H&R .38 Cal automatic Ejecting Revolver - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2019, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Red face H&R .38 Cal automatic Ejecting Revolver

I have an H&R Automatic Ejecting DA Revolver in pretty good condition. The serial number is 6091. Can anybody help me with the year of manufacture? What about a value for this gun? It is in good enough condition that I would not be concerned about firing it with some older ammunition. Thanks!
The gun is in .38 Cal 5-shot.

Last edited by EugeneO; 01-28-2019 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Additional info
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2019, 06:31 PM
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I think you're gonna have to post pictures, that model was made for many years with many variations from what I see in the book, if you can't post pic, maybe the markings will help.

Tim

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2019, 06:44 PM
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38 S&W caliber?

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a picture of my .38 H&R. Hope this one works. As for markings, the only ones are the company identifying marks on the rib on top of the barrel. The serial number is located under the grip.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 11:40 AM
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Need barrel marking details, there were 31 different barrel marking types on their handguns, this model was made from 1885-1942, anything prior to 1905 was blackpowder only.

Tim

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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The only markings on this gun are the markings on the top rib of the barrel. They are: "Harrington & Richardson Arms Company, Worcester Mass. U.S.A. Patd Oct 4th, 1881. The SN is located under the left hand grip and also under the cylinder. All numbers match.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 07:59 PM
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I think the "1" of the 1881 is actually a "7" since the model wasn't made until 1885-on, that marking means it was made 1887-92 according to the book, it would only be suitable for 38 S&W blackpowder cartridges only.

Tim

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Tim, Thank you. I can agree on the patd date, 1887, as the number is slightly slanted. I don't plan on shooting it as I am not sure the cylinder aligns properly with the barrel as the cogs are worn. But, a nice piece to have in my collection. GeneO
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 08:50 PM
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Courtesy of the late Bill Goforth (while he was still alive) -- who, by the way, wrote THE BOOK on H& R Firearms -- here is all you need to know to get an approximate date on your gun:

AUTOMATIC EJECTING THIRD MODEL (SMOKELESS POWDER) 1905-1941

Auto-ejecting mechanism, Calibers 32 S&W Long, 6 shot cylinder capacity, 38 S&W caliber 5 shot cylinder capacity, hard rubber grip panels with Target Logo, nickel finish (blue optional), barrel lengths of 2 (rare), 3 (standard), 4, 5 & 6 inches available, top of barrel markings include company name and address and early production has patent dates, the one recognizable difference in the Second and Third Models is the caliber is marked on the left side of the barrel on the Third Model -- “IF IT HAS A CALIBER MARKED ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BARREL THEN IT WAS MANUFACTURED FOR SMOKELESS POWDER”.

First Variation:
4 patent dates (5-14 & 8-6-89, 4-2-95, 4-7-97), model name and caliber on left side of barrel
(1905-1908)

Second Variation:
2 patent dates (8-6-89 and 10-8-95), model name and caliber on left side of barrel
(1909-1912)

Third Variation:
No patent dates, the name of the state is marked as MASS
(1913-1915)

Fourth Variation:
No patent dates, the state name of Massachusetts is spelled out
(1916-1924)

Fifth Variation:
New grip frame, it is now the same size as the rest of the frame with no step down for the grip panel
(1925-1941)

After 1931 listed in Catalogs as:
AUTOMATIC EJECTING No. 10 .32 S&W LONG CALIBER 6 shots and AUTOMATIC EJECTING No. 25, .38 S&W CALIBER 5 shots

After 1932 38 caliber is listed in Catalogs as:
AUTOMATIC EJECTING No. 20, .38 S&W CALIBER 5 shots


The NRA's RIFLEMAN had a decent article about that series back in April 1984, you can sometimes find it on ebay.

One tip -- to make your gun stay tight longer, don't slam it closed -- pull UP on the locking latch at top of frame when you open it AND when you close it.

Good luck!

Old No7


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 05:29 PM
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The picture of the Auto Ejector the OP posted was made prior to 1898. This can be determined by the nickle plated trigger guard. It also displays the tiny button on the latch that holds it open, as well as the ejector bypass button on the hinge. I was never able to narrow down the years these were discontinued, but I think around the turn of the century. I have an identical model in my collection, also the same one but with an ejector rod under the barrel and not auto ejecting. These are hard to find.

Bill Goforth was a friend of mine, and after he wrote his Iver Johnson book, he started on H&R's. I knew him for 25 years. I have the American Rifleman shown above by Old No 7. I corresponded with its' author and actually sent him one of the models that he had not yet seen. His name was Greg Rohn, the AR staff used the wrong name in the article.

Bill kept all my H&R literature and notes for over a year while he was putting his H&R book together. I have his original manuscript on a 3.5" floppy!! I still have my H&R collection but stopped researching them many years ago.


If anyone is interested, I could post here some of my more interesting and one-of-a-kind H&R revolvers.


With best regards,
Jeff in Texas

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Last edited by LakeCity; 05-30-2019 at 05:54 PM.
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