Author Topic: H&R 999 Sportsman  (Read 28032 times)

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Offline Old No7

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H&R 999 Sportsman
« on: April 21, 2007, 07:00:37 pm »
Hi all:

Here's a pix of my newest acquisition...  An H&R 999 "Sportsman", made back in 1970.

I first bought one of these the week I turned 21 and was able to buy my own handgun back in the early 80's.  Then I traded it a few years later to get a Smith Model 17.  The Smith, just like the H&R, got traded a few years later, but somehow of the two, as I get older I've always had a hankering (just what is "that"?) to get another Sportsman.  I've always been intrigued and impressed by the top-break design, and maybe I'm just trying to recapture some of my youth as the years slip away...

Anyway, this one had some deep pitting in a few spots and was literally covered with small black "flecks" that I think were the early stages of rust.  I used a small wire brush on low speed in a Dremel Tool (yes I know, the home gunsmith's "worst tool" to use...), with liberal amounts of WD-40 as a lube.  All the flecks were safely removed without damaging the old blue, and the pitting and rough spots were polished up pretty well.  For a re-blue, I used Brownell's Oxpho-Blue in the "cream" formula.  I find the cream stays where you want it, is much easier to control than a liquid, and does a really great job of blending with the original bluing.

I also polished the hammer, replaced the broken plastic hammer strut with a metal one from Numrich Gun Parts, and gold-filled the lettering "just because" I had the gold stick to do it with.  The lockup is still nice and tight, and the action is very smooth, with about a 4# single-action pull with very little creep.  The double-action trigger pull is pretty reasonable too -- this one must have been made before we had too many lawyers I guess!  The one I have has the trapezoidal-shaped hammer nose, instead of the later transfer bar mechanism, but some have reported the older design is more robust and less prone to parts breakage.  Interestingly, I found there's a "1/4 cock" position after the hammer is dropped, which retracts the hammer nose and locks with a click.  It sounds like a "half cock" click, but I didn't call it that as it doesn't free the cylinder for rotation like on a Colt SAA.

Last weekend, I shot a 1.25" group off the bench at 25 yards and had a ball plinking at small rocks and other debris on the 25 yard backstop offhand.  All I need to do now is refinish the grips, sharpen up the checkering some -- and then go out and shoot it again!!!

I know there are much better revolvers out there, and for deer hunting I will typically reach for my 4" stainless Ruger SP101 to accompany me, but I have always liked the old 999 -- if for nothing but remembering the good 'ol days when guns were blue steel and walnut.   The 999 might not be #1 any more, but she's definitely near the top of my list of favorites.

Enjoy the pix, and tight groups to all.

Old No7


"Freedom and the Second Amendment...  One cannot exist without the other."  2000 DTH


Offline dw06

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2007, 09:07:46 am »
I bought one in the early 80s,my dad had one when he was a boy but wore it plum out.I always wanted one so bought a used one and gave it to dad,was a sight to see his eyes light up!He's gone now so it is mine sort of,will always be his really.He used to walk along and shoot rabbits in head with it,I got a few squirrel with it.I like it because the smaller size grip fits me good and it shoots better than I can.Looks like you did a good clean up on that one Old No7.
If you find yourself in a hole,the first thing to do is stop digging-Will Rogers

Offline ELMO

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2007, 02:19:47 pm »
  I picked one up about two years ago at a gun show for a little over a $100. A real joy to shoot and accurate too. I think I'll try squirrel hunting with it this fall. The gun does feel good in my hands and I like the 9 shots, just different I suppose......  ;)

Offline Rangr44

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2007, 05:24:38 pm »
They're a great classic revolver.
I just got my M999 "boomerang" gun, this week.
I had sold it to a hunting buddy, many years ago - and after he passed away recently, I bought it back from his widow.
There's a Place for All God's Creatures - Right Next to the Potatoes & Gravy ! !

Offline carbineman

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2007, 08:35:25 pm »
My 999 went to my son many years ago as a Christmas gift. Maybe he'll have a son to pass it onto.

Offline canon6

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2007, 11:47:32 am »
I just picked up one of the 999's today, 4inch in great shape  is there anyway I can determine the dob of it sn is AU179***,got it and a real nice Roy's pancake for $150.00 out the door.    ;D    Doug
a armed man is his own master

Offline 32 Magnum

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2008, 02:17:10 pm »
AU = 1980
Jim Hauff,  H&R Collector

RIP Jim, passed away on October 12th, 2012

Offline TomP

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2008, 09:41:15 am »
Old No7, I bought a model 999 very much like yours last year.  It's a pleasure to shoot and I can actually hit what I aim at with it.  You said you replaced the nylon hammer spring strut with a metal headed one?  Does the hammer rebound correctly to the safe position every time?  On mine the bottom fork of the strut is gone and I have to manually move it to the safe position when I load it.  Maybe I should try a new metal one.

