Harrington & Richardson Top Break Revolver

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by 3rd, Jul 25, 2008.

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  1. 3rd

    3rd New Member

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    This revolver is chrome or nickel plated. Hammerless. Black grips with US in a circle. On the top of the barrel is stamped Harrington & Richardson Arms Company Worcester, Mass USA PAT OCT 4'87 APR 2'95 APR 7'96. Number on the cylinder is 17. Number on the strap is 26017. Number under the left grip is 6017. No other numbers anywhere else. What do I have?
  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Hi 3rd......welcome to TFF. :)

    Keep checking back. Our resident expert on Harrington & Richardsons, Bill Goforth (he's literally writing the book on them), should be along shortly to tell you all you'd like to know about your H&R.





    *Shameless Plug*
    Books by Bill Goforth:
    Iver Johnson's Arms & Cycle Works 1871-1993
    H&R Arms Company 1871-1986 (due fall of 2008)
    available from www.gunshowbooks.com
  3. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this is a small frame 32 caliber H&R Hammerless first model 1899-1904,

    all H&R Hammerless first models ,large or small frames (1899-1904) were manufactured for black powder cartridge pressures and are not considered safe with modern smokeless ammo.

    this is the lowest serial number i have encountered on any first model hammerless (large or small frame). most likely this revolver was made in 1899 (first year production). would it be possible to get pictures of this revolver side view, barrel markings and top strap serial number.

    the grips are not original to your revolver they were originally on a u.s. revolver co. top break. manufactured by iver johnson's arms & cycle works between 1910 and 1935. the original grips for this revolver have a target logo at the top. the finish is nickel plate which was standard.
    bill
  4. 3rd

    3rd New Member

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    Thanks, Bill. No barrel markings except manufacturer name and patent #s listed above.

    Attached Files:

  5. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    thanks for the pictures. most of the latter small frame hammerless use an "H" (for hammerless) somewhere on the top strap this confirms the earliest did not.
    bill
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2008
  6. nytrumpet

    nytrumpet New Member

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    I just found this one in my mother's attic. Any idea what caliber or year this was made?

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    Thanks in advance.
    ======================
    GunGeek.Net - auctions and more
    http://www.gungeek.net
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  7. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this appears to be a second model 5th variation manufactured between 1897 and 1904. if it is chambered for 6 rounds the caliber is 32 S&W caliber (NOT 32 S&W Long), if chambered for 5 rounds it is 38 S&W caliber. this is a black powder only model.

    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
    bill
  8. nytrumpet

    nytrumpet New Member

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    Thank you! It's a .38 S&W for sure. Would modern .38 S&W ammo work in this gun?
  9. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    NO all second model H&R Auto-Ejecting revolvers were desighed for black powder cartridge pressures only.
    bill
  10. atkinsonwilliam

    atkinsonwilliam New Member

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    I also have a similar handgun that was found in an attic.....

    here are pics.

    If anyone knows about it or what its worth or want to buy it.


    I also have a iver johnson single barrel sotgun that looks old as dirt also.

    Attached Files:

  11. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    your pictures are just not clear enough to tell exactly what version of the H&R Premier you have. the Premier was manufactured between 1895 and 1942 in both black powder and smokeless powder versions. do not fire this revolver until you find out if it is a first or second model.

    iver johnson manufactured single barrel shotgun between 1885 and 1970. your could be have been manufactured at at time during this period will need more information of both firearms in order to give more information.
    bill
  12. LM4300

    LM4300 New Member

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    Hello all. I found this forum trying to gather info on this type revolver.
    I have one and it appears to be a 5th Variation.

    My main question is there .38 black powder ammo that is still available for purchase? My googling only yeilds the modern smokeless type.

    I hope to post a few pics soon. It's not real rusty, but could use a cleaning. Most of the surface rust is only on the exterior of the cylinder.

    I hope to learn more about this gun soon. Thanks.
  13. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    check out old western scronger for b/p ammo if anyone has it he does. just google old western scronger for web site info
  14. LM4300

    LM4300 New Member

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    Great! Thanks so much.
  15. seattlekev

    seattlekev New Member

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    Bill, I am new to this forum and I would like to thank you all for being such a great resource. I was really excited when I googled and got this thread. Hopefully I can beg some assistance from you. My father passed a few years back and there was really only one thing that I asked my Mom for and that was this revolver. It's a bit rickety, but I'd like to go to Numrich and get a few parts and see if I can't get it up to firing status again. That, of course, if you are able to help me identify it. As far as my Dad said it's a .32. The patent date on the barrel top is Oct 9th 1887.The cylinder number is 129 (or 3), the strap is imprinted with 6729. The 7 could be a slash or a 1. The grips are of the square target variety. I would think it's nickel plated, but might be chrome. Any help you could give on identity and ammo required would be greatly appreciated. Thanx again Bill!
    I could not get the pics to come up like others in this thread, so here's the links. Hope they work!

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3600/3578740972_5e111f11fc.jpg?v=0

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3591/3577937333_76685c3374.jpg?v=0

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3359/3578740736_59f23c511e.jpg?v=0

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3139/3577937071_0814929a5d.jpg?v=0
    Last edited: May 30, 2009
  16. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this revolver is a second model Auto-ejecting, second variation and with the four digit serial number most likely manufactured in 1890 (1891 at the latest)

    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

    bill
    Last edited: May 30, 2009
  17. seattlekev

    seattlekev New Member

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    Wow! That's fantastic Bill! Thanx for the quick reply. Really appreciate it!
  18. Rxmfn7

    Rxmfn7 New Member

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    Hi all. New here, and I know this is an older topic, but I could use some help positively identifying a revolver I have that was my grandfathers. Top of barrel stamped:
    "Harrington and Richardson Arms company Worchester Mass USA
    Pat oct 4 '87, May 14 & Aug 6 '89, April 2 '95, April 7 1896"
    Serial Number under top strap is : c70349

    It is a 6 shot and barrel looks to be approximately 3 1/4"
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  19. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this one is a second model 5th variation auto-ejector revolver. serial number C 70439 was manufactured in 1898. see above post for values.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  20. BlingN

    BlingN New Member

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    Bill i received a break top revolver from my wifes parents it belonged to her grandpa. Ive read alot of the post and im trying to get some more information on this gun. The top of the barrel states "Harrington & Richardson Arms Company Worcester, Mass USA PAT OCT 4" there is numbers or letters after the oct 4 but i cant read them the serial number 78116. I believe it is nickle plated. It does have a hammer. I guess my question is with out knowin what information is after the oct 4 on the barrel can i identify exactly what i have here? thanks for your time
    Jim
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