This is a fine condition Parker Brothers Trojan, 12 Gauge hammerless, side-by-side shotgun from 1925. This shotgun is in remarkable condition for being 95 years old and still has its original and very rare Parker Brothers hang tag.
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.
This Parker Brothers shotgun comes with an historical letter from The Parker Gun Collectors Association and identifies this shotgun by serial number, 213855, and notes that was manufactured in 1925. The details of this particular shotgun are noted in Parker Brothers Order Book Number 75 and state that this shotgun was a Trojan Hammerless in 12 Gauge with barrels measuring 30”, length of pull is 14”, Drop at Heel 2 5/8” and a weight of 7 pounds, 8 ounces. The price for this shotgun in 1925 was $55.00.
As noted, this is a Trojan Grade Parker Shotgun with Trojan Steel Barrels. The Trojan Grade was introduced by Parker Brothers in 1912 to compete with other manufacturers’ lower priced double barrel shotguns. It was manufactured until 1939. Parker Brothers manufactured approximately 18,663 shotguns with Trojan Steel barrels. In 1925, when this shotgun was manufactured, Parker Brothers made 4,120 shotguns from serial number 211280 to 215399.
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. The wrist and pistol grip have very nice original checkering that remains crisp. The Butt Plate is the correct and original plain black hard rubber plate typically found on Trojan grade shotguns. The pistol grip is uncapped, which is also typically found on Trojan shotguns. There is what appears to be a letter “B” carved lightly until the grip bottom.
The Receiver is in very fine condition and retains 95% plus of the original color case-hardened finish. The screws on the bottom of the receiver have not been turned and the single slots on the screws are unmarred. The “Parker Bros” engraving on both sides of the receiver are still crisp. The engraving lines can still be seen.
The water table still retains most of its original color case-hardened finish. On the table is the patent date stamp, “PAT’D OCT.25,1910.” On the opposite side is the matching serial number “213855” over the “OV” enclosed in a diamond stamp, which is found on most Trojan shotguns. The original Trigger Plate and Guard is present and it retains 90% of its original blued finish. The rear portion of the plate has the engraved serial number “213855.”
The original Trojan Steel barrels are present and are in very fine condition, retaining 95% plus of the original blued finish. The top, rear of the barrel has the roll stamp “PARKER BROS. MAKERS, MERIDEN. CT. U.S.A. TROJAN STEEL.” The original brass front sight bead is present. Both barrels remain in their original 30” configuration. The barrel flat has a circle “J.G.” stamp, which is the stamp of Parker Brothers barrel maker James Geary. On the opposite side is the “OV” stamp, an “HT/A” stamp and a “4 2” stamp, indicating the barrels weigh 4 pounds, 2 ounces. The left side of the barrel mount has the matching serial number “213855.” The bottom of the mount has the “12” stamp indicating the gauge. The rear of the barrel mount has the matching partial serial number “855.” 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.
The original Splinter Forend is present and has very nice checkering with no cracks or chips noted in the wood. The bolster end retains the majority of its original color case-hardened finish. This Trojan forend does not have the latch hardware but used a simple internal spring latch, which still works perfectly. The latch mechanism is serial number matching with “213855” stamped on the internal side.
Attached to the trigger guard is the very rare and original Parker Brothers Hang Tag. These tags are rarely seen and are very valuable by themselves. The tag is hanging from its original cotton strong and notes the serial number “213855” with a weight of “7-8,” “12” gauge, “30” inch barrels and using shells “2 5/8” long. The original targeting record is also listed, showing the shotgun was tested using No. 7 shot with the right barrel targeting 230 pellets and the left barrel targeting 280 pellets.
This shotgun comes with its original, period canvas and leather case with cleaning implements. The case is not in very good condition, but it could be restored to functional condition. Inside the cleaning compartment is an original three-piece hickory cleaning rod and an original 12 gauge Tomlinson brass wire side bore cleaner in its original Union Hardware Company box.
This shotgun functions perfectly and would still be a fine bird gun today. Coupled with the rare hanging tag, this Parker Trojan Shotgun would be impossible to upgrade.