I also had trouble with misfires and thought my hammer spring was too light.  But now I think it was the value pack of Winchester .22s that was the problem.  They misfire in all my .22s, pistols and rifles!

Offline Old No7

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2008, 06:37:47 am »
Hey Tom:

Sorry for the delay, just saw your recent post...

Yes, I have to cock the hammer back before reloading too, as it does not rebound.  (That's what I meant by the "1/4 cock" comment in my first post.)  But now it's a habit for me, so not a problem.

FYI, I got the metal hammer spring strut from Gun Parts Corp.

Mine is shooting well these days ~ good luck with yours!

Old No7
"Freedom and the Second Amendment...  One cannot exist without the other."  2000 DTH

Offline quickdtoo

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2009, 04:44:28 pm »
I'm bumping this one to the top, just did some research on the Model 999 Sportsman, here are some details posted by Bill Goforth on another forum.

Tim


http://thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=28371&highlight=model+999


SPORTSMAN DOUBLE ACTION MODEL 999 LARGE FRAME TOP BREAK . ----------1932-1952
Large frame double action top break revolver; Caliber 22 rimfire (short, long & long rifle) cylinder capacity 9 rounds, 22 Winchester Rim Fire (WRF)cylinder capacity 7 rounds; Safety rim cylinder; blue finish only; barrel length 6 inches (ribbed); Automatic cylinder stop; Sights: rear adjustable for windage only, Three different front sights used, full Blade, Partridge type & Partridge type pinned to barrel top rib, all non-adjustable; Finger rest trigger guard; One piece oversized checkered Walnut grips (birds head grip frame shape, Rice frame); frame mounted firing pin, hammer face is flat. Cylinder release is long pivoting lever on right side of frame (there are two different version of this). Serial numbered in its own series from 01 up to at least 89761 by the end of 1939. Starting in 1940 letter codes were used.
Early production until about 1933 the letter code D was used to denote double action
First Variation; round heavy weight ribbed barrel with Blade non-adjustable front sight ----1932- to before April 18,1933
Second Variation; adjustable front sight------------1933 (after 4-18-1933)-
Third Variation; firing pin moved to hammer-------------------------1934
Fourth Variation; three inch barrel was offered----------------------1935
Fifth Variation; two patent dates marked on cylinder (before there was only one)---1936 (after 3-17)-1937
Sixth Variation; top of barrel markings moved to right side of barrel---------------1937-1939
Seventh Variation; 22 WFR caliber dropped, 3 inch barrel dropped--------------1940-1941
Eight Variation; one piece over size plastic grips are standard, limited production during WWII years----1942-1952
VALUE: 100%=$425 60%=$195 Add 15% premium for 1st Variation; %0% for 22WRF caliber; 30% for 3 barrel (scarce)

MODEL 999 SPORTSMAN SECOND MODEL (NEW FRAME)-------1953-1972
Top Break, Double Action, 22 Long Rifle Caliber, 9 shot, Blue Finish, Barrel Length 6 inches, Adjustable Sights
VALUE: NIB:=$425, 95%=$365, 60%=$195

MODEL 999 SILVER SPORTSMAN--------------------------1963-1966
Top Break, Double Action, 22 Long Rifle Caliber, 9 shot, Chrome Finish, Barrel Length 6 inches only, serial number letter codes Z, AA, AB only
VALUE: (very seldom seen) 100%=$450 60%=$325

MODEL 999 SPORTSMAN THIRD MODEL (TRANSFER BAR IGNITION)-----------1973-1986
Top Break, Double Action, 22 Long Rifle Caliber, 9 shot, Blue Finish, Barrel Length 4 & 6 inches (4 inch not added until 1979, Adjustable Sights. In 1979 Only the Model name was advertised as Model 999 Automatic-Ejecting and it was offered in that year only in 32 S&W Long caliber, 6 shot.
VALUE: NIB:=$425, 95%=$350, 60%=$175

MODEL 999 SPORTSMAN I OF 999 (TRANSFER BAR IGNITION)------1979-1986
Engraved with Fitted Wood Case, Top Break, Double Action, 22 Long Rifle Caliber, 9 shot, Blue Finish, Barrel Length 6 inches, Adjustable Sights VALUE: Collector value only if unfired, with all original tags, manuals, commemorative medallion, wooden presentation case and cardboard box;
100%=$700+ if in other than described condition it is valued as the Model 999 3rd Model plus 20% premium for engraving.

