Winchester 1873 got for free


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ShooterRuger
July 23, 2009, 12:17 AM
I know nothing about this gun any one know anything




cid:7E9A75AC-A18F-44FA-90C9-85C7A56E093A/guuu.jpg

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rivraton
July 23, 2009, 01:48 AM
Wonder Woman's invisible rifle? :D

ShooterRuger
July 23, 2009, 06:31 PM
picture of the gun any info

KenWP
July 23, 2009, 06:59 PM
That's a revolver. 1873 was a rifle just ask Jimmie Stewart.

ShooterRuger
July 23, 2009, 07:02 PM
really its a revolver no way...any really posts on this gun would be nice thanks for trying though

rondog
July 23, 2009, 07:10 PM
How's about some more photos? Sharper and crisper, with shots of the details and any markings.

Jim Watson
July 23, 2009, 07:53 PM
The illustrated firearm is a Merwin & Hulbert Army Revolver, made from 1876-1880. It is a late type with topstrap and fluted cylinder. The 5" barrel is uncommon, if it has not been sawn off, 7" was standard for the big guns.
The CALIBER is Winchester 1873, commonly known as .44-40.

They have an interesting and complicated action, gate loading but simultaneous selective extraction. That is you can unlatch and cam forward the barrel and cylinder, leaving shells held against the breechface by the rims. The empties will fall out, live rounds will be retained by the length of the bullet still protruding into the chamber.

Gunsmith David Chicoine recommends they not be shot. There are some thin areas of metal carrying the load and the steel was no better than you would expect for the time and maybe not as good. They are very precisely made and fitted though, just fun to play with and feel the smooth operation. If in good condition you can swing the barrel and cylinder forward as though to unload and feel the suction of the closely fitted axis pin.

Dollar value is probably pretty good, the peeling nickel plate hurts, of course, but the bone or ivory grips are a plus, as is the intact lanyard loop.

There is an outfit trying to rev up a reproduction, you can pre-order at a starting price of $1250, 20% deposit. I doubt they will ever be seen, but we can hope.

Jim K
July 23, 2009, 08:37 PM
That is the large frame, the most desireable for collectors, but M&H made the same design in medium frame (.38) and small frame (.32). M&H was actually a holding company, not a manufacturer; the guns were made by Hopkins and Allen.

Jim Watson wrote: "That is you can unlatch and cam forward the barrel and cylinder, leaving shells held against the breechface by the rims. The empties will fall out, live rounds will be retained by the length of the bullet still protruding into the chamber." That cartridge case length is critical to the system, which is why there were .38 and .32 cartridges specially made for M&H revolvers. The S&W equivalents will fire OK, but are not the right case length so the unfired cases stay in the chambers.

In top condition, that gun would bring around $3000+, but with the peeling nickel, less than half that.

Jim

KenWP
July 23, 2009, 08:57 PM
The post says Winchester 1873 which is a rifle. Nothing about it being the caliber of the handgun.

Jim Watson
July 23, 2009, 10:25 PM
Post no 3 has a picture of a gun by the OP which is indeed a M&H which were indeed marked "Winchester 1873" when chambered for .44-40 instead of .44 M&H. I think the OP may lack a background in 19th century firearms and was just reading what is stamped into the steel of the gun.

Let's see, now; "less than half of $3000" is a lot more than free, I think he is doing ok.

Jim K
July 23, 2009, 10:50 PM
There was a time when those M&H revolvers were almost free as there was almost no collector interest and even some fairly knowledgeable people didn't know what they were. I got a couple of .38s in very good shape for $150 and $175, and a couple of .32's, one 100% nickel for $200 and another nice one in blue for $220. The nickel one has the folding hammer spur, which is also found on H&A guns.

Fascinating guns, but pretty slow to load in spite of the extraction system. Not that much faster than the Colt SAA and a lot slower than the S&W top breaks.

First you have to put the hammer on half cock. Then you unlatch the barrel, turn it and pull forward. That extracts all the fired cases (if you have the right cartridges). Then you push the barrel back and turn it to latch it. Then you press the release on the gate and slide it down. Once that is done, you can load fresh cartridges, one at a time, into the empty chambers. IMHO, a neat idea, but not one I would want to bother messing with. (You can't just load the cylinder while it is forward, as the cartridge rims have to go behind a ring in the frame and the only way to do that is to load through the loading gate.)

Jim

Jim Watson
July 23, 2009, 10:58 PM
Yes, but I would be powerfully attracted to a modern repro if I were still shooting CAS.

I wonder how much of the design is sheer inventiveness and how much is ingenious working around Colt and S&W patents.

I recall one of the TV movies they made about Matt Dillon after he retired from the Marshall's office in Dodge City. The villian of the piece drew his M&H and broke it open to check its status. (Ever notice that nobody in the movies is ever sure his gun is loaded?) The funny part was, the prop man had not equipped him with blanks or dummies and the gun was clearly empty.

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