H&R Deluxe Topper 188 .410 = chambered for 3"?

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by DaleBurris, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. DaleBurris

    DaleBurris New Member

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    Tampa FL
    My Harrington & Richardson Deluxe Topper Model 188 ("V" for 1959) .410 Gauge-P, Full Choke, single shot, break action w/hammer shotgun:
    readily accepts a 3 inch shell. Does this mean that it is, indeed, chambered to shoot 3" ammo? We called H&R but they were cautiously non-committal about it, saying, "If it's not printed on the side, don't fire it". Well, this gun doesn't have anything stamped on it at all, regarding shell length... it doesn't say 2 1/2 or 2 3/4, either. So according to H&R you can't fire anything out of it at all, haha.
    I wouldn't just go out and get 3" shells if I wasn't sure, but came into a lot of 3" .410 ammo, so...
    Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    according to the original H&R catalogs i have all H&R 410's were chambered for the 3 inch shells after 1937.

    MODEL 188 TOPPER DELUXE--------------------------------1957-1958
    Deluxe Version of the Model 148, Single Barrel, Top Lever Break Open Action, Rebounding Hammer, Self-Adjusting Barrel Latch, Auto-Ejector, Three Piece Take Down (Snap On Forearm), 410 Bore Only (3 inch chamber), Barrel Lengths 28 inches Choked Full, Finish Blue Barrel, Chrome Frame, Pistol Griped Black Lacquered Butt-Stock & Semi Beaver-Tail Forearm, Ventilated Rubber recoil Pad, Butt-Stock Length of Pull 13½ inches, Drop: at Comb 1¾ inches at Heel 2½ inches, Overall Lengths 43.
    VALUE: 100%=$175 60%=$75

    MODEL 188A TOPPER DELUXE--------------------------1958-1961
    Deluxe Version of the Model 148A, Single Barrel, Side Lever Break Open Action (Patent No. 2,876,576), Rebounding Hammer, Self-Adjusting Barrel Latch, Auto-Ejector, Three Piece Take Down (Snap On Forearm), 410 Bore (3 inch chamber), Barrel Lengths 28 inches Choked Full, Finish Blue Barrel, Chrome Frame, Pistol Griped Multi-Colored Lacquered Butt-Stock & Semi Beaver-Tail Forearm, Ventilated Rubber Recoil Pad, Butt-Stock Length of Pull 13 ½ inches, Drop: at Comb 1¾ inches at Heel 2½ inches, Overall Lengths 43 inches.
    VALUE: 100%=$180 60%=$75

    there will be some over lapping in the first year of production of the model 188A
    bill
  3. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    As Mr, Goforth answered, your H&R is chambered for 3 inch shells. However for future reference, you can not measure a shotgun chamber by inserting a loaded cartridge. A shotgun chamber is measured by a unfurled cartridge. The chamber is designed longer than the designated or proper cartridge to allow room for the rolled up end to unfurl. This is why a 3 inch shell will fit into a 2 3/4 inch chamber. When a 3 inch shell is fired in a 2 3/4 chamber the ends of the 3 inch cartridge act as a obstruction and creates dangerous pressures. You can readily see that the wrong cartridge was used because the ends will be tattered and fuzzy.
  4. DaleBurris

    DaleBurris New Member

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    Thank you both! Yes, I knew just because it fit didn't mean it was necessarily meant for it. And I'd seen something about them being available in 3" after '37 but wasn't sure if "available"meant all of them, so elaborating on the catalog really helped.
    Thanks!
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