Good gun alert: 20g Parker VH, 1927…

Parker VH 20 Gauge Side-by-Side Shotgun, 28" Barrels
Parker VH 20 Gauge Side-by-Side Shotgun, 28″ Barrels

Here’s a gun every red-plaid-jacket wearing grouse hunter would love to own.

Parkers like these are THE classic doubles for upland hunting. This one is especially nice because it looks pretty original, it has some nice finish on it, and it’s fairly priced.

Parker VH 20 Gauge Side-by-Side Shotgun, 28″ Barrels: Serial Number 220979 — 1927. Pistol Grip. 0 frame. 14 1/2″ LOP. Drop at heel: 2 11/16″. Drop at comb: 1 7/16″. Right Bore .620”. Left Bore .619”
Chokes R .011 L .020. Some finish is worn off, but overall great original condition Parker. Price: $3,800

Parker VH 20 Gauge Side-by-Side Shotgun, 28" Barrels
Parker VH 20 Gauge Side-by-Side Shotgun, 28″ Barrels
Parker VH 20 Gauge Side-by-Side Shotgun, 28" Barrels
Parker VH 20 Gauge Side-by-Side Shotgun, 28″ Barrels
Parker VH 20 Gauge Side-by-Side Shotgun, 28" Barrels
Parker VH 20 Gauge Side-by-Side Shotgun, 28″ Barrels
Parker VH 20 Gauge Side-by-Side Shotgun, 28" Barrels
Parker VH 20 Gauge Side-by-Side Shotgun, 28″ Barrels

 

Killer condition = big $$ Minty Parker VH sells in flash…

Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, 26 Inch Barrels, Very Rare with Original Box
Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, 26 Inch Barrels, Very Rare with Original Box

Say you  a new shotgun. Would you use it, or stash it away — forever?

For some reason, whoever bought this 20g Parker VH back in 1921 for around $60 decided “stash it away — forever” was the way to go. And this week, 96 years later, it came out of hiding and sold for $14,750.

Quality V.H. shotguns were built to be “…strictly high-grade gun at a very low price–the best-made gun of its grade ever produced”. Hunters bought 78,670 of them and made the VH Parker’s most popular model.

Today, VHs are the most common Parkers out there. But how many of them all original, brand new, in their original box, with their original tags, like this one? Very, very few. That’s why some collector paid so much money for it.

Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.
Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.

Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, 26 Inch Barrels, Very Rare with Original Box and Hang TagsIt is not often that we have the opportunity to sell a firearm as special as this Parker.  In all the years we have been in the firearms business, neither we or any of the other dealers we have talked with have ever had an original box and hang-tags with a Parker Shotgun.  The 1921 vintage shotgun is a Vulcan Grade 20 Gauge with 26 inch barrels that is built on the lightweight O frame.  It is in the best condition we have seen in years with nearly 100% original blue and 95%+ original case colors, with the only wear apparent on the gun is a small loss of case colors and small dark staining spots on the sides of the breeches of the receiver, probably from “box wear”.  The bores are mint and the wood is nearly flawless, with only a couple of very small handling marks in the finish.  This is probably the nicest 20 Gauge Parker most people would ever see, and it is made extra special by having its original box and hang tags.  This is undoubtedly a “once in a lifetime” chance to own a very unique Parker Side-by-Side. PRICE: $14,750 — SOLD

Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.
Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.
Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.
Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.
Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.
Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.
Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.
Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.
Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.
Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.
Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.
Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.
Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.
Minty Parker VH Grade 20 Gauge Double Shotgun, with Original Box & Tags. Sold for $14,750.

Wow! What a Parker: 20g BHE, 32″ bbls, straight grip…

Parker BHE SxS 20 gauge 32" barrels, Straight Grip
Parker BHE SxS 20 gauge 32″ barrels, Straight Grip

If you’re a Parker fanatic with deep pockets, grab your check book. Here’s a super rare one, and even though it’s 100 years old, it looks like this side-by-side remains in incredible original condition.

