Manurhin MR73 Revolver Review: Combat-Ready Firearm in 2022

Manurhin MR73 Revolver is one of the toughest .357 Magnum revolvers out there. It is a legend in the field of combat operations. GIGN, the elite counter-terrorism unit of France, used this revolver.

While older generations have fond memories of these legendary revolvers, it was not imported into the US except for some limited and surplus batches.

Manurhin MR73 Revolver Comes Back to the USA

Beretta Holding acquired a majority stake in the French manufacturer of Manurhin revolvers, Chapuis Armes, in 2019. This allowed Beretta USA to include Manurhin revolvers in their commercial product line-up. They launched the new line of Manurhin firearms during the 2021 USPSA LOCAP Nationals in Talladega, Alabama.

Two Manurhin revolver models were launched in the United States during this event:

Beretta Manurhin MR73 Sport

  • It comes with a 3”, 4”, 5.25″, 5.75”, 6”, or 8” barrel. With the 5.25” barrel, the pistol has an overall length of 10.39 inches, a 6.85-inch sight radius, adjustable target sights, and a target adjustable trigger. The unloaded weight of this revolver is 37 ounces (1.05 kg).
  • Beretta Manurhin MR73 Sport has been designed specially to meet the needs of high-level competition as well as bullseye shooting.
  • Thinner front sight with a negative angle allows the front sight to remain shaded and dark in most conditions.

Beretta Manurhin MR73 Gendarmerie

  • It comes with a 3” or 4″ barrel,. With the 4” barrel, it has an overall length of 9.17 inches and a 5.6-inch sight radius. The unloaded weight of this revolver is 34.2 ounces (0.97 kg).
Manurhin MR73 Gendarmerie
  • Manurhin MR73 Gendarmerie was originally designed to meet the needs of the “French Gendarmerie and special service units of the French Police and Military.”
  • Ramped and serrated front sight minimizes snagging on gear or holster.

Both Sport and Gendarmerie models of Manurhin MR73 revolvers:

  • Have the target trigger adjustable for overtravel and weight
  • Are chambered in ..38 Spl/.357 Mag
  • Come with Trausch-branded rubber finger groove grips

Though the Manurhin MR73 was largely unavailable for many years, you can now purchase and own it in the US through Beretta. Despite its high price, connoisseurs know the real value of this combat-proven firearm. The Manurhin MR73 is considered one of the strongest double-action revolvers ever manufactured. Its quality and strength can be compared only with German-made Korth revolvers.

In a press release, Beretta said:

“With a venerable history and tradition of fine gun-making behind them, the Manurhin series of revolvers are truly world-class… The cold hammer-forged barrel allows for super long life, enhanced durability, and world-class accuracy. Cold hammer-forging processes provide the highest level of repeatability and consistency possible in the industry and are the standard for Manurhin revolvers.”

Let me walk you through the various aspects of this revolver, whose basic design is around 50 years old. It is nice to see that the manufacturer has retained the classic charm of this absolute stunner. Can it still hold up to its reputation? Let’s find out.

Manurhin MR73 History: A Brief Historical Perspective of the Revolver still used by the French Counter Terror Unit

Manurhin MR73 History

To know about a particular firearm, it is very important to know how it started its journey.

Manurhin MR73 revolvers were first introduced in the early 1970s. This full-sized wheel gun has a similar size as S&W K-frame and Colt Python. This beautifully made revolver comes with a brilliant polished blue finish. It is extremely rugged and is capable of withstanding all kinds of rigorous testing parameters using full-house magnum loads.

The French counter-terror unit, GIGN, was dissatisfied with the American revolvers of that time, and the overbuilt Ruger GP100 was not yet invented. GIGN stands for Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale or National Gendarmerie Intervention Group.

They require a revolver that could fire more than 100,000 rounds without the slightest dimensional change in the revolver. That’s when they approached Manurhin to manufacture a gun. The French firm tested 100,000 rounds of full-power .357 Magnum ammo without a single-dimensional change in the firearm. This was an incredible feat. That’s how Manurhin MR73 Revolvers came into existence.

During their duty week’s training regimen, GIGN officers test-fire more than 150 rounds of full power 357 Magnum ammo every day. At that time, this kind of performance was not only unexpected but also an absolute act of murder on most firearms.

This is why Manurhin MR73 revolvers earned the reputation for bomb-proof reliability. Furthermore, out-of-the-box, MR73 offers you match-grade accuracy.

An Unforgettable Counter-Terrorism Operation in the 1990s with Manurhin MR73

Counter Terrorism Operation in the 1990s with Manurhin MR73

The day was December 26, 1994. A group of four Algerian terrorists highjacked Air France Flight 8969 at Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers (capital city of Algeria). They belonged to the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria (GIA).

The terrorists killed three passengers. They also planned to either blow up or crash the plane over the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris.

