RARE, EARLY Antique MERWIN & HULBERT w HOLSTER
Unique & Coveted Old West Revolver Design
Here we present an antique Merwin & Hulbert Large Frame Single Action Revolver, made circa the mid-1870s by Hopkins & Allen in Norwich, Connecticut. 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. 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 specimen is an example of a large frame variant made for carrying in a belt holster, just like its more numerous Colt and Smith & Wesson counterparts. It features a long 7-inch round barrel. The front sight is an integral blade and the rear is an integral V notch. The loading gate is interesting in that it drops straight down, which snaps firmly into place.
The holster is high quality, tooled leather. It is tightly stitched. There is a maker’s mark that reads “R.H. “CHIP” CHILDS/MAKER/MINNEAPOLIS, MN.” The revolver fits very well.
The overall condition is good. The metal surfaces have a nice even gray patina with touches of original nickel finish throughout. All serial numbers match. There is another number on the bottom of the grip frame, but that is in addition to the matching number also found on that part. The hard rubber grips are quite worn, but solid. The bore is distinctly rifled and in good condition. The action is strong.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 7 inches in length.
Caliber: .44 Merwin & Hulbert
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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