A Revolutionary Revolver: The Manurhin MR 93

By Pascal Thibert

The Manurhin MR 93 was conceived of and designed by the firms Manurhin and Matra. It’s a modular revolver with a futuristic design that was released in 1992; it breaks with the standard classics and offers an innovative look, an original hand “feel” and lots of user approval.

The history of Manurhin begins in 1919 and is closely linked to the industrial development of eastern France, with its steel industry, metallurgy and machining activities. Manurhin has produced machine tools for 99 years—food machines, bottling machines, measurement instruments and also ammunition manufacturing equipment, an activity that will ensure its prosperity. Over the years, Manurhin forged close ties with leading ammunition manufacturers around the world, enabling it to sell 13,000 ammunition machines including complete equipment to over 60 countries, from 4.6mm to 12.7mm, and even up to 40mm.

The small arms production activity began in 1952 with the manufacture of pistols in Mulhouse under Walther license: models PP, PPK, PPKs, PPKe in 22LR, 32 Auto or 380 Auto. They produced approximately 1,200,000 by 1986. Manurhin also made under license 80,000 SIG assault rifles, the models SG 540 (5.56 NATO), SG 542 (7.62 NATO) and SG 543 (5.56 NATO), to ensure to the French army the transition between the semi-automatic only MAS 49-56 and the Famas. Manurhin did not win the assault rifle market bid, obtained by the M.A.S. rifle (Manufacture d’Armes de Saint-Etienne) in 1978.

Rocket Launchers, Cannons and Assault Rifles

Matra Manurhin Defense also manufactured the Apilas, a 112mm recoilless anti-tank rocket launcher, making 120,000 between 1985 and 2006 as well as the 20mm HS 820 automatic gun (Hispano style).

The revolver adventure started in Mulhouse in the Alsace region in eastern France before 1973 and ended with the release of one of the best revolvers existing in terms of quality manufacture and precision, the MR 73, still produced today. Manurhin produced it from 1973 to 1999 for the Gendarmerie, the GIGN, the RAID and the sport shooters, with a version in 9mm Parabellum on request. Then Chapuis Armes took the license and made the revolvers from 1999...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N5 (May 2018)
and was posted online on March 23, 2018


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