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Thread: Parker Hale contracts during WW2 for Winchester .22 rifles fitted with silencers

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    Parker Hale contracts during WW2 for Winchester .22 rifles fitted with silencers

    Gill
    I wondered if you have any records as to what Winchester .22 rifles by model were supplied by Parker Hale on a contract dated 06.10.41. They supplied 2066 rifles but a mixture of single shot, bolt action, slide action (I assume pump action) and semi autos. No details of models.

    They then followed up with a contract to fit 660 silencers (moderators) in 13.03.42. Tey supplied another mixture of 729 Winchester .22's 16.08.42. Most of the silenced ones would have gone to the Auxiliaries.

    Nigel

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    Nigel,
    I will dig deeper into the archives and get back to you soonest.
    '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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    Nigel,

    Quite interesting occurrences here in what can only be described as mid way through the companies long history. They destroyed a lot of records and vital paperwork when they closed. The only reliable records now in place, are those personal record books that each engineer had to keep to corroberate his work, and luckily, they hold the make/model/serial numbers/how they shot/scopes fitted with serial numbers and all the things you would expect a decent engineer to record, and obviously where the rifles went.

    I have trawled the records and spoken now to two ex PH employees who gave the best part of 30 years each, up until it closed in 2000.
    Many of the wartime records were retained by the Crown apparently wherever they are relating to WD orders. You may find some on that side of the pond when they get released, and clearly some may have been as your figures seem to ring bells in the engineers brains!

    Bill Smallwood of PH who was one of their top engineers says this about your query:

    In answer to your question on Winchester .22 rifles supplied by PH, at the back of my mind there is something about the Model 74 semi auto rifles being worked on for the army, I believe they may have been issued by the Americans as part of Lend Lease and worked on by PH ready for issue (tele sights and moderators fitted) this was things I gleaned from some of the older blokes at the time, and as I found some spares for these rifles when we cleared out the old tunnels in about 1984 I believe this could be the case. As regards to bolt action rifles or pump actioned ones I couldn't say but i would think models like a 67 or 62A might be in the frame around that Era.

    Sorry I can't be much more help. Please let me know if you turn up anything else, and can I ask where did you get the snippets of info from over 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

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    winchester 74

    Winchester 74 .22 self loader.
    Original book and shoulder flashes.
    Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    A couple of years ago I looked at a model 74 Winchester that was Britishicon proofed andhad the barrel threaded for a sound moderatorand the thread was protected by a knurled cap, The owner claimed it was used by the British Home Guard,

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    The problem, as I see it with these rifles fitted with No42 (and some with No53 telescopes) is just how do you zero them. Not on tjse mounts I'd venture to suggest. You could of course, but it wouldn't be a job for a Home Guardsman. Then there's this enigma..........

    The No42 and 53 telescopes came out with their slightly different grat patterns specifically to be used as the sighting telescope for the co-axial 7.92mm BESA machine gun. Hence the single line down and up which the MG would fire according to its range. All good so far, but for the late war Mk7 and 8 Churchill gun tank that wasn't around until 1944

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    Winchester

    The scope is a 42 with a reticle similar to the number 32 scope.
    The pointer and horizontal line are thinner than the 32
    Windage is adjustable on the rear mount.
    It shoots a little high at 25 yards and a little low at 50 yards.
    Once set up its lack of adjustment is not a problem at the ranges it would
    be shot at.
    The mounts are Parker Hale ADM5's

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    Thread Starter

    Winchester 74

    I was aware that the Winchester 74 with 42 scope and PH Moderator was the rifle shown in the SOE catalogue but wasn't sure if other rifles were also set up by Parker Hale. The proportion of the 4 different Winchester rifle types in their contract of 2066 would have to have 660 Model 74's if just these were used for the conversion. The contracts info came out of Skennertonicon's book on WW2 Britishicon Small Arms. Interesting about the post and cross hair reticule in the No.42 - this must also have been done by PH. Is the tip of the post centered from an elevation perspective?

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    Nigel,
    I am absolutely no expert on scopes, however, you know through Military training and good eye sight which suits you for the job in hand. Many of these sights were produced under contract to fit various machine guns and artillery pieces, which then suddenly appeared on the "shooters" market fitted to rifles, which were going to always have an uphill struggle if you expected to use them as a sniper rifle.

    Especially if it was only one shot yhou could get off before you intended to vanish into thin air.
    I would suspect with a 42 scope fitted, the engineers zeroing paperwork at PH would have made very interesting reading, as it would have been all over the place in my submission.

    The 53 scope would fair no better as a sniper scope as it was made later in WW2 and used as the coaxial machine gun telescope for the BESA MG on the Mk7 and 8 Churchill tank and the early Mk1 Centurions that also had BESA's fitted, I would hazard a guess, it didn't need to be accurate as it was laying down a Beaten zone of fire on any given area.....basically spraying!
    I am sure Peter L can confirm that, so in short.............definately not horses for courses!!

    Peters piece on these scopes might help as well: https://www.milsurps.com/content.php...ter-Laidler%29
    Someone might have a sight picture from these scopes, I haven't in my PC

    It would be interesting to learn why such scopes were even considered for the Winchester, but that answer has been destroyed along with thousands of the records that could provide answers for us today! Probably, nothing better available at the time!
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    Last edited by Gil Boyd; 08-11-2018 at 07:28 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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    Gil is correct about the old Centurion using the Telescope. The Mk8 Churchill and Mk1 Centurion used a cam adjustment on the co-ax MG cradle so had a sight with a 'centre' reticle fitted, such as that with horizintal and vertical reticle (a reticle is glass etched incidentally - but don't loose any sleep over it....) while the earlier Churchills (and post war Comets?) used a single wire 'sweep' graticle (graticle is a fixed wire) that alows for hosing down targets exactly as Gil says. And heaven help you if you are in the way because as soon as the crew see that there are a lot of infantry ahead, you know that it's a few rounds of 17 pounder cannister coming next!


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