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View Full Version : Repair on Meriden Pocket Pistol


Boomer 100
April 22, 2009, 10:58 AM
I have a Meriden 32 cal pocket pistol that was my Grandfathers. I need to get it repaired and have not had any luck with the last two smith's that looked at it. They both just say, it's not worth repairing...
I'm not looking for the value of the gun, I just want it repaired for sentimental value. I'm pretty sure all it needs is a trigger spring and a new firing pin on the hammer and refinshed.
What is the finish on these guns?

New to this forum and would welcome any help. I'm located in Oklahoma City
Thanks in advance for your help

James K
April 22, 2009, 03:07 PM
This will tell you as much as anyone can about the company.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meriden_Firearms_Co.

As to value, there is simply no record of sales, the guns are so uncommon. Unfortunately, rarity is only one factor in assessing value. Meriden made inexpensive guns, mainly shotguns, and sold mostly through mail order houses, so there is little or no collector interest in the brand. As an almost unknown gun, and in a non-functional condition, it would probably sell for $50 or so, if it could be sold at all.

As for repair, you have a problem. Since so few of those guns were made, there is no parts supply and no reproduction parts. A gunsmith could probably make or adapt a spring and firing pin, with several hours work involved. But let me tell you why I wouldn't take on the job, either. When I worked as a gunsmith, I had three or four cases where I was told the same story, about an heirloom with sentimental value, and money no object, and I agreed to fx the gun. When I presented the bill, charging for the repair at my regular hourly rate, I was told "Hell, the gun ain't worth that much, keep it."

I am sure you would not do that, but the gunsmith has no way to know that.

As to refinish, the finish was probably nickel, or possibly blue. In either case, again, the work would cost more than the gun is worth, so the same situation applies.

Frankly, I would consider the gun an heirloom and leave it be. I am willing to make a bet (that I could never collect) that your grandfather had the parts break, and decided the gun wasn't worth fixing. If so, he was a wise man.

Jim

Boomer 100
April 23, 2009, 09:28 AM
Jim, thanks for the info... I understand the cost of these type of repairs and would be willing to pay much more than the gun is worth. I would go as high as $300 to get it all back working and looking good.
The finish must be nickel, it's flacked off quite a bit.
I would like to shoot it a few times and put it back in the safe for my Grandson.
I never new my Grandfather, he died when I was 1yr old and I don't have really anything from the era of my family except this gun, but I may have to do what you suggest and leave it as is and pass it on anyway...

Thanks again

jondar
April 24, 2009, 10:02 AM
Boomer - You didn't mention exactly what repairs are needed. Have you isolated what exactly needs to be done? I would think that with the large number of guns made by this manufacturer some would still be in shooting condition and for sale, perhaps on some of the Internet gun auctions, and it would be possible to cannibalize parts for repairing yours. As to replating, it doesn't seem to be a problem to me as there are many competent platers available and wouldn't have to be a gun replater. Just my 1/50th of s a dollar.

Boomer 100
April 24, 2009, 01:45 PM
I don't think it need much, but I'm no smith, It for sure needs a spring cause the trigger will not return after cycling it. The firing pin also need help, it looks like its soldered on the hammer. That really should be all that's required...

Ruger4570
April 24, 2009, 10:37 PM
Boomer, I sure don't mean to rain on your parade but if you consider all the folks that need to work on your Meridan charge 40 to 50 bucks an hour. It will take your whole budget just to get the gun deplated, polished and plated again, not counting the gunsmith work. I too have an old pistol that was in the family that doesn't work. I just keep it claen and oiled and appreciate the gun for its history and the family that got it to me. Great luck in whatever you decide.

James K
April 26, 2009, 10:04 PM
Hi, Jondar,

The problem is that there are not "a large number of guns" made by Meriden if you mean revolvers. Meriden made large quantities of shotguns, but their revolvers are quite uncommon, and I doubt that a cannibalization victim can be found.

Jim

Tom2
April 27, 2009, 08:13 AM
Well tell the gunsmith that you will pay up front, otherwise he might be like the other guy said, thinking he will do the work and you will stiff him. Some gunsmith will take it on. Maybe some guy who is small and starting out, and wants to build a clientele. He will have to handmake the parts and even with some sort of refinish, I would not expect it to look like out of the box new. Plus the gunsmith is probably assuming he will have to take any liability from you shooting it, if he makes it shootable. Probably afraid you will somehow blow up the old gun and come after him.