Help with P-H .303 Sporter identification

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
#1
Having taken a punt and bought a very cheap Parker Hale 303 Sporter off the interweb (unseen), I now need a bit of help/advice.

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Does anyone know the model? I can't find anything like it on the web. I presumed it would have been built on a military surplus 303 action, but it has no mil markings.

It has a threaded muzzle, presumably for a suppressor/muzzle brake - any thoughts, and any tips on where to get one?
 
#2
Well I've not seen one like that before!

Looks to be a No.1 MkIII or similar that has been reworked.

Like the scope mount. As aftermarket mounts go, and certainly compared to the ones usually fitted by PH it looks rather good.

Going by the No.4 Conversions I've seen they usually polished the original markings out.

Get a gunsmith or engineer to check the threadform on the muzzle and then consult http://www.reflexsuppressors.co.uk/
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#3
Bring it to me when you return and we can play in the woods!
I have a similar one, if yours has a PH stamped over two numbers that would be the date of conversion. Yours has the usual wood for the No4 rifle conversions. A thread protector for the muzzle may be a good idea.
The wood should be Sile (Italy) and is very good quality beech.
My No1 Mk111* has original markings and is a conversion rather than a parts gun. I will look up the old PH catalogues and let you know!
 
#4
EX_STAB said:
Get a gunsmith or engineer to check the threadform on the muzzle and then consult http://www.reflexsuppressors.co.uk/
make sure its square (true to centerline), decent shoulder with run-out groove, if in any doubt have it re-cut by someone competent
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
#5
Thanks all (Ug, I'll take you up on that when I get back). I will take the gun to Gilsan Sports in Richmond to get it measured for a thread protector.

What about sights? I intend to use it for target shooting and maybe a spot of hunting - what magnification, etc. should I go for? I don't want to spend a lot, so what makes are good, but cheap?
 
#6
I haven't a clue about what model it is, Napier, but it looks like a really tasty piece, I must say.

MsG
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#7
Any reasonable scope should do, 3-9 x 42 second hand German? I have access to a supply of Lyman Alaskans and later 4x models. 1 inch tube and I have buckshee mounts!
 
#8
napier said:
Thanks all (Ug, I'll take you up on that when I get back). I will take the gun to Gilsan Sports in Richmond to get it measured for a thread protector.

What about sights? I intend to use it for target shooting and maybe a spot of hunting - what magnification, etc. should I go for? I don't want to spend a lot, so what makes are good, but cheap?
I'v said it before, I'll say it allways - ACCURACY IS ALL !!

if mounting a scope, you should really spend more on the glass and mounts than the rifle,
buy european quality if you can afford it, good US make if on a budget (leopold or burris), beware of second hand scopes, a lot of them are second hand because the nitrogen has leaked out and they have been fogging, make sure you have the option of return or replacment if theres hassles ( most shops sell second-hand scopes with a no-return policy, beware)

for a cal like .303 that gives you several hunting and range options you need a 3-9 with the biggest objective lens you can get, at least 40mm ( best hunting is allways by dusk or dawn, light gathering qualitys are important )
I hate it when people scimp on the mounts, allways get the chunkiest cast ones you can ( like the PH ones, solid and reasonable price )
drilling and tapping the reciever on an enfield can be tricky ( if it needs to be done, get gunsmith to check threads if it has), not much meat there compered to other civvie mauser style actions, again, you need a competant gun plumber with a keen eye.

I'm with Ex-Stab on the reflex supressors, best and simplest for price on market IMHO as well.
(untill some licences come through, then come chat to EX-Stab and myself for something 'custom' and unique :wink: )

nice looking bit of kit Napier, it looks tidy and of reasonable grade. was it via 'guntrader' by any chance? looks familiar.

DUH! edit to add its not a No4 :oops:
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
#9
It was from Guntrader, and only £70 (plus £20 postage & £20 for the RFD to put it on my ticket). I'd guessed 3-9x40(+) would be about right, so I'll pick some up from Gilsans (what are Hawke sights like?). Ug, cheers for the offer, but I need to shoot this weekend and I can't imagine the postie being that quick.
 
#10
napier said:
I'd guessed 3-9x40(+) would be about right, so I'll pick some up from Gilsans (what are Hawke sights like?).
basicly the same company as Nikko Stirling, and the same quality,

in the end ALL far-east asian scopes fall apart on centerfire rifles over .22 cal after a while, they just arnt built heavy enough.
sounds like your best option is to check out second hand euro scopes, if you can find one that suits your purpose and the dealers willing to swap or replace it if your having trouble.

