H&R Sportsman 22 info

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by kdodlt, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. kdodlt

    kdodlt New Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    I am new to this list and I am hoping that someone here would be kind enough to help me.

    I recently acquired an H&R Sportsman double action 9 shot (22 long rifle) pistol with a break breech.

    It has black plastic handles. On the inside of the grip there is a stamped number
    A5683. If I take the grip off there is a stamped number 5683 with a "Y" underneath it. Not sure which is the serial number.

    Can anyone tell me the model, year it was made and approx value? The handles have a small crack in them but the rest shows normal wear and tear.

    Also, can I get wooden or Pachmayr grips for this? I'm not crazy about the plastic.

  2. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Welcome to the forum.
    Your SPORTSMAN DOUBLE ACTION revolver is a 7th Variation made in 1940 ('A' prefix indicates that year.) The Serial number is that found on the front strap of the grip frame. The partial serial number (usually without letter prefix) will be found on the left side of the grip frame, under the top strap, and three (sometimes 4) numbers on both the breech face of the cylinder and on the extractor star and most often on the upper barrel latching piece. Matching numbers in all those places indicates that the piece is all original. Many H&R revolvers of that era are seen with one, two or more letters stamped into both sides of the grip frame - those are most likely inspectors/installers marks applied at various steps of production. The inclusion of full or partial serial numbers on all main groups was done to keep individually hand fitted pieces together as a unit after final finishing.
    If it shows "normal" wear and tear - I'm assuming maybe 80% finish remaining and all parts work as designed - your gun is currently RETAILING in the $225 to $265 range.
    If you are lucky enough to find the "Rice" type, monogrip in wood - your best chance will be on one of the firearms on-line auction sites - they show up occasionally. I know of NO Pachmayr grip that will fit that firearm - the frame style was discontinued in 1952. BTW - the wooden grip will have the exact same contour as the nylon grip currently on your gun and attach in the same manner. Begining in 1940, the nylon/plastic monogrip began to replace checkered walnut grip of earlier variations and along with brown grips of the same composition became the standard issue during WW2.
    Good luck - any other questions? Please ask.

    Here's a pic of a 1940 with a checkered, walnut grip:

  3. kdodlt

    kdodlt New Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Thanks Jim, excellent information!
    So why the A5683 on the front strap and 5683 "Y" on the left side of the grip frame?
    Any significance to the "Y"?
  4. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    You're welcome.
    The "REAL" full serial number of the SPORTSMAN pieces (as well as other models that shared that grip style) of that time period was always stamped into the front strap of the grip frame - in exactly the same place and manner as is yours. Begininning in 1940, H&R began applying a letter code prefix to the numerical serial number - starting with 'A' equaling 1940. Why H&R chose to place them there is (speculatively) that it was the only part of the grip frame that was exposed to casual viewing; the frame/receiver of the gun was considered the main part of the gun; it was a convention that H&R adopted.

    The 'Y' as well as other letter stamps on the flat parts of the grip frame has no known meaning, today, but was most likely a sign that a certain procedure performed on or function tested on that particular piece, was tested and passed certain criteria or test requirements. Many different letters or combinations of letters are noted from that era. They (it) were (was) most likely inspector marks placed there during the production. QC/QA markings?
    Check out the attached pic to view various "inspector's" stamps on the grip frames of H&R "BOBBY" revolvers made during the same period as your SPORTSMAN.

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