The most information on a Parker S/N will be obtained when both the Order Book and Stock Book are available and the least amount of information when only the IBM card is available.

The Order Books start in January 1877 and end in November 1919.  If the Parker was made either before 1877 and after 1919, there will not be information on who ordered the gun.  The PGCA doesn't have all the Order books, so there are gaps in the records.

The Stock Books start at serial number (S/N) 1500 and end at S/N 238934.  Most of the information between S/N 1500 and 1799 is unreadable.  Starting at S/N 1800, more information is included; including patterning information.  Frame sizes are not listed until S/N 213778.  Patterning information between 1800 and 213777 is hit and miss, due to the way the original Stock book was copied.  There is no patterning information from S/N 213778 to the last S/N found in the Stock book, which is S/N 238934.  The PGCA does not have all the Stock books, so there are gaps in the records.

If the Parker S/N is only found on the IBM card, then only the grade, gauge, barrel length, shipped date, and options such as single trigger, vent rib, and beavertail forend will be found.  The IBM card may or may not identify who ordered the gun.  If the IBM card has the name, it’s just the name and not the address.

Examples of Order books, Stock books, and IBM cards can be found in links in the FAQ page.

The PGCA also has some Work Order Tags.  If the PGCA has a Work Order Tag for that Parker S/N, that information will be added to the research letter.  The original tag can be purchased.  Information on how to buy a Work Order Tag is found in the research letter link on the PGCA home page.

The Order Book always gives the name of who ordered the gun, however a large majority of these guns were ordered by Sporting Goods and Hardware store companies.  This is especially true with the Trojan through the G grade Parkers.  The D grades see more guns ordered by individuals, but still the majority were ordered by Sporting Goods and Hardware stores.  Many times when ordered by a company, the word “Tag” is in the order.  This means it was ordered by that company but was shipped to another person, usually the buyer of the gun.  That information is included in the research letter.

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