H&R 38 Defender and 38 Smith & Wesson Value

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by SteveTep, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. SteveTep

    SteveTep New Member

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    Just acquire a 38 H&R Defender with marks
    38 S&W C.T.G.E and Serial 1254 in great condition and looking for info and value also

    38 Smith & Wesson Special C.T.G #338719
    U.S. Property G.H.D
    still packed in grease with shoulder rope attached.
    Plan to sell this weekend so any info would be appreciated.
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    can help on the S&W but here is some info on the several different defenders models H&R manufactured:

    MODEL 299 NEW DEFENDER -----------------------1935-1939
    Large frame top break revolver, 22 rimfire caliber 9 shot cylinder capacity, 2 inch barrel only, adjustable sights, one piece walnut grip, pocket Size, marked on right side of barrel with model name and caliber, modified “Rice Frame”, automatic cylinder stop, finger rest trigger guard, Overall length only 6¼ inches, serial number range unknown believed to be in the same series as the Model 999 Sportsman.,
    VALUE: 100%=$525 60%=$250

    H&R DEFENDER SPECIAL MODEL 299------------------1935-1939
    Large frame double action top break revolver; 38 S&W caliber; cylinder capacity 5 rounds; 2 inch flat sided barrel; sights, front adjustable for elevation and rear adjustable for windage; blue finish; finger rest trigger guard; birds head grip frame shortened for special one piece pocket size checkered Walnut grips; automatic cylinder stop; overall length 6 ¼ inches; Serial number range unknown.
    VALUE: 100%=$600 60%=$275 (very seldom seen)

    DEFENDER NO MODEL NUMBER TOP BREAK -----------------1940-1942
    Large frame double action top break revolver; 38 S&W caliber; cylinder capacity 5 rounds; 4, 5 and 6 inch flat sided barrel; fixed sights; blue finish; no finger rest on trigger guard; birds head grip frame one piece oversized checkered Walnut grips; automatic cylinder stop; hammer mounted firing pin; automatic cylinder stop; most likely this is the beginning of the Defender 38 Model. 25. The literature for the Model 25 show a slightly different revolver. The literature for this revolver refers to it as the Defender 38. Top of barrel marked with company name and address, left side of barrel is marked; “DEFENDER 38” and right side is marked; “38 S&W CTGE”. Believed to be in a separate serial number range and possibly have letter code prefixes.
    VALUE:100%=$325, 60%=$155,Add 20% premium for 5” and 6” barrel (scarce

    DEFENDER No. 25 LARGE FRAME TOP BREAK-----------------1943-1945
    Large frame double action top break revolver; 38 S&W caliber; cylinder capacity 5 rounds; 4 inch flat sided barrel only; sights, front adjustable for elevation and rear adjustable for windage; blue finish; no finger rest on trigger guard; birds head grip frame; one piece oversized checkered black plastic grips; automatic cylinder stop; cylinder release via push button on left side of barrel lug; Right side of barrel is marked with company name and address and caliber, left side of barrel marked “DEFENDER 38”, serial number series is believed to be a separate series
    VALUE: 100%=$325 60%=$155

    DEFENDER MODEL 925 LARGE FRAME TOP BREAK ------1946-1947
    Large frame double action top break revolver; 38 S&W caliber; cylinder capacity 5 rounds; 4 inch flat sided barrel; sights, front adjustable for elevation and rear adjustable for windage; blue finish; no finger rest on trigger guard; birds head grip frame, one piece oversized checkered black plastic grips; automatic cylinder stop; weight 25 ounces; overall length 9 inches; cylinder release via push button on left side of barrel lug; there has been one model 925 that is a factory manual ejection revolver with a serial number low enough that it actually may be a Model 25. It has company name and address on top of the barrel, “DEFENDER” on right side of barrel and the caliber on the left side of the barrel.
    VALUE:100%=$325, 60%=$155 Add 50% premium for manual ejecting model

    would need to see pictures to determine which one of these it is, but most likely it is the third listed.
    bill
  3. Pirate

    Pirate New Member

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    I have an H&R revolver. It says H&R Worcester Mass on the top, and on the left side, very faded it says "38 S&W CTG"..might even say "CTGE", but it is pretty worn off. Serial 329 916. It shoots 38 super rounds. I would like to know what kind (model) it is. I am having a problem with the cylinder and I may need to replace it, so I would like to be sure that I order the right part.

