H & R 38 SW (I think)

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by garydude, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. garydude

    garydude Member

    My Brother-in-law inherited this pistol from his Grandfather. He had a friend try to gather information about it, and from what his friend found out, this is a Harrington & Richardson five shot 38 S & W. It has no serial number on it that we found, with the possible exception of the #836 found on the frame under the grips. He does not know how old it is. The top of the pistol says "the American" on one side, and "Double Action" on the other. It does not have the caliber listed on the gun, nor does it say H & R anywhere.

    I told him that I might be able to get an idea of age and approximate value from the forum, so Thank You in advance. Any information would be appreciated. Sorry for the mediocre pics, but it's the best that I can do (I'm visiting relatives in the frozen mid-west for Christmas.)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    houston, tx
    this is a american double action first model 3rd variation.

    (BLACK POWDER MODEL): -------------------------- 1884-1904
    32 caliber 6 shot, 38 caliber 5 shot, 44 caliber 5 shot, pull pin cylinder release, barrel length 2½, 4½ & 6 inches nickel finish standard, blue considered rare. Marked on top strap “AMERICAN DOUBLE ACTION”,
    First variation will have a round barrel & nickel trigger guard & rear trigger guard retaining pin slightly off set to the rear --1884-1887
    Second variation will have a round barrel & nickel trigger guard --1884-1887
    Third variation will have a octagon barrel & nickel trigger guard --1888-1897
    Fourth variation will have a octagon barrel , blue trigger guard and company name and address on left side of barrel --1898-1904
    100%=$225 60%=$95, 1st Variation rarely seen, add 50% premium., for all American Double Actions variations and variants: add 15% premium
    for blue finish, add 10% premium for 4 ½ “ or 6” barrel, add 5%-10% premium for nickel trigger guard (pre 1898)

    Same as American Double Action First Model except has patented Spurless Hammer, patent date will be marked on Hammer
    Marked on top strap “SAFETY HAMMER DOUBLE ACTION”
    100%=$235 60%=$95

    check the hammer closely on the left side for the patent date April 5, 1887. this is the date for the patent that covers the spurless hammer which H&R called their "saftey hammer model". if this date is not marked on the hammer there is a very good possibility the hammer spur has been removed after it left the factory.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010

  3. garydude

    garydude Member

    Thank you very much for the information and time spent on this firearm. It's value clearly isn't monetary, but as an heirloom it has great value.
  4. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    garydude and Bill,
    The piece pictured was not originally equipped with the "Safety Hammer". Piece so equipped have a "scalloped" cut at the rear of the top strap to allow thumb cocking of the hammer, which also would have a checkered flat top.
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