Top Break revolvers and Steel

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Monac, Mar 19, 2021.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Monac

    Monac Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Messages:
    2,378
    Location:
    Southeast Wisconsin
    Harrington & Richardson, Iver Johnson, and Hopkins & Allen made a lot of top-break revolvers because they made decent guns that were good value for their price, bearing in mind that their price was quite low. They had many of the same features of the top-of-the-line makers such as Colt and Smith & Wesson, such as double-action triggers, simultaneous extraction and ejection, and easy of loading.

    But I will say straight out they were not as good as a Colt or a S&W, because they were more difficult to shoot well with and not as durable, despite the large numbers that have survived until now. But they were adequate for what was they were, which was a short-range means of self-defense that could be easily carried if desired that people could afford. They were the High Points of their day, with a similar advantage in price and disadvantage in durability.

    It is the durability that concerns me here. As far as I can figure out, one of the ways the cheap revolver makers we are talking about kept their costs down was to make the frames of the pistols out of "malleable iron". This appears to be what we would now call "mild steel". Mild steel and malleable iron have a carbon content similar to wrought iron, which was developed in ancient times, but they do not have the "entrained slag" that wrought iron contained because of the primitive way it was made. Mild steel is made directly by a steel-making process. Malleable iron is made, as I understand it, by taking cast iron and reducing its carbon content to roughly the level of wrought iron. (I don't know how that is done.) The end result is more or less the same substance, which is to say iron alloyed with a low amount of carbon, but the names differ because of the different manufacturing processes.

    Anyway, the less expensive makers used malleable iron frames, while Colt and S&W made their frames from regular steel, with a higher carbon content. That yielded a frame that was harder and tougher, more resistant to wear and bending. That is why, I think, H&R's, Iver Johnsons, and similar inexpensive revolvers are often loose or have frames that have "stretched" - they were made of a softer metal, just as modern makers of inexpensive guns use zinc alloy to keep costs down. Malleable iron, mild steel, and zinc alloy are perfectly adequate materials when used correctly, but they are never going to be as durable as a gun of the same design made out of "regular" steel. (Well, unless you use an awful lot of it. That is why High Points are so big for their calibers, and I think it is why Spanish "Ruby" type 32 automatics are so much bulkier than a Colt 1903 - the Spanish used softer steel.)

    If I am right - and given the number of things I think I know in the forgoing, that is a long shot - that may explain why Smith & Wesson was able to make top break revolvers in 44 Russian, which was a cartridge only slightly behind 44 Special in power, in the 1870's and 1880's, while many people now think a top-break in 38 Special +P is a hare-brained idea. That would be true if the frame was made of mild steel, like the low priced top breaks of 125 years ago, but perhaps not true at all today, with a gun made of regular carbon steel.

    The main reason I am writing this is to find out just what I am wrong about. I suppose it is quite a bit, so I look forward to learning a lot. :)

    PS - What I say about malleable iron in this post is ENTIRELY WRONG. After reading Driftwood Johnson's posts (#8 amd #11 below), I rechecked, and found that it is NOT a mild steel, but still has the high carbon content of cast iron, but has been made malleable (non-brittle) through annealing. It is still softer, I think, than a medium carbon steel, but what I thought I knew about it was wrong. Obviously I should have done the checking first, but I guess sometimes I am just too eager to write.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
  2. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    18,401
    Location:
    DFW Area
    IMO, there's no question that a top break could be made for a cartridge of reasonable power--something along the lines of .38Spl. It would probably be pretty expensive, and .38Spl is probably a bad choice--you'd want something much shorter to work better with the automatic extraction/ejection, but it should be possible. It likely wouldn't be the kind of gun you could reasonably expect to hold up to tens of thousands of rounds without eventually shooting loose or wearing to the point of being problematic but it should hold up to more shooting than most gun owners ever do.

    It is definitely a weaker design than a swingout cylinder, but as you say, they were viable designs even with often pretty inferior materials.
     
    robhof and RevolvingGarbage like this.
  3. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3,794
    I agree with you up to one point and that's on the steel used and what the hardness of it was. We know that at some point in time H&R and Iver both updated their revolvers for smokeless, which means they likely upgraded the steel used as well, but we don't know if it was a carbon steel or a nickel steel or a molybdenum steel, nor what the hardness of the steels were spec'd at. Another thing is heat treating back then was not the science it is today and that was universal for all companies back then.

