New Beretta-Imported MR73 at the Range

The Manurhin MR73 has always been one of the very best combat revolvers made, but they have been hard to find here in the US. That has now changed, as the Beretta group purchased Chapuis, manufacturer of the MR73. They are now importing both 4″ and 5.25″ versions, and I have a demo of the 5.25″ Sport model to try out. So, let’s see how it handles…

Disclosure: Beretta provided this gun as a T&E demo, but I do not get to keep it.


  1. Yeah sure, you get kicks for your money. Colt Python retails for just under $1,600; this wunderwaffe for $3.300. Have a good day shooting!

    I wonder what is the substance behind it, part of the name. Material (if tool steel) could add a lot. Machining and processing are probably similar.

    • To be fair to the MR73 being ridiculously tough, it was intended for serious law-enforcement use (including being used to bludgeon terrorists’ heads to jelly if needed). I could be wrong.

      • No no, you are right. They are designed as the best combat revolver possible. Other revolvers in that price range are designed with adjustable target sights and other fancy features that make them good papaer punchers at the target shooting rage, whereas the MR-73 is built as a high quality implement for gun fights.

        As a cheaper option there is the MR-88 built on a Ruger Service-Six cast stainless steel revolver frame with a Manurhin barrel and drum and a hand tuned trigger. Compared to the Mr-73 it is a budget model. 😉 e.g. french forestry service carries these and also some have been issued to Gendarmerie and Police units. A case of good enough not being the enemy of perfect. 😉

        Todays manfuactutrer is Chapuis Armes:
        Otherwise purveyors of fine hunting implements.

        • As a proud stainless Ruger Speed Six 2-3/4″ owner and sometimes concealed carrier, it just makes me happy to know that the Service Six is still being manufactured somewhere…

    • In 1994 they may have been in fighting mood. Not as much in Bataclan and surrounding areas on 15.November 2015; they were not even there. Ninety people lost their lives then

      By the way, look at video how police “bravely” faces bandits. After one of bad guys squirts in their direction, they run like flock of chicken. Let’s face it – policeman’s job is like any other and first concern you have is for your own life. Do what you are supposed to and come back home on your own feet.

      • @Denny

        In their defense, it’s regular police in that clip and not GIGN. Their biggest worry tends to punks on scooters or ghetto kids throwing rocks at worst. NOT battle hardened jihadis from Syria with AK47s.

        • Hi Victor

          that is what I am saying – a regular police force. GIGN would required several hours if not days “lead time”. Btw. the perpetrators were domestic bread. They were kids of immigrants from North Africa grown in ghettos. Same thing later repeated in Belgium, again local citizens.

      • Thanks for video in English. I tried first in French but did not gather details. The view under trigger cover indicated basic approach – it is similar as S&W with some differences. For sure a robust and well laid out system. In particular, the trigger reset carriage is intriguing. As in a proper revolver of this class should be, it has leaf springs for both Trigger and Hammer.

        He speaks of later barrel change to accommodate 9mm (.354″) bullet which will make fit with .357″ (9.1mm) bullet a bit tighter, but this apparently does not create dangerous overpressure.

      • Lololol!

        Did NOT expect an ultra cheapo green cardboard box for a gun that costs as much as a quality used car!

        Also, unexpected penis joke right at the end!

  2. A “friend of a friend” found an MR73 in a pawn shop somewhere in the midwest. The guys running the pawn shop had no idea what the hell it was, and had it listed and priced as a Rohm 38. His initial take was “Yeah, this is a mistake…”, and he did the decent thing and tried to tell the owner of the pawn shop what he actually had. Said owner called him an idiot, and referred to the MR73 as a cheap-ass Saturday Night Special from Europe…

    He walked out of that pawn shop with a pistol now valued at around three grand for a little under $150.00. I’ve shot the thing; it’s really, really nice.

    The question I have is why I never run into situations like that. Apparently, I have not lived my life in accordance with the values of whoever is in charge of these things across this universe of ours…

    • My take on that situation? The pawn-broker was probably so dumb he couldn’t tell an AK from a Sterling SMG.

      • That was obvious. Such people exist near my neighborhood and even the local elevator technician is smarter than them.

        • Uhhmmmm… Shouldn’t your local elevator technician be someone you wouldn’t necessarily use as a benchmark for stupidity? Just sayin’… I mean, I am pretty cool with certain risks inherent to modern life, but dying screaming in a falling elevator from the thirtieth floor ain’t one of them.

          And, I do know the local Thyssenkrupp elevator guy. He’s not anyone’s dummy, which he’d better not be, given the region he has to cover…

          • No, the technician isn’t a dummy. I’m just saying that lots of people in the gated-community upper-middle class will associate skilled tradesmen (electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and blacksmiths amongst several other tradesmen) who don’t have four-year Ivy-League degrees with “Not being educated enough to matter.” The elevator technician on my block is smarter than the average John-Carroll graduate (my little brother, who attended John Carroll, told me the other guys in his year FLUNKED but graduated with full honors in business marketing just because their parents were rich enough to “ask” the dean to look the other way) yet some people looked down on him because he lacks a “prestigious bachelors” in any “intellectual/high-business” subject. The guy’s daughter wanted to follow in his footsteps in becoming a skilled trades-person, but her high-school teachers demanded she go to some fancy college (namely a fancy business school that tends to churn out snobs and corporate stooges). The technician and his daughter were NOT amused at the thought of paying [censored]-hundred-thousand bucks or so in student debt for a 5-year marketing degree…

    • Box is green because of envy, maybe? @Kirk, that is quite a story. Love it. I don’t run into situations like that either… I don’t frequent pawn shops as a rule, but heck, I just might start!

