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Old 09-12-2017, 08:11 PM
jhnttrpp jhnttrpp is offline
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I'm trying to get an understanding of what I have here and whether it is safe to operate. It is a 32 H&R and I have included some photos and hope it helps. It belongs to a neighbor and he wants to get rid of it. Two different gunsmiths have messed with it and I'm not sure if they knew what they were doing. The firing pin was broken and the hammer was replaced with a bobbed hammer. Not what it came with. Another took it apart and gave it back in pieces. My neighbor put it back together. My neighbor should not be allowed to play with Legos much less a revolver. It does not seem to lock up correctly but then I'm not sure what correct is with this gun. I have fired it with no incidences. It locks up but not as tight as my model 60 no dash. The serial number is 3896XX. The numbers are located on the butt of the grip frame, the barrel, the cylinder and the extractor.
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Last edited by jhnttrpp; 09-12-2017 at 08:24 PM. Reason: additional information
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:15 PM
jhnttrpp jhnttrpp is offline
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A couple of more photos
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:26 PM
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Looks good from here! I think that it may lock up only with the trigger pulled, otherwise the cylinder is free to rotate. Numrich may have a hammer but as you have noted, they are no fun to reassemble. Not for personal protection or more than an occasional trip to the range. I might spend $50, but I think that your neighbor should give it to you.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:41 PM
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If the cylinder does not "lock-up" tight, an does rotate after the hammer is cocked, this revolver is DANGEROUS and shall NOT not be fired!!
Take it to a qualified gunsmith and let him fix it before any attempt to fire it.
The cartridge must be totally aligned to allow the projectile(bullet) to enter the barrel without shaving any lead.
Present condition it is possibly a BOMB.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:15 PM
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As Old Cop said, many of these older breaktops "freewheel" until the trigger is pulled, then they lock up.

I have an old H&R that will rotate and lock when the trigger is pulled, but if its empty the cylinder will roll back the way it came from when the trigger is released. I thought it was broken but once its loaded it stops that nonsense and works fine. The weight of the rounds or their rims or some other magic happens and it churns out the rounds.

These old timers are fun to shoot and I'm always on the lookout for them.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:16 PM
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Looks good from here! I think that it may lock up only with the trigger pulled, otherwise the cylinder is free to rotate. Numrich may have a hammer but as you have noted, they are no fun to reassemble. Not for personal protection or more than an occasional trip to the range. I might spend $50, but I think that your neighbor should give it to you.
It does lock up when the trigger is pulled. It's a little disconcerting up to that point. Thanks for the info.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:37 PM
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Back in the 70's, my money was tight and "Top Breaks" were all I could afford. I would get the hammerless style and put it loaded, inside a big cotton work glove. You could grab the glove and pull the trigger from outside. A work glove setting on the dash of a truck draws no attention!

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Old 09-12-2017, 10:58 PM
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I have one and I think old top breaks are right neat. .32 S&W cartridges are kind of expensive but I'm not going to shoot one much so that is not a problem. When I carry it I keep all the chambers loaded so the free wheeling cyl. is not a problem. I wouldn't carry it bear hunting but it will kill a setting rabbit or a tin can. Larry
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:14 PM
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I have disassembled and assembled many of these H&R top breaks over the years. Depending on what type of cylinder stop you have will tell you if it's supposed to free wheel or not. If the cylinder stop is a forged part of the trigger, then it will free wheel, as that style doesn't engage the cylinder notches until the hammer is cocked. If the stop is not a forged part of the trigger, then there should be a 'U' shape piece of spring steel protruding through the cylinder stop hole. Often times these small, thin steel springs are broken.

Also, a lot of fault with the lock up with these pistols has to do with the cylinder hand being worn out. This is the piece that protrudes out the back of the recoil shield to lock up the teeth of the back part of the cylinder star. I have replaced a few of these in the past and they are pretty finicky and kind of a pain. The thin piece of spring steel that comes with the cylinder hand needs to be fitted correctly for the cylinder to lock up tight, and getting it to fit properly can take a lot of time. Numrich sells the part, or has in the past.

In the shape it's in with the lock up and the bobbed hammer, I'd offer $50 for it, but no more than that. If you do purchase the pistol, I may have a correct hammer around that I could sell you.