Give Tim or Amy a bell at McAvoy's, 01257 426 129 http://www.guns.gb.com/ they have a few second hand scopes in, might have something thats suits. ( I cant check out thier website at college here, its blocked because of 'weapons' :x pathetic. )
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#11
I have what should have cost me about £800 mounted on my £75 PH sporter. Admittedly I picked it up in Canada for half the price and grey imported it. Nice Leupold low mag scope. I mounted the later illuminated reticle one on a CZ527 as well. Not just twice the cost but almost 10 times the cost!
That said, this year I will swop it for a spare Lyman and use it on another rifle.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#12
I have searched my book shelves and office for my PH catalogues, I can only find the old BSA ones at the moment. Its a bigger tip than normal as I am waiting on the window bars being fitted now that the steel door is in place.
Napier should you want to I can build up a reloading kit a bit each month for you?
I wouldnt worry about a posh scope for this weekend, get the hawke, it should survive, one of my clients uses it and is happy although its on a .243. You can always px/ stick it on a rimfire later!
 
#13
According to my 1968 Parker-Hale catalogue you have the "Custom No1" based on the SMLE (Rifle No1 MkIII).
They show a picture of a bear on the same page, presumably encouraging you to go out and bag one at your nearest zoo!
Nice rifle and a nice score at £70 + £40, which to within a quid is what I paid for a No 4 target conversion to 7.62mm by Geoff Hart of Cheltenham.

When LERA was formed it was going to have a "sporting section", or at least a group of like minded individuals who would use the running deer range at Bisley, and for a while I looked around for a good LE Sporter but never actually found one a decent one.

You've done well; with the savings you can now afford to replace that carpet! :D
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
#14
Ugly, yes please on the reloading kit. Henry, I know the rug is a bit rubbish, the only place the wife will allow it is in my study - I intend to bring back some nice Afghan rugs from my next little holiday.
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
#16
Henry, I googled your response and came up with the following:

Parker-Hale Sporting Model Rifle

Notes: This is a simple conversion of the Mk III SMLE into a sporting rifle. In fact, very little changes were made to the SMLE design; the fore-end was reduced to half-length and the rear-sight protectors were removed. Several versions were made: The Standard model w (No. 1) is as just described; the Supreme No. 1 had a pistol-grip stock with checkering, a Monte-Carlo comb, and a checkered fore-end. (It is identical for game purposes to the Standard version). The Custom No. 1 has the charger guides, which were considered unattractive in a civilian rifle, removed; in addition, a rubber recoil pad is added to the butt. The Custom No. 4 had a five-round magazine, and was built from new actions instead of refurbished ones, but is otherwise identical to the Custom No. 1.

Weapon - Custom No. 4
Ammunition - .303 British
Weight - 3.83 kg
Magazines - 5
Price - $1373
This would explain the 5 round mag and the lack of military markings.
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
#17
And 1 shown for sale (albeit in 308)
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
#18
Scope now mounted ready for the weekend (note 10 rd mag - from my SMLE deac).

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Its a Hawke SR6 3-12x44 AO - (£100 down from £130) pretty cheap I know, but it seemed to have good enough write ups on the web, and the shopkeep threw in the muzzle thread protector free. I'll look at investing in a 'more fitting' scope on my return from Herrick.
 
#19
napier said:
Scope now mounted ready for the weekend (note 10 rd mag - from my SMLE deac).

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Its a Hawke SR6 3-12x44 AO - (£100 down from £130) pretty cheap I know, but it seemed to have good enough write ups on the web, and the shopkeep threw in the muzzle thread protector free. I'll look at investing in a 'more fitting' scope on my return from Herrick.
Scope mounts are too high to get a good cheek weld I think you might find. You'll have difficulty getting the centreline low enough anyway with an objective that size but it could come a bit lower.


Let us know how you get on! :)
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#20
Its not too bad, using the factory side mounts has that effect, the alternative is to drill and tap the charger bridge which doesnt exist on that model.
I use low mag scopes as most of my stuff is woodland and the low mag scopes usually mean lower mounts can be used. The important thing to achieve is clearance of the scope from the bolt handle and your hand.
It should do you fine!
You could use lower mounts if you find it a problem, if like me you shoot standing or high seat/ fire trench supported then lack of perfect cheek weld isnt that dramatic!
 
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