Manurhin MR73 revolver: where and how the famous handgun was born

The revolver frame has no investment cast parts, being machined from a steel forging using numerically controlled machines.  

The Manurhin MR73, designed by Gilbert Maillard at the request of the French Gendarmerie Nationale is considered one of the best modern revolvers in terms of both construction and trigger quality. To confirm this, suffice it to say that with its design this revolver was intended to replace with a single handgun the various semi-automatic pistols that the Gendarmerie carried. From then until the late 1980s, the Manurhin MR73 was the standard issue gun of French policemen because of its accuracy and its reliable DA/SA action in .357 Magnum/9x19 caliber.

The characteristic required in addition to accuracy was, of course, endurance in drills and firing sessions in which thousands of rounds had to be fired, and thisgun weapon showed no problems. This special attention to durability and the materials used is what was still evident to us today when we visited the production departments inside the Chapuis Armes factory in Chateau le Bonnet, France.

Details of the Manurhin MR73 revolver

Some construction details, such as the ejection star machined from the same steel forging from which the cylinder was made and with a corresponding specific serial number, demonstrate the attention to precision in the making of Manurhin revolvers. 

The revolver frame has no investment cast parts, being machined from a steel forging using state-of-the-art five-axis numerical control machines.

To give an idea of the care taken in the making of individual parts, it was interesting to note, for example, that the ejection star is machined from the same forging from which the cylinder is made and with a correspondng serial number, so that each gun although made in series has its individual, perfectly co-axial components.

Attention to mechanics is also reflected in the aesthetic research of a satisfying result for enthusiasts. Mirror polishing precedes the deep bright bluing typical of Manurhin. 

To achieve the final appearance, bluing consists of three steps, with the final one being done by hand. The last stage is the test firing of each individual gun made, which again consists of three steps.

Mirror polishing precedes the deep bright bluing typical of Manurhin.  

The first step takes place on the test bench with high-pressure proofing ammunition, this is followed by double and double action function test first with .38 Special caliber ammo and then with .357 Magnum ammo. Finally, the accuracy test, again carried out by highly skilled labor. The MR73 revolver is available in different versions, with wood or rubber grips and barrel lengths from 2.5" up to 8", at a price of about 2,800 euros. We could not but conclude our company tour with the test fire in Chapuis Armes' in-house shooting gallery where with a few shots we had the opportunity to confirm the distinct feeling of the not light yet crisp and precise trigger of this revolver, that enjoys a more than deserved reputation.

Modern technology of numerically controlled machines and constant checking by skilled workers contribute to the manufacturing of revolvers.
A Manurhin revolver before the final check and test fire.
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