    Sometimes the cylinder actually tilts forward and strongly locks into place when shooting- but it is misaligned with the barrel when this occurs. This has caused it to shoot a piece of shrapnel (shredded part of the actual copper bullet) backwards and has injured my brother twice. This does not always happen though- sometimes the gun shoots fine. But it is not a risk I enjoy taking. Out of 10 rounds through it, it happened twice. Any thoughts on how to fix this would also be appreciated. Thanks!

    Here are pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    it looks like part of the cylinder ratchet (the part on the rear of the cylinder that turns the cylinder) is missing. i would not fire this revolver until this is fixed, shich usually includes a new cylinder.

    AUTOMATIC EJECTING THIRD MODEL
    (SMOKELESS POWDER)-----------------------------------------1905-1940
    Auto-ejecting mechanism, Calibers 32 S&W Long, 6 shot cylinder capacity, 38 S&W caliber 5 shot cylinder capacity, hard rubber grip panels with
    Target Logo, nickel finish (blue optional), barrel lengths of 2½ (rare), 3¼ (standard), 4, 5 & 6 inches available, top of barrel markings include company
    name and address and early production has patent dates, the one recognizable difference in the Second and Third Models is the caliber is marked on the left side of the barrel on the Third Model. “IF IT HAS A CALIBER MARKED ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BARREL THEN IT WAS MANUFACTURED FOR SMOKELESS POWDER”
    First Variation 4 patent dates (5-14 & 8-6-89, 4-2-95, 4-7-97) model name and caliber on left side of barrel------------1905-1908
    Second Variation 2 patent dates (8-6-89 and 10-8-95) model name and caliber on left side of barrel----------------------1909-1912
    Third Variation no patent dates the name of the state is marked as MASS-----------------------------------------------------1913-1915
    Fourth Variation no patent dates the state name of Massachusetts is spelled---------------------------------------------------1916-1924
    Fifth Variation new grip frame, it is now the same size as the rest of the frame with no step down for the grip panel—1925-1941
    After 1931 listed in Catalogs as: AUTOMATIC EJECTING No. 10 .32 S&W LONG CALIBER 6 shots and AUTOMATIC EJECTING No. 25 .38 S&W CALIBER 5 shots. After 1932 listed in Catalogs as: AUTOMATIC EJECTING No. 20..38 S&W CALIBER 5 shots.
    VALUE: 100%=$235 60%=$85 For all Auto-Ejecting 3rd Models; add 75% premium for 2½” barrel; add 25% for 4”, 5” & 6” barrels; add 15% for blue finish;

    in present condition i doubt it would even bring $50.
    bill
  5. Pirate

    Pirate New Member

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    Thank you for your help and advice! I am not looking to sell it, but I would like to fix it and keep it. I was planning on replacing the cylinder.
  6. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

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    Steve,
    US marked items usually have another level of value, depending upon the era produced. I don't know of this item, but would hold selling it until you've spoken with a non-buying party as to it's value.
    "2¢"
  7. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Pirate:
    You posted the following: "It shoots 38 super rounds. " If you are actually shooting .38 Super Automatic cartridges in this revolver it is a wonder that you haven't blown up the cylinder. This gun was designed to handle the relatively low pressure .38 S&W (not even .38 S&W Special) cartridges. The .38 Super was designed to be fired in a Colt 1911 type semi-auto and is a high pressure round. It is no wonder that the frame has been stretched, allowing the cylinder to "tilt" forward - the fact that your brother was injured by shredded brass twice should tell you that what you are doing is EXTREMELY dangerous. I strongly believe that your gun is beyond repair. I also strongly urge you not to repeat what you are doing, for your own safety and that of others in your general area.
  8. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    38 supers are rimless and not the correct round for this gun. Its a 38 S&W and not to be confused with a 38 special as posted before. Not shooting is a good idea and 2 out of 10 times is 2, to many. You have a range problem and cylinder lockup problem. Your hard lockup problem may be from a headspace issue and the rounds not clearing the breech block or plate. The primers in the one photo are protruded too deep and possibly pierced. The bulging out the outside rim of the primers tells me that your breach pressures are way to high and more than likely contributed by the range problem. You also have a massive amount of leading or fouling in the cylinder chambers. The lead he felt is from the bullet actually shaving off the forcing cone and melting and splattering out of the barrel/cylinder gap. He's lucky. many things can contribute to the problem and the parts required to fix them are not drop in parts. You need a gunsmith to handle it.
  9. chrisb

