H&R pre 999 Sportsman Double Action

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by vanagon40, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. vanagon40

    vanagon40 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    I just picked up my newly purchased Harrington & Richardson "SPORTSMAN" DOUBLE ACTION. The revolver is a top break, 9 shot, .22 LR revolver. The Serial Number is D29011. I think it was manufactured sometime in the mid 1930s. The left side of the revolver is engraved:

    H. & R. "SPORTSMAN"
    DOUBLE ACTION

    The rights side is engraved:

    22 LONG RIFLE CTG.

    The top of the revolver is finished in a much duller finish than the rest of the revolver and is engraved as follows:

    HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON ARMS CO.
    WORCESTER, MASS. U.S.A.

    Engraved on the cylinder is PAT.1904730
    PAT.2034632

    There is a screw at the end of the barrel, presumably to adjust the front sight.

    The revolver has the rice frame (single piece grip). The firing pin is on the hammer.

    Here are some photos:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  2. vanagon40

    vanagon40 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Okay,

    So what can you tell me about my new revolver? I really REALLY like it (but in all fairness, I never met a revolver I did not like).

    My real question is: The hammer on this revolver does not hit dead center. The hammer is slightly left of center. In that regard, there are marks on the hammer where the hammer rubs the frame on the left side. See the photo below.

    Is this normal or abnormal? I just purchased this revolver, so I have no idea whether this has always been the way the revolver fired or if the revolver was dropped or otherwise damaged causing the hammer to shift to the left.

    My initial inclination is to believe this is not a problem and to shoot the hell out of this revolver and ignore the off-center hammer. I paid way too much for this revolver, I really do not want to put more money in it. I suppose I could put the revolver in a vise and beat the hammer with a hammer (but I really hate to take gunsmithing to that level).

    So what is up with the off-center hammer?

    If it would really help, I could provide more detailed photos, but I can assure you the photos would show the hammer parked to the left side of the frame.

    PHOTO TO BE POSTED THIS AM
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  3. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,174
    Location:
    houston, tx
    SPORTSMAN DOUBLE ACTION MODEL 999
    LARGE FRAME TOP BREAK . ---------------------------1932-1952
    Large frame double action top break revolver; Caliber 22 rimfire (short, long & long rifle) cylinder capacity 9 rounds, 22 Winchester Rim Fire (WRF)cylinder capacity 7 rounds; Safety rim cylinder; blue finish only; barrel length 6 inches (ribbed); Automatic cylinder stop; Sights: rear adjustable for windage only, Three different front sights used, full Blade, Partridge type & Partridge type pinned to barrel top rib, all non-adjustable; Finger rest trigger guard; One piece oversized checkered Walnut grips (birds head grip frame shape, Rice frame); frame mounted firing pin, hammer face is flat. Cylinder release is long pivoting lever on right side of frame (there are two different version of this). Serial numbered in its own series from 01 up to at least 89761 by the end of 1939. Starting in 1940 letter codes were used. Early production until about 1934 the letter code ā€œDā€ was used to denote double action
    First Variation; round heavy weight ribbed barrel with Blade non-adjustable front sight ---1932- to before April 18,1933
    Second Variation; adjustable front sight--------1933 (after 4-18-1933)-
    Third Variation; firing pin moved to hammer---------------------1934
    Fourth Variation; three inch barrel was offered------------------1935
    Fifth Variation; two patent dates marked on cylinder (before there was only one)--1936 (after 3-17)-1937
    Sixth Variation; top of barrel markings moved to right side of barrel----1937-1939
    Seventh Variation; 22 WFR caliber dropped, 3 inch barrel dropped-----1940-1941
    Eight Variation; one piece over size plastic grips are standard, limited production during WWII years----1942-1952
    VALUE: 100%=$425 60%=$195 Add 15% premium for 1st Variation; %0% for 22WRF caliber; 30% for 3ā€ barrel (scarce) (See Post 1952 Section for Models 2 & 3)


    this is most likely a 3rd variation manufactured 1933 or 1934. the problem with the hammer is most likely due to being dropped at one time or another. as long as the hammer/firing pin is striking the the cartridge it should be fine. do not use a hammer on it. i personally would remove the hammer and lay it on a flat surface to see just how bent it is and then maybe try to file some of the area that is Rubbing. there are replacement hammers for this model available from the used parts suppliers.
    bill
  4. vanagon40

    vanagon40 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Mr. Goforth,

    Thank you for the response.

