Gun: Parker Brothers Model GH Hammerless Damascus Side-By-Side Shotgun
Condition: 20 percent or less (NRA Fair/Poor)
Approximate Value: $600
During its 66-year reign as America’s finest side-by-side shotgun maker, circa 1866-1932, Parker Brothers’ reputation for quality and reliability became legendary. Manufactured in 1903, this Parker Model GH possesses a shiny frame that indicates most of the original case colors are gone. And while it still appears to be in pretty good shape, closer examination reveals some serious problems.
The light-colored stock and fore-end are indicative of refinishing, and Parker aficionados likely already spotted the non-original checkering on the stock’s side panels. The slotted hinge pin, which should be on the left side of the gun, does not align properly and appears to be a replacement by an amateur gunsmith.
This shotgun’s frame may have been previously polished, or it was worn from being carried in this area during a lifetime of hunting trips, as most of the original, factory crisp GH-grade engraving is either thinned out or gone. The Damascus barrels still show great patterning, and double triggers are typical on the Model GH, which retailed new for approximately $80 and was $25 more with ejectors (GHE Model).
While Parker Brothers made more than 242,000 shotguns, most are now in less than 30 percent original condition, and many, such as this one, are no longer original. The Holy Grail for Parker collectors is an original 28-gauge model that Parker introduced in 1902 and remains the only gauge invented by an American shotgun company.
Parker shotguns have continued to lead the domestic side-by-side marketplace in price appreciation, with values for strong, original-condition guns in smaller gauges (20 ga. and less) going well above auction reserve levels. While many other famous American manufacturers made their side-by-side shotguns with equal quality, today’s Parker Brothers shotgun owners still hold the bragging rights of having a few of their rarest and best quality models selling for more than $100,000! But don’t forget that originality and condition have always been Polar North for Parker shotgun collectors. That’s why this gun might be a hard sell for more than $600.
-S.P. Fjestad, Author/Publisher, Blue Book of Gun Values
(Originally published May, 2006.)