I have been collecting break-top and
early solid frame pistols like these for many years. (I hear
you. I'm not sure why either except that they were cheap.)
There is still very
little research done on them as they haven't really come to
the attention of many collectors yet. Bill Goforth wrote a
great book on the H&R company and its firearms titled
"H&R Arms Co. 1871 - 1986 - A Historical
Reference for the Modern Collector". It's a
research oriented book with dates, serial numbers and
variations noted for most of the company's guns. H&R
also produced guns marked with the name "New England
Firearms". Iver Johnson was the big competitor who
made many of the same style guns that H&R was
producing. Iver Johnson also produced guns under the
"US Arms Co." and "US Revolver Co." name.
The American Double
Action (large solid frame centerfire revolver)
Manufactured 1883–1941 by Harrison & Richardson. Calibers: .32, .38 & .44
(850,000 were manufactured).
This pistol is one of the later post
1905 ones as it is marked with the caliber on the barrel.
This was done when H&R started making pistols for smokeless
powders. It also has a serial number 56188 and the manufacturer
stamped on the barrel. The nickel finish is about 30% with
the rest of the metal having a bright polish to the surface.
The lower left side of the muzzle has an odd flat where
there may have been a bad ding and someone filed it down.
Very light surface pitting. The grips
are very good with one very minor chip on the edge of each
grip but no cracks. Also some slight
smooth wear spots at the bottom of each. They are marked
with what appears to be inspectors initials on the insides. The bore has some
pitting which is not uncommon since the ammo of the day used
corrosive primers. The action works perfectly and the
cylinder locks up tight.
I have fired this one and it is a
fun gun to plink with. Fits my large hands
comfortably. New-made ammo is available as well as
brass and dies for reloading. The new ammo is
low pressure and should shoot in the early pistols with no problems
but don't quote me on that. Shooting any old firearm is done
at your own risk.
This pistol must be shipped to a C&R
or FFL license holder or can be purchased in person.