The misinformation regarding barrel matting termination to
determine cut barrels is one of the most pervasive misconceptions
for new Parker collectors. There is an expectation that rib
matting stops at the front bead and a bar of un-matted rib is
found from the front bead to the rib's end. No bar at the end of
the matting and a flag goes up! No bar at the rib's end is a
viable guideline, but not an absolute rule.
Most of the time, but not always, expect to find the two barrels
touching at the muzzle end for un-cut barrels. But sometime to
get barrels regulated to shoot to point of aim wedges were
inserted to separate barrels and other times some cut barrels may
touch. Again, barrels touching is a guideline and not a
On uncut barrels, the space between the barrels and the ribs at
the muzzle end should have visible triangular metal filler
strips, called keels, and not simply solder. Cut barrels may or
may not have visible keels, because the original keels were
tapered triangular wedges about one and a half inches in length
and depending on the barrel length removed, some length of keel
may still be present. Shortened keels would "probably"
have more solder showing than normal because of their taper
allowing more solder area to be visable. No keels at all
indicates cut barrels.
If in doubt, measure the bore diameter, the length of chokes, the
actual barrel length, and if possible, check the factory
production information. If the chokes are 4 inches or longer and
the bore diameter is factory, it is likely that the barrels are
uncut. But, even the factory letter can get it wrong on occasion.
There are factory original Parker barrels that are +/- 1/8"
of what is stated or standard. 27 7/8" barrels are not
necessarily cut, as is the case with 28 1/8" barrels.
The internal dimensions of the bores and chokes are probably the