32s&wctge chrome


Brian pullan
September 21, 2012, 10:07 AM
Recently inheretid a 32s&w ctge break open 5shot rev says harrington&richardson worchester mass usa pat oct 8 1895
No other numbers anywhere its got a target with 5shots through it on the grip and a flower design a lil lower ! Also says 939 on the cylinder and ammo ejector
Shes in great shape everything works, thebarrel is a little loose but tightens up when loaded! Also its hammerless, and the barr looks great!
Can i tighten the barrel or should it have play do u think its safe to fire?
I have some old geco 765's and new 32 auto rnds the old ones r lead and the autos r not should i jst find 32s&w's they serm tough to find! Dont know to much about this stuff jst lookin for alil advice was my pop pops was a mailman in a bad town

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September 21, 2012, 11:04 AM
This would be a gun designed to fire black powder cartridges, yes?

And you want to shoot smokeless-powder .32 Auto cartridges in it?

If I were going to shoot smokeless powder in it at all, it would only be with cat-sneeze handloads. Even then, if it has sentimental value as a family artifact, you may not want to risk damaging it with ammo that may not be appropriate.

While many seem to have survived, those old H&R weren't built to last.

Brian pullan
September 21, 2012, 04:28 PM
I dont know what it would fire was only going by whats stamped on the barrel 32s&w i believe that would mean 32 caliber i have 32 auto ammo and also some old 7.65 geco rnds was told that it would fire that!
I have standard 32s&w ammo comming was just tryin to see what else if anything could b used itz in great shape the barrel is also whats the point of having a gun if u cant use it? Its not gonna be fired all the time just wanna see if it works

September 21, 2012, 04:46 PM
Shoot what it says on it, if you just have to shoot it.

The .32 S&W is loaded to an industry standard of 15,500 PSI pressure.

The .32 ACP is loaded to 20,500 PSI.

European 7.65 Geco ammo is very likely hotter then that!


September 21, 2012, 05:13 PM
The "ratchet" on the old H&R cylinders tends to be made out of monkey-metal, and is often deformed. This will result in mis-indexing of the cylinder, and severe shaving of bullets if you don't pay close attention to the indexing of each shot.

You probably don't want to be shooting ammo that exceeds current SAAMI specs when a mis-indexing incident occurs.

But more to my original point, I'd be careful about relying on current SAAMI pressure specs for smokeless ammo when considering what to fire in a break-top revolver that was originally designed around an 1878 black-powder cartridge.

Here are some pics of a closed-top .32 H&R that I've been messing around with.



September 21, 2012, 05:19 PM
Not all .32s are the same, as has been pointed out to you.

You have a second tier revolver designed to fire black powder rounds no longer commercially made.
Today's .32 S&W ammunition is loaded relatively light with smokeless powder in deference to all of the old antiques like yours, and some that were worse.
Your gun does not have heat-treated parts, as modern guns do.

It was built to shoot low-powered ammunition over a century ago.

Trying to shoot modern .32 ACP (an autopistol round) through it would be extremely ill-advised.

As RC said- stick to what the barrel says. And not very much of that.

Re the loose "barrel", you can try to tighten up the hinge screw, WITH AN APPROPRIATE SCREWDRIVER, but one inherent weakness of the breaktop design is that hinge, and it can loosen with use. May be tightenable, may not be.

I have an old nickled H&R .32 S&W breaktop 5-shot that I won't even load, much less fire.
Cylinder lockup was not always entirely reliable, isn't on mine.
Some sentimental value, came from my father, but it's no shooter.


Brian pullan
September 21, 2012, 10:44 PM
Thank you guys for all your help i will take ur advice a let er sit and if by some chance i do fire it it will b with the appropriate ammo! It would of just meant alot to let a few fly for my pop-pop! Ill have it looked at professionally before i make any decisions ill regret!! Thanks again for your time

September 21, 2012, 11:36 PM
Good luck with it.

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