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Thread: S & W DA Hammerless Revolver

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    A family member came accross a S & W 32 caliber top break revolver in a trunk of a parent. From the SN I am guessing it is the 1st or 2nd model. It is a top break. Does anyone have an idea since it will not break open, if it is just difficult or perhaps rusted?

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    kenny wrote:
    A family member came accross a S & W 32 caliber top break revolver in a trunk of a parent. From the SN I am guessing it is the 1st or 2nd model. It is a top break. Does anyone have an idea since it will not break open, if it is just difficult or perhaps rusted?
    At one time I think everyone in the country had a top break of some sort in their pocket Kenny.

    I have 15 or so stuffed in various drawers.

    You haven't given me much to work on but I'll try.

    First, will the toggle latch on top move.
    If not, use PB Blaster on it.

    Soak the hinge also.

    Most of these, eject the cases as they break open. If it will not open after you have gotten the latch to move, spray PB into the cylinder...right in the middle where the pin would go through...if it had a pin. Then on the other end really soak the top of the cylinder where you would load the cartridges.

    Give it some time and with repeaded spraying and a little light muscle, you will get some play, then more and it will open.

    If after doing the above, it will still not open, go to the auto parts store and get some Marvel Mystery oil. It has Wintergreen and is one of the best rust busters around.

    Soak it in that for a day, week or however long it takes (a day will usually do it)

    make sure you remove the grips.

    Go slow, I like these old things and they are a piece of history worth saving. There aren't nearly as many available as there used to be.

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    peter nap wrote:

    At one time I think everyone in the country had a top break of some sort in their pocket Kenny.
    You said a mouthful there, Mr. Nap!

    Did some research once, on the number of top-breaks made from say the mid 1880s through 1920 or so. Just adding up serial number ranges from the five or six major manufacturers of those revolvers during that time, I stopped adding when I hit 20 million or thereabouts.

    At one point it was either Hopkins and Allen or Harrington and Richardson who had a cross-promotional deal going with one of the big grain companies: When you bought a fifty pound bag of their foodstuffs you got one of the top-breaks as a bonus. Thousands and thousands were given out that way. Sort of a forerunner of the toys later put inside cereal boxes, I guess...

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    Brian D. wrote:
    snip.....

    At one point it was either Hopkins and Allen or Harrington and Richardson who had a cross-promotional deal going with one of the big grain companies: When you bought a fifty pound bag of their foodstuffs you got one of the top-breaks as a bonus. Thousands and thousands were given out that way. Sort of a forerunner of the toys later put inside cereal boxes, I guess...
    Cracker Jack idea, don'cha know 'ol chap.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Brian D. wrote:
    peter nap wrote:

    At one time I think everyone in the country had a top break of some sort in their pocket Kenny.
    You said a mouthful there, Mr. Nap!

    Did some research once, on the number of top-breaks made from say the mid 1880s through 1920 or so. Just adding up serial number ranges from the five or six major manufacturers of those revolvers during that time, I stopped adding when I hit 20 million or thereabouts.

    At one point it was either Hopkins and Allen or Harrington and Richardson who had a cross-promotional deal going with one of the big grain companies: When you bought a fifty pound bag of their foodstuffs you got one of the top-breaks as a bonus. Thousands and thousands were given out that way. Sort of a forerunner of the toys later put inside cereal boxes, I guess...
    I guess that's why I like the things. They conjure up depression era scenes when tough times ruled. My Grandfather was THE schoolmaster in a very rural area. Schoolmasters made very little money and had to work second jobs to make ends meet.

    We raised our own food and butchered hogs every fall to get through the winter and he worked as a guard for the railroad. He had a top break S&W, 4"bbl in .38S&W. That was a pretty hot pocket pistol for the day. Anyway, one night a Hobo tried to kill him and he shot him. Killed him just as surely as a .44 Mag.

    The New York police department did not carry firearms at one time. The cops that worked the day shift had Day Sticks (short Billy Clubs) and the ones that worked after dark had Night Sticks (More the size of modern batons).

    When things started getting rough, they had their uniforms redesigned with a hidden pocket. They could carry a hammerless, top break .32 in that.

    Yep...the things are true history.

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    All Hail To The Great One,

    I fllowed your direction and it worked.

    Thank you Peter Nap

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