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Old May 13, 2019, 10:31 AM   #51
Dave T
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In addition to the initial certification training for concealed carry permits I did renewal qualifications as required by our state. Most of the renewals were people who had gone through my certification classes. Time and again over 10 years I would have someone proudly tell me they hadn't fired their gun since taking the original class, 4 years before. I always pointed to their target and said I could tell. Most of these had to re-shoot, sometimes more than once, to be qualified.

In all my classes I tried to instill a sense of seriousness and commitment to the idea of carrying a concealed weapon. I doubt if 10% of the over 1400 people I trained ever did so.

In my experience those who want the smallest and lightest gun to carry because a more serious gun is too much trouble, soon get tired of the whole idea. Too much to bother with. I see people on this forum saying things like they will carry a bigger, more powerful gun when they think they need to. My question is always: how do you know when you will need to?

And when I speak of taking it seriously I primarily mean practicing on a regular basis and even getting additional training. A big problem with the tiny guns is they are difficult to shoot well, and in some cases even painful. I offered self defense classes that went beyond what was required for our state's concealed carry permit. The few people who availed themselves of the opportunity for additional training never did well with mouse guns (22s, 25s, 32s). They either switched to a more serious gun or quit.

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Old May 13, 2019, 11:15 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by TruthTellers View Post
Does a modern top break have a place in today's concealed carry world?
This is a contradiction in terms; there is no such thing as a modern top break. I have a couple of Webleys and love to shoot them, but I don't kid myself that they are modern.


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Originally Posted by TruthTellers View Post
Top breaks may not be as strong, but I think the opinion among experts is that shooting whatever you shoot best with, even if it's a weaker ammo (like .22 LR, .32 Long, .38 S&W) because it's shot placement that matters and faster follow up shots is always good.
Even if you manage to talk yourself into believing that a 32 ACP type cartridge is the way to go, a revolver isn't. Compare an S&W I frame revolver with a Kel-tec P32:







The semi is lighter and far thinner. You can literally concealed carry the semi in a shirt pocket. And you can reload it faster than any revolver.

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Originally Posted by TruthTellers View Post
What if the price of such a top break was considerably less than today's J frames and LCR's?
I don't see any reason why a top break made with modern steel would be considerably cheaper than a swing out made with modern steel.
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Old May 13, 2019, 11:21 AM   #53
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but was not hindered by a slow reload with the swing out cylinder, so top break immediately came to my mind.
Two questions, first what is the "slow reload" of the swing out cylinder being compared to?

Second, do you have, or have personal experience with a top break revolver?

I do, and they have a couple of "disadvantages" in operation, compared to a swing out DA. Not talking about strength, or durability, but the way they have to be worked. The swing out DA has its own quirks, but there are significant differences.

One point people will make about the top break is how much "faster" it is ejecting the empties. The top break automatically ejects all the empties at once when you open it, right?

Yes, but only if you do it "right". It is actually rather easy to "short stroke" a top break revolver. Not only do you need to open them ALL the way, you need to do it at a certain minimum speed, or you could have problems. AND, the gun has to be held the right way, or you could have problems. Especially if you are not using clipped together rounds.

The gun works better reloading if held so gravity works for you. And it needs to be opened "briskly" enough that the empties are actually ejected not just extracted. This is IMPORTANT, because if you don't, you can jam the gun.
When you break open the top break the extractor rises on a cam, as you pivot the barrel "down". When the barrel is almost at its full travel, the shaft of the extractor passes over the peak of the cam, and then the star snaps back into the cylinder under spring tension.

IF the empties are not "thrown" clear, (too slow an opening) and do not fall free due to gravity, they CAN get caught UNDERNEATH the extractor star when it snaps back, and MAY even wind up back in the chamber, underneath the extractor, and HELD there by the extractors spring tension. Jam!
And, unlike the side swing DA, there is no ejector rod for you to push on. So your only option for clearing that jam is to close the revolver enough so that the extractor rises again when you re-open it, and then HOLD the extractor up, so it doesn't snap back in, while you try to pluck out the fired case with your third hand...

