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Old September 5, 2011, 01:53 AM   #1
dbeers02
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Harrington & Richardson revolver identification help

I have an old 5 shot revolver that my grandfather gave to my dad 40+ years ago. My grandfather found it buried when he was doing some demolition work in Lawrence Kansas. It is not in great shape, and I have searched and searched trying to figure out exactly what it is.
It is a top break 5 shot revolver. It has alot of corrosion, but I am about 95 percent sure it is a Harrington and Richardson. It appears to have been either nickel or chrome plated and most of the plating is gone.
I believe it to be a 32 but my 9mm shells nearly go into it. Possibly a 38? It is a double action non self ejecting. The information on the top of the barrel appears to be stamped Harrington and Richardson Worchester Mass. USA. The rest of the info is illegible. On the left side of the butt under the grip it appears to have 582 stamped in it. Under the top where the break latch is, it appears to have 392 stamped into it. The barrel is approximately 3 inches long.

I will clean it up some more and get pics.
Any info about when it was made and what caliber it is for sure would be appreciated. I know it has little value, but it has sentimental value to my dad since my grandfather gave it to him.
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Old September 5, 2011, 12:06 PM   #2
32 Magnum
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dbeers02,
As I posted in that "other" forum. I'll need a bit more info on your gun and pics will certainly help. Here's what I posted (for the benefit of other interested readers):

dbeers02,
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for all the info and a very interesting history of that foundling.
There's a couple "issues" that make ID challenging. The barrel top rib stamping is a positive indentifier as to an H&R handgun. The finish would have been/is Nickel. The 3" barrel and 5 shot sounds like a PREMIER Model - which would fit with the 5 shot (in .32 cal) and the rib stamp - but you say it is "non self ejecting" which leads to a "MANUAL EJECTING" aka "SHELL EXTRACTING" 1st Model 1st Variation - which had the same barrel rib stamp and would be 5 x .38 S&W. I'll post 2 pics - you pick what you think you have and we'll go from there.
I'll bet if you look very closely, you'll see that the number stamped into the grip frame is the same as that stamped under the top strap/latch.
I'll wait for more info and/or some pics. Very interesting.

IMG_1988_2.jpg

IMG_1736_2.jpg
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Old September 5, 2011, 12:19 PM   #3
Master Blaster 2
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debeers...google is your friend

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England_Firearms
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Old September 8, 2011, 11:52 AM   #4
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Why go to wiki site when you can get BETTER and more accurate info here?
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Old September 8, 2011, 01:29 PM   #5
Mudinyeri
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I too have an old five-shot, top-break H&R nickel-plated revolver given to me by my grandfather. I'd be interested in seeing pics of yours.
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Old September 9, 2011, 01:03 PM   #6
32 Magnum
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Mudinyeri,
Give me a little more info about your gun (any stampings? top of barrel rib is best indicator or model and age, anything on the left side of the barrel?), serial number (under top strap with cylinder removed); hammer or hammerless, etc. and I'll tell you all about it.
Deal?
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Old September 9, 2011, 02:07 PM   #7
Mudinyeri
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Deal, 32 Magnum!

The top of the barrel rail is stamped: HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON WORCESTER MASS U.S.A.

I don't see anything stamped on the left side of the barrel.

Here are a few pictures.









In case the last photo isn't clear, the stamp appears to be "1981".
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Old September 9, 2011, 03:13 PM   #8
32 Magnum
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Mudinyeri,
You've got yourself an "oldie". It is a 1st Model 1st Variation MANUAL EJECTING aka "SHELL EXTRACTOR" Model. These were made between 1885 and '87. Five shooter would be a .38 S&W BLACK POWDER cartridge chambering. These were offered with a 3 1/4" barrel (apparently, no other barrel lengths have as yet been observed), Nickel plated (no blued guns have been seen), molded, black hard rubber "floral pattern" grip panels and either 6x .32 S&W and .32 H&R Long or 5x .38 S&W - all black powder loadings.
There were approx. 6000 of these made - from serial numbers observed - so far. The top barrel rib should have only the manufacturer's name and address in one line. There should be 2 guide rods on either side of the central cylinder rod, under the extractor star. The muzzle end of the ejector rod should be knurled and have a slot cut into it for aid in taking the extractor/ejector star system apart.
Current retail values are fairly high due to scarcity - EXCELLENT condition pieces will sell up to $500 or so, down to around $200 for a FAIR condition. Interest is primarily from collectors of ANTIQUE H&Rs or other firearms.
Nice item to have in a collection due to its historical significance - try to find another hinged frame, manual ejecting revolver from that time period.
IMG_1734.jpg

IMG_1739.jpg

IMG_1737.jpg
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Old September 9, 2011, 03:47 PM   #9
Mudinyeri
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Thanks, 32!

Unfortunately, mine has mostly sentimental value. It was given to me by my grandfather in his will when he passed away. I didn't even know he had it.

The bad news is that something in the cocking mechanism is broken. The pistol is completely inoperable. The nickel is badly degraded and the locking mechanism is very loose.
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Old September 9, 2011, 05:13 PM   #10
32 Magnum
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It's a "heritage" piece - has unfathomable value as a family heirloom.
Put it in a shadow box with a label and enjoy looking at it. It's already done its duty - it deserves an honored retirement.
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Old August 30, 2012, 11:13 PM   #11
castlebrew
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This has all been great info! These pix appear then to be an H&R 1st Model, 1st Variation SN #3676. Purported to have belonged to a Chicago Police Dept. Officer (relative of Dear Wife's mother), at the time of the Haymarket Riot (May 4, 1886)
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