Harrington and Richardson Top Break Revolver .32

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by quickdrawkm, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. quickdrawkm

    quickdrawkm New Member

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    This revolver came from a relative of mine that has since passed away. First of all i would like to know exactly what I have and what it is worth. And second of all if anyone knows whether or not the gun is considered antique or if it is actually a felony for me to posses this gun. The serial number reads 46666 and the chamber matches. I also do not know what kind of ammo this would shoot, if it is safe with modern smokeless ammo. Thanks guys.

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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this revolver is a H&R Premier. it appears to be a first model manufactured between 1895 and 1904. in order to determind the year of manufacture i need to know the markings on the top of the barrel and the serial number found on the botton of the top strap (cylinder must be removed to see).

    the federal government has declared any firearm manufactured before january 1, 1899 an antique and any firearm manufactured after december 31, 1898 a modern firearm. the H&R Premier first model cover both so determing exactly when it was manufactured (with the information ask for above) is important.
    bill
  3. quickdrawkm

    quickdrawkm New Member

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    Thanks so much. The top of the barrel is marked The top of the barrel is marked "HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON ARMS COMPANY, WORCESTER, MASS. U.S.A. PAT. OCT. 4. '87. APR. 2. '95 APR. 7. '96" The serial number reads 46666, with the chamber reading "666."

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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    H&R PREMER FIRST MODEL SMALL FRAME TOP BREAK
    (BLACK POWDER)-------1895-1904
    Small fame double action top break revolver with double top post barrel latch; calibers and cylinder capacity, 22 rimfire-7 rounds, 32 centerfire-5 rounds; Free wheeling cylinder (no automatic cylinder stop); standard finish Nickel with case harden hammer and barrel latch; standard barrel length 3 inches, with 4, 5 and 6 inches available as optional; features a scaled down version of the new frame and double action mechanism introduced in 1890 on the Auto-Ejecting Second Model, does not have caliber marking on left
    NO CALIBER MARKINGS ON LEFT SIDE OF BARREL MANUFACTURED FOR BLACK POWDER CARTRIDGE PRESSURES
    First Variation, patent dates 10-4-87, 5-14-89, 2-23-92, serial number range 01*-15,000 (estimate)--------------------------1895-April 1896
    Second Variation, patent dates 10-4-87, 5-14-89, 4-2-95, 4-7-96, serial number range 15,000*-20,000* (estimate)------------May 1896
    Third Variation, patent dates 10-4-87, 4-2-95, 4-7-96, serial number range 20,000* to 100,000* (estimate)---------------------1897-1898
    Fourth Variation, automatic cylinder stop same patent dates as 3rd variation several different serial number series that may have letter codes---1899-1903
    Fifth Variation use different font in barrel markings and may have an A letter code in the serial number---------------------------------1904 -only
    VALUE: 100%=$285 60%=$75 Add 10% premium for blue finish; 20% premium 4”, 5” or 6” barrel; 20% premium for 22 rimfire caliber

    if this revolver has an automatic cylinder stop it is a fourth variation (1899-1903. if the cylinder is free wheeling it is a third variation (1897-1898)

    bill
  5. quickdrawkm

    quickdrawkm New Member

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    Thanks so much. You really cleared everything up. My only question is where would I find such ammo that is "black powder cartridge pressure"? I foundhttp://www.cheaperthandirt.com/67361-5.html, but not only does it seem to be a normal smokeless bullet, it also is sold out. Would I need to load my own?
  6. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    i do NOTrecommend firing any firearms manufactured over 100 years ago because there is no way to determine the type of care or abuse that took place in its life time and how many round of smokeless ammo has already been fired in it. this revolver could handle several thousand more rounds or it could blow out the top of the barrel and cylinder on the very next round. you just never know.
    bill
  7. patriotsinger

    patriotsinger New Member

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    Mr. GoForth-I also have an inherited h&r top-break. Marking on top of barrel are-Harrington and Richardson Arms Worcester Mass USA and Pat. Oct 4, '87 & Aug. 8, '89, April 2, '95 and April 7, 1896. I can find no caliber markings anywhere. Gun has a 3 1/4" barrel, is nickeled, has an automatic ejector. It is .32 caliber, six-shot. It does not have a projection other than the trigger itself inside the trigger guard. I need to order a part that goes inside the hinge which causes the automatic ejector to work, but am unsure of the model I have. I don't know if it's considered large framed or small framed. Can you help me out on this? I appreciate your time. Thanks, Keith
  8. patriotsinger

    patriotsinger New Member

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    Mr. GoForth- I forgot to give you a serial number. It's D53703. Thanks again!
  9. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this one is a auto-ejecting second model 5th variation. serial number D53703 was manufactured in 1899

