2001- 2007 Hamilton Rifle Web Page's ......... Special Thanks to Wesley E. Powers, “Rifle Historian & Collector” for providing the Rifle Photos.
Hi! Your long search for Hamilton Rifle information is over.
Yes! I know how you feel, for two months my son and I searched the web, visit gun shops, bookstores and libraries. I even asked a friend of mine who teaches at Michigan State University to help us fine information on now my son's Hamilton Model 027 Rifle,that's been in the family for 78 years.
Our search ended; when I found this old book at an antique bookstore that covers a lot more information about the Hamilton Rifle Company and its rifles then I could put in this Web page.
Below is a short interesting start to finish story about the Hamilton Rifle Company.
Followed by Individual Rifle Information.
In 1882, Clarence Hamilton being a businessman and owner of a small building in Plymouth, Mi. got together with investors and started the Plymouth Iron Windmill Company. The iron windmill business went no were, lasting only a few years. Before the plant and business fully closed, Clarence went in partnership with a friend who had invented an all-metal air rifle. At that time only wooden air rifle existed.
In 1895 the Iron Windmill plant was producing more air rifles then Windmills. While manufacturing air rifles, Clarence had ideas of manufacturing low cost boys’ rifles and began to designs inexpensive methods of manufacturing rifle barrels and rifles. At that time, .22 cal. rifles were referred to as Boys’ rifles because of their size. In 1898, Clarence sold his portion of the air rifle business (know as the Daisy Air Rifle Company) and the Iron Windmill company. The two company’s move out and the Hamilton Rifle Company of Plymouth, Michigan was born. At the same time Clarence son, Coello completed tool and die training. Two years later Clarence died and Coello took over the rifle business.
From 1898-1945 the Hamilton’s invented and manufacturer good quality affordable .22 cal. rifles. There were 14 different models; retail cost averaging $2.00-$ 5.00 per rifle. Other rifle companies where charging $10.00 and up per rifle. In addition to the rifles low selling price, good marketing and advertising made the Hamilton Rifle Company the most popular and successful boys’ rifle company of its time.
Retail Company’s who sold products such as magazines, costume Jewelry, etc. door to door would use the Hamilton rifle as a promotion, offering a free rifle to those who made their quota. Feed Companies promoting their products would randomly place a rifle in feed sacks. If you where lucky enough to buy the right sack, you got a free rifle.
In the early 1900s, boys short on money would unsuccessfully try to repair the worn or broken firing / locking mechanism, instead of having a gun smith repair it. Due to this practice and other factors, an estimated 99.9% of the million Hamilton rifles produced are in Rifle Heaven, making the existing good condition rifles excellent collectable.
During WW II (1942) the company stop rifle production and made parts for the war effort. In 1945, after the war, boys’ rifles lost their popularity and the company closed its doors.
CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING MODEL NUMBER FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, PHOTOS & VALUES.