At first glance, this old SxS looks pretty original. But when you look closer and do a little research, that changes.
Parker records show this double was made in 1936 with a beavertail forend, single trigger, 26″ barrels, and ejectors. The records also say it was made with an English-style straight-grip stock. As you can see, it now has a pistol-grip stock. Problem? Maybe.
Markings on the barrels that show the gun went back to Parker in 1937 for repairs. Did Parker restock it at that time? If they did restock, the stock looks barely used — unlike the barrels and the back of the triggerguard.
Turnbull Restorations confirmed they recolored the action. They may have reblued the triggerguard, too. The blueing on the barrels looks good, but it may have been redone (if you’re recoloring the action, why not reblue the bbls, too?).
That red bead on the front of the bbls is another head scratcher. It could be original Parker did offer those red beads as options back when this gun was made.
Regardless of originality this gun still hammered down for almost $26,000. Why? Because it’s scarce, and even though it’s not all original it’s still a nice vintage American double.
When I first got into Parker, the collector’s world for these shotguns was still filled with mysteries like the story of the Czar’s Parker and the whereabouts of the three Invincibles. While many of these mysteries have been solved, others, like the “why” of the Parker 12-gauge “1/2-frame”, remain.
PARKER VHE 12 GAUGE IN RARE 1/2 FRAME: Here is a Parker VHE in the rare 1/2 Frame size. Parker made a very low number of guns in 1/2 Frame size. Historians seem to believe that the total number was in the approximate 300-piece range. This gun has 26″ ejector barrels. Mirror bores at .731 with 15/1000 choke (Mod) and 28/1000 choke (Full). Chambers are 2 3/4″. All serial numbers match. Unrestored condition. Auto safety. Weight is 6 LBS 11 OZ. Stock dimensions: LOP – 14 1/16″. Drop at Comb – 1 5/8″. Drop at Heel – 2 1/2″ Price:$3,995
Parker built its first 12-gauge 1/2-frame guns in the fall of 1937 after the company had been sold to Remington and moved to Ilion, NY.
Michael McIntosh wrote a bit about the 1/2 frame. He speculated that it was Parker’s attempt to create a British-style, 12-bore game gun (basically a 12g weighs around 6 3/4 lbs and shoots a 1 1/8oz load).
Parker author & researcher Ed Muderlak disagreed and dedicated a full chapter and 10+ pages of Parkers Guns: The Old Reliable to prying apart McIntosh’s thesis.
Neither writer proved anything. While McIntosh told a better tale and Muderlak presented a sound argument, the 1/2-frame is still a mystery. Or as Muderlak finally states after showing off his argumentative skills “… nobody knows what Remington had on its corporate mind when it retooled for the half-frame in 1937.”
In his book Parker Guns: The Old Reliable, Ed Muderlak said something like “Parker shotguns aren’t rare. But Parker shotguns with lots original condition are.” Ed was right- of course. I live within a couple hours of a few large gun shops. These shops always have a few Parker on their racks. But rarely are these shotguns very original.
Original condition is everything to collectors, and that’s why Parkers like the one you see here drives them crazy. Made in 1923, it’s a 20 gauge G.H. with unusual 30″ barrels and what looks like a ton of original condition.
PARKER GHE 20 GAUGE SIDE BY SIDE SHOTGUN WITH 30″ BARRELS: RIGHT BARREL BORE .616 CHOKE .011 IMPROVED CYLINDER, LEFT BARREL BORE .618 CHOKE .022 IMPROVED MODIFIED, 2 3/4″ CHAMBERS, DOUBLE TRIGGERS, EJECTORS, TWIN IVORY SIGHT BEADS, O FRAME, 14 1/4″ LENGTH OF PULL OVER DOGS HEAD BUTTPLATE, DROP 1 1/2″- 2 3/4″, 98% BARREL BLUE, 95% TRIGGER GUARD BLUE, 85% CASE COLOR, WOOD FINISH EXCELLENT, NICE TIGHT AND CRISP PARKER. PRICE: $10,999
Here’s a tough 16 gauge side-by-side to find: a Parker Bros. DHE-grade double barrel shotgun. Also known as Grade 3s, Parker introduced its D-grade shotguns in 1875. With a price of $100, this model was the company’s least expensive “custom made” shotgun.
The DHE you see here was made in 1905 (the H is for hammerless, the E is for ejectors). It looks like it’s in nice condition. I’m not sure how many 16 gauge DHEs Parker made, but I can tell that you don’t see them on the market that often, especially nice shooters like this one. This one is online at Gunbroker.com and the auction ends 9/25/2013 3:15:42 PM ET. So if you like it, get on it now.
16 gauge Parker DHE Double Barrel SxS Shotgun: With steel 28″ barrels. 2-1/2″ chambers choked Imp. Mod and full according to my gauges. Bluing is thinning on barrels and stock has the usual dings and scratches for a gun this age. recoil pad is flat from sitting. 14″ LOP to the front trigger. Size 1 frame. Bores are great. Serial # 134521.
