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Old 09-26-2013, 11:53 PM
artie065 artie065 is offline
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Default Need Help! 1915 .38 Hand Ejector/William Hoegee Co. Info

I just received my LOA from Smith and Wesson on my 1915 hand ejector M&P model. It's states that it was shipped on May 25, 1915 to William Hoegee Co. in Los Angeles. I would like trace the history of my weapon, does anyone know where I can find the records from William Hoegee Co. showing who they sold the weapon to? I would greatly appreciate any feedback or insight that anyone could offer. Thank you in advance!!!
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:21 AM
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DCWilson DCWilson is online now
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Hoegee was a major distributor for S&W in Los Angeles. I have a few guns in my safe that were shipped to that firm. The company started as a mining supplies company in the late 1800s and expanded into outdoor gear and eventually sporting gear. The company eventually merged with another company and became Western-Hoegee, and only 10 years ago that company was sold to Maurice Sporting Goods. Maurice sounds like a distributor/wholesaler who ordered big lots and then moved small deliveries to individual retailers. The predecessor companies probably did the same, though it is clear that the original Hoegee firm had catalogs and sold directly to consumers as well as other retail outlets. They had a gunsmithing department.

I suspect you won't find any sales records that identify individuals. A century ago you could go into any store and just buy a gun with a handful of cash and never mention your name.

Nice that you have an LA gun. It's testimony to the days when California was one of the biggest gun markets in the nation and was treated with greater respect by manufacturers and marketers. (It's actually still one of the biggest gun markets in the nation, but you'd never know that to hear the Cal bashers talk.)

You can Google or Bing "William H. Hoegee Co. Los Angeles" and build some quick corporate history from multiple hits if you're interested. That's what I did.
David Wilson
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:43 AM
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The Gila Bender The Gila Bender is offline
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This one shipped to Western Hoegee on February 25, 1955. It is one of two in my collection that were shipped to Los Angeles. The other is a Highway Patrolman shipped to Union Hardware on July 20, 1954.Oddball 1950 Model 44 Military
Tom in AZ
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:06 PM
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DWalt DWalt is online now
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"A century ago you could go into any store and just buy a gun with a handful of cash and never mention your name."

Actually, that was the case in many areas in the USA until GCA 1968 came along in the wake of the JFK assassination. Some cities and states may have had laws requiring recordkeeping for gun sales before then, but most required no paperwork, just like buying a candy bar. About the most paperwork that would happen was for the gun store to write you a sales receipt.

Your chances of finding out who the original purchaser was are very slim.
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:06 PM
Walter Rego Walter Rego is offline
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I have a Savage Model 1917 that shipped to the Wm. F. Hoegee Co. in Los Angeles in 1923. I have several guns that shipped to hardware stores or distributors in Southern California and were purchased at shows or retail shops within about a 30 mile radius from their original destinations. Of course I have no way of knowing if those guns may have criss crossed the country a few times in the intervening years and ended up back here by coincidence, but it's fun to ponder.
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