Questions about two H&R revolvers

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Ken W, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Ken W

    Ken W Member

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    My father has recently acquired two old H&R revolvers. The first one being the Young America in 22 cal. I'm fairly certain it's a Second Variation. It has an octagon barrel with a nickel trigger guard and there is no writing on the barrel. The only writing is placed on the top strap "Young America" and "Double Action". It also has a three digit serial number under the left grip. Being that this was made between 1888-1897 it would have been made for a black powder round. Is it safe to fire low velocity 22 Short rounds, such as the CCI CB Short at 710 ft/s? Also was the gun Double Action only? He says the hammer does not stay in place when pulled back manually so as to shoot in SA mode. Is something broke or worn out or is this the way it is supposed to be?
    The other gun is is an H&R "The American", which is written on the top strap, in 32 S&W, I assume. 6-shot S.N. #167XXX with the maker's name and address on the barrel and the caliber listing as 32SW with a character or two afterward that is too faint to discern. A (0 or C), more than likely a C and a smaller mark that is completely indecipherable. My main question about this one is whether it is equally acceptable to use 32 S&W shorts and 32 S&W Long shells? That is assuming it's not the 32 RF version.
    Any assistance will be much appreciated.
  2. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    The Young America revolvers were made to fire by either trigger action or by thumb cocking the hammer. If you cannot cock the hammer to fire it, then something is worn out and will need attention, either the full cock notch or the single action sear. It's also possible that the singel action sear spring is broken. If everything is otherwise is good contion and without cracks and such, then a 2nd model should be safe to fire c.b. caps. A worn out and out-of-time revolver could spit lead causing a hazard to bystanders, thus it's wise to have a gunsmith check the revolver before shooting it.

    "The American" H&R revolvers, often say "The American Double Action" or "The American Safety Hammer" etc. If it's a six shot .32, it would have been made to use either the .32 S&W short or long cartridges (but don't use any magnum loads!). the letters on the side of the barrel are most likely "C F" for center fire. H&R also made this revolver in a rim fire model but they called it, "The H&R Bull Dog." If the revolver is a rim fire, it will have a rim fire firing pin and the cylinder chambers will be too tight to fit .32 S&W cartrige cases.
  3. Ken W

    Ken W Member

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    Thanks for the reply, 45. I figured they both should work either SA or DA. It's upsetting in that the .22 was supposed to be "mechanically correct". Otherwise it seems to be in great condition. By the C.B. Caps do you mean those .22/6 mm Flobert rounds? The low velocity 22 shorts would be too much pressure? Those little Flobert rounds are not the easiest to come by and not cheap when found.

    It's good to know that the 32 is center fire and not the RF version. Then he'd have two guns with near impossible to find ammo.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  4. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    FYI Photos are provided as research and reference examples - (might as well get them out in the public domain, now, while I still can.)

    The marking on the barrel for the AMERICAN DOUBLE ACTION would be: .32 S&W CTGE.
    IMG_0840.jpg
    "AMERICAN BULLDOG" (rim-fire cartridge version) will look like this:

    IMG_0841_2.jpg

    Top strap stamps:

    IMG_0850_2.jpg
    IMG_0839_2.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  5. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    FYI Continued: Typical "BULLDOG" markings -

    IMG_0843_2.jpg

    IMG_0845_2.jpg
  6. Ken W

    Ken W Member

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    Jim,
    Thank you for all of the information and pictures. The 32 my father has must be the one in the first picture, in .32 S&W CTGE. Good to know.
    As for the .22 model, can low pressure (710 ft/s)CCI .22 shorts be used in it? It is the First Model, Second Variation. He told me that he used to have one of these, exactly the same model, and used to fire 22 shorts through it all the time. The gun looks to be in great shape, with the exception of the hammer not staying in a cocked position when pulled back manually. Those tiny Flobert caps are so scarce. Are they even made any longer? If so where are they to be found specifically? I only found one place online that might have them in stock.
    I looked through the parts list at Numrich for what I might need to advise him getting for the hammer cocking issue but couldn't find anything specifically termed the way 45Auto mentioned above. Will the lack of these parts affect the way it operates in DA?
  7. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    Jim, you have a great collection. I never get tired of looking at your images.

    Ken, I'm not a professional gunsmith, but in my opinion, low pressure CCI shorts would be safe to fire in your old H&R .22.

    Numric lists the part as No. 27, "Sear, Small Frame." and "sear spring" However, you might or might not need these exact parts. The revolver will have to be taken appart to see what's broken and what's not.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  8. Ken W

    Ken W Member

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    Thanks again, 45. Hopefully it'll be an easy fix.
  9. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    I seemed to have overlooked the Young America. Here's a pic. of a 1st Model 2nd Variation. Most notable features: Nickel trigger guard (before 1898 on Nickel plated pieces), flat/sloped recoil shied and flat hammer screw.
    This example just happens to be a fairly rare medium framed piece chambered for .32 RIM-FIRE cartridge.
    IMG_1043_2.jpg

    The .22 rim-fire version was built on the small frame; here's a comparison pic (NOTE, the .22 is mislabeled in the picture - it is a 1st Model 3rd Variation - picture was taken before real 2nd Variation was recognized) :

    IMG_1079_2.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  10. Ken W

    Ken W Member

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    Thanks, Jim for the added info and pics.
  11. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Ken,
    You're welcome, sir. And thanks for thanking. All these H&R pics do no one any good sitting on my hard drive - I'm going to get as many out into the public domain as possible, hopefully someone will find them useful.
  12. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I am always interested Jim. Thanks
  13. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    Hello Jim, thanks again for more great images.

    [​IMG]

    Does your medium frame, .32 RF Young America, also have the words "Bull Dog" marked on it, like this one? I think all of the medium frame H&R .32 RF revolvers left the factory as Bull Dogs, but I could be wrong.
  14. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    Come to think of it, H&R's "Victor" line of revolvers included a medium from .32 RF five shot. The Victor did not include the words "Bull Dog."
  15. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    45 -
    Mine isn't marked as is yours - doesn't have the 'Young America' stamp (check out the pics above). I've seen some marked like yours - don't know when the change occurred. I also have a 1920's rim-fire AMERICAN DOUBLE ACTION BULLDOG in .32 rf.
    I have a "few" VICTORS but no rim-fire versions. Also have a .32 rf Model 1905 which must be pretty scarce - I've only ever seen this one, anywhere.

    IMG_0841_3.jpg

    IMG_1007_2.jpg
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