    Until we know what steels were used and how hard they were, we are only speculating. There is no doubt tho that in later years, S&W and Colt were using better steels for the more powerful .38 and .357's, but earlier on I'd bet the specs were much the same between all the companies, but the non S&W and Colt companies probably had more guns that didn't get hardened enough, yet got pushed out the door to ship guns (same thing happens today lol). Doesn't mean all of them were like that, but let's not forget that H&R and Iver Johnson were making a LOT of guns back then and things will fall thru the cracks.

    What we do know is that machine tools back then weren't CNC, didn't have as much horsepower as they do today, and the cutting tools didn't last as long. Outside of the barrels and the cylinders, there was little lathe work, it was mills, planers, grinders, and broaching, lots and lots of broaching. Since H&R and others were making a lot of the same guns, which happened to be smaller, they could do more in bulk, use the same tooling and less set up time, and all that added up to keep costs down. S&W and Colt at that time were trying to develop new revolvers while at the same time make a lot different models, many of which were larger so they took more time in machines. While Colt wasn't trying to make top breaks, they were trying to get double actions figured out and it took them until the 1890s to get it mostly right while H&R had it figured out in the 1880s.

    There's also a difference in that black powder revolvers of the 19th Century didn't need to be built as strong as smokeless guns did. My guess is that before 1900, the H&R and H&A revolvers were equal to S&W's top breaks, just they weren't being made in the big Army or frontier calibers like .45 S&W/Colt, .44-40, .44 Russian/American because there wasn't an interest in most civilians to buy them. Also, Smith and Colt were getting gov't contracts from the US (S&W got a contract from Russia for the Schofield) and various states and cities in the US for their police, so they were pretty well set and knew the civilian market would follow.

    H&R, Iver, and H&A knew their market was the civilian market and the civilian market largely wasn't looking for some big bore wheelgun to be used on bear or buffalo or to hold up the bank or rob a stagecoach, it was something for the homestead or the worksite or the pocket. Why did you need to pay $10 for the S&W or the Colt revolver when you could pay $3 for the H&R and the gun would be smaller and lighter?

    Thus, I don't think there was a major difference in the top breaks of that time and the solid frame guns that H&R and Iver were making back then, they were very much like a single action revolver with a center pin, but had a double action trigger and no ejector rod. I mean, the amount of added machining and assembly of an ejector rod, a loading gate, or a swing out cylinder was huge and added a lot of cost.
     
    shoobe01 and Monac like this.
  4. DocRock

    DocRock member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2019
    Messages:
    3,108
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    All that you say makes good sense to me. Let’s remember that the S&W Model 3 was chambered in 44-40 and 45 Schofield, both more potent than 44 Russian. But the No. 3 is a pretty large revolver. The Webley was made in .455 Webley, nearly as potent as the 45 ACP, itself designed to deliver 45 Schofield/Govt performance.

    So, made of proper steel and to appropriate bulk, the top break design can obviously be pretty robust.

    The fact that the Iver Johnson, H&R, and Hopkins & Allen top breaks, generally speaking, maxed out at 38 S&W and were produced in greater numbers in 32 S&W and S&W Long is completely aligned with the well argued theory that you propound above.
     
    Monac and TTv2 like this.
  5. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    5,373
    Location:
    MN
    While the conversation has been about the advances in metallurgy , lets not forget the advances in the tempering of the steel. That was an important factor in the strength and durability of the guns made for smokeless powders.
     
    robhof and Monac like this.
  6. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3,794
    I wasn't thinking specifically about that as all revolvers are sized for what they're shooting, but I wouldn't doubt it if H&R or Iver Johnson made clones of the S&W Schofield in the big bores calibers like .45 Schofield or .44 Russian that they'd hold up as well as what the S&W's did. I think a large part of the reason we hear about failures and parts breakages in the H&R/IJ's over the S&W top breaks is people have looked at the S&W top breaks as collectible for probably 100 years and don't shoot them or if they do baby them, but the H&R and IJs people view as cheap and disposable and treat them like a government mule.

    The largest caliber that H&R made their revolvers in was the .44 Webley, which was a much shorter cartridge than the .44-40 or .44 Russian were and shot a lighter bullet even slower. I believe those were all discontinued in the early 1920s, which goes to show that the big frame revolvers H&R was making did hold up, but there was no interest in them. If people wanted a big bore revolver, they opted for S&W or Colt.
     
