Another American Classic Shotgun Rises
By Larry S. Moore
Following on the heels of the announcement that the Ithaca guns will once again be produced, Remington has announced plans to re-introduce the great American classic Parker Shotguns.
The fine shotguns of Parker were among the premier American firearms for many years. The great double guns of Parker competed with the likes of Ithaca, LC Smith, AH Fox, and Lefever in the live bird shoots, glass ball, and eventually clay target championships in the late 1800s and into the mid-1900s.
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Three brothers started Parker Guns. In 1868 they manufactured the first of their now famous double barrel shotguns. The Parker brothers brought many innovations to shotguns including an 1889 hammerless lock and in 1902 an automatic ejector. In 1905 they made the first 28-guage shotgun. The 1917 single barrel Parker with a ventilated rib along the top of the barrel quickly became a favorite with trap shooters. Parker guns soon earned the name of "Old Reliable".
The first trapshooting organization was Interstate Trapshooting Association. The first governing body included L. C. Smith from the shotguns of the same name and legendary shooter Captain A. W. DuBray of the Parker Gun Company. One of the great lady trap shooters from 1920 and into the 1940s was Marie Kautzky Grant. In 1936 she recorded a shooting average of 96.37%, the highest ever recorded by a woman. She shot the famous Parker single barrel trap gun.
The Marlin Company has re-introduced the LC Smith name but, unfortunately, it is a gun in name only. It is manufactured in Italy and the original specifications are not used. LC Smith collectors and shooters are not so fortunate as the Parker collectors. Perhaps Marlin will take note of Remington's move and correct the deficiency on their part.
While the suggested retail price may seem high to many shooters, it is quite in line with other manufacturers of fine double shotguns. The Connecticut Shotgun introduction of the RBL starting prices is $2799 with options quickly doubling that price. The Connecticut Shotgun/Galazan produced AH Fox or Winchester Model 21 shotgun brochures do not list the prices. I suppose if you have to ask, perhaps you can't afford them.
Although I collect and shoot LC Smith shotguns, I salute Remington for re-introducing the Parker gun. Remington Arms originally purchased the Parker Gun Company in June 1934. Production ceased with the demands of World War II for rifles. It is especially pleasing that Remington is making these fine guns in the United States and using the original specifications.
Outdoor writer and hunter education instructor Larry S. Moore is a long-time volunteer leader for Buckeye Firearms Association and winner of the 2005 USSA Patriot Award.