A Testament to the Smith & Wesson Model 19
John Arens stopped at a hardware store in 1968 and stepped up to the handgun cabinet. Yes, at the time you could buy handguns over the counter at hardware stores. John had just been sworn into the Police Department, and he was there to buy his service revolver, with his own money, and without reimbursement.
He asked to see the Smith & Wesson Model 19. It was the only revolver he considered that day because he knew it was the first choice of nearly every uniformed American cop on a beat. After inspecting the firearm, cycling the action, and testing both the single- and double-action trigger pulls, he reached for his wallet.
Fast-forward fifteen years. Officer Arens, still protecting and serving, comes home after a shift and places his Model 19 and gun belt on the fireplace mantle as he always does. John’s three teenage sons - all hunters and shooters like their dad - sit on a nearby couch watching a North Stars hockey game. The youngest son suddenly asks, “Dad, when are you going to man-up and put a 9mm in that holster?” His response, “Never.”
Now retired from a glowing career in law enforcement, we asked Officer Arens about that answer and his fondness for his Smith & Wesson revolver. He explained that simple reliability, durability, and accuracy were the reasons he trusted the same handgun since the day he walked out of that hardware store. But performance reputations aren’t just born overnight…
The birth of the Smith & Wesson revolver dates all the way back to 1857 with the aptly named Model 1. Since then, we have innovated and refined revolvers to suit every shooter who demands unwavering reliability. Recent online testimony from a passionate wheelgun enthusiast said it well: “In 49 years of shooting, I have had about 60-70 S&W revolvers of all types, models, calibers and ages. I have never had one malfunction…”
The Model 19 Classic remains in production today as one of the iconic models that paved the way for the S&W revolver models we offer today.
Among all the S&W revolvers to choose from, the Model 19 Classic still shines. In fact, it shines brighter than ever thanks to our approach to gun building. Since Officer Arens bought his Model 19 in 1968, monumental advances in engineering, machining tolerances and gunsmithing now allow us to create revolvers that are more exacting than ever.
However, one thing has never changed – and that’s the attention to detail. All components, from the forged frames to springs and pins, are rigorously inspected and approved. And before final assembly, seasoned smiths and finishers perform the age-old handwork to ensure that the fit-and-finish is top tier.
While reflecting on his long career in law enforcement with his Model 19, Officer Arens shared “in all those years, it never let me down.”