H&R "Expert" - Long-Barreled 22 Top-Break
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  1. #1
    Sidewinder
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    H&R "Expert" - Long-Barreled 22 Top-Break

    Here's an interesting top-break added to my growing collection of H&Rs:






    This H&R "EXPERT" (as marked on the barrel) is a 7-shot 22 rimfire (circa 1927-29) and is in great condition. The lockup is probably the tightest of any H&R that I own, other than my 1970's vintage 999 Sportsman. The bore and chambers are all pristine as well.

    If it wasn't for the tiny sights on these, the long barrel and saw-handle grips would surely make it a nice target revolver...

    This info was posted by the late Jim Hauff (aka 32 Magnum) in 2011:
    The "EXPERT" is first advertised circa 1927, a couple years after the 22-caliber "SPECIAL" (shoots short, long or long rifle) hit the market. It is identical to the "SPECIAL" except for the 10" barrel. During the period 1927 until discontinued in or about 1941, the EXPERT followed all of the variational changes of the parent SPECIAL. The first two years of production will be 7 shot x .22 rim fire (s, l or lr).

    And I sure WISH this was my purchase price...






    But that is how it was advertised back in the day.

    Tight groups.

    Old No7
    Last edited by Old No7; 07-02-2018 at 01:00 PM.
    "Freedom and the Second Amendment... One cannot exist without the other." © 2000 DTH

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    That's pretty cool! I'm guessing it is worth a lot more than $13.50 now though.
    Owen49 and gunscrewguy like this.

    Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.

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    I have the 6" version (H&R Premier) that is nickel - my great uncle bought it new in 1926 and fired it only a few times. Still have parts of the box.
    Owen49 likes this.

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    That is a nice looking H&R, one that survives in that condition is a rarity. My dad had a similar long barrel Iver Johson when I was a kid. He belonged to local VFD rifle & pistol team. That was his match pistol and his target rifle was a Marlin 81. They were also the guys who provided instructors for local Boy Scout marksmanship program.
    Last edited by Dawei; 02-28-2018 at 10:51 PM.
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    Since Remington didn't make Hi-speed .22 rf ammo until 1931, I think it might be wise to stick to standard velocity stuff in that most excellent revolver.
    biku324, Owen49, Drm50 and 1 others like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Travlin View Post
    Since Remington didn't make Hi-speed .22 rf ammo until 1931, I think it might be wise to stick to standard velocity stuff in that most excellent revolver.
    Many fine old 22s beat up or even broke firing 22HS ammo in them. Most all pre-WW2 pistols & revolvers were made for standard velocity ammo. Some of the early 22 revolvers were made for Black powder & have bored through chambers that will allow any 22 that doesn't protrude from cylinder to be fired. Chamber walls on these guns are thin and most are pitted from BP. If you shoot these at all it is best to use CBs. Prewar auto loaders have recoil springs for standard velocity. HV ammo can cause metal to metal and eventually wreck the gun. Worse is to use Hyper Vel 22s in these old guns.

    A lot of shooters aren't old enough to know that Standard Vel 22lr, was just that, Standard. Hi-Vel cost more and most guys didn't use it to plink with. Then 22 autoloading rifles of the stamped parts variety became popular and HI-Vel was needed to ensure function. Bulk packed 22s came out and became the new "standard". Things have now turned around and now you pay a premium for St-V ammo. Labeled as Sub-Sonic you pay even more. What used to be cheaper like Shorts, Longs & CB's are now specialty ammo
    sold at premium prices.
    Last edited by Dawei; 02-28-2018 at 10:54 PM.
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    I would think that the high speed .22 L.R. ammo is usually the cheapest because of "economy of scale" I think that is the correct term. Anyhow so much more of the high speed stuff is made that it can be made cheaper per round.
    Drm50 likes this.

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    One of these rare "Experts" just sold on Gunbroker for $475 -- more than 2X what I'd paid for mine...

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

  10. #9
    Tenderfoot
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old No7 View Post
    One of these rare "Experts" just sold on Gunbroker for $475 -- more than 2X what I'd paid for mine...

    Old No7
    That would happen to be my acquisition, and I must say I enjoy the piece quite well but I'm having difficulty finding parts for this. The lock up isn't as tight as I would like (Smith agrees) the issue is I can't find the exact cylinder and extractor due to the age of the model there's no helping that for now. So we thought maybe getting a new cylinder hand or pawl but there's no exploded diagrams of the parent model, the 9 shot special that I can find. I feel like I've read somewhere that the special shares internal mechanisms with another model but that's also proving to be a fruitless endeavor.
    Does anyone have any information to help me locate some parts?

    revolver.jpg
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  11. #10
    Sidewinder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dravenguild View Post
    ...but I'm having difficulty finding parts for this. The lock up isn't as tight as I would like (Smith agrees) the issue is I can't find the exact cylinder and extractor due to the age of the model there's no helping that for now. So we thought maybe getting a new cylinder hand or pawl but there's no exploded diagrams of the parent model, the 9 shot special that I can find. I feel like I've read somewhere that the special shares internal mechanisms with another model but that's also proving to be a fruitless endeavor.
    Does anyone have any information to help me locate some parts?
    Sure, I can help...

    As there is no "Cylinder lockup" or locking bolt in the frame (and locking notch on the cylinder), your H&R Expert is a long-barreled variation on the H&R Auto Ejecting Series -- on those guns, only pressure from the hand (some call it a "lever" or "pawl") keeps the cylinder at (or close to...) top-dead-center when the hammer drops. Over many years, especially if it was abused by rapid firing or spinning of the cylinder, the tip of the hand wears and it won't be as good as when it was new.

    But do this first though...

    Don't just test for "wiggle" in the cylinder when it is cocked in the single action mode. Open the top-break action and tip the barrel down. Now cock the hammer single action, and then closely watch the hand as you pull the trigger -- the frame will stop the hammer -- but you should see the tip of the hand rise up slightly, which confirms it is pressure from the hand that secures the lockup.

    Now do this...

    Close the action, cock it single action and pull the trigger (use a once-shot 22 as a snapcap) and KEEP the trigger pulled back -- and NOW check for any wiggle in the cylinder lockup. If it's not too worn, it should feel much tighter for you. Checking it with the trigger released will lower the hand and should feel much looser...

    This could be your only issue and maybe no parts are needed. (FYI, the esteemed Colt Python's have the same type of lockup... Feels a bit sloppy in SA when cocked -- but locks up tighter than a vault once the trigger is pulled and held).

    If you do need some parts, search on Numrich/Gun Parts for "Old Model Large Frame Automatic". (With "automatic" meaning the ejection of the spent cases -- not the reloading of unfired ammo.)

    Good luck.

    Old No7
    Last edited by Old No7; 11-26-2018 at 11:34 AM.
    Owen49, Tomray and Travlin like this.
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