H&R 22 top breaks

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by nicksterdemus, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. nicksterdemus

    nicksterdemus New Member

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    L. side brl, H. & R. "PREMIER" yes, in parentheses, 22 Rim Fire on the R. side of brl. Two piece, large, target type,Saw handle grips? They have a hump where the web of your hand grips. SN-48257X -6" brl.

    H&R Premier first or second model small frame top break Rim Fire?


    "the h&r premier was manufactured between 1895 and 1941. there were two models, first model 1895-1904 (designed for black powder cartridge pressures) and the second model 1905-1941 (designed for smokeless powder cartridges pressures. the best method to determine which model you have is the second model (1905-1941) will have the model name or caliber and or both marked on the left side of the barrel. the first model only has marking on the top of the barrel.

    your revolver serial number 1586xx is a second model manufactured between 1905 and 1909. after 1909 the patent dates were eliminated from the top of barrel markings.

    the calibers offered were 7 rounds 22 rimfire or 5 rounds 32 centerfire. the label on the inside of the box was generalized for both calibers but the end label of the box should have both the caliber and finish marked on it. the box if original would add about $50 to value. "

    I realize this answer was for a gent that had a 32 instead of a 22. "the best method to determine which model you have is the second model (1905-1941) will have the model name or caliber and or both marked on the left side of the barrel. the first model only has marking on the top of the barrel."

    [​IMG]

    ===========================
    SN-56985X 22 long rifle ctg. on the R. side of brl. Not saw grips, as I understand saw grips, yet wooden, two piece, checkered & flair @ the bottom. No hump and not as upright as the one on the premier. Maybe, due to no hump they have more of a radius. The bottom does extend well beyond the grip frame. 6" brl
    [​IMG]
    "Fourth Variation safety cylinder and new grip frame (RICE FRAME) (serial number range 559100-590000*)-----------------------------1933-1938...After 1930 listed in catalogs as: MODEL 944 LARGE FRAME TOP BREAK .22 RIMFIRE CALIBER 9 shot and as, MODEL 945 LARGE FRAME TOP BREAK .22 Winchester Rim Fire CALIBER 7 shot

    What's a RICE frame?

    Are these two pistolas have the proper stocks?

    Is that H&R book ready?
    Thanks...
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the second model (1905-1941) small frame 22 premier (first picture) could be ordered with a long barrel of 5 or 6 inches and oversized two piece grips of Hard rubber of walnut (saw handle shape). later this special order version (with 6 inch barrel) was given a model name (between 1925 and 1934 only) and called Model 766 H&R Target. it was dropped from the catalogs after 1934. the pictured premier appears to be one manufactured after 1934 and does have the correct grips.

    the last picture is of the large frame "22 special" with the one piece over sized walnut grips used on all the H&R revolver with the Rice frame. the Rice frame is a bird's head grip frame that uses a single screw thru the rear of the grips to retain them. H&R at one time offered eleven different grips shapes for their revolvers with the Rice frame. the Rice frame is called that because Mr Renzi Rice was issued patent number 2034632 on march 17, 1932 which covered the attachment of revolver grips by a single screw thru the rear and on a bird's head shape grip frame. the late production of the "22 special" (after about 1934) used the Rice frame and the grips on the one pictured are correct.

    two different model, two different frame sizes, two different correct grips.

    no the H&R book is not ready yet but you can get on the waiting list by visiting www.gunshowbooks.com
    bill
  3. nicksterdemus

    nicksterdemus New Member

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    Thank you for the H&R tutorial. I'd like to see a pic of the eleven different stocks. Did these vary partially by years and then some of them a special order? I'm curious how they divvied up the eleven. I didn't realize the Rice frame stock was one piece. I don't have the pistolas in my possession just yet. I fully intend to load these w/shorts and do some serious plinkin'. I've been wanting a top break or two and the 22 is fun and cheap. The 6" barrels and walnut stocks pushed me over the edge. I would really enjoy the single shot target model yet, I fear that jewel will elude me for a while. I noticed Cornell Publishing had a reprint of the H&R 1933 catalog.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=370177292368
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the grips did vary per year but there were about 5 different styles offered most of the years between 1932 and 1942 with a plastic version becoming standard on most model betwee 1943 and 1952.

