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Old Top Break Revolvers

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by whitesquirrel44, Aug 28, 2006.

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  1. whitesquirrel44

    whitesquirrel44 Member

    Jul 12, 2006
    Does anyone know of a good gunsmith that specializes in Iver Johnson or H&R top break revolvers? I have 32 S&W short that isn't worth much but I would like to get it repaired.
  2. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

    Sep 6, 2005
    You'd probably be better served finding a parts table at a show to put it together yourself and leave it as a non shooting curio. I had an old H&R top break .32 S&W that I tried loading what equated to a super colibri for. We're talking super light load. The rear sight/latch still blew open. I found a new sight, and now use it as a nickle plated paperweight.
  3. GeorgeR

    GeorgeR Member

    Dec 19, 2005
    Boca Raton, FL
    Top Break Rev

    What's wrong with it? Is it a H&R or S&W? Do you know what model it is? I've fixed a few of them.
  4. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    I very much doubt that you will find a gunsmith willing to spend any time working on those old guns. The fact is that while many owners would like them fixed, few are willing to shell out a couple of hundred bucks for the time a professional would take to do the work. If you can fix it, or find some hobbyist willing to work for the fun of it, go to it.

  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Been there, done that... and I agree with Jim. Excluding Smith & Wesson, most of these little revolvers were second-line quality and worse, and they date from the late 19th to middle 20th centuries.

    Other then simply being worn out, the most common problem is a broken trigger or main spring. The mainspring is easy to replace in most cases, the trigger spring less so. Generally speaking shooting them isn't advisable.

    I might be able to give you better advise if you explained exactly what is wrong, but the best answer I have at the moment is to mount it in a picture frame and put it on some wall.
  6. orgdp

    orgdp Member

    Jul 28, 2005

    I was scanning the auctions and saw:D the nicest Smith HE in 32S&W long.The seller even agreed it was in nice shape; except for a bulge in the barrel.What are the most common ways to get a bulge in a short barrel,31/2", and what makes it so dangerous? Is it the fact that the metal is stressed at the bulge and therefore weakened?
  7. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Jan 3, 2003
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    I had years ago an old Ivor Johnson top break - similar to the one in pic below but 38 S&W. It did tho have the older style ''T'' type locking piece that came down over two lugs and held by a sort of camming effect - pivotting forward of that area on the top strap..

    I was determined to remedy a busted locking piece and machined a piece of suitable grade steel to exacting spec's - lot of trouble. Then to make sure of best results, had a guy do a (supposed) top notch heat treatment of the part.

    Guess what? Yep - it bust after a few shots! Best by far to let these old junkers rest as display only! Mind you - the one in pic will still shoot ;)

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