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Gil Wheeler's 20 ga Parker
Unread 12-23-2023, 04:52 PM   #1
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Bill Strang
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Default Gil Wheeler's 20 ga Parker

Hello,
New member here; call me Bill or Will.

Gilbert ('Gil') M. Wheeler is my mother's, mother's father. His Parker recently came into my possession. I contacted Chuck Bishop to research the gun; while doing so I gave some background about the gun and Gil. He thought you folks might be interested to hear some of that story.

First, the gun itself: 20 ga built on a '0' size frame, VH grade. 28" barrels, straight grip stock with skeleton steel butt plate. Parker Bros. received Gil's order in Oct, 1914. The gun was shipped in Aug, 2015. Thanks again to Chuck for the research.

Gil spent his adult life in Brunswick, Maine where he was a successful business man and an avid outdoorsman and hunter. Family legend has it that Gil and L. L. Bean were frequent hunting partners. I would be surprised if they were not, actually, given that Brunswick and Freeport are neighboring cities, Gil and LL were of similar age, and they were both avid outdoorsmen. A second family legend about Gil is that he shot with Annie Oakley at least once. I have no proof of this, but my grandmother, Gil's daughter, told me many times as a child that Gil was an excellent shot. Gil often traveled to Boston by rail for business and to see the big city. So, who knows.

Gil passed away in 1956, leaving the gun to his older daughter, my grandmother. She passed away in 1987, leaving the gun to my uncle who, in turn, passed away in the early 2000's. Out of privacy and respect for the dead, I won't get into details, but suffice to say that my father deserves all the credit for keeping the gun in the family after my uncle's passing. My father passed away a little over two years ago. My mother, now 91 and still a force of nature, and my siblings decided that I should inherit Gil's Parker.

I have next to no knowledge of the gun's history since purchase other than Gil hunted frequently well into his 80's. It would not surprise me if he was the last one to fire it. I know my father did not (even though he was a very avid shooter), and I sincerely doubt my uncle ever did.

I'll next attempt to attach a few photos of it. Clearly, it has been worked on by someone not acquainted with Parker's.

Merry Christmas
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Unread 12-23-2023, 05:16 PM   #2
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Kevin McCormack
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Wow, nice gun with rich provenance! So great to see them kept in their original families!! Will be most interesting to see what the PGCA letter says re: chokes and SKBP.
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Unread 12-23-2023, 06:21 PM   #3
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I see no evidence that it was worked on by someone who was “not aquainted with Parkers.”
It looks good and somebody in your family wanted to make sure it didn’t deteriorate so they refinished it a bit.





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Unread 12-23-2023, 07:37 PM   #4
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Kevin: I do have the Research Letter and there is no mention of chokes. If "SKBP" means the skeleton steel butt plate, then that was an option, costing $5.00.

Dean: Didn't Parker align the slots of the screw heads align the axis of the barrels? I thought they did. If not, then my mistake.
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Unread 12-23-2023, 08:42 PM   #5
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Indeed the screws were originally timed when it left the factory. Misalignment could be the result of a couple of reasonz, both of which display a lack of experience. Yes then, you’re right but at least the screw slots aren’t buggered. Further, the only screw that’s misaligned is the lock screw.





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Unread 12-23-2023, 09:32 PM   #6
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As I told Bill, I believe the gun is in original condition except for what looks like a heavy coat of varnish. Gill Wheeler requested a medium full comb and a skeleton butt plate. I was happy for Bill in that usually you won't find VH grade guns ordered by an individual and it was his great grandfather who ordered it! Sometimes the stars align! I told him to just keep it lightly oiled and shoot it. That assumes that the gun is in good physical condition.
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Unread 12-24-2023, 12:27 AM   #7
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Bill:

That is a very special VH.

What is your location?

If it is in the New England region, you should bring it to this year's New Year's Day shoot.

The thread for the shoot in under GENERAL DISCUSSIONS on this Forum.

Here's a short-cut to the thread:

https://parkerguns.org/forums/showthread.php?t=40612
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Unread 12-24-2023, 10:40 AM   #8
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Welcome to Parkerland! We hope you will join our organization and continue to be a student of all things Parker. What a nice Parker and we would all love to read your expanded story in Parker Pages!
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Unread 12-24-2023, 03:04 PM   #9
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Thank you for the kind words. I'm not in New England, but thanks for the invite.

Here's a photo of the butt plate.
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Unread 12-24-2023, 03:22 PM   #10
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Wow, two holes drilled in the butt.





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