This is when France’s elite counter-terrorism unit, the GIGN, was sent to Marseille (France), where the aircraft landed for refueling. A squad of 30 GIGN operatives got inside the plane by running across the tarmac as the terrorists opened fire from their automatic rifles.

Captain Thierry Prungnaud, the point-man, entered the flight and killed two terrorists instantly and severely injured the third one. The last terrorist got killed from a gunshot wound once his ammunition ran out after 20 minutes of indiscriminate firing.

All passengers and crew members on board (except for three including a diplomat from Vietnam) were saved. Interestingly, Captain Prungnaud didn’t use a modern semi-automatic handgun to kill the hijackers. Instead, he used his six-shot revolver, the Manurhin MR73 in .357 Magnum.

The accuracy and reliability of this firearm are some of the reasons why the elite GIGN still uses Manurhin MR73 double-action revolvers. Reports say that GIGN will continue using MR73 in the future too.

While launching two models of Manurhin MR73, Beretta has said:

“With a history and tradition of fine gun making behind them, the Manurhin series of revolvers are truly world-class.”

Manurhin MR73 is a Combat-Ready Revolver

The French elite counter-terrorism unit, GIGN, issues MR73 revolvers to new recruits. There are two major reasons for them to issue this revolver to them:

  • They have a deep-rooted belief in human life as well as firing discipline. The new recruits get MR73s as a form of symbolism.
  • Another reason is the incredible ruggedness and dependability of these revolvers.

Now, let me put this into perspective. This will help you understand how MR73 is the leader in the revolver market, especially suitable for combat operations.

During target practice, a GIGN operative fires more than 150 rounds of ammunition every day on average. This level of heavy usage and abuse can’t be handled by common service pistols. The MR73 can withstand a punishing training regiment with full-power 357 Magnum ammo almost indefinitely.

This has been possible due to the extreme nature of the production quality of Manurhin MR73 revolvers. That’s why the elite counter-terrorism unit’s operatives use MR73.

Manurhin MR73 Price: Why are They so Expensive? How are they Made?

Manurhin MR73 is considered the top-notch revolver in the wheel gun category. You can call them the Rolls Royce of wheel guns. That’s what makes them around 4-to-5-times pricier than other revolvers in this category.

Here are the 4 reasons behind the pricing and level of quality in the lineup of Manurhin MR73’s:

  • What makes Manurhin MR73 revolvers unique is the manual fitting, adjusting, and polishing. Professional gunmakers do these things entirely by hand. They give special attention to the range of adjustment including the sights as well as the trigger that is adjustable for pull weight and over-travel.
  • The highest level of metallurgical standards is followed during the manufacturing process of the Manurhin MR73. High precision 5-axis CNC machines are used to make this revolver’s frame from ordnance-certified steel billet.
  • A special cold hammer forging process is used for manufacturing the barrel. This process increases the barrel’s service life by increasing the metal’s density through the displacement of the steel fibers.
  • During the test, Manurhin puts each of these revolvers under extreme stress. The test fires are done by using ammunition with 30% more pressure than in the case of standard rounds.

You can feel the difference when you are using the trigger pull of MR73. When you pull the trigger, you’ll feel its smoothness, pressure consistency, and lack of trigger creep. Beretta says,

All Manurhin MR73 series revolvers feature a triple adjustable trigger with an overtravel screw built into the trigger and a hammer force adjustment screw and a hammer spring weight-adjustment screw built into the frame.

The attention to detail and workmanship in regard to their manufacturing process makes each Manurhin MR73 Unique. It is the combination of luxury and utility that has earned them the name of Rolls Royce in the wheel-gun category.

These revolvers are a rare example of extravagance, hand fitting, technical configurations, amount of care given to manufacturing each revolver, and functionalities. Its success in performing under strenuous testing and use by the French GIGN is a testament to the design and execution of manufacturing a duty quality revolver.

These are the reasons why the Manurhin MR73 price is so high. You may be able to track down a Manurhin MR73 at reduced pricing.  Searching phrases like Manurhin MR73 Gendarmerie for sale or Manurhin MR73 Sport for sale may lead you to different prices that you can compare.

Manurhin MR73 Review: Top 5 Reasons to Buy in 2022

The Manurhin MR73 is not only an elegant revolver but it performs at a level of reliability and durability that outclasses most modern wheel guns. So, let’s take a closer look at why you should buy a Manurhin MR73 revolver.

Top 5 Reasons to Buy Manurhin MR73 Revolvers


Due to the design and execution in manufacturing, the MR73 design is extremely accurate.  This is mainly due to the cold hammer-forged barrel, adjustable sights, ergonomic target grip, and premium target trigger.

There are varying barrel lengths available depending upon the model and version you are using. The most common barrel lengths available are:

You can draw the shorter barreled MR73 revolvers more easily than the longer ones. However, the elite counter-terrorism unit of France uses an 8-inch revolver. It comes with a scope as well as a bipod.


