Author Topic: H&R Top Break Open Revolver  (Read 3820 times)

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Offline Frankt

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H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« on: January 20, 2012, 03:12:01 PM »
   I may have posted this topic in the wrong place.  I am new to this sight and I haven't figured out how to move the topic to the right place.  Sorry. Got an H&R top break gun in and the only identification I can find on the gun is what is on the top of the barrel. Harrington & Richardson Arms Company Worchester Mass. US Pat. Oct 4 87 Apr 2 95 Apr 7 96. No other markings are on the gun. The guy had a partial box of 32 S&W with him. It does have auto ejection though. When you open the cylinder the extractors raise and then pop down. I don't know whether I have an Auto Eject, Premier or Police Premier Gun. Frank. I did find a serial number of 069136 on the underside of the top strap. The back of the cylinder is marked 136. I am not sure if these guns are safe to shoot or not. The cylinder free wheels until you either cock the gun single action or pull the trigger double action and hold the trigger back. Kind of scary. The owner has not shot it and has brought the gun to me to see if it is safe to shoot. I am not sure how to tell on these guns. If anybody has any insight as to how to check this gun out I would greatly appreciate. Frank

Offline Old Fart

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2012, 02:26:54 AM »
First off welcome to the forum. ;)
 
Please check back, some of the resident experts will be checking in and I'm sure they will be able to help you out. You did come to the right place for your H&R questions.
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Offline knight0334

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012, 10:24:15 AM »
Some old guns did "free wheel" until it was cocked.  They didn't have the indent in the cylinder to lock the action.  ...that part isn't  really a safety issue.   H&R, Iver Johnson, and several others were designed like that.

You're prime concerns should be if it is a black powder only gun and the condition of the bore, barrel, and receiver(cracks, ballooning, etc).
RIP ~ Teeny: b.10/27/66 - d.07/03/07

Offline Frankt

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 11:20:44 AM »
Thanks that is one issue I was hopeing someone could help me with.  I did post the serial number but I have no idea if it was one made for black powder only.   I attached another picture if it will help.  Thanks Frank

Offline 32 Magnum

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 09:45:46 AM »
Frankt,
Welcome to the forum.  Sorry for the delay in getting to your message - been a bit sickly lately and not hitting my favorite hot spots as often as I used to.
ANYWAY - about your gun:

Its a 1st Model PREMIER (small frame auto ejecting) 3rd Variation (1897 - 1898) made to handle .32 S&W (the short one) loaded with BLACK POWDER charges ONLY.  Shooting smokeless charges in this gun will "open" the frame resulting in poor or no latch-up at the top rear.  With the 'O' letter prefix - it  dates to 1898 and the s/n falls within the know serial number range for this variation.  The number on ejector star and cylinder matching the last three digits of the main serial number (found under the top strap) indicates they are original to the gun. This variation was made with a "free wheeling" cylinder - H&R suggested safe carry of this gun with loaded cylinder - by allowing firing pin to rest on cylinder face between cartridge rims or allowing the fp to rest in an ignited primer/case.  The next variation (4th) in 1899 saw the introduction of an automatic cylinder stop mechanism.
FWIW - the AUTO EJECTING series were all "large frame" - 6 shot .32 or 5 shot .38.  The PREMIER POLICE (or any other model with police name) would have the H&R patented "Safety Hammer" - with factory "bobbed" hammer spur.
As to safety of these guns - use only BLACK POWDER LOADS unless the owner wants to bend/open up the frame; check barrel latch for secure hold - when latched there should be no verticle or sideways movement; this variation will only achieve full "lock-up" when the trigger is pulled full stroke - pull trigger and hold it back - then check cylinder for end shake and wobble - should be v. tight with v. little play and muzzle bore and cylinder bores should align properly.  Check cylinder bore, inside and out for stress cracks.  Any other safety checks you would do for a revolver would be suitable.  Forcing cones on these are pretty robust - but should be checked, IMHO.
Good luck!
Jim Hauff,  H&R Collector

RIP Jim, passed away on October 12th, 2012

Offline Frankt

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2012, 12:36:40 PM »
Thank you very much.  I will advise the owner.  Frank

Offline 32 Magnum

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2012, 11:40:22 AM »
Frank,
You're welcome.  Glad to help.  Thanks for thanking.
Jim Hauff,  H&R Collector

RIP Jim, passed away on October 12th, 2012

Offline history-fan

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 02:10:40 PM »

I am trying to get more info on my H&R top break .38.  I believe it to be a "Second Model" but I'm not sure.


Can anyone provide any info including the year of manufacture?


I like to buy reference books but haven't seen anything with good H&R data.  The brand is not covered in detail in all the "big name" collectors books (Standard Catalog of Handguns, Flaydermans, etc.)


There is no alpha in the serial number.  The inside of the grips have the last 3 of the serial number scratched on the surface, I believe indicating they are original to the piece.


Any help is appreciated.  Thanks in advance.


Dan




Offline Old Fart

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 03:16:25 AM »
Welcome to the forum History-fan.
 
Check back.
We have several experts/historians here who can probably fix you up.
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Offline 32 Magnum

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 05:06:48 AM »
Howdy History Fan,
You have a 2nd Model LARGE FRAME HAMMERLESS revolver made to handle .38 S&W Cartridges loaded with SMOKELESS powder, as it was made sometime after 1905.  Based upon the serial number, it is either a 2nd Variation (1907 - 09) or a 3d Var. (1910 - 13).  The serial number falls right in the seam for the end of the 2nd and the beginning of the 3rd.  If you supply the stamping on the top of the barrel rib, EXACTLY as it, I can tell you exactly which variation you have - but indications are it was made in late 1909 or early 1910.   Hint:  a 3rd Var. will have only one patent date:  Oct. 8th 1895.  While the 2nd will have:  April 2nd, 1895 and April 7th, 1898.
The change has to do with improvements made to the auto ejecting mechanism and the barrel latch.
Jim Hauff,  H&R Collector

RIP Jim, passed away on October 12th, 2012

Offline history-fan

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2012, 02:43:23 PM »
Jim, thanks for the reply.  Here are the stampings on the top of the barrel rib.  I did not see any dates though.


Also, can you recommend a good reference book for dating these pieces that is available?

Offline 32 Magnum

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2012, 05:23:19 AM »
History-fan:
The best place for history of the H&R Firearms is CURRENTLY any edition of the "BLUE BOOK...." by S. Fjestad
after the 28th Edition.  The H&R section was completely rewritten for the 29th Edition and it is updated annually.
There is a book authored by the late Bill Goforth in the hands of the publisher and which I had the opportunity to edit and bring up to date last summer (2011) but has not yet been published - this will be more detailed than the section in "THE BLUE BOOK" but follow the same lines. expanded quite a bit and with many pictures, some of which I have posted on this and other sites.  When I hear some positive news from the publisher, I willl post it on this site.
Jim Hauff,  H&R Collector

RIP Jim, passed away on October 12th, 2012

Offline history-fan

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2012, 07:58:41 AM »
Thanks much Jim.  I just acquired the 32nd edition.  Looking forward to news of an H&R collector's reference.

Online Graybeard

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2019, 04:52:46 AM »
Let's bring this one back up and see if folks might want to talk more about it.


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Offline Fanya2u

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2020, 01:43:32 PM »
Trying to assist my fiance with a value in his grandfather pistol. H&R 7 shot 22lr revolver serial number 23. He has the leather pouch it came with and is still in fireable condition.

Offline Matt

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Re: H&R Top Break Open Revolver
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2020, 02:01:23 PM »
Do you have pictures of the gun?

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