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 Post subject: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:12 pm
Posts: 6
Hello. Just found this forum and am hoping some one can help me. I've inherited a shotgun from my father.

It's marked "The A.J. Aubrey". From some earlier posts I've found here I learned a little bit about these guns but was hoping for some additional information.

The gun is a side by side and appears to me to be 12 gauge. It appears to my novice eye to have Damascus barrels and I assume is a black powder gun.

It is marked "S30" & "16812".

It's condition is in my opinion rough but the triggers and firing pins seem functional. However I would never try to fire it without having an expert examine the gun and educate me. I'm curious as to the value (which I'm sure will turn out to me primarily sentimental.)

Thanks in advance for any information anyone can provide.

Bob




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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:37 pm 
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Location: AZ but dreaming of KS
Infro here Bob http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/17474742
'S 30' indicates 30" steel barrels.
PeteMi might be able to identify the year of production.
As a family legacy it is of course priceless. As a shotgun it has minimal value.

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"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:12 pm
Posts: 6
Sir,

Thanks for the information and the quick response! I don't believe my Dad ever used the gun. He probably picked it up at an auction or estate sale. He loved to go to those things and buy, well, "stuff".

I figured it would have minimal value as anything other than a "wall hanger".

bob


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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:42 pm
Posts: 3705
The gun is commonly referred to as a "Trade Brand Name" shotgun. That is a shotgun made by a major maker (and before 1940) for and was sold by a wholesaler or retailer who chose the name to go on the gun. Shotguns with the name (THE) A.J. AUBERY were made by the Meridian Fire Ams Company of Meridian,CT for and were sold by Sears Roebuck & Company of Chicago.IL. Incidentally Sears owned Meridian from 1905 to 1915 and nearly all of their production went to ears. The gun was designed and made using the the technology and metallurgy of the times and for the ammunition in use back then which was either black powder or very early low pressure smokeless powder an for 2 3/4 inch shells filled with leas shot. It was not designed for more modern high pressure smokeless powder, 3 inch or magnum shells loaded with steel shot. Since you say the gun is in rough condition, I have to recommend it not be fired. Value? Value will depend on the guns condition, how much of the original finish remains on the metal and wood as well as the mechanical condition. I am going to make a WAG and say your gun might be worth $50 to $75.


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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:12 pm
Posts: 6
Thank you Sir!!

I appreciate the info and you taking the time to respond.

bob


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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:47 pm
Posts: 395
huskerbob wrote:
Hello. Just found this forum and am hoping some one can help me. I've inherited a shotgun from my father.

It's marked "The A.J. Aubrey". From some earlier posts I've found here I learned a little bit about these guns but was hoping for some additional information.

The gun is a side by side and appears to me to be 12 gauge. It appears to my novice eye to have Damascus barrels and I assume is a black powder gun.

It is marked "S30" & "16812".

It's condition is in my opinion rough but the triggers and firing pins seem functional. However I would never try to fire it without having an expert examine the gun and educate me. I'm curious as to the value (which I'm sure will turn out to me primarily sentimental.)

Thanks in advance for any information anyone can provide.

Bob


Is there any engraving on the gun at all? If so how much and what is?

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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:12 pm
Posts: 6
yes, some.

there is a bar between the two barrels with the bead sight attached. the engraving looks kind of like this:
VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
VVVVVVV MFG. BY THE MERIDEN FIRE ARMS CO., MERIDEN, CONN. PAT. APPLIED FOR VVVVVVVV
VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV

there is also some simple, single line engraving on the side plates on the stock and on the trigger guard. That engraving surrounds "THE A.J. AUBREY". There is some checkering on the "pistol grip" portion of the stock and on the wooden front grip. The butt plate appears to be original. It is black with an embossed duck flying over some tall grass. It says "THE A.J. AUBREY" above the duck and "MADE BY THE MERIDEN FIRE ARMS CO." below the duck.


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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:47 pm
Posts: 395
OK, this is an early gun. It is most likely produced in early 1907. It is an entry level model 18 or 20 (they kept changing those numbers around in the early years) and sold for $14.85 when new. When it left the factory, it had 30" steel barrels. Unless requested, they came with full and full chokes. The stock is made from select American black walnut.

The A.J. Aubrey is named after the general manager of the factory. He helped Richard Sears found the Meriden Firearms Company. He left the company in 1910, shortly after Richard Sears gave up control of Sears &Roebuck because of health issues. Aubrey moved to California where he worked as a gunsmith until his death in 1947.

Sears sold these guns from 1905 through 1919, when they issued the last catalog with them. This was a year after they had sold the factory to Colt. So at the end, they were simply selling remaining inventory.