If this happens, there is no "tap, rack, bang" with a top break. Now a similar jam can happen with a swing out, a case under the extractor, BUT the manual rod on a swing out lets you push, and hold the extractor up, making clearing that jam simpler and faster than a top break.

If you're looking at a top break because of its "speed advantage" in reloading you need to be aware that it goes away completely if you don't work it just right, and in that regard it is less forgiving than the swing out cylinder. Easier to screw up, and more time consuming to clear if you do.

People will tell you how much faster it is to reload the top break, especially using clips. Faster than individual loose rounds, absolutely. Faster than a speed loader? a tiny bit. How long does it take you to twist the knob of an HKS speedloader? 1/3 of a second? a half?
For me, the biggest advantage to using clips is they make it easier to find and pick up your empties off the ground when you're finished.

I get it, top breaks are cool, I like mine, a 1917 Webley Mk VI. They let you be Alan Quatermain searching for King Solomon's mines, or a Scotland Yard detective chasing Mr Hyde over London rooftops. But I think their advantages over a swing outs are over hyped and their disadvantages mostly ignored. Mostly by people who haven't actually used them.
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Old May 13, 2019, 11:29 AM   #54
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Dave T
In addition to the initial certification training for concealed carry permits I did renewal qualifications as required by our state. Most of the renewals were people who had gone through my certification classes. Time and again over 10 years I would have someone proudly tell me they hadn't fired their gun since taking the original class, 4 years before. I always pointed to their target and said I could tell. Most of these had to re-shoot, sometimes more than once, to be qualified.

In all my classes I tried to instill a sense of seriousness and commitment to the idea of carrying a concealed weapon. I doubt if 10% of the over 1400 people I trained ever did so.

In my experience those who want the smallest and lightest gun to carry because a more serious gun is too much trouble, soon get tired of the whole idea. Too much to bother with. I see people on this forum saying things like they will carry a bigger, more powerful gun when they think they need to. My question is always: how do you know when you will need to?

And when I speak of taking it seriously I primarily mean practicing on a regular basis and even getting additional training. A big problem with the tiny guns is they are difficult to shoot well, and in some cases even painful. I offered self defense classes that went beyond what was required for our state's concealed carry permit. The few people who availed themselves of the opportunity for additional training never did well with mouse guns (22s, 25s, 32s). They either switched to a more serious gun or quit.

Dave

If someone conceal carries but doesn't train regularly, it doesn't necessarily mean they're not taking carrying seriously. Carrying a 32 ACP doesn't mean one isn't taking CCW seriously. Tiny guns have their place. Not everyone lives in a RED State. Some folks have to effectively hide their CCW piece or risk people freaking out.

These days I shoot 3 times a week, both indoors and outdoors. I have memberships to 2 different clubs. I can probably out shoot most people who have their CCW's and I carry a BUG. However, I will never accuse anyone of not taking their CCW seriously just because they don't train as much as I do, carry a mouse gun, or carry gun chambered in 22LR. Making such an accusation is akin to saying that everyone must receive 16 hours of training and qualify at 5, 7, & 10 yards. Such an elitist attitude...
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Old May 13, 2019, 11:34 AM   #55
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One point people will make about the top break is how much "faster" it is ejecting the empties. The top break automatically ejects all the empties at once when you open it, right?

Yes, but only if you do it "right".
...but, how many folks who carry a 5 shot J-Frame carry reloads? Tiny guns have a place. For me, as a BUG or times when I can't carry anything bigger.
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Old May 13, 2019, 11:45 AM   #56
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9mm Federal failed because Charter Arms went out of business within a year of introducing it. No one else was making a 9mm Federal revolver at the time, so Federal stopped making the ammo and because they stopped making the ammo, no one made a 9mm Federal revolver.
Part of the answer yes. But not all of the answer.

http://john1911.com/9mm-federal/

http://smith-wessonforum.com/reloadi...al-rimmed.html

If I wanted a top break I wouldn't hold my breath waiting on a new one to be made. I would buy a decent top break S&W made for smokeless powder and work up a safe load in it that exceeds the factory 38S&W ammo geared for old top breaks that are weak and use that. I still don't know what I would gain over my new made 442.