According to the Parker collector’s site, Parker Bros made just over 1,000 BH-grades (which are Quality Bs without hammers — BH). I imagine very, very few of those were 20 gauges with 32″ barrels, ejectors (the E in BHE) and straight grips.

Parker BHE SxS 20 gauge 32" barrels, Straight Grip
Parker BHE SxS 20 gauge 32″ barrels, Straight Grip

Parker BHE SxS 20 gauge 32″ barrelsVery rare, highly collectable 1916 Parker BHE (serial #174053) with straight stock and 32″ barrels. This Parker remains in high original condition with very good stock, B engraved receiver and Acme steel barrels. It is apparent that this shotgun has likely spent a lot of it’s 100 year old life tucked away in someone’s safe, leg-o-mutton gun case or closet. Shotguns of this quality rarely come up for as they are usually socked away in someone’s collection for many years and then passed on to family members, never to be seen by the general public. The consignor, after only a brief ownership, brought this Parker to me with hopes of alleviating homefront tensions. This little SxS features a straight stock, 32″ barrels with shiney bores, ejectors (which work with authority), “0” frame and double triggers. All desireable options for any SxS, but especially a high grade Parker. LOP is at 13 7/8″, DAC is 1 1/2″, DAH is 2 3/4″ and it weighs in at 6 lb 8 oz. Both bores measure .618 with .018 constriction on the right barrel and .024 on the left. Lock up is Parker tight and there is no movement between the barrels and the receiver with the forearm off. This is a seldom seen opportunity to own a high grade Parker. Also included with this Parker is the original leg-o-mutton case that A.T. DeForest bought for it. Price: P.O.R.

Parker BHE SxS 20 gauge 32" barrels, Straight Grip
Parker BHE SxS 20 gauge 32″ barrels, Straight Grip

Manufacturer: Parker
Model: BHE
Serial Number: 174053
Ejectors: yes
Metal Condition: very good
Wood Condition: verygood
Bore Condition: shiney
Barrels: 32 inch
Barrel Type: SxS
Action: boxlock

Parker BHE SxS 20 gauge 32" barrels, Straight Grip
Parker BHE SxS 20 gauge 32″ barrels, Straight Grip

Triggers: double
Gauge: 20
Stock: straight
Stock Comb: 1 1/2″
Stock Heel: 2 3/4″
LOP: 13 7/8″
Rib: solid
Weight: 6 lb 8 oz
Sights: single bead
Manufacture Date: 1916
Choke Left: full
Choke Right: mod
Engraving: B engraving

Parker BHE SxS 20 gauge 32" barrels, Straight Grip
Parker BHE SxS 20 gauge 32″ barrels, Straight Grip

Extras: Hard to find
Case: old leg-o-mutton

They cost how much? Check out this 1965 Holland & Holland new & used gun catalog…

1965 Holland & Holland Sporting Guns & Rifles Catalog
1965 Holland & Holland Sporting Guns & Rifles Catalog

Value is something I always think about when I’m looking at old guns. Is this Purdey a good value? What about this Parker? Which ones will people want 20 years from now? Which will fall out of favor? To understand stuff like this, I collect old gun catalogs – especially ones with price lists in them.

The catalog you see was an especially nice find for me. It’s a Holland & Holland New & Used Gun Catalog from the Spring of 1965. It’s full of ton of useful info: prices, lots of different guns from different makers, etc. More importantly, because this catalog was shipped to customers in the UK and the US there’s a key paragraph inside which unlocks the British £ to US $ conversion mystery:

“As an indication of your approximate total delivered costs including duty you may multiply the price of the weapon in £’s in London by 3.5. For example, a gun offered at £100 will cost you about $350, all charges and duties paid”

So what did a brand new, 12 gauge sidelock Holland & Holland Royal cost in 1965? £650 pounds, or $2,275 (that’s without a case or accessories). A 12 gauge H&H Northwoods boxlock was £200 or $700. New H&H Rifles were more expensive. A .470 Royal cost £985 ($3,447.50) with case and tools. It punished you with more than just recoil.

