Dr. Drew: I'm a great fan of your work, but we're comparing competition guns (essentially, pigeon guns) to game guns here. Apples and oranges. There is a difference between a 6 1/2 pound gun and an 8-pound gun, and you darn-well know it.
Lloyd, the "dictionary" you're using to judge the merits of each country's guns is from this century for applications today. Go back to that period and then compare products. The American market was primarily made up of shooters who could only afford one gun and it had to serve from the goose pits to grouse covers to prairie chickens to waylaying that old gobbler. Ninety-nine percent of the hunters here had no use whatsoever for the gun you're trying to compare it to. Your "idea gun" would not have made one season in this rough and tumble country. The other one percent? I own two DH Parker's from that era with 28" tubes coming in at 6 lbs 8 oz and are balanced as well if not better than almost all English guns.
And Lloyd, a "best gun" in America at that time was one that could stay in one piece after all the hammering it endured (remember the dictionary).