Old H&R shotgun removable hinge question

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Old Wheelgun, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Old Wheelgun

    Old Wheelgun New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    45
    Hello. At the gun shop this morning on my day off and noticed another old single barrel shotgun came in for sale. This one I am assuming is an H&R made shotgun. It's a 12 gauge with 30 inch barrel. The receiver is marked Bay State with 2 line patent dates up above the hinge pin the holds the barrel on the gun. Overall, the gun i would say 90% to 95% condition. Whoever had it took really good care of it and hardly fired it from the looks of it. The case hardening is very good and so is the wood with no cracks or splits and the action locks up tighter than a bank vault. So, I had to buy it. I don't have one like this and figured it would go good in my collection. Also to mention, this gun has the small splinter forend on it and a screw that holds it on the barrel. My question is...how does the pin come out to remove the barrel off the frame? I never owned one of these model single barrels so I have no idea. I don't want to mess around and bind the pin in the frame so I figured I would ask first. Other question is, How well do these shotguns hold up to shooting? I fired 3 Remington number 8 shot gun club target loads through it which are 2 3/4 dram shells after I brought it home so see how it shoots. Very tight choke. first shot I patterned it and the last 2 shots I shot clay birds and turned them both to dust. Shoots excellent and ejects really good. It throws the shells out farther than my old Iver Johnson champion 12 gauge. I bet Jim Hauff will probably be around to answer. He's the H&R man to talk to. I think I found hobby collecting old single barrel hammer shotguns. There are so many different makes and models that were made. Cheaper made guns but full of history and neat to collect. Jim, if you can educate me a little more on the older H&R single shots, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks again, Bill
  2. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Messages:
    2,975
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Old Wheelgun,
    You have an H&R Model 1900, stamped for catalogue, hardware store and wholesale sales as the "BAY STATE" aka "a BRAND NAME" shotgun. It is a very late Model 1900, as this model was discontinued circa 1916-'17. This is the earliest example of a "BAY STATE" stamped shotgun that either Bill G. or I have encountered. It pushes the production period of the Brand Name pretty far back. Bill's research indicated that the first catalogue (dealer's) mention of the Bay State was in the 1932 price list.
    Bill theorized that the name Bay State was first used by Hopkins and Allen when they purchased the "BAY STATE ARMS Co. / Uxbridge Mass. sometime in the late 1890's, early 1900's. H&A sold out to Marlin Rockwell circa 1917 - which means H&R may have adopted or purchased the name around then. If true - your Bay State would be one of the first H&R produced pieces with that name. That's about it for the history. Bad news is that the Model 1900 (of which your gun is a variation) was chambered for 2 1/2" shells during most if not all of it's life span. You need to get the chamber depth checked before you shoot anymore 2 3/4" shells - no sense bursting anything on that gem. Also, the metal used (called semi-steel) for the receiver is a bit soft and a lot of shooting of smokeless powder shells (earliest Model 1900 were equipped with either fluid steel or "layered Damascus type" barrels) may deform the hinge and locking lug latch-up. BE CAREFUL. I've found the EJECTOR on this model (came as ejector or extractor) to be quite robust.:eek: The vast majority of this model, that I've seen, anyway, have been marked CHOKE on the top of the barrel - so I'm guessing what passed for a full choke back then is what you can expect to see on your gun.
    TO REMOVE the hinge pin: raise the toggle; turn it approximately 1/4 turn either right or left until the lug fits the keyway and then it will pull straight out. The gun will then be field stripped to it's two main components. The forearm is removed by turning out the screw on the underside.
    Good luck! Any pics? Especially of the left side of the receiver? Also, there should be a serial number on the rear tang of the trigger guard? Will you share it? These guns were serialed along with the parent model and having one of this fairly well established age/ YOM, will help settle some s/n to year questions?
    NICE FIND and thanks for sharing. PICS please!!

    IMG_2288.jpg
  3. Pettygunner

    Pettygunner New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
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    1
    Location:
    Washburn, TN
    I have one of these guns also but it is missing the toggle head removable hinge pin. Do you have any suggestions on where to get one? Any help would be appreciated.
  4. Mustangmary

    Mustangmary New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Mine is missing a hinge pin as well. Did you find one??
  5. gunsmith1

    gunsmith1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    I have an identical gun to this. I too was wondering about the manufacturing year of it - How old it is. The serial number on my shotgun is: A110
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