Walter F Roper H&R U.S.R.A 3rd Model 195 Single Shot Tip-Up Pistol 1930 C&R

SOLD FOR: $755

WOA#: WY240318RU052

Make: Harrington & Richardson (H&R)

Model: 195, 3rd Variation

Serial Number: 186

Year of Manufacture: 1930

Caliber: .22 Long Rifle

Action Type: Single Action, Single Shot, Tip-Up

Markings: The left side of the barrel assembly is marked “H.&R.22 SINGLE SHOT / LONG RIFLE CARTRIDGE”.  The top of the barrel is marked “HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON ARMS CO. / WORCESTER, MASS. U.S.A”.  The left side of the grip frame is marked “186”.  The underside of the barrel assembly is marked “186”. The rear face of the hammer is marked “T”.

Barrel Length: 10”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a patridge blade pinned to the barrel rib. The rear sight is a square notch leaf screwed to the top of the barrel in front of the latch, adjustable for windage and elevation.

Stock Configuration & Condition:  The grip is one-piece checkered walnut with smooth borders and checkered backstrap. The grip has “K” stamped five times on the bottom face. There are some scattered minor nicks and tiny scratches, but no notable damage. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grip is in about Fine condition.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion the bore rates 10 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 87% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. There is some finish wear at the muzzle on each side, a thin line of wear along the left of the barrel, wear on the edge of the barrel assembly in front of the hinge, and handling wear in the grip areas. The grip strap has some surface erosion and there is also some erosion on portions of the frame covered by the grip when it is installed. There are scattered small nicks, scratches and spots of minor surface oxidation. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun is in Very Good condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly.  We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards. The mechanics are good, the trigger is crisp and the barrel has no play on lockup.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment:  The finest, most highly evolved and developed single shot match target pistol produced in the U.S. from 1880 to 1940 was the Harrington & Richardson “U.S.R.A.”  Commonly called “U.S.R.A. Single Shot Pistols”.  The U.S.R.A. marking did not appear on the early models and, in fact, the 1st Variation pistols had no model marking at all. Officially it was the Harrington and Richardson Model 195 although it appears that the model number was never put on a pistol. Production began in 1930 and ended in 1941 with about 3,300 pistols produced in total. After about a year or so of production, Harrington & Richardson hired Walter F. Roper, a talented mechanical engineer, designer of custom target grips and an expert pistol shot with many years experience in the firearms industry. For the last 10 years he had worked for Smith and Wesson. H&R wanted the Model 195 developed into the best single shot target pistol.

Roper was provided with adequate funds to experiment and develop the pistol. This he did with a passion.  Sometimes, only 8 or 10 pistols were produced with a certain feature. Sometimes only one! Besides some of the readily visible features discussed below, there were features not readily apparent to the naked eye. There were combinations of bore size,  rifling twist rate and chamber design. The rifling equipment used in making the barrels for this match pistol cut the grooves while simultaneously scraping the top of the lands to remove marks. Barrels for this pistol were so smoothly rifled that lapping was unnecessary.  The American Rifleman in the March, 1930 issue announced and described an improved model now called the “U.S.R.A. Model” and so marked on the left side. From this point on, it is inconceivable that H and R made any profit directly on the sale of this pistol. With the limited production on a no costs spared constant design change basis, any direct profit from the sale of the pistol was probably not achieved. What H & R wanted was a reputation for the best single shot pistol, which they achieved.

This was an era when competitive pistol shooting in this country was largely conducted under the auspices of the United States Revolver Association  (U.S.R.A.). Formed in 1900, the aim of the USRA was to produce higher quality pistol shooters in the United States for Olympic handgun shooting. While the NRA was more focused on rifle shooting, the USRA organized “postal” matches, where competitors could mail in their scores from all across the country. USRA participation dropped off significantly after WWII, but the organization still hosted their postal matches as late as 1978, a couple of years after the founding of IPSC.

This is a Harrington & Richardson “U.S.R.A. Model” single-shot .22 Target pistol, considered by many to be one of the most accurate handguns of all time! It features a break-open action with 10-inch barrel and one-piece walnut target grip, automatic ejection and an extremely crisp/creep-free trigger. The barrels were so precisely/smoothly rifled that they required no lapping and had a zero free-bore. These guns were used to set National and World Records in their day. This example is a 3rd Variation, and possibly the first of its type! Goforth’s book notes that serial number 185 was observed with the features of the 2nd Variation while this, serial 186, has the grooved trigger and coil mainspring of the 3rd Variation. The gun is in Very Good condition with a great bore and strong mechanics.  It will make a crowning piece to any H&R or target pistol collection. Please see our photos and good luck on your bid!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Walter F Roper H&R U.S.R.A 3rd Model 195 Single Shot Tip-Up Pistol 1930 C&R
Walter F Roper H&R U.S.R.A 3rd Model 195 Single Shot Tip-Up Pistol 1930 C&R