H&R Young America in .22 Rimfire: a somewhat special Saturday night special.

H&R Young America in .22 Rimfire: a somewhat special Saturday night special.

I like oddballs, misfits, and bastards when it comes to firearms. Unfortunately, I’m not willing to pay auction prices for them. $50 though is a steal if only for the history lesson. This is the Harrington and Richardson (H&R) Young America Double Action .22 Rimfire. A pistol that dates back in its evolution to the 1870’s. While H&R has been keeping Americans in arms since 1871, the first metalic rimfire cartridges have been around since the mid 1840’s. Most notably the Floberts from 1846. You can research those on your own. Suffice it to say that the first true self contained bullet was the .22 Rimfire. It sported a primed copper cartridge with 4 grains of black powder and a 29 grain bullet. This revolver’s first iteration was made to fire that round. Later versions were designed for smokeless powder in what was known as .22 Short and .22 Long. These were considered pistol calibers. The .22 Extra Long was for rifles. However, .22 Long Rifle bridged the gap using the same sized metalic cartridge as the .22 Long and the same 40 grain bullet as the .22 Extra Long. The marriage of a smokeless round that offered performance beyond the pistol chamberings and that matched the rifle chambering all but standardized the world of 22 caliber rimfire. So this leftover technology from the 1870’s lasted in production until 1941 and survives today in an age where the history and knowledge of such a firearm is little more than a collection of misinformation on the greatest gift man has ever given himself; the Internet. This is my attempt at clearing up such misinformation until someone else comes along with a surviving manual from the manufacturer.


  1. VAAL24 - Hans van Wyk on December 4, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    Hi. Do you think it can shoot LR ammo?

  2. Alexapexgod on December 4, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    Do u know where I can get some parts for this gun the loader thing doesn’t spin when I shot a bullet

  3. Nick Marsh on December 4, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    A 16lb pull in double action…are you gonna play with that trigger to get that more manageable

  4. John O'Malley on December 4, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    Amazing….My neighbor brought that identical revolver and showed it to me this afternoon. Great video. That answered several questions. This one works in double action only, I noticed yours was SA and DA. I’ll give it agood cleaning and go from there. Thanks John

  5. Ivan Belial on December 4, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    Very cool. I have one with the hammer spur cut in 32 s&w. Never see them for sale in 22 rf

  6. Dick Tickles on December 4, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    I have the .32 version coming soon, been wanting one for a long time as we don’t see these ultra tiny and lightweight double action revolvers anymore. In the last few days I’ve been thinking back to the Lucky Gunner video on .32 calibers and he tested the .32 S&W in a .327 and got 10 inches penetration, but the velocity was way below what .32 S&W’s max is. Had he gotten more like 650 fps, all those bullets would have gone 12 inches deep in the gel. The reason the velocity was so low is the .32 S&W is so short compared to .327 gas was blowing by the bullet during before the bullet left the cylinder and it was losing pressure.

    Thus my belief is .32 S&W (short, not Long) is capable of being an effective caliber for self defense, but not in .32 or .327 Magnum revolvers; the .32 S&W is best used in revolvers chambered for it or the .32 S&W Long as it will maintain its velocity.

    One thing I do want to mention is the throats (not forcing cones) at the end of the cylinder are the same diameter the entire length of the chamber because .22 rimfire is a heeled bullet and the OD of the bullet is the same diameter as the brass case. The chamber is slightly larger in diameter than the bullet, but the pressure exerted on the base of the bullet will cause it to obturate and seal the gases behind it. Also, as it’s traveling down the chamber it’s being guided square to the bore, so there’s no bouncing or jiggling or whatever occurring.

    I saw your shooting video and I think the poor accuracy you were getting is a combination of shooting beyond the intended distance of what the Young America was built for, the 29gr bullets not being all that accurate (.22 Long is well known for not being accurate) and the sloppiness in the cylinder’s lockup on your YA causing poor alignment. It’s likely that the less powerful ammo, in addition to moving slower and allowing the rifling more time to grip the bullet, also exerted less force on the gun and that kept the cylinder in proper alignment.

    I was also going to get the .22 version to be a cheaper to shoot training piece, but someone kept outbidding me and wanted it more, so I wasn’t able to. IDK, do you think it’s worth getting the .22 model to be a cheaper trainer for the .32? I doubt the trigger is much lighter on the .32s and while I reload, it’s silly given the cost of primers alone is more than what .22 Short and Long sells for.

  7. Chemistry of Questionable Quality on December 4, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    Always nice to get some more information I didn’t have!

  8. Dana Fatu Jr on December 4, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    Thanks Brother…this helps me a lot. Great information and in detail the break down of specific ammo. Mahalo