Designed by Major George Schofield as a cavalry pistol, the efficient break-open design could be operated one-handed, ejecting all six spent cartridges and providing easy access for reloading while on horseback. While the U.S. Cavalry was slow to see its merits, others such as Jessie James, John Wesley Harden and Wild Bill Hickok saw the Top Break’s fast reloading as a distinct advantage in their line of work.
After numerous trials, the U.S. Army finally purchased 3,000 Top Breaks with an improved top latch, but it was the Russian government that really embraced the new sidearm. With a slightly modified grip, lanyard ring and a distinctive trigger spur, the Czar ordered 41,000 of the new revolvers. True to the originals, Uberti Top Breaks come in three models including the Russian Model with Cyrillic barrel stampings.