Morning Watch

I like the side-by-side comparison of the black powder surplus vs the smokeless.

Neat guns. I wouldn’t lie if I didn’t admit that a part of me was interested in seeing somebody re-working the top-break auto-ejection action for modern powerful revolver loads.

(For those that don’t know when revolvers started getting loaded for .357 Magnum and bigger the lockup and single hinge just didn’t handle the pressure and the guns would tend to pop open under recoil, leading revolver makers to invent the swing-out cylinder “Hand Ejectors” we know today)

Just like that opening the gun pops out your empties, and you have so much room to work with the cylinder with the frame broken open like that.

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9 Responses to Morning Watch

  1. Wally says:

    Well I think I just got a volunteer.

  2. McThag says:

    Except that the swing out cylinder FAR predates .357…

    I suspect Tam has not been here yet to school you on the timeline.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      I knew I should have done some more research before blurting that out.

      Especially when I know Elmer Keith developed the first .357 Magnum loads by hot loading .38s in various S&W K-Frames.

  3. Greg Camp says:

    But top-break revolvers hung on for quite a while into the smokeless era. Weer’d may be right that Magnum loads killed the design. But for social purposes, the older black powder loads will do the job. Does the top-break design always end up being larger than an equivalent swingout cylinder?

    Of course, I’m still partial to using the loading lever to hold in the cylinder pin. . .

  4. Back in the mid-’80s, Detonics had flirted with introducing a 7-shot .44 Magnum top-break revolver. Gunzines of the day had photos of the prototype.

    Here is the patent:
    US Patent #4,539,771 – Handgun of the revolver type

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Wow that thing looks friggin’ HUGE!

      Still would make a cool bear gun if it works.

      • I’ve been mulling the concept that a break-top action might be less likely to self-open if the action fired out of the lowest chamber in the cylinder and not the highest. The problem with this layout has always been the hammer linkage. Then it hit me: Why not use a striker instead?

        An advanced concept would include a gas-operated, self-cocking feature. This would advance the cylinder and reset the striker.

        • Wally says:

          Ah, the Webley-Chiappa-Fosbery. It needs to pivot around a 20ga barrel so we can add some LeMat to that too.

          • Funny you should mention that. Back in the late 1970s, Guns & Ammo ran a cover story on a custom top-break, triple-barrel revolver that selectively fired: .357 Magnum, .22 LR, and .410 shotshells. The cylinder holding five rounds apiece of .357 Mag and .22 LR rotated around the axis of the .410 barrel. The .22 LR barrel was superposed over the .410 barrel, which itself was superposed over the .357 barrel. A sliding selector switch on the side of the frame activated the firing pin of choice.

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