    Monac likes this.
  7. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    706
    George C. Nonte wrote that his H&R revolver didn't hold up to sustained DA shooting, and H&R and Iver Johnson never made target revolvers to compete with Colt and S&W.
     
    Monac likes this.
  8. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,909
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    Howdy

    A few definitions.

    Iron is the most common element on the planet. Iron is an element, it is just iron, nothing else. Steel is an alloy, not an element, of iron that has had a small amount of carbon added. At its most basic level, steel is nothing more than iron with a very small amount of carbon added to it. Generally speaking, the content of carbon in most steels is on the order of around 2.14% or so. Other elements that can be added to iron to form various different types of steel are nickel, molybdenum, and chromium, which is how stainless steel is made.

    As it comes from the earth, iron ore is impure, it is usually locked up with other elements, usually oxygen, also sometimes carbon. What we now know as cast iron, or pig iron is loaded with impurities, mostly carbon. It is called pig iron because many years ago molten iron would be poured into channels and molds dug into the earth, and the individual ingots resembled piglets suckling at a mother pig. Pig iron, or cast iron has impurities, such as carbon cast into it that make it very brittle. Cast iron, such as found in a cast iron frying pan is very strong in compression, but not very good in tension or shear. A blacksmith's anvil was often made of cast iron because it takes the impact of his hammer pounding it all day very well. But the impurities, mostly carbon, too much carbon, cause cast or pig iron to be very brittle. It cannot be forged, meaning pounded into new shapes, because it is too brittle, and will break, rather than taking on a new shape.

    Malleable iron, or wrought iron is iron that has had its grain structure altered through annealing. The carbon is still present, but by heating and annealing the iron the grains of carbon form a different shape when cooled. This allows wrought iron, or malleable iron to be 'malleable', meaning it can be heated and reshaped through forging, what a blacksmith does at his forge with his anvil and hammer, or what is done with great big hammer forges such as Smith and Wesson still use to reshape steel blanks into rough shaped frames. But Malleable Iron is still iron, it is not steel.

    Steel has been known for many centuries, the metallurgy was not understood, but craftsmen knew how to make steel going back to the Romans and before. But the processes used to make steel could only produce it in very small quantities, and the steel produced was very expensive. In 1857 the Bessemer process was invented to make large quantities of relatively inexpensive steel. The Bessemer process involved blowing air through the molten iron. The air allowed the carbon in the molten iron to burn away, leaving pure iron. Once the naturally occurring carbon was removed, carbon could be reintroduced to the molten iron in precise amounts, controlling the amount of carbon in the iron, to make steel with a predictable amount of carbon in it. Later developments in steel production included fluid steel, or Whitworth steel, in which the steel was reheated and compressed under great pressure to weld together tiny air bubbles that remained in the steel. These air bubbles weakened the steel, their elimination resulted in stronger steel. Nickel began to be added to steel very early on, but its inclusion became common after about 1880. Winchester was one of the first gun manufactures to use nickel steel extensively in the early 1900s.

    The frame and cylinder of early Colt Single Action Army revolvers, starting in 1873, were made of malleable iron, not steel. Previous to that Colt used malleable iron for the frames and cylinders of all their Cap & Ball revolvers. One reason why very few of the 1100 original Walker Colts still exist, their iron cylinders could not always take the pressure generated by the huge charges of Black Powder that could be fit into their chambers. Colt gradually changed over to steel for the SAA frames and cylinders in a few stages. By mid 1883 Colt was using a material we would consider today to be low/medium carbon steel for the cylinder and frame. By 1898 Colt was using medium carbon steel for cylinders and frames, but Colt did not factory guarantee the SAA for Smokeless powder until 1900 when they started using better heat treatment for the steel they were using.

    It is not as well documented what types of metal Smith and Wesson was using, but I always believe that Colt probably did not have access to iron or steel that was any better than what S&W could obtain just a few miles up the Connecticut River. I do know that as late as 1875 S&W was using iron, not steel, for the frame of the 1st Model Schofield. I would assume that the American and Russian models prior to that also had iron frames. Sorry, I have no information on what cylinders were made from.

