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Old 10-13-2009, 10:41 PM
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Default Merwin Hulbert .38 (updated pictures)

I know this is the S&W forum, but I've had no luck joining the Merwin forum for some reason. I'm hoping Montanian comes along and looks at this.

This is a Merwin Hulbert .38 that my Dad has had since he was a kid.

I think it's a pretty desireable gun as both barrels number to the gun. Unfortunately as you can see, someone took it upon themselves to "engrave" a woodland scene on the sides of the gun at some point in its life which I'm sure diminishes the value somewhat.

I'd just like to know if anyone out there has a feeling as to what this piece would be valued at in todays market.

Thanks for looking.





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Old 10-13-2009, 11:00 PM
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I can't help you, but that is an interesting piece, thanks for posting it. I'll bet some one comes along that knows the answers you need.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:11 PM
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That "woodland scene" was a standard from the factory I've seen all kinds of what we would call pawn shop engraving on MW's and it is almost always factory. I think the set should be worth about $500 to $700 in my experiance.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:59 AM
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Twaits, You have a rare edition of the Merwin & Hulbert Automatic Ejecting revolver. Get yourself a copy of "The Story of Merwin & Hulbert Firearms" by my old friend, the late Art Phelps, and read up on them. You have two features seldon seen, the "Skull Cracker " protrusion on the butt and the second side panel screw. Both are very rare, in fact the book shows a picture of a Merwin with the 2nd screw and says " Only one known !". I think there are more, but the are seldom encountered. The 2nd barrel was often added to Merwin purchases, but seldom are both numbered the same, which would prove they came together as a set when new. The Game scene could be factory, and at least dealer added, and could possibly be etched rather than engraved. Value, as is, is well into 4 figures. Ed #15
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:17 AM
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Thanks guys. I wish I had a more close up shot of the "engraving"
The woodland scene is really crude and appears to have just been scratched into the blueing. I don't think the factory would have done this. But even so, it's all aged so nicely that it doesn't really detract from it too much as far as I'm concerned. I think it's a really great little gun.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:34 AM
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As a side note, I was watching this Merwin Hulbert ammo box on ebay. When I first saw it, it was somewhere around $20. I kinda liked it, and figured if I could pick it up for $25 I'd go for it. Guess it was more valuable than I thought. It sold for $578!

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Old 10-14-2009, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunlovingirl View Post
As a side note, I was watching this Merwin Hulbert ammo box on ebay. When I first saw it, it was somewhere around $20. I kinda liked it, and figured if I could pick it up for $25 I'd go for it. Guess it was more valuable than I thought. It sold for $578!

Yeah I've heard that original M&H ammo is crazy valuable.
Misty, was that just the box or where there cartridges inside?
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
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Yeah I've heard that original M&H ammo is crazy valuable.
Misty, was that just the box or where there cartridges inside?
No ammo, just the empty box!
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:13 AM
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Could you post a photo or two showing how the revolver opens and closes for loading? I've read about the MH but have never had a chance to handle one.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
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Could you post a photo or two showing how the revolver opens and closes for loading? I've read about the MH but have never had a chance to handle one.
Sorry, the gun is back at my fathers house and I didn't take pictures of the action. Perhaps someone else here can provide one.

It works like this: For loading You put the gun at half cock and open the loading gate on the side. It loads just like a Single action Colt. To eject the empty shells you pull the little button in front of the triggerguard back, then twist the barrel sideways on the cylinder pin and pull it forward. There is a little shoulder on the recoil shield that holds the shells in place and the empties fall out of the gun. Any loaded cartridges still in the cylinder are held in place by the bullet.
To remove the barrel entirely you just press the little button forward of the cylinder and it pulls right off. I think this is the most ingenious revolver system ever devised. In seconds you can swap barrels with no tools.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:37 AM
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If someone could make a copy of that folding trigger for a J frame, they would make a mint!
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by feralmerril View Post
If someone could make a copy of that folding trigger for a J frame, they would make a mint!
Yeah, you know I can't believe no company today doesn't steal this idea. It's so cool. I'm hoping the guys at the new M&H company eventually offer this on the new Pocket Armys they are going to be making.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:15 PM
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I kind of like that scene on the gun. Even if not factory. Is it 38 S&W?
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:18 PM
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Great old and unique gun. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:34 PM
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For those who may not know, Patrick Swayze used a pair of M&H in the Movie Tall Tales, by Disney. They were chambered in 44-40, and as an extra in the movie and Gun Handler, I have some of the Blanks fired from the guns used in the movie. Along with some other stuff.

