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Old October 3, 2018, 11:46 AM   #1
ligonierbill
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Old H&R topbreak 32 "unlatching"

I have had a H&R topbreak 5-shot .32 S&W revolver for several years. Yes, it's a novelty, but it was in good shape and cheap. It has taken to unlatching upon firing. No hot loads (doesn't take much in this), just commercial or matching handloads. Worked fine for some time.

My question: Is there some common fault to these that can be fixed easily? Or is it a paperweight? I'm guessing paperweight, but I thought I'd check.
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Old October 3, 2018, 02:12 PM   #2
mcb66
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Seems like you can tighten the small screw of the side of the latch to increase it's clamping ability. I know I've done this before. Maybe not with an H&R though...
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Old October 3, 2018, 02:23 PM   #3
T. O'Heir
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You'll have to figure out what model it is. H&R made all kinds of 'em. It's probably a worn or otherwise damaged barrel catch. Just a WHAG though. Do not shoot it in that condition.
H&R stuff is the 'classic' example of low end (aka Saturday Night Special) revolvers without much value. Gunparts shows the barrel catches as being different for a small frame and large frame, both in .32 S&W. The Large runs $28.30. The Small, out of stock anyway, is $12.75. And it'll need fitting. Not sure if it'd be worth the money.
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Old October 5, 2018, 10:18 AM   #4
ligonierbill
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Here's the culprit

Yep, broken latch. Now, I don't think I overloaded. Should have been in tolerance, and I checked the chrono against Magtech commercial rounds. That said, it was obviously too much for this part. The retaining pin and this portion of the latch bear the entire load when a cartridge is fired. So, even if a replacement becomes available, I don't plan to fix it. Maybe an excuse to buy a S&W "lemon squeezer".
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Old October 5, 2018, 01:10 PM   #5
Bill DeShivs
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Broken/loose latches are a problem with all top-break revolvers. That's the weak link- even with S&Ws.
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Old October 5, 2018, 05:39 PM   #6
Model12Win
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Love those snap top pop guns. Lots of history!
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