his latest pistol reveals artistry and fine details which deserve attention. Parker says “I have been a KRA member since 1976, and a charter member of the CLA. I am more of a collector than a builder as I build when the mood strikes me and for my own pleasure.”
With the onset of the Contemporary Longrifle Association’s annual meeting each August in Lexington Kentucky, both novice and seasoned artists are being discovered. When I first saw this newly made pistol at the Nashville Civil War show, I was impressed by features and workmanship leading me to assume the piece was an original by Wiley G. Higgins. Wiley Grover Higgins was an early 19th century Georgia gunmaker born in South Carolina in 1799. Higgins moved with his family to the Indian Springs area in central Georgia prior to 1820, where he developed his gunsmithing skill and unique style. What a pleasant surprise when I learned the pistol was made by Louie Parker.
Though not a copy of a specific Higgins pistol, in addition to using an original period flintlock, Parker emulated a number of features characteristic of Higgins’ work found on the four known pistols by his hand. First of all, he used coin silver to produce all the hardware. The trigger guard is made of brass, but completely overlaid with silver. The barrel and tang are also overlaid with coin silver. One of the original Higgins pistols had gold over the rear portion of the silver barrel and a gold band around the bore, but Parker opted to leave off the gold and instead used silver around the bore.