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New member from South Florida
Unread 09-20-2022, 08:41 PM   #1
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Robert Luttgen
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Default New member from South Florida

Hello everyone. My name is Robert Luttgen, and I am a new member from Key Biscayne, Florida. I am not a collector, but rather the proud owner of a 1917 Grade 1, Parker PH with “Parker Steel” barrels. It is a 12 gauge in the 1 1/2 frame size, with a barrel weight of 3-9. There is a repair to the wood behind the right barrel - my guess is from a pierced/failed primer. It was my father’s only shotgun until he finally passed it on to me. While probably not of high value to a collector, it has a priceless family history that you might find interesting.

My father actually brought the Parker home from Japan at the end of WWII as a “souvenir of war” (sounds odd, doesn’t it). You see he was in command of an LCT (Landing Craft Tank) which was, as the name implies, big enough to deliver two tanks to the beach during the war in the Pacific. And like so many others, he down-played his role in the war, not really wanting to talk about his time spent island-hopping across the Pacific. As a kid I only knew that his LCT was the first landing craft to actually “hit the beach” in Tokyo Bay; bringing in the first Marines for the occupation of Japan.

After the Japanese surrender, the Emperor had ordered all of his citizens to surrender their personal weapons to the American occupying forces. And being dutiful to the Emperor, they complied without question. A neighborhood would be told when to place their weapons (mostly military firearms) in the road. The Marines then arrived in their “deuce and a half’s” to pick everything up and haul it back to the Navy; who then dumped everything into Tokyo Bay. And of course Marines being Marines (God bless them), they would separate out anything of value to keep for themselves, or to sell to the sailors on the ships for cigarettes and/or whisky. My father didn’t smoke, but kept his cigarette ration anyway for “trading”. So for two cartons of cigarettes and a bottle of whisky, he became the proud owner of the Parker, a Remington double that I now realize might have been a “Remington Parker”, and three Japanese Ariska rifles, bayonets included (I still shoot the then new 6.5x50 type 44, which Dad had “sporterized”).

So, how did a Parker end up in Japan you might ask? Well, the Japanese did not have a sporting arms industry - everything was centered around the production of military weapons. My father said that almost all of the sporting arms that the Marines confiscated were of American manufacture. In reality, only the local nobility were allowed the pleasure of hunting for sport. The stock on our Parker had been shortened to accommodate a smaller man, and I believe that the wooden buttplate currently on the gun is the only part that is not original.

My father gave the Remington double to his father-in-law, and I grew up shooting it on the farm in Kansas more than the Parker. I believe that I preferred the Remington’s straight English-style “wrist” to the pistol grip on the Parker. Unfortunately this Remington was stolen years later along with the two 7.7 Ariskas, and several other guns including a Winchester Model 41 from the 1920’s which had been my father’s first shotgun, and then mine.

The Parker has seen a lot of use, so we sort of “retired” it years ago. I would like to start shooting it again, but only after a knowledgable gunsmith gives it a little tender loving care. I am happy with the cosmetics of the gun so I am not sure that “restoration” is the correct word. But I am looking for someone who can thoroughly work over its mechanics, so that I can safely use it on a regular basis without worry. This gun should be hunted, not just looked at. So if you can recommend a true Parker specialist that can give this sweetheart a new lease on life (preferably not too many states away from Florida), I would greatly appreciate it.
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Unread 09-20-2022, 09:00 PM   #2
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Bill Schwarz in Elijah Georgia.
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Unread 09-21-2022, 11:39 AM   #3
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Bill is the man for you and your Parker. 706 276 7668 is his number.
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Unread 09-21-2022, 11:44 AM   #4
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Welcome Robert, and great story. Glad you appreciate its history and keeping it in the family.
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Unread 09-21-2022, 12:12 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies - I can't tell you how much information I have already received about this particular Parker.

But first of all, membership does have its advantages. So for all you 'lurkers' out there: I find that there is great value here - well worth the cost of membership.

Finally, I just received an email with my "Parker Research Letter" - best $42 that I spent in a long time. Chuck Bishop does an incredible service! And one word in the Parker order book stands out: "Yokohama". Yes, it appears that my Parker was shipped to Japan on March 14, 1918 as part of a larger order which included 5 GH's with Damascus barrels, 3 PH guns with Parker Steel barrels, and 2 VH's. Great work Mr. Bishop! I can't thank you enough.
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Unread 09-21-2022, 12:31 PM   #6
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That's a fantastic story Robert. Would love a few more close up photos.
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Unread 09-21-2022, 12:32 PM   #7
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How come there's snow on the ground in Key Biscayne??
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Unread 09-21-2022, 12:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Luttgen View Post
Thanks for all the replies - I can't tell you how much information I have already received about this particular Parker.

But first of all, membership does have its advantages. So for all you 'lurkers' out there: I find that there is great value here - well worth the cost of membership.

Finally, I just received an email with my "Parker Research Letter" - best $42 that I spent in a long time. Chuck Bishop does an incredible service! And one word in the Parker order book stands out: "Yokohama". Yes, it appears that my Parker was shipped to Japan on March 14, 1918 as part of a larger order which included 5 GH's with Damascus barrels, 3 PH guns with Parker Steel barrels, and 2 VH's. Great work Mr. Bishop! I can't thank you enough.
What a wonderful history for your gun, Robert.
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Unread 09-21-2022, 12:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Sacco View Post
How come there's snow on the ground in Key Biscayne??
You haven't heard? Global warming!
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Unread 09-21-2022, 09:30 PM   #10
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Parker 2.jpg

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Parker 7.jpg

Parker 8.jpg

Parker 9.jpg

Parker 10.jpg

Parker 12.jpg

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