H&R Top Break Year of Manufacture

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by GrampaD, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. GrampaD

    GrampaD New Member

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    Hi Y'all. I inherited a five shot H&R Top Break pistol and would like to date the weapon. The 2" barrel has "H. & R. Arms Co. Worchester Mass" stamped on top of the barrel rib. It is blued and hammerless with a serial number 27xxx stamped under the top release tab and partial serial numbers printed in two places on the cylinder (between ajoining cylinders) and on the frame under the hard rubber grip with a target logo. The weapon came with some "Peters 32 S&W" (short) rounds which I presume to be the correct ammunition. Thanks for any help.
  2. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    GrampaD,
    Welcome to the forum. Sound like you have a Small Frame HAMMERLESS BICYCLE model with the 2" barrel. As such it is chambered for 5 x .32 S&W, but I can't tell from the serial number if it is a 1st Model BLACKPOWDER or a 2nd Model SMOKELESS powder piece. The serial number for the Small Frame Hammerless gun are all over the place and don't seem to have a sequence. Is there an 'H' stamped into the bottom side of the top strap? Is there a cartridge stamp on the left side of the barrel?
  3. GrampaD

    GrampaD New Member

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    Thank you, Jim, and thanks for responding. First, I was in error about two partial serial numbers on the cylinder. Actually, there is one partial number on the cylinder and same partial number on the extractor.
    There does not appear to be anything other than the 5 digit serial number stamped into the bottom side of the top strap. The only thing stamped on the barrel is "H. & R. Arms Co. Worchester Mass" on the rib; no cartridge stamp on the left side of the barrel.
  4. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    GrampaD,
    Your piece is a 1st Model Small Frame HAMMERLESS BICYCLE. Because of the short barrels, there wasn't much room for a lot of stamping on the top rib. 1st Models were made between 1899 and 1904. It was made to handle BLACK POWDER ONLY loads, this from the lack of a cartridge stamp on the barrel. Go easy on it, it's over 100 years old. I believe that the 1st Model BP are fairly scarce - I do not have an example in my collection, but I do have a "few" of the 2nd Models. Nice find.
  5. GrampaD

    GrampaD New Member

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    Jim; thank you for all your research efforts. Sounds like I need to oil it up and retire this piece rather than take it to the gun range and run some 32 S&W short cartridges through it.
  6. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    GrampaD,
    You're welcome.
    I think that would be a wise move.
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