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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got this H&R when my Dad passed and he acquired them not too long before. As far as I know Dad never fired it and I would like to Know exactly what it is and what type of Ammo to use in it. I'm pretty sure it's 38 S&W but Not sure if I can use modern ammo or not as the caliber is not anywhere on the gun. SN=49376 under the top strap, and on the heel of the grip, also notice the last 3 digits are on the back surface of the cylindar and on the ejector. It has MOP grips and looks as though it has been shot very little and kept very nice for as old as I think it may be. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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It a Harrington & Richardson safety hammerless top break either .32 S&W or .38 S&W. (looks like .38) With no caliber markings you'd have to simply measure the cylinder cartridge slots or see if a .38 bullet fits it. I can't tell 100% from the pics and the text on the barrel didn't all come out clear.

The last patent date is 1906 so it was made after then. One of the guys here with the books can give you a more precise date of manufacture based on the serial number.

You certainly can shoot black powder rounds in it. You can probably shoot smokeless cartridges in it too based on the patent date. These pistols were made into the 1930's. I have a US Revolver Co. .32 which was made in the early 30's and it fires smokeless .32 S&W fine. I've put a couple dozen rounds through mine simply because it's fun to shoot and I take it with me as my truck gun in case I hit an animal and have to put it down.

Your pistol may have been refinished at some time (most likely has been) I don't think that nickel finish is original.

Value of these little top breaks varies depending on condition. Rarely do they sell for over $100 and ammunition is a bit costly for them as well as not so very readily available. Some of the on-line ammunition sites do have rounds for them though.

Somebody else here will be able to give you a little more precise info than I have available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
38 S&W fits nicely, The latest patent date is April 7,96. I think the nickle finish is origional, seems to match the condition of the rest of the gun. Looks almost new.
 

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38 S&W fits nicely, The latest patent date is April 7,96. I think the nickle finish is origional, seems to match the condition of the rest of the gun. Looks almost new.
Ahh Ok - I couldn't make out the text very clearly on the barrel in the photo. Looked like 06 not 96. With the 1896 patent date being the last one it should be black powder only. The frame wasn't made to handle the stress of the higher pressure of smokeless rounds. Granted, you could hand load for lower pressures with modern powder.

If 38 S&W fits nicely then it is indeed a .38 S&W model. I've only ever seen these top breaks in .32 and .38 S&W.

You'd have to take it to a gunsmith to verify if it had been refinished or not.
 
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