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Thread: Parker Hale M85 Serial Number Checks & Provenance on Manufacture (Records)

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  1. #241
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    Lee Enfield,
    As per my PM response, and for the benefit of others interested, It does sit within the parameters of the CANADIAN C3A1 CONTRACT serial numbers, but after speaking to Bill Smallwood ex engineer at Parker Hale who was involved during this time of refurbishment at the factory, that some rifles were produced not marked C3A1 or given the new serial number ending in G and sold to dealers in the UKicon, so they still retained their R prefix as an M82 like we have in this example found by mforow.

    Frustrating as hell for staff who could see the writing on the wall.

    Just to clarify, I do hold all the serial numbers of the new G suffix at the end of the new C3A1 numbers, and it is a real shame there was no recording of the previous serial number before refurbishment so you could cross corrolate for histories sake.



    As been said many times, if you hold an M82 as stamped, it is in effect Parker Hales successful sniping rifle which had a 1200TX heavy duty barrel fitted to it and duly modified on refurbishment for the Canadianicon Forces C3A1 contract, making it an awesome competitor out there at the time before the floating barrel was explored and found to be even more accurate.
    It is sad the rifle mforow has found doesn't have the C3A1 stamp on it, but it probably went through the system before it was hoiked out of the pile for a UK dealer sale, who was a consistant buyer of PH rifles here!!
    Last edited by Gil Boyd; 04-11-2019 at 05:42 AM.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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  3. #242
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    Ironically and further to what I said above I found these recorded on pages 1405 to 1409 on company records:

    Headed: M82's FROM CANADA no mention of refurbishment, and nowhere near the complete list of rifles I have leaving the factory with the G last letter on conversion to C3A1 rifles.

    1200TX S/N P85612
    1200TX S/N R38468
    1200TX S/N 38700
    1200TX S/N P94040
    1200TX S/N R03204

    Strange, but that was Parker Hale all over. No rational answer to many queries raised and numbering and lettering had no rhyme nor reason or consistancy I'm afraid, very frustrating!!!

    Ironically T. Hallam of Charnwood Ordnance also bought M82 S/N R22605 on the same day as the above R22814 on the 5th November 1996
    Last edited by Gil Boyd; 04-11-2019 at 10:38 AM.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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  5. #243
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    For Information:

    The original serial No's would have been in the contract details and also in the official register, all of which were destroyed by fire by the then Modular Industries idiots when they cleared the offices when they bought Parker Hale
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

  6. #244
    Advisory Panel Lee Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil Boyd View Post
    Lee Enfield,
    As per my PM response, and for the benefit of others interested, It does sit within the parameters of the CANADIAN C3A1 CONTRACT serial numbers, but after speaking to Bill Smallwood ex engineer at Parker Hale who was involved during this time of refurbishment at the factory, that some rifles were produced not marked C3A1 or given the new serial number ending in G and sold to dealers in the UKicon, so they still retained their R prefix as an M82 like we have in this example found by mforow.

    Frustrating as hell for staff who could see the writing on the wall.

    Just to clarify, I do hold all the serial numbers of the new G suffix at the end of the new C3A1 numbers, and it is a real shame there was no recording of the previous serial number before refurbishment so you could cross corrolate for histories sake.

    As been said many times, if you hold an M82 as stamped, it is in effect Parker Hales successful sniping rifle which had a 1200TX heavy duty barrel fitted to it and duly modified on refurbishment for the Canadianicon Forces C3A1 contract, making it an awesome competitor out there at the time before the floating barrel was explored and found to be even more accurate.
    It is sad the rifle mforow has found doesn't have the C3A1 stamp on it, but it probably went through the system before it was hoiked out of the pile for a UK dealer sale, who was a consistant buyer of PH rifles here!!
    All "R" pre-fix serial numbers should be C3/1200TX/M82 rifles - NOT C3A1/M87 rifles, so mforow's rifle SHOULD NOT be marked as "C3A1" anywhere...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gil Boyd View Post
    Ironically and further to what I said above I found these recorded on pages 1405 to 1409 on company records:

    Headed: M82's FROM CANADA no mention of refurbishment, and nowhere near the complete list of rifles I have leaving the factory with the G last letter on conversion to C3A1 rifles.

    1200TX S/N P85612
    1200TX S/N R38468
    1200TX S/N 38700
    1200TX S/N P94040
    1200TX S/N R03204

    Strange, but that was Parker Hale all over. No rational answer to many queries raised and numbering and lettering had no rhyme nor reason or consistancy I'm afraid, very frustrating!!!

