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old revolver

Article about: I have an old revolver which belonged to my Grandfather. I think it is from around the 1920's or so. It is Harrington & Richardson, shows patent 1847 on top. Cannot find a serial number.

  1. #1
    willm1
    ?

    Default old revolver

    I have an old revolver which belonged to my Grandfather. I think it is from around the 1920's or so.
    It is Harrington & Richardson, shows patent 1847 on top. Cannot find a serial number. It is '32 caliber, top opening, self extracting 6 shot. The hammer has no spur on it, guess you would call it a safety type hammer. The only number I found was under the grip, it is
    #4 78 88. There are also the numbers 888 twice on the inside of the cylinder. See attached photos. Hope you can tell me more.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: old revolver

    This is a great little copy of a Smith and Wesson !

    Pretty sure the numbers you've described is the serial number. As it is typical of companies to have only the last few numbers repeat on other parts.

    "1847" may be the start date of the H&R company, possibly, because this would be too early for this type of revolver. 1887 or 1897 though, is closer
    to the date of this style. Is the "1847" date faint or obscured ? It also looks like the spur has possibly been ground off (?) as I'm not sure they were manufactured this way.

    Regards, Steve.

  3. #3

    Default Re: old revolver

    I would refrain from firing any Nitro ammo in it due to the age of the weapon and the nasty habit of top break revolvers to release due to internal pressure from modern Nitro ammo.

    Example- I use Fiochetti 72gr .32 caliber in my 34 Mauser after having it damn near break my thumb when the action slammed back using 84 gr Nitro powder.

    If you do your own reloading or know a local who does, consider using "underpowered" reloads (60-62gr) and test fire in a vise or grip stand.

    As to the military use, H&R was a US Military supplier (M-1 Garand and Carbine in WWII and .45 MA1911 pistols under Govt contract) but their revolvers were never supplied for issue as a combat sidearm AFAIK. Your relation could have carried it as a personal firearm, which actually was frowned upon unless you were a pilot.

    A good 1920's to 1930's self defense pistol. The hammer spur was frequently modified so it wouldn't tear your pocket lining when being drawn from a coat or pants pocket. Similar to the .32 Cal Top Break Smith & Wesson.

  4. #4
    willm1
    ?

    Default Re: old revolver

    I can read the patent clearly, but it says Oct 4, 1887, not 1847. Guess I better get the glasses out. Can't tell if the hammer was ground, it is pretty smooth, here are 2 more pics. Thanks for the info so far. I am not planning on firing it, though my grandson does reload. My son got it reblued a few years ago, it was beautiful. Then he had a flood, and although it didn't hit the water, you can see how bad it looks now.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: old revolver

    Wiping it down with a cotton cloth and some light oil ought to take care of the rusy spots and make them less noticeable. You can lightly lubricate the insides too..............Don't use steel wool ! ! Important also, if the grips are made of hard rubber, take them off first ! The oil will make them shrink ! ( I've seen it happen first hand ! )

    I think it might fall under the category of "pocket pistol" or "Saturday Night Special"
    But it's still a really neat piece, and a sturdy design !

    Regards, Steve.

  6. #6
    ?

    Default Re: old revolver

    This is what you have,with the " quick draw " hammer.
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    JEDEM DAS SEINE

  7. #7

    Default Re: old revolver

    Quote by zwerge View Post
    This is what you have,with the " quick draw " hammer.
    Another good preservative and deruster is AeroKroil. Spray it down and let sit and then a day later spray again and wipe with a rough cotton cloth and 90% of the rust will come with the oil. The remainder is in the pits and should be taken out with a dental tool or Dremel tool with a fine pointed descaler. then reblue and you are done.

    Sure it's an oldie but in a pinch it will still do the job.

  8. #8

    Default Re: old revolver

    H&R made good guns, I believe they are still in business today. Your's is a double action in that when you pull the trigger it cocks the hammer and fires the gun. (on single actions you must manually cock the hammer and the trigger only releases the hammer and fires the gun.) Colt made the first double action revolver in I believe 1877, yours H&R was made some time after that. The 32 isn't a super powerful round and the cylander walls are thick due to the diameter of the bullet. It could probably handle standard ammo, even though you aren't planning on shooting it I would still use underpowered ammo as suggested earlier, Metal just doesn't get stronger over time. Judging from it's appearance and the condition of the grips it was well taken care of and wasn't carried extensively. Most guns of that period show worn grips if they were carried often. It's a nice gun.

    Mike

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