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Old May 11, 2019, 01:55 PM   #26
Bill DeShivs
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The ONLY sure, immediate stop with a pistol is a central nervous system shot-period.
It doesn't matter What the caliber.
Anything other than a CNS shot will rely on pain, shock, or blood loss to incapacitate.
Blood loss is absolutely the slowest of the 3.
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Old May 11, 2019, 02:26 PM   #27
Jim Watson
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Used to buy you could buy a 4 shot .357 Mag called a "COP"(COP stood for Compact Off-Duty Police).
Having actually shot one of these, I can comment with authority.
Unlike the blogger, I found the recoil noticeable with ,38 wadcutters, heavy with .38 ball, and painful with magnums.
Like the blogger, I found nothing to be called accuracy and frequent full profile keyholes.
And it FEELS heavy.
They made a scaled down .22 that might have been usable.
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Old May 11, 2019, 02:55 PM   #28
Glenn E. Meyer
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Not to divert but the COP was used as a concealed carry gun on the sci-fi show Battlestar Galactica.
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Old May 11, 2019, 05:59 PM   #29
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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.

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Old May 11, 2019, 09:46 PM   #30
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I had one of those S&W .38 single actions for CAS Pocket. Not really competitive with a DA but for its narrow window in time, it was great.
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Old May 12, 2019, 12:44 AM   #31
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Problem is you’d need a new cartridge, or you’d need to load an old cartridge to higher pressures. But if you could build a five shot top break in 32 long and then issue ammo for it that was higher pressure (say 32 mag velocities) i think you’d really have something. Especially in an aluminum frame with a steel cylinder and barrel, I’ll bet you could make it under 9 ounces, and quite a bit smaller than a j frame.


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Old May 12, 2019, 03:11 AM   #32
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Is 9mm out of the question? It's surprisingly short compared to most revolver cartridges.
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Old May 12, 2019, 03:41 AM   #33
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Problem is you’d need a new cartridge...
Ideally, this is the case. You'd want a short, rimmed cartridge, probably in .36 caliber, with the capability to drive a 120gr bullet at about 900-1100fps.

As far as I know, there's not anything like that currently on the market. The old 9mm Federal round (which was basically stillborn) would have been a good choice--perhaps downloaded a little bit.
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Old May 12, 2019, 04:45 AM   #34
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.32 acp would work just fine.
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Old May 12, 2019, 07:45 AM   #35
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Sounds like a job for 9mmAR (9mm auto rimmed) similar to 45AR. Solves the extraction problems, plenty of basic science on the cartridge itself, just needs a rim.

Unfortunately it's a two part problem. Until there are enough revolvers chambered in 9mmAR there will be no 9mmAR and until there is a 9mmAR there will be no top break revolvers chambered in 9mmAR.
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Old May 12, 2019, 09:05 AM   #36
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32 ACP would be a jam-o-matic if the design was anything similar to the older top breaks. The tiny rim would cause constant ejection problems unless the revolver was tipped upside down every time you reloaded.

A latch on the top of the frame is more inconvenient and anyone that has used one would know it requires much better hand dexterity than any of the current systems. The cylinder release on today’s revolvers sits positioned between the recoil shield and grips, which means it easy to reach, yet out of the way. Any release on or near the top of the frame will be harder to reach, easier to damage and/or much more complex.

If you focus on all the positives, ignore the negatives, assume it’ll somehow be cheaper than current revolvers, and it comes in a new magic caliber than it sounds like a great idea.

There are plenty of break top S&W’s out there still in shootable condition. These guns are surprisingly small, yet point well, and reasonably priced.
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Old May 12, 2019, 10:35 AM   #37
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Sounds like a job for 9mmAR (9mm auto rimmed) similar to 45AR.
that round existed. (note the past tense) It was the 9mm Federal. Was.

Like a lot of other good ideas, it wasn't popular enough to survive the marketplace.


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A latch on the top of the frame is more inconvenient and anyone that has used one would know it requires much better hand dexterity than any of the current systems. The cylinder release on today’s revolvers sits positioned between the recoil shield and grips, which means it easy to reach, yet out of the way. Any release on or near the top of the frame will be harder to reach, easier to damage and/or much more complex.
Agreed, a small latch on the top is awkward. But its not the only way to do it. Look at the latch on a Webley. The operating lever is positioned in about the same place as most side swing out revolvers cylinder latch.

