Hello, and need help with H&R Revolver

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Firecom911, Sep 22, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Firecom911

    Firecom911 New Member

    Hey there, everybody!

    My first post! :)

    I didn't see anyplace to introduce myself, so I guess we'll do 'er here! :)

    My name is Steve and I'm 62 years old. I live in Fort Walton Beach, Florida (that's up in the Florida panhandle).

    I'm a Vietnam vet (was a parachute rigger with the 82nd Airborne), and am retired from being a 911 dispatcher.
    I am currently kicking back and enjoying the Florida sunshine (when there's no hurricanes), and watching major league baseball! :D

    Been involved in many aspects of shooting both rifle and pistol, hand loading for both, bullet casting for both, but my true love was service rifle competition which I was active in from 1964 to 1994 when my eyesight started going south.

    I currently handload precision rifle ammo for a couple of 1,000 yard shooters in my area.

    I'm wondering if there might be a resident member here who is knowledgeable of old Harrington & Richardson top-break revolvers.

    I inherited one from my father in a partially disassembled condition, and I'm tryin' to get 'er back together. This revolver is the very first pistol I ever shot when I was a boy back in the fifties, so there's some sentimental value here and I want to get it up and running!

    The revolver is a six-shot top-break revolver with external hammer.
    There appears to be a serial number on the frame under the left grip: 43085.

    Markings on the barrel "flat" on top surface of barrel:

    PAT OCT 4, '87 MAY 14 & AUG 6, '89 APR 2, '95 APR 7 1895(6?)

    There is no caliber designation on the pistol, however it is .32 caliber and the cylinder is long enough to accept both .32 S&W and .32 S&W Long ammunition.

    I've got it all back together except for one piece...the little "lever" or "hand" that comes through the breech face to rotate the cylinder when the pistol is fired or cocked. Can't figure out how to get that back in. :eek:

    Nice to be aboard, and thanks in advance for any help you can give. :)


  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    houston, tx
    these patent date marking were used on the H&R auto-ejecting second model. they were used between 1898 and 1905. check the bottom of the top strap for another serial number location that should have a letter code prefix. this letter code will help determine the year of manufacture. be aware H&R did not make the switch to smokeless powder until 1905 so this revolver very well could be chambered for black powder cartridge pressures.

  3. Firecom911

    Firecom911 New Member


    Thanks for the info.

    The number on the bottom of the top strap is D45065.

    I forgot to add earlier that the barrel length is 3 1/4 inches.

    I am searching the internet and the local libraries to try to find an

    exploded diagram so I can see how the hand goes in to make the revolver complete and working.

    Thanks again!

  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    houston, tx
    the "D" letter code was used in 1899 by H&R on this model.

    try www.e-gunparts.com for a parts drawing.
  5. bayoubullet

    bayoubullet New Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    Loranger, Louisiana

    I also have a H&R 6 shot Top Break revolver except the one I have is a small frame. If you want some in-depth info, just go to the top of the forum where the headers are. Check on the search tab and type in Harrington and Richardson Top Break revolvers, You will get a large listing of threads. View the threads and check on the one you want to review. In a number of threads you will fin d a complete breakdown of H&R Top Breaks revolves including type, model # if given one, name, information stamped on revolvers and so on. This is a great forum for information. Below is info I received on the H&R Top Break Revolvers.

    Hope This Helps YOU.

    (SMOKELESS POWDER)---------------------------------1905-1940
    Auto-ejecting mechanism, Calibers 32 S&W Long, 6 shot cylinder capacity, 38 S&W caliber 5 shot cylinder capacity, hard rubber grip panels with Target Logo, nickel finish (blue optional), barrel lengths of 2½ (rare), 3¼ (standard), 4, 5 & 6 inches available, top of barrel markings include company name and address and early production has patent dates, the one recognizable difference in the Second and Third Models is the caliber is marked on the left side of the barrel on the Third Model
    First Variation 4 patent dates (5-14 & 8-6-89, 4-2-95, 4-7-97) model name and caliber on left side of barrel------------1905-1908
    Second Variation 2 patent dates (8-6-89 and 10-8-95) model name and caliber on left side of barrel--------------------1909-1912
    Third Variation no patent dates the name of the state is marked as MASS-------1913-1915
    Fourth Variation no patent dates the state name of Massachusetts is spelled------1916-1924
    Fifth Variation new grip frame, it is now the same size as the rest of the frame with no step down for the grip panel—1925-1941
    After 1931 listed in Catalogs as: AUTOMATIC EJECTING No. 10 .32 S&W LONG CALIBER 6 shots and AUTOMATIC EJECTING No. 25 .38 S&W CALIBER 5 shots
    After 1932 listed in Catalogs as: AUTOMATIC EJECTING No. 20..38 S&W CALIBER 5 shots
    VALUE: 100%=$235 60%=$85 For all Auto-Ejecting 3rd Models; add 75% premium for 2½” barrel;

