Originality, condition, grade,
features (ST, BTFE, SG & special order/unique) and
gauge are the accepted key factors that establish price. Worthy
also of consideration is the quality of any work done on
repaired or refinished guns. All are important factors in
placing value on a Parker but the three primary determining
factors are gauge (the smaller gauges commanding higher values),
condition and grade.
There are so many variables
in evaluating Parker Guns that it staggers the mind. The basic
"Polar North" of course is "Condition, Condition,
Condition. Nowadays the smaller bores rule in terms of dollar
value and desirability. Any small bore graded gun (e.g., G or
above) brings a steadily escalating premium over any
lesser-graded gun, regardless of gauge. That is, a 16 BHE grade
brings more money than a 12 ga (same grade) ; a 20 springs ahead
of a 16, a 28 takes a quantum leap over all three, and a .410
BHE makes you switch oxygen tanks (3 are known; 1 is genuine; 1
is "compromised", and one is a bona fide bogus gun).
And any CHE is a very desirable gun, provided condition is OK!
The real proof of the pudding in evaluating any gun is to have
the gun in hand and some "quiet time" for examining
the gun and recording as much info as possible from it.
Depending on the gun, this can take anywhere from 10 minutes on
a "mint" Trojan Grade 12 ga. (no mysteries) to
anywhere from 2 to 3 hours on an exceptional gun.
As guns ascend in desirability of grade and gauges, a myriad of
questions pour out: how are the (case) colors? How is the
condition of the wood? Is the stock original? Is the checkering
pattern and inletting of the stock correct? Is the grade of the
wood in the stock commensurate with the grade of the gun? Is the
finish of the stock original? Are the dimensions desirable for
How are the bores? What length are the chambers and do they
correspond to the correct period length for that gauge (e.g.,
before c. 1927-29 you are liable to encounter a great variance
in chamber length over gauge; after that, production
consistencies in ammunition production more or less determined
"standard" chamber lengths in most American SxSs.)
Have the barrels been cut? Have the chokes been opened up? Have
the chambers been lengthened? ( In this day and age, actually a
There is so much to know and so few people available (relatively
speaking) that can answer a majority of these questions, its
recommend that your first move being to get a letter on your gun
from the PGCA. If records exist, the letter will provide you
with at least a modicum of information. At least that will
provide you with a basis of data on which to research your gun
further (e.g., compare barrel length, choke, weight and stock
configuration as recorded when it left the factory with the
current condition of the gun).
Next, take (or have someone take) some clear, close-up digital
pictures of your gun and post them on this site so we can look
at them. Pay close attention to receiver engraving; stock
condition, wood to metal fit, butt treatment; muzzle close ups,
and watertable, barrel, and frame markings. This can help tell a
great deal about the gun. No one knows it all, but there are a
lot of us on this BBS that have looked at a LOT of Parker Guns!
Experience with auction houses can be mostly rewarding so far as
the evaluation and sale of fine double guns has been concerned.
The more discriminating firms most often have their operatives
defer to the individuals possessing the most intimate knowledge
of the desirability, rarity, historical significance, and
technical importance of collectible firearms (not just
Parkers!). These individuals, of course, are the seminal
collectors of these guns. Most are not conducive to being
approached for individual gun appraisals for obvious reasons
(e.g. security; purchase; resale, etc.).
I would encourage you to use this site as a first step in
determining the "value" of your gun. There are many of
us here that can help you. The "dollars and sense"
will come later very naturally.
it is worth what the owner and a willing buyer agree upon;
which can be an arbitrary figure and certainly subjective at the
very least. Simple supply and demand at any given time is a