THE GREEN RIVER COMPANY
Hamilton set up a new company that he named The Green River Company, also located in Duchesne, and started manufacturing barrels in December, 1980. The new company began advertising in the black powder magazines in May of 1981, selling a line of muzzleloader barrels. The ad claimed the new company had secured the services of GRRW’s former barrelmakers and was manufacturing the supremely accurate and much admired barrels formerly produced by GRRW.
The Green River Co. did not hire any of the GRRW gunstockers and never offered any finished or kit guns. They continued to advertise in the Buckskin Report and Muzzleloader magazines through 1981. They even tried making brass pistol barrels as this ad from July, 1981 issue of The Buckskin Report shows. The last ad I found for them was in the January-February, 1982 issue of Muzzleloader.
GREEN RIVER BARREL COMPANY in Grand Junction, Colorado
The barrel manufacturing equipment was sold again in the early part of 1982, this time to a person named Bob Black. It was moved to Grand Junction, Colorado where Mr. Black set up operations under the banner of Green River Barrel Co. One of the earliest advertisements I was able to find for the Green River Barrel Co. was in the May 1982 issue of The Buckskin Report. The company continued to operate out of Grand Junction for the next several years.
The Green River Barrel Co. gradually expanded its line to include pistol barrels and drop-in barrels for the Thompson Center Hawken rifle. It’s interesting that they made a pitch to bird hunters with smoothbore barrels for the TC Hawken.
I have a catalog from Green River Barrel Co with the date of November 1, 1983 in it. Along with several pages describing their different barrel offerings, they have a page listing a half stock Hawken kit.
Interestingly enough, the only firearms I am aware of with Green River Barrel Co markings look nothing like a Hawken and definitely don’t resemble the picture in the catalog. I’ve seen pictures of three of these Green River Barrel Co rifles, and they all looked like copies of the Sharon Rifle Barrel Co Trade Rifle. One of the three is pictured below.
The lock and snail on the breech look a lot like those on the Uberti Hawken, but the trigger guard resembles the Sharon Trade Rifle except for the spur on the guard bow. I’ve yet to see one of their Hawken rifles.
Track of the Wolf carried barrels from the Green River Barrel Co in the mid-80’s. Below is a page from their 1986 Catalog #11.
GREEN RIVER BARREL COMPANY in Las Vegas, Nevada
The company moved from Grand Junction, Colorado to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1986 or early 1987. It’s reported that the company changed ownership with the move, but the name and logo and products stayed the same. Below is an ad from the July-August, 1987 issue of Muzzleloader magazine.
The company continued to operate in Las Vegas for the next several years. The last advertisement I could find for it was in the January-February, 1990 issue of Muzzleloader magazine. It’s assumed the company ceased operations sometime after that date.
In June of 2013, I traveled to Roosevelt, Utah to meet and interview some of the old GRRW hands. During our visit with Doc White, I asked about the disposition of the barrel manufacturing equipment. He confirmed that it was last in Las Vegas. In fact, he said he had recently been on a trip to Las Vegas and drove by the building that had housed the barrel making equipment. It had a new security fence around it with guards. He found out the equipment was then being used to make .50 caliber machine gun barrels. Some of that equipment had come full circle because it had been designed and built to make .50 caliber machine gun barrels and used for that purpose before Bill Large acquired it.