Parker Hale Rigbys

From the Paul Roberts Era

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Guns & Gunmakers|May 2024

Parker Hale was a well respected British company and their Mauser type sporting rifle was a budget version of a classic hunting rifle.

During the Paul Roberts era at Rigby, the company sold around ten rifles made by firm Parker Hale and modified them to be sold as ‘Finished by John Rigby & Co. London’.

This was the continuation of a policy that British firms had used in the past, when retailing guns not of their own make but in some way enhanced or guaranteed by a famous gunmaker.

For example, plain boxlock guns can still occasionally be found bearing the words ‘Shot & Regulated by Holland & Holland’ on the barrels. These were Birmingham made guns and were not badged ‘Holland & Holland’ but enabled customers to buy cheaper guns from their preferred gunmaker, rather than go elsewhere.

Rigby took a standard Parker Hale model, which was a Mauser action, with a walnut stock. They re-shaped the stock to more closely resemble a Rigby and removed the iron sights. They then fitted ‘scope mounts and a ‘scope, regulated the rifle to shoot to 1/2” at 100 yards with either 173 grain or 140 grain cartridges, if it was a .7x57, which most were. At least one .308 was also made and sold.

The modified stock was then chequered with Rigby pattern panels and hand oil-finished, and the barrel and action best blacked.

Some pins and screws were replaced with better quality, better finished and engraved versions. The Magazine floor plate was engraved ‘Finished by John Rigby & Co. London’ and the whole set-up sold for £1,000.

It was a convenient way to create a traditional-looking and handling Rigby type stalking rifle fairly quickly, using a readily available model and a process that was repeatable.

These Rigby-finished Parker Hales were not given Rigby serial numbers and retain their Parker Hale numbers. Those that have emerged onto the secondhand market in good condition have generally sold for £400-£600 at auction. A standard Parker Hale would be expected to make £150-£250.



Published by Vintage Guns Ltd on

Guns & Gunmakers|May 2024

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