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Fred Gilbert's Parkers
Unread 06-15-2021, 09:02 AM   #1
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Default Fred Gilbert's Parkers

We've had previous threads, and articles in Parker Pages, regarding Fred Gilbert but many of the links are now inoperative and images lost when Picture Trail ceased operation.

“The Wizard of Spirit Lake” started with a Smith. After winning the First Grand DuPont Live Bird Championship, he was appointed representative of the DuPont Company, with the entire United States as his territory. He briefly traveled for Lefever, shooting one of the company’s doubles, before switching back to a L.C. Smith. Orders for Live Bird guns poured into Hunter Arms with the “Fred Gilbert Specifications”: drop at comb of 1 3/8 inches; at the heel, 2 inches; length from trigger to heel, 14 1/4 inches; trigger to toe 14 1/2 inches; and trigger to center of butt 14 inches; with a full pistol grip and 30-inch full choke barrels.

After the 1899 GAH he switched to a Parker
https://digital.la84.org/digital/col...oll17/id/43586

Order Book No. 41 records BH SN 83855 placed into stock in Jan., 1896 consigned to Fred Gilbert. The stock book lists a D5 hammerless, 0 extras, Straight Stock, 12 gauge, 30" barrels, Damascus barrels.

November 23, 1901, The Sportsmen’s Review, in an article written by “Gaucho” (Captain A.W. duBray, Parker Brothers shooting professional & traveling salesman from 1884 to 1926) entitled, “A Few Remarks on Some Celebrated Guns,” du Bray lists some prominent shooters and Gilbert was reported to be using a Parker with 30” barrels; 1 3/8” DAC; 2” DAH; 14 1/4” LOP with a Pistol Grip (which appears to be his Smith; his BH had a straight stock).

Toward the end of 1901, Gilbert received his new Parker DH SN 103649; no dolls head, no ejectors, 32” barrels, ordered by Russell Klein, Gilbert’s brother-in-law
https://digital.la84.org/digital/col...oll17/id/41367

I stumbled upon this article in in Okoboji Magazine which included 2 of the best images I've seen of Fred and his Parker
https://www.nwestiowa.com/okoboji_ma...17c974ed7.html

The first is undated image but likely the 32" barrel DH



1903 with some of his trophies; wearing a hand guard and a recoil pad.



Gilbert at the 1904 GAH and he's gained some weight

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Unread 06-15-2021, 10:08 AM   #2
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Great information. I have a 1904 Parker calendar featuring "Dood" and other prominent Parker shooters, and have often wondered about the man. We drive by Spirit Lake on our way to Minnesota often. I think I'll stop at the Park after reading this.

Thanks for (re-)posting this. Does someone still have the gun?
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Last edited by Garry L Gordon; 06-16-2021 at 08:04 AM.. Reason: poor spelling!
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Unread 06-15-2021, 10:23 AM   #3
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Garry: the next time you are by Spirit Lake could you please check out the library? It has been reported that Fred's Smith and some of his trophies are on display there. I contacted the library and the Dickinson County Museum and they did not reply.
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Unread 06-15-2021, 11:39 AM   #4
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I will most certainly plan to visit the library! Sounds like it could be a great excuse for a road trip.
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Unread 06-15-2021, 12:00 PM   #5
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Thank you Garry. And if there is indeed a display, please take pics!
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Unread 06-15-2021, 12:11 PM   #6
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Will do! I’ve already started working on Elaine about a new summer road trip.
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Unread 06-15-2021, 02:36 PM   #7
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I have one of Gilbert's SBT's.

Any others known to be out there?
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Unread 06-15-2021, 03:03 PM   #8
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Yours does not have the grooved FE Mills?

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Unread 06-15-2021, 03:11 PM   #9
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It does not and it has a pistol grip. It is not the same gun as pictured above. I have seen that ad mentioning Gilbert and the same gun and ad, but without reference to Gilbert.
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Unread 06-15-2021, 03:35 PM   #10
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Yep, 1917



1918

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