Between 1866 and 1934, one name stood above all others in American shotgun production. Parker Brothers’ pieces represented the epitome of craftsmanship and quality, and they were highly desired and cherished.
The 20,000 shotguns that Parker manufactured had nine different grades of quality, so there was something for everyone. The ninth grade—the highest grade that they produced—was available from the catalog by special order only. It wasn’t until 1929 that one of those guns was manufactured, and it was called the Invincible. There were only three Invincibles ever produced.
The Parker Invincibles are truly works of art and beauty. Photo by Michael Ives
The first, an embellished 12-gauge double, was produced to commemorate a milestone in the company's history. This firearm features a gold single trigger, soft rubber butt pad, full engraving and gold bird inlays on the receiver. When it was first introduced, it sold for $1,500—a record for a U.S.-produced shotgun, and more than double the price of the Parker A-1 Special Grade or Purdey shotgun.
The second Invincible is a lavishly engraved and inlaid 16-gauge double, and the third is an engraved 12-gauge featuring three bird inlays in gold and a gold plate bearing the initials of a former owner. Together, these Parker Invincibles are the most valuable shotguns in the world, worth millions of dollars.
You can see all three Parker Brothers Invincibles at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va. The museum is located on the first floor of NRA Headquarters.