The Manurhin MR73 has a uniformly dimensioned, compact grip frame in a true round butt configuration. There are two kinds of factory stocks for the MR73. Most of the early revolvers regardless of the model, and most of the Police and Defense models regardless of vintage, are fitted with abbreviated walnut stocks that follow the contours of the grip frame, except for filling the gap behind the trigger guard in the manner of the pre-WWII S&W grip adapter. They are very comfortable to hold, but require a very firm grip for controlling the roll under recoil, and provide little feedback for a consistent handhold. The factory walnut, symmetrical finger grip Sport stocks fitted to later production Sport and Gendarmerie models wrap around the front strap and extend past the butt in a squared configuration, exposing the typically grooved backstrap. They are more hand-filling and offer better indexing, albeit not to the degree afforded by Nill grips. Full wraparound Trausch rubber grips, which can be had with or without a shelf at the bottom, offer all advantages and drawbacks of their kind.
No revolver designed and manufactured in the U.S. after 1911, was intended or suited for combat, as that destination was interpreted by the makers of Webleys and Nagants. Owing to America’s late entry into WWI, none of them were widely and successfully used in trench warfare, in the manner of the LP08 Artillery Luger. Like the S&W M19, its delicate precursor, the MR73 was designed and built for fighting by the constabulary personnel, not for combat by the military. Its typical application took place on the day after Christmas of 1994, when Captain Thierry P. of GIGN entered the hijacked Air France Flight 8969 plane, grounded at the Marseille airport. He served as the point shooter, armed with a 5¼" .357 Magnum Manurhin MR73 and backed by his partner Eric carrying a 9mm HK05 submachine gun. Thierry killed two Islamist terrorists and wounded a third with his revolver, before taking seven bullets from an AK47 fired by the fourth hijacker. In spite of then absorbing a full complement of grenade shrapnel in his lower body, Thierry P. survived the assault, as also did 171 hostages. Not so the four terrorists, who had been planning to deploy the plane as an incendiary missile against the Eiffel Tower. Thierry could have armed himself with any firearm. He chose an MR73. His fellow GIGN intervention troopers still choose to carry their vintage Manurhin MR73 revolvers alongside a modern automatic pistol such as a Glock G17 or G19, or a SIG P228 or P2022. Such anecdotes add up to all the data at my disposal, attesting to the relevant user preferences. N.B.: The plural of “anecdote” is “data”.