The 16 Parker DHE I wrote about this AM is a tough gun to find. But the Parker you see here is even harder to track down. It’s a 16g BHE.
According to the Parker Gun Collector’s Association, the Parker company made just 1,034 B- grade hammerless shotguns. Of those, I bet very few came with in 16 gauge a straight, ejectors, shootable dimensions, and 28″ damascus barrels, like this one.
Called “Hansome and Durable” by Parker Bros, B grades were the fifth grade from the top (Invincible, A1-Special, AAH, AH, BH) and always custom made. They came standard with Circassian walnut stocks and they featured checkered side panels with fancy fleur-de-lis drop points.
Here’s more about the gun from the seller:
Parker BHE, 16 ga, 28″, Double Barrel SxS Shotgun: #208XXX, 28” Damascus bbls, 2 9/16 ” chambers, IM/M chokes. Lop: 14 5/8 ” LOP, 2 5/8 ” DOH, Skeleton buttplate, 6 lbs, 12 oz. Made in 1924. Stock: Original finish. Metal: Original finish, Concave File Cut rib. Price: $35,000
BTW: If you’ve ever wondered about the strength of damascus steel barrels, make note that this gun was made in 1924 – well after nitro powders had become the standard in the industry.
Liege used to be the gunmaking capital of the world.
Located in eastern Belgium, it straddles the banks of the Meuse River. In the early 19th century, John Cockerill develop a steel industry there, and it was with this steel that countless gunmakers and craftmen filed up and turned out millions of firearms, from crudest muskets for the African slave trade to the finest shotguns for Kings, Czars and other rich folks around the world.
The double barrel shotgun you see here is fell somewhere in between these extremes. It was made by F. Lancelot — a gunmaker lost to history — and it’s a basic, 16 gauge hammergun with fluid steel barrels. Even though it was an inexpensive shotgun in its day, I’m sure it was still very well made. Here’s more about it from the seller:
F. Lancelot, Liege- Retailed by P. Varriale, Naples: Lovely 16 GA. SXS Belgian hammer shotgun by F. Lancelot & Co. Liege Retailed by P. Varriale, Naples. This smokeless proofed fluid steel barrelled shotgun has it’s original 2 9/16″ (65m/m) chambers with long forcing cones and side clips. Chokes measure .027 and .022 (16.4 and 16.5) barrel length 27.5″ Straight grip stock measures 14″ LOP to a bone butt plate. This strong action has three locking lugs including a Greener type cross bolt. The barrels retain 95+% of the original blue. The fore end and butt stock wood retain all of their original finish with only very minor nicks and scratches. An excellent Belgian pre-war hammer double. Price: $1750