Last edited by nutsforsmiths; 09-12-2017 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:09 AM
jhnttrpp jhnttrpp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutsforsmiths View Post
I have disassembled and assembled many of these H&R top breaks over the years. Depending on what type of cylinder stop you have will tell you if it's supposed to free wheel or not. If the cylinder stop is a forged part of the trigger, then it will free wheel, as that style doesn't engage the cylinder notches until the hammer is cocked. If the stop is not a forged part of the trigger, then there should be a 'U' shape piece of spring steel protruding through the cylinder stop hole. Often times these small, thin steel springs are broken.

Also, a lot of fault with the lock up with these pistols has to do with the cylinder hand being worn out. This is the piece that protrudes out the back of the recoil shield to lock up the teeth of the back part of the cylinder star. I have replaced a few of these in the past and they are pretty finicky and kind of a pain. The thin piece of spring steel that comes with the cylinder hand needs to be fitted correctly for the cylinder to lock up tight, and getting it to fit properly can take a lot of time. Numrich sells the part, or has in the past.

In the shape it's in with the lock up and the bobbed hammer, I'd offer $50 for it, but no more than that. If you do purchase the pistol, I may have a correct hammer around that I could sell you.
It appears to be the type of lock up that is a part of the trigger so maybe nothing is wrong. The piece that protrudes out of the back of the recoil shield looks to be nice and sharp, not worn or rounded at all. If I purchase it I wouldn't mind putting the correct hammer on it. Any idea how much you would value the hammer. I really don't even know why I want to purchase this gun. I just don't want to see it parted out. Once you do It is gone.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:38 PM
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The hand protruding from the recoil shield needs to have good spring tension as well. Cock the hammer when the barrel is open and see how far out the cylinder hand protrudes from the the recoil shield and also give it a very light push and see if the spring is in good shape and has good tension. Be careful not to close the barrel and cylinder when the hammer is cocked as that may damage the cylinder hand.

As for the hammer, I would have to see which type it is. H&R made a few different styles of hammers through the years. If I had one it would cost $25 shipped. So like you say, a hammer that costs half the price of the pistol, if you purchased it for $50, may not be worth your time either.

One of those pistols in perfect shape is worth about $200. That pistols seems to have a shorter barrel then most I've seen. I think a 3" barrel length was standard, so that gives it a touch more value. The nickel finish also seems to be in really nice shape as well.

Can you post a top view picture of the pistol with the barrel open looking down above the cylinder stop area to the barrel break joint, where the barrel screws into the frame? I'm just curious to see what the area looks like.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:12 PM
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OK Nuts, Let me know if you need more photos. The spring on the cylinder hand seems strong enough to me. I tried to show the profile on the hammer so that you can tell if you have the hammer or not. At the very base of the frame where the piece that comes up to lock the cylinder the opening is a little buggered up as if something had been assembled incorrectly at one time. The lockup is definitely a part of the trigger. By the way the trigger pull is very hard.
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:28 AM
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Thanks for the pics. I see a couple of interesting things. I have figured out with your addition pictures that it is a small frame H&R Premier late model. I have one in 22LR that looks a lot like yours, but not in as good of shape (see picks below).

First, is this pistols set up to be a double action only pistol, meaning that the hammer doesn't lock back? I'm asking because I just noticed that there doesn't seem to be a sear that is supposed to protrude out of the inside rear portion of the trigger guard behind the trigger. It looks like that is missing in your original pictures. With it missing then it makes the pistol a double action only and the hammer cannot stay cocked.

I've included a picture of some H&R pistols I have and the 22 Premier I own is in the nickel one in the middle. See how the sear protrudes out behind the trigger? Yours seems to be missing, or the spring is broken, I can't tell which.




Second, this is the style of pistol that has the spring steel cylinder stop. I can tell by the 2 pictures you sent me of the overhead view of the cylinder stop on the trigger. If you look in front of of the cylinder stop on the flat part part of the frame right by were the barrel pivot connects, you will see what look like a small pin in the flat portion straight in line with the cylinder stop. That is actually a screw that is screwed in from the underside and can be seen when the trigger guard is removed. That screw holds in the steel spring cylinder stop. I've added a link to the picture of the cylinder stop you need from the Numerich Gun Parts website. The screw hold the steel cylinder stop in place by screwing through that hole. These are a pretty common part that is broken. This cylinder stop is designed to stop the pistol from freewheeling. I replaced it on my 22 Premier and sure enough, it no longer freewheels. The cylinder stop built onto the trigger is to lock up the cylinder when it is cocked, along with the hand, which both seem to be doing.

