View Full Version : Hardware Company Shotguns

November 27, 2005, 12:16 PM
I have been researching hardware company trade name shotguns for a month or so. I have been collecting and studying hardware company history for 15+ years. I have found several sources have claimed guns to have been made for Shapleigh Hardware Co. which were instead distributed by (Shapleigh rival) Simmons Hardware Co. exclusively.

Between myself and my hardware history friends whe have every Simmons Hardware and Shapleigh Hardware catalog ever produced. We have definitive proof on some of the "Shapleigh" brands. Some names I have found to be attributed to Shapleigh wrongly and should be attributed to Simmons are:

Enders Royal Service, Enders Arms, Enders Oak Leaf, (all Enders names) Oak Leaf, True Blue, S.H.Co. KK, S.H.Co., Keen Kutter, KK. I am currently investigating Bridge Gun Co. and Central Arms.


Harley Nolden
November 27, 2005, 06:53 PM
How have they been wrongly presented?


November 28, 2005, 12:25 AM
I do not know that they have ever been wrongly presented here. I have a list prepared by a "trade name" collector through compliation of source materials and have found several examples of, for instance, Enders shotguns having been distributed by Shapleigh Hardware Co. on message boards. I have studied William Enders, he had a very long association with Simmons Hardware. I had never heard of an association with Shapleigh Hardware Co. Upon researching catalogs of both companies 1880's thru 1940, we found no listings of Enders guns in any Shapleigh catalog only Simmons.

I suspect some of the other lesser names often associated with Shapleigh were in fact Simmons exclusive i.e. Central Arms Co., Bridge Gun Co., Hartford Arms, Mississippi Valley Arms Co. etc.

Simmons Hardware Co. and Shapleigh Hardware Co. were both in St. Louis. They were rival companies. Simmons Hardware was the larger of the two companies at the turn of the 20th century. They have interesting intertwined histories.

I do not know the stastics, but would hazzard a guess that for a period of years late 1800's early 1900's there were more Colt firearms delivered to Simmons and Shapleigh than any other 2 companies in the world.

Simmons vice pres Saunders Norvell purchased Control of Shapleigh in 1901. He stayed in control until 1917 I think. He was later either pres of Remmington Arms or board member, I do not recall.

Simmons was purchased in 1922 by The Winchester Co. forming The Winchester - Simmons Co.

Both companies have deep ties to the arms manufactures of the time.

Again I am new to "the gun world". I do know a fair amount about hardware company history. Any sources to help me develop my knowledge of hardware co guns would be appreciated.