    I know nothing about the metals used by other manufacturers other than Colt and S&W.

    A really good reference book for the layman (like me) about this stuff is Fighting Iron, A Metals Handbook for Arms Collectors, by Art Gogan.

    While I am typing away, one other thing I would like to mention.

    Modern CNC machinery does not have any more horsepower than the milling equipment used many years ago. I worked for years on a pair of very early CNC millers that were standard Bridgeport millers that had servo motors on them, and some really primitive electronics to decipher the G codes fed into them by software. These were standard Bridgeports, just as powerful as a hand cranked Bridgeport. It is true that many, many years ago, before small portable electric motors were invented, gun making machinery was powered by pulleys running down from over head shafts, being turned either by water power or by steam power. But what has really changed is the availability of carbide cutting tools which stay sharp longer than traditional high speed steel cutting tools.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
    Kookla, tark, whughett and 7 others like this.
  9. Monac

    Monac Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Messages:
    2,378
    Location:
    Southeast Wisconsin
    Thanks for your reply, because I know very little about how machine tools or machining techniques evolved over time and would like to learn more. You are right that H&R and the other makers of small, inexpensive revolvers had a less diverse line of products than Colt and S&W, which was probably related to the cost of adding new machinery and training workers. (It may have also been due to sales. I think that then, as now, smaller revolvers sold better than big ones, so H&R and IJ did not bother with 44 frame guns.)

    H&R themselves, in their advertising, stated that they made the frames of their revolvers from "malleable iron". As I said, I think this is a material we would now call mild steel, or a low carbon steel. I also think Colt and S&W used medium carbon steel in their frames. I could be wrong about this; finding out is my purpose in posting this. You may already know all this, but there some information about different kind of steels here: https://www.metalsupermarkets.com/types-of-steel/

    Per the hardening that both TTv2 and mnrivrat mention, I don't know whether H&R or Iver Johnson were hardening the frames of their revolvers or not. Apparently mild steel can be hardened, but only to a limited extent: https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/4203-hardening-mild-steel/

    Anyway, I am hoping to find out what I am wrong about. I hate thinking that I understand something only to find out that I don't.

    PS - as per Driftwood John's post above, malleable iron is NOT a low-carbon material. It is cast-iron that has been made malleable, and has the carbon content of cast iron.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
  10. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,909
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    Read what I posted a short time ago. Malleable iron is not mild steel. Mild steel is low carbon steel. Malleable iron is iron, without the addition of the small amount of carbon that would make it steel.
     
    Monac likes this.
  11. Monac

    Monac Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Messages:
    2,378
    Location:
    Southeast Wisconsin
    Well, the learning process has begun with a vengeance. I was, as Driftwood Johnson makes clear, completely wrong about what malleable iron. It is very much NOT mild steel. (Boy, I am going to have to work hard to get that idea out of my head.) It retains the high carbon content of cast iron, and its carbon content is NOT reduced. Instead, it has the carbon content of cast iron but has been rendered bendable and non-brittle by annealing. No wonder it was popular.

    I have had Gogan's book for years, and still managed to be this wrong. Time to reread it, I guess.

    OK, now I wonder if H&R, Iver Johnson, etc., could CAST the frames of their revolvers? o_O

    Boy, knowing correct things is a lot more work than just thinking I know something. Well, it's what makes this subject interesting. Thanks very much, as usual, Driftwood!
     
  12. Monac

    Monac Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Messages:
    2,378
    Location:
    Southeast Wisconsin
    That is a good point, because by the standards of the time, 44 Webley was a moderately potent cartridge, with a bit more punch than 38 S&W.

    I if 44 (or .442 if you're British) Webley had untapped potential as a self-defense cartridge. It is said to have had about 230 ft/lbs of kinetic energy, which was about 10% more than .450 Adams, which was the first British military metallic revolver cartridge. In fact, many people seem to have found it unpleasant to shoot in the small H&R and IJ 44 revolvers, so much so that a cartridge called 44 Bulldog was created as a sub-load. 44 Bulldog was very low powered at 80 ft/lbs, which is more than 25 ACP but less than 32 S&W (!). I suppose a 44 Webley H&R looked much more intimidating than a 32.

    I think the main problem with it was than even a 5 shot 44 had to be fairly bulky, which is bad for concealed carry, since it was designed for rod-ejector revolvers, it had a small rim that may not have worked in star-ejector guns. I have no idea where the borderline is in that regard; apparently 45 Long Colt works OK, but 32 ACP does not?