Cylinder Stop | Gun Parts Corp.

I really can't tell if the hammer I have will work or not unless you remove it from so I can see the teeth. H&R did offer bobbed hammers as an option, which would make the pistols a Police Premier. But looking at the hammer closer, it doesn't look quite right.

So, now you have three things to fix on this pistol to make it work properly.

1. The cylinder stop. $7.00
2. The hammer (if I have the right one) $25.00
3. The sear and the sear spring. $12.00

Doing some adding up on those basic prices and your at $44.00, if all these parts can be found, which is almost what the pistol is worth.

I'm now thinking along the lines with what Old Cop said earlier, I think your friend should give it to you.

I hope all this information has been helpful.

Last edited by nutsforsmiths; 09-15-2017 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutsforsmiths View Post
Thanks for the pics. I see a couple of interesting things. I have figured out with your addition pictures that it is a small frame H&R Premier late model. I have one in 22LR that looks a lot like yours, but not in as good of shape (see picks below).

First, is this pistols set up to be a double action only pistol, meaning that the hammer doesn't lock back? I'm asking because I just noticed that there doesn't seem to be a sear that is supposed to protrude out of the inside rear portion of the trigger guard behind the trigger. It looks like that is missing in your original pictures. With it missing then it makes the pistol a double action only and the hammer cannot stay cocked.

I've included a picture of some H&R pistols I have and the 22 Premier I own is in the nickel one in the middle. See how the sear protrudes out behind the trigger? Yours seems to be missing, or the spring is broken, I can't tell which.




Second, this is the style of pistol that has the spring steel cylinder stop. I can tell by the 2 pictures you sent me of the overhead view of the cylinder stop on the trigger. If you look in front of of the cylinder stop on the flat part part of the frame right by were the barrel pivot connects, you will see what look like a small pin in the flat portion straight in line with the cylinder stop. That is actually a screw that is screwed in from the underside and can be seen when the trigger guard is removed. That screw holds in the steel spring cylinder stop. I've added a link to the picture of the cylinder stop you need from the Numerich Gun Parts website. The screw hold the steel cylinder stop in place by screwing through that hole. These are a pretty common part that is broken. This cylinder stop is designed to stop the pistol from freewheeling. I replaced it on my 22 Premier and sure enough, it no longer freewheels. The cylinder stop built onto the trigger is to lock up the cylinder when it is cocked, along with the hand, which both seem to be doing.

Cylinder Stop | Gun Parts Corp.

I really can't tell if the hammer I have will work or not unless you remove it from so I can see the teeth. H&R did offer bobbed hammers as an option, which would make the pistols a Police Premier. But looking at the hammer closer, it doesn't look quite right.

So, now you have three things to fix on this pistol to make it work properly.

1. The cylinder stop. $7.00
2. The hammer (if I have the right one) $25.00
3. The sear and the sear spring. $12.00

Doing some adding up on those basic prices and your at $44.00, if all these parts can be found, which is almost what the pistol is worth.

I'm now thinking along the lines with what Old Cop said earlier, I think your friend should give it to you.

I hope all this information has been helpful.
You can tell by looking at it the hammer spur was hacksawed off and then ground down. If I buy it I will fix it. If I don't buy it it will go to a pawn shop and turned into parts. For what ever reason I don't like that.
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutsforsmiths View Post
Thanks for the pics. I see a couple of interesting things. I have figured out with your addition pictures that it is a small frame H&R Premier late model. I have one in 22LR that looks a lot like yours, but not in as good of shape (see picks below).

First, is this pistols set up to be a double action only pistol, meaning that the hammer doesn't lock back? I'm asking because I just noticed that there doesn't seem to be a sear that is supposed to protrude out of the inside rear portion of the trigger guard behind the trigger. It looks like that is missing in your original pictures. With it missing then it makes the pistol a double action only and the hammer cannot stay cocked.

I've included a picture of some H&R pistols I have and the 22 Premier I own is in the nickel one in the middle. See how the sear protrudes out behind the trigger? Yours seems to be missing, or the spring is broken, I can't tell which.




