The Hoffman Arms Company…

In the small world of pre-WW2 American custom guns, the Hoffman Arms Company is well known. They’re bolt-action rifles were some of the finest made in the United States at that time, and examples of them are pretty easy. What’s not so easy to find are shotguns made by Hoffman Arms Company.

So I was intrigued when this Hoffman Arms Co. brochure for “Built-to-Order” shotguns popped up on Ebay. On the inside it shows four models: a 12 & 20 gauge Anson & Deeley boxlock, a sidelock pigeon gun, and a trap gun. To my eye, these guns look very British. If I had to guess, I would say Hoffman was importing barreled actions from the Birmingham and then finishing them order.

Because these guns were custom made, anything went when a customer ordered one: from fancy carvings on the stock to elaborate engraving and gold inlays on the action. The pocketbook was the only limit.

The Hoffman Arms Company started out in 1923 with shop at 174 East 27th Street in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1925 the business was bought and moved to Ardmore, OK. James V. Howe, formerly of Griffin & Howe, was with the business for a short time. Hoffman Arms also employed John Wright, formerly of Holland & Holland, and his son. I bet Mr. Wright has connections in the UK who supplied these guns. You can read a bit more about them here.

Here’s A 7 x 57 Hoffman Arms Co. rifle on the market right now. Here’s a .375 that sold a little while ago.

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