since I was definitely buying the High Standard, there was no harm in renting the Smith, just, you know, to see how it shot...


It shot good. Real good.


I took another turn with the bore light... the forcing cone was clean and showed no evidence of cracking. The finish was black and shiny, without scratches, or wear at the muzzle or cylinder face, and she locked up tight. Hell, there wasn't even a visible drag line around the cylinder. I actually believed Mike, the merchant of death behind the counter, when he said the guy who brought it in claimed only ten or so rounds had gone through it.

So forgive me John Moses. I meant to buy a forty-five, I really did, and there is no excuse but the weakness of my soul for I have been possessed by the allure of the Smith and Wesson.

19 comments:

Squeaky Wheel said...

What model is that?

Mike said...

Model 19-6 Distinguished Combat Magnum. And a real nice one too. Here is Tam's "Sunday Smith" post about the Model 19 in General.

http://cosmolineandrust.blogspot.com/2008/01/sunday-smith-29-model-19-5-1988.html

kaveman said...

I suffer from the same indecision from time to time but have found that if I buy both of them, the problem is solved.

I have both the Kimber 1911 and the S&W Security Six in .357 magnum and love them both.

Lately my fetish has moved to the cowboy style single actions and lever guns. I've even gone so far as to buy a fine leather holster FIRST. This then forces me to go out and buy the gun.

I have a problem.

zeeke42 said...

I think the K frame Smith is up there with the 1911 in the quintessentially American gun pantheon. I think everyone should own both. I chose to buy the 1911 first, but I certainly can't fault you on the beautiful wheelgun. Both of them tend to lead to aha moments when you pick them up and find that they point naturally and feel great in the hand.

RedneckInNY said...

I've already got $629 down on a Kimber Custom Target II 1911 in 10mm. I gotta get that first. Then my gun guy shows me a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum with an 8-shot cylinder that felt real good in my hand. It was $900, but I want the Kimber first. That S&W will be my next gun. Fo' sho'.

Ahab said...

That is what they call a serious fighting revolver around these parts.

Jay G said...

Mssrs. Smith & Wesson sure as hell knew what they were doing, eh?

My Model 19 is one revision older than yours. It's my favorite .357 Magnum (and the Ruger Security Six was my first firearm!)

Many happy shooting days ahead, Mike.

Great score!

TD said...

That's a beauty, and they're not making 'em like that anymore!

Carteach0 said...

Some years ago I had a 19-2 of my own. It was a sweety... '

Yours looks good!

Less said...

I truly loved my Mod.19. But I had to sell it after I spent $$ on fixing it after I killed it.

That was the 3rd revolver that I killed...

TJH said...

I regard the M19 as the pinnacle of Smith and Wesson revolvercraft. It was a six-holer that was as smooth as the M15, but with the more practical .357 chambering. Not diminutive, but relatively concealable. I have yet to find one that hasn't obviously done decades of daily service as a carry gun. Looks like you found something special. Congrats.

Shawn McManus said...

I feel your umm... feelings. I've had my sights on a 1911 for a hundred years (or 97 years in this case) but my next firearm is going to be a S&W 340PD.

I just hope I never have to answer to JMB for this.

red said...

beautiful!

ZerCoo said...

Hubba-hubba!

My first pistol was a Springfield 1911 GI - bought without ever holding it, because, well, I wanted a 1911, and the pusher happened to have one the day I walked in. I'd actually put in my application for a pistol permit the day before and would end up waiting almost twelve weeks to bring that puppy home.

I love it dearly - the design and ergonomics are so incredibly simple yet amazingly elegant. I can comfortably shoot it all afternoon without complaint.

The second one I brought home was a wheelgun - a S&W 28-2 "Highway Patrolman" in .357. Now that is fine art - I have never handled a weapon with such immediate ... perfection. It fits the hand beautifully, points without thinking about it...

Last night I brought home a S&W 21-4 "Classic" in .44SPL. I don't care for the round-butt grips (my paws are too big for 'em), but the replacement combats are already on the way.

There is a certain romance to a wheelgun, no question about it.

And I already know what my next two are - a Keltec P3-AT and a Ruger 22/45. Just have to set aside the money...

Anonymous said...

Very good buy!
My first was a 1911 that needed work. After $$$ I loved it. I fell for the range rats advice of " go Kimber" an' paid $1100 and change for a pistol that has 'never' not went bang when I've asked it, reloads, cheap shit, whatever.
BUT, when I went to plop down for a Springer last month, there she was! Under glass, pretty as a Siren. S&W, 686, [I know, lawyer switch], but I blew off the .45 and brought her home. 2,000 rounds later she put's in the 10 ring, every time!

midnight rider said...

I had a new High Standard 1911 Crusader. The very gun you were looking at. For about 2 weeks. On nearly every other shot the slide would not return full and needed a little shove before it would shoot again. Despite cleaning & grease & oil and nearly 500 rounds nothing changed. I can accept some breaking in but this was beyond the pale. So I tok it back and traded for a 16 year old Springfield 1911 Compact. Got a slightly loose grip screw bushing but that can be corrected. Love that gun. Even if every now and again it tosses a casing right back at my forehead. That said, however, my summer carry is a S&W Airweight 640 .38 spl +P. In my pocket every place legal without any concern it isn't enough. I'll carry the Springer or big slider when I can wear a shirt or coat to cover it. Until then nothing at all wrong with a snubnose wheelie. You made a good choice.

E said...

Good choice, Mike.
Save the 1911 purchase for a better selection of pistol. No need to buy new. I got a nice Kimber TLE-II for $500. Or the Springfield Mil-Spec new, etc.

Everyone needs a genuine K-frame Smith before an also-ran brand 1911.

-E

Xavier said...

Nice gun there Mike!

Firehand said...

One of S&W's best, wish I had one.

I'll throw in, I think a lot of the 'has to be worked on to be reliable' comes from magazines that aren't quite up to snuff. I've fired a number of 1911's, US and Argentine, and the only thing one of them needed(Argentine) to fire hollowpoints was polishing the ramp a touch; the US-made pistols shot everything except semi-wadcutters providing the magazines were good.

For that matter, had a chance to shoot a Hi-Power that, with the factory mag, would NOT feed hollowpoints; with good-quality aftermarket mags, it ate everything they guy tried in it.

Which is beside the point of admiring that fine revolver.