The guns, not overly rugged by today standards, broke during filming a couple of times and I had to go find a Gunsmith familiar with the inner workings to get them repaired.
(It was only 120 miles round trip).

M&H certainly have a placed secured in our history.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
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I kind of like that scene on the gun. Even if not factory. Is it 38 S&W?
Yep .38 S&W, although I think Merwin Hulbert had their own version called .38M&H but it was interchangeable.
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:47 PM
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Little bit of trivia here: Merwin & Hulbert never made any guns, they were mostly all made by Hopkins & Allen and were so well made to very close tolerances than when you opened the action to extract shells, the gun would close by itself due to the vacuum created by the close tolerances! Also, I've found that many ammo. boxes posted on ebay (eBay rulues will not allow seller to sell ammo.) by sellers, are boxes with ammo that has been removed, but the seller has the ammo. and inquires to the seller can result in the ammo. arriving at your door step with the box for a negotiable price. Ed.
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:51 PM
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I met "Hammer" when I wrote folding trigger, but I imagine everyone knew what I meant. I had a close friend many years ago that had 3 or 4 of them. I marveled at the hammers back then. He had some beautys, one nickle .44 also had two barrels. It was pristine.
I read somewhere that either merwin or hulbert was killed by indians while outwest pushing his guns. Anybody else read that?

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Old 10-14-2009, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feralmerril View Post
I met "Hammer" when I wrote folding trigger, but I imagine everyone knew what I meant. I had a close friend many years ago that had 3 or 4 of them. I marveled at the hammers back then. He had some beautys, one nickle .44 also had two barrels. It was pristine.
I read somewhere that either merwin or hulbert was killed by indians while outwest pushing his guns. Anybody else read that?
I've heard that too but I think it may be a colorful tall tale.
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Old 10-15-2009, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opoefc View Post
Twaits, You have a rare edition of the Merwin & Hulbert Automatic Ejecting revolver. Get yourself a copy of "The Story of Merwin & Hulbert Firearms" by my old friend, the late Art Phelps, and read up on them. You have two features seldon seen, the "Skull Cracker " protrusion on the butt and the second side panel screw. Both are very rare, in fact the book shows a picture of a Merwin with the 2nd screw and says " Only one known !". I think there are more, but the are seldom encountered. The 2nd barrel was often added to Merwin purchases, but seldom are both numbered the same, which would prove they came together as a set when new. The Game scene could be factory, and at least dealer added, and could possibly be etched rather than engraved. Value, as is, is well into 4 figures. Ed #15
Ed,

What do you make of this one?

Merwin & Hulbert Blue 5 1/2 DA Folding Hammer Revolver - Merwin & Hulbert

This is pretty much the exact same set up as mine but there is a
THIRD sideplate screw. His second barrel doesn't number to the gun, but this is the first time I've seen one almost exactly the same as my Dads.
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:02 PM
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Erik, I got your private message, same as above, and sent you a reply, but got a pop up that said it was an invalid PM???, so will repeat it here: Old catalog ads of the turn of the century era, show prints of M&H revolvers with two sideplate screws. I've nevr seen one with 3 screws, but many guns, of all makes, of that period show up with strange anomalies that do not seem to have a purpose. Maybe the worker that put in that 3rd srew was a Belt & Suspenders guy! Ed. ( PS:, The old tale of "Merwin or Hulbert being killed by Indians is false. It originally started when Fred Bray, of Merwin & Bray (before there was a Merwin & Hulbert) was alledged to have been burned at the stake by Indians out west. Also false. This story stared in 1947 in a couple of magazine articles which said "Frank or Fred Merwin, while traveling in the West, was capturedby Indians at burned at the stake near Ft.Leavenworth in 1865" Totally false. Merwin & Hulbert wasn't founded until 1868. Ed.
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:35 PM
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Thanks Ed,

I got your private message as well.

I really should pick up Art Phelps book. It seems like there are endless varieties of these guns. Just when you think you've seen every variation something different seems to pop up.

I'd love to get into the M&H forum and see if it's as vibrant as this forum and the Colt forum. I just cant seem to sign in though. I'm hoping Montanian comes around and helps me out.

