What is My Parker Bros. Shotgun Worth?
In the world of fine double barrel shotguns, Parker Bros. carries the reputation as being one of the finest, American made, vintage shotguns ever produced. With a plethora of special grades, models and calibers, there was a shotgun for the different needs of an array of shooters from hunters to competition shooters.
Parker shotguns are prized by collectors as being one of the finest shotguns ever built in the world. These handcrafted sporting arms trace their origin to just after the American Civil War when Charles Parker and his sons went into the firearm business. The family formed Parker Bros., and eventually became renowned for its fine side-by-side sporting shotguns featuring a lifter-type action. Parker Bros. remained in business from 1867 until 1934. When the firm was acquired by the Remington Arms Co. Both the Parker name and line were discontinued in 1942.
Today, Parker Bros. shotguns are still revered and are well-known for their quality and craftsmanship. These coveted shotgun’s reputation, as well as their rarity, make them highly sought after among collectors and shotgun enthusiasts. Determining the value of these shotguns depends on many factor. From the grade, type of steel and the year it was produced, there are many different factors that can make one Parker shotgun more valuable than the other.
Hammerless Parker shotguns came in basic configurations as well as the highest and most ornate models. The fit and finish on Parker guns is indicative of the level of attention to detail invested by the gun smiths at the factory.
When considering Parker shotgun grades, there are two primary concerns other than gauge. Parker shotguns were made in 8-, 10-, 12-, 14-, 16-, 20-, and 28-gauge with the first .410 introduced in 1927. As for the guns themselves, Parker employed a very popular method of sizing the gun’s action to the gauge of choice, resulting in ‘frame’ of ‘action’ sizes. These were indicated by number, and ranged from No. 3 being the heaviest to No. 00 as the lightest.
Another factor in gun selection was the ‘grade’ of the gun. Parker gun grades ranged from the most basic Trojan, then V or VH for Vulcan, PH, GH, DH, CH, BH, AH and A1 Special.
Shotguns were available or made to order with options like grip style, barrel length, and choke bore. As a result, there were many combinations of frame, grade, and gauge produced, and even greater when considering the many features a customer could select. Grips could be full pistol, semi-pistol or straight grip. Barrels ranged from 24 inches to a remarkable 40 inches (primarily in trap or specialty guns).
A major factor in determining value for any firearm comes from the condition of the gun. If it is in mint condition with little finish wear from handling, the gun can retain a good portion of its retail value. If more usage is apparent and the gun has scuffs, dents or scratches on the slide or polymer lower, the value will lower with each imperfection. Same goes with the metal parts, the more scratches and faded bluing finish that becomes present on the gun from handling and usage can greatly diminish its value. The takeaway is that as the condition of the firearm worsens, the less it will be worth when re-sold.
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