Manurhin MR73 is a traditional double-action/single-action revolver that operates mainly in Double Action (DA). If you want, you can thumb cock it into Single Action mode. The trigger pull weight is easily adjusted by the end-user, negating the need for a gunsmith.

It comes with the best double-action pulls. The DA trigger pull weight varies anywhere from 2,778 grams (6.12 lb) to 2,873 grams (6.33 lb). This means the DA pull is way below 8 lb or 3,500 grams. The Manurhin MR73 comes with one of the smoothest double-action triggers from the factory.


You can adjust the rear sight on the MR73 revolver for both elevation and windage. This rear sight features two white dots for a better and more focused view. MR73 also comes with a front sight, which is a black ramp having a narrow rear notch. It is most suitable for bullseye shooting.

Manurhin MR73 is one of the best revolvers you can have to knock Xs out of bullseyes.

Manurhin MR73 Grips

These revolvers come with unusually-shaped Trausch grips. On them, you’ll find a beavertail/hump. These Trausch grips help every shooter get a high strong-hand position on the firearm.

These grips help mitigate the heavy muzzle rise commonly found on similar .357 magnum revolvers and allow better recoil control on the MR73.


French elite counter-terrorism unit (GIGN) uses the Manurhin MR73 Gendarmerie revolver version. Some MR73 revolvers (.357 Magnum) used by GIGN have already fired 90,000 rounds without any damage to the wheel gun. Experts believe that the bore will start to wear off only after firing at least 300,000 rounds.

GIGN commando Philippe Bardelli was saved by this wheel gun during the unforgettable counter-terrorism operation by GIGN in the 1990s. A terrorist fired a 7.62 × 39 mm bullet from his AK-47 to kill Bardelli. But it hit the revolver of the commando. Philippe Bardelli later acknowledged that it was the revolver that saved his life in that combat situation.

Variants, Specifications, and Price

Sport Variant

MPN Caliber Action Barrel Length Weight Magazine Capacity Finish (Slide/Frame)
JRMR9738 .357 Magnum Double-Action / Single-Action 8 inches 2.37 lbs (1,075 gms) 6 Rounds Deep-Blued
JRMR9735HB .357 Magnum Double-Action / Single-Action 5.75 inches 2.33 lbs (1056.87 gms) 6 Rounds Deep-Blued
JRMR9735 .357 Magnum Double-Action / Single-Action 5.25 inches 2.31 lbs (1047.8 gms) 6 Rounds Deep-Blued
JRMR9733 .357 Magnum Double-Action / Single-Action 3 inches 2 lbs (907.19 gms) 6 Rounds Deep-Blued
JRMR9734 .357 Magnum Double-Action / Single-Action 4 inches 2.13 lbs (966.15 gms) 6 Rounds Deep-Blued

Gendarmerie Variant

MPN Caliber Action Barrel Length Weight Magazine Capacity Finish (Slide/Frame)
JRMR9733G .357 Magnum Double-Action / Single-Action 3 inches 2 lbs (907.19 gms) 6 Rounds Deep-Blued
JRMR9734G .357 Magnum Double-Action / Single-Action 4 inches 2.13 lbs (966.15 gms) 6 Rounds Deep-Blued

Manurhin MR73 price ranges from just under US$4,000 to US$4,300. You can also check out Manurhin MR73 Revolver for sale on different sites to get a better deal.

Final Words

The Manurhin MR73 is an awesome gun. It not only looks fantastic but the crisp trigger, large, easy-to-use sights, and Trausch grip also help you put rounds on target quickly and accurately. The best thing about it is its classic look, feel, structure, and function. This wonderfully engineered and beautiful gun is combat-ready and is currently manufactured exactly in the same way as in 1973.

If you are looking for a handgun with excellent accuracy, classic look, combat readiness, and feel, Manurhin MR73 revolvers are meant for you. It is expensive as you have to shell out three to four grand. However, it is worth it as MR73s are considered the Rolls Royce of wheel guns.


1. What is the Most Durable .357 Magnum Revolver?

The Manurhin MR73 probably the world’s most durable revolver. It can easily survive the heavy test firing of 170,000 rounds. It is estimated that the service life of its barrel is around 300,000 rounds.

2. Where Can I Buy a Manurhin MR73 Revolver?

You can buy Manurhin MR73 revolvers from any online site that sells firearms in the USA. Get these leading wheel gun revolvers at the best price from in the United States.

3. Where Can I Buy a Manurhin MR73 Revolver in California?

Due to California’s restrictive Roster of Certified Handguns, this revolver is not California compliant.

4. Revolver vs Pistol: What is the Difference?

Revolvers come with revolving cylinders that are loaded with bullets. You can usually take 6 shots with the help of revolvers. Pistols, on the other hand, don’t have revolving cylinders to hold ammunition. They usually come with a removable magazine, which in turn contains bullets.

by Scopelist

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