H&R Break Top Revolver Help

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by RussHogFan, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. RussHogFan

    RussHogFan New Member

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    i have a H&R Break top, self-ejecting revolver that reads, "Harrington & Richardson Arms Company Worchester, Mass. U.S.A. PAT'D Oct. 4th. 1887"
    S/N A29417, which is under the top strap. under the grip the matching part number is 9417. and on the cylinder and ejector the numbers 417. it has no markings on the barrel. it has black hard plastic 2 piece grips with the target logo on them. it is blued finish. i'll try to post pics on here later when i figure it out. i'm new to this site. a few questions: 1)when was it made? 2)can i shoot it and with what ammo? 3)is it worth anything?
  2. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    Welcome to the forum, RussHogFan! As you guessed, pictures would be the best thing to enable people here to tell you about your pistol. Until then, it would help if you could say how many rounds the cylinder was chambered for, and try to determine the caliber - 22, 32, or 38?

    The caliber may not be marked, but 22 should be pretty obvious. I think the cylinders for 32 S&W "plain" are a bit less than 1 inch long, while the cylinders for 32 Long and 38 should be over 1 inch.
  3. RussHogFan

    RussHogFan New Member

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    Sorry I didn't think of that before. It's chambered 5 rounds and the cylinder is 1 3/16"
    The barrel is 3 1/4".
  4. RussHogFan

    RussHogFan New Member

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    Can I post pics from my iPhone w this site?
  5. RussHogFan

    RussHogFan New Member

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    here are some pics let me know if they don't work right

    Attached Files:

  6. OldFotoMan

    OldFotoMan New Member

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    If it's a 5 round cylinder, it's probably chambered for the 38 S&W round. Not being marked on the barrel would indicate it was manufactured for the black powder cartridges, and not safe to shoot with modern smokeless powder shells. It may be perfectly safe to shoot with the proper black powder loads, or the equivalent replacement such as Pyrodex. You would need to do or have someone do a close and proper physical examination of the gun to determine it true condition first. Mine is fun to shoot, and they're nice little guns which normally sell in the range of $75 - $200 depending on features and condition. I don't have any info handy on the serial numbers for the years of manufacturing, but I'm sure someone else here may be able to help with that.
  7. jbrescue

    jbrescue New Member

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    Hello all, I am glad I found this site with so much knowledge.

    I was given basically the same gun that was my grandfather's. Mine is nickel, 38 S&W and has a hammer as well. I cleaned and soaked the gun to get most of the grime off of it. The serial number is 377301. Everything appears to be working except for the ejector. It was completely gunked up and now works slightly every once and a while. Is there something as simple as a spring that may need to be replaced? The finish is pretty rough, this was shop gun at the Butcher shop years ago. I am sure it was never truly maintained. Any help would be great.

    Thanks
  8. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    jbrescue -
    Needs more degunking in the "quill" channel - the tube into which the ejector rod fits and around the ejector hook plate and spring assembly in the hinge. There may also be gunk inside the cylinder bushing obstructing the rod and ejector - there is a small coil spring in there. I don't recommend taking the thing apart as a first step to clearing reluctant action - I've had a bunch like that and the action is so uncomplicated there's not a lot to go wrong except build-up, especially if it works "every one in a while".
    There also may be a bit of something caught in the tube - I had that one time - someone cleaned the tube with a cotton swab and left the cotton in the tube - .....
    Try cleaning - save mechanical repairs for last resort.
    BTW, with that serial number, your gun is most likely a 3rd MODEL made in the late 1920's early 1930's. Description of the stamping on top of the barrel rib would clear that up.
    As OLDFOTOMAN posted - on these 5 shot is .38 S&W and 6 shot is .32 S&W LONG or short - all smokeless loads on your piece.
  9. jbrescue

    jbrescue New Member

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    Thanks for the information Jim. I will try soaking it some more.
  10. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    jbrescue,
    Give it a shot buddy. Let us know how you make out - more info for us, the better we can help you and others. Dental picks come in handy on some of these that are badly gunked with "varnished" grease - don't get solvent or anything else on the grip panels!!!!!
  11. jbrescue

    jbrescue New Member

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    Well I soaked and oil and soaked and oiled and nothing seems to have changed. I took the front screw out to clean where the barrel joins the gun. I took apart the hook part and resassembled it. When I resassembled it without the PITA little shim/spring, it worked better. But, once it would estend to eject, it would not retract. I am pretty sure that the cylinder is not where the problem lies. That mechanism works when it is off the gun. Is there a possibility that the little bar that fits into the round piece with the hook is just worn and not engaging where it should? I am fairly certain that this gun had little or no rounds through it. It was a gun bought for the butcher shop and I am sure just sat in a drawer or was taken for cash drops. I will keep tinkering and advise if I find any solution. Everything looks pretty good from the schematics I have been able to find. There may just be some pieces that need a little TLC or polishing for smoother operation.
  12. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    j,
    I've had a couple of those ejector mechanisms apart - for something as simple looking as that is - it is a pain to get it just right - you need that little bar to effect retraction - as you noted. I think it's time to call in an expert on this one. Send out a life line buddy.
  13. Craig Neubauer

    Craig Neubauer New Member

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    Side View 38 S&W.jpg

    Oposite side view.jpg

    I am a first timer needing information on this 38 S&W Pictures will show 5 shot Cylinder has plastic grips with the 5 shot group on the grips.

    Barrel looks to be around 3 inches long, S/N is E 36880 under the left side grip & 880 stamped on the Cylinder & Ejector.

    Top of barrel Has = Harison Richards Arm Company Worchster Mass USA
    Pat Oct,87 May 14 & Aug 6, 89, ApriL 2, 95, ApriL 7 1896

    Can i shoot smokeless 38 S&W loads in this Gun?

    What can you tell me about it ? Year ? Worth ? Has lost some of the nickel finish off the end of the barrel, Top Locks up good, Cylinder has mybe 1 thousands movment when trigger cocked none, but am told thats good by the seller. They want $ 215.00

    Attached Files:

  14. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Craig Neubauer,
    Welcome to the forum.
    You have a 2nd Model AUTOMATIC EJECTING 5th Variation (1897 - 1904). This was the last of the BLACK POWDER AEs made by H&R. 'E' prefix was used in 1900 and 1901 - with the s/n in the 36K range (I have a couple 'E's with higher numbers - I'm gonna guess it was made in 1900.
    It is the "standard" configuration - 3.25" barrel, Nickel plate, blued trigger guard, black/molded/hard rubber grips. It appears, from the pics to have a lot of plating left and the coloration of the hammer and trigger appears solid. There are a lot of small surface scratches - which probably could be smoothed a bit with light application of FLITZ or equivalent.
    I'm not sure what your intention is towards buying this piece - it's not smokeless capable - but if you are looking to start or continue a collection of older hinge frame - then this is a good place to start. In my educated opinion - the value of that gun should start, in that condition at around $170 +/- $20.

    By way of example, the gun pictured below would be a $250+ item:

    IMG_1823_2.jpg
  15. Craig Neubauer

    Craig Neubauer New Member

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    Jim Hauff
    Thanks for your informatiom on the S&W 38 on 3-27-12
    We asked the vender for our deposit back since he said that it was a smokeless shooter which is a wrog call & I am thankfull to get out my $ back on.
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