    A Short Illustrated History of The Harrington & Richardson Arms Company"

    According to Bill's research - the 'G' letter code on the Auto Ejecting model was used twice - first in 1904 (2nd Model) and again in 1905 (3rd Model).
    You will be able to tell which model by whether there is a cartridge designation stamped into the left side of the barrel or not.
    If not there - it is a 2nd Model 3rd Variation made for black powder cartridges (highest currently known s/n is G79798, so yours should fit into this variation);
    if it is there - it is a 3rd Model 1st Variation made for smokeless/nitro powder cartridges. The barrel rib stamping should look like the attached picture (Attachment A)

    Your posting of the barrel rib stamping matches the picture (ttachment A) I posted, so yep - you've got a 2nd Mod; 3rd Var. dating to 1904.

    (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

    Revolvers H&R

    Solid Frame (All models discontinued)

    Model 1 .32 or .38 Caliber, spur trigger single action revolver, 3" octagonal barrel, 5 or 7 shot fluted cylinder, flat frame, saw-handle square butt plain walnut or black checkered rubber grips, marked HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON, WORCESTER, MASS. PAT. MAY 23, 1876. Approximately 3,000 were manufactured in 1877 and 1878.
    Model 1½ .32 Caliber spur trigger, single action revolver, 5-shot cylinder (10,000 were manufactured between 1878 and 1883)
    Model 2½ same as model 1½ but 3.25" barrel and 7-shot cylinder (5,000 were manufactured between 1878 and 1883)
    Model 3½ .38 rimfire Caliber 3.5" barrel, 5-shot cylinder (1,000 were manufactured)
    Model 1880 .32 or .38 S&W centerfire double action revolver, 3" round barrel, 5- or 6-shot cylinder (4,000 were manufactured between 1880 and 1883)
    Young America Double Action (small solid frame centerfire revolver) Manufactured 1884–1941 Calibers: .22 rimfire and .32 Standard barrel length was 2½ with 4½ and 5½ inch extra cost options (1,500,000 were manufactured). First model manufactured 1884–1904 designed for black powder cartridge. Second model manufactured 1905–1941 designed for modern smokeless powder cartridge.
    Young America Bulldog (small solid frame rimfire revolver) Caliber: .32 rimfire
    Young America Safety Hammer (small solid frame centerfire revolver with bobbed hammer) Safety hammer patented 1887 Calibers: .22 and .32
    Vest-Pocket Self-Cocker (same as Vest Pocket Safety Hammer but without half / full cocking sear) NOTE: Some trigger guards installed on this model had cutouts which would allow the installation of the half / full cocking sear. Early models had an 2½ inch octagonal barrel with front sight, later models incorporated a short 1 inch round barrel, no front sight.
    Vest Pocket Safety Hammer (small solid frame centerfire revolver with bobbed hammer and shortened round barrel) Safety hammer patented 1887 Calibers: .22 and .32
    Victor (Unfluted cylinder, round barrel) Available in both small and large frame. Calibers: .22, .32 and .38
    The American Double Action (large solid frame centerfire revolver) Manufactured 1883–1941. Calibers: .32, .38 & .44 (850,000 were manufactured).
    H&R Bulldog (large solid frame rimfire revolver) Caliber: .32 rimfire
    Safety Hammer Double Action (large solid frame centerfire revolver with bobbed hammer) Safety hammer patented 1887 Calibers: .32, .38 & .44 (manufactured between 1890 and 1941).
    NEF Model R92 (.22 LR 9 shot revolver, .22 WMR 6 shot, .32 H&R Mag 5 shot)[7]
    H&R model 532
    H&R model 603 (.22 WMRF six shot pull pin revolver, Blued, Slab side barrel)
    H&R model 604 (.22 WMRF six shot pull pin revolver, Blued, Round barrel)
    H&R model 622 (.22 LR six shot pull pin revolver)
    H&R model 623 (.22 LR six shot pull pin revolver, same as 622 but in brushed nickel)
    H&R model 632 (.32 cal)
    H&R model 642
    H&R model 649 (.22 LR & .22 WMR six shot, double or single action revolver)
    H&R Model 660 Gunfighter ( .22LR Revolver, Made in the 1960s)
    H&R Model 666 (.22 LR or .22 WMR, double action with 6" barrel and 6-shot cylinder. Blued w/plastic grips. Manufactured from 1976 to 1982.
    H&R Model 676
    H&R model 686 (.22 LR & .22 MAG)
    H&R model 700
    H&R model 732 (.32 long six shot swing cylinder)
    H&R model 733 ( same as model 732 but in brushed nickel)
    H&R model 777 Super Sportsman
    H&R model 829 (.22 LR nine shot revolver) Swingout 9-shot cylinder, double or single action)
    H&R model 922 (.22 LR nine shot revolver)
    H&R model 922-C (.22 LR nine shot revolver) Same as 922 but with nickel finish.
    H&R model 923 (.22 LR nine shot revolver)
    H&R model 925 (.32 cal. revolver)
    H&R model 926 (.22 WRF nine shot revolver)
    H&R model 929 (.22 LR nine shot revolver, blued finish)
    H&R model 930 (.22 LR & nine shot revolver, nickel finish)
    H&R model 933 (.22 LR nine shot revolver, manufactured 1930–1939. Formally known as the "Hunter" model)
    H&R model 925 (.32 cal. revolver)
    H&R model 939 Ultra Sidekick (.22 LR double-action revolver) Introduced in 1956.[8]
    H&R model 949 (.22 LR nine shot revolver)
    H&R model 999 (.22 WRF nine shot revolver)
    H&R model Hunter (.22 LR nine shot revolver, Manufactured in 1929. From 1930–1939 this model was listed as Model 933)

