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I have a few Colts that letter to Simmons Hardware, St Louis Mo.
The earliest one is 1879
Are there earlier examples?
 

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I have a few Colts that letter to Simmons Hardware, St Louis Mo.
The earliest one is 1879
Are there earlier examples?
Colt M1878 DA 45 x 7-1/2" Blue, shipped to Simmons Hdwe at St. Louis 5-9-1879.
Colt M1877 DA 38 x 2" Blue, shipped to Simmons Hdwe at St. Louis 12-19-1879.
 

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My S & W Army 38 Special shipped to Shapleigh Hardware in St. Louis in 1925. Appearently a lot of firearms were shipped to distributers in the St. Louis area.
 

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Incredible photo of St. Louis and the Simmons Hardware gun store! I often lose sight of just how large America was at the time and the rate it was growing. When I read those letter destinations, I alway picture a small mercantile type store somewhere, not the large warehouse type mega sales buildings.

I wonder if the guns were then distributed out to smaller stores from there and were still new, being shipped elsewhere to small merchants for their original sale? Or if all "new" sales were through that location.

Also, I wonder what's in those 5 barrels sitting outside of the gun store? Kaboom!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Incredible photo of St. Louis and the Simmons Hardware gun store! I often lose sight of just how large America was at the time and the rate it was growing. When I read those letter destinations, I alway picture a small mercantile type store somewhere, not the large warehouse type mega sales buildings.

I wonder if the guns were then distributed out to smaller stores from there and were still new, being shipped elsewhere to small merchants for their original sale? Or if all "new" sales were through that location.

Also, I wonder what's in those 5 barrels sitting outside of the gun store? Kaboom!
I think that Simmons was a distributer/wholesaler as well as a retail outlet
 

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It seems that half of the Colts that are found in Texas went to Simmons Hdwe or Shapleigh in St. Louis. I'm referring to old ranch or estate guns that were there for at least 100 years.

I have always thought that these St. Louis firms put their goods on river boats and went down the Mississippi River to at least New Orleans. Then, possibly having to change to another type of ship, went west and south along the Louisiana and Texas coast. They probably stocked most of the local hardware stores within decent riding distance from the coast. Eventually the use of railroads allowed for more distant travel to the more remote cities in these states. See attached 1906 Texas Railroad Commission Map.

Both companies had mail order catalogs, but stocking the local stores was even better for sales.
 

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