The 38S&W has the potential to be loaded to higher power but it will never be done because of all old guns floating around. Same as the 38 Special could be shortened because as pointed out earlier it has way more case that needed for the powders it uses. But it will never happen. Especially since revolvers have a hard enough time now competing against autos.
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Old May 13, 2019, 11:46 AM   #57
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the mass market for such a gun went away decades ago.
Quote:
Except in India, as I posted.
In the article, the manufacturer said sales were "good." He had sold ten revolvers. Ten!
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Old May 13, 2019, 12:26 PM   #58
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...but, how many folks who carry a 5 shot J-Frame carry reloads? Tiny guns have a place. For me, as a BUG or times when I can't carry anything bigger.
How many people who carry a gun are capable of defending themselves if a gun is not the answer? Shall we mandate a certain proficiency in unarmed combat, retention, etc? Since this training, from qualified and reputable sources, is not cheap shall we just go ahead and place an income qualification on it? How about a doctor signing off to verify someone is in appropriate physical health?
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Old May 13, 2019, 01:46 PM   #59
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I've not been a fan of the top break revolver, with one exception: The spur trigger, single action .38 S&W bird head top break by Smith & Wesson from around the turn of the last century. By virtue of being single action, the frame was kept as compact as possible, and that spur trigger eliminated some of the bulk of modern DA revolvers. I believe Merwin Hulbert had a similar revolver, though not truly a top break. It was a "push me-pull you" contraption. But both revolvers were very compact even with four or five inch barrels.

When firing, these nestled low in the hand for very good point-ability.

Howdy

Like this?

This is a S&W 38 Single Action, 1st Model, popularly known as the Baby Russian, because the ejector rod housing was similar to the housing on the full sized #3 Russian Revolver. The Baby Russian was only made in 1876 and 1877. This one left the factory in 1876.







The Baby Russian was followed by the 38 Single Action, 2nd Model. This model lacked the longer ejector rod housing of the 1st Model. The 2nd Model was made from 1877 until 1891. This one left the factory in 1877.






By the time the 38 Single Action 3rd Model came out in 1891, a trigger guard had been added.






I had to look twice when I came across that 3rd Model. At first I thought I was looking at a New Model Number Three. The 38 Single Action 3rd Model is pretty much a smaller version of the larger 44 caliber New Model Number Three.






Did somebody say Merwin Hulbert? I'm not sure exactly when this Merwin Hulbert 38 Pocket Model left the factory, probably in the late 1880s or maybe the 1890s. Notice the distinctive folding spur on the hammer.

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Old May 13, 2019, 01:48 PM   #60
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Yes, but only if you do it "right".
This is one of the biggest problems both we and the uninitiated have.

We sometimes suggest things that will work for another individual if it is done "right". We may suggest inferior equipment because it will be "right" most of the time. We count on the individual to understand the idea of "doing it right" and following through. we sometimes expect those folks to take their LCP or whatever out and practice once in a while, clean it regularly, run enough ammo and defensive ammo through it to make sure that it will work, and in other words, do everything "right".

Those other guys, however, believe that they know what is "right" and believe that they are doing it right. They believe that in a crisis they will do what is right.

I had a guy thinking about an M&P and he said that it was too short to shoot accurately and the sights were terrible.

"hey, guy, are you getting that to shoot at paper, or to carry it? Regardless of why you want it, being good with a short barrel is more a matter of skill than whether the sight plane is short. I can get accuracy out of a pocket pistol that's almost as good as what I get from my glock. Not absolutely as good, but pretty close. Just practice. If you want to shoot paper, though, you would be smart to just get a different gun that you can shoot paper with."
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Old May 13, 2019, 02:02 PM   #61
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Howdy Again

I have watched this discussion with interest over the last few days.

