cart SHOPPING CART You have 0 items

Discussion Forums

Search forums
Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > bsa and parker hale rifles

bsa and parker hale rifles

22 Jul 2014
@ 02:55 am (GMT)

thomas kitchen

just curious to know what the old bsa and parker hale rifle are like, i keep seeing them on trade me for reasonable prices.
they look like nicely crafted rifles.
they probably stop making them before i was born and I'm the first hunter in my family so haven't had the opportunity to have a play with one so bit curious what they shoot like


22 Jul 2014
@ 05:02 am (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: bsa and parker hale rifles
mate...they were made when men were men.... some of them are very very nice to handle and come up to the shoulder well for quick standing shots. mate has a B.S.A. Majestic in .30/06 lovely rifle that shoots well and is a joy to fire as has stuff all recoil..if you are near a gunshop go and see if they have any in second hand rack for you to handle.
if you are just getting into hunting and/or on a limited budget I would find an experienced shooter to go with you to check out any rifle before you shell out hard earned cash..also it would be better still if you can test fire it...if seller is reluctant to allow this...alarm bells should start to ring and if you still want to go ahead then you will need to check it over with fine toothed comb.
if you are not expecting a tack driver to shoot at long range( which is really the domain of experienced shooters) the rifles mentioned should fit the bill nicely and take care of a deer etc out to say 300 yards without too much fuss..calibre etc taken into account
hope that helps
22 Jul 2014
@ 09:53 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: bsa and parker hale rifles
Hi Thomas, there are now very few BSA and PH rifles which shoot well. Each time a client brings one in (the last only a few weeks ago), I see the same problems, worn or pitted bores. If buying from an auction, consider the rifles as being without a barrel (custom projects).

BSA made both budget and deluxe type rifles. The basic action design was very well thought out, ahead of both Remington and Sako, based on the same mauser principles. The stocks were sometimes of a low pitch, not the best for high recoiling magnums. Magazine lengths are acceptaple for everything up to 2.5" magnums but no longer. Internal mag length of the long action is 87.5mm.

Parker Hale started with M98 actions as part of war reparations. Later, Parker Hale developed its own action. Many folk assume that all Parker Hale rifles are M98 actions but this is not so. The latter is more of a Springfield Mauser clone. I prefer the original Mauser actions to the clone. Just a personal preference. The clone could be made accurate but I found it somewhat crude- even though it had a high luster in comparison to the M98 which often had mill marks still present. Parker Hale rifles were graded from budget to deluxe (including within the M98 line) based on furniture and so forth.

The Parker Hale rifles have slightly shorter mags than the BSA long actions- having the typical 84mm M89 magazine length, whether utilizing the original magazine of ali box which came later. Short and medium length cartridges are the go. That said, the .30-06 will run comfortably- but not the .280. The Whelen can also be run on this action. Having said this, the M98 action and magazine can be lengthened but this requires gunsmithing which adds costs.

There is a reason these rifles come up cheap. Their value is about right for donors with poked bores. Keep an eye out for split stocks as well. Some splits can be pinned, in other cases the stock needs to be replaced. Replacing a BSA requires custom work, replacing an early M98 parker Hale stock is straight forwards.

Oh, and I should also mention that the very first budget rifles from Parker Hale were the sporterized No1 Mk3 SMLE rifles. Parker hale also made the ring mounts for these rifles (as well as the weaver type bases for the M98's) A Parker Hale .303 with a good bore is very rare now. I have never seen a No.4 Mk 1 Parker Hale. I think this model rifle was kept in military reserve / storage until well into the 1980's (probably still a pile in storage somewhere).

One thing to note, in some cases, a high polish can potentially weaken the rifle (if it is based on an M98 action or similar). Another UK company called Churchill utilized reparation M98 actions, buffing to a high luster. Combine this with some of the rushed last minute produced K98 rifles with less than 100% ideal case hardening and there is potential for disaster, especially if building a custom rifle for some of our modern potent chamberings. A friend of mine recently attempted to unscrew the barrel from a Churchill but in doing so, the action screwed around like a sock being rung out to dry. Try always to remember that the virtues of the M98 strength are found in the case hardening process and the over all design- not the metal selected. We did not have the steels then that we have today.
23 Jul 2014
@ 04:09 am (GMT)

thomas kitchen

Re: bsa and parker hale rifles
cheers for that guys.
so generally speaking with a new barrel and bedding they shoot alright?
i was just curious more then anything as they caught my eye being english made.
maybe if the price is right ill have a serious look but got an eddy stone p14 with its original barrel I'm trying to workout what to do with.
funny you mention that nathan my first centre fire rifle was a lee enfield bsa/ parker hale no3 still shoots good once i got the cheap scope off it, i still got it and won't part with it.
26 Jul 2014
@ 08:30 am (GMT)

joshua sutcliffe

Re: bsa and parker hale rifles
Another question on the Parker Hales,
I have a model 1200 in 270 Win,
It has slight pitting in the barrel but still shoots around 1MOA,
One problem i had when loading for it was the primers backing well out of the case until i was fairly high up in the charge rate with 60gns of AR2213 behind 140 accubond Rem Brass & Fed 210, I am thinking it properly has excessive headspace?
Also i can get nowhere near the lands with a of COAL of 85mm i still have atleast 8mm jump, this sounds like a very long throat to me?
I think i will rebarrel it in the near future unless i am missing something?
Im not sure weather to go with 284 Win or stick with the 270 and shoot the 150gn SST?
Its used for stalking and intermediate range (400m) deer.

I would appreciate your advice guys.

26 Jul 2014
@ 06:23 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: bsa and parker hale rifles
Hi Joshua, sounds like both long head space and throat. That said, the .270 Win can be quite long throated to begin with. Any wear simply adds to this.

I take it your rifle has an ali mag box with 86mm / 3.385" internal mag length and you are seating 1mm / 40 thou short of this internal capacity? Some reamers call for a COAL of around 87mm however a point is reached where you cannot seat to the lands in much the same manner as your rifle, otherwise the bullet will be sitting too far out of the case mouth- regardless of available magazine length. In these instances, the .270 must be loaded for optimum concentricity (see COAL article).

The .270 Win has a nice long neck and it is not greatly handicapped by bullet jump, it is certainly no worse off than the 7mm-08 or .308.

If on the other hand you want to be ensured of getting close to the lands, you may want to think about the .30-06 chambering.
26 Jul 2014
@ 07:20 pm (GMT)

joshua sutcliffe

Re: bsa and parker hale rifles
Yes mate it has the Aluminium mag box and about 86mm internal,
Im not too worried about seating to the lands as long as i can get some decent accuracy of between 1/2 to 3/4 MOA would be fine which as you mention, typically doesn't require seating to close to the lands.

Thanks for the quick reply and advice.


We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.