In one of the more unusual moves in the history of the company, Alvan T., Gifford K. and Harlan K. Simonds purchase the Hunter Arms Company of Fulton, New York, in May of 1920.
Hunter Arms was a manufacturer of guns, specifically the famous L. C. Smith double barrel hammer gun, or shotgun. The purchase price was reportedly between $250,000 and $300,000. The Simonds brothers installed Stephen Gilles, from Simondsí main Fitchburg plant, as the General Manager of the Hunter Arms business, which is run as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Simonds Saw & Steel.
The Hunter Arms Company started as Hunter & Comstock Arms in 1889, when John Hunter bought out the L. C. Smith Company. Lyman Cornelius Smith was a sawmill operator before entering the gun trade in 1879. Soon after starting his gun manufactory, the L. C. Smith hammer gun was introduced and was quickly recognized as a top-quality firearm. The "Elsie", as it was known, was one of the "Famous Five" shotguns available at the time. Along with Fox, Ithaca, Lefever and Parker, Elsies dominated the American shotgun market in the late 1800's and early 1900's. After selling his gun business, Smith started making typewriters, eventually merging with Corona to form Smith-Corona.
In 1917, the company went bankrupt, and was purchased by a group of Fulton residents, who held it until it was purchased by Simonds. Eventually, Simonds sold the business to Stephen Gilles in the mid-1930's. By the late 1930's, Gilles' health turned bad and Hunter Arms struggled to survive, finally filing for bankruptcy as World War II was winding down.
The business was then sold to Marlin Firearms of North Haven, Connecticut in 1945, operated as the L. C. Smith Gun Company. In 1949, the factory floor collapsed and by 1950, the Fulton plant was closed and the company fully consolidated into Marlin's Connecticut factory.
There are other examples of the Simondsí venturing out from the Saw & Steel business they had built, but the Hunter Arms venture is perhaps the most notable and intriguing venture.