    the 1933 catalog reprint may not show many of the different grips as that was the second year they were offered.
    bill
  5. nicksterdemus

    nicksterdemus New Member

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    I received shipment of the Premier. One of two of the small "ears" that run under the barrel assembly release were broken off. Stocks were as pictured, right side in a light brown finish w/left side in a very dark brown finish. Small crack on the top left side approximately 3/8". Inside of saw grips both sides have pressed stamp "130." I guess that was the number that distinguished that style and size stocks. Obvious damage to the frame where it catches the extractor assembly. If you hold the pistol upright it works most of the time. If you turn the pistol upside down it will never catch and operate the extractor. There is so much play in the hinged assembly that holding the pistol upright you can push on the catch teat and it will move 3/32" and the whole inside pivoting assembly will roll 1/8" w/barrel closed. If parts are available I'd like to be able to replace the pivoting catch assembly before it reaches a stage of complete non operation. If nothing else it needs to be shimmed to prevent the play/slack. It's possible that the pin holding them together is worn as well. The cylinder shows scars to the metal, that were apparent in the pics, that I thought might have been from the cylinder stop except they are too far forward on the cylinder. Then I discovered that the latch grasps the face of the cylinder when the cylinder is screwed in completely. The latch holds the barrel closed to the frame and secures the cylinder from backing out of its threads. When you remove the cylinder you must hold back on the latch or it will scrape the cylinder. Hence the marks (At first instead a few turns releasing the cylinder from the quill I was unthreading the star extractor. It was a real pain holding the barrel latch up & open to prevent further scratching of the cylinder. Now with a few turns the cylinder assembly comes out.).
    The cylinder & star assembly have the same three numbers that match the last three numbers of the six digit serial number. The barrel latch appears to match but, I can't see the first number w/o taking the latch off. I find it somewhat peculiar that the serial number is stamped on the front strap of the grip frame and when you take the stocks off it's stamped right beside there on the side of the grip frame hidden normally by the stocks. Besides the two halves of the stocks being very far apart in stain/shade they are nowhere near each other in the grain of the wood yet, they both posses the same half round hammering marks on the bottom of the stocks. Extractor works but, it's weak and doesn't wish to fully return the star to the cylinder. DA & SA function as well as the cylinder stop it just doesn't keep good time.
    It's an old pistola that hopefully, w/some expertise from Mr. H&R, I can get up to speed and fire many shorts through it as I've figured the cost I've incurred to date would prohibit me from being able to break even until 15-20 years down the road.

    EDIT: The stamped number inside of the saw grips was 130 not 150 as previously mentioned.

    EDIT: Some of the marks on the cylinder are caused by the forward cylinder stop. This old pistol has two cylinder stops. When you click the hammer back to half notch safety position the forward CS comes down releasing the cylinder as well and allows the cylinder to free wheel.

    The barrel latch assembly screw and the barrel pivot screw have noticeably been removed. It appears someone used a wider then needed screwdriver and in the process reamed out the surrounding metal.
    The digital photography had plenty of resolution. Where they fell short was using too much flash or too bright of a light effectively washing out small details. Looking in person I think it's the flash and they need an opaque filter if they wish to truly represent the condition and amount of wear/abuse.

    Barrel latch does match and even though quite a few rounds have been down the tube I managed to clean the flat above the cylinder and can barely make out the entire six digit serial number and it matches the frame.

    Extractor works it's the spring that's weak. The intentional damage/abuse w/3/32-1/8" flat punch on the frame in a blatant attempt to close the chasm so the extractor cam would catch and operate the star extractor. Which, by the way, when it does work it will not quite clear the empty hulls before returning to rest on the cylinder though it does come close.

