H&R Topper M48

This is an old Harrington and Richardson Arms Co. model Topper M48. I used this while on west Texas dove hunts many years ago.  It’s most likely the first shotgun that I ever fired.





Black and white works well for some of my granddad’s old tools.




Filed under Firearms

9 responses to “H&R Topper M48

  1. Excellent photos. B&W enhances the “this is my family’s history” stories these photos tell.
    How many of us started our bird hunting with a battered single-shot, break-action, exposed hammer gun? First time we pulled the trigger, our thumb smashed our nose, and the buttplate bruised the ball of our shoulder because we did not mount the gun correctly. And the stock was two or three inches too long for us and had three inches of drop so the gun kicked like a mule.
    We persevered and became bird hunters anyway. Fun to take that “family heirloom” shotgun out the gun safe every few years and shoot it, even if just at some clay targets. Yep, the darn thing still kicks like a mule.

  2. Thanks Jerry! I believe in this case every bit of what you wrote is true. I am reading your book now. It is a great read!

  3. Yep, the old H&R was supposed to teach me firearms safety, but all I learned was how to reload really fast. I think I sold mine to some unwitting kid just starting out after I got a “real gun”.

  4. Amazing pics BTW, you really made that old gun look beautiful. Why did they ever get rid of that top lever?

    • Dean


      I should research this to be certain, but I understand the lever that unlatches the barrel changed due to a suit that was levied against H&R by….Iver Johnson? Apparently, the design of the mechanism was claimed to be copied straight off the old Champion shotguns (or maybe their predessors?), so H&R made a change that was so different that it was obvious they weren’t copying anyone. Thus, the infamous button.

  5. Dean

    M48, descended from the Model of 1948. The first H&R shotgun not to use the full year as the name of the gun. Also the first model to officially use the “Topper” moniker as part of its model name. Wonderful old guns. I’ve got a model 88, same gauge, was full now Modified choke with a 25″ barrel. Winchester Limb Saver does wonders when using high brass 1 oz. #6 “Duck & Pheasant” loads. Get one while you still can, if you don’t have one and want one, because they just became history.

  6. Neal Smith

    For the $$$$, the Model 48 could not be beat….they held tight patterns, rarely had troubles, and lasted forever….I remember many sitting a corner, over the fireplace mantle, …or by the back door of old Farm houses…..

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