Harrington 1883 & 1896 Break top Revolvers

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by jefferis, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. jefferis

    jefferis New Member

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    Hi folks, I have a couple of old harrington and richardson 32 cal pistols inherited from my great-great uncle. One is an 1883 model with no trigger guard. I have not cleaned them up, and they appear in fair condition and could probably be cleaned up nicely, but since I'm not a collector, I don't know what the proper procedure is. My goal is to get enough perhaps for a trade for a new 9mm Springfield XD (which has a sale through January) or something similar. (My wife wants to get a new one before the Dems make it illegal to buy them :)

    They are both self ejecting break top revolvers. What is interesting about the oldest is that is has no trigger guard, and the newer one has no external hammer. I've taken pictures at the links below and they are not retouched or ordered, so the blacker one is the newer model. The older one appears to have the manufacture date stamped on it, as well as patents for 1871, 75, & 77. The newer one has patents for '87, '95, and '96, unless that is manufacture dates. Both have serial numbers on the bottom. The actions still work.

    [​IMG]

    I'm trying to get an idea of the value
    See the rest of the photos here.
    http://adobe.kodakgallery.com/Share...deshow.jsp?mode=fromshare&Ux=0&localeid=en_US


    I read on other posts about these that the newer model may not be worth that much, but I'm hoping that the older one has some value. I can give more details if needed.

    Thanks
    Jeff
  2. jefferis

    jefferis New Member

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    Re: Harrington 1883 & 1896 serial numbers

    The hammerless serial number is 7670x
    and the older one is 5C77x or maybe 5677x, since it appears the stamping of the number is not deep enough.
  3. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    kodakgallery told me my web browser wasn't good enough to view your pictures properly, so all i have to go on is the one posted here. it is not an H&R but a S&W model 1 1/2 manufactured 1878-1892. flayderman's guide to antique firearms list this model as very good $175 and excellent $400.
    bill
  4. jefferis

    jefferis New Member

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    Re: Smith&Wesson 1883 / H&R 1896 Break top Revolvers

    I am VERY sorry. I had trouble reading the top without a magnifying glass and my glasses. I was able to read the H&R top, but now home, after Thanksgiving, and looking with a magnifying glass, you are absolutely correct. It is a S&W.
    I put up the pictures again on a different service, in which you can look at the individual photos. It should be okay to view. If not, let me know.
    http://web.me.com/jefferis/The_Wanderings_of_An_Eclectic_Mind/Harrington%26Richardson.html

    I appreciate the help.
  5. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the spur tirgger model is difinately a S&W Model 1 1/2 but the hammerless is a Harrington & Richardson model. i can not see enough details in the dark pictures to give you any thing but general information.

    H&R HAMMERLESS FIRST MODEL SMALL FRAME TOP BREAK
    (BLACK POWDER)-----------------------------1899-1904
    Small Frame Double Action Hammerless Top Break revolver with double top post barrel latch; caliber and cylinder capacity, 32 S&W (5 rounds),
    None of the catalogs I have seem indicates the First Model was offered in 22 rimfire; finish is nickel or blue (optional); grips are hard rubber with
    a target logo at the top; standard barrel length is 3 ¼ inch, with 4, 5 and 6 inch optional; rebounding hammer; automatic cylinder stop; no caliber
    markings on left side of barrel. NO CALIBER MARKING ON LEFT SIDE OF BARREL DESIGNED FOR BLACK POWDER CARTRIDGE PRESSURES
    First Variation, patent dates 10-4-87, 4-2-95, 4-7-96, serial number range; 01*-82000*(Estimate)-------------------1899-1903
    Second Variation, patent dates 5-14-89,4-2-95, 4-6-96, serial number range; 82000*-90000*(Estimate)------------1904-Only
    VALUE: 100%=$255 60%=$95
    Add 10% premium for blue finish; 20% premium 4”, 5” or 6” barrel

    H&R HAMMERLESS SECOND MODEL SMALL FRAME TOP BREAK
    (SMOKELESS POWDER)------------------------------------------1905-1941
    Small Frame Double Action Hammerless Top Break revolver with double top post barrel latch; caliber and cylinder capacity, 32 S&W (5 rounds),
    22 Rimfire (7 rounds); finish is nickel or blue (optional); grips are hard rubber with a target logo at the top; standard barrel length is 3 ¼ inch, with
    4, 5 and 6 inch optional; rebounding hammer; automatic cylinder stop, caliber marking on left side of barrel.
    CALIBER MARKINGS ON LEFT SIDE OF BARREL DESIGNED FOR SMOKELESS POWDER CARTRIDGE PRESSURES ONLY
    First Variation, patent dates 5-14-89, 4-2-95, 4-7-96, serial number range 90000*-100000* (estimate)------------------------------1905-1906
    Second Variation, patent dates 4-2-95, 4-7-96 serial number range 100000*-120000* (estimate)------------------------------------1907-1909
    Third Variation, patent date 10-8-95, serial number range 120000*-180000* (estimate)--------------------------------------------1910-1913
    Fourth Variation no patent dates small font use for company name. serial number range 180000*-190000*(estimate)------------------1914-only
    Fifth variation, large font used in company name and state not spelled out (MASS), serial number range 190000*-200000* (estimate)----1915-only
    Sixth Variation, state name in address spelled out (MASSACHUSETTS) serial number range 200000*-220000* (estimate)----------------1916-1924
    Seventh Variation, new grip frame it is now same width as rest of frame no step down for grips, serial number range unknown------------1925-1942
    After 1930 listed in catalogs as: HAMMERLESS No. 40 TOP BREAK 22 Rimfire7 shot
    After 1930 listed in catalogs as: HAMMERLESS No. 45 TOP BREAK 32 S&W 5 shot
    VALUE: 100%=$265 60%=$75 Add 10% premium for blue finish; 20% premium 4”, 5” or 6” barrel; 20% premium for 22 rimfire caliber

    FYI; the S&W Model 1 1/2 is also considered a black powder only revolver
    bill
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  6. jefferis

    jefferis New Member

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    Thank you very much Bill. Since the blue finish H&R serial number is in the 76,000 range, and the patents match the dates 10-4-87, 4-2-95, 4-7-96, I assume it is a first variation. The value statements are based upon the condition: 100% vs 60%, mint vs fair? That information at least gives me a ball park when talking to a dealer for a trade in.
    Are there any recommended or not recommended procedures for cleaning up the guns? Aside from oiling and wiping them. I.e., is getting off surface roughness better left to a restorer when looking at value for resale?

    Thanks again for you help. I appreciate it.
    Jeff
  7. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    yes those are the markings for the first model (balck powder) first variation manufactured betwee 1899 and 1903.

    for clean use very fine steel wool (0000) and a good gun oil to kill any active rust other leave alone.
    bill
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  8. jefferis

    jefferis New Member

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Bill.
    Jeff
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