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I've acquired a second H&R small frame hammerless. It looks identical to the first one (serial 4944) which I was told was a black powder only revolver. The second one is serial no. 262736. There are no patent dates on the top of the barrel, and it is marked 32S&W ctge on the left side of the barrel
IMG_0079.jpeg
Can someone tell me when it was made and is it safe for modern smokeless powder?
Thanks in advance.
 

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I don't have dating information for H&Rs.
As I understand it from information in The Blue Book of Gun Values, H&R top breaks that have the caliber marked on the side of the barrel were designed for smokeless ammunition.
 

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Your little Premier Hammerless is in top condition. It is smokeless and probably from about 1925. It is the 2nd to the last iteration of the Premier Hammerless before it was discontinued. In my world this would be called a 2nd Model Variation 4. This specific block of revolvers are known for not fitting the norm. For example most in this variation have an Oct. 5, 1895 patent date on the barrel. This date is 20 years before the early models of this variant were made, almost like H&R was using up some old barrels they found laying around in their plant somewhere. In my database I show 7 of this variant, all with the 1895 patent date. I would really like to see photos of the left side of your revolver as well as the lettering on the top rib of the barrel.

Are you certain that the barrel marking for caliber says ".32 S&W CTGE." and not ".32 CAL. S&W CTGE"? A photo of this would be important to.

Thanks for showing us your very interesting H&R.
With best regards,
Jeff
 

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Yours is very late in the 2nd Model Variation 4 series, in fact, it is the highest number in that group I have seen. I would think that as H&R was using up all these left over barrels and that they ran out of barrels before they ran out of frames. This was the last variant of the Premier that used that frame and they no doubt wanted to exhaust that frame inventory so they could produce the new heavy butt model called the 3rd model Variation 1. I suspect they produced new barrel assemblies to go with those frames and used the new barrel markings for the Model 3. The model 3 has the exact barrel markings as yours.

You have a very significant revolver to serious H&R revolver collector. Their aren't many of us, however, that would recognize this gun for what it is. I wouldn't shoot it. I'd sell it and buy another one of lesser importance. But it is your gun and you do what you want with it, it's not that valuable but extremely interesting.

Note: If you have the Goforth book, my model and variant numbers differ from his.

With best regards,
Jeff
 
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