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H&R .38, earliest date of manufacture?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by ofd, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. ofd

    ofd New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    I'm looking for the earliest possible date of manufacture for the following:

    H&R, .38 S&W caliber pistol; hammerless, top-break, auto-ejecting model
    satin/brushed, chrome finish, barrel approximately 3-1/4 inches

    on top of barrel:
    Harrington & Richardson Arms Company, Worcester, Massachusetts
    serial number: 168587
  2. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    5,973
    Location:
    Ohio NRA Member
    Mr. Goforth is the expert on this and sure he will have you an answer.
  3. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,174
    Location:
    houston, tx
    the earliest date of manufacture for the H&R Hammerless model would be 1899 (the year this model was introduced) but this revolver serial number 168587 is a second model 5th variation manufactured between 1916 and 1924 (closer to 1916 than 1924).

    H&R HAMMERLESS SECOND MODEL LARGE FRAME TOP BREAK
    (Smokeless powder) ----------------------------------------1905-1941
    Large Frame Double Action Hammerless Top Break revolver with double top post barrel latch; caliber and cylinder capacity, 38 S&W (5 rounds); finish is nickel or blue (optional); grips are hard rubber with a target logo at the top; standard barrel length is 3 ¼ inch, with 4, 5 and 6 inch optional; rebounding hammer; automatic cylinder stop. The cylinder was lengthen to take the 32 S&W long cartridge and the catalogs now listed the calibers as; 6 shot 32 S&W, 32 S&W Long, 32 Colt New Police cartridges. Also offered in 5 shot 38 S&W and 38 Colt New Police. Caliber marked on left side of barrel THIS MODEL WAS DESIGNED FOR SMOKELESS POWDER CARTRIDGE PRESSURES
    First variation, 5 patent dates same as First model with caliber marked on left side of barrel, serial number range 45000*-55000* (estimate)-1905-Only
    Second Variation, patent dates,5-14 & 8-6-89,4-2-95, 4-7-96, serial number range; 55000*- 100000*(estimate) --------------------1906-1908
    Third Variation, patent dates 8-6-1889, 10-8-1895, serial number range; 100000*-120000*(estimate) -----------------------------1909-1912:
    Fourth Variation, no patent dates, state in address not spelled out (MASS.), serial number range; 120000*-160000*(estimate) ------1913-1915
    Fifth Variation, no patent dates state name in address is spelled out (MASSACHUETTS), serial number range; 160000*-190000*(estimate) -1916-1924
    Sixth Variation , new grip frame same as Auto-Ejector, serial number range; unknown ------------------------------------------1925-1940
    There is some indication production of the hammerless model stopped somewhere in the early 1920’s but it was carried in catalogs until 1941 Estimate*
    After 1930 listed in Catalogs as: H&R HAMMERLESS No. 50 TOP BREAK .32 S&W LONG 6 shot and H&R HAMMERLESS No. 55 TOP BREAK .38 S&W 5 shot
    VALUE: 100%=$325 60%=$110 Add 10% premium for blue finish; 20% premium 4”, 5” or 6” barrel

    bill
  4. ofd

    ofd New Member

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    Sep 9, 2010
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    Thank you Bill!
  5. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    Feb 22, 2004
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    Location:
    Goodyear, Arizona
    Curious, why are you looking for the earliest possible date of manufacture rather then the date of manufacturer?
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