Wheelgun Wednesday: H&R Model 676 Buntline Barrel .22 Convertible

    The Harrington & Richardson company has a long, complicated, and bumpy history. Tracing it back to its earliest you will find branches and connections to Smith & Wesson. This makes the company one of the oldest US firearm manufacturing companies even though it changed hands and was bought out several times. In the 1960s H&R was acquired by the Kidde corporation and eventually went out of business in 1986. For the sake of today, we will be pulling a unique revolver from my personal collection, the H&R model 676 .22 convertible with a foot-long barrel!

    The H&R model 676 was produced from 1975 to 1980. It came from a long winding road of .22 revolvers such as the 660, 666, and eventually one called the 686. The things that made the 676 unique and desirable compared to its past and even future counterparts was that it sported walnut grips, color case-hardened steel and a wide variety of barrel lengths. The one I own is of the 12-inch line. Barrel length offerings were 4.5″, 5.5″, 7.5″, 10″ and 12″.

    If you want an H&R Model 676 obviously they are not made anymore but they were manufactured quite a bit for five whole years. They are easy to find on the internet and I have seen them around at gun shows. To my knowledge, the 12-inch model is the rarer of the bunch. That being said, the blue book values are not the kindest to these neat old revolvers and seem to be mostly in the $100-$500 range depending totally on the condition, barrel length, and box/accessories still being with the firearm.

    The 676 was never made in any other finish or grip type. I listed the barrel lengths above but the rest of the specifications can be read below:

    • Caliber: .22 Short/Long/Long Rifle or .22 WMR (depending on the cylinder)
    • Barrel Length: 4.5″, 5.5″, 7.5″, or 12″
    • Cylinder: Both have a 6-Shot Capacity
    • Overall Length of the 12″ Model: Just under 17.5″
    • Sights: Fixed Front & Rear
    • Weight: Roughly 3lbs
    • Finger spurred trigger guard
    • Sideload and Eject

    Now I did mention the whole “if you want to but one of these” deal right before I went into the specs but now we get to play the “if you own one of these” game. As mentioned, these were produced from 1975 to 1980. Fortunately, serial numbers are extremely easy to decipher the dates of manufacture.

    Your H&R Model 676 will have the serial number on the flat underside of the grip. All 676’s will have a two letter prefix before the serial number itself. My personal 676 is “AP######” therefore it was manufactured in 1976, so a very early one and the wear and age shows but all and all my gun is in good shape. Prefixes and dates are as follows:

    • AN: 1975
    • AP: 1976
    • AR: 1977
    • AS: 1978
    • AT: 1979
    • AU: 1980

    With the barrel being as long as it is and the sighting length as long as it is, I have to say with a steady hand, this gun can be quite the handheld sniper. Not in my hand though, at least not when I am shooting off-hand. Lay this robust revolver supported on a bench and have at it.

    I am no handgun marksman by any means. My hands are not even the least bit steady and I am impatient. That being said I figured I should try to loosely test out its accuracy. On the target below the two targets on the left-hand side are .22 LR and the right side are .22 Magnum. The top two are single action and the bottom two are double. I was shooting at 25 yards off-hand.

    As you can see I am no dead eye with a handgun no matter the barrel length. But! I would like to point out the peculiar grouping change from .22 LR to .22 Mag. For the .22 LR I was using some Federal copper-plated hollow points (36 grain at 1260) and the .22 Mag was some CCI A22 (35 grain at 2100). For some reason, at the exact same distance, the .22 Magnum shot consistently low about 1-1.5 inches from the point of aim. I am no bullet guru so I asked a fellow writer and coworker and his guess was the change in velocity caused the shift in the grouping. Curious to know what some of your guesses could be.

    Even though the Harrington and Richardson company is not around today in the same way it once was back in the 70s and then even the 90s with their popular and affordable shotguns, I think their history is still super cool. Walk those winding roads and find the year of manufacture of your old revolver. Build a collection of these affordable old guns. Buy the longest barreled one and you have yourself a beautiful sniper pistol that shoots the cheap kind of ammo.

    I think this old gat is valid and unique in its own right but would you yourself purchase one? Maybe you already have one or all the barrel lengths? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.

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    Writer | TheFirearmBlog
    Writer | AllOutdoor.com

    Instagram | sfsgunsmith

    Old soul, certified gunsmith, published author, avid firearm history learner, and appreciator of old and unique guns.