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I am seeing many old Colt SAAs with the Colt letter pictured in the ad.  Seems like quite a few of them were shipped to Simmons Hardware in St. Louis.  What was Simmons, something like a major distributor that would then sell and ship to other states?



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Think Oregon trail and gold rush. St Louis was the jumping off point to trails to the west and they were the center of commerce for the western frontier. There are some interesting books about the Oregon trail and the Buffalo hunters and St. Louis is talked about a lot.

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According to authors Garavaglia and Worman in "Firearms of the American West, 1866-1894" (University of New Mexico Press, 1985; University Press of Colorado, 1997),  


"Simmons Hardware Company of St. Louis (was) a major firearms jobber which often supplied guns to dealers farther west..."  Page 337.


An example of one order from Simmons to the Colt Factory is on page 338:


"Orders from all parts of the West continued to flood the Colt factory.  One order from the Simmons Hardware Company in May of 1884 called for 148 Lightnings in .38 and .41 calibers, 65 Double-Action Armies in .44 and .45, and fully 200 Single-Action Armies, also in .44 and .45.  Simmons ordered some of the Lightnings and Double-Action Armies 'Plated and Engraved."


Simmons also was known for marketing Winchester firearms and Keen Kutter knives: 









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