BREAK-AC­TION RE­VOLVERS WERE ONCE VERY PREVA­LENT

Concealed Carry Hand Guns - - EXPERT’S CORNER -

Break-ac­tion re­volvers were very pop­u­lar at one time. One of the ear­li­est of the self-con­tained car­tridge guns in this coun­try was also a tiny rim­fire re­volver: the Smith & Wes­son Model 1 in .22 Short, al­though that gun was a tip-up break-ac­tion de­sign.

The S&W Model 3s—the Amer­i­can, Rus­sian and Schofield vari­ants of the 1800s—were large frame re­volvers, but were pop­u­lar for their top-break ac­tions. Iver John­son and Hop­kins & Allen were among other no­table man­u­fac­tur­ers of top-break re­volvers. And let’s not for­get the We­b­ley top-break re­volvers that helped the Bri­tish through two world wars. More re­cently, Har­ring­ton & Richard­son pro­duced their Sports­man 999, a nine-shot .22LR re­volver with a top-break ac­tion.

The break-top de­sign, while fine for black pow­der or mild smoke­less pow­der loads, was deemed not strong enough to han­dle mod­ern cen­ter­fire car­tridges (.357 Magnum for in­stance) and their higher cham­ber pres­sures. As a re­sult, only a few Old West replica guns and this new NAA rim­fire re­main in pro­duc­tion.

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