Shattered stock on an otherwise collectable - what to do?


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Susanna
October 22, 2012, 09:26 PM
This is a dilemma I didn't anticipate...

Scenario is this - BP 8 ga Parker shotgun muzzle capgun. Did a cursory inspection, the barrel and lock are all good, solid steel. Problem is, the stock has been broken in 3 places... Don't know how, it was long B4 my time...

This is the problem. Do I fit it with a new (and obviously replacement) stock to return this shoulder-cannon to functionality... or do I, um, "wimp" a piece to replace the missing part, peg and glue it, and relegate it to a wall hanger only status?

Let it be said, I really feel a fine piece of shooting steel such as this was, to sit on a shelf with the barrel never-warmed again is almost sacriledge... even if for exposition and demo only shooting... but others say to replace the stock from original, even if broken, is evil and the gun will immediately lose all its value, etc...

I am torn. What would YOU do, and why?

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Sam1911
October 22, 2012, 09:38 PM
We sometimes debate the fine line between a gun which has more value as an artifact in completely untouched condition (however damaged) vs. a gun which has more value as a shooter and/or which is more valuable restored to functional condition.

I don't know the world of Parker 8 ga. doubles well enough to say whether this one might be a rare enough specimen that it should be preserved in un-touched condition as a museum piece. (Meaning, don't cock the hammers or turn any screws, or remove the dust and old varnish from the crevices.)

My suspicion is, however, that its severely damaged condition would make it a good candidate for a restoration. As a historian myself, I'd rather see a new stock made and fitted to the action, and the original stock preserved as-is for the future, rather than the existing "historic fabric" of the broken stock be modified, cut, spliced, drilled, glued, and repaired.

The key here is "reversibility." Don't change anything that cannot be changed back. A beautiful new stock can be used for shooting but also removed to return the gun to its broken -- but historic -- condition. You can have full functionality without making any permanent changes. That's a big win.

A stock that's been cut, drilled, doweled, and epoxied cannot be returned to that condition and would be considered by a professional historian to be a further loss of "value," or more properly, historic worth.

Jim K
October 22, 2012, 09:48 PM
Contact these folks and see what they say or if they have recommendations:

http://www.parkershotgunrepair.com

Jim

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