Thanks again for your info.
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:19 PM
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That is a really interesting gun. I have never paid a lot of attention to the Merwin Hulberts, which is probably too bad on my part.
Now I can't stop looking at your father's gun.
You may have cost me some money Twaits.
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:12 AM
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That is a really interesting gun. I have never paid a lot of attention to the Merwin Hulberts, which is probably too bad on my part.
Now I can't stop looking at your father's gun.
You may have cost me some money Twaits.
I know, they are just so damn cool and well made! I have a little .32 M&H I was lucky enough to score for $50. But I really want the big boy, the .44-40 Pocket Army. But those are well into the 4 figures.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opoefc View Post
Old catalog ads of the turn of the century era, show prints of M&H revolvers with two sideplate screws. I've never seen one with 3 screws Ed.
Ed;

Here's mine. All matching, box end label denoting second barrel as a set. 3 screw sideplate. The revolver and 5 1/2 inch barrel is an easy 98-99%, the spare 3 inch barrel has some wear on one side. Box is excellent overall, with some minor fraying. These were truly well made revolvers and I agree the tolerances were incredibly precise.




This set will probably be soon offered for sale since I have little or no interest in collecting M&H revolvers. It's been sitting in a safe for ages.
Enjoy!

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Old 10-16-2009, 08:51 AM
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Default Merwin Hulbert .38

The etching on the side of your M&H is the same as two that I have. The matching barrels always have matching numbers if it came with the gun. I have not noted any "no number" barrels as of yet and have been on the Merwin Hulbert trail since 1985.
My guess would be around 13 to 1500.00 on your fathers set.
As far as the M&H forum being active?!? Not so sure there are as many as what this site gets in one hour looking, as oposed to M&H forum traffic in a year.
When I headed up the M&H Association, Art Phelps asked me to, the membership was around 65 in three years with a 10.00 donation. I could not get members to send info to make a newsletter every three months.

Art and I were the only two that showed, all were asked, at the featured M&H Dallas Show in 1998 by TGCA.
I will gladly show the works of loading and barrel switching in a later post soon.

Old M&H Association President
Terry Wagner
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Old 10-16-2009, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Modelof1891 View Post
The etching on the side of your M&H is the same as two that I have. The matching barrels always have matching numbers if it came with the gun. I have not noted any "no number" barrels as of yet and have been on the Merwin Hulbert trail since 1985.
My guess would be around 13 to 1500.00 on your fathers set.
As far as the M&H forum being active?!? Not so sure there are as many as what this site gets in one hour looking, as oposed to M&H forum traffic in a year.
When I headed up the M&H Association, Art Phelps asked me to, the membership was around 65 in three years with a 10.00 donation. I could not get members to send info to make a newsletter every three months.

Art and I were the only two that showed, all were asked, at the featured M&H Dallas Show in 1998 by TGCA.
I will gladly show the works of loading and barrel switching in a later post soon.

Old M&H Association President
Terry Wagner
Terry,

Would you have a picture of one of your M&Hs with the etching?
I would love to see it.
Thanks very much for posting.

Oh and Lefty, that's a beauty. Thanks for posting the pic.

-Erik
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:37 AM
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Default M&h .38

Erik
I will gladly shoot some pics and post them as soon as I have time to dig them out.
Oldflatfoot
That is one beautiful set!!!

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Old 10-17-2009, 11:48 AM
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Great thread and great guns

Thanks Erik!
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feralmerril View Post
I met "Hammer" when I wrote folding trigger, but I imagine everyone knew what I meant. I had a close friend many years ago that had 3 or 4 of them. I marveled at the hammers back then. He had some beautys, one nickle .44 also had two barrels. It was pristine.
I read somewhere that either merwin or hulbert was killed by indians while outwest pushing his guns. Anybody else read that?
It pops up in some accounts. The founder of Merwin Hulbert & Co., Joseph Merwin's nephew was killed in an Indian raid on his Butterfield Stage Station in Texas before the formation of MH&Co. (during it's earlier incarnation as Merwin & Bray.) Another nephew of Joe's was the Merwin Sales Manager for most of the company's run so it's confused a lot of folks.
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zov View Post
Could you post a photo or two showing how the revolver opens and closes for loading? I've read about the MH but have never had a chance to handle one.
I forgot all about my little .32 when I first answered this. I bought this little gem for $50. Here's some detailed pictures of the workings of a Merwin Hulbert revolver:

Closed:



Ready for loading:



Open:



Note the shoulder that keeps the cartridge rims against the recoil sheild:



Apart:

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Old 10-17-2009, 12:27 PM
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Ed;

Here's mine. All matching, box end label denoting second barrel as a set. 3 screw sideplate. The revolver and 5 1/2 inch barrel is an easy 98-99%, the spare 3 inch barrel has some wear on one side. Box is excellent overall, with some minor fraying. These were truly well made revolvers and I agree the tolerances were incredibly precise.




