View Full Version : 1900's Harrington Richardson 44 caliber double barrel shotgun

September 29, 2007, 04:51 PM
Hi everyone. I am hoping to find out some information on this gun. It belonged to my grandfather. This is the information I have. Pat date Feb 27,00. 44 caliber stamped on top of barrels. It takes brass casing shells. Cock trigger. Has Harrington Richardson Arms Company, Worcester, Mass, USA stamped on it. Here are some pictures. Any information would be appreciated . If its rare, value, etc. Thanks, Lefty

September 29, 2007, 09:29 PM
All I can really tell you about it is it's chambered for .44-40 shot shells. It may be possible to use .44 spcl. shotshells if the chamber is loose enough for the shells to fully drop in to the base(some will, some wont). If you have to push them in chamber pressure will be too high.

Mike Irwin
September 29, 2007, 11:42 PM
The older Blue Book of Gun Values that I have doesn't even list an H&R double barrel.

I'd say that Hawg is right about the gun taking the .44-40 shot shell load, which was also popularly known as the .44 Marble shot load, used in the Marble Game Getter handgun.

I'd say that the design of the stock and locks would put it before WW I.

But absolutely do not try to use .44 Special shotshells in it. The .44-40 has a wider base so it won't even be close to the right fit.

September 30, 2007, 11:08 AM
Thanks for the information. Any idea as to rarity, value?? Wouldn't you think it would be listed in some catalog? Thanks

September 30, 2007, 12:07 PM
I'm not advising anyone to do something that would get them hurt or damage a gun. The difference in shell size is nominal and we're talking shotshells in a smoothbore not sending a solid piece of lead down a rifled barrel. Yeah, it will most likely swell the case to chamber dimensions but as long as it's a drop in fit and not forced chamber pressures won't be enough to do any damage. Some will easily chamber 44 spcl shotshells, some won't. If it won't drop in fully on it's own don't try it. Best thing would be get some 44-40 brass and reload them with shot. Quite a few different companies made these in a SXS configuration. I'm just guessing but I'd say it's worth somewhere around 400-600 bucks.

September 30, 2007, 01:24 PM
I hate to disagree with you guys, since you are having such a lively discussion, but the shotgun in question is probably not chambered in 44 Gamegetter. Marbles gamgetters were cheap single-shot guns. It is more likely chambered in 44XL (1-9/16"). From Carrtidges of the World, Chapter 11- Shotgun Shells:
Historical Notes- Made in the early 1900s, shotguns in this bore size were intended solely for use in hunting small game. This could be considered the forerunner to the 410 shotshell. Brass cases and paper shot containers were used. Overall, length was 2-1/32" with a case length of 1-9/32". The standard loading used No. 8 shot in a folded paper container, which protruded substantially from the brass case. Both single-barrel and double-barreled shotguns were offered in this chambering. Actual bore diameter was similar to the 44-caliber rifle cartridges (0.425") and would be called a 61-gauge.
From the reference tables:
Paper or wood shot container
Rim diameter- .525"
Base diameter- .471"
Mouth diameter- .443"
Case length- 1.57"
Open length- 2.03"
Bore diameter- .425"

So, theoretically, it appears that if you were determined to shoot it, you could make shotshells from 44-40 cases and use 44-caliber Speer shot capsules if you turn them down by .004" since they are .429", but it appears the 44XL rim is thinner so the rims would have to be turned. Charge would have to be black powder.

If it were mine, I would use something like the new American Pioneer powder rather than real black powder, due to fouling and corrosion issues. Or just clean it up and not shoot it at all. The shotgun probably has considerable collector value.

See if Wildalaska has any input on this.

September 30, 2007, 08:49 PM
What/Who is Wildalaska? Thanks

James K
September 30, 2007, 08:53 PM
A chamber cast should settle the question of the cartridge.


September 30, 2007, 09:11 PM
What/Who is Wildalaska?

Man... I thought I was a noob. :D

Mike Irwin
October 1, 2007, 08:43 AM

Yeah, Scorch, you nailed it. Don't know where my head was on that one.

But, the fact that Marbles Game Getters were cheap handguns has nothing at all to do with the ammunition they used....

