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family owned .410 VH help!
Unread 04-27-2013, 12:05 AM   #1
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Default family owned .410 VH help!

I am trying to learn more about Parker Brothers as a company and also my particular shotgun as well. I have a .410 VH hammerless with serial #217752 (1926). My grandfather, Arthur Carver from Durham, NC, bought the gun along with his two cousins. The three of them mail-ordered the guns and received three identical .410's in the mail, with sequentially ordered serial numbers. I do not know the whereabouts of the two other guns but I am planning on finding out very soon whether they are still with my living uncles. Mr. Carver used his .410 as his daily hunting gun. He was involved in the tobacco industry but had a great love of hunting and dogs. He was a national champion bird dog trainer in the 20's and 30's and the gun obviously saw a lot of use but was taken care of well. I never knew my grandfather as he passed away a few years before I was born. My mother had the gun when she passed away 10 years ago. She only told me that the gun had two identical brothers and that it was Mr. Carver's everyday carry. I'm not sure if she knew any more than that or not. I plan to keep the gun for my daughter and to keep in the family.

I do not have pics now but will be posting them soon when I have access to the shotgun. I have a couple of general questions though. I took it in to have the lead gunsmith at a very large gun and coin shop in Charlotte recently. The smith was very friendly and took a good deal of time talking to me and answering questions. He graded the gun about about "60%." There are no major flaws and only one very small dent in one of the barrels. The stock is probably the worst of the elements with several deep scratches and lots of small ones.

When does one restore? What makes a gun a good or bad candidate for restoration. The smith I talked to said this gun would be a "perfect" candidate. Even though I am planning to hold on to it I want to do right by the gun if that makes sense. It's not all about the money but I don't want to devalue it. He said that the gun's value would be raised to about 80% of mint after restoration. I have always heard not to restore old, collectible guns - appreciate the patina and age, etc. I thought that I had agreed with that philosophy until I saw a Parker 16 ga VH that he had just finished restoring. It was BEAUTIFUL! The smith said it was in similar if not worse shape than mine when it came in.

Should I consider restoring? I think that I would get a thrill from seeing the gun in close to original condition again - the condition that my grandfather used it in. I liken it to getting an old classic car back on the road again. However, this gun is in perfect working order but cosmetically it is dull and drab. Restoration is a pricey process and I don't want to do it just to get a kick out of doing it and I certainly do NOT want to devalue the gun somehow.

I have wondered about this for a while. Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated very much. Thanks! Will
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Unread 04-27-2013, 12:19 AM   #2
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Will,
I would invite you to join PGCA and order a letter for a great family gun, when you get pic's posted the guy's will be able to advise you on some thoughts on it.

Craig
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Unread 04-27-2013, 05:08 AM   #3
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Hello Will,

We Parker guy's are currently at the Deep River Sporting Clays Club in Sanford NC this weekend. I don't know how far away you are from Sanford but if you can, jump in your car and bring your gun over. We'd love to see it and can evaluate it's condition. It's your gun and you can restore it or not but most agree that it's better to leave it in it's original condition. It's only original once in it's lifetime and the dings and dents add character and history to the gun. Your choice.
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Unread 04-27-2013, 08:42 AM   #4
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Will, Getting the gun to Sanford this weekend would be a great idea if it's possible. But with that said good quality pictures would help us. This is a great gun with family provenance so tread lightly.At the very least I would have the dent removed by a quality doublegun smith.
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Unread 04-27-2013, 10:55 AM   #5
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What a treat it would be to see the three of them reunited in a Parker Pages article.
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Unread 04-27-2013, 12:39 PM   #6
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The Serialization book shows 217751, 217752 and 217753 as all being VH .410s. The first two as ball or round grip and the last as capped grip.
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Unread 04-27-2013, 07:57 PM   #7
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James ,You are on it ,It never occurred to me to take a look ,THAT'S COOL ,now I guess we all know where they went when they were shipped ! Russ
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Unread 04-27-2013, 08:56 PM   #8
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great info! thanks guys. unfortunately i cannot make it to Sanford this weekend but i will be posting pics soon.
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Unread 04-28-2013, 04:46 PM   #9
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i thought the 410 found at the yard sale was afind of a life time and my hats off to the man thats taking care of it...but now we got 3 brothers that buy 3 410 s and hunted with them..now fellows this is truly astonishing to me..i truly hope all the 3 guns are in this family...and as has been said this would make a great storey in the parker pages even if there still not together in this family...i hope this thread goes a long time... charlie
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Unread 04-29-2013, 09:28 AM   #10
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A Parker .410 restored by a gunsmith whose work looks "beautiful", but no one has heard of him, would be worth thousands less than one restored by someone like Turnbull Restorations. Please let us look at the gun before you make any decision about a full restoration. A .410 Parker in unrestored 60% condition still has value above twelve thousand dollars, maybe well above. 80% of mint for a restored .410 is pushing the limit. A mint VH .410 is close to a $30,000 gun in today's market and no restored VH would be anywhere close.
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