Harrington & Richardson Top Break

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by BignSmall, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. BignSmall

    BignSmall New Member

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    I have a Harrington & Richardson 32 caliber, 6 round, 3 1/4 inch barrel, top break,full hammer, manual unload, chrome, with floral engraved plastic grips. The markings on top of the barrel HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON ARMS COMPANY WORCESTER MASS. U.S.A. PATD OCT. 4TH 1887. The serial #66XX. The serial number is found in two places, under the grips and on the barrel assembly, between the cylinder and the barrel. The last 3 digits of the serial # are on the cylinder and the ejector. The condition seems to be very good. I would like to know the date of manufacture and value of pistol. Thanks
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the manual ejecting models were not as popular as the auto-ejecting and were not made as long about 1885 through about 1892.

    MANUAL EJECTING TOP BREAK (AKA MANUAL SHELL EXTRACTOR MODEL)
    BLACK POWDER--------------------------------------1885-1889
    Manual ejecting rod under barrel, Calibers 32 S&W, 6 shot cylinder capacity, 38 S&W caliber 5 shot cylinder capacity, hard rubber grip panels with Floral
    design, nickel finish, marked on top of barrel with company name and address only, 3¼ inch barrel length, Modified American Double Action mechanism and frame
    VALUE: 100%=$525 60%=$185

    MANUAL EJECTING SECOND MODEL
    BLACK POWDER ----------------------------------------1890-????
    New frame (same as Second Model Auto-ejecting) 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, 3¼ (standard), VERY RARE
    VALUE: 100%=$600 60%=$200

    the one patent date would indicate it is a first model and the 66XX serial number would indicate it was made late in production. the second model is very rare
  3. BignSmall

    BignSmall New Member

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    Thank you for the information. I have a few photos of the revolver, and a photo of the box. From what you have told me the box may be for the rare revolver. Note no ejector rod under barrel. I am interested in selling this revolver, how do I go about this? H & R 32 cal. Top Break 001.jpg

    H & R 32 cal. Top Break 002.jpg

    H & R 32 cal. Top Break 003.jpg

    H & R 32 cal. Top Break Box 010.jpg
  4. BignSmall

    BignSmall New Member

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    What is the difference between this revolver frame and a New Frame? I'm concerned about the patd. date on barrel. Could this be a Second Model Manual Ejecting with the wrong grips? The description for the Manual Ejecting calls for company name and address ONLY. I have that plus the Oct. 4th 1887 patd. Please explain the difference. Thanks again for your expert knowledge.
  5. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the best way to explain the difference in the frame of the first and second model is the second models have the TARGET LOGO at the top of the grip while the fist model uses a grip simular to hat used on the american double action solid frame model. these different styles of grips are NOT interchangable.

    the oct. 4, 1887 patent date was used on all large frame H&R top break revolvers manufactured between 1888 and 1904. this patent covers the method used to remove the cylinder and is outlined in the instructions on the inside of the box lid.

    does the end label on the box have any markings about it being a MANUAL EJECTING. if not then the box is incorrect but the instructions for removing the cylinder still apply.

    the information about the manual ejection model is miss leading in the fact there was a second variation that used the above cylinder retaining method it came very late in production. this is a correction i will have to make when the new blue book comes out.
    bill
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  6. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    I have two first variations and one second variation in my collection. What I find mystifying about your piece is the top assembly (barrel, latch, cylinder) are identical to the 2nd var., while the bottom assembly (lower frame, grip frame, trigger guard, trigger and hammer) are identical to the 1st variation.

    e.g. The 2nd var. has the same barrel stamping as yours, while the 1st has only the company name and address. The 2nd has the rounded recoil shield, as does yours, while the first has a flat recoil shield. The ejector rod on the 2nd is smaller in diameter, with a knurled (machine checkered) end - the 1st has a larger diameter rod, with knurling and a screw driver slot. The hammer on the 2nd has a curved spur, while the 1st has a straighter, almost verticle spur. The 2nd has the latch hold open button on the left side of the top strap, the 1st does not. The trigger on the 1st has a round pivot towards the rear, which I believe operated the bolt lifter and sear - the 2nd does not have this. The barrel lug, through which the ejector rod passes, is sculpted differently than on the first. The barrel rib fluting on the 2nd is different than the 1st, on the 1st it extends further into the frame than on the 2nd and has some overhang, which the 2nd doesn't have. The cylinder and extractor rod can be removed from the 2nd in one piece, by lifting the top latch and pulling to rear - the cylinder is retained by a hook in the latch. The 1st has two guide rods attached to the extractor star, which are on either side of the extractor rod and run into the cylinder, and the cylinder is removed by unscrewing the extractor rod (this is apparently what the screw driver slot in the end of the rod is designed for). And of course, the grip panels are different.

    From the above, it would seem that your piece is either a "transitional" piece spanning the differences between the two variations - OR - it is a "hybrid" - that is, someone attached an upper from a 2nd to the lower from a 1st. If your upper has the same serial number (found under the top strap - must remove the cylinder to see it) as the lower (found on bottom strut of grip frame under the left grip panel), then it appears it is a "transitional", if the numbers are different it is a hybrid. Please take a look and let us know what you find.

    If anyone is interested in seeing comparison pics, showing these differences, please e-mail me at: bobell01@aol.com and I'll send you a set. Please indicate that you are interested in the MANUAL EJECTING model pics.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  7. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    ;)Here's a comparison pic of two of my pieces. (just discovered that I can upload pics to the site, yahoo!) IMG_3031.jpg

    With this picture, you can see what I was referring to in my previous posting.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  8. jamesjo

    jamesjo New Member

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    Jim,
    As usual, Sweet!!
    I really like the grips on the top pic.
    But, Could you make the pic a little larger? LOL
    Jim
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  9. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    I don't seem to have any control over the size (that's what my wife says, too).
  10. kingcuke

    kingcuke Member

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    I see the big pics happening a lot lately and I've been guilty too. It comes from having a double digit mega pixel camera and shooting at the highest setting. Most cameras can be set to a lower size in the setup menu for pictures only meant to be online.
    There are some free shareware picture resizers available or one pics can be re-sized in paint. Just to be sure to use the "save as" option when saving the pic else your original size will be lost. Alternatively copy the pic and paste into paint before doing the resize.
  11. BignSmall

    BignSmall New Member

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    To answer your question about serial #'s, they are the same on both barrel, between barrel and cylinder, and under grip, left hand side. The last three digits are also on the cylinder and the ejector. I had an idea this just didn't fit all the descriptions being given. Does this make it a "one of a kind" ? If so, what happens to value? Also note that the trigger guard is from a 2nd variation mounted on a 1st variation frame. The location of the front curve in relation to the pin in frame are different. Also the cut out for the guard is smaller, doesn't extend past the pin.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  12. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Bignsmall,
    Looks like you have a "transitional piece" - I've not seen one before, in fact I've only ever seen one of the "2nd Variations", which I bought. I'm sure Bill will be pleased at this discovery and will be able to work it into his data as another recently discovered variation. Congrats. As to being "one-of-a-kind", well, that's difficult to say, since most manufacturers didn't market prototypes or R&D pieces - it most likely is from a batch or run of, at this time, unknown number of pieces.
    IMG_3016.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
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