    As an initial matter, I was joking about putting the gun in a vise and beating it with a hammer.

    Two follow-up questions.

    Why is this not most likely a fifth generation? I have two patent numbers (not patent dates) on the cylinder. (I am in no way suggesting that you are incorrect or that I know anything about this other than what you have posted. Just that maybe I did not make clear in my original post that there were two patent numbers on ths cylinder.)

    Is replacing a hammer a do-it-yourself project? I have absolutely no experience in gunsmithing and no gunsmithing tools. I understand that I should not even use the screwdrivers in my toolbox to adjust any screws on a firearm, special tools (e.g., screwdrivers) are required.
  5. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,174
    Location:
    houston, tx
    i hope i am not giving the users of this fourm the impression that i am perfect and never make mistakes. i do make mistakes quite often and some time miss small points of a post. i primarly based my opinion on age because of the low 5 digit serial number with the D letter code. other early D letter codes i have seen all have the early production features but this one could very well been manufactured in 1943. in 1940 H&R started the new serial number series where letters codes were used to denote year of manufacture. they started 1940 with the "A" letter code so "D" would have been 1943. as 1943 was during the war very very few civilian arms were actually manufactured. H&R did manufacture a few civilian models during 1942 thru 1945. i have seen a couple of model 922's with the "E" (1944)letter code. as this revolver does have some of the features of latter mnufactured model 999 it very well could have been manufactured in 1943. i just haven't seen one yet i could call 1943 but this may be the first.
    bill
  6. vanagon40

    vanagon40 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Bill,

    Sorry to take so long to respond, but I have been having trouble accessing the site.

    Correct me if Iā€™m wrong, but since my revolver has patent number 2034632 inscribed on the cylinder and patent number 2034632 was issued on March 17, 1936, for the Rice grip, I would conclude that the revolver (or at least the cylinder) was manufactured after 3/17/36. (I suppose it might be possible that a newer cylinder was placed on an older revolver, but my research has revealed at least one other person who has a Sportsman with an almost identical serial number (D prefix) and same patent number on the cylinder. Seems more likely we both would have revolvers with original parts than both have revolvers with swapped cylinders.)

    Therefore, it seems to me that my revolver was made after 3/17/36 and before 1/1/40, or in 1943. Are there any other details that would help narrow this down?

    Thanks,

    Jim
  7. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,174
    Location:
    houston, tx
    jim,
    for now i can't think of any thing else except what has been discussed. in view it has all the features of a post 1936 and the D letter code i believe it would be safe to say this is a 1943 production. in my opinion this is a rare find.
    bill
  8. platercross

    platercross New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Greetings folks. I'm new to this forum and may be asking something stupid but here goes... I too have a Sportsman with a 6" barrel but there are two patent numbers on the cylinder 190473 and 203461. There is another number below the trigger guard of 50318. None of these numbers have a letter so when would this pistol have been built?

    Thanks Tom
  9. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Messages:
    2,976
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    There are several features that peg the YOM to before 1940:
    The cylinder release is the lever on the right side of the frame. By serial number 56515 the release had been moved to the left side, which continued thru the 'A' (1940) and later prefixed pieces in my collection.
    Also around that time the manufacturer's name and address had been moved to the right side of the barrel.
    My 'A' and 'B' marked pieces have a different hammer spur shape - it's heavier. The one on your piece matches my earlier pieces.
    The single action sear release lever on yours is shaped differently than the 1940 and afterwards pieces.
    The barrel latch is held in place by a pin on post 1940 pieces, whereas the earlier ones was attached with a screw.

    Your piece is definitely pre 1940.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum H&R sportsman .22 double action Jul 23, 2013
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum H&R sportsman .22 double action value Jun 1, 2012
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum H&R Sportsman Double Action Aug 7, 2010
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum H&R Sportsman Double Action May 5, 2010
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum H&R Sportsman Double Action Jul 2, 2009