I picked up this interesting .22 cal single shot kid's rifle recently. According to the info on the WWW, this little rifle was sold by the Hoban Mfg Co. in the late 1940s. Many were given away as a promotional prize if you sold certain volume of merchandise. The good ol'days when kids can get their cheap first rifles by working for them. When I was a kid I sold grit to get that neato b/w spy camera, which I still have.
The rifle is in very good shape inside and out. Will try it out at the range with my sons one of these days.
Great looking gun you've got FootDoc. There's a very informative article about its history in the Jim Perkins book American Boys Rifles 1890-1945. Basically, George Hoban bought the Hamilton Rifle Co. of Plymouth, MI when Hamilton ceased production in 1945 (hence the Model 45 designation). He moved operations to Salem, MI and made them there until 1949 when he too closed up shop due to poor health.
By this time one of his rifles had ended up in Germany and a company there retooled (metric system so some slight differences) and began building what's now called the "German Hoban." It was sold through the United Binocular Co. of Chicago and is marked on left side "United Arms Co." and "Made In Germany" on top.
I learned from a fellow collector in TX that he sold one in excellent condition this summer. Unfortunately he wasn't aware I was looking for one.
Below is a picture of a small portion of a full-page 1953 American Rifleman ad from United Binocular offering the "German Hoban."
And, below that is a picture of the Hoban 45 in my collection.
MERRY CHRISTMAS and best regards, ~ ~ ~ FloridaFialaFan
from a local fella via gunbroker. Dang this is a great shooter but, the firing pin is a smidge to short to be reliable shooter. This depresses me the rifle was little used. Mine wears black paint over a rough finish job. Marked made in Salem. Wish I had a better bolt if I did the old boy be out in the woods.
These were a very cheap "Little Boy's Rifle" mainly intended for young, beginning shooters. Money was still fairly tight in the late '40s so it probably also served as an inexpensive rat assasinator in a lot of farmers' barns and corn cribs.
More and more Hoban Model 45s are turning up for sale, usually for well under $100. You just have to be careful if buying to make sure it's complete and working. There are no more NEW parts available. If you need to replace a part that can't be repaired, you'll have to have one made, or buy another gun to canabalize the needed part.
In the end, when it's no longer wanted or needed, it is still a nice little scarce collectible for some future owner.
I have a Hoban that I got in trade for a 5 gallon aquarium back in the 50's. It often takes two tries before it fires and has an unsafe hair trigger. (You had better be pointing at the target area when you cock it!) I have spent some time examining it and the firing pin seems to protrude far enough; it seems that the bolt closure is sloppy and there is a space left when the bolt is closed. I think that is why mine misfires so often.
Edy, all you can do at this late date is follow the online gun auctions for a junker Hoban you can use for parts. They turn up once in a while. And, if you go to the forums those auctions have, you can let everyone there know your needs. I've had very good luck on those in finding parts I thought would NEVER come up.
Since my last posting I managed to add one of the German-made clones to my single-shot collection - as well a bunch of other .22rf single-shots, both long and short.