    The Wikepedia article about the 44 Bulldog cartridge says it stayed in production until about 1938, although I would bet that is just the year it dropped out of the catalogs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.44_Bull_Dog
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    32,309
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    By 1939, H&R listed their nicer top break revolvers, the 999 Sportsman, 199 Single Action Sportsman, and 777 Ultra Sportsman as having "hardened tool steel lockwork." No mention of frame material but I would think it to be some grade of steel. P.O. Ackley said they were of good quality, especially the single actions, although not in the same league as Colt and Smith.

    Smith and Wesson revolver cylinders were not heat treated until around 1920, although their case hardened hammer and trigger were trademarked; and Colt collectors frequently warn us that 1911 slides were not heat treated.
     
  14. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    12,076
    Location:
    Middle Tn
    Quality starts at payroll and purchasing more often than people want to admit. A skilled worker can turn garbage into greatness where a button pusher just does the bare minimum. Buying good materials helps, but payroll is the biggest thing because good people cost money. That goes the whole way up and down the supply chain, and due diligence is huge. Various grades of metals costs can vary immensely while the product looks very much the same. Am I buying well manufactured steel by the ton from a reputable guy, or a scam artist who halfway processed it just enough to not raise questions. Good workers and good materials produce good products and those products bring good money, and give good service. 2nd tier quality is a lot cheaper and companies willing to take that plunge typically manufacture “good enough” intentionally. A hammer and trigger sear that requires hand fitting to perfection in a S&W may be a raw forged part in a H&R made such that they all work, but maybe not as nicely as a S&W. Oh by the way, that collection of good enough parts takes 10% of the time to assemble too so payroll gets a big break on the number of man hours worked. That $10 gun just turned into a $5 gun in a hurry, with likely higher profit margins at the $5 price point. Sloppy and crude can be just as durable as fancy and intricate, but realistically we are talking about a complex machine here, not a hammer or an axe.

    And this still happens every day in our far more advanced world. Anybody want to take any guesses as to what the costs are to produce a RIA 1911 as opposed to a Kimber as opposed to an Ed Brown? How about a RIA m206 vs a sp101 vs a Korth? Good enough is relative, and the costs seem to back that up. A $3 H&A or IJ revolver probably has half the durability of a $10 Colt because somewhere inside of that gun, somebody took a shortcut and put a junk part that was barely passable in it, and it’s going to fail whereas a company with tighter tolerances wouldn’t have put that part in a gun. Remember, guns are seen as a simple tool, it either works or it’s broken and trash. People don’t look at them as machines that can be repaired. The $20 RG my grandma bought won’t hold up nearly as long as a comparable S&W, but if I shoot a million rounds and pay for repairs I will likely have less money in the S&W at the end of the day because that RG is going to need parts... but grandma never needed them and she still had her gun for protection until she lost the hand strength to work the action.
     
    Monac and TTv2 like this.
  15. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2020
    Messages:
    7,026
    “MARK VII” REVOLVER: TOP BREAK
    The Anderson Wheeler “Mark VII” Revolver is a seven-shot top-break revolver, chambered for .357 Magnum. It is the result of four years of development, working from original War Office drawings for the legendary Mark VI .455 revolver.
    proxy-image?piurl=https%3A%2F%2Fencrypted-tbn0.gstatic.jpg

    Not cheap but beautifully made and from all accounts, not at all "weak."

    The weak spot in most of those older top-breaks was the pin that held the latch closed. Too much torque (rotational inertia from the bullet traveling down the barrel applying force to the hinge and latch pin) will stretch that latch pin and eventually it just gives. Typically, there's plenty of warning though as the cylinder becomes loose; it moves away from the firing pin, the hand has a harder job and timing goes off, the locking bolt becomes sloppy, etc. Chamber pressure also creates torque by pushing against the frame at a single point but, that is only part of the force equation when looking at multi-part frames and not a real big number compared to the forces applied at the forcing cone and cylinder pin; differential torque is a real killer in any system with a single point of failure. Work through the integral of the dynamic force equations in a bullet traveling down a barrel some time. It's a fun exercise in higher math. :)
     
