H & R sportsman pistol questions

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Scott L, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Scott L

    Scott L New Member

    Nov 22, 2010
    I have a H & R Sportsman pistol. But it doesn't match what others have posted on the H & R pistols, that I have read. On one side of the barrel it has 22WRF CTG on it I think it requires the newer WMR 22 Mag rounds. It has only a 7 shot cylinder and has about a 9 inch barrel. It is a break open type of pistol. If the serial number is 1/2 way down the handel it has a different numbering system than what I have read about on this forum also. On the handel are the numbers 32. that's it. The rest of the numbers do not look to be worn off? Can anyone help me with about a year it was made or any other information that maybe interesting? Does this gun have much value? H & R did not have records for older pistols.
    Scott L
  2. Been a long time since I have seen or heard of a WRF but it rang a tiny little bell in my pointy little head. Do not try and load 22 magnums.

    Can't help with the date, sorry.

  3. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    houston, tx
    this revolver is chambered for the "22 winchester rim fire" NOT the "22 winchester magnum". this chambering is rare in any of the revolver H&R made but was a standard catalog offering in a couple. in the model 999 double action sportsman it was made from about 1932 to 1939. pay atten. to the last line of the values section posted below.

    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 1933 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; 50% for 22WRF caliber; 30% for 3ā€ barrel (scarce)
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  4. Scott L

    Scott L New Member

    Nov 22, 2010
    Thank you for your quick replies.
    We were told we could use the WMR rounds, but we will not use them any more. Fireing about 2 dozen rounds do you think there was any damage to the cylinder or the pistol?
    Are the cylinders interchangeable, could a 22 LR cylinder be used in this pistol?
    Scott L
  5. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    houston, tx
    i would think that if your revolver will chamber a 22 winchester magnum cartridge the cylinder chambers have been reamed a little. the over all length of the 22 Magnum is longer than that of the 22 WRF cartridge. any firing of the 22 magnum in this frame will cause the frame to stretch.

    the 22 LR cartridge will fit a 22 WRM cylinder but very loosely and ignition will not be 100%. when companies made convertible cylinder for their revolvers in 22LR/22MAG they used the larger bore diameter of the 22 Magnum for the barrels and used seperate cylinders.

    after the 22 winchester magnum cartridge was introduced H&R never chambered the top break model 999 in this chambering. they did chamber their solid frame for this cartridge.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  6. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Scott L,
    As a long-time collector of H&Rs, I must say I'm impressed by your find. I've NEVER seen one of the SPORTSMAN revolvers chambered for the .22WRF rounds. I do have two 22 SPECIALS in .22 WRF, but the SPORTSMAN in that has eluded me - and I've seen several hundred or more. CCI/SPEER offers the .22 WRF in 50 round plastic packs for around $14. I've bought two packs and have fired a few in one of my 22 SPECIALS. That rare chambering certainly does add some extra value to your piece.
    One question - the SPECIAL's cylinder is marked on the breech face with 'W.R.F' (see picture) - does your SPORTSMAN have a similar marking? Incidentally, I, within the past couple days, came across some information indicating that the SPORTSMAN chambered for the WRF round was called the Model 998, at least in a 1938 catalogue.
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