Stunning example of this classic calibre from London Gun maker Churchill. 7 Bury Street, London, England.
AN UPDATE FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY KNOW MORE THAN THEY DO and insist on trying to say this is ‘just a Parker Hale with the Churchill name on it’.
Below is a reply to the latest aficionado:
It is difficult to say and be 100% certain. Without having access to manufacturers records to clarify things there are always ‘problems’ with questions like this.
All I can say is that personally I think the rifle IS by Churchill, certainly at least finished by them and while I do not like to pass comments on other people ‘opinion’ at times I wish they would keep their ‘expert knowledge’ to themselves!
What they might or might not have heard or ‘read up on the internet’ may well be correct, but more often than not their ‘expertise’ is picked up from forum sites where, generally, completely unprofessional comments are posted by people with little expertise, knowledge, experience or ACTUAL information other than here say or what THEY have picked up from the same or similar sources!
I often say searching the internet is like digging for gold….”You generally have to shift a LOT of shyte before you find the odd nugget”. The trick is recognising the ‘nugget’ (especially if you don’t have a pan or a sluice to separate it)!
Looking at the rifle in comparison to a Parker Hale:
I don’t think I have ever seen a PH with a soldered rear sight offering 3 different range setting.
PH used their OWN butt pads stamped with the company logo. This has a Kassnar recoil pad.
Parker Hale actions are held on with ‘the usual’ two action bolts. The Churchill has original Mauser ‘double screw’ screws (the 2 main large action screws have a recess cut out where a smaller grub screw fits to hold the main screw in place).
I cannot recall a PH fitted with a double set / hair trigger. Without actually searching old catalogues I am not even sure it was even an option? The Churchill is.
Parker Hale stocks on the Deluxe / 1200 Super versions were similar but different in that the Rosewood forend tip was a more ‘square finish’ as opposed to the rounded tip on this rifle.
PH rifle came with a side safety. The Churchill is fitted with the original Mauser style safety to the rear of the bolt. Bespoke rifle makers often swapped them out from the original Mauser ‘Flag safety’ (rotating from left to right) by the one fitted on this rifle and YES, Parker Hale made many of these ‘low level’ flag safety conversion options but NONE were ever used on their rifles as their actions and bolts were made with the safety located to the action and NEVER the bolt.
Parker Hale actually serial number their action and not the barrel. The Churchill has its serial number to the barrel and not the action. The barrel is also fully detailed / stamped as advertised with CHURCHILL (GUNMAKERS) LTD. 7, BURY STREET, LONDON SW1 ENGLAND. In small but capital letter along with the calibre.
Without removing the rifled action from the stock I think it also has London Proof marks, AGAIN, a feature NOT found on Parker Hale from Birmingham (and literally next door to Birmingham Proof House).
Also the stock is clearly of a higher grade Walnut than any Parker Hale I have ever seen and whilst I do not doubt the odd few highly figured stocks certainly did turn up at the factory I also do not doubt they would have been channelled off to supply bespoke rifle makers.
Parker Hale MASS produced to cater for the ‘working man’. The quality of the walnut will have been set and agreed by their suppliers and suppliers are not likely to send ANYTHING out more than specified. They certainly do not do it today and apart from the odd one ‘slipping though’ they won’t have done it then.
Perhaps you might like to put these points to your friend/s and get their reactions? (DO let me know)
It is advertised as a CHURCHILL (and at what is in reality a very fair price) because it IS a CHURCHILL.
A point to make is that many TOP companies outsource their work and still do to this day.
Rigby had rifles from Parker Hale. John Dickson in Edinburgh is a second highly respected maker. There were many others. Even today you see rifles as well as shotguns stamped with ‘Shot and Regulated by Holland and Holland’ and even they too ‘outsource’ elements of manufacture still to this day, as do most bespoke sporting rifle makers. I cannot think of a single manufacturer who physically does EVERYTHING in house.
A second point to make is that even OLD Parker Hale rifles can be extremely accurate to shoot and match brand new guns from anyone. I recently supplied one in .243 to a gamekeeper in Lincolnshire that shot a three round group at approx. 120 yards with standard Winchester 100 grain ammunition that could be completely covered under a 1p piece.
The bluing was all but ‘shot’, the butt pad was actually collapsed but he wanted a budget rifle with sound moderator and 8 power scope all in for around £400.
Point of the ‘tale’ is that you can pay £70,000 (and a lot more) for a new H&H and how much more accurate would it be? Very likely it would not actually shoot as well as the beat up old PH!
You certainly pay for ‘names’ especially ‘London guns’ as well as top makes like Westley Richards and other high end provincial makers. These always command prices way in excess of the more ‘mass produced’ and far more common every day marques but that is the same with anything.
Anyway Sir, I shall await your responses with ‘baited breath’!
I appreciate you are just asking the question/s and also that there are MANY dealers out there who have little idea and / or happily play fast and easy with the truth but I TRY to be 100% with everything and as accurate as I can be.
SOME would say a dying breed but that said there are not that many left out there to recognise that.
NOW>>>BACK TO THE GUN!
Generally great condition throughout with a top grade Walnut stock.
At one time just about the be all and end all for calibres north of the border but, as usually happens, lost favour. A lot could have been to do with the recoil sometimes produced when a rifle didn’t transfer it correctly and / or the seemingly excessive noise that is way over most other full bore cartridges.
On the plus side a .270 IS an extremely ‘ forgiving ‘ round, often flooring anything near enough on the spot.
Today we can all have a sound moderator which not only cuts the report substantially but also the recoil.
Thankfully they are beginning to come back around but this is something I have tried to tell the world for many years !
Retaining the original iron sights etc. the rifle is on a Mauser style action with a hinged floor plate. As detailed, the woodwork is quite unusual and very pretty.
The rifle has not done much at all taking account of its general condition.