gen 1 / 1st gen / first generation / first gen
Please excuse the title and any cryptic/redundant text. It was a PITA finding search terms that would find any info on first gen 19's, so I'm using every variation I can think of to help people searching in the future. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and picked up one of the "mythical" gen 1 19's (1988 production). I just have 1 picture at the moment, but I'll get more soon. It didn't have the original case and just came with one original mag unfortunately, though the gun is in fairly decent shape for the age.
The notable differences with these guns, over second generation 19's, are the grip angle and reduced arch (it's effectively like a Gen 1 17 that's been grip chopped). The gun feels great, and feels like a gen 2 19 with a heat reduction on the arch. In addition to that, the original recoil spring assembly (RSA) is uncaptured.
One notable thing is, on the right side of the slide (right side as in looking at the gun from the back) is stamped K.S. A.B.C. for Kansas State Alcoholic Beverage Control. Judging by the minimal information I was able to find out there, the very few gen 1 19's I was able to find pictures of all appeared to be stamped with these same markings for this same LE department.
Thankfully all serial numbers match on this gun, barrel, slide, frame, as well as all the proof marks.
I spent a significant amount of time researching these first gen 19's. It was difficult to find any sort of definitive info regarding the origins of these guns. The best conclusion I could come to with the minimal info available is, it appears to me that in 1988 there were a handful of these first gen 19's imported (info varies from roughly ~12-24 guns, maybe a few more but not very many). It sounds to me like it may be a possibility they were imported for testing by the ATF to determine legality and eligibility for importation, and then subsequently were purchased by or donated to the Kansas State Alcoholic Beverage Control for issue.
I had trouble finding much info on these. What I did find was minimal at best, with a total lack of pictures or good pictures. I plan on helping change that. I'll get as many pics as I can to better document these rare guns. Here's one to get started: