This is a fine condition Parker Brothers VH Grade, 12 Gauge hammerless, side-by-side shotgun from 1924.
This shotgun comes with a Parker Brothers Historical Letter indicating this shotgun was completed on May 26, 1925. The information on this shotgun is found in Parker Brothers’ Stock Book No. 74, and listed it as a VH hammerless shotgun, 12-gauge, with Vulcan Steel barrels with a length of 30 inches. The stock configuration is confirmed as capped pistol grip and the length of pull is specified as 14 ¼”, the drop at heel at 2 ½”, the weight at 7 pounds, 12 ounces, and the chokes for both barrels patterned full. The price of this shotgun in 1924 was $69.00.
Charles Parker began as an industrial manufacturer of numerous durable goods, including hardware, lamps, spectacles, steam engines, presses, tooling and even railroad wheels in Meriden, Connecticut beginning in 1828, under the name Meriden Machine Company. Charles Parker created numerous companies over the years, including the Meriden Curtain Fixture Company, Parker & Whipple Company, which manufactured clocks, and, later, Parker Brothers, manufacturing fine shotguns.
Once the Civil War began, Parker, like many other New England manufacturers, capitalized on the need for firearms and, joined by Gamaliel F. Snow and machinist James. S. Brooks, created the Parker, Snow, Brooks & Company in 1860. On September 28, 1863, Parker, Snow, Brooks & Company received a US contract for the production of 15,000 Model 1861 pattern rifle muskets for $19.00 each. Interestingly, most of the components for Parker, Snow’s contract were manufactured under subcontract by other makers. Parker, Snow delivered the 15,000 contracted-for rifles in 1863 and 1864.
In January 1865, the company’s name was changed to the Meriden Manufacturing Company and, under this name, the company produced 5,000 Triplett & Scott magazine firearms for the state of Kentucky. Shortly after the end of the Civil War, employee William H. Miller developed a cartridge system and the company altered approximately 5,000 Parker, Snow Model 1861 pattern rifles using this system, known as the Miller Alteration. During the Civil War, Miller designed and manufactured the prototype of what would become the first Parker Brothers shotgun. Charles Parker made the decision to produce these shotguns after the war and created Parker Brothers in 1868.
As noted, this is a “VH” Grade Parker Shotgun, also known as the “Vulcan Grade” and which used the Vulcan Steel Barrels. The Parker Brothers VH was the workhorse of Parker Shotguns in the early 20th Century. The Vulcan Grade Parkers began production in 1899 and were produced until Parker Brothers was taken over by Remington. VH Shotguns were manufactured in 10, 12, 16, 20, 28, and .410 gauge, and this particular shotgun is in 12 gauge. Parker Brothers manufactured 78,677 shotguns with Vulcan Steel barrels.
The stock on this shotgun is beautiful American Black Walnut with nice grain. There are only a very few minor dings and scratches, but the condition is excellent. There are no cracks or chips noted. The wrist and pistol grip have very nice original checkering that remains crisp. The Butt Plate wears a fine condition Pachmayr “White Line” recoil pad. The pistol grip cap is the Original “Parker Brothers” cap that remains in excellent condition. The bottom of the butt has the original silver shield that was never engraved.
Both the Left Hand Trigger and Right Hand Trigger are present and both exhibit a mixed plum and pewter patina. Both Triggers still release crisply.
The receiver exhibits a pewter patina generally and has generous original color case-hardened finish on the water table. The right side of the Receiver has the “PARKER BROS” engraving along with border engraving. The Bolsters are also engraved around the edge. The left side of the Receiver has the “PARKER BROS” engraving along with border engraving. The Receiver Tang also exhibits a pewter patina with generous amounts of original color case-hardened finish under the lever. The “SAFE” engraving is still crisply engraved. The serrated Safety is present and operates smoothly. The Top Lever also operates smoothly and exhibits a pewter and patina finish.
The Water Table has the patent information stamps, “PAT’D AUG 15, 1905 / PAT’D. JAN.18.AUG.16.1887. / PAT’D OCT.25.1910,” on one side and the “VH” Vulcan grade stamp and the serial number “211213” stamp over another serif “V” stamp.
The Guard Bow exhibits a pewter and plum patina and is engraved around the edge. The inside edge of the guard bow retains generous traces of the original blued finish. The Trigger Plate also exhibits a pewter patina and has the serial number “211213” engraved on the rearmost portion. The plate also has border engraving.
The original barrel set is in fine condition and measures 30” long and it has 2 7/8” chambers. Both barrels retain 90% plus of their original blued finish. The original rib is present and is marked, “PARKER BROS. MAKERS. MERIDEN, CONN. VULCAN STEEL.” The original brass sighting post is present on the front of the rib, which is surmounted by a white ivory band. The bottom of the barrel mount has the oval “J.G.” inspection stamp, a circle serif “V” stamp and the “4 3” stamp, indicating the barrel assembly weighs 4 pounds 3 ounces. There are also “HT” and “A” inspection stamps. The bottom of the mount also has a “12” stamp indicating it is 12 gauge, and a “2” stamp indicating the frame size. The side of the barrel mount has the matching serial number “211213.” The Extractor is present and works smoothly. Barrel lockup is as tight as the day this shotgun was manufactured. The bores of both barrels are very clean with a mirror finish. As noted from the Parker Letter, both barrels are patterned full choke.
This shotgun has its original and matching Splinter Forend. The Forend Iron exhibits generous original color case-hardened finish and it has the matching serial number “211213.” The American Black Walnut is in fine condition with no cracks or chips noted. The checkering on the forend remains crisp. The Forend Lock exhibits a pewter patina with traces of the original color case-hardened finish and is beautifully engraved. The forend nose iron also exhibits a pewter patina with color case-hardened finish showing and it also engraved. The attaching iron spring is still strong, and it secures tightly to the barrel.
This shotgun functions perfectly and would still be a fine bird gun today in its popular 12-gauge configuration.