Second, this is the style of pistol that has the spring steel cylinder stop. I can tell by the 2 pictures you sent me of the overhead view of the cylinder stop on the trigger. If you look in front of of the cylinder stop on the flat part part of the frame right by were the barrel pivot connects, you will see what look like a small pin in the flat portion straight in line with the cylinder stop. That is actually a screw that is screwed in from the underside and can be seen when the trigger guard is removed. That screw holds in the steel spring cylinder stop. I've added a link to the picture of the cylinder stop you need from the Numerich Gun Parts website. The screw hold the steel cylinder stop in place by screwing through that hole. These are a pretty common part that is broken. This cylinder stop is designed to stop the pistol from freewheeling. I replaced it on my 22 Premier and sure enough, it no longer freewheels. The cylinder stop built onto the trigger is to lock up the cylinder when it is cocked, along with the hand, which both seem to be doing.

Cylinder Stop | Gun Parts Corp.

I really can't tell if the hammer I have will work or not unless you remove it from so I can see the teeth. H&R did offer bobbed hammers as an option, which would make the pistols a Police Premier. But looking at the hammer closer, it doesn't look quite right.

So, now you have three things to fix on this pistol to make it work properly.

1. The cylinder stop. $7.00
2. The hammer (if I have the right one) $25.00
3. The sear and the sear spring. $12.00

Doing some adding up on those basic prices and your at $44.00, if all these parts can be found, which is almost what the pistol is worth.

I'm now thinking along the lines with what Old Cop said earlier, I think your friend should give it to you.

I hope all this information has been helpful.
The cylinder stop is there. It is bent down and does not protrude beyond the bottom plate. I think it can be fixed.
The sear is gone. The grove or channel it goes in is there. I will check with my neighbor and see if he has it. He told me one gunsmith he took it to gave it back to him unassembled. He put it together. He may have the part. Thanks for your help so far.
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:32 PM
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After reading this post, I happened upon this H&R .32 at a LGS, looks like it spent most of its life in a sock drawer....$155.00 out the door...


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Old 09-16-2017, 11:29 PM
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I wondered if the cylinder stop was there. Be careful not to bend it too much, as it breaks easily. I broke one trying to make it work properly on my 22r model.
If the sear and spring are found, they can be a bit tricky to put in and I can see why someone who disassembled it might have left it out. The sear fits into the trigger guard well with the 'V' shaped spring against the trigger guard and the pin needs to go through the trigger guard and the sear to assemble properly. I put the sear inside the trigger guard, then put a round toothpick that fits through the trigger guard and the sear. Cut off the toothpick on both sides so it fits smooth to the trigger guard. Then assemble the trigger guard and put in the front pin, making sure the trigger return spring is in properly, then the rear pin. The rear pin will knock the toothpick out the other side of the trigger guard.
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:32 AM
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After reading this post, I happened upon this H&R .32 at a LGS, looks like it spent most of its life in a sock drawer....$155.00 out the door...


Nice! I'd have made that deal.
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutsforsmiths View Post
Thanks for the pics. I see a couple of interesting things. I have figured out with your addition pictures that it is a small frame H&R Premier late model. I have one in 22LR that looks a lot like yours, but not in as good of shape (see picks below).

First, is this pistols set up to be a double action only pistol, meaning that the hammer doesn't lock back? I'm asking because I just noticed that there doesn't seem to be a sear that is supposed to protrude out of the inside rear portion of the trigger guard behind the trigger. It looks like that is missing in your original pictures. With it missing then it makes the pistol a double action only and the hammer cannot stay cocked.

I've included a picture of some H&R pistols I have and the 22 Premier I own is in the nickel one in the middle. See how the sear protrudes out behind the trigger? Yours seems to be missing, or the spring is broken, I can't tell which.




Second, this is the style of pistol that has the spring steel cylinder stop. I can tell by the 2 pictures you sent me of the overhead view of the cylinder stop on the trigger. If you look in front of of the cylinder stop on the flat part part of the frame right by were the barrel pivot connects, you will see what look like a small pin in the flat portion straight in line with the cylinder stop. That is actually a screw that is screwed in from the underside and can be seen when the trigger guard is removed. That screw holds in the steel spring cylinder stop. I've added a link to the picture of the cylinder stop you need from the Numerich Gun Parts website. The screw hold the steel cylinder stop in place by screwing through that hole. These are a pretty common part that is broken. This cylinder stop is designed to stop the pistol from freewheeling. I replaced it on my 22 Premier and sure enough, it no longer freewheels. The cylinder stop built onto the trigger is to lock up the cylinder when it is cocked, along with the hand, which both seem to be doing.

Cylinder Stop | Gun Parts Corp.