The factory had 3 lines, shotguns, hand guns and rimfire rifles. The AJ Aubrey is an American classic that is overlooked today. It is a true sidelock that came in 12, 16 or 20. Of these the 20ga is the rarest. I know of only a few that survive today.
Image

I regularly shoot my Aubrey shotguns. I have both damascus and steel barreled guns, including one with Krupp barrels. It is best to use low pressure shells from a company like RST, http://www.rstshells.com

Here is high condition M55 with Chain Damascus, this is a late version of the engraving. The early engraved guns had more detail.
Image

This is part of the Sears catalog page:
Image

Every gun had a 20 year Guarantee
Image

You will find more information at:
http://www.meridenfirearms.com
and
http://damascus-barrels.com/Aubrey.html

Also check out the great video of Meriden, CT from 1916
http://meridenwas.com/

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Damascus-Barrels


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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:12 pm
Posts: 6
Sir,

GREAT INFO........THANKS!!!!!!

A few questions if I may.

I know very little about guns. How can I tell which guage my gun is???

Unfortunately my gun looks nothing (condition wise) like the photo you sent. Would it be worth restoring?

Any idea of value before and after restoration? (I could email you photos of my gun so you can get an idea of condition)

Thanks again!!

bob


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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:36 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:47 pm
Posts: 395
Bob,

You can send your photos and any questions to me at aubrey@damascus-barrels.com
The great majority of questions I get are from people like yourself. They come into a family heirloom and are looking for information. Of the several thousand guns that I am aware of, very few will ever be for sale. These guns are part of their family and very much represent America in a earlier era. In your case, you can be sure your father or his father hunted with the gun.

Regards,

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Pete
Damascus-Barrels


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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:27 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:42 pm
Posts: 163
PeterMi:
Thanks for the link to the Meriden Arms site - very interesting,


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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:47 pm
Posts: 395
Bob,

As I wrote in the email. In the current condition, broken stock and pitted barrel, the gun is not safe to shoot. Cost of repairs would far exceed the market value.


Steuben,

Thanks. Glad you like them.

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Pete
Damascus-Barrels


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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:46 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:12 pm
Posts: 6
Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond and pass along information!!!

Bob

Fayetteville, NC.


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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:57 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:54 pm
Posts: 451
So, who actually owned Meriden firearms?

In the linked pages it is asserted in different places that Richard Sears bought out Andrew Fyrberg, and elsewhere that Sears, Roebuck and Company "owned" Meriden.

Richard Sears was a partner in the firm of Sears, Roebuck, & Co., but he could have owned Meriden as a sole proprietor(and sold all of Meriden's production to S,R, &Co).

Meriden being owned by Richard Sears, and Meriden being owned by the partnership of Sears, Roebuck & Co. are two different scenarios.

But maybe I'm the only one in the world who really cares about the business organisations of old-time gun manufacturers.


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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:47 pm
Posts: 395
CBlock wrote:
So, who actually owned Meriden firearms?

In the linked pages it is asserted in different places that Richard Sears bought out Andrew Fyrberg, and elsewhere that Sears, Roebuck and Company "owned" Meriden.

Richard Sears was a partner in the firm of Sears, Roebuck, & Co., but he could have owned Meriden as a sole proprietor(and sold all of Meriden's production to S,R, &Co).

Meriden being owned by Richard Sears, and Meriden being owned by the partnership of Sears, Roebuck & Co. are two different scenarios.

But maybe I'm the only one in the world who really cares about the business organisations of old-time gun manufacturers.


From my article in the Double Gun Journal, Spring 2010.
" Sears set his lawyers to work and quickly started a new company, the Meriden Firearms Co. It was incorporated March 13, 1905 in Illinois, though Meriden City Directories incorrectly kept listing April as the starting month.

In the articles of incorporation were listed:
Julius Rosenwald, 490 Ellis, Chicago, IL – 1,746 Shares
Fred Biffar, Oak Park, IL – 1 Share
Albert H. Loeb, 397 E 50th, Chicago, IL – 1 Share
AJ Aubrey, Meriden, CT – 1 Share
Francis A. Stephani, Meriden CT – 1 Share

The company is listed as having a capitalization of $175,000 in the Meriden City Directory. At the same time the Meriden Gas Light company has $500,000 and the Meriden Woolen company has $200,000."


As for the Fyrberg operation. They existed only to sell guns to Sears. They could not meet the demand that Richard Sears envision, so he set up Meriden Firearms Co to handle it. Once he made that decision. most, if not all the heavy machinery was moved to Meriden, CT. Fyrberg had been a small family operation. They continued to make single shots for Sears.

Rosenberg and Loeb were part of the Sears operation in Chicago. Rosenberg was the financial officer of Sears. Later, he bailed out Sears as they were going bankrupt, with his own money.

Biffar was a neighbor to Sears, for a short time. He had a small retail store in Chicago. He also tried his hand at catalog operations. He even had patent for a safety that was assigned to Meriden Firearms for their revolvers. In the end, he lost most of his wealth.

No, you are not alone....

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Pete
Damascus-Barrels


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 Post subject: Re: The A.J. Aubrey???
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:54 pm
Posts: 451
Thanks, Pete, that clears up some of the confusion about the relationship between Meriden and S, R, & Co..




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