A couple of H&R top break revolvers, worth fixing?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by augie, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. augie

    augie New Member

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    This forum is amazing! So much excellent information available! Thanks!

    I have a couple of H&R top breaks that I'd like some help with. I believe both at them are 38 s&w. The blued one(my favorite) is in somewhat working condition. The double action works well but the hammer will not stayed cocked in single action. It's got a black plastic grip on the right side with a homemade looking wood grip on the left. The markings on the top say:

    Harrington & Richardson Co
    Worchester, Mass U.S.A.

    and the side says:
    38 S&W CTGE

    Serial number is 361 257

    The other revolver is nickle plated and the finish is in great shape. Unfortunately, the hammer will not snap forward in double action, nor will the hammer stay cocked. The top of it says:

    Harrington & Richardson Co.
    Worchester, Mass U.S.A. PAT'D OCT 4 '87

    No markings on the side. Serial number is only stamped under the grip: 8225.


    I guess my question, other than trying to identify these guns and their age, is whether I should try to get them repaired. Would it be worth it? I suppose I could try my hand at building some displays if not.

    Thanks for any help!

    Attached Files:

  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The sears seem to be missing or the sear springs broken on both guns. Some H&R parts are available from www.gunpartscorp.com, but on those old guns when parts start to break or wear, other parts are not far behind. Plus, those guns are old, unreliable and questionable for use with modern ammunition.

    I am sure others will offer ideas, but IMHO unless you can diagnose the exact problem, find the parts, and do the work yourself, they would not be worth fixing. Worse, most gunsmiths won't take them in; for the above reasons, trying to repair those guns can be time consuming and very frustrating and the customer will rarely want to pay the actual labor costs for repair.

    Jim
  3. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    Jim K is right --- and when/if you get one fixed it won't be worth much, $75 more or less. OTOH if you are handy working on guns, they can be an interesting hobby & a source of satisfaction if you succeed in bring one back from the brink of oblivion. Like some of my projects, put in $300 worth of my time for a product worth $100 in the marketplace -- all just to prove to myself I could do it.
  4. augie

    augie New Member

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    That's about what I figured, around 100 max. Just got into this collection by accident, but I've had tons of fun doing the research. Any info on the guns? Age, etc. are the parts interchangeable at all? if I wanted to tinker, perhaps I could build a working one out of the 2.
  5. Old Gun Guy

    Old Gun Guy Member

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    rhmc24,
    My sentiments exactly. It's a labor of love, and like you said "-- all just to prove to myself I could do it'.
    Old Gun Guy
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The problem is that many of the folks who post here would have to have guns like that fixed by a gunsmith, and professional gunsmiths are not into "labor of love" or "proving" they can do it. They have this strange fascination for eating regularly, which means making money and believe me those old guns don't put food on the table.

    I used to try and repair as many as I could and just found it impossible to do at any kind of reasonable cost. Then, to make matters worse, I fixed several and charged what I thought was a very low rate, only to have the customer inform me that the gun wasn't worth it (which I had tried to tell him in the first place) and that I could insert it in a dark place. I finally got smart and just told customers they were not repairable; not a lie - they were not economically repairable by me.

    Jim
  7. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    Almost any gun is repairable but as Jim says, economically ?. No! I just spent close to 100 hours restoring and to a large extent re-creaing a Colt 1861 Navy Conversion. Got ripped off buying it from a lying seller, it had misfit parts from other guns and parts missing. I made from scratch a base pin, complete ejector and loading gate. Luckily I have an original one that I could copy. Some parts I bought repros & made the grip. Result now is a respectable "ole brown gun" worth nowhere near what I would have charged a client.

    Interesting about repro parts, in recent months I bought 9 parts from Dixie and Numrich said to fit Colt 1860 Army & '51 - '61 Navy. Not one part could be installed without work, let alone fit it to function. All had holes too small, too large or mislocated, too wide, incorrect contour, or for wrong kind of gun. They apparently expect the Italian repro parts to interchange with Colt and/or with other Itie repro guns. I pity old Joe Sixpack trying to fix his gun without tooling and ability.

    If anyone cares, I put my logo (which is a registered trade mark) on it in several places. See pix.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  8. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    I'll add my vote to the above. Unless you want to try it for your own amazement & amusement or the guns have great family sentimental value they're just not worth the money or effort.

    On the same subject, someone on another board asked what a "parts gun" would be worth. There was an answer that it would be worth the sum of the value of the usable parts. I take it the answerer never built a gun from parts via Numrich Arms....:eek:
  9. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    Value of a 'parts gun'? I can't think of a sensible 'fits all' answer. But in the end I think it depends on supply and demand, like most everything else. I have paid what a whole beater is worth just to get a couple parts I want - and hope to do something, sometime with the rest. On at least one job, one of those parts I didn't want/need became important later. 'Worth' is also a flexible thing, depends on the collectibility of the derelict being parted. A Colt SAA in 'parts' condition would be worth more than a Police Positive the same vintage both in dollars and in percentage.
  10. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    Restoring/Repairing is something I enjoy doing. And a large number of H&R revolvers have been brought back to life on my bench.

    The above comments about gunsmiths not wanting to fix these revolvers is all too true. If you are not going to fix your H&R revolvers yourself, then a display is a good idea or sell them to some other collector.
  11. augie

    augie New Member

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    Thanks for the info guys!
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