View Full Version : WH Hamilton shotgun

June 26, 2000, 11:24 PM
Hi! I need some help please. We have an old WH Hamilton double-barrelled 12 gauge shotgun. Is there anyone who can help us with information about Hamilton firearms, or point us in the right direction re: finding info about them? I thank you in advance for any help you may be able to offer.


June 27, 2000, 05:34 AM
Harley Nolden’s our local expert. Look for your thread in his forum:

Harley Nolden’s Institute for Firearms Research.

Harley Nolden
June 27, 2000, 06:34 AM
The Hamilton Arms shotgun is a trade name of the Wiebusch and Hilger Co of New York. The Hamilton falls into the catgory of a "Hardware Gun" in that it was probably made by another company for Wiebusch and Hilger. Many of these shotguns were made or imported by Crescent Arms.

Although the Hamilton is not specifically mentioned in the Crescent Cross Over, the shotgun could have been made by a company in Europe, (Belgium,) especially for Hamilton, a situation similar to the Crescent Company.


This Company mfg’d good quality, inexpensive side by side and single Bbl shotguns and was founded in 1883. They were bought by the H&D Folsom Arms Company of New York, importers and distributors of firearms and sporting goods.

After the purchase of Crescent, the Folsom Company was able to offer a complete range of shotguns, imported English, French, Belgium and American made Crescents. By the turn of the century Crescent Arms produced huge quantities of “Hardware Guns” it produced guns under direct contract to distributors, mail order houses and hardware distributors with any brand name the customer requested. Crescent also produced guns for its parent company, as Folsom house brands that were sold to customers that did not want their own brand name.

By the lat 1890's Crescent was producing basically five grades of dbl bbl shotguns offering a model for most tastes. The Crescent /Folsom Arms Company continued this type of business until 1930 when it merged with Davis Warner Arms Corp and became the Crescent-Davis Arms Corp. In 1932 it assets and machinery were bought by Stevens Arms Company, a victim of changing tastes and the depression.

I hope this has been a help.


June 27, 2000, 08:08 AM
According to Side by Sides of the World by Charles E. Carder; Hamilton, W.H.: Belgium proof marks, circa 1870-1880, lower quality, history unknown, 12ga, sidelock, outside hammers, Damascus barrels, pistolgrip, splinter forearm, rib extension, steel buttplate, top lever opener.

June 27, 2000, 08:43 AM
Any recommendation of ammunition to use or (more importantly) to avoid?

June 28, 2000, 07:59 AM
My recommendation would be to have a gunsmith first check it out. If they declare it safe to fire, you should only use black powder loads, Damascus barrels weren't built to take the stress of smokeless.

June 28, 2000, 12:33 PM
Hey, you guys are GREAT! Thanks so much for the info. You've given us a great place to get started. Will check out this board more regularly now. Again, thanks!