What is a "flattop"?

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Buffco

Bearcat
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Answering that question will probably answer my second, which is, "What is meant by "flattopping" a Ruger...."
 

BlkHawk73

Hunter
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It refers to the topstrap. Notice the area by the rear sight.

Flattop:

466L.jpg




NOT a flattop:

344L.jpg
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
6,255
The flattop gun is the one in the rear. You can see that the top strap is completely flat.

The front gun has the protective ears at the rear that protect the rear site. Flattoping a Ruger means machining off those protective ears.

F-flattop.jpg
 

Yosemite Sam

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fossils and guns":10ub05ej said:
Does it serve a function or is it just a cosmetic thing? Just curious, I know NOTHING about revolvers.
It's how the original Blackhawks were made, then they changed to the humped look. Some folks apparently like the old style enough to try to recreate it. Actually, this is the first I've ever heard of doing that particular customization.

Ruger has recently reintroduced Flat Tops in the 50th Anniversary line.

-- Sam
 
Joined
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As I said in my post, the protective ears protect the rear site. Look at Blackhawk73's picture of the flattop. You can see that the rear site would be pretty easy to be hit or banged against something.
 

Rclark

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Might as well also say that the original flattops were manufactured from 1955 to 1962 according to Taffin's book I just looked at. In 1959 the Super Blackhawk with ears was introduced. In 1963 on they all got the ears. Actually the ears was a good thing... I least I feel they were/are. The only 'new' flattops are the .357, .44 Anniversary models (celebrate those first Ruger SAs) and the .44 Special (the gun that would have been, but for the .44Mag being introduced in 1956 that killed the .44 Special chambering) so far mostly for historical reasons were they introduced. Well, there may be a .41mag flattop out in the wild now too I understand.
 

Aeroscout9

Single-Sixer
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Sep 7, 2008
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100_0873.jpg


Here's a Single Six that's going to get turned into a 32. I "flattopped" the top strap. I like the way it looks. No other reason to it.

Joe
 

Driftwood Johnson

Blackhawk
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Does it serve a function or is it just a cosmetic thing? Just curious, I know NOTHING about revolvers.

Howdy

To add to what has already been said, the rear sight blade of most revolvers with adjustable sights is a thin piece of hardened steel and it is relatively brittle. It does not take too much of a blow in just the right spot to break one. Don't ask me how I know this. The 'ears' on the top strap of a conventional 'modern' Blackhawk protect the rear sight blade from inadvertently being bumped against something that might damage it. With a Flat Top you have to be a bit more careful because the blade is more exposed.
 

Axehandle

Buckeye
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Crank the elevation up on your pretty little Flattops... When you see how wobbly that sight assembly can get as it rises up out of the frame recess you will understand the "ears"
 
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Yes, it is more for the "protection "of the sight 'body' itself, as any ding or nick,can and will keep the "body from elevation in a smooth manner..."but also 'flatops refers to ANY gun that has a "flat top strap.." like the Colt New Frontier...they just did not continue to call it a "flatop" which Ruger collectors terminology is really a "noun" (not really a copy right though, as it is too broad a term...) may have cost Ruger too much or cannot even do this..??.) Colt never did............so the Ruger Blackhawk, went from a "flatop" frame to a "eared" frame, and back again for the 'anniversary gun, but now seems they may continue the trend, ala the "new" 41 mag version???? interesting.............
hhmm, now add a 'Bisley ' style grip frame.......... :roll:

oh yeah, Colt already did that, LONG before Ruger was even in business... :wink:
 

pete44ru

Hunter
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Rhode Island
Where it can get doubly confusing for those unused to Old Model Rugers, is when someone describes a fixed-sight Single Six .22 as being a "flat top", since the top of that particular frame is also flat (except for the drift-adj rear sight halfway down the frame), w/o protective "ears' until the advent of the Super Sngle Six in the mid-sixties.

The term "Flat Top" refers strictly to centerfire Blackhawk SA revolvers - even though other models (as above) may have a cylinder frame that appears to have a flat top.

.
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
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Star Valley, WY
pete44ru makes a very poignant statement. Lots of folks call the drift rear sight design a flat top.......

217501193.jpg


Of course, Colt set the stage with their awesome Flat Top Target model..
flattop_la.jpg


Image from U.S. Firearms web site.

flatgate
 

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