    AUTOMATIC EJECTING SECOND MODEL (NEW FRAME TARGET LOGO GRIPS)
    (BLACK POWDER) ---------------------------------1890-1904
    New frame shape and new hard rubber grip panels with Target Logo, Auto-ejecting mechanism, Calibers 32 S&W, 6 shot cylinder capacity, 38 S&W caliber 5 shot cylinder capacity, nickel finish (blue optional), barrel lengths of 2½ (rare), 3¼ (standard), 4, 5 & 6 inches available,
    “IF THERE IS NO CALIBER MARKING ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BARREL THEN IT WAS MANUFACTURED FOR BLACK POWDER”
    Top of barrel markings include company name and address and patent dates.
    First Variation; one patent date OCT-4-87 only-----------1890-1892
    Second Variation one patent date marked OCT-4-1887 (year marked in full)---1890-1892*
    Third Variation three patent dates, Oct-4-1887, May 14 & Aug-6-89-------1893-Only*
    Fourth Variation three patent dates Oct-4-87, May-14 & Aug-6-89
    (note 87 date des not have full year markings)--------1894-1896*
    Fifth Variation five patent dates Oct-4-87, May 14 & Aug-6-89, April-2-95, April-7-96-------1897-1904*
    *Serial numbers found on the bottom side of the top strap will have letter codes with them.
    VALUE 100%=$225 60%=$85 For all Auto-Ejecting 2nd Models; add 75% premium for 2½” barrel; add 25% for 4”, 5” & 6” barrels; add 15% for blue finish; add 10% for 1st , 2nd, 3rd & 4th variations with nickel trigger guard on nickel finish pieces

    for parts try numrich they some time have parts for the pre 1905 models
  10. Boalt88

    Boalt88 New Member

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    You seem to be the expert on Harrington & Richardson. I have an H&R 32 which was my great grandfather's. Photos below. From you prior posts I am assuming that it is a Premere, but the serial number does not seem to match the ones you mentioned. I brought it to a gun shop recently to get it refinished. It has some rust and I feel a responsiblity to maintain it because it is somewhat of a family heirloom. But the person who dissassembles old guns had recently retired and the new person did not know how to do it. I had a few questions for you. Can you confirm that it is a Premere and give me an idea of about when it was manufactured? Do you have any schematics for it? Do you have any suggestions of where I can have it refinished?



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  11. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this was a duplicate post
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  12. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    yes this is a Premier but it is a second model (not a first model) 4th or 5th variation manufactured between 1914 and 1915. the grips of this revolver are not correct they appear to off a hopkins & allen revolver.

    H&R PREMER SECOND MODEL SMALL FRAME TOP BREAK R.F. & C.F.
    Smokeless Powder----------1905-1941
    Small fame double action top break revolver with double top post barrel latch; calibers and cylinder capacity, 22 rimfire-7 rounds, 32 S&W, 5 rounds; automaticcylinder stop; standard finish Nickel with case harden hammer and barrel latch; standard barrel length 3 inches, with 2, 4, 5 and 6 inches available as optional; HAS CALIBER MARKINGS ON LEFT SIDE OF BARREL WAS MANUFACTURED FOR SMOKELESS POWDER CARTRIDGE PRESSURES.
    There has not been enough data gathered on serial number to try to come up with a serial number range for the different variations.
    First Variation, model name & caliber marked on left side of barrel, patent dates 5-14-89, 4-2-95, 4-7-96--1905-Only
    Second Variation, model name & caliber marked on left side of barrel, patent dates 4-2-95, 4-7-96--1906-1908
    Third Variation, caliber only marked on left side of barrel, patent date 10-8-95--1909-1913
    Fourth Variation, caliber only marked on left side of barrel, no patent date, state not spelled out in address (MASS)--1914-1915
    Fifth Variation, caliber only marked on left side of barrel same as 4th except different font used in barrel markings--1914-1915
    Sixth Variation, caliber only marked on left side of barrel. State name in barrel marking spelled out (MASSACHUSETTS)--1916-1924
    Seventh Variation, new grip frame, there is no step down for the grip panels to fit into--1925-1942
    After 1930 listed in catalogs as; PREMIER No. 30 .22 Rimfire 7 shot and PREMIER No. 35.32 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; 10% premium for 7th variation
  13. Boalt88

    Boalt88 New Member

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    Thanks for the information.
  14. FrankWild

    FrankWild New Member

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    Mr. Goforth thank you for supporting this site. The information you have provided has helped me find the needed identifiers: Cylinder: 220, Strap: 7240, Left grip: 7220 for what I know is a H&R Top Break Revolver .32 centerfire 5 rounds, Second Variation (Patent Dates: Oct 4 '87, Apr 2 '95, Apr 7 '96), Black grip with bullseye, nickel finish. Based on other valuations you have made I would guess this one is probably worth about $100 to $150? My 91 year old mother found it while cleaning her attic at her house in Vermont. I am not quite sure what to do with it-- I have no particular interest in guns. Thanks again for your help!
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
  15. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    your welcome,

    i would keep it for what it is a family possession that has been around for a long time. i do not collect hats but i do have several hats owned by my grandfather.

    bill
  16. FocusedEndeavors

    FocusedEndeavors New Member

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    Bill thank you for lending your expertise here. I have learned a great deal about the gun I inherited from my Grandpa by reading your posts and visiting your website. I am hoping you will help me narrow it down to exactly what it is. So far this is what I know: Holds 5 rounds...5" barrel

    Top Break Revolvers (Auto-Ejecting, Premier (small frame) It has a hammer.

