Back-Up Gun Match Teaser with an MR-73

It came out recently that the Beretta Group has purchased Chapuis, the French manufacturer of the legendary MR73 revolvers. A bunch of people have asked me if I’m getting one of the Beretta-imported guns, and the answer is YES! But it’s not here yet.

So while I wait for it (a 5.25″ Sport model, by the way), I figured I could dig up some older footage from when I took my Century-import Gendarmerie model (complete with it’s awful Century import markings) to a local Back-Up Gun Match…

GIGN Sniper model MR73:


  1. Only hits count! A .357 magnum revolver is still the best sidearm on this planet. Too bad that the MR-73 will probably cost more than two new cars.

  2. Envy
    Side note, where the Beretta store in Dallas where you can waltz in and buy one, I saw Star Wars in the little theater in that shopping mall back a long time ago, ect
    Well, pretty sure at least

  3. Stupid question:

    Given a choice of guns for a Wild West shootout in town, which would be best?

    1. MR73 Gendarmerie
    2. .577 Tranter revolver (dual-wielded)
    3. Walther P88 (full-size, not compact)
    4. Whitney-Kennedy rifle in .44-40
    5. Colt Lightning rifle in .38-40
    6. M1 Garand
    7. Lupara
    8. Winchester 1897 trench gun with sword bayonet
    9. Benelli M1014
    10. Or, per the usual, screw the budget and add your favorite toys to the list.

    • It could be a nice set for a battle-royale type of movie.
      Then, each protagonist would have to use the environment wisely.

    • For a shootout below 10 yards, always go with the shotgun. (See Doc Holliday, Tombstone, Arizona Territory, 26 Oct 1881.)

      For a more general engagement, go with the repeating rifle, of any sort. (Dalton Gang, Coffeyville, Kansas, 5 Oct 1892.)

      Doc brought a double-barreled shotgun to what the Clantons envisioned as a pistol fight. He won.

      The Daltons brought pistols to what turned out to be a rifle fight. They lost.

      As far as pistols in that sort of thing, strictly as a close-range backup to the long arm, any good double-action or single-action revolver in a serious caliber (from .45 Colt or .44-40 on up to the more powerful .357 Magnum) should do the job. (The .577 revolvers are less powerful, barely above the .38 S&W level of muzzle energy.)

      If you’re down to using the handgun, by that time you should mainly be administering the coup de grace’ to somebody who’s too damned dumb to figure out that he’s already dead. (See Tom McClowrey, Tombstone.)



        • NRA tests with the standard 40-grain musket powder load, and most British sources agree that 550-600 F/S is more realistic. And the .577/.600 revolver was usually loaded with a 350-grain bullet, not 450, to reduce recoil.

          With those ballistics, ME drops from 550 FPE to around 280. Granted, closer to .38 Special than .38 S&W, and probably enough, but a good bit below the American “dynamic duo” of .45 Colt and .44 WCF.

          BTW, most British revolvers of the era, whether metallic cartridge or percussion, had MVs below 600 F/S, even with long barrels. This was the reason for the huge bores of service revolvers, ranging from .50 (Beaumont-Adams percussion DA) to .60 caliber(Tranter and Webley metallic-cartridge).

          Again, it’s the black powder “power factor”; a BP handgun with a reasonable barrel length is only going to give you relatively low MV. To get more kinetic energy and thus greater power, you need to throw a heavier bullet, and that means a larger bore.

          The mistake the “stopping power” theorists, from Hatcher on down, made in the 20th Century was not realizing that KE was all that really counts, and that KE going up with the square of velocity matters more than “momentum”.



    • In movies it used to be Colt .45 Sigle action. Why it should be any different today?

      Oh, wait, what caliber they were shooting in Austin two days ago? There were 13 wounded and no one dead. Must have been some petty .380 ACP.

  4. The Korth revolvers might watn to have a word with you regarding the “best finest revolver” category. But in the end it depends on what you want. the MR-73 is certainly the best combat revolver there is. Second is the MR-88 built on Ruger made cast frames. The Korth are finest sporting revolvers for target shooting.

    It certainly was a big backup, but better a powerful backup gun than having a mouse gun shooting farts. 😉 And it looked like you had a lot of fun taking it to the match.

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