Harrington and Richardson Revolver help

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Old Wheelgun, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Old Wheelgun

    Old Wheelgun New Member

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    Hello. I have an old Harrington and Richardson large frame top break revolver in 32 S&W. It's marked auto ejecting 32 S&W CTGEs on the left side of the barrel so it is a smokeless era gun. Yesterday I took it out of my safe to wipe it down and I noticed that there is something wrong with the action. It has been sitting in there for a while about 5 months and it was oiled with 3 in 1 by my nephew last time I had it out. When I cocked the hammer a few times to check it over I noticed that there was lots of slop in the cylinder meaning that is turns counter clockwise a lot but it doesn't turn to the next chamber when it does this. Then I removed the cylinder to check it and with the cylinder removed, I cocked the hammer all the way back and the hand comes out. But, if you point the gun straight up the hand falls back into the frame. Then, if I lower the hammer the hand comes back out and then there is tension on it which it is supposed to. The hand is supposed to have tension on it when the gun is cocked and shouldn't fall back into the frame. If you press on the hand when the hammer is all the way forward and the trigger is all the way back in the firing position there is spring or tension on the hand and it is out of the frame. I took the gun apart carefully only the hammer, grips, and mainspring to look down in the action to check the parts and everything is there and the curved spring is still on the hand. What could be the problem??? I have never shot the gun because how how good the condition is and I have never dry fired it? Any help is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  2. Gamemaster 760

    Gamemaster 760 New Member

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    The clocking is bad.

    At some point you had to notice it.

    There are gunsmiths that can rebuild it, but because it was such a cheap gun, it is not worth the bother.

    I have a identical gun that was my great grandmothers. She bought it at the company store when she lived in the coal patch community for a couple of dollars.

    My brothers once asked my dad why my great grandmother had a pistol, he said because when someone robbed your chicken house you didn't call the police, you shot them.

    Dad tried to hunt deer with it one year and he said he was up on a farm and tried to shoot out a window pane on a old barn and couldn't hit it. Put it back up in the rafters. I bought a box of shells for it about 20 years ago and tried to take it deer hunting. Had some deer about 30 yards away and didn't hit a single one.

    The gun was known to spit lead when you shot it. That was because the cylinder was not aligned properly with the bore of the bullet and some of the lead was shaved off the bullet as it passed from the cylinder to the barrel.

    I took it to a gunsmith to have it repaired and he laughed at me and told me that it wasn't worth his time. Would be like putting new tires on a totalled automobile.
  3. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Old Wheelgun,
    If the "hand" is loosely flopping around, there is a broken spring in the action, the one that attaches it to the trigger. A freewheeling cylinder is standard on these, but a floppy pawl is not. Try starting here for parts: http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/Products.aspx?catid=7946
    It will probably cost more to fix this than it has commercial value - if it is an heirloom piece, then the value is inestimable.

    p.s. IMHO: ANYONE who would attempt to hunt deer with a revolver chambered for .32 S&W cartridge, even the Long version - is irresponsible. That cartridge at 30 yards would, if it hit the animal, most likely result in a wound that wouldn't drop it, but condemn it to a long, painful convalescence or slow death.
  4. Old Wheelgun

    Old Wheelgun New Member

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    Thank you Jim. When I took the hammer out and looked down inside, I noticed that the spring on the hand is still connected to the hand in front. The lower part of the spring goes down to the trigger and that part is loose. Is that supposed to be connected to the trigger? The spring on the hand is a flat spring and has a slight curve to it so I don't think it's broke. I don't see any broken pieces down in the action. It is a family heirloom so I would like to fix it.
  5. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Old Wheelgun,
    That loose spring hanging down, should be connected to the trigger lug. How you do that, I don't know - I'm a klutz when it comes to working on those minute parts - I generally do more damage. Good luck. Heirloom is good.

    Here's a link to Numrich's downloadable pdf schematic: http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/Detail.aspx?pid=PDF0112A&catid=7943
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  6. Old Wheelgun

    Old Wheelgun New Member

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    Jim, you mentioned the trigger lug? Is that the hole or notch in the trigger that the bottom of the spring goes into? It looks like there is a hole there or something. If it is, I think that bottom part of the spring may have been maybe silver sautered in place...but i could be wrong. Also, does that spring put tension on the lifter for the double action. The lifter I guess is that bar connected to the trigger that has a hook on it. There is a pin that holds it together to the trigger. That lifter or bar moves forward and backwards only.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  7. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Old Wheelgun,
    You're asking for answers beyond my level of expertise. I do NOT want to conjecture and give you bad information. There are several long time gunsmiths and tinkerers on this site that can most likely tell you what you need to know. Start a new thread and ask your question(s) particularly. Good luck, my friend.
  8. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    There were several trigger units used in H&R revolvers over the years. If you have a wire spring like the one on the right, the wire must be a tight fit in the hand. The wire must not be able to turn in the hole in the hand. If you can pull the spring out of the hand, then you must find a way to tighten it up.

    The hand spring should not be soldered as the heat will take away the temper and the spring will be useless.

    The hand springs were made to slide up and down in the hole in the trigger as the trigger is pulled.

    Note that the hand spring is an important part, it provides power for the lifter and the hand.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  9. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    45Auto..

    That is great information for the triggers, especially the the pics. Can you also provide info in he sear mechanism and pics for that as well?
  10. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    [​IMG]


    The sear is a rather simple part. It's held in place by a cross pin. The pin which holds the trigger guard in place also provides the pivot point for the single action sear. The spring for the sear is usualy a coil spring located in the trigger guard.

    The above image is of the sear and trigger guard from a solid frame H&R revolver. Except for variations in shape and size the general design of the sear remained the same for all of H&R's top brake and solid frame models.
  11. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    Thanks for the quick response and the pic. According to b.goforth I have a small frame premier sixth variation of this handgun and the trigger is held by 2 pins and not screw. What part exactly would keep the trigger from returning forward and not getting stuck. so far I have seen the sear needs to be found and the hand spring for the lifter, but I am not sure that will truely fix the trigger issue.
  12. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    45 AUTO,
    Thanks for stepping in, again, and providing tech support and pics - much better than the schematic to see how parts work together.

    Note that the second picture shows the trigger guard for a 1st Model, 1st or 2nd Variation American Double Action from circa 1983-84. By the time the Premier was introduced, the trigger guard attachment and some of the internals had been changed. Here's a picture of a 2nd Model 6th Variation Premier (1930s to 1942 time span) PREMIER for reference. Jlloyd, I believe this is what your piece looks like???
    IMG_2002_2.jpg
  13. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    You are 100% correct...and as far as I can tell for other posts you are always right on the money. I was curious about one thing though, this gun doesn't have Premier marked on the barrel but it has the same serial #'s stamped on it as the frame.

    I also agree, the pics work wonders compared to a schematic. Hopefully I will find the parts I need on Numrich.com to get the fella working right again.
  14. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    jlloyd,
    Disregard the label on the picture - this needs to be changed - it was an early "diagnosis" which was later changed by Bill when more data on these came in.
    Your piece should have grips that have a "hump" at the top that fit into a semi-circular cutout in the frame. I don't have a picture of an actual 6th Variation, but check this one out - it should be closer to what you have and not have the "PREMIER" name stamped into the barrel.
    IMG_1994_2.jpg
  15. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    Thank you Jim, you are correct, that is much closer if not exactly like it. I am working on a parts list now to see if I can get the internals working right. It looks like it would only be a $40-$60 investment. I think that is pretty reasonable for a gun that isn't worth much. I am actually trying to get it right for my brother so he can pass it along to his son someday.
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