H&R Defender 38 (& relatives) Research

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Lanrezac, Sep 20, 2011.

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  1. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Old Gun,
    Somehow I missed your response and photos - anyway, am I seeing your s/n correctly? Is it 7893?
    Those letter stamps on the grip frame are found on almost all of the guns from that era and are apparently internal H&R inspection marks.
    As you surmise - I'll bet that the cylinder was replaced at some point. As to the 4 digits stamped into the cylinder and "star" - probably all four because of the number ending with three zeros???
    I have seen several cylinders with 6 digits stamped into them and on the star, while the vast majority have only 3 (rarely 4) - but SIX seems a bit of overkill - maybe the assembler had some spare time?
  2. Old Gun Guy

    Old Gun Guy Member

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    Jim,
    The serial # is 7893. Thanks for the info!
    Old Gun Guy
  3. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    You're welcome, buddy.

    NOTE: the guns I saw with six digits on the cylinder and star are not DEFENDERS - IIRC, they are late model PREMIERs.
  4. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    Thanks again, Mr. Hauff. These pictures are not razor sharp, and make the gun look a bit better than it really is. It is remarkable how few Defenders I have seen in quite of few years of pistol collecting. Either H&R did not not make very many, or they got shot to pieces. For a long time, they must have been one of the least expensive .38s with adjustable sights.

    BTW, one book I have says the "Bobby" model for the British was chambered in 32 S&W Long, which has always seemed unlikely to me. It it true?
  5. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    BTW, one book I have says the "Bobby" model for the British was chambered in 32 S&W Long, which has always seemed unlikely to me. It it true?

    I can vouch for the veracity of that statement. I have one. The other two are domestic sales versions - probably more accurately termed the 6th Variation of the 3rd Model Auto Ejecting.
    The real "Bobbie" is stamped with the MKII mark, which I understand to mean it was proofed with Nitrocellulose based powder, rather than the British Cordite strand propellant.

    IMG_0093.jpg

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  6. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    Wow, and thanks again. Since the British army was using a 38 S&W derivative in its Webley and Enfield revolvers, it seemed strange to me that the UK police would use 32 Long, a cartridge with no particular history there. Especially since a number of US police departments had tried it back around 1900, and given it up for lack of stopping power. At least they must have been easy guns to shoot well with.

    Well, now I have to look for a Bobby; I like 32 S&W Long revolvers, and have often wished that H&R had made an equivalent of the Model 999 in 32 Long. I'll bet Bobbies as nice as your SN 22497 are as scarce as hen's teeth!
  7. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    H&R did produce (or at least catalogued it in 1979) a SPORTSMAN variant in 6 x .32 S&W Long and called it the "AUTO EJECTOR REVOLVER". No existing examples are known by the H&R Collecting community and (as with a couple other catalogued firearms) may never have reached production. This center fire variant was only shown in the H&R literature in 1979.

    As to the Bobby - "common knowledge" is that around 23,000 were ordered and shipped - with the majority of the pieces chambered for .38 S&W. As you can see from the commercial pieces I pictured, both .32 and .38 versions are known to have been made. The Metro. Police marked piece falls within the serial number range, which was apparently separate from the commercial models. I have only seen the one that I have and that came to me by mischance. I won an on-line auction for what I thought was a very late variation of the AUTO EJECTING series and when it arrived, I found the other markings indicating British usage. The two commercial models came to me later on - and I've not seen any other examples of those, either. So, I'm thinking all in all, both series are somewhat rare. As to the .32 cal chambering, apparently .32 ACP or 7.65mm Browning was fairly well accepted and used by English and European police forces back between 1900 and the end of WW2 and even later. The Europeans (police and civilians) never seemed to develop the taste for the large caliber boomers popular in the US AFTER the development of smokeless powders and higher velocity projectiles.
  8. stevie207

    stevie207 New Member

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  9. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    see answer to question in other thread posting
  10. Grumpyautoman