This set will probably be soon offered for sale since I have little or no interest in collecting M&H revolvers. It's been sitting in a safe for ages. If anyone is interested you can pm me.

Enjoy!

Lefty
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That's a beautiful set, most of the MH .32's one sees for sale aren't in this condition, frame, with ammo box, etc... You're welcome to post it at no charge on the Merwin Hulbert & Company Forum (as is anyone else selling original Merwins, parts, ammo, accessories, etc.) as we're trying to make life easier on collectors. I collect the .44's but you've got a very tempting set there. GunBroker'd be one way but O.C. Young Auctions is where I mostly see this nice of a set of Merwins and is probably going to get you your best price.
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:57 PM
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Thumbs up MH

You guy's are killing me with your collection's really awesume
thanks
james
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  #34  
Old 10-17-2009, 03:13 PM
Montanian Montanian is offline
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Thanks Ed,

I got your private message as well.

I really should pick up Art Phelps book. It seems like there are endless varieties of these guns. Just when you think you've seen every variation something different seems to pop up.

I'd love to get into the M&H forum and see if it's as vibrant as this forum and the Colt forum. I just cant seem to sign in though. I'm hoping Montanian comes around and helps me out.

Thanks again for your info.
Yup, we want you in the Merwin Hulbert Forum, send me what info you want and I'll manually enter you in with my vast and awesome "moderator" powers.

Art Phelps' book is excellent and still only taps part of it since the MH&Co. blurs into the many pistols made by their subsidiary Hopkins & Allen Mfg. which private labeled many more and eventually absorbed Forehand & Wadsworth, another major brand of the time now mostly forgotten. Art's book is long out of print (1993) and a small press run so it takes some hunting and paying a painful price. We'll be doing or helping put out more MH&Co hardcover histories, the website's history content section is a start at that, so it easier to find and follow this fragmented trail. Merwins sell in the same places in the 19th Century that adopted Smith & Wesson Russian or Schofield revolvers making the trail murkier yet. I suspect a lot of other folks are bored after 60 years of Colt SAA stories and specs.

Your father's Merwin set is excellent and if Terry Wagner says it looks like factory engraving (did to me too), that's an extremely reliable assessment by a long student of Merwins. I'd keep it in the family, maybe you could swap your dad something he'd use now for it like a big flat screen tv or great recliner (dads don't like to spend money on themselves.)
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:00 PM
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Thanks Montanian for setting me up. I urge anyone else here with an interest in Merwin Hulberts to go join the forum. Lets get some more activity over there and support these guys that are bringing back this amazing gun:

Merwin Hulbert & Co. Forum: Viewing list of forums
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  #36  
Old 10-19-2009, 07:36 AM
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That's a beautiful set, most of the MH .32's one sees for sale aren't in this condition, frame, with ammo box, etc... You're welcome to post it at no charge on the Merwin Hulbert & Company Forum (as is anyone else selling original Merwins, parts, ammo, accessories, etc.) as we're trying to make life easier on collectors. I collect the .44's but you've got a very tempting set there. GunBroker'd be one way but O.C. Young Auctions is where I mostly see this nice of a set of Merwins and is probably going to get you your best price.
Thanks for the compliment. It really is an interesting revolver and it's unique engineering is what I found most alluring. It's the only M&H I've come to own, but I've glanced at the .44's a time or two I have to admit. I also appreciate the offer to put the photos up on the M&H Company Forum, thank you!

twaits;

Good informative post. Thanks for the info, I appreciate it.

Lefty
BELL CHARTER OAK CUSTOM HOLSTERS (607) 783-2483

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  #37  
Old 10-19-2009, 07:58 AM
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Thanks twaits for posting those great photos! A most interesting design and one begging for updating and manufacturing.
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:49 PM
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Imagine how much fun a .22 cal version of that little .32 would be...
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:36 PM
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was watching an old re-run of bonanza the other day...the theme of this particular episode was a 44 cal MH that was to be sold to ben cartwright...interesting
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:55 PM
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was watching an old re-run of bonanza the other day...the theme of this particular episode was a 44 cal MH that was to be sold to ben cartwright...interesting
Did they actually mention the MH by name?
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:44 PM
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they sure did...mentioned it was twice as expensive as any other handgun @ $19.00
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:02 PM
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This is sure an interesting post. A guy set up across from me at the Grand Forks gunshow last spring had an engraved Merwin Hulbert on his table. Don't recall the price, but he said he thought he had it sold. Was not real cheap, I do remember that. Good info on an interesting brand of revolver.
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:16 PM
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Remember Randy Quaid as Clell Miller in The Long Riders?



