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Old September 23, 2012, 04:08 PM   #16
BlueTrain
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Join Date: September 26, 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 5,825
People apparently bought them in large numbers when they were widely available before WWII, mostly Iver Johnson and H&R, although S&W were still offering a model in 1940. They were all chambered in less powerful rounds, though they weren't all small or pocket revolvers. Apparently the latch is the critical point in a top-break revolver but it's also a critical point in swing-out cylinder models, too. Webley probably had the strongest but they were never really sold commercially in this country. A Webley variation is still manufactured in India in .32, probably on original Webley machinery.

I'm sure the biggest selling point for break-tops between the wars was the low prices.

The biggest reason probably no one would introduce a break-top or any new revolver design of a small size, not a reproduction, is the presumed current preference for automatics. Before WWII, some German pistols were being sold but the only small automatic still being made was Colt's pocket model, plus one from--H&R at only two-thirds the price of the Colt.
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