1965 Holland & Holland Sporting Guns & Rifles Catalog
1965 Holland & Holland Sporting Guns & Rifles Catalog

As for used guns, decent 12 gauge Royals were £375 – £425. A 12 gauge Purdey with new barrels by the maker was £500. The most expensive used guns are both O/Us: an early and super rare 12g H&H (#36000) and a 12g Woodward. Both are £950.

As for bargains, I spotted two. One was a cased Edwinson Green 12g Best-quality sidelock for £285. I’ve seen a few of these and they are fabulous – equal to a London Best. Then there’s a 16g Szulovsky sidelock for just £130. I’ve never seen or heard of a Szulovsky, but I bet it was a very fine gun.

To make sense of the prices, here’s are some figures from 1965: a basic Rolex Submariner was around $230, a Corvette Fastback Coupe was $3947 from the factory , the typical American home sold for $19,900, and the median American family income was $6,900. A new Rolls Royce Silver Shadow was £6,557.

Today, a brand new 12 gauge Holland & Holland SxS Royal costs $118,000. A stainless Rolex Sub runs $8,000, a new 2014 Corvette Stingray costs $54,950, the typical American house sells for around $213,000, and the median family income is $51,000. And a new Rolls Royce Wraith is $379,000.

And what about that H&H Royal from the mid 1965? In excellent original condition, here’s about it’s worth today:

HOLLAND & HOLLAND (A&F) MODEL SIDELOCK SIDE BY SIDE SHOTGUN

Big $$$$ for this 12 gauge Parker AAH Pigeon Gun…

12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun

Well it happened. Yesterday, this highly anticipated 12 gauge Parker AAH Pigeon Gun hit the block. When the auctioneer smacked his gavel and called “Sold!”, the winning price was a stunning $25,500.00 or about $30,000 with the buyer’s premium.

This Parker AAH was made around 1895, and I think it was the fifth AAH that Parker made. Online, the pics and description of it were pretty pathetic. I’m guessing it must have checked out as very original, and it must have been impressive in hand, to bring that kind of money. I also wonder if there was something else about it that made it special — like maybe it was the first one made with Whitworth Fluid Steel barrels.

For comparison, here’s a later Parker AAHE (a AAH with Ejectors) that sold in Julia’s March 2013 auction:

EXCEPTIONAL PARKER BROS AAHE PIGEON GUN. SN 129747 – $31,625.00

Check out my original post and auction alert for this double to learn more about Parkers AAH-grade shotguns.

Auction alert: a 12 gauge Parker AAH Pigeon Gun…

12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun

You read the headline right: The Thomas Hirchak Company in Williston, VT, is auctioning off this 12 gauge Parker AAH Pigeon Gun on Thursday, April 04, 2013. The action starts 10:00am Eastern, and I bet this Parker will be sold to the highest bidder by 11:30am.

This shotgun looks like the real deal: One of America’s finest shotguns in excellent condition. Here’s more info on the gun from the auctioneer:

 

12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun

Lot #99: a 12 gauge Parker AAH Pigeon Gun: # 81026 (1895),  30″ bbl, Highly figured Stock, Single Trigger, highly & extensively engraved.

The finish on this AAH it looks pretty original. It was made in 1895, so the single trigger is a replacement. But it does  look like it could be a Parker single trigger. The barrels may be replacements. In 1895, AAH Parkers came with fine Damascus steel or Whitworth fluid steel barrels. So this side-by-side may have been made with damascus barrels and then had them changed to fluid steel bbls at a later date – maybe when the single trigger was added. If you really want to know, I would reach out to the folks at the The Parker Gun Collector’s Association for more information about the shotgun.

