Need help identifying a pistol

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Erik, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. Erik

    Erik New Member

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    Hello all,

    My wife just found a pistol while going through her father's belongings. It's been two years since he passed away and she's finally ready to sort his things. The pistol is a small revolver that holds 5 rounds. Printed on the top of the barrel is Harrington & Richardson Arms Company. Worchester, Mass. USA Pat. Oct. 4 '87 Apr 2 '95 Apr 7 '96. The grips are brown with a small diamond pattern. There is no serial number that I can find anywhere on the pistol. There also doesn't appear to be any signs of removal of a serial number. The pistol tilts at the barrel. I can't really tell if the gun is a rusted nickel or was formerly blue. Any info that could help us date and identify the pistol would be greatly appreciated.
  2. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    What caliber?
    Can you post some pics?
  3. Ursus

    Ursus Active Member

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    Wellcome Erik!! As SS said, more info is needed.
  4. Welcome to TFF, Erik!

    More information is needed for any sort of accurate assessment, Erik, but it sounds like you probably have one of H&Rs so-called "top break" revolvers.

    H&R had made solid frame DA revolvers earlier in the 1880’s, but their "H&R Shell Extracting Revolver" was introduced in 1886 and made until 1888 as their first top-break design. It is interesting in that, unlike its S&W predecessors and later top-breaks made by H&R, it did not feature automatic ejection of shells upon opening the revolver. Instead the shells are manually ejected by pushing on the ejector rod laying underneath the barrel. In some respects, this seems to be a more practical, if somewhat slower, design. Also unique to this H&R model are the abstract floral pattern hard rubber grips.
  5. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    erik,
    H&R used these three patent dates together on the small frame premier & small frame hammerless top break models between 1897 and 1903.

    the serial number should be located on the bottom side of the topstrap (may have to remove cylinder to see) a partial number will be found on the rear of the cylinder and the frame will have a serial number on the left side of the grip frame under the grips. there may be a letter code with the serial number found on the bottom of the top strap and or on the frame location. this letter code or lack of one is important in narrowing down the year of manufacture. be sure and check both locations

    the grips if original will have the H&R 'target logo" at the top and are made of hard rubber. the only other grips H&R offered a optional during this time was mother of pearl. standard finish at the time was nickel but a blue finish was optional.
    bill
  6. Erik

    Erik New Member

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    Dec 7, 2006
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    Thanks for the replies. In taking another look at the pistol, there is the number 530 engraved on the cylinder. As you tilt the barrel downward there is a star shaped piece in the middle of the cylinder that raises up. I removed the cylinder and the number 092500 is printed on the bottom side of the topstrap. The grips do have the "target logo"on either side. Some of you asked about the caliber, but I have no idea what caliber it is or how to tell. All of your help is appreciated.
  7. johnston3407

    johnston3407 New Member

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  8. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    erik,
    this revolver is H&R premier (small frame) first model second variation. the second variation was manufactured between 1896 and 1903. i can not be 100% sure but it is my belief that the ones with the zero (or letter O) prefix were manufactured between 1901 and 1903. it is my opinion that serial number O92500 was manufactured in 1903 but i can only be 100% certian it was manufactured between 1896 and 1903 the dates the three patent dates were used. all first model 'premiers' (1895-1904) were manufactured for black powder cartridge pressures and should not be fired with modern smokeless ammo. the first model premier was only chambered in two calibers, a 7 shot 22 rimfire (short or long) and 5 shot 32 S&W centerfire.
    bill
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