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John Cleveland 03-23-2021 09:41 PM

Waste of time, or....?
I have a Parker lifter hammer that my father found in the attic of a house he bought, probably in the late 1940's or early 1950's. It was/is in terrible shape. In the late 50's, he had the firing pins cut off, the front section of the top rib, which had come loose, soldered back in place, put adhesive tape around the cracked stock near the block, and gave it to me to play with. For some reason, probably sentimental, I kept it around, though we thought that it probably was ready for the junk pile. As I matured and learned that it was a Parker and the value of them, I always felt sick that someone had so poorly treated the gun, but considering its condition, didn't spend any time thinking about it. Later, my sons played with it in learning about guns. Sometimes in the field or drinks after, I would lament its fate, but it was discussed like you would a dead relative--a sad loss, but over with.

Then, today, at a hunting preserve training my dog, sitting around afterwards, talk turned to the Parker that the trainer had, and the L.C. Smith another hunter had. As usual, I raised my lament. Surprisingly, the hunter stopped me and said that maybe I should check with Turnbull Restorations, that they can do amazing things. I thought that might be very unlikely, but I came home to look at their website. That got me thinking at least, maybe I can figure out the model and age of the gun, if nothing else for curiosity's sake. That led me to this site, and a lot of looking at resources here.

Turns out that SN 15313 was shown in your SN list as manufactured in 1879 (although there appears to be engraving on the forearm release that looks like "TD MAR 25, 1878" . It is apparently a model U with Damascus barrels and a straight English stock. Aside from the stock, it looks like the Grade 2 section link to pictures of lifter hammer guns, which shows a Grade U gun.

So, I am wondering about where a U model fits into the scheme of grades. I don't find it specifically listed on the grade description page, though it shows up in pictures linked from the Grade 2 section. Is there any thing distinguishing it from Grade 2, or other grades?

Finally, after dismissing the gun all these years, the idea of some kind of restoration is intriguing. I seriously doubt it could be restored to significant value, but an expert might be able to make it an attractive display for, say, over a mantle. Maybe after all it has been through, it deserves some love for being a survivor. Does anyone know anything about Turnbull Restoration?

Gary Carmichael Sr 03-24-2021 09:33 AM

Jon, Some photos of the old girl would help us with identifying what you have, should be a grade 2 under lifter straight stock with 30" Damascus barrels, Gary

Dean Romig 03-24-2021 09:38 AM

Doug Turnbull runs a great operation restoring these old guns. His shop turns out some really nice work. There are others however, who can produce equally nice work.

The checkering, especially on the forend - if it is still evident there, can give a clue to the grade of the gun, that and the engraving on the lock plates and elsewhere on the frame.

You should post some pictures here on this thread.


John Cleveland 03-24-2021 10:35 AM

Thanks! I will post some shortly. I almost hesitate, because it may be as painful for others as it is for me to see its condition.

John Cleveland 03-24-2021 10:41 AM

BTW, after looking at some pictures here and restored guns on Turnbull, I think that the "TD MAR 25, 1878" is a patent date marking. I will show it in the pictures.

What resolution should I use? They will be iPhone 12 pictures which are quite detailed, but quite large.

Andrew Sacco 03-24-2021 12:24 PM

Mid to low resolution is fine for the screen. I'm looking forward to photos. I've seen one or two Turnbull restorations up close and personal. Stunning. Sit down if you decide to get a quote : )

John Cleveland 03-24-2021 12:54 PM

9 Attachment(s)
Hope these are good enough:

Dean Romig 03-24-2021 01:08 PM

Wow - that one’s been rode hard!

Judging by the “knot” in the bow-tie checkering of the forend it is a grade-2 or G. That’s called the three-point checkering pattern. A grade-1 wouldn’t have the knot in the bow-tie.


John Cleveland 03-24-2021 01:25 PM

Do you know how the U stamped on it figures into the grade?

Dean Romig 03-24-2021 01:42 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I had given my opinion on the significance of the U several months ago but I was pooh-pooh’d so I’l let others express their opinions.

This picture describes what I had posted then but I didn’t provide a picture then to support my opinion. And here it is for those who may have doubted.


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