bill
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Author:
Iver Johnson's Arms & Cycle Works 1871-1993
H&R Arms Company 1871-1986 (due 2009)
available from www.gunshowbooks.com


website;
http://iverjohnsoncollector.x10hosting.com/AskMe.Htm
"Always do right, this will gratify some and astonish the rest" -  Mark Twain

Offline 32 Magnum

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2009, 06:23:49 pm »
Bill and I have been collaborating on the H&R Book.  The firearms in my collection are the basis for the information that is posted, in fact, I provided the valuations for the Blue Book of Gun Values and edited Bill's write-up.  The point I'm trying to make is - I will be glad to help-out on identifications and valuations of H&R firearms of any type, either here on this forum or if you wish to contact me by e-mail.  Research continues and I've found several new/unknown or undescribed variations since the H&R book went to the publisher, earlier this spring.  We can use all the info that everyone/anyone would be willing to provide, including FULL serial numbers - that's how close the research has come to determining when one variation gave way to another.  Thanks in advance for any info/data provided.

Jim Hauff / Contributing Editor to "The Blue Book of Gun Values" by Steve Fjestad
Jim Hauff,  H&R Collector

RIP Jim, passed away on October 12th, 2012

Offline jneill0752

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2009, 04:49:28 am »
What is a good economic belt holster for the H&R 999 Sportster?

Offline P.A. Myers

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2010, 01:32:54 pm »
1 of 999.   I had to loktite the rear sight, otherwise it tends to fall off.
A real bullet eater. EZ to load EZer to shoot.



          P.A.
P.A.

Offline Mtn Jack

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2010, 05:09:33 pm »
You guys might enjoy this story. In school at Penn State, 1980 i think, a friend invited me to his family farm for the week end. I had borrowed my room mates 999 to take plinking. My room mate his father  uncle and another friend set up some targets and started to shoot. I think the uncle said check out the pigeons flying over they crap on every thing. They were all shooting remington nylon 66s and started to shoot at the birds. There was a large Mtn in the back ground so was pretty safe back stop. Of course no birds fell to there shots, the next pass of the birds i say watch this, the lead bird got centered by that 999 if i would have taken a couple steps foward i could have caught it in my hands. They all said that's it for today and put there guns away. I sure was proud of that shot but wanted to shoot some more. True story  Mtn Jack
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Offline bigmoon

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2010, 07:03:05 pm »
     I just picked up a nice 1940 vintage 6" 999 Sportsman at a gun show last weekend. Great little gun, obviously refinished. It works almost flawlessly, except the little nub under the barrel that works the extractor doesn't fall into place reliably. Not a big problem, close the gun & reopen or, at the most, tap the underside of the barrel to drop it down into place, I do wonder if there is an easy fit. Does anyone have a schematic for this revolver? Or know what might be wrong?

     Off topic: I also got the cutest little .22 lr Flobert rifle. Belgian proofs, great condition, not refinished, clean and shiny rifling, locks up tight and, although I haven't measured it yet, has about a 1 or 2 pound trigger. I can't wait to shoot it. What workmanship for a "boy's rifle"!

     I paid $300 for the pair; I probably could have done better, but I was obviously smitten with both and, even worse, we both knew it.

     I can post pictures if anyone's interested.

Joe B.
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.

Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Mtn Jack

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2010, 08:27:40 pm »
Does the 999 have the cool pear shaped grips, i always wanted one. Tell us some more on the boys rifle please.   Mtn Jack
Friends may enter, others not, friends will be fed and others shot.

Offline bartrak

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2010, 02:37:32 pm »
I gust trade for a 999 and it has a serial number of B25xx I am told it was made in 1941 is this correct ? It has some freckles on the frame above the cylinde and bluing is worn on right front of barreland a little surface rust on the hammer. What would be the value of it ? It

Offline quickdtoo

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2010, 03:20:59 pm »
Sounds right to me, that's what the build year list in the FAQs sticky says.

Tim
"Always do right, this will gratify some and astonish the rest" -  Mark Twain

Offline bigmoon

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2010, 01:40:25 am »
Does the 999 have the cool pear shaped grips, i always wanted one. Tell us some more on the boys rifle please.   Mtn Jack

     Yes, it has the birds-head frame, but plastic(?) target style one piece grips. The serial is A14xxx, which puts it as a 1940 model.

     It appears to have been refinished, and whoever did it didn't quite get the little spring inside/near the hinge right. From what I've read, they are very easy to deform. It still ejects well, but when the pawl doesn't drop down properly, you just need to close it and tap the barrel on your hand and re-open. I also think he replaced the hammer, one of the only parts available through Numrich Arms.

