This Meriden Shotgun, like so many other American Made shotguns, started life in Connecticut. More specifically in Meriden, CT, in a gun manfacturer just down the street from the famed Parker factory. The Meriden gun was manufactured around the turn of the century, in a number of styles and gauges. They were offere in a number of barrle lengths, and steel options, both fluid and demascus. The Meriden Factory and Meriden guns are very closely related to the A J Aubrey guns manfacutred around the same time. The definitave website (http://www.meridenfirearms.com) has additional information.
The Focus of these discussions will be on the specific action that I obtained. Much like many of my project guns, the first order of business, after reseraching the gun of course, was to disassemble and clean the parts. Many years of grime, dirt, and a bit of surface rust plagued the action, but nothing that some elbow grease, wire wheel, and solvents couldn’t erase. You can see the comparison photos of the plates and how clean they came with just a bit of love.
You can just make out some of the markings on the water table (mostly because the photo is before cleaning). The markings read C30 with a serial number in the 53,000’s. There is also a vague but readable “56” also on the table. C30 denotes the original type and length of barrel. C was for Chain Demascus, and 30 for 30″ barrels. The “56” is the model number. So this gun was originally a Meriden Model 56, with 30 inch Chain Demascus barrels. (Thanks go to Meridanfirearms.com for helping with the deliniation.)
I have been attempting to obtain some of the missing parts that I need to move forward with the project. Most notably I needed barrels, forend iron, and wood. I had some luck finding barrels, but some confusion arises when dealing with old guns. I was able to find some Aubrey parts, that I initially supposed would be interchangeable with my gun. Unfortunately Aubrey and Meriden parts are not interchangeable. Specifically, my Meriden appears to have a Ansen style forend latch that was patented by Meriden.
At this point work has halted, and the search continues for additional parts. If you happen to have wood, (even split or broken stock or forend), Ansen style forend latch, or any other parts please contact me. Any parts, or even details photos would be of great interest to a fellow Woodsbum!