October 1, 2007, 12:31 PM
I spent quite a bit of time looking yesterday and came up with zero. I knew H&R was the U.S. representative for Anson & Deely boxlocks for a half a dozen years in the 1880s, but later hammer guns were a mystery. So


Couldn't decide how to spell Deeley, so I got back on Google while I was sitting here waiting for a client who is late. Guess what...



"1909 to early 1920s"


October 1, 2007, 01:20 PM
Great find, johnbt!

Mike Irwin
October 1, 2007, 11:38 PM
Looks like it could be either chambering from that information.

October 2, 2007, 12:41 AM
My opinion on value is $475.00 due to the great condition (though it's a little hard to tell for sure from the small pictures.) Many companies sold "catalog" shotguns during that era. They were generaly inexpensive guns. I think you have a very nice looking example. I actually have a similar model in 12 gauge by a different maker in far lesser condition hanging above my fireplace for show. I based my value opinion on nosing around gun auction sites, pawnshops, & such. I'm not a dealer. I found no printed values for your model. Money comes & goes, if it were handed down through my grandfather, I'd keep it for sure.

Hats off to johnbt! Very cool that you found those ad pics for lefty!

October 3, 2007, 08:50 AM
Thanks for all the information. It is appreciated, well except for the noob comment

October 3, 2007, 10:11 AM
You're welcome.

Don't worry about the noob thing. Wildhealwayssticksacommentinthemiddleofhisnamealaska is (in)famous and is in something like 13th place on the list of total posts made. He's only 5 places behind the owner of the site.


October 3, 2007, 07:15 PM
I think a total of four posts is pretty good noob material:D. Not being derogatory.;) Heck I'm still a noob here.

February 11, 2008, 07:24 PM
Hello, I have been reading all the interesting info on the H&R. I, have a single shot which is stamped on the top of the barrel 410-44CAL, and with a Pat. date of FEB. 27 1900, the serial # is 64855. Any information on this shotgun or if anyone has knows where I can get a new stock, I would appreciate it.
Have a great YEAR

January 19, 2009, 08:16 PM
I have the same gun and my great grandfather owned it. Date is Feb. 1900. It is also stamped 410/44 caliber on the barrels. Sight unseen I have been offered $2000.00 for mine. Its a wonderful shooting shotgun, used mine as a kid hunting squirrels.

James K
January 19, 2009, 09:23 PM
AFAIK, the .44 XL shotshell is simply the .44-40 case with a paper shot capsule. Overall length is a tad over 2", so it will not function through a Winchester 73 or 92, but would be fine in that H&R Shotgun. The .44 Game Getter was the same and was also made with a round ball bullet.

There was also a special .44-40 shot round that was the same OAL as the rifle cartridge, but it would have been pretty useless for hunting. It was crimped with a paper over-shot wad and was used by trick shooters in Winchester rifles. The shot was No. 12 (aka "dust shot"), chosen because it lost energy so fast that in aerial shooting it wouldn't penetrate the tents often used by those performers.


32 Magnum
January 21, 2009, 10:34 PM
The shot guns pictured above are from my collection, and those are my pictures. I picked up the add at one of those "paper and ephemera" shows that my lady likes to go to. For reference, I bought the .44 cal. for $850 about 8 years ago (it needed some major work - through bolt was stripped and both side locks were loose in a baggy), and the 28 ga. (not pictured, but in better condition than the .44) cost me just a bit over $1000, both thru on-line auctions and after some very spirited bidding. I've only seen maybe 5 (3 in .44 and 2 in 28 in quite a few years of collecting, so I'm guessing they're pretty rare, today. The last year they were offered in the H&R catalogues was 1921, so they were only in production for approx. 12 years. These are mentioned in the newly rewritten H&R section of the 29th Edition of the "Blue Bood of Gun Values" by S. Fjestadt, upon which I had the honor of working with Bill Goforth.
Jim Hauff, H&R Collector

32 Magnum
January 21, 2009, 10:44 PM
Your single barrel, with that chambering is either an H&R Model 1905 small frame, if it has a removable hinge pin -or- a small frame model 1915 if it has a fixed hinge pin. Fore stocks on the two models are different - the 1905 is affixed to barrel by a screw and the 1915 is a pull down and off. Butt stocks are pretty much the same. Your best bet to find original factory replacements is probably on one of the major on-line gun auction sites.
Jim Hauff