H&R Sportsman Model 777?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Old Gun Guy, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Old Gun Guy

    Old Gun Guy Member

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  2. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Old,
    There certainly was/is such an animal. With the influence of Walter Roper, a national and international Bullseye shooting champ, gun designer and gun smith - who H&R had retained around 1930 or so to improve their SINGLE SHOT TARGET PISTOL (later known as Model 195), H&R offered what was claimed to be the finest target shooting revolver in the world in 1938. It was a refinement of the SPORTSMAN SINGLE ACTION Model 199 as devised and designed by Roper. This model was named the ULTRA SPORTSMAN Model 777. It was completely hand assembled from specially selected parts that were specially hardened and hand honed; single action lock work with a factory set trigger pull "weight" of 2.5 to 3 lbs; short hammer throw and very fast lock time; had special cut rifling; fully adjustable front and rear sights (similar to the Model 199); 9 shot cylinder was exact length of the then factory standard OAL for .22lr cartridge - to prevent any "bullet jump" in an extended cylinder; built on the "Rice" type frame - eleven (11) different style monogrips were offered; had a unique vertical cylinder release lever on the right side of the frame. Production of this model was fairly short lived (perhaps less than a year - sometime in 1938 into early 1939) and very limited. I have seen s/n 's slightly over 1000 - total production is estimated at less than 1200 pieces. Serial numbered in its own range with serial number prefix starting with "U" - for ULTRA. I don't recall exact price - but it approached $50 and may have been more of a special order item than production piece.
    Dropped in early 1939, the Model 777 was replaced by the EUREKA SPORTSMAN Model 196 - which was a further refinement of the Target shooters Revolver - and while incorporating some features of the 777, included innovative and unique features on it own right. The EUREKA was touted as the finest target revolver ever made - and more expensive than the 777. Approx. 300 of the Model 196s were produced. This model presents an entire story unto itself. If interested, I can provide details under a separate heading.
    Current retail value of the Model 777 can run as high as $800+ for a pristine, mint example - (no NIB pieces have been observed) with fitted case and another $150 or so. Lesser condition pieces will sell for what ever the seller can get. This model does not show up very often for sale and is considered one of the top desireable items for an H&R collector. I paid close to $800 for my 98% example about 10 years ago, with the fitted case (no pics of the case, right now.) See below for pics of this model.

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  3. Old Gun Guy

    Old Gun Guy Member

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    Jim,
    Thanks for cluing me in on these fine looking revolvers. You have a collection to be envied by all, and the knowledge to go along with it. I'm usually so busy working on the beaters that I have a tendency to forget the about the nice H&R's.
    I have a couple of older Sportsmans. The top picture is a 199, serial # S195xx), and the 999 is serial # D217xx. They aren't near as nice as yours are, but I'm still happy with them.
    Old Gun Guy
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  4. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Old Gun Guy,
    Can you answer my survey questions on these two SPORTSMAN revolvers - I don't have all the info and can't get it all from the pics?
    1. Serial Number (partials are welcome, but entire numbers will help more)?
    2. Firing pin on hammer or mounted in frame?
    3. Safety rim on cylinder? PATENT APPLIED FOR; one patent number; two patent numbers?
    4. Cylinder release: 1" long lever on right side -or- small push button on left side of frame right in front of cylinder.
    5. Location of Manufacturer's address - on top of barrel -or- on right side?
    6. DA or SA?
    7. Adjustable or fixed front sight? If fixed - soldered in slot or pinned in slot?
  5. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Old Gun Guy,
    Can you answer my survey questions on these two SPORTSMAN revolvers - I don't have all the info and can't get it all from the pics?
    1. Serial Number (partials are welcome, but entire numbers will help more)?
    2. Firing pin on hammer or mounted in frame?
    3. Safety rim on cylinder? PATENT APPLIED FOR; one patent number; two patent numbers?
    4. Cylinder release: 1" long lever on right side -or- small push button on left side of frame right in front of cylinder.
    5. Location of Manufacturer's address - on top of barrel -or- on right side?
    6. DA or SA?
    7. Adjustable or fixed front sight? If fixed - soldered in slot or pinned in slot?
  6. Old Gun Guy

    Old Gun Guy Member

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    Jim,
    These are the same 2 revolvers that I submitted info on your H&R Sportsman research post.
    Old Gun Guy
  7. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Dang, well slap my butt and call me spanky - those XXs threw me off.
    Sorry, buddy. Another senile moment.
  8. jamesjo

    jamesjo New Member

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    Old gun guy,
    Here's a pic of my model 777.
    # 957, it is in nowhere near the condition of Jim's, but still very nice.
    I shot it regularly when I first bought it, truly a joy to shoot.
    Jim's advice changed my mind about shooting it any more, too valuable to take a chance breaking something with no available parts.
    It shoots way better than I am able to take advantage of anyway!
    Actually most revolvers are capable of shooting better than I am able to take advantage of!

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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
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