View Full Version : H&R 22 special???

November 28, 2005, 02:32 PM
We were given a gun and we are very curious about the history. Any info you can give would be great!
H&R 22 Speical
Serial #498821

Steven Mace
November 29, 2005, 02:49 AM

farwell, the H&R .22 Special revolver was made during the first part of the 20th century, up until WWII. These were chambered in .22 LR or .22 Mag. and typically were 9-shot, break-top DA revolver. The finish was blued with the front sight being gold plated on a 6" barrel. The grips were checkered walnut. For a point of reference, the Blue Book Of Gun Values -26th Edition lists the following values for the H&R .22 Special revolver:

100% - $165
98% - $140
95% - $120
90% - $100
80% - $85
70% - $70
60% - $60

Hope this helps!

Steve Mace

December 1, 2005, 10:59 PM
Just remember, the .22 Special ,AKA .22 Winchester Rimfire , is not the same as the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, AKA WMR or just .22 Mag. The WMR is a longer cartridge and will not fit into the Special cylinder. .22 long rifle will fit in the chamber and in many cases , fire, with resulting split case and partricles blowing back toward the shooter. Confused yet? Special cartridges are still around , I believe Cabela's had some a while back. Your revolver should be a seven shot, the .22 Long rifle is 9. Just remember the the .22 Mag cannot be fired in your revolver and you should not shoot regular .22 Long Rifles in it.

gordo b.
December 2, 2005, 08:17 PM
Wait a minute a bit of confusion. The .22 Special was made for 1903 Winchester autoloaders. I didn't know any pistol were made for them, but cool if so. These is SOME recently made ammo for .22 Special.
The .22WRF is a different round, and has a shorter length and less pressure than the same case diameter .22 Magnum which is from the 1960's (actually 1959). I have a Colt Police Positive Target which fires that .22 WRF round, which was a common chambering in the 1890 pump gun and quite a few others. The .22WRF ammo is currently made by CCI and Winchester occasionally!

December 2, 2005, 09:06 PM
Interesting post. I have H & R Special 22, s/n 514933, and have shot many
22lr with it, with no apparent ill effects. Right side of barrel notes 22 fimfire.
Will try to get 22 special ammo. accurate little revolver. In absence of 22 rimfire, would 22 longs or 22 shorts be acceptable for target practice, or continue using 22 lr?
Got out my Cabela's catalog, and .22WRF ammo is listed.

gordo b.
December 2, 2005, 11:14 PM
OK! The gun was made in .22WRF and .22lr. IF you have been shooting .22 Rimfire you would know if it was .22WRF: the .22LR cases would split!

December 3, 2005, 03:01 AM
I've got one that was given to me just like it in .22 LR. Mine needs a new cylinder star but can't find one. I have shot it and it is extremely accurate with the thin gold plated front sight and narrow slit in the rear sight.

James K
December 4, 2005, 07:46 PM
To clarify, it was the gun that was called the "Special" not the cartridge it was chambered for. The gun was made in either .22 LR or .22 Winchester Rimfire (.22 WRF). I have never heard of a ".22 Special"; apparently some posters are referring to the .22 Winchester Automatic Rim Fire, commonly called the .22 Winchester Automatic. The only gun ever made for the .22 Winchester Automatic was the Johnson-designed Winchester Model 1903 rifle. I have never seen a revolver or any other gun chambered for it, but Colt and H&R made revolvers in .22 WRF.


December 4, 2005, 09:49 PM
Remington marketed both guns and ammo marked .22 Special. Of course the 22 Special was nothing more than the Winchester WRF but rather than put Winchester ammo in your Remington you could shoot Remington "Special" And yes IAW Bill Goforth the H&R was at one time chambered in 22 Special ( 7 rounds) AKA WRF.

December 4, 2005, 10:54 PM
Also refer to page 439 of Cartridiges of the World, under 22 Winchester Rimfire. " the original Winchester loading had a flat-nose bullet, while Remington used a round-nose type and called it the 22 Remington Special. The two are are identical and interchagneable". Word for word , sorry about that Mr. Keenan, the gun was marked and marketed for the .22 Remington Special, not the Winchester Rimfire, AKA WRF, maybe they something going with Remington. I do believe some of the other poster had never heard of the .22 Special either.

James K
December 5, 2005, 11:32 PM
Hi, RJay,

You are correct about the cartridge. I had forgotten all about that Remington cartridge, or rather that Remington name for the .22 WRF. The Remington Model 16 autoloader was chambered for .22 Short, .22 LR, and .22 Remington Special from 1914 to 1918. After that it was made only in the .22 Remington Auto round (not quite the same as the .22 Winchester Auto). The Model 121S pump action was also made for the .22 Remington Special in the same short period, but I don't know of any other rifles that were.

I don't have an H&R .22 Special revolver, but it was made well into the 1930's, by which time the .22 Remington Special was totally obsolete. Every reference I can find, plus the statements made here by others, is that it was chambered for both .22 LR and .22 WRF, and was marked the same for either cartridge. I can find no reference to the ".22 Remington Special" in H&R catalogs or in any other book in reference to that revolver. Barring further solid evidence, I will stand by the statement that the word "Special" applied to the gun, not to the .22 Remington Special cartridge or to any arrangement with Remington.


December 6, 2005, 10:46 AM
The H&R .22 Special was made from 1925 untill 1942. You are undoubtedly right in your assessment of the .22 Special being a "Name" only instead of the guns chambering. I went back over Bill's postings and comments ( I print everything Bill posts) and I may have misstated his comments on the H&R being listed as being chambered in .22 Remington Special. I know somewhere I read it but I can't find the reference so I must bow to your expertise. So much information , so few brain cells.Bill Goforth did state that there are reports that the H&R .22 Special was also made in 7 shot .22 Long Rifle. Go figure. Vaya con Dios

January 12, 2006, 08:28 PM
As previously stated, I have H&R 22 Special, with 7-shot cylinder, and have
shot many 22lr rounds through it. Reading the forum replies, I obtained several
boxes, 50 rds per box, of 22 WRF ammo. Winchester Rimfire. I went to shooting range yesterday, and had several 22 pistols on hand. The 22 WRF
rounds would not fit into the H&R 22 Special, 7-shot cylinder. Diameter too
large. Shot several 22lr in all 22lr pistols. As someone said, the 22WRF rounds
have a flat tip, whereas the 22lr rounds have rounded tip. Just curious and
somewhat puzzled as to what to do with 22WRF ammo. Anyone want it for
collection or shooting in I don't know what.