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Post – Parker Hale .308 Bolt Action rifle from The Gibbs Rifle Company?

NOT an example from the still in business with the same name today. It WAS Gibbs who initially bought out the brand and attempted to capitalise on the name when Parker Hale ceased trading. Setting up production back in the USA. However, somewaht surprisingly, it did not work out to be a successful enterprise.

I have seen other Gibbs Rifles which ARE basically exactly the same as an original Parker Hale 1100 or 1200. However, this is substantially different. All I can assume is this is a Very Early / prototype example. Very possibly either just prior or right on that time in history.

20 ¾” (525mm) Barrel set to a Stock / Trigger pull of 13 7/8” (353mm). They combine for an overall length of 41 ¾” (1080mm) and tip scales at 8 Lbs 7 oz (3.834 Kg). That INCLUDES the Scope Mounts as shown.

It COULD actually be a planned upgrade / prototype? Given the quality and workmanship that has gone into what IS a seriously over thought, over engineered rifle and mounts.

Unlike an original this rifle is built on an actual GEW 98 Action. A FINE foundation that near enough ALL CLASSIC HIGH END / Bespoke rifles begin life from. Quite WHY he opted to retain the Traditional Mauser Flag Safety is anyone’s guess. Especially when Parker Hale themselves actually produced an easy swap out ‘Low Level’ alternative.

This obviously led to the mass of work to be seen in the scope mount. Doing this alone from scratch today would cost as much as a new rifle! Constructed from what appears to be a solid bar, machined to fit the action profile. The cut out over the magazine well area to allow unhindered ejection. The screws are actually in the exact same position as standard two piece bases for this action type. As such this scope mount  can be retained and used or easily swapped out. To the top it has a solid and full length hand-made Standard Dovetail. This itself is fixed from forward / backward movement by a mod position ‘locator’ pin. At each end is an Allen Head machine screw fastening this dovetail rail to the main base through slotted holes. As such FULLY Windage Adjustable and Lockable by way of the smaller Allen Heads at either side on the front main screw.

To finish a Standard, currently 1” scope tube diameter, one piece rail tops it all off. This is easily swapped out for a 30mm option. However the story does not end there. This top base not only clamps on its full length but is then screwed down into position.

As said, it would easily swap out for 30mm, 34mm tube scopes or even a Picatiny Rail for NV units.

Quite frankly for the time, work and materials involved its ridiculous. They could have simply purchased even THE BEST Quick Detachable, Windage Adjustable, Guaranteed Return to Zero Rings. Very likely two or three sets for what this lot will have cost to put together!

A CLASSIC example of THINKING they can save a few £££. Carrying on regardless and not having the capacity to admit they were WRONG.

Does / will it work? Undoubtedly. Was it worth it? Even as a ‘learning curve’? NO!

A similar tale to tell with the Magazine Floor Plate. Instead of simply leaving it original it is now fitted with a Trigger Guard mounted release lever. Even when engaged the floor plate still needs to be pulled / pushed backward to release it.

To many these points will be detrimental. However to a limited few they WILL appeal if for nothing else than quirkiness. Its almost like someone set about to ‘fix’ something that was already working PERFECTLY Well. The old adage of ‘If its not broken then LEAVE IT ALONE’ simple SCREAMS from this rifle.

One EXTREMELY GOOD FEATURE IS THE Genuine Timney Match Grade Trigger fitted. Again a standard PH unit IS fully adjustable BUT Timney DOES take a trigger to a different place.

The Woodwork is basically all but BRAND NEW and IS definitely an original Paker Hale 1200 Deluxe. Highly Decorative with Great Grain Pattern and Good Colour Contrast. Plus the usual and CLASSIC Fox Cut or Skip Chequering. Raised Cheek Rest and the usual finish White Spacer with Rosewood Forend Tip and Grip Cap. PH Logo Recoil pad too.

It’s a shame the ACTUAL history for this rifle is probably none existent. It would have been nice to have its 100% ACCURATE background and thought processes that went in.

For any AVID Parker Hale collector it will be an anomaly. My suspicions / hypothesis above can EASILY be completely wrong. But for the Gibbs detail it could easily just be a ‘project’ gun by some private individual. Someone with a good level of engineering design, tooling and skill. The ‘trouble’ is the Gibbs connection IS there. As such it’s difficult to come with much too far away from the above.

ANYONE with any ACCURATE information I am MORE THAN HAPPY to hear from you. Anyone into Parker Hale and / OR Gibbs history then hopefully this will be of interest. Here in the UK or over the Atlantic. I am not going to price it ‘stupidly’. The lack of ACTUAL provenance or FACT stops that ‘desire’. However I will list along the same lines as any other rifle like this and in the same generally excellent condition. If you want it for a collection / novelty  then great. If not its not a problem.