Wednesday, December 30, 2009

H&R (Harrington & Richardson) Model 950 22lr Revolver

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

As is the case for gift giving days most folks know that a firearm will always be appreciated by me. So this Christmas my inlaws presented me with this gorgeous 22lr revolver.

It is an H&R Model 950 nickel plated 9 shot double/single action 22lr revolver styled after the classic Colt single actions. I've been wanting a 22lr revolver to compliment our Wather P22 and this fits perfectly. It's a fun plinker that will also be used to practice trigger control. I just love how it looks too.

Here's a little background if you've never heard of H&R. They were in business from 1871 to 1986 (over 100 years!) and made a wide variety of pistols & long guns. They made some cool looking top break revolvers as well. Though some connect them to SNS (Saturday Night Special) guns their firearms were always well made and out of steel instead of pot metal alloys.

My example is a bit rarer being nickel plated instead of blued or case hardened as most others are. One neat thing is that this gun was made the year I was born 1976 so it's the same age as I am. The previous own obviously took very good care of it's finish because it's common to see bad examples of nickel plated guns. They can look like the gun has leprosy. What got me into looking at H&R revolvers is my father-in-law's own H&R Model 676 which has the option to fire 22lr or 22wmr depending on which cylinder you put in it. They also can be found fairly inexpensive which is always a plus. I've got a sweet spot for revolvers, but the ones in my "arsenal" don't lend themselves to just plain plinking. This one just screams PLINK ME!

It looks nice, but how does it handle & shoot? I know that I've criticized the oversized "shovel" target grips that are narrow at the top and get widdde at the bottom in the past, but for some reason the balance & weight of this SA styled revolver works perfectly with this kind of grip. It points naturally and just wants to stay there. The trigger takes some getting used to. In double action it's pretty heavy, but manageable. In single action it's quite nice, light & crisp. Because of it's weight (about 31oz) and the light recoil of the caliber I found that it's very easy to walk the bullets where you want them to go in double action. The front sight blade leaves a lot to be desired. Since it's nickel & rounded it never looks the same as it catches light differently everytime. It's thickness is well regulated with the rear sight unlike our P22 that has such a wide rear notch that precision is very difficult. It's no Ruger MKII, but I could hit an inch sized orange sticker target at 7 yards without trouble. I will admit that I'm no marksman and I'm still getting accustomed to the pistol. No doubt, others can do much much better. Point shooting is easily accomplished without focusing too much on the sights that it's still a lot of fun to plink with.

Loading is done by putting the hammer in half cock so the cylinder can be rotated and then opening the loading gate to access the chambers. To eject the spent shells; put it in half cock, open the loading gate and use the ejector rod to individually pop the shells out. As this is my first real experience with this method of loading & unloading I was surprised with how easy it is. It's not nearly as slow as I would have originally thought. For a gun that won't be used defensively and that may be used to show new shooters the ropes it suits me fine.

I will admit that my first time out with it I did have mechanical problems after the first several cylinders of shooting. What was happening was the trigger was sticking back when fired double action and had to be wiggled to return forward. Also sometimes the hammer wouldn't catch on the single action sear when manually cocked. I traced the problems to accumulated gunk built up on the inside that needed to be cleaned out. After a good cleaning and blowing out all the gunk it's worked perfectly since. Even with the above mentioned problems from earlier it never failed to fire and always hit hard enough to ignite the primers.

Here are a couple parting shots.

She sure is a beauty!

1 comment:

Brian said...

I have a model 950 also. I'm trying to identify the year it was manufactured. Do you have any idea where I can find this out?