Manurhin MR 73 Sport
The first Manurhin MR 73 were the 6 inch barrel models in blue finish with barrel, frame and cylinder coming from the same piece of forged steel and hand adjusted. The French Gendarmerie switched from PA MAC ( pistolet automatique, automatic pistol, MAC 1950, 9 mm ) to the revolvers for its special unit GIGN when they found that none of the US made revolvers could handle a daily diet of 150 Norma 158 grains 357 Magnum ammo. A few MR 73 of this unit have been known to fire 200,000 rounds with one failure of the main spring after 150,000 rounds. The Gendarmerie chose a 5 1/4 inche barrel as a compromise between the compactness of the 4" and the better precision of the 6 " ( they have also 3 " bbl and fixed sights for undercover duties ) The only differences between the Sport and the Gendarmerie models are: Sport: Patridge front sight, wide square corners rear sight leaf, wide base wooden grips GIGN: rounded combat front sight, rounded narrow rear sight leaf, round butt grip All MR 73 have the unique mechanism that allows for adjustment to lighten the trigger pull without altering the strength of the main spring. The adjustment is separate from the trigger return spring. A smooth double action is due to 2 small rollers moving the leverage point to cock the hammer when the trigger moves. A third version with interchangeable front sight and a longer barrel is produced as single action only Match model. One version, with a 8" bbl, was used for metallic silhouette shooting and with a bipod and scope for shooting at targets less than hundred meters away by sharpshooters of the GIGN. One cylinder, in 9 mm Parabellum, ( Lüger ) was also produced when barrels were made at 0.354" and did not need clips to be loaded ( System Pilorget ) like one model of Smith & Wesson, possibly the S&W 940 ?
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