H&R Hammerless revolver info wanted.

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Old Gun Guy, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. Old Gun Guy

    Old Gun Guy Member

    Joined:
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    527
    Location:
    N. Utah
    I have these 3 H&R hammerless revolvers that I have questions about their years of manufacture. The top one is a .38 S&W large frame that is serial # 72404. It was very heavily rusted from laying in a damp place,(all 3 came from back on the Eastern seaboard) but I cleaned it up the best I could, and couldn't believe that it functions and locks up tight, and the bore looks like it's never been fired.
    The middle revolver is another large frame with serial # 97465. It has British proof marks on the right side above the swivel pin. The marks are "crown over BV" and "Crown over RF". It wasn't rebored to a different caliber, so I'm wondering if they're just acceptance marks? It too functions beautifully.
    The bottom revolver is a .32 S&W small frame with serial # 233616. It has some surface rust, but again it is ready to shoot.
    Thanks!
    Old Gun Guy
    All serial #'s match on all three guns. Here are some pics:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2009
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,174
    Location:
    houston, tx
    here is what i furnished the blue book on the H&R hammerless models:

    H&R HAMMERLESS FIRST MODEL LARGE FRAME TOP BREAK
    (BLACK POWDER)-----------------------------------1899-1904
    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 optiona; rebounding hammer; automatic cylinder stop. There are no known variations in this model. top of barrel is marked with the same 5 patent dates as the Auto-Ejector Second model 5th Variation, no caliber markings on left side of barrel.
    Serial number range; approximately 01* to 45000* (No letter codes): Highest known 43308 (* Estimate)
    NO CALIBER MARKINGON LEFT SIDE OF BARREL DESIGNED FOR BLACK POWDER CARTRIDGE PRESSURES ONLY
    VALUE: 100%=$295 60%=$105 Add 10% premium for blue finish; 20% premium 4”, 5” or 6” barrel

    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 as 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

    H&R HAMMERLESS FIRST MODEL SMALL FRAME TOP BREAK
    (BLACK POWDER)---------------------------------------------1899-1904
    Small Frame Double Action Hammerless Top Break revolver with double top post barrel latch; caliber and cylinder capacity, 32 S&W (5 rounds), None of the catalogs I have seem indicates the First Model was offered in 22 rimfire; 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; no caliber markings on left side of barrel. NO CALIBER MARKING ON LEFT SIDE OF BARREL DESIGNED FOR BLACK POWDER CARTRIDGE PRESSURES
    First Variation, patent dates 10-4-87, 4-2-95, 4-7-96, serial number range; 01*-82000*(Estimate)--------1899-1903
    Second Variation, patent dates 5-14-89,4-2-95, 4-6-96, serial number range; 82000*-90000*(Estimate)-------1904-Only
    VALUE: 100%=$255 60%=$95 Add 10% premium for blue finish; 20% premium 4”, 5” or 6” barrel

    H&R HAMMERLESS SECOND MODEL SMALL FRAME TOP BREAK
    (SMOKELESS POWDER)---------------------------------1905-1941
    Small Frame Double Action Hammerless Top Break revolver with double top post barrel latch; caliber and cylinder capacity, 32 S&W (5 rounds), 22 Rimfire (7 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, caliber marking on left side of barrel.
    CALIBER MARKINGS ON LEFT SIDE OF BARREL DESIGNED FOR SMOKELESS POWDER CARTRIDGE PRESSURES ONLY
    First Variation, patent dates 5-14-89, 4-2-95, 4-7-96, serial number range 90000*-100000* (estimate)---1905-1906
    Second Variation, patent dates 4-2-95, 4-7-96 serial number range 100000*-120000* (estimate)-------1907-1909
    Third Variation, patent date 10-8-95, serial number range 120000*-180000* (estimate)--1910-1913
    Fourth Variation no patent dates small font use for company name. serial number range 180000*-190000*(estimate)--1914-only
    Fifth variation, large font used in company name and state not spelled out (MASS), serial number range 190000*-200000* (estimate)----1915-only
    Sixth Variation, state name in address spelled out (MASSACHUSETTS) serial number range 200000*-220000* (estimate)-1916-1924
    Seventh Variation, new grip frame it is now same width as rest of frame no step down for grips, serial number range unknown------1925-1942
    After 1930 listed in catalogs as: HAMMERLESS No. 40 TOP BREAK 22 Rimfire7 shot and as: HAMMERLESS No. 45 TOP BREAK 32 S&W 5 shot
    VALUE: 100%=$265 60%=$75 Add 10% premium for blue finish; 20% premium 4”, 5” or 6” barrel; 20% premium for 22 rimfire caliber

    the proof marks are no government so the one with them was most likely imported by a wholersaler for civilian use.

    bill
  3. Old Gun Guy

    Old Gun Guy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
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    527
    Location:
    N. Utah
    Bill,
    Thank you for the information. I appreciate the efforts you put forth in these various gun forums. I have questions about my Iver Johnson revolvers, but as I stated in another post, I have your book coming any day that should contain the answers. On a related note, I ordered a new ratchet lever and spring for my H&R 732. I just couldn't get this one to work. I hope I have better luck with the new one.
    Thanks again Bill!
    Old Gun Guy
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