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Old January 11, 2013, 06:23 PM   #1
Join Date: December 23, 2011
Location: CT
Posts: 31
Harrington&Richardson .38 Hammerless Family Heirloom

Hey everyone, I am curious as to the year of manufacture and any information I can get on this particular revolver.
Top stamped Harrington & Richardson Arms Co.
Worcester, Massachusetts USA
It is stamped with a serial number 188920 - matching 920 serial number stamped on the cylinder and extractor.
This also has 38 S&W CTGE stamped on the left side.

It appears to be in very good shape, my grandfather has not shot it since he has owned it. Functions perfectly, good rifling inside the barrel.
Does anyone have any cleaning tips? I did my best, took the cylinder off and cleaned what I could.

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Old January 11, 2013, 09:09 PM   #2
Join Date: May 10, 2007
Posts: 85
I am not a big fan of DAO but that is one sweet little pea shooter. Congratulations on a nice piece.


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Old January 12, 2013, 03:29 AM   #3
Join Date: December 23, 2011
Location: CT
Posts: 31
I don't mind it being DAO. Lucky im just of that mindset though! Thanks, though!

The ammunition my grandfather had with this pistol looks equally as old, haha. Is there any way to rescue this? It seems to have corrosion all over the bullet. They are 145 grain lead. I only have experience with Jacketed bullets. These are not fire-able as is, correct?
Also, from what I read, I should not use a jacketed bullet with this revolver. Is that correct?
I know this is not the reloading forum, but any tips with reloading for this old cartridge? ;p

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Old January 12, 2013, 08:34 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39,226
I have one of those revolvers, as well, given to me by a friend. Not sure of the year of manufacture, but they are interesting.

The ammo is very likely from the 1930s, or the 1940s. Not sure when Winchester moved away from that box style, but the "Staynless" term was adopted very late in the 1920s.

It's also interesting that they're nickel plated cases. Never seen that before in this time frame. That may mean later, rather than earlier, loading. Pity the box is chewed up.

The corrosion on the bullets is simple lead oxide. Make sure to wash your hands after handling them, but it doesn't present a problem in firing the ammo.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

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Last edited by Mike Irwin; January 12, 2013 at 08:45 AM.
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Old January 14, 2013, 08:39 AM   #5
Magnum Wheel Man
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Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 9,333
wiping down the bullets & you should be fine shooting them ( with the precautions MIKE mentioned )

I collect & shoot these guns... FIY... the blued guns are "rarer" than the nickel guns, & often worth more... the gun is not particularly rare or worth lots of money ( though it may be priceless to you for sentimental reasons... & justifyably so... )

if you decide to shoot this ammo ( save the box, it's still collectable even in it's condition, could still bring $5.00 - $10.00 to the right person at a gun show... maybe more if you leave the cartridges in the box... ( lloking at the pic of the cartridges again, I suspect the cartridges are newer than the box, so they may not add any value to the box... sealed primers look newer than the box )

BTW... if you shoot them, I'd buy the cases from you when you're done... I collect these revolvers, & I have some nickel cases, that I load hotter & use for CCW, when I want to feel nostalgic... I load to 3 levels, pop gun for checking out revolvers for function, one mid level for daily shooting of targets, & the nickel cases for CCW use... the nickel ones are hard to find, so I'm always trying to find more...

BTW #2... you should have the gun checked out to make sure its safe to shoot, before shooting... the top breaks were a weaker design, the steels weren't as good, so guns weren't as durable back then, & H&R was a cheaper gun when sold new, so they were not as good a quality, as the S&W's & such...
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
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Old January 15, 2013, 08:06 PM   #6
royal barnes
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Join Date: March 11, 2012
Location: Wendell, N.C.
Posts: 189
Nice old revolver. I wouldn't shoot anything hotter than standard pressure in a .38 S&W. The holster, if maker marked, may be worth as much as the gun.
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Old January 16, 2013, 04:04 PM   #7
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Join Date: September 6, 2011
Location: Kansas
Posts: 315
Hammerless top break

Those H&Rs are nice old revolvers; I have a similar Iver Johnson Safety Automatic, also in .38S&W.

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