Terminology: Topstrap

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by lklawson, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    From The American Rifleman archives:

    Terminology: Topstrap
    by Wiley Clapp - Friday, March 19, 2010

    This term applies to revolvers and is used to describe the bridge of metal running along the top of the main frame from the vicinity of the rear sight forward to the threaded portion of the frame that accepts the barrel.

    On early revolvers of the cap-and-ball era, a top strap was frequently omitted as superfluous. Indeed the first big cartridge Colt revolver—the so-called Open Top of 1872—had no topstrap. But they found that a stronger design with a topstrap was necessary for the more powerful cartridges of the 1873 Peacemaker.

    It is a virtual fixture on modern revolvers and I can't think of a single model from any maker that does not include a top strap.

    Attached Files:

  2. But the Merwin&Hulbert handgun was chambered for big bore cartridges like the 44/40 and was open top. Modern steel, and beefy yoke, I see no reason that a big bore gun with modern cartridges is not possible today.


    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015

  3. talon

    talon the banned wagon

    Im looking forward to the next installment of "Terminology: barrel shroud: the shoulder thing that goes up."
  4. missiledefender

    missiledefender Supporting Member

    Frame stretch would probably be an issue with a modern gun, firing modern ammunition. I'd love for there to be a Top Break .38 spec or .357.