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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We have a 1922 Parker Bros 12 gauge shotgun. Serial #199078, grade 4 CHE, frame size 2, hammerless, Acme steel 30" barrels. Capped pistol grip. LoP- 14 3/4 DaH- 2 5/8 Weight- 7 pounds, 10 ounces. Husband had his neck fused so is no longer firing shotguns. I am having a hard time finding a value for this.
 

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This is one of those guns that must be checked very carfully to determine value. They are scarce, only 1100 made. This gun should be checked personally, in hand by someone who has expertiese with Parkers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
1100, we did not know that. We had the background research done by Parker Gun Collectors Association but they did not tell us that. Curious, how did you find that? Wonder how we go about finding a person qualified to check it personally. I would also wonder if it is valuable enough to put in a gun auction somewhere or if we should just try to sell it ourselves?

Nancy
 

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I found that info in The Blue Book Of Gun Values. Parkers are highly collectible if they are all original. If the gun has been altered in any way, its value decreases. The two rules for collectible firearms are rarity and condition. The Parker Gun Collectors Assoc. should be able to put you in touch with someone qualified to appraise it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A question. This Parker is clearly stamped with the letters CH. Yet the Parker Gun Collectors Association call it a CHE. Which designation should I call it?
 

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Nancy
Some of the information given here is not correct, or is misleading; so consider the following. First of all The Parker Collectors Association is THE best source of information on Parker Shotguns. The PGCA has all the remaining/surviving production records; some records are more complete than others, but all that remains of the production and shipping record for each gun is in their hands. As to production by grade, surviving records record a total of of 1,874 C Grade Parkers as having been manufactured; of those, 1,674 were hammerless models (CH Grade), and the balance were made with exposed hammers (hammer guns). But there are actually more Grade C Parker guns in existense than the records show, as several production books are missing; so no one knows exactly how many may have been manufactured. Of the 1,674 hammerless Grade C guns produced, the overwhelming majority were made in 12 gauge (1205); and the overwhelming majority of those were made with 30" barrels. The ledger book containing the production record for your gun still exits; and states that gun 199078 was shipped with 30" ACME Steel barrels (one of 697 shipped w/ACME Steel barrels), was a 12-gauge, had a capped pistol grip stock, was built on a #2 frame, and was manufactured on a hammerless action. With Parker shotguns, a frame stamp of "CH" would denote that the gun was ordered and shipped with optional automatic ejectors (a plus); the "H" stamp being the key to the ejector option code, as the frame would only bear a "C" stamp if it had been shipped with manual extractors. Although C Grade Parker guns are not rare, they are scarce; and there exists a fair number of Parker collectors, so demand keeps Parker prices higher than is the case with most vintage American double guns. But, as with any other vintage gun, condition is everything; and this gun does not appear to have survived in pristine condition. You didn't show enough pics; but those you did post show little to no remaining case color, worn stock finish and checkering, and thinning blue. With Parkers it is extremely important to value that the barrels on this gun have not been cut and remain original at 30". It is also important that the auto ejectors still function properly, and that the gun have no after-market modifications. To determine value, it would be best to have the gun appraised by at least two qualified appraisers; and as to those Blue Book Gun Values, that book is nothing more than a guide and is equally notorious for over-stating and also under-stating vintage double gun values. Rest assured that remaining original condition, and collector demand are the only factors that ultimately determine a gun's value. Hopefully, this information will be helpful; and I wish you the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for the very long and detailed information. As this gun is over 90 years old and has been used, it is not in pristine condition. I will attempt to take some accurate pictures of the barrels and post. What is "case" is reference to color?
 

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Nancy:
Very few guns from this era have managed to survive in pristine condition, which fact is why those guns that have are in such demand and so highly prized by modern day collectors. As to your questions on case colors; case colors are a by-product of the metail hardening process Parker, and other vintage double gun makers used in the production of gun frames, the fore iron metal, and miscellaneous small parts and screws. The by-product from this metial hardendfing process was that it left/produced a very thin layer of carbon on metal surfces with a most interestng appearance; that layer of carbon exhibited a variety of rainbow like hues in various shades of rose, blue, grey, yellow, etc. To harden these parts, parts were wrapped in leather, encased in bone charcoal, packed in metal boxes, heated to a high temperature for a spedified time frame, then quenched/cooled rapidly in an oil bath. These vintage gun makers were very secretive with their case color "formulas"; and it has been stated that included in the box along with the leather and bone charcoal were urine, feces, and other disgusting substances; but all double gun makers had their own receipe so that case colors varied slightly from maker to maker. After Remington purchased Parker Brothers in 1934, the case coloring process was changed in an effort to reduce costs, and the primary ingredient then used to create case color was cyanide; a very dangerous substance that cost the health of many men from that era who were charged with this task But regardless the process, the resulting colors were so interesting that these makers lwould not remove them from hardened metal parts; and instead further enhanced those colors by coating them with lacquer, which also served to protect case-colored finishes from handling, as case colors were prone to wear quicker than the rust blue finish on a set of barrels. Among collectors the value of a vintage double gun is always determined by the amount of retained original finishes; and of the three areas that comprise a vintage double gun's finishes (barrel blue/browning, stock finishes, and case colors) the most important is the percentage of remaining original case color. As you check your gun, if you examine the barrel flats (the flat portion of the frame upon which the barrels rest), and the underside of the fore iron (the flat surface under the barrels); you should be able to see how the original case colors of your gun appeared, as the unexposed case colors in these areas are always protected from wear and light. As case colors wear, and fade from exposure to sun light the metal alloys used in the construcgtion of a Parker gun frame will cause metal surfaces to take on a slivery sheen (this is not true of guns that have been allowed to rust, as those frames will become brown). If you want to see examples of case color, I suggest you check on-line for Turnbull Restorations; as Doug Turnbull is recognized as the individual who has managed to most accurately duplicate original Parker gun case colors. I hope this answers your question and gives you a bit more insight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So, just to be clear, the case is any metal on the gun, though not the barrels? Decorative and functional(frame). My husband has been cleaning the decorative metal a bit maybe he should slow down on that. I will check out the Turnbull site.
Your explanation was very thorough.
I have never shot the gun and my husband has not shot it much. And as to terminology, well, I know barrel/stock/trigger, the basics. You are helping me become more informed. Thanks so much.
 
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