    Note: Many of the above guns are stamped as "H&R .22 Special" / ".22 W.R.F. or .22 Winchester Rim Fire

    NOTE: Pre-1898 solid frame revolvers were designed for use with black powder loads. Using smokeless powder rounds with these revolvers may cause damage to the revolver and/or injury to the user.

    Top-Break (All models discontinued)
    H&R Revolver of Top-Break design
    H&R Revolver of Top-Break design with knife

    Premier Auto Ejecting (small frame centerfire revolver, break-top design) calibers: .22 (rimfire), .32, .38
    H&R model 925 "Defender" (.38ctg five shot revolver 4" barrel - blued finish)
    H&R Sportsman (.22 LR nine shot revolver 6" barrel - blued finish)
    Hammerless Auto Ejecting Second Model Patent date: Oct 4, 1887. Third variation manufactured 1910–1913.
    H&R Knife Pistol (.32, .38 manufactured in 1901)

    Well H&R made top breaks from 1871 to about 1941. The .32 S&W caridge was designed in 1878 so you revolver could be made in any if that time period.

    Also the serial number is usually on the but of the gun. So if the grips covers the bottom try removing the grips. If it doesn't have a serial number don't worry the law doesn't require any gun made beofre 1968 to have one.

    As for tracking the manufacture date, You can't find the exact day, month or even year.

    Here's something to look to help you identify by the markings on the gun:

    1. Top of Barrel Rib: Company Name, Address and patent dates.

    1885-1890=Company Name and Address in one line.
    1891-1919=Company Name, Address and 1 to 5 patent dates in two lines.
    1919-1941=Company Name and Address in two lines.

    2. Left side of barrel: Model Name and/or Caliber, after 1905 (Black powder models do not Have these markings).

    3. 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.

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

    5 Bottom of Butt: Serial number 1905-1941 (1905-1906 production may have serial number in locations

    You have your gun with you so you could use this information better. Judging from what you gave us tough I would say you gun was made between 1919 to 1941.
    Feel in love with Top break revolvers and love learning about there history. I more familiar with Iver Johnson revolver but know Harrington & Richardson fairly well.

    Look at this site for further conformation:http://www.iverjohnsoncollector.x10hosti…

    Remember Keep Your Eye On The Target,

    Bayou Bullet
  6. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  7. damn yankee guns

    damn yankee guns New Member

    Apr 12, 2012
    Blueridge area of SC
    My name is Jim. I am a gunsmith in upstate SC.. The hand has a pin or pins that go inside the small holes in the trigger assy. their is a small spring that needs to be moved over the pin as it is placed. the trigger assy needs to be removed to do this. most hands are placed with a small spring to make them react with the trigger pull. Study the part and it will work for you. I've got two top breaks in the shop, I'll check them out for you and get back.
  8. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    damn yankee guns, welcome to the Forum! It was good of you to post your advice, but Firecom911's post was about 3.5 years old when bayoubullet replied to it 2 months ago. I was going to ask him why in my deleted post above, but decided there was no point to doing so.

    Once again though, thanks for speaking up. It seems like half the country has an H&R or Iver Johnson revolver tucked away somewhere, in various states of repair, and many of them come here with questions.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Hello - Help on an H&R Feb 7, 2016
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Hello from Barstow Jan 30, 2016
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Hello from a new member and an H&R question Aug 1, 2013
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum First hello and question about shotgun Jun 24, 2012
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum First Post and Hello to everyone here Jun 7, 2011

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.