H&R Handy Gun 32-20 8" Rifled Barrel

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by bullfever, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. bullfever

    bullfever New Member

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    Does anyone know how rare or hard to find the H&R Handy Guns are with the 32-20 rifled barrel? How about the value? Matching numbers on the barrel and stock, does NOT have the wire stock and is in good shape. Also the barrel is only 8" with front and rear original sites. I will try and post pictures when I get home. Just looking for some information as I hear they only made about 100 of these? Thanks
  2. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Can you post a picture? I think there may be a terminology conflict here because ASFAIK H&R Handy Guns were smoothbore. You may have something else like a cutdown Handy Rifle or a sleeved Handy Gun.
  3. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    They were manufactured in 32-20 and ..22 Rim fire.
  4. bullfever

    bullfever New Member

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    I will try and post a picture this evening when I get home, but it is not a cutdown or sleeved. The little information I found on the internet does say that some are rifled like the .22 and 32-20. The 410 and 28 were smoothbore which makes them illegal to own without the proper ATF paperwork.
  5. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    The 32-20 is scarce and worth more than even the smooth bores. Condition is every thing, even one in poor condition is listed at over 500 dollars. If you can post some clear picturest you will receive a better value estimate.
  6. bullfever

    bullfever New Member

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    These might be the only 32-20 images on the web, at least I can't find any. You can see by the photos it is an 8" barrel and notice tapper from the end of the barrel to allow for the 32-20 shell, almost shaped a little like the 32-20. All the information I find says they made these in 12", doesn't say anythig about the 8". Any help or knowledge of this gun would be appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  7. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Now that is nice!! I didn't know they even existed.
  8. montezumaz

    montezumaz Former Guest

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  9. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    bullfever, in addition to a loop on the trigger guard, the barrel assembly on the one shown in montezuma's link looks more "normal" than yours, with a straight tapered barrel and a more streamlined forend. The rear sight is also different. Are you sure yours doesn't have a skillfully sleeved shotgun barrel? Is your forend attached with a screw? Show us a closeup of barrel breech face and extractor.
  10. bullfever

    bullfever New Member

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    This gun is not a "skillfully" sleeved shotgun barrel. Their is no way a 410 shell would ever come close to fitting anywhere in this barrel. The end of the barrel doesn't have a large enough diameter to allow a this. Their is no extra screws, just the one on the bottom in the wood like the one in the link. Just before it tapers down it has made in the US (typical for these guns) in front of the sites and then it tapers down. I have seen pictures of about 10 different rear sites so a different rear site means nothing. I have also seen half of the guns with or without the loop on the trigger guard so again means nothing. Also the one in the link is a 12" barrel and not the 8". If you look the links picture the barrel tappers gradually and I would assume to get the same size at the end of the barrel they would have done the more drastic taper like mine shows to get the size at the end for the 8". I am having a professional look at the gun at lunch time and should have some more information.
  11. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    bullfever, the forward part of the barrel could obviously not be sleeved; what I meant was a barrel sleeved into the larger diameter rear portion.

    I'm not trying to inflame, but am puzzled by the odd looking forend, that looks more like a cutoff shotgun forend than the ones on other Handy Guns.

    The trigger guard loop and sight probably are insignificant, but where'd you see 10 different sights when we've only been shown yours and the one linked?

    It could be a one-of-a-kind special order, or the barrel shortened and forward part turned down by an owner.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  12. FlashBang

    FlashBang Member

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    The H&R Handy-Gun was a smoothbore pistol, manufactured from 1921-1934 by the Harrington & Richardson Arms Company in Worcester, Massachusettes. It was primarily made in .410 and 28 gauges, with smooth bore barrel lengths of 20.32cm (8") or 31.12cm (12.25"). The Handy-Gun was made with an unusual tiger-stripe finish, simulating color case hardening. An extremely rare variation of the H&R Handy-Gun was made with a rifled barrel in both .32-20 WCF (Winchester Center-Fire) and .22 Rimfire calibers. There were only 100 Handy-Gun's made in the .32-20 WCF caliber using a 12.25" barrel. There are none known to have been made using the 8" barrel. Interestingly enough, these guns—if not equipped or accompanied by a shoulder stock—are not considered a 'firearm' under the National Firearms Act of 1934 and instead are classified as an AOW ( Any Other Weapon ). Possession and transfer of these requires an NFA Tax stamp under the NFA of 1934. If that is a factory barrel, and not one cut down by the owner, you would have an extremely rare and valueable piece. I would recommend you do some in depth research and contact some experts to verify exactly what you have.

    Information gathered using Google
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  13. bullfever

    bullfever New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the info on the gun. I am having an expert look at it and see if we can figure out what I really have here. The one gentleman here in my office that is pretty knowledgeable with guns can't see anything that looks modified and thinks the reason for the drastic taper has to do with the shortened barrel length. He also likes the fact that it has such a high number (both matching on the barrel and the stock) and their might have been a change in design right towards the end of production for the shorter 8" barrel. He has a feeling that out of the 85 - 100 made only a very few made it out the door with the 8" length. He did find one reference in some article that meantions possibilty of a few 7" or 8" barrels might exist. Unfortunately H&R didn't keep very good records and this might be hard to verify. I will keep everyone posted and maybe, just maybe I have a gem here?
  14. FlashBang

    FlashBang Member

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    All research I have seen says Jim Hauff is pretty much the DeFacto expert for all things H&R. He would be the person to get a final answer from. Jim is a member here.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  15. bullfever

    bullfever New Member

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    I have an e-mail into Jim, but I think I saw a post that he is having some health issues. I hope he gets well soon.
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