    AustinTX likes this.
  16. Armybrat

    Armybrat Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,348
    Location:
    Central Texas
    Hopefully North American Arms knows what they are doing with their .22 magnum Ranger II, as it is high on my want list.
    16BE73D8-5C82-4B35-9BEE-5241CA783217.jpeg
     
  17. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    15,468
    There was an announcement about it five years ago, and a single example was shown, but it does not appear to have been launched.
     
    defjon likes this.
  18. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3,794
    When I say horsepower it goes beyond electric motors and into the design of the machine tools themselves. The vertical Bridgeports and other millers are nowhere near what CNC mills are today and have been for 30 years. The lead screws on the X and Y axis of the tables are ball screws, which are stronger, more precise, and are able to handle heavier cuts than the typical lead screw on manual machine tools. It also allows climb milling to be achieved which prolongs tool life, whereas the manual mills are stuck with conventional milling that decreases tool life.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  19. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3,794
    While there's no doubt that the H&R's and IJ's are not as finely finished as Colt's and Smith's were at the time, that isn't to say they were sloppy or crude. Let's compare Ruger and S&W today in Ruger casts their frames and S&W forges them. Casting, at least the way Ruger does it, is a cheap and simple process that utilizes cheap and simple machines while S&W's forgings require complex dies and machines to make the forgings and there is a price difference. Now, there's no doubt that a forged frame can be made smaller than a cast frame, yet retain the same strength, but that doesn't mean that it's better.

    While it's likely that did happen, we have no way of knowing which guns or how often such things occurred. There's no doubt the hand fitting that Colt and S&W did added cost and it certainly added to the revolvers having a smoother feel of the moving parts, but that doesn't necessarily mean apples to apples that the H&R's or IJ's had half the durability. If we look solely at a solid frame H&R vs a solid frame Colt of similar caliber and size, let's say the H&R American in .38 S&W and the M1877 Colt Thunderer in .38 Long Colt. The American was a very successful double action design, over 850,000 were made over nearly 60 years, while the Colt 1877's were well known for broken parts in its intricate and complex design. Thus, there was a time in the 1880s that H&R's double actions were actually superior to Colt and even after the introduction of the Police Positive, which was a small to medium frame revolver, H&R's solld frames were probably still preferred because I know the DA pull of those old Colt's was atrociously heavy, yet the DA on my Young America is surprisingly light even with the tiny handle to grip on. I'd imagine the other solid frame H&R's were similar.
     
  20. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2020
    Messages:
    7,026
    Not true. We were climb milling 3000 and 6000 series stainless steels for aerospace in the mid80’s on old Milwaukee and Cincinnati horizontal mills. The hydraulic heads and superior locking gimbals of those old machines made that possible. We were also using 2-inch arbors which helped reduce chatter.
    It can be done because it has been done.
     
    Gordon likes this.
  21. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,909
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    Casting Malleable Iron would not be possible, at least I don't think so.
    I have not touched the handles on a hand cranked Bridgeport in quite a few years, but I can assure you I was able to climb mill on one as well as do conventional milling. I worked as a mechanical designer in a large electronics firm for quite a few years, and regularly sent my CAD files to our machine shop. The shop was equipped with the latest CNC milling centers. Besides one operator being able to run multiple machines at a time, the only thing a CNC machining center can do that a hand cranked machine can not do is generate curved tool paths. Other than that, the old hand cranked machines can do everything a modern CNC machining center can do, just not as fast. As a matter of fact, the pattern following millers developed at the Robbins and Lawrence armory in Windsor VT, as early as the mid 1800s were able to follow patterns to cut curved tool paths. Later versions of this type of machine were an intermediary type of miller that was used until CNC was invented during the 1960s.
     
    Monac, Gordon and GeoDudeFlorida like this.
  22. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    5,373
    Location:
    MN
    A quick comment regarding the .32 S&W Long cartridge. This chambering came with the S&W's first Hand Ejector, and to my knowledge was never chambered in a top break revolver that I am aware of.
     
  23. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3,794
    Horizontals, not verticals. Horizontals are much more robust machines.
     
  24. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3,794
    Maybe not a S&W top break, but H&R and Iver Johnson made many a .32 S&W Long top break.
     
    Monac, DocRock and Gordon like this.
  25. Onty

    Onty Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Messages:
    520
    Rexster, Gordon, chicharrones and 4 others like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice