In the meantime, Sitemeter drew my attention to an old forum thread, where somebody asked what an internet gun forum would have looked like in 1912 when Smith discontinued the No.3 top-break .44s and another poster replied:
Today's top posts on Ye Olde Gun Forum:*sniff* That's beautiful, Tom Servo; I wish I'd written it.
"OMG, Army's going to .45 automatics. WTH?!?"
"Woodrow Wilson coming for our guns?"
"WHAT IS VALUE ON MY VELO DOG PLZ"
"S&W Hand Ejectors just not as good as the old stuff."
The next time someone is going on about MIM or lamenting the end of pinned barrels and recessed chambers and suchlike, bear in mind that the very first manufacturing change Smith & Wesson ever made to their revolvers, between the First and Second Issue Model Number 1 .22 short tip-ups, was to go from an oval cross-section frame to a flat-sided one and from a tiny round sideplate to a big odd-shaped one in order to make the guns cheaper and easier to manufacture.
One wonders if telegraph operators in 1860 bitched about it to each other?