The movie is, of course, the only film to feature four sets of real brothers as four sets of historical brothers - Keaches as Jameses, Carradines as Youngers, Quaids as Millers, and Guests as Fords.
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  #44  
Old 10-23-2009, 11:28 PM
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Default Merwin Hulbert Tool

I found this picture of a nice example : Engraved, Gold Wash, 2nd Model Frontier Army, SA




Very Rare loading tool for M&H as above


Last edited by Modelof1891; 10-23-2009 at 11:31 PM.
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  #45  
Old 10-23-2009, 11:37 PM
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Default Merwin Hulbert 3rd Mod. DA .44-40 Frontier Stocked

This is one of two known Merwin Hulberts with detachable stock

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  #46  
Old 10-24-2009, 06:40 AM
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Beautiful Terry. Thanks for sharing these. Now if more people would post nice pics like this on the MH forum I might spend a little more time there
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:24 PM
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Twaits, You have a rare edition of the Merwin & Hulbert Automatic Ejecting revolver. Get yourself a copy of "The Story of Merwin & Hulbert Firearms" by my old friend, the late Art Phelps, and read up on them. You have two features seldon seen, the "Skull Cracker " protrusion on the butt and the second side panel screw. Both are very rare, in fact the book shows a picture of a Merwin with the 2nd screw and says " Only one known !". I think there are more, but the are seldom encountered. The 2nd barrel was often added to Merwin purchases, but seldom are both numbered the same, which would prove they came together as a set when new. The Game scene could be factory, and at least dealer added, and could possibly be etched rather than engraved. Value, as is, is well into 4 figures. Ed #15
Ed, I've been looking at several MHs on Gunbroker that are similar to my Dads. They all have three sideplate screws. Do you think what Art means in his book that they are more rare with "the second side panel screw"
meaning it ONLY has two screws and not three?
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  #48  
Old 10-29-2009, 02:16 AM
jaegerhhh jaegerhhh is offline
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Little bit of trivia here: Merwin & Hulbert never made any guns, they were mostly all made by Hopkins & Allen and were so well made to very close tolerances than when you opened the action to extract shells, the gun would close by itself due to the vacuum created by the close tolerances! Also, I've found that many ammo. boxes posted on ebay (eBay rulues will not allow seller to sell ammo.) by sellers, are boxes with ammo that has been removed, but the seller has the ammo. and inquires to the seller can result in the ammo. arriving at your door step with the box for a negotiable price. Ed.
Greetings!! If I may offer a correction here...This bit of information about Merwin and Hulbert being owned by Hopkins and Allen seems to have originated with Flayderman, (who has forgotten more than I will ever learn about firearms). However, in this case it isn't true. Rather, because of (1) H&A's proprietary and highly superior method of applying nickel to guns, (2) their having a known name and (3) an operating factory, Merwin and Hulbert bought 50% interest in H&A. Shortly thereafter, one of the H&A partners made a side deal acquiring the truly questionable Bacon arms without consulting Messrs. Merwin and Hulbert(s) . This prompted them to buy the partner out and thenceforth had complete control of H&A and their own product line as well. M&H definitely acquired the patents, made their own guns, and were in charge of every effort to make a superior product.

Last edited by jaegerhhh; 11-10-2009 at 08:22 PM. Reason: punctuation
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  #49  
Old 11-19-2009, 10:59 PM
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Default Police Dept. D.P.D. No 125 .38 M&H

This .38 Pocket Model has seen some time on the beat. Holster rub marks on the right frame and the left grip.





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  #50  
Old 11-21-2009, 05:11 PM
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This .38 Pocket Model has seen some time on the beat. Holster rub marks on the right frame and the left grip.





Terry,

Did you see this thread on DPD guns?

Detroit PD gun picture thread?!!!!

Someone has a beat up DPD Merwin on there they are trying to save.
The DPD sure had some nice looking hardware!
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