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Hello everyone! I'm new to posting here but I really need some help with estimating the value of a S&W 19-5 Diplomatic Issue .357. It has the 2.5" barrel, pachymar grips, and the rest of indicators that it is indeed a US Diplomat Issued revolver. The serial number is ANN8xxx. I'm new to gun collecting and would like to know any info in the revolver that isn't on the Wiki page. I heard there were only 335 of them produced? That number seems awfully low, but it has the blue/black matte finish, 2.5" barrel, pachymar grips and matches pics of the revolver. Any help with estimating value would be great bc I really would like to sell the revolver to put some money in my pocket and purchase something else (as much as I love this piece, I am in a little financial trouble due to CoVid. Thank you guys and any advice and help offered would be greatly appreciated! I wanted to post more pics but am having trouble uploading them...
Regards,
Brian

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Discussion Starter #3
A regular 19-5 like that goes for about $650. I suppose there is a premium for the diplomatic issue guns but I dont know how much it would be.
Thanks for the reply...I appreciate it. I saw over on Salt Lake Arms website, the same revolver was $1650...but it was NIB...I'm trying to get a feel for what I can get for mine and reading other discussions, collectors that do want this type, style, and background revolver are willing to pay a premium bc of its history and rareness (only 335 shipped to the Diplomatic Embassies. Thank you for your input, I appreciate it!
 

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Thanks for the reply...I appreciate it. I saw over on Salt Lake Arms website, the same revolver was $1650...but it was NIB...I'm trying to get a feel for what I can get for mine and reading other discussions, collectors that do want this type, style, and background revolver are willing to pay a premium bc of its history and rareness (only 335 shipped to the Diplomatic Embassies. Thank you for your input, I appreciate it!
I think $1650 is really pushing it, but thats an asking price, not a sold for price so who knows
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass, Brian! Pardon me if I'm a little skeptical, but the standard catalog of Smith & Wesson does not document a diplomatic model. Also, the Pachmayr grips that are on that gun appear to be off the shelf and not something that S&W would have shipped the gun with. If you don't have an historians letter documenting authenticity, you're not going to get top dollar from someone that collects specialty guns. Would you please post a link to the wiki you refer to? Also picture size often is the reason why people have difficulty uploading. Make your picture smaller pixel wise and try it again.

(EDIT) I did some research and found the Wiki the OP refers to. Also found this forum thread:
another forum

Guy
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum! Nice model 19 and asking $650 - $700 would not be unreasonable and would probably sell quick.
 
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The guns were ordered by the Diplomatic Security Service for special agents. They were ordered as pictured above with the black finish and the Pachmayr Compac Pro grips with the cut out out on the bottom so the serial number could be easily read. After use the DSS transferred most of the guns to the FBI who subsequently destroyed them. There are also some DSS guns still in service in embassies around the world. The Connecticut State Police also ordered a group of the same style gun. Some "escaped" the FBI destruction, some are CSP guns and some are overruns.

A friend of mine bought a NIB overrun last year and paid $1000 and was glad to get it at that price. I have a well used one and would not entertain an offer of $1000 for mine.
 

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Any time there is a special run of a certain model, it does increase the value. The only way that value can be of use is if there is a buyer wanting that particular gun for whatever reason. To keep the exceptional value of a special run there must be records backing up what the owner claims. Also the original serial matched box and enclosed paperwork needs to be with it as well. To assure the provenance most owners obtain a letter of authenticity from the company historian to back it up, simply because there are some really good counterfeits out there..
It's a good looking pistol, showing a little bit of a turn line on the cylinder, so it's not in "mint" condition. If it is indeed part of the diplomatic order it will increase the value. But unless you have a buyer willing to pay your price it's all up in the air.
Somebody once told me this... "Just because it's rare, doesn't mean it's valuable." I would ponder to guess that it's worth somewhere near to the $800-850 mark, even with the letter..

Curious, how did you pick your member name? I'm an Irish fan as well, and spent a couple years in South Bend.

Regards,
Gearchecker
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass, Brian! Pardon me if I'm a little skeptical, but the standard catalog of Smith & Wesson does not document a diplomatic model. Also, the Pachmayr grips that are on that gun appear to be off the shelf and not something that S&W would have shipped the gun with. If you don't have an historians letter documenting authenticity, you're not going to get top dollar from someone that collects specialty guns. Would you please post a link to the wiki you refer to? Also picture size often is the reason why people have difficulty uploading. Make your picture smaller pixel wise and try it again.

(EDIT) I did some research and found the Wiki the OP refers to. Also found this forum thread:
another forum

Guy
It has the same pachymar grips as the one shown in the Wiki page for the Diplomat issue and the serial number on the butt matches the Diplomat issue as well...but thanks for your input, I do appreciate it
 

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Do you also have the box for it? If so the SKU would tell you if it is a diplomatic issue, SKU #100701
 

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The guns were ordered by the Diplomatic Security Service for special agents. They were ordered as pictured above with the black finish and the Pachmayr Compac Pro grips with the cut out out on the bottom so the serial number could be easily read. After use the DSS transferred most of the guns to the FBI who subsequently destroyed them. There are also some DSS guns still in service in embassies around the world. The Connecticut State Police also ordered a group of the same style gun. Some "escaped" the FBI destruction, some are CSP guns and some are overruns.