What nobody, at least I don't think anybody said it, is that because the frame of a Top Break revolver is in two pieces, the frame proper, and the barrel, they inevitably loosen up over time. I can't tell you how many old Top Breaks I have examined that have loosened up.

A modern solid frame revolver has an integral top strap. The frame is not going to stretch. With a Top Break, either the rotating joint will loosen up, or the Top Strap will stretch. So that when the latch is closed, it is loosey goosey. Even if one were to be made with modern materials, it will still eventually loosen up because the frame is in two parts.

I have lots of experience shooting Top Break revolvers.










And I whole wholeheartedly agree with 44 Amp about how easy it is to jam one up. With a modern double action revolver you just open the cylinder and point it skyward. You pop the ejector rod down with your thumb and all the empties fall clear. In order to pop the empties out of a Top Break, you must lower the barrel briskly, just as he said. There is no real 'ejector'. The extractor pulls the empties out as quickly as you rotate the barrel down. If you don't do it quickly, an empty can slip down under the ejector and then when the ejector snaps home the empty is jammed under the extractor. And it is a pain to open the revolver slowly to get the jammed one out. It generally involves holding the extractor up with your thumbnail while you try to wiggle the offending round out. Been there, done that more than once. I have found the best way to eject empties out of a Top Break is to flick the gun sideways while rotating the barrel down. This way gravity will not help any stragglers fall back down into the chambers.

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Old May 13, 2019, 02:19 PM   #62
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Personally I am far more concerned about size than action type. Something bigger than the NAA mini - smaller than a J-frame and with a round more effective than 22 Magnum. I'm not concerned with reloading type (who is going to carry a reload for a pocket revolver of this size anyways). This thing can use NAA's drop out cylinder for all I care though I want a real double action trigger.
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Old May 13, 2019, 05:23 PM   #63
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Personally I am far more concerned about size than action type. Something bigger than the NAA mini - smaller than a J-frame and with a round more effective than 22 Magnum. I'm not concerned with reloading type (who is going to carry a reload for a pocket revolver of this size anyways). This thing can use NAA's drop out cylinder for all I care though I want a real double action trigger.
As much as I like the 22mag round I like it in longer barreled guns that are not of the pocket carry variety. I would much prefer a 32 long over a 22 mag in a snub revolver. Especially with one of my handloads.
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Old May 13, 2019, 07:27 PM   #64
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The S&W single action top break frames are the same size as the double actions.
A .32 acp revolver will not be more efficient than the Keltec P32, but if properly done-it could be almost as small (but thicker)- but it would be a revolver. I would want one for that fact alone. I don't care if it's a top break or swing out-as long as it is accurately sized to the .32 acp round, just like the P32 is.
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Old May 13, 2019, 07:57 PM   #65
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If you are not going to carry extra ammunition to reload with, you don't need simultaneous ejection by top break or hand ejector, n'est ce pas?
(W.W. Greener said that "If by the time you have fired five or six shots and the peril has not passed, there are probably better things to do with the time remaining than hastily reloading the revolver.")

There were a lot of really small revolvers with solid frames and "pull pin" operation, most made in the price niche even below the lesser topbreaks. No reason not to make a Young America out of good materials in a small but "hot" caliber. Or a Baby Bulldog .32.

In the .38 Short Colt thread, I wondered about the viability of a new large(er) rimfire. After all, .22 LR HV chamber pressure is up to 24000 psi, in .38 Special +P+ level.
Cheap (once you have set up for it) and also a route to a pocket revolver specific cartridge. How about a 34 rimfire?
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Old May 14, 2019, 01:18 AM   #66
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There were tiny .32acp revolvers made 110 years ago.
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Old May 14, 2019, 02:06 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
Two questions, first what is the "slow reload" of the swing out cylinder being compared to?

Second, do you have, or have personal experience with a top break revolver?