Some people want a small, light, easy to operate top break revolver that is also durable, powerful, and cheap. They're not going to get it. I don't think ALL those things can be put in one revolver, but even if they could, the mass market for such a gun went away decades ago.
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Old May 12, 2019, 10:42 AM   #38
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the mass market for such a gun went away decades ago.
Except in India, as I posted. Maybe someone in the USA could license that design. There are updated 32 SW Long Wadcutters and Hollow points. Not the ultimate manstopper.

However, no one would pay 2000 bucks for one.
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Old May 12, 2019, 02:44 PM   #39
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I like breaktops, and I would buy a new offering, but they are no stronger than other designs that have been perfected for a century.
I also like .32 acp, but the market has moved on to .380 instead.
And nobody makes a centerfire revolver that is smaller and lighter than the plastic pocket .380s.
So it would be a niche market item, with few customers, therefore very expensive for a novelty safe queen.
I'd buy one, preferably in .32 H&R magnum, but most people wouldn't.
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Old May 12, 2019, 03:25 PM   #40
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You guys that want .36 or 9mm are reinventing the wheel. A gun that size would be too big-might as well get a J frame. Bigger is not always better.
Tiny .32 acp revolvers were made 100+ years ago. Imagine what could be built now.
Nich gun? Sure-but if it were done properly there would probably be one in 1/3 of the purses in the country.
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Old May 12, 2019, 03:31 PM   #41
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Some people would go for a .32, no doubt, but sales would be much better with something closer to .38Spl performance. There's just too much inertia in the caliber market to spend a lot of time and money developing .32 caliber handguns, IMO.
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Old May 12, 2019, 03:42 PM   #42
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IMO, people should be saying "get used to a stronger round and carry that if it is at all possible. Carrying an inappropriately small round and expecting that you will rise to the occasion and perform well is a real risk."
The above is absolutely correct except that it isn't just a "risk" but a real probability. Under the stress of being shot at people do not "rise to the occasion", rather their fine motor skills deteriorate significantly. If you shoot nice 3" groups @ 7 yards on the range, in the mean streets you will be lucky to keep most of your shots on a silhouette.

Many years ago Jeff Cooper preached a balance of accuracy, power, and speed, other wise known as DVC (for the Latin translation). An accurate shot that lacks sufficient power or comes too late will fail. A powerful shot that misses or comes too late will fail. A lightning fast shot that is not powerful enough or misses will fail. And what will they fail at...saving your life.

For 10 years after I retired from law enforcement I trained civilians to qualify for concealed carry permits. I was constantly saddened and dismayed at the lack of seriousness the students brought to the subjects of concealed carry and self defense. Threads like this one remind me of those days.

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Old May 12, 2019, 05:26 PM   #43
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I've always thought that a top-break revolver in a decent self-defense chambering would be a good choice for self-defense for folks who like revolvers.

You'd need something other than one of the common revolver calibers available today because the cartridges are too long to be ideal.

Something like .38Spl but in a redesigned case no longer than is really required. .38Spl is very long because it was originally a black powder cartridge and that case volume was needed for performance.
They made it. The 9mm Federal round.

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that round existed. (note the past tense) It was the 9mm Federal. Was.

Like a lot of other good ideas, it wasn't popular enough to survive the marketplace.
I think the real problem was that they found out it would chamber and fire in old 38S&W guns and they were afraid of disasters and blood letting.

A friend bought an old top break, I don't remember what brand in 38 S&W but couldn't find any ammo for it. He took it to the gun store and some guy that worked there figured out that 38 Super would fit and the semi rim held the round in place. So thats what he shot out of it. And no, it didn't blow up. I shot the gun myself. I guess the way undersized bullets kept the pressure down enough that it did no harm.

But I don't know what a top break would do any better than my 442. Or 431PD in 32 mag that only weighs 15oz loaded. And I have a 2" model 30-1 that with my reloads gets a chronographed 850fps and its not loaded to full power yet. I just decided that was enough. But top breaks are cool. No doubt about it.
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Old May 12, 2019, 07:17 PM   #44
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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.

http://www.ammo-one.com/9mmFedRim.html
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Old May 12, 2019, 07:32 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
The above is absolutely correct except that it isn't just a "risk" but a real probability. Under the stress of being shot at people do not "rise to the occasion", rather their fine motor skills deteriorate significantly. If you shoot nice 3" groups @ 7 yards on the range, in the mean streets you will be lucky to keep most of your shots on a silhouette.

