Will a .22 H&R Premier Top Break fire .22lr?


October 28, 2011, 06:51 PM
I can't seem to get an answer from the seller, I found one for $150 and I'm gonna snag it if it'll use .22lr. I have no use for a .22 short or .22 long only revolver.


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October 28, 2011, 11:58 PM
I'm almost sure it will fire the .22 LR, stick around a short, someone will/might be along shortly!! Don't let it walk if you truly want it!

October 29, 2011, 07:08 AM
Here is a question asked by a poster on another forum and an answer given by Bill Goforth (who unfortunately passed away a year or so ago or he'd be able to give you a completely accurate answer):

I have a H&R Premier small frame auto ejecting 7 shot .22 Rim Fire top break revolver. *snipped question about price and condition* Would it be safe to shoot todays 22 long rifle rimfire cartridges in it? Any information would be greatly appreciated.


the premier is a second model third variation. the catalogs of the era advertized this revolver as being chambered for the 22 short, 22 Long or 22 S&W Long (i have never seen this cartridge) only the large frame top break 22Special was advertized as being chambered for the 22 Long Rifle cartridge

Will they chamber and fire .22lr rounds safely? I have no idea but according to the info given they weren't advertised as such.

The gun looks great, my suggestion: Get it anyways. I saw an H&R revolver that looked that good for a good price and passed up on it, I've always regretted it.

Maybe one of the other guys can give you a more definitive answer in a while.

Jim Watson
October 29, 2011, 07:13 AM
Apparently depends on the age.
The 1901 Sears catalog lists the "New Model Premier" for ".22 short or long cartridges."
The 1939 Stoeger's catalog lists the H&R Premier as "shoots .22 Short, Long, and Long Rifle cartridges."
I need some more catalog reprints to cover the intervening years.

A rimfire cylinder's chambers will likely be bored straight for the heel bullets and will "take" anything that doesn't stick out the front of the cylinder.
But if it has a 20 or 24 inch twist for the 29 grain Short or Long bullet, it will not hit much with a 40 grain LR.

I am sure not Mr Goforth, but I recall an old article describing the .22 S&W Long as the .22 Stevens Long, rifle with a crimp to prevent bullets from backing out from recoil in the early .22-32. That had not been a problem with single shot Stevens rifles.

Old Fuff
October 29, 2011, 10:56 AM
The .22 S&W Long was made specifically for the Smith & Wesson Ladysmith (model M) series of revolvers, and is less powerful then today .22 Long ammunition.

One problem with rimfire ammunition is that the case head is weak. When so-called "High Velocity," or "High Speed" .22 ammunition came along, particularly in .22 Long Rifle, it became necessary to countersink either the breech face or chambers so that the head would be supported.

If the revolver-in-question has countersunk chambers that support the case head it is probably safe to shoot with standard velocity .22 LR ammunition. If it doesn't I wouldn't consider it to be a shooter.

October 29, 2011, 09:01 PM
Actually, countersinking the cartridge rim was a selling point used by some and was seen as beneficial given the sometimes less than stellar quality control of rimfire brass and the existence of copper cased .22 lr in times past but it is not now nor was it ever essential fro .22 rimfires. Furthermore, muzzle energy and chamber pressure are only loosely related. >22 short hi-speeds may produce fully as much pressure as .22 long rifles-lighter bullet and less muzzle energy but shorter case with less internal capacity. I'd shoot any rimfire that fits in the chambers.

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