SOLD FOR: $1525
Make: Hopkins & Allen manufactured this revolver for Merwin, Hulbert & Co. who distributed the revolvers.
Model: Large Frame Pocket Army on Skull Crusher Grip Frame
Serial Number: 1146
Year of Manufacture: 1880s
Caliber: .44-40 Winchester
Action Type: Double Action / Single Action Revolver with Twist-lock Barrel and Side-Loading Gate 6 Round Cylinder
Markings: The right side of the frame is marked “MERWIN, HULBERT & CO. N.Y. / POCKET ARMY”. The left side of the frame is marked “CALIBRE / WINCHESTER” and “1873”. The right side of the grip frame below the grip is marked “6696” and the left side of the frame underneath the grip is marked “1146”. The front face of the cylinder, frame-facing side of the loading gate, and the rear face of the barrel lug are marked “1146”. The left side of the barrel is marked “HOPKINS & ALLEN Manufacturing Co. Norwich, Conn. U.S.A.”. The top of the barrel is marked “MERWIN HULBERT & CO. New York, U.S.A. PAT. Apr. 17. 77. June 15. 80. Mar. 14. 82. Jan. 9. 83.”.
Barrel Length: 7”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a half-round blade integral with the top of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” groove in a boss at the top of the frame in front of the hammer.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered black hard rubber on a birds-head grip frame that have large circles at the tops of the grips. There are some crack repairs down at the bottoms. There is some epoxy and repairs at the top of the right panel. There is a little piece of metal on the interior of the right panel. There are some scattered nicks, scuffs, and little scratches. There are scattered areas of pooled glue. We were unable to remove the right grip panel. The checkering has rub wear and is smooth. The grips are in about Good condition.
Type of Finish: Nickel
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray and the rifling shows light wear. There is light erosion scattered throughout the bore with a few spots of moderate erosion.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 50% of its metal finish. There are some scattered scuffs, scratches and draglines, they are scattered throughout but some of the most noticeable are on the right side of the frame and on the backstrap. There are areas of finish loss that have taken on oxidation. There are areas of erosion and pitting. There are some dings, some of the most noticeable are on the sides of the barrel at the frame. The mainspring looks like a replacement and is not in the cut in the frame. The strain screw does not appear to be original and the loading gate is missing a small screw. The screwheads are lightly tool marked with serviceable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Good condition.
Mechanics: The action does not function correctly, the cylinder is out of timing. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The Merwin & Hulbert company was a firearms dealer-distributor who listed their address as New York City. They were the primary sales agents for Hopkins & Allen of Norwich, Conn., the company that manufactured their guns. Merwin & Hulbert twist-barrel revolvers were offered in three frame sizes and in .32, .38 and .44 calibers, very similar to the frame size and caliber offerings of Smith & Wesson. M&H sold “Army” models chambered in .44 Merwin-Hulbert and “Frontier” Models in .44-40 Win. A “Pocket Army” model was offered with a rounded birds-head but shape with a substantial steel “beak” below the grip panels, and the grip shape was sometimes known as the “skull crusher”. Like other large frame M&H revolvers, the Pocket Army was first made in open top configuration with scooped cylinders and later with a full top strap and fluted cylinders. This is a model Pocket Army large frame double action revolver chambered in .44-40 Winchester. The revolver has a nickel-plated finish and the barrel, cylinder, loading gate, and frame have matching numbers. The revolver is in about Good with about 50% of its finish remaining. The bore is gray with light wear in the rifling and light erosion scattered throughout the bore. This is a fine example of a M&H revolver and would look great along-side a collection of other M&H revolvers. There are many configurations to choose from: open top or top strap, square butt, round butt or birds-head grip, single or double action, various calibers, etc., making it very hard to form a complete collection of M&H revolvers. Please see our photos and good luck!