I do, and they have a couple of "disadvantages" in operation, compared to a swing out DA. Not talking about strength, or durability, but the way they have to be worked. The swing out DA has its own quirks, but there are significant differences.

One point people will make about the top break is how much "faster" it is ejecting the empties. The top break automatically ejects all the empties at once when you open it, right?

Yes, but only if you do it "right". It is actually rather easy to "short stroke" a top break revolver. Not only do you need to open them ALL the way, you need to do it at a certain minimum speed, or you could have problems. AND, the gun has to be held the right way, or you could have problems. Especially if you are not using clipped together rounds.

The gun works better reloading if held so gravity works for you. And it needs to be opened "briskly" enough that the empties are actually ejected not just extracted. This is IMPORTANT, because if you don't, you can jam the gun.
When you break open the top break the extractor rises on a cam, as you pivot the barrel "down". When the barrel is almost at its full travel, the shaft of the extractor passes over the peak of the cam, and then the star snaps back into the cylinder under spring tension.

IF the empties are not "thrown" clear, (too slow an opening) and do not fall free due to gravity, they CAN get caught UNDERNEATH the extractor star when it snaps back, and MAY even wind up back in the chamber, underneath the extractor, and HELD there by the extractors spring tension. Jam!
And, unlike the side swing DA, there is no ejector rod for you to push on. So your only option for clearing that jam is to close the revolver enough so that the extractor rises again when you re-open it, and then HOLD the extractor up, so it doesn't snap back in, while you try to pluck out the fired case with your third hand...

If this happens, there is no "tap, rack, bang" with a top break. Now a similar jam can happen with a swing out, a case under the extractor, BUT the manual rod on a swing out lets you push, and hold the extractor up, making clearing that jam simpler and faster than a top break.

If you're looking at a top break because of its "speed advantage" in reloading you need to be aware that it goes away completely if you don't work it just right, and in that regard it is less forgiving than the swing out cylinder. Easier to screw up, and more time consuming to clear if you do.

People will tell you how much faster it is to reload the top break, especially using clips. Faster than individual loose rounds, absolutely. Faster than a speed loader? a tiny bit. How long does it take you to twist the knob of an HKS speedloader? 1/3 of a second? a half?
For me, the biggest advantage to using clips is they make it easier to find and pick up your empties off the ground when you're finished.

I get it, top breaks are cool, I like mine, a 1917 Webley Mk VI. They let you be Alan Quatermain searching for King Solomon's mines, or a Scotland Yard detective chasing Mr Hyde over London rooftops. But I think their advantages over a swing outs are over hyped and their disadvantages mostly ignored. Mostly by people who haven't actually used them.
The slow reload of a smaller than J frame sized swing out cylinder revolver. Think NAA Sidewinder, but a bit bigger and with a S&W cylinder release. A tiny that's not exactly easy for some to get their thumb on the cyl. release to open the cylinder.

Also, once the cylinder is out, given how small the gun is, the grips can get in the way of ejecting all rounds.

I do have experience with a top break, an H&R .32 6 shot.

People incorrectly working a top break is a training issue that can be overcome.
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Old May 14, 2019, 10:01 AM   #68
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People incorrectly working a top break is a training issue that can be overcome.
The same could be said for someone who cannot operate a swing out cylinder and eject the rounds and then reload with a speed strip or speed loader.

So to answer your question "does a modern top break have a place in todays concealed carry world?" No. Not really. It doesn't do anything the already popular snub nosed revolvers don't do.
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Old May 14, 2019, 10:36 AM   #69
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People incorrectly working a top break is a training issue that can be overcome.
spoken with a true engineer's mindset.
This warms my heart. I've been trained in Root Cause Analysis, and "training issue" is the one blanket that covers about everything. Doesn't matter the subject, anything someone fails to do correctly is a "training issue".

And, technically, its never wrong, just that sometimes, its not really "right". Because, its open ended. If they can't perform the task, simple or complex, its a training issue. If they know what and how to do the task and fail to perform it properly, its still a training issue. They just weren't trained enough.


