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Top Break Action

Home > Propellants, Firearms, and Ammunition Development > Evolution of Firearms > Breech Loading Firearm Design > Top Break Action
Revolver handgun, open for loading bullets.

Top break action

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For low-power cartridges, a simple top break action was sufficient. This was derived from certain percussion breechloaders that used the same system. The barrel was hinged to a separate frame. The frame held the firing mechanism and the lock/latch system. Operating the latch withdrew the locking bolt from its engagement with the barrel, letting the barrel tip down (in some designs, the barrel pivoted to the side) for ready access to the breech. This system is commonly found today in single- and double-barrel shotguns and some rifles.

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