H&R .32 top break revolver

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by thomashp, Mar 26, 2010.

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  1. thomashp

    thomashp New Member

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    I recently acquired this revolver from a friend, who really didn't know anything about it. It is marked "Harrington & Richardson Arms Company Worcestire, Mass, U.S.A Patd Oct 4th, 1887" It's is nickel plated all over including the trigger guard and trigger. It's a 6shot and I believe it shoots .32 S&W with a 3 1/4" barrel. The serial number is A5697. There are no caliber markings on the barrel. It has black plastic target logo grips.

    I believe this gun to be the Auto Ejecting Top Break 2nd Model in the Second Varation Manufactured from 1890-1892. I found this info reading these forums. Would I be correct? Since there are no barrel markings for caliber, can I shoot nornal .32 S&W out of this gun? How about .32 S&W Long?

    Thanks for your help in advance.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  2. dtruck

    dtruck New Member

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    H&R made a break top, 32 S&W (short) 5 shot. If yours has a cylinder that is 15/16" long, it is most probably the 32 S&W, do not try to shoot longs as they will not fit. The plastic "target" on the grip validates the H&R. The cartridge marking should be on the left side of the barrel.
    Most in working condition value at approx $125-$150.00, if pristine condition, apoprox $200-$225.00
  3. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this is a second model 2nd variation (1890-1892). serial number A 5697 was manufactured in 1891. the 32 caliber marking on the boxes for this model read; 32 H&R Long or 32 S&W. the 32 S&W Long had not been introduced yet and the 32 H&R Long is discontinued (about 1905). do not fire this revolver with any modern 32 ammo.

    AUTOMATIC EJECTING SECOND MODEL (NEW FRAME TARGET LOGO GRIPS)
    (BLACK POWDER) ---------------------------------1890-1904
    New frame shape and new hard rubber grip panels with Target Logo, Auto-ejecting mechanism, Calibers 32 S&W, 6 shot cylinder capacity, 38 S&W caliber 5 shot cylinder capacity, nickel finish (blue optional), barrel lengths of 2½ (rare), 3¼ (standard), 4, 5 & 6 inches available, “IF THERE IS NO CALIBER MARKING ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BARREL THEN IT WAS MANUFACTURED FOR BLACK POWDER”
    Top of barrel markings include company name and address and patent dates.
    First Variation; one patent date OCT-4-87 only-----1890-1892
    Second Variation one patent date marked OCT-4-1887 (year marked in full)-------1890-1892*
    Third Variation three patent dates, Oct-4-1887, May 14 & Aug-6-89--------1893-Only*
    Fourth Variation three patent dates Oct-4-87, May-14 & Aug-6-89 (note 87 date des not have full year markings)------1894-1896*
    Fifth Variation five patent dates Oct-4-87, May 14 & Aug-6-89, April-2-95, April-7-96---1897-1904*
    *Serial numbers found on the bottom side of the top strap will have letter codes with them.
    VALUE 100%=$225 60%=$85 For all Auto-Ejecting 2nd Models; add 75% premium for 2½” barrel; add 25% for 4”, 5” & 6” barrels; add 15% for blue finish; add 10% for 1st , 2nd, 3rd & 4th variations with nickel trigger guard on nickel finish pieces

    bill
    vet's son likes this.
  4. thomashp

    thomashp New Member

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    So it is not safe for me to shoot this gun with normal .32 S&W Ammo?
  5. Toddwp

    Toddwp New Member

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    Goforth, I have an H&R Top break I want to know the info on, if you have the time to help. This gun is caliber .32 S&W Long, blued, barrel is 3 1/4", the cylinder free wheels, serial number is G46776 (1946 I believe according to your info). On the top of the cylinder near the ejector is stamped 776. What is the model?
  6. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Todd,
    I'm sure Bill G. will be along soon to give you all the pertinent details concerning your H&R. Would you please post the stamping found on the top of the barrel rib? - this will help determine model and add to Bill's research data base. In the case of the serial number found on your "Auto Ejecting" model, the 'G' prefix does NOT indicate 1946 - the series was discontinued at the start of WW2 (c. 1941-42); it DOES indicate a turn of the century production.
  7. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

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    To All.
    Bill G passed away last night. He will be sorely missed here.
  8. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Todd,
    According to Bill's research - the 'G' letter code on the Auto Ejecting model was used twice - first in 1904 (2nd Model) and again in 1905 (3rd Model). You will be able to tell which model by whether there is a cartridge designation stamped into the left side of the barrel or not. If not there - it is a 2nd Model 3rd Variation made for black powder cartridges (highest currently known s/n is G79798, so yours should fit into this variation); if it is there - it is a 3rd Model 1st Variation made for smokeless/nitro powder cartridges. The barrel rib stamping should look like the attached pic.

    IMG_1817.jpg
  9. Toddwp

    Toddwp New Member

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    I'd like to pay due respects to Bill G. I'm sorry to hear he passed on. I'd like to buy his book when it comes out, as I have a couple other top breaks I'd like to identify, one of which needs repair as it doesn't fire every bullet. As far as the gun mentioned in my last post, on the barrel it does not list any cartridge, just manufacturer and patent dates. So it is a 1904 2nd model 3rd variation..
  10. Toddwp

    Toddwp New Member

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    "Harrington & Richardson Arms Company Worcester MASS. U.S.A"
    "PAT. Oct. 4, '67. May 14 & Aug. 6. '89. April 2. '95. April 7, 1896"
  11. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Your posting of the barrel rib stamping matches the pic I posted, so yep - you've got a 2nd Mod; 3rd Var. dating to 1904.
  12. duck32man

    duck32man Member

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    I have an H&R Hammerless in 32 cal. Stamped with the following: Harrington and Richardson Arms co. Worcester Mass USA Pat. 10/4/87 4/2/95 4/7/96. Serial # 445XX Can anyone tell me exactly what I have and when it was made. What would be the value? It functions flawlessly. Thanks