Does a modern top break have a place in today's concealed carry world?
Sure. If such a thing existed. As far as I can see, and including this discussion, it doesn't exist as a common commercial product. And, that right there ought to tell you a lot about its suitability for today's CCW.

Could one be useful?, sure. Would it be superior in any real way to what already exists? I don't think that likely.
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Old May 14, 2019, 10:39 AM   #70
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Like I said before, I have lots of experience with Top Break revolvers. The big ones and the little ones too.












I wouldn't dream of packing one if I could pack a modern revolver of swing out design instead. Like this old Flat Latch Model 36.






And the very last thing you want with you on a dark rainy night is a Perfected. These were the last Top Break revolvers designed by Smith & Wesson. I would not want to be trying to remember that I need to push the thumb piece forward AT THE SAME TIME as I lift the latch in order to reload. Try doing training drills for that.

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Old May 14, 2019, 11:15 AM   #71
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As I said, there are beaucoup pocket pistols being carried without reserve ammo, so the reload does not matter.
I think the Perfected is a neat revolver, good thing I am pretty much past the Kewl Factor excuse to buy. Also the 1891 single action, wish they had made it as a .32 sixshooter.
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Old May 14, 2019, 02:45 PM   #72
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People incorrectly working a top break is a training issue that can be overcome.
Once again we bring up the spectre of making the user responsible for what may actually be considered a design flaw or otherwise flawed product. So many things touted on the internet and forums are only useable "if the user does his part."

If someone could actually prove to me that a top break revolver is better than a seven round semiauto, and get away from telling me that I have to adapt my technique to use it, I'd feel a lot better. But right here I'm being told that in the heat of a gunfight, I'm going to have to turn my gun upside down to reload it. Jeeze, forty years now I've been shooting handguns and have never done so, and I'm certain that I won't remember to do that if I am under stress.

Let's face it, If I was carrying a DA top break mouse gun in my coat pocket and I was mugged by a vicious bloodthirsty thug with his gun already in my face, I'm going to die.

I'm just going to toss this out here again.


Quote:
We sometimes suggest things that will work for another individual if it is done "right". We may suggest inferior equipment because it will be "right" most of the time. We count on the individual to understand the idea of "doing it right" and following through. we sometimes expect those folks to take their LCP or whatever out and practice once in a while, clean it regularly, run enough ammo and defensive ammo through it to make sure that it will work, and in other words, do everything "right".
What we have here are a few people who believe, and really want to believe that the top break is a good idea. there is disagreement based on several very important things. Those arguments against it have merit. Anyone who is undecided can carefully examine the pros and cons and decide whether or not the idea actually has merit.
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Old May 14, 2019, 02:57 PM   #73
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And the very last thing you want with you on a dark rainy night is a Perfected. These were the last Top Break revolvers designed by Smith & Wesson. I would not want to be trying to remember that I need to push the thumb piece forward AT THE SAME TIME as I lift the latch in order to reload. Try doing training drills for that.
OTOH, the Perfecteds that came without the thumb release are -well- almost perfect. A top break I frame for all practical purposes.
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Old May 14, 2019, 04:26 PM   #74
ratshooter
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Join Date: January 22, 2009
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Does a modern top break have a place in today's concealed carry world?
Sure. If such a thing existed. As far as I can see, and including this discussion, it doesn't exist as a common commercial product. And, that right there ought to tell you a lot about its suitability for today's CCW.
I have owned two H&R 999 22lr top break revolvers and they were neat guns and fun to shoot and play with but I don't know that they offered any more than my S&W model 34.

But a modern top break? It doesn't matter. Nobody makes one and no one is going to make one except that little NAA gun. Its really a moot point.
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Old May 15, 2019, 03:17 PM   #75
MillCreek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer View Post
Not to divert but the COP was used as a concealed carry gun on the sci-fi show Battlestar Galactica.
And in the original Blade Runner movie.
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