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What is this H&A breaktop?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by evan price, Dec 4, 2012.

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  1. evan price

    evan price Member

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    Picked up this Hopkins & Allen breaktop.

    IMG_20121203_090152.jpg

    It's 32 S&W Long, 6-shot cylinder, auto ejector. Barrel is 3.25" long. Tight mechanically, timing is on, clean & shiny barrel lands & grooves, nice finish, grips are good.

    It's not a Forehand or Model of 1901 because it doesn't say so on the topstrap. It's not a Safety Police because it doesn't say so on the topstrap, and it does not have the Safety Police top latch. It's not a Double Action XL because it's top break. It's not a small frame auto eject because the cylinder is not 5 shot.

    All it says on the topstrap is Hopkins & Allen Arms Norwich CT USA and the patent date of Dec 6 98. The grips have the H&A logo. There are three screw heads on the left side- hammer screw, hinge screw and top latch screw.

    Anybody able to ID this? Just curious, thanks.

    I figure it's probably black powder, but I've shot it a little bit with my mild 32 Long smokeless handloads.
     
  2. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    I don't know about it....

    ............but gotta say that's the nicest I've seen in awhile. Usually the old nickel ones don't look so good. Good catch!
     
  3. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    According to the late Mr. Goforth, it appears to be a late first type large frame .32. A very nice one, too.

    "there are three types H&A top break revolvers
    1885-1899 usually marked with the 1886 patent dates (some my have more than two patent date markings but none would be later than 1899

    1899-1907 forhand models all manufactured using designs patented by either forehand & wadsworth or forehand arms co.

    1908-1917 safety police model, marked with that name and usually the patent date august 21, 1906."

    www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=60072
     
  4. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    Wonderful old revolver. I would load it with mild smokeless loads and enjoy it.....Evan
     
  5. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    That's about the nicest breaktop I've ever laid eyes on.
     
  6. evan price

    evan price Member

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    I thought all the large frame break-tops were chambered for 38 S&W?

    The patent date from 1898 is not addressed at the Firearms Forum posting, which I had seen. I thought perhaps with the 1898 patent this might have been a model they started producing before the factory fire in 1901.

    Would be interested in knowing more about it including date of manufacture, the serial number is the letter "I" followed by four digits. Since it is rollmarked Hopkins & Allen Arms it must be a post-1899.

    It 'looks' to me like a Forehand, which had 6-shot 32 S&W Long, however, the top latch is retained on mine by a screw, and the Forehands I've seen use a pin instead. Also they say "Forehand" on the roll mark on the barrel, and the serial number is on the front of the grip under the trigger guard, whereas mine is on the bottom of the butt.

    In this thread is a nice Forehand top break-

    http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=47307

    However you will also note that mine has, at the front of the cylinder just under the center rod, a pin-retained tiny black push-button which, when pushed, allows the cylinder to be removed from the center rod.

    Forehands don't have that.

    And my hammer and trigger are different, mine are case colored and appear more detailed than the Forehand items.
     
  7. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    evan price

    Truly amazing as that gun looks to be in fantastic condition. Since it has no model designation could it possibly be some sort of prototype or pre-production model?
     
  8. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "The patent date from 1898 is not addressed at the Firearms Forum posting"

    Mr. Goforth did address the guns with patent dates later than 1886 - "some my have more than two patent date markings but none would be later than 1899"
     
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