H&R .22 Special

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by StoneChimney, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

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    I love working on these old guns, don't know why.



    This is a 9-shot version of the .22 Special in .22LR, sn # 569140. Does not have the Rice frame. I'm figuring 1931 on production date but by all means could be off a year or two.

    Obviously this gun was heavily buffed and salt blued sometime in its history which caused the frame to take on that purple tint common to higher iron content alloy. Horrible job, in my opinion, but the customer likes it and would not consider fixing it.

    We got it because it would not time correctly and the grips would not tighten. The 9-shot uses a specific lever (hand) which fortunately was usable with a little refitting. Made a new lever spring and stretched the lever slightly so the gun would go into battery a little firmer. Deburred the ratchet. The sear was incorrectly installed with a home-made spring that was way too large in wire diameter so we fitted a correct spring with properly finished ends. The grips were loose because the gun was missing the upper grip locating pin. Made a new pin and fitted to the grips.

    Anyway, a very late 2nd Version of the .22 Special is back on the firing line (with standard velocity ammunition).

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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  2. Plinked

    Plinked Member

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    :thumbsup:
  3. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Stone,
    I'm with you on the ID and year. The serial number range estimates in the BLUE BOOK are estimates from limited number of pieces observed, so the one on that piece pushes the 3rd Variation range a bit higher. The 2nd and 3rd Variation designations were applied by Bill G. because of differently shaped grip panels. There probably is a lot of overlap between the two. If you remove the grips - take a look at the backsides - there may be a partial s/n written there in pencil. Thanks for sharing.
  4. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

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    I did check the grips, no penciled numbers. May be replacement, but period replacements.
  5. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    very nice
  6. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    StoneChimney, when you say the purple tint in the frame is due to "higher iron content alloy", what do you mean? That the frame is made of iron instead of steel, or the steel it is made of has a higher iron content than other steels? Or is there iron in the salt bluing solution?

    I apologize if this is nitpicky, but I like to learn about these technical details. At some gun shows, I see quite of few purple tinted reblued guns - for some reason, it seems common in Beretta 1934s.
  7. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

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    There are a couple of reasons some parts turn purple in a hot blue bath. Alloys with higher iron content such as some shotgun frames, immediate post-64 Winchester 94 receivers, etc, were typically not originally hot blued originally because of this problem. If the gunsmith is using the Oxynate series of salts, Oxynate 84 may help with this issue. That is how H&R originally dealt with this issue - using a different formulation of salts than is normally used today run at a different temperature. Oxynate 84 bluing of these parts is not a dip-for-20-minutes-while-you-hit-the-outhouse type of thing.

    Most commonly, the purple tint is from a steel hardness issue which is the problem with the Beretta pistols you mention. Most bluing solutions including DuLite and Oxynate 7 are designed to run at 295* F, and the majority of gun steel alloys take a deep rich blue-black color. However, some steels require running that temp up to 300-310* F before the correct coloration is reached.

    Other things that can cause discoloration during hot bluing include allowing the part to contact the tank, depleted or contaminated bluing salts, etc.
  8. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    Thanks, StoneChimney! Learning things is what I enjoy most about this hobby.
  9. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    At the time the 22 SPECIALS were being made - the "upper", cylinder, hammer and trigger were made by forging steel. The "lower" was made by sand casting of maleable iron. Although both consist of IRON as the majority element, there is quite a bit of difference in the numbers of and proportions of trace metallic elements, between the two. They do have quite different physical and crystalline structures as well.
  10. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    There is so much to know about this stuff. I remember reading that the frames of the Warner Infallible 32s were made of cast iron, and would not take bluing at all; and that at some point (perhaps after the 1964 retooling) the receivers Winchester 94s were made of something (maleable iron?) that would not take bluing well, requiring a new kind of finish. It never occurred to me that H&R used anything but steel, albeit very mild steel.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
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