2 important issues with yesterday’s 20g Parker GHE …

Parker Brothers Hammerless GHE Grade 2 Frame Size 0, Caliber: 20ga, Barrel: 26", Bore Condition: Excellent
Parker Brothers Hammerless GHE Grade 2 Frame Size 0, Caliber: 20ga, Barrel: 26″

Yesterday, 10/14, I posted an online auction alert for this shotgun:

Today, I learned that I missed two issues it has thanks to a person following Dogs and Doubles on Facebook. Because of these issues, I’m shifting my “recommended” to a “be forewarned”.

ISSUE 1: The checkering pattern on the forend is incorrect for a GH-grade Parker.

Checkering recut to the wrong pattern for a GH-grade Parker
Checkering recut to the wrong pattern for a GH-grade Parker

It should look like this:

Correct forend checkering for a GH-grade Parker
Correct forend checkering for a GH-grade Parker
Correct forend checkering for a GH-grade Parker
Correct forend checkering for a GH-grade Parker

ISSUE 2: The “2 3/4 SHELL” stamp on the barrel flats was not put there by the maker.

This "2 3/4 SHELL" mark is not original
This “2 3/4 SHELL” mark is not original

While the incorrect checkering pattern doesn’t bother me much, that 2 3/4 SHELL stamp gives me pause. Was it put there to inform — or deceive? And what should you make of it?

Chamber-lengths on older Parker shotguns are a confusing topic and trying to figure them out makes my head hurt. From what I can figure out, this 20g GHE was probably made with 2 3/8″ chambers for low-pressure 2 1/2″ shells.

No, that’s not a typo: 2 3/8″ chambers for 2 1/2″ ammo. Parker often bored chambers 1/8″ short, believing it improved shot patterns.

Once 2 3/4″ became the standard shell length for American-made game loads, gunsmiths and gunmakers often lengthened short chambers to 2 3/4″.

So is that what happened with this gun? Sort of. If the chambers really are 2 3/4″, a gunsmith — not Parker or Remington — did the work. As for the stamp, it’s not from the factory. But the person who had the gun redone may have asked to have the chambers opened and the gunsmith obliged and marked his work.

Or maybe a gunsmith opened the chambers to 2 3/4″ before the gun was redone and then later someone else added the mark to make the longer chambers appear original. Possible, but unlikely.

Regardless, one thing we do know for certain is if you were to buy this gun, you need to have a qualified gunsmith take a close look at the barrels and action to be sure everything is still in sound, safe, and shootable condition.

And even if they are, remember that you can’t shoot modern, high-pressure 2 3/4″ loads in this gun. You must still use vintage-style shotgun ammo.

Online auction alert: 20g Beretta S55 OU, no reserve…

European Beretta Model S55 Over Under 20 Ga Shotgun 28" F/M Mfd 1962
European Beretta Model S55 Over Under 20 Ga Shotgun 28″ F/M Mfd 1962

It’s turning out to be a good couple of week’s for bird guns. Last week I featured this real nice 20g Beretta S57.

European Beretta Model S55 Over Under 20 Ga Shotgun 28" F/M Mfd 1962
European Beretta Model S55 Over Under 20 Ga Shotgun 28″ F/M Mfd 1962

Yesterday, I spotted this great little 20g S55. Gunbroker.com. It’s listed online now at Gunbroker.com and the auction ends Wednesday, 10/15, @ 9:00 PM.

It has everything you need to hunt grouse, woodcock & quail: two triggers, two barrels, good chokes, and good stock dimensions. And don’t let the sling turn you off. Over your shoulder is a great way to carry your gun — especially if you hunt over pointing dogs.

European Beretta Model S55 Over Under 20 Ga Shotgun 28" F/M Mfd 1962
European Beretta Model S55 Over Under 20 Ga Shotgun 28″ F/M Mfd 1962

Beretta introduced it’s S-series OU shotguns in 1955. There were three models: the S55 (Silver Snipe), the S56 (Golden Snipe), and the S57 (Ruby Snipe). These OUs combined features of Beretta’s expensive, handmade ASEs and sidelock S1s with cost-cutting, mass-production techniques.

In their day, Beretta’s S55, S56, and S57 competed with OUs like the Browning Superposed. But the S55, S56, and S57 weighed less and cost less than Browning’s gun. Thanks to these differences, the Beretta’s S-line of OUs sold well.

European Beretta Model S55 Over Under 20 Ga Shotgun 28" F/M Mfd 1962
European Beretta Model S55 Over Under 20 Ga Shotgun 28″ F/M Mfd 1962

Over time, these guns evolved into some of the best-selling OUs ever, like the Beretta 686 and the S687 Silver Pigeon.

European Beretta Model S55 Over Under 20 Ga Shotgun 28″ F/M Mfd 1962: We offer you a Beretta Model S55 Over/Under 20 gauge shotgun. It appears to be similar to their Silver Snipe shotgun. It was made for the European market and came from the factory with sling swivels and has a sling as shown. It wears 27 7/8 inch barrels but they were marketed as 28 inch. Both sides of the receiver are marked the same “BERETTA LOGO – PIETRO BERETTA / GARDONE V.T Brescia / MADE IN ITALY. The top of the barrel is marked “BERETTA with the Beretta logo as shown. The top barrel on the left side reads “ACCIAIO SPECIALE AL CROMO MOLIBDENO” – ” SPECIAL CHROME MOLYBDENUM STEEL” / 1,100 15,8 15,1. “full”. The top edges on the left is marked with the model number S.55″ the right top edge the serial number “01536”. On the receiver bottom is an engraving over a banner marked P.BERETTA / S.55 / PATENT as shown The bottom barrel “17.4/70 15,8 15,4” “modified”. The bottom is marked with proof marks with the model “S.55” the serial number “01536” and date code “XVIII” which makes the year of production 1962. The bores on the barrels are in excellent condition and it functions just fine. The bluing is in fine condition with some marks and a small area of freckling on the bottom of the lower barrel. It has 2 3/4 inch chambers, extractors and double triggers. There are no “star” choke markings on the barrels. The forearm is solid with no cracks with some dings on the bottom as shown and also has the matching serial number of “01536”. The English style butt stock is solid with no cracks and has some dings with the most distracting on the left side as shown. Overall this is a very fine made in Italy over/under shotgun.

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