Cut-away section of lockup slide and striker mechanisms.|
|Close-up of sear/trigger and cocking mechanism|
|Jim Rock, maker of this pistol, has been contacted and personally verified having skeletonizing this pistol for demonstration/sales purposes.
So far as we know, it is definitely one of a kind!
Presentation of the Merrill Pistol to the J. M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum, Claremore, Oklahoma.
|L to R, Kim Nutting, Mike Bellm, Jason Shubert, curator. May 2, 2007. Photo I'm holding is of Dr. Dan Kohler along with his NRA Life Membership patch.|
The demo pistol belonged to a friend of ours, Dr. George D. "Dan" Kohler, who passed away December 13, 2006 from cancer. Doc chose to bequeath the gun to the museum as a fitting resting place for this last remaining item in his gun collection.
On May 2, 2007, Kim and I had the solemn privilege of presenting this pistol to the J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum in Claremore, OK in memory of Doc.
It's unique design and the educational value it has in demonstrating the mechanism's inner workings will make a valuable addition to the museum. Jason Shubert, curator of the museum, plans to prepare a display focused on the Merrill pistol and the sport of silhouette shooting, its origin and where it has had its greatest following.
|The J. M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum is located on Old U.S. 66 in Claremore, OK. The Davis museum is a national gun and historical treasure, easily accessed from Highway I-44. If you have not seen it, make it a point to do so if traveling through Oklahoma, but DO plan to be there awhile! You will find yourself captivated by its many varieties of gun and artifact displays.
The Davis collection is leased to and the museum's budget funded by the state of Oklahoma. To expand its scope and broaden the historical experience it offers, your financial support is wanted. We support this national treasure and ask you to do the same.
|Rock Pistol Manufacturing may be contacted for further information about their firearms.|
Jim Rock, owner of the company has informed us that his company, RPM, is for sale in sunny Tucson, Arizona.
He can be reached at:
15481 N. Twin Lakes Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85739
or by phone at: (520) 825-1233
|For those interested in a similar configuration, see Freedom Arms|
Freedom Arms has their own rendition of a similar design that is in production and readily available. Click on the above link.
|Our thanks to Steve Ware and IHMSA News!
Here is the article published in IHMSA News.
Rock Pistol Merrill Non-Gun #1 by Steve Ware, with input from Jim Rock Photos by Mike Bellm A couple of weeks ago, I checked my e-mail and found one from Mike Bellm, one of the better known T/C Contender, Encore, G2 gunsmiths. Mike lives just a couple of miles from me on the other side of the hill. Mike informed me that a friend of his was dying of cancer, and his friend had an unusual Merrill pistol manufactured by Rock Pistol. Mike’s friend wished to donate the pistol to a museum upon his death. I was intrigued and told Mike I’d like to learn more about this unusual pistol. The history of the pistol as we could piece it together is rather interesting. I called Jim Rock to learn the pistol’s origins. Jim told me that he had built the pistol sometime prior to 1985. He was able to determine that by the fact that the cutaway of the trigger mechanism shows that it is a first generation trigger. Jim put it this way, “I used to shoot every Thursday in the evening at a local range in Brea. After shooting, a bunch of us stopped at a local Denny’s for a sandwich and a beer. This particular evening I drank coffee instead of beer. I am not much on coffee, and I could not sleep that night. As a result, I figured a way to make the current trigger. I got up the next morning and built the current trigger mechanism.” Jim also said that there have been four generations of triggers. Jim said, “The current one is a beauty and probably will not change.” Jim went on to say, “As you can see the old trigger had a direct engagement to the sear on the hammer, (striker bar). As a result to achieve a good trigger pull, the engagement had to be reduced. As a result, the least vibration caused the sears to separate. The pistol would not fire because the safety blocked the firing pin from the primer in the case. Thus, the pistol had to be re-cocked – a real pain.” The pistol was built as a cutaway without a firing pin; thus, it is marked “non-gun 1”. Jim built the pistol as a demonstration piece to show the inner workings of the pistol. Jim displayed it at Safari Club International Annual Hunter Conventions and at IHMSA International Championships. Eventually, the pistol found its way into the hands of George Daniel Kohler, MD known as Doc or Dan to his friends. How Doc ended up with it is rather a mystery. Jim did not recall meeting him. Notes Doc wrote indicated that he had intended to use the pistol as a show piece at ranges. Doc’s intentions were to take orders for and his successful medical practice and involvement in other shooting sports and organizations were such that he was not able to implement that plan. Thus, the pistol remained with Doc through the years. Doc knew that the pistol was unique and should be preserved and shared with others rather than becoming lost in history. He was also aware that the Merrill and XL pistols remain a favorite of IHMSA shooters and is an important part of the sport of handgun metallic silhouette today. In order to preserve this bit of history Mike Bellm, on behalf of Doc, arranged to have the pistol donated to the J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum in Claremore, OK. The museum is a 40,000 square foot facility maintained and operated by the state of Oklahoma and is dedicated to the preservation of historical firearm artifacts and contains over 20,000 firearms and firearm related artifacts. You can learn more about the museum by visiting the museum’s web site at http://www.ok.gov/~jmdavis/inside.html. Mike has shipped the pistol’s barrel to Jim Rock for installation of sights. Mike will then determine the logistics of donating the pistol to the museum. He would like to have several IHMSA shooters available if at all possible. If you might be willing to make the trip, please contact Mike by e-mailat email@example.com. IHMSA shooters owe Doc Kohler and Mike a special thanks for preserving this piece of IHMSA shooting history.