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Three .44s With Pearls

Three .44s With Pearls

Photo credit: Michael Ives

This feature appears in the April ’16 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.

Some of the firearms that helped win the West were marked “Merwin Hulbert,” although Merwin, Hulbert & Co. was not the actual manufacturer. Hopkins & Allen in Connecticut is believed to have produced these guns. 

Despite their mixed pedigree, their innovative extraction system, allowing selective ejection of only spent cartridge cases, made the Merwin Hulbert design unique on the frontier. Interchangeable barrel assemblies and occasionally contoured birdshead “skull-crushers” on the grip frame helped establish both the single-action and double-action models as serious six guns. These three .44-chambered Merwin Hulbert revolvers are currently on loan to the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum by Larry Jones. 

The NRA National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va.; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo.; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, N.M.; each have fine selections of historic arms on display. Admission to each is free, and donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, visit nramuseums.com, phone (703) 267-1600 or email nfmstaff@nrahq.org.