A friend of mine bought a NIB overrun last year and paid $1000 and was glad to get it at that price. I have a well used one and would not entertain an offer of $1000 for mine.
Hey thanks for your knowledgeable reply. You are exactly right, the pachymar grips are what came with the model and serial number is indeed viewable on the butt between the grips plus the serial number falls into the numbered Diplomatic issue revolvers. I would love to be able to get $1000 for mine, but unfortunately I inherited it from my Grandfather, who didn't have any paperwork or the box with it....
 

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Hey thanks for your knowledgeable reply. You are exactly right, the pachymar grips are what came with the model and serial number is indeed viewable on the butt between the grips plus the serial number falls into the numbered Diplomatic issue revolvers. I would love to be able to get $1000 for mine, but unfortunately I inherited it from my Grandfather, who didn't have any paperwork or the box with it....

Mine does not have the box and is not in pristine condition and I would not let it go for $1000. But, then again, I'm not going to sell it.

I went to a law enforcement supply store "shopping" and asked the manager "what he had hiding in the back." He said that he had an old dog Model 19 that had been refinished with a poor black finish and cheap Pachmayr grips. I told him to put a leash on the dog and bring it out. He brought it out and I almost choked, knowing immediately what it was. I asked what he had to have for the old and dog and he replied "would you give me $250 for it?" I said only if that was OTD and he agreed.

They are not rare, but are quite scarce as so many were destroyed and those that did remain in DSS inventory are in embassies around the world and will never see the US again. They are coveted by law enforcement revolver collectors. There are over ten pages of threads on these guns on the "Blue Forum."

At the same time DSS ordered a group of Model 19-5 four inch guns with a round butt and black finish. These may be more scarce than the 2.5 inch guns.



 

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Discussion Starter #18
Mine does not have the box and is not in pristine condition and I would not let it go for $1000. But, then again, I'm not going to sell it.

I went to a law enforcement supply store "shopping" and asked the manager "what he had hiding in the back." He said that he had an old dog Model 19 that had been refinished with a poor black finish and cheap Pachmayr grips. I told him to put a leash on the dog and bring it out. He brought it out and I almost choked, knowing immediately what it was. I asked what he had to have for the old and dog and he replied "would you give me $250 for it?" I said only if that was OTD and he agreed.

They are not rare, but are quite scarce as so many were destroyed and those that did remain in DSS inventory are in embassies around the world and will never see the US again. They are coveted by law enforcement revolver collectors. There are over ten pages of threads on these guns on the "Blue Forum."

At the same time DSS ordered a group of Model 19-5 four inch guns with a round butt and black finish. These may be more scarce than the 2.5 inch guns.



Yeah that is exactly what I have. Unfortunately, I don't have the original box or paperwork as I inherited it from my Grandfather. But the pachymar grips, and the revolver is a dead ringer for for the Diplomat Issue plus the serial number is ANN8xx. Thanks for the pics and I do want to sell it. I got offered a Kahr P380 and $500 for it which sounds like a decent deal...but I'm going to post it on Armslist and see what people are willing to trade for it... Thanks for your help
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
IMG_20200604_152331357.jpg IMG_20200604_152415244.jpg

Wow, after looking at these pics, I realize just how much this gun needs a major cleaning...I can see rust forming on the back of the handle and how dirty the overall gun is. Any suggestions on the best way to clean the blue/black matte finish? I'm about to add another pic of the butt of the gun with the partial serial number. I have some people saying it's not a Diplomat Issue 19-5, but it completely matches and has every detail the DI has. Im 99.9% it is a DI like I mentioned, I inherited it from my Grandfather, who was a Jersey City cop. But it comes down to provenance, which, unfortunately, I have none. Like WCCPD said, he has the same revolver and wouldn't even let his go for $1000, no paperwork and box either. Mine most definitely needs a major cleaning stat, so I can bring it back to life..geez it's almost embarrassing but I am new to collecting firearms..I also have a Smith & Wesson Sigma 9mm with night sights and paid a great price for it (I know it's a rip-off of a Glock, but the price was right and have had a blast, no pun intended, at the range with it with no problems at all with it). I also got a pistol from my GF along with this one.
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So I guess, what everyone is saying is to get some paperwork on it, but I don't even know where to start. Do I get a hold of S&W and ask them to check the serial number and send some paperwork as to where the revolver was and is indeed a 19-5 Dip Issue? And like I said in an old reply, this revolver matches everything said about it and I can post a link or just go to Wikipedia, Smith and Wesson 19 series, Variants, and it has a pic of this exact revolver with the same exact pachymar grips and mine contains every detail listed on the revolver. That's why I'm practically certain it is legit coming from my GF, who was in LE, was a gun collector, and wouldn't buy anything that wasn't straight up. He ended up dying of Alzheimer's over the course of 10 years, so by the time I had an interest, he was too far gone to talk about it. He had 15 pieces, and every grandchild got one of his collection through a family lottery and I happened to get two guns, this and a Sig Sauer .40 which I will pass onto my kids. The prices I'm getting on here are all over the place, so like another poster said, it's basically about supply and demand. I already got an offer for $500 and a Kahr P380 for it, which I think is a good deal but I really don't know, so any comments or advice on thsr would be great.
Regards,
Brian
 

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The "Rust Procedure" is to take the grips off the gun and immerse the gun completely in auto transmission fluid or ATF mixed half-and-half with acetone for several days or a week. Then, you can use bronze or copper wool to go over the external surfaces to remove the rust. I use aerosol brake/carb/parts cleaner to flush the interior of old gunk then relube.
 
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