Someone from Ivanovo, who's an antique firearms researcher, contacted me via my website. He sent me a photo of a carbine that looked similar to Merrill's early firearms that he contracted Remington to manufacture for him. My Ivanovo connection hit pay dirt with a link to the St. Petersburg archives, that summarized documentation (in physical archives, not online) in 1856 where Merrill's breech loading lever technology was applied to 100 Russian firearms.
If you go to my site, you'll see on the home page a link to the page where I see two matching firearms, one here in the US (PA), and the other at the Ivanovo Museum.
My Ivanovo connection ALSO sent me an awesome Weapons magazine pdf from November 2013. I believe that on p.47 the author details the Merrill firearms converted with Merrill's breech lever technology. Unfortunately, all the contents are in Russian (and images only, so I can't use translate.google.com), and the entire document is password protected.
Would anyone know a way to contact the author, Aleksey Nikolaevich Klishin, expert on cultural values, melee weapons and firearms, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. I emailed the ministry to see if they could put me in contact with him, but received a reply that I need to fill out some form in person. I'm in the US. I'm hoping Aleksey will consent to providing the page in textual format so I can translate, or have him translate the page and send to me.
en shot of the magazine cover. Hope someone can help me out. Thanks, Eric in WI, USA.