Thread: Merwin Hulbert
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Old December 8, 2012, 12:31 PM   #21
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Location: Pittsburgh PA
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The M&H association says in production through about 1991, on sale through 1894, so it is most likely an antique.
**In production through about 1891**. Flayderman's says that the company stopped referring to itself as "Merwin Hulbert & Co" by early 1892 and reverted to "Hulbert Brothers & Co" afterwards. For it to be a modern firearm it would have to be 1899 or later, and the company was long gone by then. All M&Hs are therefor antique.

Flayderman's lists a "birds head" butt .38 pocket, but the .32 was apparently made only with square butt. The folding hammer adds a bit of interest and value
Hertz - not exactly. Everything that you said is true about a small frame M&H DA but this gun is not a small frame M&H. You have to judge the frame size by cal and capacity. Since its 32, one would think its small frame BUT its also 7 shot. So its on a 38 frame, where a 38 cal version would chamber 5, but that same frame would hold 7 rds of 32, which is the gun's capacity. The gun is actually a medium frame double action M&H. These M&H medium DA guns had either a flat butt (OP's gun) or a birds head butt aka "skull crusher". The folding hammer was optional. I have observed quite a few folding hammer M&Hs.

"not having the "skull cracker" grip frame a minus."

I thought only the large frame revolvers had the skull crusher?
Per Flaydermans 9th ed, many large AND medium frame M&Hs had the skull crusher butt. The small frame 5 shot 32s, the solid frame revolvers, and the 22 tipup S&W copy they made did not have skull crushers. I believe the skull crusher was an extra cost option. It had a hole through it so one could attach a lanyard if desired.

As far as these guns having a lanyard, per Flaydermans, only the early large frame SA and DA Merwins (44 cal) had a traditional lanyard. As others have said, the gun of this thread would not have had a lanyard. It was not intended to be a main sidearm where a lanyard could prove useful (horseback riding). The OP is correct that if the gun had a lanyard but was later removed, it would have a plug fill most likely in the butt. It would be a shame if this gun had a metal plug in the butt, because that modification would almost surely be non-factory.

Its also not really a "minus" in the way that the broken grips or finish wear is, but rather the skull crusher is a PLUS.

Here is my Merwin. Its a 38 medium frame spur trigger version with flat/square butt. Below it are two period S&Ws, a 38 SA first model "baby Russian" and a 38 SA 2nd model below. In the photo below that, despite their similiarities in the first photo, we see how different they really are. The S&W had a better mechanism but the Merwin was quicker than many other designs of the period.

Winchester 73, the TFL user that won the west
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