Parker shotguns are filled with myths and mysteries:The true origins of the Czar’s Parker; the whereabouts of the three Invincibles. While some of the mysteries have been solved, others, like the “why” of the 1/2 Frame, remain.
Parker started building 1/2 guns in the fall of 1937–after the company had been sold to Remington and moved to Ilion, NY. Before the internet, a serious Parker collector would have been lucky to see one of these doubles in his lifetime. Today, thanks to a wired world, you can check out three of them.
Michael McIntosh wrote a bit about the 1/2 frame. He speculated that it was Parker’s attempt to create a British-style, 12g gamegun (basically a 12g weighs around 6 3/4 lbs and shooting a 1 1/8oz load). In Parker Guns: The Old Reliable, fellow author Ed Muderlak disagreed and dedicated a full chapter and 10+ pages of his book to prying apart McIntosh’s thesis.
Neither proved anything. One just told better tale while the other presented a sounder argument. But at the end of Chapter 5: Circumstantial Evidence, Muderlak states the one thing we really know about these shotguns: “… nobody knows what Remington had on its corporate mind when it retooled for the half-frame in 1937.”