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Old January 22, 2020, 03:48 PM   #1
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Old H&R Top Break

I'm trying to figure out if this old revolver is chambered in 32 S&W (which it says it is) or 32 S&W Long which according to my google-fu it is. I'd just like any people in the know to comment.

It says
May14, August 6 '89, April 2 '95, April 7 '97
Auto Ejecting 32 S&W CRTG

And it has 6 charging holes in the cylinder, target emblem grips that have a back strap that step down to fit the body of the grips.

And would it work if I just bought 32 S&W Short rather than Long for reduced pressures?

Last edited by dyl; January 23, 2020 at 09:46 PM.
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Old January 23, 2020, 07:00 PM   #2
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Since it says 32 S&W, use 32 S&W in it. Always use the cartridge the firearm is marked for.

And just food for thought, there is no 32 S&W Short, just 32 S&W and 32 S&W Long. What you are calling 32 S&W Short is 32 S&W.
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Old January 23, 2020, 11:20 PM   #3
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So there is no 32 S&W short! Ah hah! From my internet reading I was under the impression that these H&R top breaks were either S&W Short or Long, which didn’t fit what was stamped on the barrel. I thought that maybe nomenclature became more specific since then. This makes it much easier and I would feel much better shooting what’s actually on the barrel.
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Old January 24, 2020, 12:15 PM   #4
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As Scorch says, there is .32 S&W which came out in the 1870s for topbreak revolvers and the .32 S&W Long which came out with the Hand Ejector (swing out) guns around 1896. So for about 20 years, there was only the one .32 S&W, no need for short or long like the other guys, and they did not see the need to rename the .32 S&W when the .32 S&W Long came out.

There were also .32 H&R and .32 MH. The .32 H&R will accept .32 S&W Long.
The .32 MH is very similar but of a particular OAL because of the Merwin & Hulbert revolver's peculiar "selective extraction."
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Old January 24, 2020, 01:53 PM   #5
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I have a real fondness for old Harrington and Richardson top break revolvers as my first pistol was a “.22 Special”... a long barrel top break target pistol the Pennsylvania Highway Patrol bought to save money on practice ammunition. That’s what Cooper the Trooper told my dad when he sold it to him in the early 1950’s.

Keep in mind they are not sturdy or built to shoot lots and lots...
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Old February 5, 2020, 11:56 PM   #6
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I hear you stinkeypete, I might just buy a small quantity of ammo shoot it rarely. The opening action is very fun. I could do that all day (but would probably wear it out)
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Old February 9, 2020, 04:30 AM   #7
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I'm gonna start doing a copy/past job for people asking questions on their .32 S&W top breaks because this question comes up at least twice a month.

From what I can figure, if your H&R has the cartridge marked on the side of the barrel, it's meant for smokeless powder. In addition to that, if it is also a 6 shot and not a 5 shot, it's meant for .32 S&W Long.

If your H&R top break can chamber .32 S&W Long, then it is meant for .32 S&W Long.

I cannot understand why H&R would make a cylinder that is capable of chambering .32 S&W Long yet intended it to be used only with .32 S&W. That's a lot of unnecessary steel and bullet jump for no reason.
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