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Merwin & Hulbert Pocket Model ?


Willy B.SASS#26902

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Last weekend I picked up a Merwin & Hulbert second model pocket pistol, It looks to be in pretty fair shape and has factory engraving, The serial number is hard to read  but looks like 920? the last digit I can't make out. I also came with what looks to be the original flap holster.

I'm thinking this was made about 1880 but if anyone has a better idea on the age I'd appreciate you letting me know.

Thanks

Willy B'

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MHs are neat old guns! They are very strong actions due to the unique way the top strap ties into the frame.
 

 I have a 3rd model double action with folding hammer. I’ve shot it a few times. Functions well.  I shoot it at PP side matches every once in a while. Not going to win with it, but lots of style points! 
 

enjoy your old gun. Load up some 38SW with BP and shoot it! 

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Hey KR

I'll send it back to you, Just keep checking your mailbox until it gets there.

Willy B'

It sat on a vendors table all weekend at Yuma, I don't think anyone realized what it was. I feel like I saved it.

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2 hours ago, Willy B.SASS#26902 said:

Hey KR

I'll send it back to you, Just keep checking your mailbox until it gets there.

Willy B'

It sat on a vendors table all weekend at Yuma, I don't think anyone realized what it was. I feel like I saved it.

I eyeballed mine at a gunshow every month for almost a year. I’d have him take it out, I’d look at it and slobber over it. He was asking $700. Which was not a terrible price, but more than I wanted to spend.  Then he marked it down to 600. I was contemplating it. He said “make me an offer”.  I said $300, he said SOLD! 

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Howdy

 

According to The Story of Merwin Hulbert & Co. Firearms, by Art Phelps, (note there is no & between the words Merwin and Hulbert) what you have there is a 2nd Model single action 38. The 1st Model lacked the sliding loading gate, instead having a hole in the recoil shield for loading and an exposed cylinder pin. The 2nd Model had a sliding loading gate instead of the hole in the recoil shield, and maintained the exposed cylinder pin. The 3rd Model had a streamlined cover over the cylinder pin. By the way, that style of flutes on the cylinder are called Scoop flutes.

 

Here is a photo from Phelps' book illustrating the three models of the spur trigger, single action, 38s. Notice both the 1st and 2nd Models have Scoop flutes.

 

 

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Later, when the double action Merwin Hulbert 38s came out there was a bewildering variety of them.

 

Interesting that the grips are so different from each other. I suspect that one, or maybe both, grips are not original. I doubt the revolver left the factory with mismatched grips like that.

 

 

I have three large frame Merwin Hulberts, but only one 'pocket model' double action 38. Notice the patented folding hammer spur.

 

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Thanks Driftwood

I hadn't even noticed the scoop flutes, Do you have any idea on when it was made?, I'm thinking right around 1880.

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Howdy

 

Although he does a fairly good job of documenting dates of manufacture of the large Merwin Hulbert revolvers, Phelps is not very good about giving dates of manufacture for the smaller 38 and 32 caliber models.

 

The best I can offer is there is a reproduction of a an advertisement showing what appears to be a 38 like yours, from Harper's Weekly from 1880. The Scoop Flutes indicates this is either a 1st or 2nd Model. The details of the grip on this one do not show up very well, but I suspect it is the same grip, with the dog head, that is on the right side of your revolver. By the way, MH often called their revolvers Automatic Revolvers. This simply refers to the way empties would be automatically ejected when the revolver was opened.

 

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 Driftwood

That ad pretty well confirms the approximate age, I hadn't seen it before, Very cool.

Thanks again

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