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Thread: Parker Hale - Weird grooves and lands - cut

  1. #1

    Cool Parker Hale - Weird grooves and lands - cut

    Hi All,

    I'm brand new around here. I just introduced myself in the "Intro" folder. Great site!

    So on to question number one. I recently picked up a really nice 1961 built Parker Hale Safari Deluxe in 30.06. Its a true blue Birmingham built rifle with all matching numbers and proper BPH markings. It's in real nice shape for its age and I'm refurbishing for my sons birthday. I took the barrel into my local gunsmith for a new crown...and low and behold look at what he discovered!

    BTW...The black spots are just fluff from a patch..I enhanced the pic to show the grooves and lands better.

    Nobody seems to have seen this pattern of grooves least not here in Canada. Obvious cut grooves. Hammer forged?? But why in the world would it have two different groove widths? Was it a two groove barrel that was reworked to a four groove? Does anyone have any info on this? There has to be a explanation...

    It shoots just fine! go figure.

    Anyone else have one of these? Do i have a collector (one of) in my hands?

    P.S. I will gladly post pics of it when she is all done



  2. #2
    Hello there,

    Interesting. What markings are on top of the barrel?

    Any chance of photos t them and he rifle?

  3. #3
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    I am unfamiliar with the PH Safari Deluxe but do know the version of the story that is repeated about the PH Midland. Is it on a Mauser action or dos it use the Springfield '03 bolt?

    To wit that PH were offered of acquired a large number of US 1903 Springfield bolts ONLY and took them as it was cheaper to make an action for them than to buy someone else's complete Mauser action entire.

    Or some such.

    Now given that Remington for its contract '03 rifles in WWII made two groove barrels is it possible that PH acquired a batch of these cheap at some time and re-worked them? I have seen genuine Turkish military arsenal re-works using a 8mm Mauser barrel on a Lee-Enfield action!

    So I guess that in theory if the barrel shank is large enough to be turned down to fit a receiving action then anything is possible! But I have never heard of such a thing!

  4. #4
    As requested are images of all the markings i can find on the barrel and receiver.

    Last edited by rsako; 25-12-2011 at 05:02. Reason: typo :)

  5. #5
    PS. markings on the cross lances are M at 9 o'clock and B at 3 o'clock...should be 1961?

  6. #6
    Wish I could make quality photo's like these, & I'm sure Kevin,(Brithunter) will get to the bottom of it!
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  7. #7
    Methinks finnbear is far to kind. I am still learning about both the Parker-Hales and the BSA's and there are so many thing like this that throw all we thought we knew to be fact right out the window.

    So if we "assume" that P-H used common sense at the beginning of their sporting rifle production, we KNOW that failed later on as the prefixes seem to have no pattern at all ................................. but logic would seem to suggest that if using a prefix then "A" would be where one starts. The private view mark is for 1961 yet Parker-Hales own catalogues tell of sporting rifle production beginning in 1962 after the move to the old Sparkbrook site so this is an early rifle. Perhaps a pre production run?

    The markings on the receiver some of them look German to me but I'll add that I am not that up on German production and inspection markings which is a whole study field on it's own but the "U" & "A" look German which also fit into the claim that P-H made their first production rifles on genuine German actions that were in storage at Sparkbrook..

    The photos also show what to me looks like much poorer polish on the barrel than one expects on a Parker-Hale so does this show they were still getting things set up when this was made? Could the different widths of groove be an experiment so see which cut better? however the problem with that idea is that I understood the P-H always used the hammer forging method of production .................................................. .. but then again all the information says they didn't start making them until after the move and we know that P-H did had sine bar rifling machines on which they made the liners for their Parker rifled barrel liners so were not new to cut rifling but as far as I am aware before 1962 .............................. or should we now say 1961 they only made barrels for lining .22 L/R barrels.

    It might be worth contacting Lewis Potter at Potter & Walker as I understand he spent quite a bit of his time around this period at the new P-H plant so he might be able to shed some light on this.

    Until we find more information then that's about the best I can offer except that you have a very early P_H production spprting rifle and I am envious.

  8. #8
    You can just make out the stripper clip thumb cut out in the photographs, that indicates to me that it is an early Parker Hale using an ex military Mauser action rather than the Santa Barbara commercial actions that they bought in later years after running out of ex military actions.
    This might seem a daft question because my knowledge on rifling processes is very limited, but would it be possible to say take an 2 groove Springfield barrel and run another two grooves through it at a later date?
    Edit - Silly me, that's already been suggested by several others so it must be possible.

    Once again further evidence that Parker Hale were really assemblers of rifles rather than being true rifle makers.
    Last edited by 8x57; 26-12-2011 at 12:50.

  9. #9
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    This might seem a daft question because my knowledge on rifling processes is very limited, but would it be possible to say take an 2 groove Springfield barrel and run another two grooves through it at a later date?
    Yes! As all two, four, five and six groove cut rifled barrels are, at one point, one groove barrels if the grooves are cut one at a time!

    In my view the WIDE grooves are the two original grooves and the two narrow grooves the two later "additional" grooves.

    Or, and I doubt this, originally the barrel had four equal narrow grroves but had pressure problems. So two of the grooves were overcut wider.

    Somehow I can't see this but i do understand that Holland & Holland did alter the boring of their 240 H & H barrels in the latter 1960s because of pressure problems.

  10. #10
    Hi Folks,

    You guys are a true wealth of info! This rifle may not be a 'fine firearm' by todays standards, but it sure has been fun figuring out its history since we acquired it...and making it our very own.

    Have a look at these pics...and yes...the wood is that nice. The stock has about 25 coats of Tung oil on it so far (not done yet). I've safety'd, tuned, polished, re-blackened and replaced the safety with a Timney low profile version (the original was broken). I've also replaced the original trigger with a Timney...It breaks like glass now
    sorry about the dust in the pics.


    More to follow when she is all done.

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