ENGRAVED Antique MERWIN & HULBERT Double Action Revolver .44-40 WINCHESTER
BISON Panel Scene Engraved CALIBRE WINCHESTER 1873
Here we present an antique Factory Engraved Merwin, Hulbert & Co. Third Model Large Frame Double Action Army Revolver, made circa 1883-1887 in Norwich, Connecticut. This Army features 6 shots of .44-40 WCF or, as Merwin & Hulbert put it: “CALIBRE WINCHESTER 1873”. These revolvers are considered today to be some of the best made of the late 19th Century and the Wild West, even better to some than similar Colts and Smith & Wessons, though we all know who stood the test of time. These revolvers certainly tended to have different, very well-thought features than their competition, and they were extremely well-made.
One such feature was the method of ejection. Loading was achieved by placing the hammer at half-cock and sliding down the loading gate to single feed cartridges. If one wanted to unload the gun, they could simply push the latch back on the bottom of the gun, twist the barrel and cylinder assembly and pull forward. Only the empty brass would come out as the space created was shorter than a loaded cartridge, enabling the shooter to top off his gun and keep rounds available. An ingenious method was designed to achieve this that included a machined cut on the cylinder axis pin and a ledge on the breech face that kept the cartridge rims underneath. This system was also advantageous for forcefully removing stuck cartridges, providing lots of mechanical advantage.
Merwin & Hulberts were carried by number of famous and otherwise frontier lawmen and gunmen: Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, Pat Garrett, and Diamond Dick of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. More notorious frontiersmen known to have toted Merwin & Hulbert revolvers include Bob Dalton, Sam Bass, and John Wesley Hardin.
This revolver is in the most popular and desirable caliber, .44-40 WCF and has a great 7” long 3rd Model round barrel. These large frame, long barrel Merwin & Hulbert revolvers saw use by the good, the bad, and the ugly during America’s westward expansion and are an important part of Old West firearms history. Every serous collection of pistols from the American West needs at least a couple of Merwin, Hulbert & Company revolvers in it, and this beautiful, factory engraved one would be a great addition.
The overall condition is very good. Original nickel finish and factory engraving made to appeal to the American frontiersman, featuring a charging bison on the left side with punchdot vining engraving throughout. The grips are solid mother of pearl. The grips show use and the right panel is repaired, as you can see. The action (hammer/trigger) are great in double and single action mode. The hammer holds full cock only. The cylinder will index and lockup well if the trigger is pulled more deliberately but will overtravel if pulled briskly in double action. The numbers match.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 7 inches.
Caliber: .44-40 Winchester Center Fire
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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