    DA & SA work however, the cylinder doesn't properly index. Sometimes it falls short of barrel alignment and, due in part to the final/rear cylinder stop being badly worn, sometimes it goes past the barrel alignment. Other times it stops in time. It's a crap shoot.


    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 16, 2009
  6. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this is a second model premier manufactured in 1924 to 1926 era. it appears to have been used and abused alot. the grip color difference is probably due to laying on one side in bright sunlight for an extended period which might also might explain the gaps in them. i am afraid i really can't diagnosis alll the problem of this revolver without a inhand inspection.

    sorry i can't be of more help. it was once a nice useful 22 that had two extra cost features (long barrel and oversize grips) but i can't say for sure if it is repairable.
    bill
  7. nicksterdemus

    nicksterdemus New Member

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    Thanks for the info goforth. Any chance of parts available? It could stand an oversized hand. The cylinder rotates but, falls short of fully engaging the cylinder stop in double or single action. I can shine a light in the front of the cylinder and looking throughthe barrel can see where the cylinder doesn't line up properly w/barrel. I can manually rotate the cylinder after cocking in SA and it lines up nicely. I guess your up coming book would have a diagram or two and possibly a few pointers. Speaking of, when will it become available?
    ================================
    The .22 "Special". Not surprisingly this nine shot with slightly larger frame than the Premier did appear @ first to be in better condition. Only one side of the "Special" was offered to be viewed in high resolution. On the left side of the barrel the H & R 22 "SPECIAL" mark is peeling blue, rusting and pitted heavily. The "H" is so bad that w/o magnification it looks like someone raked it across a concrete block. Quite a bit of pitting on most the cylinder but, surprise, surprise as it appears that magically, by random selection I'm sure, the only part that wasn't pitted was...you guessed it, on the right side and in the high resolution picture. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and by selecting the best side, the best third of the cylinder adding a little camera angle, wash out detail w/bright light or flash and viola!, you have the appearance of a decent used sidearm. Pitting was mentioned in the description but, some of the unseen pitting was deep & rough. When I handled the sidearm I noticed a lot of play between the barrel assembly and the frame. Over 1/16 of an inch @ the end of the barrel. Upon further inspection I noticed the barrel latch screw wasn't snug. I tightened it up and it took out quite a bit of the play yet, not all. Like the Premier the Special cylinder will not index anywhere near reliably. The pin that holds tension against the barrel latch is wore out to an angle so it's easy to open. Spring is fine just a few thousand too many openings and closings. When I first opened 'er up I noticed the star ejector wasn't working. After a bit it started working however, like the Premier you can't hold it upside down and have it function. The Special's star extractor doe have the linear movement to clear the spent hulls. Squeezing the trigger, fully engaging the cylinder stop and then releasing the trigger causes the cylinder to back up CCW opposite of rotation. Besides being badly rusted the cylinder stop is canted/listing starboard/CW a few MOA.

    In conclusion I have two old H&R pistolas that fall short mechanically, one cosmetically, through a lot of use and some abuse however, they could be brought up to speed, a fast walk perhaps, if parts can be obtained. It's hard to purchase lower end merchandise @ a reasonable cost through auctions. By the time you pay a buyer's premium, shipping and a local transfer fee you have way too much of a percentage in expenses when compared to the gavel cost. Competing against on site buyers isn't a level playing field. Then, if you're naive, the incidental cost of too many folks considering themselves in the shipping business attempting to make more for slapping bubble wrap and stuffing some Styrofoam peanuts, in a real shippers provided box, than real shipping companies while completely ignoring the adage, "The cost of doing business." Instead of whining about the cost of shipping supplies and labor you should be "praisin' the lawd" that you're selling that many firearms. Twenty-five clams is too damn much to ship a medium or smaller sidearm. That's why I quit, for the most part, buying from ebay. Outrageous shipping claims. Ya'll are watching too many late night infomercials. Used to be the shipping, lets not forget that profit creating word handling, was a third of the price of that junk. Now it's closer to half. Luring folks w/cheap price and then slapping them in the back of the head w/high shipping is still criminal in my book. One more time. Wrapping a present doesn't make you Santa Claus unless you paid for the gift. As well, wrapping merchandise that you sold for profit doesn't make you a shipper. However, believing you are a shipper because everyone can't buy on site is being a victim of your own delusions of grandeur.

