How old is this H&R shotgun?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by High Country, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. High Country

    High Country New Member

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    I was recently given my grandfather's H&R 12 gauge. It's been stored in an attic for several years and has some slight to moderate rust on the whole length of the barrel with a more pronounced patch between the trigger and the hammer. The serial # is 232472. I would like to know the approximate age of the gun and what I can do to have it restored. It's just an old farmer's shotgun but I would like it to look nice. Thank you for your help!
  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Hi HC.....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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    H&R made their first 12 gauge in 1901 and their last in 1986 (there were several serial number series). in order to determine exactly which model this is i will need to know the exact marking found on the barrel and the left side of the frame and where the serial number is found (are there any letter prefixes to the serial number).
    bill
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  4. High Country

    High Country New Member

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    Thanks for getting back to me so soon. There are no letters with the serial # either on the barrel or behind the trigger guard. The plate on the left side is very worn. The model # is either 203 or 208. Beneath that it says Harrington & Richardson Arms Co Worcester Mass USA made in the USA. The breech opens with a slide swivel. On the barrel just past the hammer it's stamped 12 ga choke. Thanks for your help!
  5. tcdaver

    tcdaver New Member

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    Questions

    Hello my name is Dave, I have a gun I have owned for approx. 17 years I wanted to try to find out the year of Manufacturing and what it may be worth..

    So here goes the info and markings on the Gun

    H&R Handy Gun II Single Shot (Printed on right side of gun)

    On left left side it reads
    Model 258
    Harrington & Richardson,INC.
    Gardner Mass. Made In USA.
    US Patent No. 3988848
    Ser. No. BA 452861

    I looked up patent no. online and it said this block of numbers from 39...... to 40.....
    were issued in 1976. So I may have found the year made.

    On the bottom, in front of trigger, there is a "P" with a circle around it.

    The Gun has two Barrels Dull silver in color like Nichol

    Barrel 1, stamped on the right side it reads
    H&R 357 Max. w/ P in circle Barrel is 22" long On stock over all length is 37"

    Barrel 2, stamped on top of barrel it reads
    H&R 20GA. 3" MOD. w/ P in a circle length of barrel is 22 3/8" on stock over all length is 37 3/8"

    Stock is golden oak-ish a little ware with scraps to the finish not deep scratches

    On the butt end it had a black rubberized end and it reads H&R Arms co.

    Over all the Gun is in very good condition works well and very accurate.
    They no longer make 357 Max. shells so I found a place out of California where I have ordered them.
    I think the Gun is 32 yrs old and wonder what it may fetch....

    If there is anything else I missed on description please let me know.

    Thanks you in advance for your help.

    Dave
  6. tcdaver

    tcdaver New Member

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    I think I posted in the wrong area w/ Re: How old is this H&R shotgun?

    Sorry if I did......

    tcdaver:eek:
  7. tcdaver

    tcdaver New Member

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    Sorry High Country, for jamming on your post, I did not know how to start my own post.
    Your shot gun sounds pretty cool and old.. Good luck with your question to this site.....and sorry again for my mistake....

    Dave:)
  8. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    tcdavers,
    your shotgun was made in 1984

    high country,
    i am not familar with models 203 or 208. the side lever for breaking the action was introduced in 1959. the basic single barrel H&R's that used the side lever to open the action are:
    model 148A=1959-1961
    model 158= 1962-1973
    model 058= 1974-1984
    model 098= 1986-1986

    there were a bounch of variations to these basic models that used model numbers like 188, 488, 480 and so on but to the best of my knowledge there were no H&R model 203 or 208. some of these models manufactured before 1968 will have a letter code for date of manufacture located below the company name and address on the frame. this does sound like a early model 148A or 158 or one of the many variation of these two. can you provide a picture. "12 gauge choke" means your barrel is full choked.
    bill
  9. High Country

    High Country New Member

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    Bill
    I'll try to get some pictures to you. My dad remembers shooting with this gun when he was a kid back in the '40's and he said it was old then. My grandfather may have swapped out sometime but he kept the same hand tools for over 50 years. I can't tell for sure but there may be a digit in the model # before the 2. It may also just be nick. Like I said, the stamp is very worn. If I get it re-blued would that help or wash the writing out even worse? I want it to look nice and clean but still maintain it's old weapon look. Any suggestions?
    High Country
  10. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    i think at this point pictures are the best for proper identicication.
    bill
  11. High Country

    High Country New Member

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    Bill,
    It may take a day or two on the pics. I have somebody smarter than me with computers coming to help me out. Thanks for your patience and we'll deal with the restoration questions then. Have a great day!
    High Country
  12. High Country

    High Country New Member

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    Bill,
    It will take a few more days for the pics. The writing on the left side of the frame does not show up at all. My father-in-law rubbed some gun oil on it and it looks like the model # could be 5208. Hopefully that's a clue. I'll let you know when the pictures are coming. Thanks again.
    High Country
  13. High Country

    High Country New Member

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    Bill,
    The pictures didn't work out. My father-in-law asked a gun guru he knows about it and he said 1958 or 1959, which matches what you said. I guess my grandfather did swap guns sometime ago. It sure looks older though. What can I do to make it look better? Will having it re-blued get rid of the rust? Thanks again for your patience and help.
    High Country
  14. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    you can kill the active rust yourself by cleaning the exterior with a good quality gun oil and fine seel wool (0000). using the same oil drop a few drops inside the action thru the hammer and trigger openings. next swab the barrel with a cleaning brush soaked in powder solvent followed be a light coat of gun oil.

    if the exterior is pitted because of rust reblueing will only make the pit show up more.
    bill
  15. High Country

    High Country New Member

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    Thanks for your help, Bill.
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