    1891-1919=Company Name, Address and 1 to 5 patent dates in two lines
    (OCT. 4 '87 APR. 2 '95 APR. 7 '96)

    2. Left side of barrel: Model Name and/or Caliber, after 1905 (Black powder models do not Have these markings). (None)

    4. Bottom of Top strap: Serial Number, this is the location that will have a letter code usually on model manufactured between 1890 and 1905/06. (A22326)

    7. Left side of grip strap at bottom: Serial Number 1890-1906 (grips must be removed to see). (2326)

    Please let me know if you need anything else. I can add pictures if needed.

    Thank you.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  17. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    you pretty much have it down just some fine tuning needed it is first model Premier 4th variation (1899-1903) serial number A22326 was manufactured in 1903 or 5th variation manufactured in 1904, i would have to compare the font used on the barrel markings to tell the difference. the mostly would be 1903.

    H&R PREMER FIRST MODEL SMALL FRAME TOP BREAK
    (BLACK POWDER)----------------------1895-1904
    Small fame double action top break revolver with double top post barrel latch; calibers and cylinder capacity, 22 rimfire-7 rounds, 32 centerfire-5 rounds; Free wheeling cylinder (no automatic cylinder stop); standard finish Nickel with case harden hammer and barrel latch; standard barrel length 3 inches, with 4, 5 and 6 inches available as optional; features a scaled down version of the new frame and double action mechanism introduced in 1890 on the Auto-Ejecting Second Model, does not have caliber marking on left
    NO CALIBER MARKINGS ON LEFT SIDE OF BARREL MANUFACTURED FOR BLACK POWDER CARTRIDGE PRESSURES
    First Variation, patent dates 10-4-87, 5-14-89, 2-23-92, serial number range 01*-15,000 (estimate)----1895-April 1896
    Second Variation, patent dates 10-4-87, 5-14-89, 4-2-95, 4-7-96, serial number range 15,000*-20,000* (estimate)---------May 1896
    Third Variation, patent dates 10-4-87, 4-2-95, 4-7-96, serial number range 20,000* to 100,000* (estimate)-------1897-1898
    Fourth Variation, automatic cylinder stop same patent dates as 3rd variation several different serial number series that may have letter codes---1899-1903
    Fifth Variation use different font in barrel markings and may have an A letter code in the serial number---------------1904 -only
    VALUE: 100%=$285 60%=$75 Add 10% premium for blue finish; 20% premium 4”, 5” or 6” barrel; 20% premium for 22 rimfire caliber

    bill
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2009
  18. FocusedEndeavors

    FocusedEndeavors New Member

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    Wow, you know your stuff. Thanks Bill.

    One other quick question. after pulling the trigger it doesn't reset to the normal front position. I have to manually pull it forward so that I am able to re-cock the gun. Is this because it needs to actually fire a bullet to move the cylinder and reset the trigger? or is it broken?
  19. marcodelat

    marcodelat New Member

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    No the trigger should always return forward.

    Your trigger return spring is either very weak, or (most likely) broken

    You need to buy and install a new trigger return spring.

    Numrich http://www.e-gunparts.com/model.asp?idDept=101

    (look for OLD MODEL SMALL FRAME POLICE PREMIER)

    ...sells these; however, most of the ones they offer are wire replacements which I have found to be very difficult to fit and install.

    I suggest you get the flat V springs from W.C. Wolff:

    http://www.gunsprings.com/GenPurp/KitsNF.html#Kits7-11

    As you can see they sell these only in KITS, or BLITZPAK... and you only will need one spring.

    these folks also carry the Woff springs and sell them individually for $6.00

    http://www.gun-parts.com/springs/

    but they have a minimum order of $10 plus minimum charge for shipping is $4

    The spring your Premier will need is one of the 1/4" wide ones

    I'm probably going to be getting some trigger return V springs and also some cylinder hand springs from Wolff here in a week or so and I might be able to help you out if and when you take your revolver apart.

    ... It isn't all that difficult to do really.

    Mostly, just driving out two pins with a 1/16" brass punch and pulling the trigger guard off.

    The sear will also drop out when you do this, and putting this back in is probably the hardest part until you do it once or twice.

    Anything I can help with PM me -
  20. chuter

    chuter New Member

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    Just a thank you for all the above info. I have a No. 35 in .32 S&W that will be going to a local gun show this weekend and is for sale. I "googled" H&R .32 Break-top and it led me here. Great info, great site. Again, thanks.
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