More about top-breaks..........
Top break revolvers were a dime a dozen when I was a kid, most were .22s or .32 S & W, Harrington & Richardsons, Iver Johnsons, or some hardware brand. Most of these guns had to be manually cocked, single action only, and some even had to have the cylinder rotated by hand. I remember one having a rubber band, cut from an inner tube, as its "mainspring."
And, more often than not, especially those of .38 caliber, the barrel would jump up from its latch in recoil. We just tended to overlook these problems, do whatever was necessary to get off the next shot, and go on.
I did learn to take guns with worn lugs to a blacksmith's shop and have him deposit weld metal on the lugs to build them back up. Then I'd take the gun home and dress the lugs back down with a file. Solved the problem of jumping its latch.
After I was grown, more or less, a friend of mine, more or less, brought me an old Marlin top-break .38 S & W revolver. The gun was in good shape, nickeled, with worn lugs and cracked grips. He asked me if I could get it in shooting condition. He wanted a pair of over sized grips, like S & W target grips. Well, he flowed some silver solder down the lugs, and I dressed this down to shape. Made him a pair of walnut target grips, and the thing looked pretty much like a decent little revolver.
He took it to work to show it off, and an attractive blond secretary asked to borrow it. She was having trouble with a man, or more than likely, several men, though I could never prove this, nor could anyone else. But, some of the employees in the shop left soon after this. She used the revolver to end her own life a short time later, and that was the last seen of the gun.
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