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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Spencer Shooting Society (Moderator: Two Flints)  |  Topic: 1st Model Merrill 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: 1st Model Merrill  (Read 1886 times)
Dusty Tagalon
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« on: July 22, 2017, 04:44:12 pm »

Recently acquired 1st Model Merril, sn 7579 on lock plate & receiver. Internally 7 23 on 3 parts internally. 1 part has both. The 7 23 is two lines even though there is enough room to have 7 23 in one line. Historical documents show that Merril's were carried by 7th Indiana. One other identifer, K is stamped on the patch lock. With one part having 7579, internally 7 23 on two lines. Am I reaching that my gun is 7th Indiana, co k? Anyone having a Merril, what markings are on yours?
Two Flints
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2017, 05:24:10 am »

What's a Merrill  Grin Grin Grin  This is a Spencer Forum  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes


Your "whateveritis" has a serial # 7579 - In my SRS books with limited Merrill listings I find Merrill serial # 7575 & # 7582 were issued to Company B, 1st Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry on January 1, 1865.  Most likely yours went to the same Kentucky unit, guestimate on my part only.  READ my Spencer Serial # Disclaimer!

My listings also show that the 4 digit Merrill serial #s went to Kentucky units  up to serial # 8667 from a shown beginning serial # of 5243.

Two Flints

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Arizona Trooper
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2017, 05:05:33 pm »

The 7 over 23 is an assembly number. It should match on all the parts. Merrrills are not truly parts interchangeable. They were fit up in the white and all the parts marked with batch numbers. Then they were then disassembled and the parts finished, lock parts hardened and everything reassembled by batch number. Merrills that have been in the field often have parts replaced, particularly locks and trigger assemblies.

Your Merrill was made in the summer or fall of 1862. Merrill got their federal contract in the fall of '61. Before that, they had been making arms for the militia and civilian trade. A lot of early Merrills show up with Va. cavalry attributions. Their US contract deliveries appear to have started around SN 2000. All of the early deliveries went to units in the east due to the extreme shortage of breechloaders in the AoP cavalry corps. This was made worse by Sharps being side tracked with the Berdan order. Merrill was one of the few companies that was actually delivering breechloaders that early in the war, and they all went straight into the AoP. By the time of Gettysburg the Merrills were being called in and reissued in the west. When Spencers started to arrive in mass, the Merrills were called in again and issued to frontier and second line troops. So, by January of 1865 your Merrill had probably been issued to two or three different units. At this point, close by serial numbers really don't count.

Merrill carbines are great shooters. I've shot most of the CW carbines, and a Merrill has been my N-SSA competition gun for over 20 years now. 
Rim fire
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 09:31:39 pm »

A friend of mine is going to use a Merrill carbine in the N-SSA this year.  How did you make your cartridges?  What bullet did you use?  How did you lube the bullet.  Thanks
El Supremo
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 07:31:16 am »


Guess we go over the fence once in a while. Have to confess I have been to Paree.

At the suggestion of AZ Trooper, earlier this year, I met with Bill McCarthy during the Fall, 2017 N-SSA Nationals.  Bill's possible contact info is  We had a long, especially informative discussion about the First and Second Model REPRO's that he 100%, lock, stock and barrel, scratch builds.  Both are N-SSA approved.  They are drop-dead beautiful and shiveringly well made with extreme attention to proper materials and machining skills. And, they shoot, well!

Bill has adapted a successful French artillery semi-flexible breech seal (from polymer instead of more ancient materials) that expands under pressure.  It is durable and easily replaced.  No gas blow-by!

If you intend to shoot yours, it might be worthwhile to reach out to him.  He uses paper cartridges in his repro's and achieves fine accuracy.

When you see one of his ....... !

All the best,

El Supremo/Kevin Tinny

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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2018, 07:44:01 pm »

Dusty, my 14112 has assembly numbers all over.  3/43 are on the trigger guard and plate, the backside of the lockplate, the sear and bridle.  8/43 are on the underside of the barrel, receiver, lever, plunger arm and at the top center/elbow of the buttplate.  I'm collecting photos and histories/provenances of hundreds of Merrills and accessories for an all things James H. Merrill website.  Please send me hi-res pics of your Merrill (l/r/t/b/f/r), including photos of the serials, as well as all assembly numbers  Hope to see your pics in my inbox tonight.  Thanks, Eric.
Oregon Bill
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2018, 05:20:38 pm »

I love a Merrill. I had one some years ago with an incorrect hammer, and Tony Beck was kind enough to loan an original until I could find one of my own. The very deep rifling reminded of the rifling seen in Swedish rolling blocks.
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Spencer Shooting Society (Moderator: Two Flints)  |  Topic: 1st Model Merrill « previous next »
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