Many years ago Jeff Cooper preached a balance of accuracy, power, and speed, other wise known as DVC (for the Latin translation). An accurate shot that lacks sufficient power or comes too late will fail. A powerful shot that misses or comes too late will fail. A lightning fast shot that is not powerful enough or misses will fail. And what will they fail at...saving your life.

For 10 years after I retired from law enforcement I trained civilians to qualify for concealed carry permits. I was constantly saddened and dismayed at the lack of seriousness the students brought to the subjects of concealed carry and self defense. Threads like this one remind me of those days.

Dave
Again, my thought was a revolver that was significantly smaller and lighter than a J frame, but was not hindered by a slow reload with the swing out cylinder, so top break immediately came to my mind. I figured a .22 or .32 or shorter .38 would be best for keeping recoil down to not strain the revolver.

For all the focus you put on insufficient power when a bullet hits the target, what's worse is bullets that miss the target or don't get fired at all because someone said, "Meh, that gun's too much trouble to bring with me."

I think your comment demonstrates a problem in the gun community where we all become such "experts" in things that we forget those who aren't experts, aren't concerned about ballistic data, and are looking for what works best for their needs. For some that's a .22 or a .32 that's as light as an LCP but simpler to operate.
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Old May 13, 2019, 12:02 AM   #46
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I think your comment demonstrates a problem in the gun community where we all become such "experts" in things that we forget those who aren't experts, aren't concerned about ballistic data, and are looking for what works best for their needs. For some that's a .22 or a .32 that's as light as an LCP but simpler to operate.
What you are saying proves the points made. If we allow a granny to carry a .22 and give our blessing to it, if she dies, we are partly culpable.

A person who is ethical and careful about his recommendations will tell granny "no, granny, this is like making your seatbelt out of kite string."

years ago I was asked to train granny so she could have a gun in the house, but she didn't want to shoot it, just know how to keep it safe from the kids. She just knew that the guys would run if she pointed it. I told her that I wasn't going to sign off on her suicide.

If you are going to own and carry a gun, you must take it seriously. Taking it seriously means not buying a gun just because It fits the pocket or has low recoil or heaven forbid, comes in pink. A gun is purchased because it can fulfill a person's needs. Do you need defense? No, that .22 derringer is not going to fulfill a person's needs, and all arguments that say that it will are just nonsense. Arguments that a gun is too big, loud, powerful, etc, are almost always just excuses.

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I think your comment demonstrates a problem in the gun community where we all become such "experts" in things that we forget those who aren't experts, aren't concerned about ballistic data, and are looking for what works best for their needs. For some that's a .22 or a .32 that's as light as an LCP but simpler to operate.
Those who are not experts have no excuse. Should they learn how to drive before they buy a car, or read the label on the chainsaw before starting it? Of course.

If they don't know enough about guns to understand some very, very simple ideas, then they must learn or be taught.

They don't know anything about guns or ballistics or so forth, so consequently, they have not the slightest idea what their needs are. They heard on the radio that alka seltzer fixes tummy issues and they are taking it for their colon cancer.

We are bound by honor to take these uninformed people under our wings as far as can possibly be done, and explain to them some of the simple facts about armed combat.

Use a big enough cartridge. carry it even if it's a pain. Work with it. Above all, adapt yourself to the needs you have to keep yourself safe. Don't try to adapt the equipment to your needs. The bad guy who needs a 9mm hit to the chest isn't going to care if the only gun that would fit in a shirt pocket was a .22 caliber derringer. Wow, two shots of .22 lr fired from such a pistol that missed at ten feet is just as useless as useless can be. Maybe a life could be saved if the person was carrying a 7 round .380.
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Old May 13, 2019, 12:53 AM   #47
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If we allow a granny to carry a .22 and give our blessing to it, if she dies, we are partly culpable.
As adults, they get to make their own decisions and, as adults, they are responsible for making informed decisions and also for the results of those decisions.

We should provide the best advice we can but the decision is, and should be theirs.
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Use a big enough...a life could be saved if the person was carrying a 7 round .380.
Push someone to buy something they don't want and they won't practice with it or carry it. There's a lot of truth to the old proverb that says a person convinced against their will isn't really convinced at all. And that doesn't even get into the ethics of coercing another adult to do something they really don't want to do.

Anyway, it doesn't take a lot of research to determine that citizens who defend themselves with guns tend to do so very effectively, on average. Notice that there's nothing in that statement about the caliber used. In fact, the reality of the situation is that in something like 80% of successful self-defense gun uses, the gun is never fired.

