Hunter Arms in the 1920s
Posted by Drew Hause on January 21, 2019, 7:56 am, in reply to "Low Point in LC Smith quality?"
Things were "roaring" at Hunter Arms in the 1920s. In 1917 the Hunter Brothers declared bankruptcy primarily related to the failure of their Battle Island Paper & Pulp Co., rather than the gun and electric fan business. A group of Fulton businessmen, anxious to protect the jobs of the more than 400 employees, purchased Hunter Arms Co. that year, and then sold the company in 1920 to the Clifford K. Simmonds family, owners of Simonds Saw and Steel Co. Stephen J. Gilles was named General Manager of the operation. The fact that G.W. Lorimer and W.E. Gordon took 1st and 2nd at the 1919 Grand American Handicap might have helped close the deal. |
Under the Gilles' leadership, there was a burst of design and engineering creativity at Hunter Arms; the following new guns or features were introduced in the 1920s:
1920: Double Barrel Trap Gun
1922: Large Schnabel Beavertail Forend with recoil lug
1924: Long Range Wild Fowl Gun with a larger frame, 3” chambers, and barrel reinforcing wedge (loop support)
1925: L.C. Smith Ventilated Rib designed by Gilles
1926: Ventilated Rib Double Barrel Gun “For Field and Trap Shooting”
1928: Skeet Upland Special – Pistol grip, Double Triggers, and Splinter FE
1929: Skeet Special – Straight, full, or half grip, Hunter One-Trigger, Automatic Ejector, and new “Streamline Beaver Tail Forend”
With all that excitement, it is certainly possible that a less-then-up-to-standards gun slipped out of the factory on a bad day.
It is my opinion that some cost savings production measures started in the depth of the depression.