H&R Model 999 "Sportsman"


April 5, 2009, 05:02 PM
This gun was owned by my grandfather, who passed it down to my father, who passed it down to me. It has never been fired; 9 shot .22 caliber. Along the barrel is the inscription "1867 Centennial 1967 End of Chisholm Trail Abilene, Kansas. My grandfather was the sheriff in Abilene and I can only presume this gun is a celebration of Abilene's centennial anniversary. I know absolutely nothing about Harrington & Richardson or this gun- if anyone has anything to share, please feel free!!



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April 5, 2009, 06:54 PM
The HRs were modestly priced revolvers usually found in 22, 32 and 38 S&W (not Special) calibers. The 999 was probably the top of the HR line but as you can see by the cast and stamped parts it was not a deluxe gun. I have never seen a special edition H&R revolver before this one.

Despite being a rather low-end gun, the 999 brings what I consider to be shockingly high bids when offered at auction. I once looked at them thinking one would make a fun plinker for $150. HA! They routinely sell for $400 and more which amazes me no end.

April 5, 2009, 06:57 PM
Here you go. The dolts have bid this beyond the buy it now price and the winning bidder will pay very nearly what he'd spend to buy a K22 which is ten times the quality of this gun.

Go figure...


April 5, 2009, 07:02 PM
Yeahand that auction is for one made 10 years later, and NOT a commemrative.AND it wasn't your grandfather's who was the sherrif of Abilene which makes it -PRICELESS. These are real nice sturdy shooters if you are so inclined- I wouldn;t however as the cylinder full could be worth hundreds of dollars value.

April 5, 2009, 07:14 PM
I will never sell this gun; yeah right! I am not entirely sure as to the function though; the trigger has another mechanism located directly behind it- not sure what it is for. For me, this is an heirloom historical piece. I am not sure if I will ever even shoot it.


April 5, 2009, 07:18 PM
Put this revolver up and don't shoot it. Treasure it as the keep-sake it is. The value of this piece is whatever it is worth to you,the owner. I have an RG.22 that isnt worth anything to anyone else but it is priceless to me because it was my dad's.

April 5, 2009, 07:25 PM
the trigger has another mechanism located directly behind it- not sure what it is for.

I believe that's for the hammer block so you can fully load the gun.

I have a 999 I bought for $45 over 30 years ago. Not fancy, DA is atrocious but very accurate and works well. H&Rs are quality inexpensive firearms. Your family history makes this gun worth more than whatever the market value is.

James T Thomas
April 5, 2009, 09:58 PM
One recommendation; should you ever shoot it.
-Place some thread locking compound in the small screws that hold the rear sight. They tend to unscrew.

I would shoot it. And enjoy it. My guess is that your grandfather and father, too, would be calling out from above to enjoy it while you are here on earth.
You will never know, most likely, just how it will be passed on, and who will end up with it, and whether they will place the same value on it as you do.
Even your children.

"When goods increase they are increased that 'eat' them: and what good is there to the owners thereof; saving the beholding of them with their eyes?"

You will read right here on THR many comments about "safe queens."
I'm not of the type that enjoys just the beholding of anything, just to return it to storage for years to come and then get it out again and sigh over it.
I know, some people do. We all are different.

I would use it and enjoy it while you can.

April 5, 2009, 10:06 PM
Your dad and granddad did not shoot it so I don't think they would want you to. They obviously wanted to keep a commemorative pristine for future collectability. I have no safe queens myself,I believe in shooting a shooter. This isn't a shooter(at least in your forefather's eyes). Collectability changes with the moods of the collectors. Who knows what it may be worth in 50 years,provided it is still unfired.

April 5, 2009, 10:29 PM
If it in never been fired get another one and keep that one as it is, not fired. :D

April 6, 2009, 06:10 PM
My father bought one of those back in the 60's when I was a young guy. It was the one and only handgun he ever owned. I shot it more than he did. I think it was supposed to be our "house gun". I still have it. I never shot anything else in the way of a handgun until I was grown and bought my first revolver, a Ruger Security Six. It always seemed to perform OK for shooting cans. I still have it but Dad is long gone (1976). I rarely shoot it because the plastic collet that hilds the mainspring in place fell apart and it fails to fire on a number of chambers. Its mainly a momento anyway. H&R's and Iver Johnson revolvers were less expensive guns but were pretty well made and did well enough for many who didn't have the $$$ for a S&w or Colt. I would probably shoot it since I would never want to sell or trade it.

April 6, 2009, 06:35 PM
I have an H&R with the same innards, but it's a solid frame, not a top-break.

They are relatively common .22 revolvers -- not yours, but other H&Rs. Yours is a rarity, especially unfired. I'd keep it that way and buy a cheap H&R as a "shooter" if you want one.:)

April 6, 2009, 07:35 PM
They were still making 'em in the 80s, saw 'em all the time. I probably shoulda picked one up just because. I've fired 'em before. They work, they're not bad accuracy. Of course, they're no K22 Masterpiece, but heck, they were a lot better than any RG just because the worked! :D i wish I'd have picked one up just to have something that's a top break. Top breaks are kinda cool.

February 1, 2010, 05:35 PM
There was only about 500 of the "End of the Chisholm Trail" made. There was also a short barrel model issued in 1969 that is the actual Abilene Centennial. It is also Nickle Plated with Pearl Grips. Besides the 2 H&R's there was also an Abilene Centennial Winchester Model 94 that was issued. They are also Nickle Plated and have a Abilene Medallion embedded in the stock. I think that there was around 300 of those made. I have one of each. The rifle is the hardest to come by and if you find one they are worth $1000-1200. The Chisholm Trail is worth around $600 and the Abilene worth around $450. All are worth more with the original box. I know of a matched serial number set of H&R's that can be bought for $1300. These guns were originally marketed and sold by Viola's Hardware Store in Abilene Kansas. There was also leather holsters available for both the End of the Chisholm Trail and the Abilene Centennial. They are hard to come by but again I have both. Hope this info helps.

February 1, 2010, 06:09 PM
Blue Book of gun values lists only 300 mfgd, for the chisolm trail 999. Also 300 mfgd for the Abeline centennial model 926.
The 926 looks much like the 999. But, the 926 is a manual ejector, not auto eject like the 999.
The little lever located behind the trigger is the single action sear, it causes the hammer to drop when engaged while firing in single action mode.
H&R double actions were basically 2 separate actions.
This info was written by Bill Goforth, who is the man, when it comes to H&R's..
Watch for his book.
I have 2 Nebraska Centennial model 949 H&R's, unfird, in wooden cases.
I will never fire either one.
I highly suggest you don't fire yours either. These kind of pieces were made as commemoratives, not shooters.
For sale or not, the values will continue to increase, unless, you shoot them!
After the first firing, the collectibility is basically gone!
I hate to say it, and told myself, I would never own one, but some guns weren't made to shoot.
Keep them, enjoy them, pass them down.
MY 2 cents...

My H&R Nebraska centennial pieces.
Model 949 supposedly 300 mfgd,


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