Original U.S. Merwin & Hulbert Nickel-plated 1876 Frontier Army 3rd Model Revolver in .44-40 with Mother of Pearl Grips

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Item Description

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. 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 example retains probably 60% of it's Nickel plating and is fitted with what is called a "Skull Crusher" bird's head grip frame. This itself is fitted with very nice Mother of Pearl grip panels, which have some chips on the edges. 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 6114 is marked on the bottom of the grip, while the back of the barrel is marked 30059, and the cylinder 30242. This may indicate repair at the factory, or the other numbers may be production numbers. The top of the barrel is marked:


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 smooth action. However the revolver has seen use, so it definitely can be finicky. 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 to the first click, releasing the cylinder lock, 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 Single Action U.S. Revolver.


Years of Manufacture: 1883 to 1887
Caliber: .44-40 Winchester Center Fire
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 7 inches
Overall Length: 12 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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    New Jersey

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