I really can't tell if the hammer I have will work or not unless you remove it from so I can see the teeth. H&R did offer bobbed hammers as an option, which would make the pistols a Police Premier. But looking at the hammer closer, it doesn't look quite right.

So, now you have three things to fix on this pistol to make it work properly.

1. The cylinder stop. $7.00
2. The hammer (if I have the right one) $25.00
3. The sear and the sear spring. $12.00

Doing some adding up on those basic prices and your at $44.00, if all these parts can be found, which is almost what the pistol is worth.

I'm now thinking along the lines with what Old Cop said earlier, I think your friend should give it to you.

I hope all this information has been helpful.
Oh man this thing is a buga bear to work on.

I think I took it apart 20 times. Each time I learned something. The trigger would not return and I found a shim that I do not think is standard had to go under the trigger return spring or it would not return. I'm thinking the V spring was replaced by a not stock spring and needed a shim to help make contact with the trigger itself. Wither way I have it working. Now when I pull the trigger the hammer will come back and fall like it is supposed to but after one trigger pull it will not come back again. The trigger make the cylinder rotate and lock up the hammer no longer comes back and falls. By the way I was able to bend the cylinder lock spring and the cylinder no longer free wheels. Any suggestions.
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:08 PM
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Well, now you're an expert on the ins and outs of the H&R top break! Yes, I think I had my 22 Premier together and apart more times than I have shot it!

I had this same hammer problem happen on an Iver Johnson pistol before because the trigger didn't go back far enough to engage the sear fully when pulled. The problem on that IJ was that the 'V' shaped sear spring was a replacement and a bit too long, so it got in the way of the movement of the sear inside the trigger guard., so the sear wouldn't disengage with the hammer properly. Once I trimmed the spring a bit, it worked fine. Make sure that none of the sear spring are touching outside the well it is supposed to be sitting in. Even that little bit can make it so the hammer and trigger don't work together properly overtime. That's probably why the sear was left out.

When you pull that hammer back by hand does it now say cocked with the sear installed? Can you pull the trigger if the hammer is locked back after pulling it by hand?
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:10 PM
nutsforsmiths nutsforsmiths is offline
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And I think this is the type of trigger spring your pistols is supposed to have.

Trigger Spring, Small Frame, New Reproduction (Flat) | Gun Parts Corp.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:37 PM
jhnttrpp jhnttrpp is offline
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That is the type of trigger spring that I have . There is something else not just right. The trigger spring had a piece of shim stock up under it. I could figure out why it was there. So I left it out. every thing worked fine except the spring did not push the trigger forward again. It seems like of the v spring is inserted correctly the long leg part of it did not engage the proper notch on the trigger. So it did not push the trigger forward. I had to reassemble it several times before I understood why they had put the shim in there. It reaches into the notch the spring should go in to but can't reach. Now everything works correctly except the trigger does not return forward enough for the trigger link to catch the hammer. Then a few minutes later it works.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:42 PM
jhnttrpp jhnttrpp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutsforsmiths View Post
And I think this is the type of trigger spring your pistols is supposed to have.

Trigger Spring, Small Frame, New Reproduction (Flat) | Gun Parts Corp.
The trigger spring looks like that one but the one I have I believe is not correct for this model. It is a little short.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:57 PM
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Just saw this thread, I'll try to find a pic of mine, but would like to note that on mine, the firing pin protrudes through the recoils shield, so it has to have the hammer resting on an empty chamber, which makes it a "four shooter".. Haven't read all the posts yet, so someone may have addressed this. Looking at your photos m it looks like yours may do this as well.

Best Regards, Les
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:09 AM
nutsforsmiths nutsforsmiths is offline
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Many different companies used similar trigger return springs that look like the one in your H&R. Iver Johnson used that same style on some of their top breaks, but the metal on the IJs are a bit thinner and also a bit shorter. U.S. Revolver Co. (also made by Iver Johnson) pistols used them too. It might just be that it is a different manufactures trigger return spring and that's why it doesn't fit correctly.

And yes, I agree with Les B. about the firing pin.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by les.b View Post
Just saw this thread, I'll try to find a pic of mine, but would like to note that on mine, the firing pin protrudes through the recoils shield, so it has to have the hammer resting on an empty chamber, which makes it a "four shooter".. Haven't read all the posts yet, so someone may have addressed this. Looking at your photos m it looks like yours may do this as well.

Best Regards, Les
Yes Les, the firing pin does protrude, so it is a four shooter
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