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Need identification before restoration
Unread 05-30-2021, 08:48 PM   #1
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Jim Copenhaver
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Default Need identification before restoration

My wife's father just recently handed down a Parker Bros. shotgun which is a family heirloom. I've taken it to a gunsmith who recommended I converse with this group before he started restoration as it seemed a bit unusual.

This is the information we were able to gather from an initial look along with pictures.

Serial Number: 166 F (best guess - see pictures)
British Proofed
30 inch barrel
Lifter Style
Extra Engraving
Locking Lug
Black Powder
12 Gauge
Laminated Steel Barrel
Barrel Text (best as I can make out) "Parker Bros. Maker Meriden Conn Laminated Steel.
It has some proofs engraving in the barrel as well

Thanks in advance for any assistance in identifying this model!

Jim
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Unread 05-30-2021, 09:05 PM   #2
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If your gunsmith is not at all familiar with the gun and thinks it unusual, you may want to ask yourself if you want them doing any “restoration” work on it.
Most would not even think of restoring the gun as it appears to be in fine overall conditon and operable.

The serial number is 166. First year of Parker Bros production. So 1869 manufacture. Back action with what looks like Laminated steel barrels.
The “F” has nothing to do with the serial number. Or identification of any sorts.

It would be considered a grade 1. Actually in this time period the grade would be designated by the dollar amount paid, I cannot recall off my head what the dollar amount for this one would be. But it is one step up from the bottom. The base grade would be not engraved and have decarbonized steel barrels. This is the next step up likely.
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Unread 05-30-2021, 09:29 PM   #3
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Jim Copenhaver
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This being the first time I've gone down the restoration process and completely out of my depth, what would be the "best" approach given the following:

1.) We really want to preserve it for the future.
2.) It will remain in the family. NO intention to sell it.
3.) We are willing to invest in it's preservation and restoration.

Is it valuable enough to warrant restoration and if so what approach would you recommend in terms of gunsmith and/or instructions for restoration?
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Unread 05-30-2021, 09:48 PM   #4
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This is what I would say. Brian is very knowledgeable and respected, Iím sure his comments earlier is good info and with that said and your intro, I would send it to Brian or someone with lots of Parker knowledge for a qualified evaluation and any suggestions. In the vintage gun circle, original is very valuable. By the way join PGCA and learn all you can.
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Unread 05-31-2021, 09:20 AM   #5
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Aside from removing and peening or replacing damaged screws, I wouldn't think of any restoration. It is a rare and important Parker with features that would be removed or hidden by a restoration attempt.
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Unread 05-31-2021, 09:31 AM   #6
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I would recommend a professional cleaning simply to remove crud and grime on both the wood and metal parts but NOT to erase the handling marks put on it by your ancestors - those scars and marks are part of the gun’s history and the stories it woul tell if it could.





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Unread 05-31-2021, 11:34 AM   #7
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First year production is of course a very special find. It is a great piece of history to the Parker community. What everyone is saying, it's original condition is super important and you would not want to do any restoration to take away from that.
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Unread 05-31-2021, 12:28 PM   #8
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What exactly is restoration? This question is a constant here. It can mean the cleaning of 110 years of accumulated grime and internal crud revealing honest wear of an honest good condition gun or the complete striping of all finish from all surfaces.

What does the owner wish to accomplish? Do they think this will enhance value or desirability? Is the gun abused as in the VH i bought at auction that had a coat of duck boat paint on it?

The post should state what the desired end result is and then advice can be given. Some may want to see it as it was the day it was finished as a display piece, others will have their own desires.
If I was so blessed with a gun handed down from my grandfather ( and i am) all i would do is clean it and cherish it.
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Unread 05-31-2021, 02:43 PM   #9
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This is the 1869 Price List



The Laminated Steel rough forged tubes were sourced from and proved in Birmingham.
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Unread 05-31-2021, 07:28 PM   #10
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Good advice is given above. Brian would be a good gunsmith to clean it up a bit.
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