     As for the Flobert, it's a scaled down rolling block rifle, imported by the 1000's around the turn of the century. They were originally a "parlor gun" back when shooting was a genteel activity. They stretched the chamber to .22lr when they imported them here. I just recently saw one that was not a rolling block, but a slam fire. It had a big oversized hammer with a flat face and an indented cavity for the .22 case head, with the firing pin in the cavity. You cocked the hammer, put the .22 into the chamber and fired. I don't know, maybe the recoil was enough to push back the hammer and eject the shell? I sure wasn't going to try it!

Joe B.
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Offline jim ritchie

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2010, 09:18:53 am »
Here's some pics of a few of my Sportsman

3 1980 999's two 4", and one 6" all wearing Jay Scott grips



1980 999 6" factory grips





1939 model 777 Ultra Sportsman



1955 Sportsman blue




1955 Sportsman chrome



Deceased 3-31-2012

Offline pmeisel

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2010, 06:19:52 am »
What nice looking guns.... they just look "right".

Offline jim ritchie

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2010, 08:53:15 pm »
pmeisel,
thanks,
They feel "right" too!
Deceased 3-31-2012

Offline CajunBass

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2010, 04:16:20 am »
Found this one last night at my local dealer.  It's not NIB or anything, and needs a good cleaning, and is missing the rear sight, but otherwise seems to be in good shape.  I didn't give but a little over $100.00 for it so I didn't hurt too bad I don't guess.  As best I can tell from from poking around the net it was made in 1955 (SN R561xx).



This is one of the guns I used to drool over in the Shooters Bible back years ago.  The Ruger Bearcat was the other.  I didn't know anything about either, other than they were inexpensive enough that I could at least dream about owning one "one of these days."

Offline 32 Magnum

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2010, 10:34:52 am »
Cajun,
You, indeed, have a Sportsman, 2nd Model (1953-72) made in 1955.  It looks to be a very nice example - they are accurate and easy to shoot.  The missing rear sight blade may prove to be a problem, however, I have seen info indicating that Wisner's is making reproduction/replacement rear sight blades.  Perhaps Jamesjo can add the needed info on their location - or Google the name.
Here's the info:  http://www.wisnersinc.com
Jim Hauff,  H&R Collector

RIP Jim, passed away on October 12th, 2012

Offline CajunBass

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2010, 04:20:36 am »
Thanks James.  I'll give them a call Monday morning and see what they've got.  Do you know if it would be the "small" or the "large" sight?  I think they have .07 and .09 listed, or something like that.

I've made something that works, but I'd like to get a "real" one. 

Offline 32 Magnum

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2010, 08:51:07 am »
Cajun-
Therein lies the rub.  There are at least 5 different sight blade configurations for the Sportsman revolvers and derivative models.  I know, I've taken them apart for a trial fitting with a blade that JamesJo had made.  If you can, measure the width of the sight slot, that should tell you which one you need.  Are both of the adjustment screws still in place?  If not, you'll need two of those also - left and right - loosen one side, tighten the other - to adjust the rear sight for windage.
Attached is a pic. of the rear sight blade from a 1953 Sportsman (the darker one on the left) - it should be similar to what you need - next to the one that JamesJo had made.  I don't have any dimensions - but you can see the shape.

NOTE:  JamesJo is Jim Ritchie - too many forums, too many names, CRS!
Jim Hauff,  H&R Collector

RIP Jim, passed away on October 12th, 2012

Offline CajunBass

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2010, 05:13:21 am »
I've got both set screws, so I'm good there.  Wisner only lists the .09 and a .07 for the H&R's and only the .09 is specifically listed as being for the Sportsman.  They're not expensive, so I'll probably just order both and see which one fits.  The other one I'll just look for a gun to fit it to. 

I used an old car key to make a homemade one.  It's ugly but it works for now.

Offline jim ritchie

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2010, 08:33:14 am »
Cajunbass,
I checked both my 1955 models,
You need the thicker sight.
Still a good chance you will need to do some hand fitting though.
As Jim said, with our experimenting awhile back, we found that  H&R used several different sights, sometimes even changing styles in the same production year.
jamesjo
Deceased 3-31-2012

Offline 32 Magnum

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2010, 10:45:37 am »
Cajun,
Good info, thanks for responding.
Jim R. - thanks for pitching in...

Jim H.
Jim Hauff,  H&R Collector

RIP Jim, passed away on October 12th, 2012

Offline jim ritchie

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Re: H&R 999 Sportsman
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2010, 10:29:02 pm »
Jim,
At least it's not just me with CRS! LOL
I think that Jamesjo was unavailable when I signed up here?
Can't really remember........

For Cajunbass
Oh yeah, I forgot about this too.
I bought a couple of the sights from Wisner's. Used one on my 1978 999.
I had to do some filing on the outer points of the "ear" on both sides.
Also had to do some significant filing on the inside radius, the hammer would not clear in it's original shape.
Deceased 3-31-2012