H&R 999 Sportsman, What should I know?


February 11, 2003, 08:26 AM
Went to the shop Saturday to pick up some powder for the .223. In the case was an old H&R "sportsman" breaktop .22. I've seen these over the years and have always wanted one. This one has a 6" barrel, 9 shot cylinder, and most of it's finish (with some rust spots near the front of the barrel).

Was this a decent quality revolver? What would be a fair price?

It is listed at $150.00.

I've always thought these were neat little guns and would make a good camper/plinker pistol.

Thanks for any info and oppinions.


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Lone Star
February 11, 2003, 09:56 AM
I had one made in (as I recall) the 1970's. Know a guy who had an older one. Trigger pulls are heavy, and several chambers in my cylinder were out-of-time.

If this gun passes the basic used revolver checks, the price is in line, but most of the gun's appeal will be to those with a nostalgic streak. I'd save up and get a S&W K-22 if you feel the need for a .22 revolver. Frankly, I'd lean toward an auto in .22 rimfire.

Lone Star

Al Thompson
February 11, 2003, 11:06 AM
Concur with Lone Star. I had one and couldn't get past the heavy trigger pull. If you can check that trigger pull and you can live with it, the price is about right. No factory to fix it though.

February 11, 2003, 11:24 AM
1. the trigger sucks
2. don't dry fire it
3. make sure the rear sight screws are Loc-Tite'd or you'll lose the rear sight blade

I've got some spare hammer springs that I've been meaning to trim to see if I can get the trigger pull down to a sane level.

February 11, 2003, 11:50 AM
Thanks for the input guys. I'll have to go try the trigger. I might have to see if Wolf sells springs to help the pull as well.

Lone Star: I have a great Sig Trailside and an ultra dot mounted on it for fun games and target work. i agree taht .22 auto's really fit most needs better, but there is something alluring about 9 shot .22 revolvers.

My buddy's wife has a Taurus with a 3" barrell, My brother has an old double action H&R that loads through a gate like a single action. I thought this 999 just looked neat and different. I'll have to evaluate it further and see.



February 11, 2003, 12:34 PM
The 999 Sportsman is truly a relic of the past and a neat gun. It's the kind of .22 my grandfather owned. I was sorry, though not surprised, when it was discontinued. The heavy trigger pull is a problem, though I've handled a number of 999's that otherwise appeared nicely made and finished.

That said, I'd be interested to know how well the 999 stands up to ordinary use. Another H&R revolver I had (with a swing-out cylinder and therefore a different design) became mechanically sloppy after very little use. Hopefully the 999 is better.

February 11, 2003, 04:27 PM
I have three and think they are great. With HKS speedloaders, you can load 9 rounds at once and expel 9 empties in one move. Uses same speedloaders as Taurus 94s. Cylinder is easily removed for cleaning. They are accurate and fun to use. Don't worry about double action trigger. With this revolver, there is no reason not to use single action. You are not going to be in any gunfights with it. The ejection mechanism may be prone to breaking. Check Internet auction sites for better buys than what you describe. gunbrokers.com, auctionarms.com


J Miller
February 11, 2003, 07:28 PM

I have an H&R Sportsman. I have been told it is pre model 999.
It's finish is better than many new guns.
DA trigger pull is on the heavy side, but not as heavy as some of the new lawyered up guns. The trigger is groved and that tends to wear blisters on my trigger finger, but so does a groved trigger on a S&W.
Accruacy is good. Timing is good. Lockup is good.
Mine has a bronze firing pin, and a rebounding hammer, no transfer bar. I don't recomend dryfiring it.
As for locktighting the rear sight screw, I wouldn't know. Mine are so tight I can't budge them. I don't have a screwdriver tiny enough and strong enough to do it. But it shoots so good I haven't needed to adjust the sights.
Rear sight is adjustable for windage, front sight is adjustable to elevation.
For what it is, I like it. Mine was a birthday gift from my Mom and she paid $175.00 for it. So your price of $150.00, if it is in good shape sounds like a deal to me.

February 12, 2003, 10:43 PM
999 was my first handgun purchase some 30 years ago. Yes, have had to deal with rear sight screws vibrating loose. Musta got lucky or living right. Mine goes bang every time and remains one of the most accurate handguns owned.

February 13, 2003, 10:02 AM
Its a nice plinker and dates back to an earlier era. You can actually feel the nostalgia when you shoot it. Its fun and accurate enough to hit soda cans on a regular basis. the sights are unique in that the rear adjusts for windage and the front for elevation. Mine has been fitted with a set of Jay scott foux stag grips to give it a some what fatter grip profile. I can't say much about price when they were discontinued the list price was $199.00 I got mine in a swap for a Webley Tempest airpistol!
I won't be parting with it any time soon.
Here's a look at mine:

February 13, 2003, 09:29 PM
I inherited a 60's vintage Sportsman from my grandfather. My example is very well made and exhibits a deep, lustrous blue. The double action pull is a bit heavy, but smooth and predictable. The single action pull breaks like the proverbial glass rod and can't possibly require more than a pound and a half to trip the hammer. The accuracy of my revolver is outstanding. My only gripe with the design is that I sometimes get brass stuck behind the extractor star unless I eject the shells with a brisk motion. If the one you're looking at is built like mine, $150 would be a great deal.

February 14, 2003, 10:34 AM
The single action pull breaks like the proverbial glass rod and can't possibly require more than a pound and a half to trip the hammer
Oh to have a pull like that :(
The SA on mine is plenty crisp, but easily 8lbs+ :cuss:

February 15, 2003, 02:47 PM
I enherited my step-fathers Sportsman Single Action (I once had it pointed in my direction when I came home very late one night!) From what I can tell, it is the older 199- As its name implies it is single action with large checkered walnut target stocks. My trigger breaks at a very chrisp 8 oz.! (Don't think I haven't thought about that trigger and my late night homecomming a time or two.) It drives me nuts, but this is my most accurate handgun. I've shot 9 rd dime size groups with Green Tag several times at an indoor 25yd range. Every thing is very tight on it, including lock up and windage screws. I'd love to find some smaller grips. The ones I have are one piece, attach with one screw at the rear butt and too big for my kids to use. Anybody know where to get some?

February 15, 2003, 03:21 PM
I bought one in '73. Accurate little devil.

Then my gunsmith / friend I've known forever, tweaked the trigger, made the sites even better (never came loose again, but not lock- tighted). Forgot what you call the hinge pin dealie that one time broke...but he cured that too. Became on of the toughest, accurate, smoothest trigger little 22's I ever shot...

Sigh...this and some other stuff stolen...but the memories of targets, small game remain... Mine especialy fond of Winchester-Western, and the R-P 'speedmaster' a very close second choice of load...For fun We'd shoot pocket change...his Ruger MKI though nice...never ever beat the accuracy of the 999...

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