    Let us look @ how an inexpensive purchase stacks up against a higher end product.
    180-Used-well used, old, inexpensive manufacturer w/little to no collector value, no available parts, small-medium sidearm.
    18-10% buyers premium. Add another 3% for the privilege to bid online in real time. Practically paying more for the opportunity to spend more. What a deal.
    25-shipping && handling. If it actually costs ten clams to ship then the vig is 150%. You get my drift.
    20-FFL transfer though YMMV.
    ____
    243.00

    Sixty-three dollars over gavel. Over 33% over gavel. Can you buy a $1000 firearm and pay over $1333 to have it in hand? After adding your 10% premium, $1100, you'd still be left w/$233 for shipping and transfer. So, I've learned what many of you already knew. You're better off buying one firearm and paying 3-4 times more than buying 3-4 cheaper selections. Yes, the shipping goes down on multiple firearms sharing the same box yet, 25/10/10 to me means that even if they could stuff a dozen in the box come number four it's back to 25 agian. I could be wrong and hope i am. Many FFL transfers are per firearm and that would cause me to go elsewhere if I was buying multiple. Find someone that will give you a deal on the whole shipment. This ain't California and the average transfer is 30 clams. For five minutes of filling out a forum and making a call that's criminal in my book. Instead of embracing your business they're punishing you. You're even better off if you can attend the auction. I think I'll incorporate myself as a shipper so I can attend out of state auctions and buy a lot of handguns "shipping" them in my car to my FFL. Yeah, that's the ticket. If sellers can pretend that they are shippers then I should be able to get in on some of the juice.

    Anywho, good luck in purchases not forgetting, caveat emptor. Do your homework or end up like me w/three old pistolas w/practically no parts available. Some deals are better than others and you have to get your feet wet to really know how it feels. Take notice of shipping charges. Are they charging more than necessary in an attempt to make returns cost prohibitive or trying to tease you w/cheap price only to back load you w/ridiculous handling charge? Before ya'll think I'm an old curmudgeon skin flint, though I'm not going to deny, I realize some folks have more money to play with and it's hard to affix a price on filling a collection, purchasing a memory or dream from days gone by. Accumulating or collecting is a hobby and all hobbies tend to be expensive. Folks aren't necessarily evil in trying to make a profit. There's a fine & sometimes fuzzy line between too much and not enough. I contacted the fine folks that I purchased the two H&R wheelguns from and they offered me some credit on those, due to their condition, and some applied to an errant shipping charge. Just because it's C&R eligible it shouldn't imply that I want it separated from the others and shipped next day air to my FFL. I thank them for their willingness to hear my side of the story and work w/me.
    Last edited: May 17, 2009
  8. duboismd

    duboismd New Member

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    Hello. I've been trying to find out about a pistol I inherited from my grandfather. It is an H & R "target" model 22 rime fire break top. It is a seven shot with a serial number of 482xxx. Can anyone on this thread help me?

    Thanks!
    Marck
  9. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    H&R TARGET SMALL FRAME TOP BREAK --------------------1925-1934
    Small fame double action top break revolver with double top post barrel latch; 22 rimfire caliber only, 7 shot cylinder capacity, blue finish 6 inch barrel length only, over size two piece walnut grips, marked on left side of barrel “H&R TARGET” 22 rimfire on the right side of the barrel and company name and address on the top of the barrel rib. After 1930 listed in the catalogs as; MODEL 766 TARGET SMALL FRAME TOP BREAK REVOLVER 7 SHOT
    VALUE: 100%=$325 60%=$115

    this model was in the catalogs for only 9 years and few were really manufactured this one most likely made between 1930 and 1934.
    bill