  3. I’ve always believed that a solid .357 revolver is the most useful handgun for any purpose. 9mm auto-loaders are really just dangerous toys! Too bad that the MR-73 is so terribly expensive, but what is your life worth?

    • @Tikbalang

      It’s a little like buying an iPhone, lol. Yeah it costs more than other phones and probably costs more than it should. But it lasts longer and keeps its value much better.

      And heck, in the case of an MR 73, chances are it’ll only go up in value!

      • @Denny

        Can’t really compare the two though. Or I guess you can, but it’s like the difference between a Ferrari and a BMW.

        One is a handbuilt piece of art that craftsmen have spend hours carefully fitting together. (Unless Beretta screws it up!)

        The other is also a car, but is a relatively cheaply mass produced one.

        Don’t think of it as a $3000-$4000 gun, think of it as a gorgeous piece of craftsmanship that’s probably a good investment as well.

        • Victor,

          I am not sure if you have good comparison. Both BWN and Ferrari are premium brands (depends which model); also Ferrari is not as rare as you may think. It is manufactured in sizeable series of 100s per year. I would not expect “had fit” on either of them.

          Back to revolvers. My suggestion of reason for price difference are materials ad yes, some final hand touch. CNC machinery can produce what the program asks for. Condition of jigs/ holding fixtures and tool bits has to be kept up to snuff. Same thing everywhere; what you put into it, you will get back.

        • Still a bit about Ferraris – they are sold lately at significant quantities – cca 8.5 thousands every year. Lots of them go to China and India. Thus their prices ae kept relatively ‘reasonable’. This is not the case with Lamborghini or Aston-Martin, not to mention Bugatti and other auto-extravaganza.

    • You might want to talk to all the Law Enforcement Types who have used 9MM efficiently before saying they are dangerous toys. Good ammo and shot placement rule the day.

  4. Ian enthusiastically excited over a FRENCH gun?!?

    Now I’ve seen it all! 😉

    Really hope Beretta doesn’t let them compromise on workmanship in order to chase a quick buck btw.

    Colt did exactly that with their revolvers back in the day, and well: There’s a reason why an old, used Python costs way more than a brand new one today!

  5. @Ian

    Little disappointed in your video Ian! Would have expected a little more gun p0rn and a little less shooting.

    You know, let’s see and hear that legendary trigger up close. See the tight fit of the cartridges sliding in, the reassuring CLICK of the hammer.

    You definetely looked like you had fun though, I’ll give you that!

  6. $3000 revolvers and just as expensive 1911 knockoffs to get a quarter each tighter group to me seems ridiculous. If you need to ‘split the arrow” like in Robin Hood, use a rifle. Unless you shoot thousands of rounds a month as the SEALS do, a pistol with a 10,000 round life and a tight group at fifteen yards will do you just fine. I’ll also take a good condition used S&W M-28 over a $1600 Python, even if I do headshots at fifteen yards. Most pistols are more accurate than the ability of the shooter.

  7. I bought four of those Century imports from a few years ago, 2 of the 4″ and 2 of the 3″. The top strap of one of the 3″ guns was bulged. The cylinder was fine and it did lock up, but at some point in it’s life it had been seriously overpressured. So much for being built like a tank.
    Century took it back and refunded me for that one, but I’d have rather have had a second good 3″ MR-73. They do shoot dandy, but mine all have weird coloring between the deep blue and circular copper-y colors on the sides where the internal pins are. I’ve seen similar coloring on the newer ones also. Good wheelguns, tho.

  8. I’d missed Ian’s earlier look at the scoped sniper version of the MR73, and ended up checking the date stamp to make sure that it wasn’t from the first of April.

    It’s a very impressive revolver, Chap on the range does a very good job of explaining the innards.

    I’m jealous,.I’d like to legally own one – and that’s not allowed on airstrip one.

    I’m confused by the over buffed, high polish finish, complete with dished out portions


    Would a parkerised or a lightly bead blasted then rust blued finish, not have been more appropriate than mirror polished high gloss bluing?

    • I agree, too much glare does not add to virtue, not from connoisseur point of view. True, it is catchy; so are the raunchy boutique guns. This is something to sort out in one’s mind before laying hand on it. if you are not comfy with the visual part, better leave it.

  9. Very well made revolver… Lockwork seems having only what really needs… Hammer for instance, has no locking bar like S&W… It has only a roller acting rebound lever… Further, the ejector rod has no front support under the barrel but having a much stronger locking recess at front of the frame for the tapered section of ejector rod to fit in…

    • Sorry… MR 73 has an internal safety lever at left side… It is not seen clearly when side plate is taken out… Besides, ejector rod also has a front detent pin under the barrel…

  10. CNC machining has nothing to do with it.
    SW, Taurus and others, tried to make CNC revolvers.
    It turns out solid taurus.
    The correct debugging of the revolver mechanism can ONLY be performed by a live locksmith (which is not cheap). The CNC only makes blanks.
    And all these trippers, like safety bars and so on, are just marketing tricks that have no practical sense, but significantly complicate the design.
    Therefore, if you are trying to make a revolver with a bunch of unnecessary parts and at the same time a good trigger, the price will be from an airplane.

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