    Ironically T. Hallam of Charnwood Ordnance also bought M82 S/N R22605 on the same day as the above R22814 on the 5th November 1996
    The "outlier" "P" pre-fix serial numbers here could have been some of the original 1200TX "trials rifles" from before adoption as the C3 in c.1973/74

    Quote Originally Posted by Gil Boyd View Post
    For Information:

    The original serial No's would have been in the contract details and also in the official register, all of which were destroyed by fire by the then Modular Industries idiots when they cleared the offices when they bought Parker Hale
    Thank you Gil, for your hard work on this - I see that you have put your finger onto the issue, but been confused by what actually happened, and what happened on paper - and judging by Mr. Smallwood's feed-back he is confused by the paper trail as well...

    Humor me by allowing me a re-cap of the existing published info:

    1. Canadian Armed Forces needed/wanted a new sniping rifle.
    2. CAF was unable to get approval/funding to purchase new sniping rifles.
    3. CAF were however authorized to spend money to "maintain"/"rebuild" (ie. "refurbish") existing rifles.
    4. CAF used the authorized maintenance money to purchase new (un-authorized) rifles from PH.
    5. PH maintained this paper fiction of "refurbishment" - and the balance of cost was reduced by PH accepting back existing C3 rifles in exchange.
    6. PH (actually) refinished/refurbished/rebuilt the returned C3 (1200TXCDN) rifles and sold them on-to the commercial market as M82/1200TX rifles.
    7. PH sold the CAF brand new (un-authorized) C3A1 (M87) rifles, but termed the sale as "refurbishment" (ie. a service rather than a supply contract).

    C3 rifles and C3A1 rifles are totally different arms - the paper confusion between them was deliberate on the part of PH management and the CF, to confuse the Canadian Gov't bureaucrats - and modern collectors/historians...
    Last edited by Lee Enfield; 04-11-2019 at 12:04 PM.
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  7. #245
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    What you have written there is spot on. I have now physically gone through all the records and can only find 367 finished and stamped C3A1 rifles sent back by Jack Holmer of Parker Hale whose task was simply to stamp all Parker Hale rifles with the serial numbers.
    I have those records I believe and that means somewhere, someone made it look as though they were requesting a refurb of 500 so where are the missing 133 rifles? Did they actually exist. With the burning of any possible corroborative evidence held in the UKicon by Modular Industries you can imagine how hard it is to piece the whole picture together.

    For the benefit of mforow and for clear identification, the C3 had the Mauser action, and the C3A1 had the flat top action and new barrel, some barrels it appears were reused if accepted, and many M86/M87 were bundled in to this package as well, as they too were identical to the C3A1's except they had a reinforced front bridge with a 1/4" recoil lug fitted to take the USMC scope.

    So hope that helps in some way, but be very interested to see any paperwork from the Canadianicon Treasury to conclusively prove how many rifles actually came over for refurb and how many got back.

    Sounds almost like a big favour was done somewhere to the enquiring DOD Forces to try and fit in with "refurbishment of old rifles" but really they recieved something better ie a new actioned C3A1 in return but not the 500 all the peprwork refers too!!!!!!!!?? Or as an ex detective am I reading too deep into this?
    Last edited by Gil Boyd; 04-12-2019 at 05:12 AM.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

  8. #246
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    Hy Gil
    i kindly ask you if you have any information about these two rifles numbered C09547 and numbered CGP0005. these are both fitted with a Pecar Berlin Variable 4-10 telescopic. i'd like to know if these are former military or police forces rifle.
    thanks in advance.
    miche

  9. #247
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    Miche,
    Good news and bad news.
    PH Rifle numbered C09547 there is absolutely no trace.

    However, PH rifle numbered CGP0005 is recorded in one of the books Bill Smallwood rescued from the fire and ironically built by him, on entry 1725 page 33 is a PH Cadet rifle with an M85 stock calibred in .223.
    There is nothing to say where they went or what scopes they had on them on delivery.

    Could you corroborate the above please is correct in what you have there?
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

  10. #248
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    hy Gil
    i found these rifles in the catalogue of an auction. the one numbered C09547 is defined as "parker-hale 7.62mm bolt-magazine metropolitan police sniper type' rifle" chambered 7,62 mm; the one numbered CGP0005 is deifned as “a sniper version of a parker-hale cadet general purpose trials rifle”, no information about the caliber of the second one.
    you mean that the last one is a special parker hale?

  11. #249
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    Yes, in terms that it was fitted with an M85 stock and is in .223 all the Cadets were prefixed CGP.
    With reference to the first one you say was advertised as 7.62, very unusual to see that S/N attributed to a rifle the Met Police had unless it was an early 1200.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

  12. #250
    Really Senior Member rgg_7's Avatar
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    mforow - can you post any pix's of the 2 rifles. Maybe we can tell you more.

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