Here’s a shotgun I’ve always wanted: a 16g Parker DH with a straight grip and damascus barrels. This one popped up on Gunsinternational.com on Tuesday. I must of spent half an hour looking it over, examining the pics, reading the description, and wondering if I had finally found one of my dream guns.
At first glance, this one looks like a decent, pretty original double. It’s old (#82,242 – 1895), and a bit tired, and I doubt the checkered side panels are original. But the rest of the gun looks solid. Unfortunately, it sounds like the barrels are in poor shape and off the face. Those are deal killers for me, especially on a gun that cost $2899 (I think that was the asking price). I decided to pass. But I guess those warts were fine with someone else. The gun was marked SOLD by the end of the day.
Parker introduced their DH (D – or Grade 3- and H for hammerless) shotguns in 1888 and these side-by-sides went on to be the company’s most popular line of “fine guns”. The company made 16,398 of them, and each one was custom ordered. According to The Parker Story, just 458 of those 16,398 DHs were 16 gauges with damascus barrels. Of those, maybe 10% were built with straight grips – and that’s a very optimistic maybe.
I saw a real nice 16g DHE with damascus barrels and a straight grip 3-4 years ago. The only problem was its 13 1/2″ LOP to a skeleton butt plate. Too short for me, and the gun was too much money to buy it and mess with. Oh well….