12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun, from the Parker Gun Collector’s site

Here’s a similar Parker AAHE (a AAH with Ejectors) that sold in Julia’s March 2013 auction:

EXCEPTIONAL PARKER BROS AAHE PIGEON GUN. SN 129747 – $31,625.00

Here’s more about the AAH grade from The Parker Gun Collector’s Association:

The Grade 7 is also called the AA grade. It was intended to appeal to the pigeon shooters. A total of 243 were made. Most were hammerless…Early AAH guns were marked “Pigeon Gun” on the top barrel rib. The first AA was seen about 1895 and at that time, it was Parkers highest grade. It sold for $400 in 1895…

The engraving on early AA guns tended to be deep chisel, but later the engraving became lighter in style…the stocks were made of the finest Circassian walnut…The stocks had a gold shield and gold pistol grip cap, and they were fitted with a skeleton butt plate as standard but recoil pads were an option. The barrels were made of the finest Damascus steel or Whitworth fluid steel…

12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Parker Bros. AAH Pigeon Gun Double Barrel Side-by-Side Shotgun

 

At auction 3/12: an awesome 16 gauge Woodward O/U shotgun…

16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun
16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun

James Woodward & Sons O/U are one of the finest double-barrel shotguns ever created. Patented in 1913, Woodward made his legendary O/U for 35 years — right up to his company’s end in 1948. In that time, he  turned out just 225 of them. Just 41 of those O/Us were made in 16 gauges.

That means the one you see here is very rare. It’s also in great shape. Best of all, it’s coming to auction on Tuesday, March 12, at James D. Julia’s Spring 2103 auction. Here’s all the info on it from the auctioneer:

16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun
16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun

LOT 2163: VERY FINE 16 GA. WOODWARD OVER-UNDER SIDELOCK EJECTOR BOSS SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN: SN 6602. (ca 1921) Cal. 16 ga. 28″ Demi-block bbls with full length file cut solid rib, are engraved “James Woodward & Sons. 64. St. James’s Street. London. S. W.” and “Made of Sir Joseph Whitworth’s Fluid Pressed Steel” on either side of rib. Bbls are stamped with London nitro proofs for 1 oz of shot. Beautifully filed, case hardened, low profile action features typical Woodward automatic T-safety (SAFE inlaid in gold), bolstered sides, gold band tumbler end cocking indicators, and Boss non-selective single trigger.

16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun
16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun

The Woodward action is renown for its grace, and is the prime reason for Purdey’s acquiring Woodwards and the rights to this action, in 1948. All subsequent Purdey OU shotguns and rifles were built on this action. The action and sidelocks of this particular gun are engraved with exceptionally well cut, shaded, small scroll with rose bouquet highlights in Woodward house style. “J. Woodward & Sons” is in rolled scroll flanked device on front of each lockplate. Bottom of action is engraved “Woodward’s Patent Under & Over”. Some time after the initial making of this gun, probably 1950’s, it was fitted with Boss’ renown single trigger, with new trigger plate and small bow single beaded trigger guard installed. Gun is accompanied by Abercrombie & Fitch hang tag, filled in with specifications of this gun. The original notation of “double trigger” has “double” lined out and “single” written above.

Color hardening of trigger plate and bright blue of trigger guard are both vivid, and engraving, although the correct style, is by a different hand. Nicely figured, and beautifully marbled Circassian walnut straight grip buttstock measures 14-1/8″ over ribbed horn buttplate, and features drop points, diamond hand, classic point pattern checkering with mullered borders, and a silver oval on toe line engraved “P”. Matching one piece ejector forend has Anson release. Bore diameter: top -.663, bottom -.663. Bore restrictions: top -.023 (full), bottom -.013 (mod). Drop at heel: 2-7/16″, drop at comb: 1-7/16″. Weight: 6 lbs. 2 oz. LOP: 14-1/8″.

16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun
16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun

PROVENANCE: Factory letter giving the history of this gun as evidenced by a number of entries in the VL & D and A & F inventories, being first rec’d by VLD in March 1923, last sale was in 1956 to Grant Pierce.

