Classic Collector H&R Handguns
Dr. John Woods 08.17.18
Gun shows can be a wonderment for gun collectors, consummate browsers, and general firearms enthusiasts. Having been studying guns since the early days of prowling through all the magazines at my small town barber shop in Missouri, and attending gun shows for nearly 50 years as a licensed dealer and now a show helper, I just love to course around the show wondering what I will discover next. A recent show was no exception.
Here are two low and inside pitches you may never have seen coming. First a collection of old Harrington and Richardson handguns, but one that contained both a Model 676 and a NIB (new in box) pristine Model 999. I thought I was seeing things.
Now, of course, these were not Colt Single Action Army six shooters, or a barrel pinned Smith and Wesson (though this dealer had a Model 29 in that category for $1200) N-Frame revolver. These guns were the means of shooting for many a young kid back in my day and long after.
The gun company Harrington and Richardson originally of Worcester, Massachusetts then later in Gardner, MA, was one of the oldest gun makers in American having initiated production in 1871. They manufactured a host of handguns, rifles, and shotguns until 1986. Then New England Firearms took over the name in 1987 until 1991 when the H&R 1871 company was formed. In 1999 the Marlin Firearms Company took over assets of H&R 1871. Marlin then fell into the conglomerate that owns Remington and some other gun companies. Gun making history in American makes for an interesting study.
H&R’s model 676 was a smaller scale cowboy designed 6-shot handgun with barrels of 4.5, 5.5, 7.5 and 12 inches. Cylinders were chambered for the .22 LR and the .22 WMR. The gun came from the factory with both cylinders that could be changed out as a convertible model. The gun had a side-loading feature with an ejector rod. The rear sight had some adjustment. The finish was deep blue with a color case-hardened frame. The grips were a western style one-piece made of walnut. The 676 was made from 1976 until 1980.
The 999 Sportsman originally came in two issues, the first ended in 1942, the second ran from 1950 to 1986, then a “new” model was introduced by H&R 1871 in 1992. The 999 is a .22 LR, 9-shot, double-action handgun, 6-inch barrel with rib with an old style break open action. Blade front sight with adjustable rear, blue finish, and hardwood grips.
H&R handguns were well made and hardy firearms. Though long out of production, specimens can still be found, but rarely new. If you find one, grab it up, then shoot it.