Working Hopkins & Allen Revolvers, Part 3

Article three covers H&A top break revolver models.

by Brian R Smith

In the previous issue, the Hopkins & Allen double action, solid frame XL revolvers were examined and disassembly procedures outlined. The third type of Hopkins & Allen revolver under examination is the hinged frame top break with automatic extractor made from 1900 to about 1906. These were predominantly sold in .32 and .38 caliber, with some .22, .41, and.44 models referred to in contemporary advertising. I tend to think of these as “Webley-style” revolvers because they resemble the well-known, hinged frame, top break, self-ejecting revolvers made by that famous English gunmaker.

One of the most significant benefits of the hinged frame break top design is the simultaneous automatic extraction and ejection of cartridges or empty cases when the revolver is unlatched and opened with the barrel pivoted downward. This advancement made reloading considerably faster compared to the older single and double action solid frame H&A revolvers which required single extraction and ejection of fired cases, either with the cylinder in place in the frame or with the cylinder removed from the frame. The latter practice incurred the substantial risk of dropping the cylinder or its axis pin in the heat of battle. Top break revolvers with simultaneous extraction and ejection eliminated that risk and enabled the shooter to quickly unload, reload, and return to shooting.

Hopkins & Allen top break revolvers were made from approximately 1906 through…

Read more in the September 2020 issue.

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