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Old October 27, 2012, 05:57 PM   #10
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Join Date: May 17, 2012
Posts: 1,085
The issue that I keep hearing about top break revolvers in anything larger than .32 is that they have a heard time withstanding the pressures over the long haul. I also keep hearing that titanium is far tougher than steel.
The main issue is no one's tried (seriously) to come up with an improvement on 100+ year old latch/hinge designs. Pretty sure we wouldn't have magnum revolvers either if development had stagnated similarly with swing-out DA revolvers. Supposedly, the design concept was mortally wounded when Colt won many military contracts out from under Smith (since the S&W's weren't in 45LC), and was then killed (by Colt again) when semi-auto's replaced revolvers altogether.

So far as I know, only market acceptance.
This is truly the only legitimate reason. Everyone seems to forget how delicate the cranes are on those "strong" swing out revolvers when they bring up latch/hinge strength... The Mateba Unica 6 (swing-out) didn't even need a top-strap to contain .454 Casull pressures. Materials science isn't magic; if you make the contact surfaces and structural members big enough, they will not fail at design loads.

I guess stupid import laws also killed the (only?) shot the design had at re-emerging when Baikal attempted to export the MP412 to our shores (very well done, Bubba)

FWIW, I'm developing my own latch/hinge/action in a top break platform. According to the stress calculations I've done, numerous latch schemes could handle .357-level loads (my design limit-load is at 100K psi). If I ever piece together the scratch and time to make a demonstration prototype, I may convince somebody to machine a real one to test

A man can dream, though...


I have many top breaks, and the swing out guns to me are not any slower or anything than a top break.
With lots of training, they're both as fast with speedloaders. Way easier to learn the motions on a top-break, though (and less likely to damage the axle than a crane with overzealous movements). The biggest advantage (which I'd think defense-pistoleers should be screaming for top-breaks for) is they can be easily loaded with one hand.
"I don't believe that the men of the distant past were any wiser than we are today. But it does seem that their science and technology were able to accomplish much grander things."
-- Alex Rosewater
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