I recently acquired an elegant old Parker Hale chambered in .308. Its the Safari model, with an old Redfield 4×12, and I already love her.
And here she is. What a gorgeous piece of English rifle making.
Originally Parker Hale was founded when two gentlemen, A.G. Parker and Alfred Hale, formed a partnership in 1910 to manufacture firearms and accessories. The company was quite busy during both wars, as one may imagine. Unfortunately the company folded in 1992. As far as I can tell, the folding of the company was due to an inability to compete with bigger manufactures, not due to any qualitative reason in the product itself.
The particular gun I have was manufactured sometime in the ’70s. Precisely dating a Parker isn’t my forte, so to speak.
My Father-in-law and I went out shooting over the weekend and I brought this gun along. Several things stood out in my mind about her.
I have never before owned a rifle with such a fine, light, sweet trigger as this has. Some gun bloggers throw clichés like ‘breaks like glass’ at their poor readers until some poor soul begs for a reprieve. I am not one such boor, but it does break like glass. Er… whatever, man.
This trigger has just enough creep to remind you that triggers have that, but not enough to remind you of your prom. When the trigger passes the threshold from firing to fired, you barely feel anything. Except recoil. Being a .308, the recoil isn’t much. If you are accustomed to booming magnums, then the felt recoil from this rifle is more like feathers than bricks.
Mounted atop this fine example of ballistic art sits an old Redfield scope. In its day it was a very good scope. In todays day… I need a new scope for it. The scope works, mind you. Having used newer Vortex and Nikon scopes quite a bit I found that the Redfield doesn’t let in as much light, tends to lose focus, and is generally less comfortable on the eye. It isn’t horrible, but I do want to update it.
As for the shoot, I twice placed 3 rounds in a 1/2″ area at 100 yds, once kneeling, once prone. This gun is awesome. I shot both those groups with steel cased Barnaul junk. Ejecting the steel cases required rather more force than the brass cases, so be careful in buying that stuff. I plan on sticking to brass from here on out with this gun.
To sum, this is a fine rifle. I am happy to have it, and I plan on hunting with it in the near future.