At the March 2021 Big Sandy Shoot, Dan Hamilton's ashes were fired by his family from artillery guns across the range. It was a fitting tribute to a man who loved large caliber guns.



Ian McCollum, Dangerous Bob, Mike Thomas, and Dan Hamilton pose for a photo. (Photo: Hamilton Family)

For the last 15 years, Hamilton restored and manufactured artillery guns at his company called Hamilton & Sons Firearms based in Cottonwood, Arizona. He was considered by many to be one of the most prominent big gun experts in the U.S.

He worked with family and friends, who will continue the business. Restoring big guns is a unique craft. In 2018, we got a glimpse into the final testing stages of a British 2-pounder artillery gun restored to pristine condition by Bob Bigando, a long-time friend of Hamilton and a big gun expert himself.



Dan Hamilton at Big Sandy surrounded by friends. They sit on a Russian D20 152mm howitzer. (Photo: Hamilton Family)

It wasn't hard for the Hamilton family to agree upon how and where to disperse Dan's ashes. He loved the Big Sandy Shoot and regularly attended it. So, when it was certain the event was a go, they all got together for a final goodbye. Dan's ashes were loaded into a variety of artillery shells and, one by one, he was fired on the range by his family.

The final gun was a powerful Russian D30 122mm howitzer. Onlookers gathered around to pay their respect. "We're shooting Dan," said Ann, Dan's wife of 35 years. "We're setting him where he belongs." Then, with a pull of the firing lever, she sent him off with a mighty blast to be on the range that he loved so much.

Farewell Dan. Rest in peace.

Dan Hamilton and his wife Ann of 35 years. Dan holds a 90mm drill round. (Photo: Hamilton Family)