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The Other 38.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by CajunBass, Jun 5, 2017.

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  1. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    Back when I used to drool over a Shooters Bible like it was Playboy magazine, I always wanted one of those Harrington and Richardson top break revolvers. Mostly because they were inexpensive, but I also liked the way they looked.

    I saw this one a week or so ago. At first I thought/hoped it was a 22, but it turned out to be a 38 S&W. The price was pretty reasonable, and I already had a set of dies and brass for a 38 S&W from an aborted purchase a couple of years ago. As good an excuse as any I suppose.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This one doesn't have the automatic ejector that you think of a top break as having. There are a few spots of rust along the barrel on one side, but otherwise it doesn't look too bad. I doubt I'll shoot it much, but I like it.
     
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  2. VThillman

    VThillman Member

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    If it's in serviceable condition (i.e safe to shoot), I like it too. Plus, I suspect it ain't "collectable", so can be cleaned up without regret.
     
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  3. jimbo555

    jimbo555 Member

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    Nice. I always wanted the snub nose defender model.
     
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  4. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    According to the S/N it was made in 1970, so it's not an antique by any means. I actually don't think it has ever been fired outside the factory. There isn't a scratch on the recoil shield which is my big "check" for how much a gun has been fired. The cylinder lockup is "bank vault" tight, tighter than any Smith & Wesson I've ever owned, more like a Python. I suspect it was someone's nightstand gun, a comfort against things that go bump in the night.

    I should have added, it's a 926 H&R. Five shots, 38 S&W. I like the way the trigger guard sweeps back and fills the gap that normally needs a T-grip on a S&W, Colt, or Ruger. The grips are very similar to S&W Magna's, but a little fatter. Very comfortable actually.
     
  5. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    I want a late H&R top break .38 S&W badly.
     
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Nice revolver. I wouldn't mind owing one since I'm also set up to load four the .38 S&W.

    If you get a chance to load up some 38/200 ammo it's fun to shoot.
     
  7. CaptTripps

    CaptTripps Member

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    Nice gun, I can remember looking thru the glass of my grandpas gun cabinet. Between the Win. M88, and the M37, there was a top-break H&R nestled inside. I've wanted one ever since then. Something about snapping the barrel open and shaking out those shells, appeals to me.
     
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    CajunBass

    I wouldn't need an excuse either to pick up a fine old top-break like that H&R Model 926! Excellent buy in a .38 S&W!

    P.S.-I use to peruse Guns and Ammo magazines and Gun Digest with the same fervor as you did with the Shooter's Bible.
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I foolishly sold my H&R 6" Model 999 many, many, years ago. Great gun.
    That's not all bad. (I'm a sucker for a .38 S&W) Mine isn't as nice as that one though.
     

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  10. Merle1

    Merle1 Member

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    FYI; Buffalo Bore makes a heavy duty load that makes the little S&W round respectable.
    I don't know if it's rated for these guns, but you can check BBs catalog for more info.
     
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  11. Monac

    Monac Member

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    I've wondered for a long time why H&R did not sell this gun in 32 S&W Long, or especially in 38 Special - Wadcutter Only. It would have sold better. By 1970, who wanted a gun in 38 S&W?

    Also, why did they put a manual ejector on this? To make it more like a swing-out cylinder gun? Getting rid of auto-eject gets rid of one of the benefits of the top-break style revolver.
     
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  12. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    One less thing to wear out. :)

    Congrats on the nice retro find. :cool:
     
  13. Cannibul

    Cannibul Member

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    I'm jealous. I have a 4" 999 and I wouldn't mind having that 926 to go along with it.
     
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  14. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    Nice looking old gun! You know, sometimes I get a hankerin' for an "old timey" looking gun just for the fun of shooting an "old timey" gun. The reason I bought the Cimarron 1872 Navy Open Top.

    Bob Wright
     
  15. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    More likely than not, I'll end up with a cartridge conversion of some type just to scratch that itch.

    Right now my P&R'd Smith and Wesson's are as old timey as I get.
     
  16. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    Well I have three of those 'other' .38s.

    A RAAF S&W!

    [​IMG]

    A Webely pocket model.

    [​IMG]

    And a Colt Police Positive marked "Chase Manhattan Bank" (I need to photo that one!)

    Deaf
     
  17. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Deaf

    Really like that Webley Mk.IV Pocket Model! Very neat!
     
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  18. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    What a nice trail gun. A perfect round for small game hunting if the gun is accurate enough.
     
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  19. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    CajunB -

    I can see how you might have thought that it was a Sportsman ; very similar styling.

    Very cool top break you have there.
     
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  20. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    RE: lack of auto ejector.

    And it was less expensive to produce, which kept the price down. I remember seeing those H&R revolvers in their blue boxes in most every gun shop I ever went into for around $100.00. Probably less, but I don't trust my memory that far. H&R well knew their position in the market and that was as a low cost alternative to the "big boys" and anything they could do to keep cost down was fair game.

    RE: Why not 38 Special? That probably would have required a major redesign/retool. Why not in 32? That I wouldn't even have a SWAG on. Maybe they did? It seems to me I've seen other H&R's in 32, but couldn't swear to it. 32's just don't interest me all that much.

    Thanks for the tip on the Buffalo Bore ammo, but this one is a paper puncher. That doesn't take a lot of OUMPH. :)

    I came close to buying a S&W Terrier in 38 S&W a year or so ago. One of the little "I" frame guns. I'm still kicking my butt for letting that one get away.

    I'd still like to have a 4", 999 Sportsman. :)
     
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  21. 25-5
    • Contributing Member

    25-5 Contributing Member

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    Factory ammo is readily available. Remington, Fiocchi, and Privi Partisan I've used. Don't care for the Privi brass in this caliber.
    The bullets range .357 or .358 in these brands. Before you start to reload please slug the barrel. The 200 gr .360 and.361 bullets may not be what you want. Matt's Bullets and Missouri Bullet has them.
    Webley and Enfield top breaks are known to be more substantial than older H&R or S&W. A 1970 H&R I don't know. Just be careful on the powder. I measure each as opposed to the typical dump method for pistol.
     
  22. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

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    Hows the trigger?

    My grandmother's brother had a similar one that she has had for safe keeping the last couple of years. I always wondered how they performed.
     
  23. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    Thanks. Now the Webley's DA trigger is not so good. S&W way ahead and the Colt kind of stacks up near the end of the pull. Of the three the RAAF Webley (with those silver things are shillings and sixpences, New Guinea and Australian, made in 1938-1941 and were in those plexiglass grips, trench art, that came with the gun) shoots right on with 148 gr. Round Nose ammo. Very mild shooting.

    I also reload .38 S&W. If one wants to duplicate the military load use 200 grain Remington RNL slugs at 600+ fps from the old S&W! The soft .357 diameter slug easily upsets to .360.

    Deaf
     
  24. Monac

    Monac Member

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    I did not say 38 Special. I said 38 Special Wadcutter Only. Like a Smith & Wesson Model 52, only a revolver. I can't think of any other factory revolvers like that, but certainly many PPC revolver were converted to wadcutter-only length cylinders.

    Perhaps Wadcutter Only would have been a dumb idea for some reason I can't think of. Certainly today it would not fly today because 38 Special Wadcutter has gotten hard to find.
     
  25. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I suspect a 38 wadcutter only wouldn't sell, because most potential buyers would simply buy a 38 that wasn't limited to one specific type of ammo. I doubt many of those short cylinder conversions sold to the general population, but to users with very specific needs.

    The only short cylinder conversions I'm aware of were made by Fred Schmidt in Mechanicsville, Va., but there may have been others.
     
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