    chrisb New Member

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    i also have a defender 38 handed down from my grandfather i would like to find out as much as i can on them it is in great shape he has had it since i can remember i do know the grips are not original the plastic was flaking away so he made a new grip for it .it is a five shot but on one side it says 38s&wctge on the other side it reads defender 38 top of barell it reads h&r arms company worcester,mass.usa serial # stamped on the trigger frame twice and even under rear sight . i would love to find out more about it any help would be helpfull thank you
    chris b
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
  10. Old Wheelgun

    Old Wheelgun New Member

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    Harrington and richardson made many guns like these. Yours is an AUTO EJECTING version like mine not a defender although the Defender is a top break like yours. I have 2 of them like your but in 32 S&W but are smokeless era guns. In my opinion, H&R made the best top breaks. I had an old Forehand arms and it didn't shoot for crap but the H&R was a lot better and I was able to hit my target. DO NOT continue to shoot 38 supers in this gun or BAD things will happen to the gun and yourself possibly. This gun you have is for 38 S&W ONLY. If you want to shoot it, just shoot 38 S&W in it. You won't have any problems.
  11. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    with out the serial number i can't tell if this defender is a early or a late version. the model 925 defender was reintroduced in 1964.
    bill
  12. couch_warrior

    couch_warrior New Member

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    As for the .38 Super discussion, there was also a .38 super police round. It was a .38 S&W round with a 200 grain bullet of .358 diameter. This was the same loading used by the British Army in the Webley and Enfield .38 revolvers (aka .38/200) to replace the older .455 Webleys. Perhaps the H&R owner had an old box of this "super" ammunition?
  13. chuckj5

    chuckj5 New Member

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    H&R 38 Defender Rear Sight

    I have a H&R Defender Ser.#AA24945, the rear sight blade is missing. This was my grandfathers pistol, it has sentimental value. I'd like to replace the part but I can't find the part for a 925 anywhere. The part is approximately
    .090 thick x.500 wide x approx. .400 high. I was wondering if the rear sight of a different model would fit.
    The picture of the rear sight blade is one I fabricated out of steel bar stock, it is a best guess as to what the part should look like.
    I would appreciate any help.

    Attached Files:

  14. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Chuckj5,
    Welcome to the forum.
    The H&R Model 925 DEFENDER is a derivative in all ways, except to barrel length and chambering, of the 2nd Model H&R Model 999 SPORTSMAN. Rear sight blades for the Model 999, 925 and 926 (all take the same part) have been very difficult to locate - must be hundreds of them lost out there somewhere - and in high demand for a few years now. Numrich/GPC, the major supplier of H&R parts, has been "sold out" for nearly that long.
    Try Wisner's gun parts ( www.wisnersinc.com ) - last I heard they were having them made. As you state - you need the thicker one for your gun (.090"), earlier pieces take the .070" thickness.
    The part you made looks pretty much like what the original piece looks like.
    Check the pic attached - the sight blade on left came out of one of my early 925s (like yours).
    IMG_2820.jpg
  15. chuckj5

    chuckj5 New Member

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    I saw a part like your "Actual Blade" on a web site that was from a stripped H&R. I didn't think it was the same since it was so dissiimilar to the one I made. I'll back track through my history and see if I can locate the site. It stated it was .090 so it may well fit. They wanted $15.00 for the part, not bad considering I probably have 40 hours invested in making the replacement and searching for a factory part.
    Know the different models that use the same part will be a big help.
    Thanks
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