    Attached Files:

  13. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    duck -
    You have a 1st Model 1st Variation SMALL FRAME HAMMERLESS. This ID comes from the stamping on the barrel rib. It was made sometime between 1899 and 1904 and was intended to use blackpowder loadings in .32 S&W and .32 H&R Long - from what I've learned - this model was not intended to use .32 S&W LONG (H&R didn't chamber for this round until 1905 when they switched over to smokeless/Nitro powder capable revolvers).
    From the pictures, your piece looks to be in <60% condition - this puts in the FAIR category and from the "BLUE BOOK..." retail value should be in the $100 range. The one thing in your favor is the blued finish which is scarcely seen in this model and date range.
  14. duck32man

    duck32man Member

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    Thanks Jim - I really do appreciate your knowledge and response. Paid less than 100.00 so I'm happy.
  15. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Duck,
    Glad to help out and glad you're happy. You're welcome and thanks for thanking!
  16. gunlvr23

    gunlvr23 New Member

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    Hello to all,

    New to the site. I know, another noob... Sorry I'll try to fit in.

    Does anyone here know if there is a place to buy/find replacement parts for an H&R .32 top break revolver? Also, where would be a good source for schematic breakdowns of this gun?

    Thanks for any possible help!
  17. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    gunlvr23,
    Welcome to the forum.
    The Numrich/Gun Parts Corp. web site offers quite a few examples of "blown up" diagrams and some schematics, as well as a trove of parts. www.e-gunparts.com

    To get the correct parts, you should first get an ID on your gun. Provide pics -OR-
    describe the gun:
    a. number of shots (5 or 6)
    b. what's stamped into the barrel rib - EXACTLY as it is stamped - use a glass to make sure you post what's there.
    c. what's stamped into the left (maybe right) side of the barrel
    d. what's the serial number stamped into the underside of the top strap - need to remove cylinder to see that "real" serial number.
    c. finish and barrel length will be a plus in determining a value range.
  18. mjanoplis

    mjanoplis New Member

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    I have an H&R top break. I think it is a 1st Model 1st Variation SMALL FRAME HAMMERLESS; It has MOP grips, I don't know if they are stock. On the top is
    Harrington & Richardson Arms Company Worcester MASS. U.S.A"
    "PAT. Oct. 4, '87 April 2, '95. April 7, '96 . Ser # 46xxx nothing on the barrel for caliber.
    Can anyone tell me if I'm correct, and anything else about it, value??? exactly what ammo should I use? black powder 32?
    Thanks;
    Mike

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG]
  19. mcw613

    mcw613 New Member

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    Hey everyone, I just joined this forum, and already have learned a lot from reading through these threads.

    I just inherited two different H&R top break revolvers, and as it appears that Jim is the in house expert, i was wondering if you could help me more accurately identify them. I would greatly appreciate it!

    The first is a .32 top break auto ejecting revolver, with the target logo on the grip. In my opinion, it is in very good condition, see pictures in linked gallery below. The markings are as follows:

    barrel rib:
    HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON ARMS CO.
    WORCHESTER, MASSACHUSETTS, U.S.A.

    left barrel: 32 S&W CTGE

    serial number: 475886

    http://gallery.me.com/mcw613#100007



    The second is a top break auto ejecting revolver (not sure caliber), again with the target logo on the grip. In my opinion, it is in fair condition, see pictures the same linked gallery. The markings are as follows:

    barrel rib:
    HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON ARMS COMPANY
    WORCHESTER, MASS. U.S.A. PAT. OCT. 4 , '87, APR. 2, '95. APR. 7, 96

    left barrel: *none*

    serial number: 39307

    http://gallery.me.com/mcw613#100007


    Thanks in advance for any information!
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  20. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    mjanoplis,
    Welcome to the forum!
    Looks like you've correctly IDed your H&R 1st MODEL Small Frame HAMMERLESS. The 1st Variation was in production from circa 1899 to 1903. From examples of the M1 V1 in my collection, your s/n in the 40K range seems to be around the middle of the range - so, I'm guessing your gun was probably made in late 1901- early '02.
    Other than the MOP grip panels, your gun has the "standard" features of Nickel finish and 3" barrel and chambered for 5 x .32 S&W BLACK POWDER cartridges. Options for this model are: Blued finish (scarce); 2" (BICYCLE MODEL), 4", 5" or 6" barrels. MOP, checkered walnut and Ivory grip panels were available at extra charge. If you CAREFULLY remove the grip panels, you may see the serial number or the the last 3 or 4 digits written on the back side in lead pencil. If not there, it doesn't mean your MOP panels are not factory - they have all the contours and shape of the factory panels.
    As to value: although collectible in V. GOOD to EXCELLENT condition, RETAIL values of the standard configuration will run from a low of under $100 for a POOR condition piece to around $195 for one in collectible condition. I have seen 98% examples sell above $200. I enhanced your pics a bit and it looks to me as though your gun falls into the high GOOD to low V.Good category - the grips add a bit of value - so AT RETAIL your gun would probably run in the $135 to $155 range.
    Here's your pics with a bit of editing:
    DSC02687Small.jpg

    DSC02688Small.jpg

    For your viewing pleasure: Here's a couple pics of collectible variants of that model:

    IMG_2034.jpg

    IMG_2038.jpg
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