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Old January 1, 2002, 12:28 PM   #1
Hand_Rifle_Guy
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Value on a Parker combo gun?

I have a chance to get a Parker V-grade 12 guage/.45-70 hammerless combo gun. It has express sights with 4 silver-inlaid leaves from 25 yds. to 100 yds., with an ivory front bead with a built-in reflector set in the rib. It's a bit battered, but the barrels retain all bluing, the bores are shiny, with no pitting, it locks up solid like a bank vualt and it's not damascus. No particular type of steel is identified on the rib. Double triggers, a worn, melted-looking dog's-head buttplate, and a pistol-grip cap. Oh, and a blank silver stock shield on the bottom of the shoulder stock. No initials, or anything.

The dealer's asking $1199 for it, which I am inclined to fork over, as this is the closest thing to a double rifle I've seen that won't cost like 10 grand. Serial range is 70 thousand-ish, But I don't know what vintage it is.

Is this price good/bad/indifferent? Can someone tell me approximately when it was built? I have seen other Parkers, but all have been much higher grades, and were MUCH more expensive. (A three gun set for a mere $95,000? Among others... )

I'm pretty much sold on this gun, but I would like to know if I'm getting any kind of deal. I don't really want to kiss this guy, but it's nice to at least kiss when you're getting screwed.


Thanks much.
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Old January 1, 2002, 12:50 PM   #2
huntsman
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parker

While my knowlege in Parkers is slim to none, I thought I'd chime in.
This sounds like a really cool gun combo , I think well worth checking out. There are a couple of real good reference books out there on just Parkers and maybe someone over at gunshop.com could help, I think they still have some serial # reference tables posted there.
The only thing I'd really worry about is who made the rifle barrels, If they turn out to be factory, then no sweat but if they're custom made then I'd check into fit and if possible shoot them to make shure the barrels are regulated and have the correct POI.
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Old January 1, 2002, 02:13 PM   #3
PJR
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Approach with extreme caution....

Now, I'm no Parker expert but going through my various reference books here's what I can tell you.

I can't find a reference to Parker ever having made a rifle set. Is this a two barrel set -- One shotgun, one rifle?

It might have happened and its certainly possible the barrels were made after the fact. Secondly, a serial number in the 70 thousand range would signify that the gun was made in late 1891. The designation should be VH if it is a hammerless gun and the shotgun barrels should refer to "Vulcan Steel" if they are original Parker barrels.

Even for a Parker VH, the asking price seems low. My two year old edition of the Blue Book cites a VH in 70 per cent condition being worth $1,200 and I've always found Blue Book prices to be lower when it comes to actual selling prices.

At the very least, I'd ask for a 3 day period during which you could return the gun for full purchase price and use those three days to have the gun inspected by someone who knows Parker guns. This gun doesn't sound right and Parker guns have been faked, copied and otherwise manipulated to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers.
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Old January 2, 2002, 10:41 AM   #4
Hand_Rifle_Guy
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It's not a two-barrel set; one smoothbore (left) one rifle bore (right). the rifle bore is a liner set in the smoothbore barrel. I'm pretty sure it's authentic, as I read that Parker made some of these in the Parker book. Unfortunately, I read that some years ago, and my Parker book is buried in storage right now, or I might not need to ask this question! (Forgive me, I'm between houses right now, and the rental market round these parts is brutal lately.)

The letter stamped on the table is just a "V", no H, but the amount of wear on this gun is consistent throughout, so if it's a fake, it's really good.

Oooops, I goofed. The serial is 87,XXX. I transposed the first two numbers in my head. That would make it a later, but not much later, built gun. 70% is a pretty good asessment of this gun's condition, and this dealer is known to me to price stuff right out of the book, so that's probably a good endorsement.

I have a Parker 10 ga. hammer gun (T-stamp) that actually displays less use than this one. It has "twist" barrels, read coarse damascus or "skelp", serial 74,XXX. It shows comparable workmanship, and commonality of markings and construction details. near as I could find out, this one was made around 1885.

I got it from the same guy, for $1100, but I wasn't to sure about that price either as the refernces have very little to say about the hammer guns. But I have seen comparable 12's and 10's advertised in the Double Gun Journal for anywhere from $700 to $1500, so I don't regret buying it. Plus I really like it, but I wish I could shoot it.

Here's a little more info to work with, and thanks for the assistance. I'm going to go digging, and check out gunshop.com.

Edit: Gunshop.com's production tables list my 10 ga. as 1892, the combo as 1897. Thanks!
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