Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Top Breaks

Many years ago I had my first opportunity to shoot an H&R 999 Sportsman 22 LR 9 shot top break and I was hooked. 
 I thought that being able to drop all nine empties in one motion was just the cat’s meow and it was quite accurate. The money and opportunity to purchase one never seemed to coincide until a few years ago. I finally saw one at one of the gun shows that was in really good shape, negotiated, and purchased it. I was pleased to see that there is a speed loader available for it! 
You must realize that one cannot own just one top break as they are just too much fun. My next find was another H&R 22 but a short barrel 7 shot that had the definition of a bad trigger.
None of the smaller (read Saturday night special) H&Rs from this time period had smooth actions. I believe that any weapon that did not exhibit a gritty long irregular pull was rejected and sent back to manufacturing for further rasping and sand imbedding. It is still fun to shoot. This one usually just gets loaded with 22 shorts. There is a definite lag between the shot and target impact at twenty yards!
Still not having enough, I ran across an H&R 5 shot .32 S&W.
It is not the 32 long so the ballistics are anything but impressive. Standard load is an 85 gr. Bullet with a muzzle velocity of 600 FPS. I would suggest that you could load up a little bit but would advise against in these older guns. Some of the earlier H&R 32s used black powder cartridges and should not be fired with smokeless. I figure that you could use one of these to stun those pesky chipmunks assuming that they don’t see the bullet coming and move out of the way. I just thought that there was lag from shot to target with a 22 short (about 1000 fps) until I shot this one. You could swear that one could fire and then run downrange to catch the bullet. It only seems that way as the fastest sprinter can only achieve about 28 MPH or 41 FPS. Brass is still made by Starline so there is no need to pay the ridiculous prices for Winchester factory ammo.
I also found an H&A (Hopkins & Allen) in 32. I probably did not need two 32 S&W revolvers but the price was too good to pass. These are not as well constructed as the H&R.
 You might ask, "Why two 32s?" I may well respond with another question, "Who do you think you are, my wife?"  

Well, I already have the dies and you never know when the chipmunk zombie apocalypse is going to hit.
  The future is not clear so it is unknown what will be the next top break but I am pretty sure it won’t be another 32!

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