Good gun alert: a 10 gauge Parker D-grade hammergun…

Parker D-grade Lifter Double Barrel Shotgun, 10GA, 32" bbls
Parker D-grade Lifter Double Barrel Shotgun, 10GA, 32″ bbls

When it comes to hammerguns, Parkers made on their lifter-action have always been one of favorite designs. And I think graded lifters are some of the most beautiful shotguns ever made in America. Just check out this Quality 6, A Grade to see what I mean.

The Quality 3, D Grade you see here is another great looking example. Parker introduced this model in 1875. Price at $100 (a ton of money back then, btw) it was one of the company’s best sellers. It’s easy to see why.

Here’s more about this one from the seller:

Parker D-grade Lifter Double Barrel Shotgun, 10GA, 32″ bbls: much color, nice patterned bbls., exotic stock w /2 7/8″ drop, all original conditional with great color & condition, great bore, 100% original. Price: $3,499.00

Parker D-grade Lifter Double Barrel Shotgun, 10GA, 32" bbls
Parker D-grade Lifter Double Barrel Shotgun, 10GA, 32″ bbls
Parker D-grade Lifter Double Barrel Shotgun, 10GA, 32" bbls
Parker D-grade Lifter Double Barrel Shotgun, 10GA, 32″ bbls

Here’s a hard to find double: a Lefever D grade side by side…

12 gauge Lefever D grade double barrel shotgun
12 gauge Lefever D grade double barrel shotgun

Of the classic American side-by-side makers, the Lefever Arms Co. had one of the shortest runs. They were in business from just 1880-1919, and in that time they built around 65,000 shotguns. Most of these Lefevers were utility grades. So for a collector to see anything else today is a rare. That’s why this Lefever caught my eye:

12 gauge Lefever D grade double barrel shotgun
12 gauge Lefever D grade double barrel shotgun

Lefever D Grade Ser. No. 37976. 12 Ga.- 30″ Damascus barrels choked .015″ and .040″. Double triggers, ejectors and straight grip stock.

12 gauge Lefever D grade double barrel shotgun
12 gauge Lefever D grade double barrel shotgun

This D was made around 1901-02. At that time, Lefevers came in 11 grades: Optimus, A.A., A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and the Durston Special. That means this 12 gauge D would have been middle-grade shotgun: one step¬† down from a C, one step up from an E.¬† It was still expensive, though, ($125 with out ejectors, $140 with), but far cheaper than Lefever’s highest-grade shotgun: the $400 Optimus. (BTW: at the same time, a Winchester 1886 was $14.97 at Sears.)

12 gauge Lefever D grade double barrel shotgun
12 gauge Lefever D grade double barrel shotgun

The factory records for the Lefever Arms Co. are lost, so it’s impossible to say how many D grades were made. I’ve seen a couple over the last decade, so the overall numbers must have been pretty low. So if you’re a Lefever fan, or if you love vintage American side-by-sides, this is a shotgun you might want to pounce on right away. It could be a long time before another one comes your way.

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