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1880 With No Grade Stamp on Water Table?
Unread 06-23-2019, 02:35 AM   #1
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Default 1880 With No Grade Stamp on Water Table?

New Parker owner here,

I just came into possession of an 1880 under lifter (serial no. 194XX) and spent a good deal of time attempting to identify it. Though I was stumped when I couldn't find a grade mark on the water table. Although I have identified the serial number and found a Letter "C" marked on the face of the barrel lug. I've found one other example on the web of a 1878 with very similar markings but no definitive answer of what specific grade the gun is.

I've attached some pictures that can help identify it. Thanks all in advance for your wisdom.
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File Type: jpg 1edqw31e.jpg (442.7 KB, 5 views)
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File Type: jpg 12edqwdw1.jpg (465.9 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 1ewed1eqd.jpg (454.1 KB, 25 views)
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Unread 06-23-2019, 06:51 AM   #2
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Hello Juliet,

Your Parker appears to be a Grade-0 based on the roll-stamped ‘engraving’ on the lock plates and hammers and the Twist barrels, identified by the T in crescents on the barrel flat. In that specific period a Grade-1 would have had Laminated barrels and a Grade-2 would have been made with Damascus barrels. Further, grade designation letters had not been developed and Parkers of that early period were what we call “dollar quality” but certain features are precursers of a specific ‘grade’.





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Unread 06-23-2019, 09:02 AM   #3
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No grade stamps on hammer guns of this period is common.
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Unread 06-23-2019, 11:50 PM   #4
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Ah I see, I didn't realize the Grade 0 had stamped engravings like these. I'm still a bit curious as to the meaning of the stamped "C" on the barrel lug. I thought it could be a maker's mark, but I think instead the JS on the top of the lug is instead.

Thank you again for your expertise.
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Unread 06-24-2019, 07:13 AM   #5
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We believe the “C” is an inspector’s mark.
“J.S.” Is the mark of barrel maker John Stokes.





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Unread 06-24-2019, 08:39 AM   #6
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Based upon the information in The Parker Story, I would have to conclude that your gun is at the very least a Grade 1, but more likely a Grade 2, when compared to the photo on the bottom of page 269 in TPS, which is virtually identical to your gun.
There were nearly the same number of T2 guns as there (205) were L2 guns (210) but the majority were D2 ( Damascus).

The engraving on your gun has much more detail and coverage than Grade 1 guns, and Grade 0 guns 'generally' had no engraving.

Grade 1 guns, like Grade 0, are very common in some form of twist steel.

In the end, a Research letter on the early guns will describe the grade of the gun almost entirely on the selling price rather than the physical attributes, such as engraving detail, or barrel steel. For what it's worth, the Serialization book identifies your gun as Grade 2, although it says D2, and not T2. This sort of 'error' is often explained away as a 'transposition error" or assumption made because some information in the original entry suggests a grade 2, but barrel steel may have been illegible, and an assumption was made because grade 2 guns were more commonly barrelled with Damascus steel.
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Unread 06-24-2019, 11:11 AM   #7
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Good Morning Juliet,
I wonder if you could show us a picture of the forend checkering pattern - the whole forend if you would?





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