H&R 929 | The Sidekick I Never Wanted
The Harrington & Richardson 929 Sidekick is a nine shot DA/SA .22LR revolver. This version has a 2-1/2 inch barrel (4, 6, and 10 inch barrels available), plastic grips, and a swing-out cylinder. The frame is made from steel and comes in at 23.5 ounces–nearly the same weight as a Glock 19.
The H&R 929 Sidekick was my grandfather’s gun. He kept it in a compartment in the dash of his van–an insurance policy against any potential carjacker. This revolver stood by faithfully for over two decades until his death a few years back, at which time it fell into my hands to live most of its days in the back of the safe.
One of the first things you’ll notice is the lack of a cylinder release latch like you would find on most revolvers. To open the 929 Sidekick you have to pull forward on the ejector rod releasing it from a recess in the frame and then push the cylinder out towards the left side of the gun. Not exactly designed for rapid reloads, but who needs more than nine shots?
The cylinder locks up in two places, making it less secure than newer designs. Be sure to take care when opening and closing the gun to avoid potentially mis-aligning the chambers and the barrel.
The trigger is surprisingly nice for such a cheap gun. Double action is smooth and consistent, but has significant stacking toward the end. Single action is light and crisp, on par with any Smith & Wesson revolver I’ve used. Taurus and Rossi fans should take note.
The grip on the 929 Sidekick is astonishingly tiny, and leaves nearly no room between itself and the trigger guard. This makes it nearly impossible for anyone with average size hands to get a solid purchase on the gun. Luckily there is next to no felt recoil due to the low power of .22LR and the relatively high weight of the Sidekick, making the diminutive grips only a minor hindrance.
Sights are lacking on the 929 Sidekick, as H&R seems to have drawn inspiration from the 1873 Colt Single Action Army revolver. Who can blame them–the SAA is the greatest handgun ever made, after all. Don’t plan on winning any bullseye competitions with this gun. It does fine plinking, and generally puts rounds where you tell it to, but the combination of poor sights and the tiny grip will test even the best shooters’ skills.
Over the course of several outings I fired 270 rounds from the 929 Sidekick.
- 100x Remington Thunderbolt 40gr LRN
- 40x Federal Target Grade Performance 40gr LRN
- 40x Winchester Super X 40gr PHP
- 40x Winchester Western 36gr PHP
- 50x mixed rounds of various age and origin
Surprisingly the bulk box Remington Thunderbolt is the most accurate and consistent in the 929 Sidekick compared to the other rounds.
After a few range trips I am starting to warm up to the 929 Sidekick. At first I considered it a “minute of bad guy” gun, but now that I’ve had some serious time behind the trigger my groups tightened significantly. My S&W 317 gets groups roughly 1/3 the size of the 929, but even being able to get groups is better than I initially expected. Patience, good form, and the proper ammo are critical here, as there are no modern amenities with this gun.
Typically I see these sell for around $200 online and at local shops, but a few have gone for as low as $50 at auctions and gun shows. The H&R 929 Sidekick is far from a modern revolver, but it kicks the crap out of every Brazilian gun I’ve owned. If you can find one in good shape, for the right price, the 929 Sidekick would make a great choice for an inexpensive rimfire revolver.
I just inherited the exact same revolver from my father. Mom said he had it since the early 70s. I lived out in 92 and never even knew he had a gun in the house. He wanted me to have it so I’ll never part with it. I haven’t had a chance to tke it to the range yet but was thinking of making it my daily carry. What your thoughts about doing so? Your piece was a good read, thank you.
I bought one of these new and had it for several years before selling it to a friend when I up graded to a larger caliber daily carry. I wish I had kept it and have kept my eyes open at local auctions in case one comes available. This is easy to carry when walking the fields and woods and want to take a shot at various rodents. I hope to add one to my collection again.
Thanks, Good informative article. One thing that is not often mentioned about the 929 is it’s lack of an obvious safety mechanism. A friend showed me on mine that if you pull the trigger back about 1/5th of the way, then gently release it will leave the hammer sitting slightly off the the bullet, thus avoiding a misfire if dropped or bumped.
I have a 929 with the 4 inch bbl. I bought it for $29 in 78. I have fired thousands of rounds through it. Up to about 50 ft I can put every one of the 9 rounds into a coke can. I have really enjoyed having the little pistol.
Mine has an adjustable rear sight instead of the groove on the top of the frame and it has the transfer bar safety that makes it almost impossible to fire when dropped.