Antique MERWIN HULBERT .44-40 POCKET ARMY Revolver
With Skull Crusher Bird’s Head Grip!
Here we present an antique Merwin, Hulbert & Co. Single Action “Pocket Army” Revolver, made circa the late 1870s in Norwich, Connecticut. These were made by Hopkins & Allen for Merwin, Hulbert & Co. Only several thousand are thought to have been produced. 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 pistols 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 of 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.
This Merwin & Hulbert Single Action Revolver was known as the “Pocket Army” due to its shorter barrel, bird’s head grip and its payload of 6 shots of .44-40 WCF or, as Merwin & Hulbert put it: “CALIBRE WINCHESTER 1873”, this is marked on the left side of the frame. The bird’s head grip has a goodly portion of the grip frame protruding from the bottom that some have called a “skull crusher”. This would have primarily served as extra room to rest the smallest finger, but would have been a capable blunt object as well. Early open top design over the cylinder. The right side of the frame is marked “MERWIN, HULBERT & CO, N.Y./POCKET ARMY”.
The overall condition is very good. 70% of the original nickel finish remains. The markings are clear and legible. The serial numbers match. The grips are in fair shape, the hard rubber having been repaired. The bore is dark with visible rifling. The action on this revolver is excellent. The Merwin Hulbert, then as now, would have made a great alternative to a Colt or Smith & Wesson!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 3-1/4 inches.
Caliber: .44-40 WCF
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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