    Grumpyautoman New Member

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    To Jim Hauff; Hi!! My name is also Jim and I am a new member! I was just going through the threads regarding the H&R Defender 38. I saw your photos of them and was trying to see if any matched the defender that I have.I didn't find one that exactly matched mine but the second and third variation ones were close. If I give you the info that I have mabe you can help me figure out what i have and what I need for a new pistol grip. It's a one piece grip with one screw on the lower third of the butt.Anyway I don't have any paper work on this pistol as I got it from my father many years ago.It is a top break defender 38 with a 4 inch barrel and adjustable front (for elevation) sights and adjustable rear (for windage) sights.It has a thin hammer and the back end is tapered down to nothing.It has the little ball welded to the back of the front sight and no finger hole on the trigger guard. The rear sight is mounted above the frame break latch and has the concave ends bolted onto both sides of the latch. The S/N is 3828 and is stamped on the left side of the butt and on the front of the butt behind the trigger guard. It is also on the front of the cylinder and the extracter(Last 3 digits only 828).It has the auto extractor which ejects the cases when you break open the frame. I has the slab sided barrel and the company name and address is stapmed on the top of the barrel. On the left side it says DEFENDER 38 and on the right side in small lettere it says 38 S&W CTGE. The sreial # on the left side of the butt has an O above it and an M H below it. The pistol grip on it is broken and is the wrong one anyway. It dosen't cover the whole butt (the front part) and is missing the bottom part below the bolt.It seems to be smaller than it should be. I don't have any pictures but I do have a digital camera and will take some and try to send them to you if I can.The gun itself is in excellent condition and has little or no rust. the finish is a polished blue and is in excellent condition. So if you can ( or anyone for that matter) can help me find out what this is I would appreciate it. I have fired it several times it works well. it's just not very comfortable to hold for more than 5 rounds.Hope to hear back from you or anyone who thinks they can help.Thanks for listening (or reading), Jim D
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  11. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    Grumpyautoman, Jim Hauff stopped posted over a month ago, after having some health problems. I wish we could find out how he is doing. I'm afraid I don't know enough about these guns myself to be any help to you.

    But you are on the right track if you put up pictures - they will help others here to tell you about your specific gun. Welcome to the Forum!
  12. Grumpyautoman

    Grumpyautoman New Member

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    Lanreazc ; Thanks for the heads-up I will take som pics. tomorrow and try to upload them.!!! Do you know how to do it ?? If so let me know as I have never done it before.

    Thanks again Grumpy!!! Jim ps I'm a very young 65 yrs. so I guess that makes me a senior too Ha !!! my favorite pistol is the 1911 or 1911a1 I have some of both. See Ya !!!! Jim
  13. Grumpyautoman

    Grumpyautoman New Member

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    LANREZAC; I took some pics. and loaded them into my computer but I haven't been able to figure out how to get them on the forum. If you can help I would appreciate it.!!!!
    Grumpy
    Ps my E-mail address is (grumpydepalo@hotmail.com)

    thanks Jim
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  14. Grumpyautoman

    Grumpyautoman New Member

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    Old Gun Guy, My name is Jim and my Forum name is grumpyautoman.! I just joined the Forum last week while looking for a pistol grip (one piece black plastic) for a defender 38 that I got from my father years ago. I took some pictures of it but can't figure out how to post them on the Forum.If you can help me out with this i would appreciate it.!!!! thr pistol appears to be in excellent condition both mechanically and externally Blueing. The serial # is 3828 on the left side of the lower butt with the M and the H like yours except the M is above the SN # and the H is below the SN #. Other than that it looks exactly like the one in your pictures on the Forum. Except my grip is broken. If i can figure out how to get the pics. on the Forum you can look at it. Sorry for being long winded but I'm new at this and I love guns especially 1911's If you reach me other than on the Forum I'll give you my E-mail. THANKS !!!!! Jim/grumpyautoman
  15. Grumpyautoman

    Grumpyautoman New Member

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    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
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