Harrington & Richardson .32 Top Break Self Ejecting Revolver

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by JackJC, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. JackJC

    JackJC New Member

    Mar 23, 2010
    Harrington & Richardson .32 Top Break Self Ejecting Revolver

    Hoping for some feedback from Bill Goforth, others welcome to weigh in.

    What can you tell me about this revolver. It's a precious heirloom to me. I'm keeping it. I know the value is low.

    This pistol belonged to my Grandfather. When I received it, it came with one old looking box of .32 S&W Long, $4.19 from
    a "Holiday" store, and 5 boxes of .32 Auto.

    Condition: Very good, minor scratches, and four tiny spots that look like pitting/corrosion.

    Don't worry, I would not consider firing this without the proper ammunition. I suspect at this point it was black powder.
    One of my questions is, does anyone sell black powder cartridges in the proper caliber for this pistol?
    I have come across .32 black powder blanks. I assume they would be safe to fire.

    Serial # 45318 on bottom of top strap, 5318 under left side grip, 318 on extractor and cylinder.

    Top of barrel:

    No markings on left side of barrel, or elsewhere.

    3.25 inch barrel
    1 3/16 inch cylinder

    Thank you,

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    houston, tx
    this is a fairly early second model 2nd variation H&R Auto-Ejecting. serial number 45318 was manufactured in about 1891. as stated below the caliber is 32 S&W. this revolver was made before the 32 S&W Long was introduced. it could chamber and handled what was called the 32 H&R Long cartridge (an obselete cartridge that was longer and more powerful than the 32 S&W)

    (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

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010

  3. JIMV

    JIMV New Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    I am new to this forum so forgive me if I make any posting faux pas...I bought a nickle plated revolver exactly like the photo's above BUT...

    Mine is a 5 shot .32, not 6. The topstrap says, in addition to the standard info "PAT. OCT 4 1887, MAY 14 89, FEB 23 92."

    In addition, it has no serial number I can find nor any markings as to ammo. I would say it is about 80% or better condition. It is both single and double action. The grips are original and the rifling sharp.

    Exactly what do I have, when was it manufactured, what is the little button on the topstrap above the cylinder for, and am I correct in thinking it is chambered to S&W .32....(Not the S&W long). If this is designed solely for black powder, does anyone know who might sell a box?

    Thanks for your help

    It locks up pretty solidly...I paid $75 for it at a gun show.
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    houston, tx
    you have the small frame Premier First Model 1st variation manufactured in 1895 and 1896 only. yes it is for black powder only and the boxes do show up on the auction site but not often. the button on the top strap must be depressed to remove the cylinder.

    (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
    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

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  5. JIMV

    JIMV New Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    Thank You! Great info...now all I need to do is find some ammo....
  6. WolfStone

    WolfStone New Member

    Aug 18, 2013
    First time poster, long time thread reader. Thank you b.goforth, that was exactly the info I was looking for on my H&R! Now if I could only find some cheap parts as well... ;)
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