CONDITION: Very fine. Bbls retain approx 95% of an old London quality re-black, silvered on sharp edges of bolsters, rib, and muzzles. Action retains 40 – 50% muted orig case hardening colors, vivid where protected, especially at top fence. Lockplates retain most of their muted orig colors. Orig color on trigger plate is near 100% and vivid. Top lever and forend iron retain most of their orig charcoal blue, with silvering at thumbpiece and rounded edges of iron, some loss due to flaking. Charcoal blue on trigger guard is near 100%. Screw slots show some use. Stocks retain most of their orig hand rubbed oil finish with numerous small marks and light scratches from normal handling and use. There are a few minor chips on left side forearm at juncture of iron. Checkering is slightly worn. Bores are excellent, bright and shiny throughout. Action has hint of vertical play and a glimmer of light visible on top bbl. Ejectors are in time. Trigger works. Hang tag shows some creases. A great handling, all time classic.

Estimate: $30,000-$60,000

16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun
16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun

Sure it’s gorgeous. But is this Lefever legit?

12 gauge Lefever Arms Co. Presentation Grade SxS double barrel shotgun
12 gauge Lefever Arms Co. Presentation Grade SxS double barrel shotgun

Factory records are great ways to double check the original specs on a vintage shotgun, and referring to these records is a must do if you’re thinking about buying any big-money double. Fortunately, collector’s clubs make it easy to check the records on doubles like L.C. Smiths, Parkers, Foxes. But if you’re into Lefevers, you’re out of luck. Those factory records disappeared years ago.

So what do you when you see a Lefever like this? The seller is calling it a “Presentation” grade gun. It certainly is beautiful. But is it legit? Without the maker’s records to check the serial number against, it’s hard to say.

12 gauge Lefever Arms Co. Presentation Grade SxS double barrel shotgun
12 gauge Lefever Arms Co. Presentation Grade SxS double barrel shotgun

Lefever Arms Co. never made an official “Presentation” grade shotgun, so there are no others to compare this one to. This shotgun may have been a special order or a one-off made for an exhibition. The Lefever Arms Co. did make special order guns, and if you had the dough, Uncle Dan would make it. And a lot of companies made up extra ornate guns for events like world fairs and international expos. So it’s possible that this Lefever was made at the factory and is 100% right on.

12 gauge Lefever Arms Co. Presentation Grade SxS double barrel shotgun
12 gauge Lefever Arms Co. Presentation Grade SxS double barrel shotgun

But it’s also possible that this shotgun is an upgrade, made well after the Lefever Arms Co. went out of business. If that’s the case, whoever did the work was an absolute master. Just check out how nice the carving and gold inlays are on the action. The stock is well done, too.

Whatever the case is with this side by side, it sure it’s a nice looking Lefever.

Here’s more about it from the seller:

Lefever, Presentation, 12ga, 30” barrel, choked M/F: Lefever Arms company. Double trigger, gold washed triggers. Straight grip, AE, Krupp steel barrels, splinter forend, step lock plates, sculptured barrels. We have handled $1000 grade and Uncle Dan grade, but in our opinion we feel this is the most ornate Lefever to come to market. Multiple raised and flat gold inlays, all surrounded with oak leaf engraving. The very finest checkering that we have ever seen performed on a gun. Old ventilated pad, majority of case color remaining. The very finest ever offered. For pricing please e-mail inquiry.

12 gauge Lefever Arms Co. Presentation Grade SxS double barrel shotgun
12 gauge Lefever Arms Co. Presentation Grade SxS double barrel shotgun

 

12 gauge Lefever Arms Co. Presentation Grade SxS double barrel shotgun
12 gauge Lefever Arms Co. Presentation Grade SxS double barrel shotgun
12 gauge Lefever Arms Co. Presentation Grade SxS double barrel shotgun
12 gauge Lefever Arms Co. Presentation Grade SxS double barrel shotgun

 

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