If you want to talk about what is really likely to save a life, it's getting someone to carry consistently and to learn how to use their gun. Pushing them to buy a gun that's "a pain" or that they can't use unless they "adapt to it" or that they won't carry because it won't fit the carry method they are willing to employ is far more likely to cost a life than letting someone pick a gun or caliber that they are comfortable with and will use and practice with but that might not be a mainstream self-defense cartridge.

Caliber only has a chance to make a difference in something like 8% of self-defense gun uses. I'm not advocating that we give people false security or try to make them feel good about picking a caliber that's not generally recommended for self-defense, but we do need to keep some real-world perspective. The idea that caliber choice makes a huge difference in typical self-defense gun uses just doesn't play out in the real world. Having a gun and knowing how to use it is far more important than the type of gun or the caliber.
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They don't know anything about guns or ballistics or so forth, so consequently, they have not the slightest idea what their needs are.
It's up to us to provide good information, without drama, and based on all the facts that we can find. It's not up to us to drive people to make decisions that they are unhappy with on the basis of what we think is best for them.
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Old May 13, 2019, 01:32 AM   #48
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People generally don't like being shot with anything, and the odds of them wanting to be shot twice are extremely low.
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Old May 13, 2019, 08:02 AM   #49
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IMO, people should be saying "get used to a stronger round and carry that if it is at all possible. Carrying an inappropriately small round and expecting that you will rise to the occasion and perform well is a real risk.
There is an implication here that current duty rounds rise to a level to be dependable in creating physiological stops QUICKLY. Not the beloved 9MM, not .40, not .45, and not 10MM. Most stops are psychological in nature, at least in the near term. Since most of us are not attempting to tote around .460s, .500s, and the like I am going to go with the idea that we have accepted some type of balance. The major danger would be not realizing the compromises you have made to not be carrying around a 12 gauge and believing that the firearm you are carrying will create quick and reliable physiological stops.

You have to carry X or its not enough gives X this magical talisman effect that simply does not exist in the common carried calibers of today.

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Old May 13, 2019, 09:31 AM   #50
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I'm not advocating that we give people false security or try to make them feel good about picking a caliber that's not generally recommended for self-defense, but we do need to keep some real-world perspective.
Yep, that's where the problem lies. Grandson tells granny "yep, that .22 will drop a guy like a rock" or says "no, you got to use a .45" We can't give people bad advice based on our own prejudices, but we can't just turn away from the person who is ready to carry completely inappropriate when a different and far better alternative is available and useable. Let granny keep a bigger pistol in her night stand instead of a combat shotgun in the closet, or a .32 in her purse instead of a .22. While it is true that only a few encounters result in shots fired and fewer still resulting in blood, and even fewer still that result in the death of the victim, it is very probable that every victim death is because the victim was badly unprepared and hadn't equipped or trained himself beyond buying the gun and bullets.

Real world perspective is what everyone needs to keep. Advisors should not press granny to train with Jerry Mikulek and a .45, nor should they willingly agree with a poorly chosen setup just because it's what the defender wants.

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As adults, they get to make their own decisions and, as adults, they are responsible for making informed decisions and also for the results of those decisions.

We should provide the best advice we can but the decision is, and should be theirs.
I see many adults who can't make well-informed decisions on their own. Part of our responsibility is to provide the information to make that decision. Maybe we can give better advice than they have read on the internet? This doesn't mean bossing them around or making their decisions for them.

Quote:
Pushing them to buy a gun that's "a pain" or that they can't use unless they "adapt to it" or that they won't carry because it won't fit the carry method they are willing to employ is far more likely to cost a life than letting someone pick a gun or caliber that they are comfortable with and will use and practice with but that might not be a mainstream self-defense cartridge.
I believe that you are missing my point. A person who hasn't done their due diligence may make terrible decisions without having a solid reason for making those decisions. If a person chooses a gun only on low recoil or super compactness, that person may be capable of making a better choice if someone will only suggest it. You are right, ordering granny to buy a bigger, harder to deal with gun isn't useful. What is important is that she understand her options and make her decision based on need instead of convenience.

This is slightly akin to my wife's cooking. She always picks the mixing bowl that is too small. With no reason to choose the wrong size, she always starts with the wrong one and then has to get a bigger one. All I have to do is say. "that bowl is probably too small" and she will get a better one. Maybe granny can use the .380 with no problem, maybe she can't, it's something that should be explored and her informed decision can be truly informed.

We don't disagree. There needs to be good advice given and the buyer must eventually get what they want and need based on good decisions of their own, not from what the guy at walmart said.
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