A conversation with Mr. Parker
Larry A Parker, 74, of Belmont, Ohio, has had a career in the firearms industry that has taken a lifetime but has produced treasures that will endure through the ages.
I bumped into Parker at the 146th National Rifle Association Annual Meetings and Exhibits at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta and asked him about his work, that of a master engraver. The career path, with ties to the old world gunsmithing artisans of yesteryear, is not your typical one.
“I started building rifles in 1958. I actually started working on guns in shop class when I was in high school — I don’t think you can do that today,” he said.
Parker, the son of a carpenter, built 16 muzzle loading rifles, both flintlock, and percussion in his youth, all from scratch using curly maple stocks.
“Back then there wasn’t any kits available. You got you a plank of wood and you carved one out.”
And what he has created since then, with decades of study behind him, is amazing.