New user seeking advise on an older Harrington & Richardson pistol

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by moorwhine, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. moorwhine

    moorwhine New Member

    Mar 11, 2011
    Northern Ohio
    Hi folks, new to the forum and gun ownership at the young age of 59 yrs old. I just acquired an older HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON 38 S&W CTGE handgun, serial number 490187. One side of the grip is broken into several pieces and the other side has chips out of it. I've been to numerous gun part websites and the replacement grips are endless, depending on model. I can't find a model on this gun and wondering if anyone can help in identifying it? :eek:
    My questions include:
    1.) How can I find out what model & how old the gun is.
    2.) Can the grip(s) still be purchased and where if so.
    3.) What ammunition is recommended for the gun.
    4.) Is this a decent gun for home security and worthy of investing
    (any) money in it.

    I have included link(s) showing pictures on the gun in case I’m describing it wrong and hopefully they will tell the true story?

    Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated………Moorwhine
  2. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Welcome to the forum.
    1. You have a 3rd Model "Automatic Ejecting" revolver - with that serial number, either a 3rd or 4th Variation - made between 1909 and 1924. It is chambered for the .38 S&W cartridge.
    2. You can get the grips you need here:
    3. Your gun was chambered for .38 S&W cartridge - NOT .38 Special. That cartridge is not a widely sold item, but several of the major ammo companies as well as MagTech of Brazil still offer it. It is a bit pricey because of low demand. It is not a very energetic round by today's standards - but was used extensively in the US and Great Britain during the 1st Half of the 20th Century.
    4. I own quite a few of these guns, in all their variations - and I would not consider it to be a "decent" gun for home security - there are much better modern choices - any used S&W made .38 Special revolver - if you want a revolver, would be a much better choice and capable of handling a wide array of modern, effective self defense type rounds.
    Unless you intend to begin collecting H&R's or other handguns of that genre, I, personally wouldn't invest any serious money in bringing it back to life.
    Any other questions, feel free to ask.
  3. moorwhine

    moorwhine New Member

    Mar 11, 2011
    Northern Ohio
    Jim, thank you very much for the reply and I am much more knowledgeable now of what I have. I will heed your advice and resume my search for a better fit for a firearm to just keep in the house. With never owning one till now, the choices seem to be limitless. Again, I very much appreciate you taking the time to educate me on this particular pistol.
  4. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001

    Jim, I have to hand it to you. I've read a few of your posts and am impressed by your knowledge of the old H&Rs...

    But I can't help but notice your signature includes 'H&R Collector":p

    It takes a BIG man to be a collector of something and give truthful answers about the very thing that piques your interest!

    I would have expected an "H&R Collector" to say something like "SURE, they are GREAT GUNS that are so UNDERRATED and I would stake my life on it in a HEARTBEAT!" LOL:p

    Your truthful answers are refreshing!

    Although I SLIGHTLY disagree that the .38 S&W is TOTALLY inadequate as a defensive round, a HECKUVA lot of German soldiers in both wars that were shot by Tommies carrying Webleys, and S&Wsand other revolvers chambered for it MIGHT argue with you....keep in mind at the time the .38 Spcl was introduced, it was considered a "Hot" round for the police, and most DETECTIVES and plainclothes cops and a lot of the public were carrying .32 S&W and .32 S&W Longs in THEIR revilvers, and there wasn't an urge for them to "upgun" until the 50s and later! The .38 S&W would be better than the .32...

    Although you are correct, why pay so much MORE for any of those obsolete calibers when .38 Special is much better, AND much cheaper now!

    (Although I still get Aquila .32 S&W Long pretty cheap still to fire through my M95 Nagant!:p)

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