Lot 560: Parker AAHE Grade Pigeon gun, 12 gauge 2 ¾” chambers, 32” barrels: Serial number 205648. About 240 made. Excellent as restored condition by DelGrego. Barrels show Peerless steel marking. The interior of the barrels are very good plus with 99% plus of the proper color refinish. The action has been lightly polished. The trigger guard has been refinished. The stock remains in excellent as restored. LOP 14 ½”, 1 7/8” drop at the heel, ½” drop at the comb. Wall thickness .29 right and .25 left. . Est.: $35,000- $70,000.
Lot 600:Parker CHE grade 12 gauge double barrel shotgun, 30″ barrels: Serial #118334. English style straight stock, double triggers, auto ejectors, Titanic steel marked barrels, in very good+ to near fine original condition, . The barrels show 75-85% original blue; action retains 40-60% case hardening; the trigger guard has drifted to traces of blue; the stock shows a good grain and fancy checkering, with the forend almost fully checkered. LOP 14-1/2″. The gun locks tight, the bores are bright, and this is a very nice looking collector’s grade Parker. Est.: $6,000-$12,000
Lot 197:Parker VHE grade 20 gauge, SxS shotgun: Fine original condition. Serial #210670. The barrel’s measure 26”. 14 ¼” LOP The barrel’s retain 95% plus bright original blue, action shows 50% to 70% bright original case hardening. Trigger guard shows 50% to 70% thinning original blue. The gun is completely authentic and not abused. A collectors quality Parker out of a local estate. The barrels are both choked improved modified showing 2 ½” drop at the heel and 1 ½” drop at comb. Full 2 ¾” chambers and the ejectors work well. Est.: $1,400-$2,800.
Lot 176: Parker Brothers 12 gauge GHE grade Factory Skeet, by Remington: Serial #241791. In fine to near excellent condition. 26” barrels with ventilated rib, single trigger, auto ejectors, beavertail forend, pistol grip stock, skeleton butt plate. The gun shows 95% to 98% original blue and case hardening with just some slight handling and minor use. The stocks are also fine to near excellent showing a nice burled wood grain. The barrels are both choked cylinder or skeet. 14” LOP. Est.: $7,000 -$14,000.
Lot 1463: 28 gauge Parker CHE double barrel SxS shotgun, OO frame: Serial #184814. Barrels originally 30”, now 26”. English style straight stock, skeleton steel butt plate and checkered butt, serial number 184814. Old factory or Del Greco quality refinish of which and 90% to 95% of this blue finish remains showing good sharp edges and sharp markings with just a few small scratches, slight toning and minor losses. The frame is typically Parker engraved with fancy scrolls showing hunting dog on left and right with game bird on bottom. The frame shows 65% to 85% proper and old-style case hardened colors. Select checkered walnut stocks which of also been lightly refreshed and refinished. The action is tight and the bores are near excellent . Est.: $20,000-$40,000
Refinishing shotguns is like golf: Lots of people do it, few do it well.
The 12 gauge VH-grade Parker shotgun you see here is up for auction now (ending March 17, 2013 17:15:00 PT). This double was made in 1902 and refinished by Parker in 1950 (owned by Remington and located in Ilion, NY, by then).
It’s a great looking gun, and it’s interesting to see what the factory did and how well they did it.
The first thing that JUMPS out are the screaming case colors. Those are cyanide colors. Originally this Parker came with bone-charcoal case colors, and when it was new they looked more like this. By the 1930s, Parker was using cyanide colors on all their shotguns. Take a closer look at the pics to see just how nice these colors looks.
Overall, I have to say that the refinish on this VH-grade Parker was done well — and right. If you would like to add a Remington-refinished Parker to your collection, this is the one to get.
Old gun catalogs from the original makers are one of the best places to learn about vintage shotguns. This Parker shotgun catalog on Ebay now is one of the nicest the company every produced. It’s also one of the most detailed and informative. If you’re really into Parker shotguns, it’s a must have.
This catalog is from 1937 – so well into Parker’s Remington period. I think it’s the final retail catalog Parker/Remington ever produced. With nice pictures, long descriptions and big pages (the catalog measures 11″ x 8 1/2″), it’s also one of the best. Ever single Parker shotgun available at the time is featured – from the A1 Special to single barrel Parker Trap guns. There are also accessories like butt pads and detailed instructions for ordering a new Parker side by side.
On the collector’s market, a catalog like this is a $400-$475 item, so if you can get this one for any less than that you’re going well. The auctions end on Feb 07, 2013 @ 17:30:18 PST, so get on it now.
Here’s part of the description of it from the seller’s listing:
“This is a all original Parker Gun Catalogue from when Remington took over production. The catalogue is in excellent condition with minimal wear , one small tear on one page…The catalog has all of the information when one was going to order one of these fine shotguns. It includes all of the grades from A1 Special to Trojan. It describes each grade in detail…”
Amoskeag’s 11/19 auction has a bunch of good double barrel shotguns coming up in it. Here a couple that would be ideal in the uplands.
20g Browning Superlight – of all the classic “America” shotguns, the Belgian Brownings are the most shootable. With modern dimensions and chambers, they’re very handy guns. Most of them are heavy, though. The Superlights are the exception. In 20g, they make great upland guns.
20g Parker DHE – This is a nice, later Parker (1937) with a straight grip, 14 1/2″ LOP and 2 1/2″ of drop. That’s a combination you see in very few vintage American doubles, and it makes this Parker very desirable. The only drawback is that I’m sure a lot of people will be after it.