Original U.S. Merwin & Hulbert Double Action 1876 Frontier Army 3rd Model Revolver in .44-40 - Matched Serial 9507
Original Item: Only One Available. To some this is one of the most beautiful Revolvers ever made. Wonderful design, great workmanship and so easy on the eye. Merwin, Hulbert, & Co. or Merwin & Hulbert was an American firearms designer and marketer based in New York City which produced revolvers and rifles from 1874 through 1916. The firearms were manufactured by a subsidiary company, Hopkins & Allen of Norwich, Connecticut.
Mervin & Hulbert started business in 1876 with the "Frontier" Army Model Open Frame cartridge revolver, which took the .44 Merwin & Hulbert cartridge. This was followed by a refined 2nd model in 1883, which also introduced a version which took the very popular .44-40 Winchester Cartridge. It was then replaced by the 3rd model, which did away with the open top frame, as well as the superfluous barrel wedge.
This is a lovely blued example, with great composite "Gutta Percha" grips. It still has the full length "traditional" 7 inch barrel, which was most imposing, but often cut down to make the revolver smaller. The serial number 9507 is marked under the grips, on the rear of the cylinder, on the cylinder axis pin, and on the rear of the barrel. This is definitely a wonderful ALL MATCHING example of this lovely revolver. There is also number 18392 stamped under the grip, which may be the real serial number, with 9507 being the assembly number.
The top of the barrel is marked:
MERWIN HULBERT & Co. New York, U.S.A. Pat. Apr.17.77 June 16.80. Mar.14.82 Jan.9.89
While the side of the barrel is marked:
HOPKINS & ALLEN Manufacturing Co. Norwich. Conn. U.S.A.
Originally offered in single action only it was hoped to be accepted by the U.S. Government, however by this date Colt had most all of the Government Contracts in its pocket. There was stiff competition from Remington, Smith & Wesson and Forehand & Wadsworth, however Mervin and Hulbert did succeed in getting some Police Contracts.
The left side of the frame is marked CALIBRE / WINCHESTER next to 1873 under the cylinder, indicating the pistol is chambered for the .44-40 Winchester Centerfire Cartridge. The revolvers chambered for .44 Russian were marked "Russian Model" and the ones chambered in .44 Merwin & Hulbert would have no caliber markings.
Condition is definitely nice, with a nice bore with clear lands and grooves, and a mostly bright finish. The action works well, however the revolver has seen use, so it definitely can be finicky. If the trigger is pulled too fast the cylinder may over rotate, as the cylinder lock is worn. The barrel swivel joint does stick, and it can be difficult to break open the frame. The reloading lock cannot be opened unless the hammer is pulled back slightly, and this system may be somewhat worn.
With an ingenious reloading system it became a favorite with many individuals and even more so with Collectors of today. Merwin died in 1888 whereupon the Company became Hulbert Bros Co.but was liquidated in 1896.
A lovely and rare large Double Action U.S. Revolver.
Years of Manufacture: 1883 to 1888
Caliber: .44-40 Winchester Center Fire
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 7 inches
Overall Length: 12 inches
Action: Double Action Only.
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver
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