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A friend of mine asked me to take a look at an old shotgun he got from his family.
From what I can tell it is a Parker manufactured in 1897.
The barrels are marked as being "Damascus" which I have read is unsafe to shoot with modern shells.
I believe it is also a Grade 3 from what I can tell.
Can anyone tell me anything more about Parker shotguns?
Will post pictures later.
07-04-2011, 2:36 PM
Getting a Parker right requires some special expertise, but with some pics we could at least tell you 1) if it IS a Parker, and 2) where to go to get a real run-down, if it merits that.
As for damascus barrels, that is in itself a lifetime study. But in general, you're right, you can't just shoot any modern shells in it, especially cheap ones made to work any old automatic shotgun. But you may or may not be able to shoot the RIGHT smokeless shells in it, depending on a whole lot of factors. And you may or may not be able to shoot modern black powder shells in it.
For the best info, clear pix of the water table and the bottom flats of the barrels are needed, so you need to take the forend and barrels off the reciever and shoot the top inside of the reciever and the bottoms of the barrels. That's where the proofmarks and other important data marks are stamped.
Is this a hammer or a hammerless gun? Parker made many of both.
07-04-2011, 3:03 PM
Does it have a conventional top snap lever to open the barrels, or is it an earlier "lifter" type? Lifters have a plunger on the bottom of the receiver that you push up to unlock the gun.
Even junky, rusted n busted Parkers have some value.
Here is what I have been able to find out.
1.) The top of the barrel says the following:
"Parker Brothers Makers Meridien Connecticut Damascus Steel"
2.) The markings on the underside of the barrel indicate the following:
Frame Size= 2
Barrel Weight= 4-6 (superscript)
Serial #= 85657
Grade= 3 or D
Gauge = 12 (based on dropping a snap cap in the chamber)
I'm attaching a couple of photos of the shotgun, a closeup of the receiver, and the serial number.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
07-05-2011, 6:49 AM
Beautiful Parker! It looks from the stock (semi-pistol grip, beavertail forend, single trigger) like this was made as a dedicated trap or live pigeon shooting gun.
More questions: what length are the barrels? Does it have ejectors? Can you tell the chamber length (could be anything from 2 1/2" to 3" although 3" magnums were very rare in those days)? What is the bore condition? Is the single trigger selective and does it have a name on the blade (part you can see)?
07-05-2011, 9:49 AM
Lots of info here : http://www.parkerguns.org/
My dad use to collect them. I remember several trips made back east just to look a couple.
Thanks to everyone for the help.
I posted a message to the Parker Shotgun message boards and got some great responses in addition to all of the good information I got here.
One of the posters identifed a shop in West Covina (Ivory Beads) that specializes in older shotguns and my friend is taking it to them to get it checked out.
Thanks again. You guys are a great help.
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