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The Parker-Hale "TARGETSCOPE"

See also the Parker-Hale CMT rifles , the Parker-Hale Dewar rifles and ParkerRifling, A.G and A.J. Parker and Parker-Hale

plus Parker-Hale Service Rifle Target Sights, and the Parker-Hale Optical Sight Set



The telescope sight fitted to a Vickers Mk.1 target rifle





The 1939 advertisements









Perhaps not an entirely correct assessment of how things were to turn out sixty years on, but, nevertheless, a perfectly reasonable outlook for the telescopic sight in small-bore target shooting was made by A.G. Banks ( winner of the first "Queen's Cup" competition in 1907 with a Greener Martini rifle) in his book "Random Notes on Rifle Shooting". He stated in 1932 that:

"Personally, I have little doubt that in a few years' time telescopic sights will have taken the place of aperture sights on TARGET RIFLES as a standard fitting, and everyone will wonder why on earth we did not adopt them years ago.The lead will come from the older shots - for to the man with failing eyesight the 'scope sight is the greatest boon ever invented."

Banks went on to detail the prime telescopic sight on offer in 1938 - the Parker-Hale Targetscope and illustrated a rather " Heath Robinson", but nonetheless inventive, way of mounting the 'scope to a Greener Martini actioned target rifle and utilising a Parker-Hale No.7 or BSA No.30 type rear aperture sight to permit accurate and easy adjustment for windage and elevation.


"I DO not suppose anyone will deny—anyone in Britain, at any rate—that Messrs. Parker-Hale's "Targetscope" and mounts constitute the best telescopic sight outfit available at any price. In fairness to the vast amount of work which that firm have put into the design of this outfit, it is incumbent upon me to keep that fact clearly before my readers, and I have done the "Targetscope" full justice in previous articles. Unfortunately, however, many of us are unable to afford the money necessary to secure one of these high or super-class sets, and people who are searching for something cheaper but still capable of giving the highest class results, not obtainable with the cheapest American sets, may be interested to hear of my latest development."








Much of the cost of a " TARGETSCOPE " of course goes into the back mount, which is accurately and solidly made to give quarter-minute click adjustments. But every modem target rifle is already equipped with an equally well-made aperture back-sight giving the same thing ;'and if you can harness the back of your 'scope to this aperture sight and make it do the clicking for you, the necessity for a special back mount is obviated. This I have done, and I now proceed to give you a description of the method.

Several years ago (" How to Make a Telescopic ) Sight for Ninepence ") I described one such arrangement, but my present set consists of a back attachment to the aperture sight and a front block attached to the rifle barrel by a bolted clip, which can be used with the S.M.R.C. 'scope and fitted in a few minutes by anybody to any standard B.S.A., Vickers, or Greener M.52 without any alteration, drilling, or screwing, etc., whatever. In the case of the S.M.R.C.-Parker-Hale C.M.T.2, it is only necessary to hollow out or cut I away a little of the forend to clear the front clip.My set is designed more especially for the S.M.R.C. 'scope because, at three pounds ( £3.00) I know or no other 'scope to equal it. I see that its magnification is advertised as 8 x, but that is a mistake. It is actually much better, being nearer 11 x, and all its optical arrangements are excellent. My attachments can, however, be adapted to any 'scope of similar build, that is, of the long, thin type, like the " TARGETS cope " and the" S.M.R.C." For the front, you want an ordinary front mount (through which the 'scope tube slides) which slides on to the barrel-block and is secured by a finger screw. These are cheap enough, but it is essential that the rib of the 'scope is a dead fit in the slot of the mount, for the 'scope must not be able to twist round at all, and the front mount must be responsible for preventing this. As regards the rear fixing, you can not do with a rigid attachment to the backsight because, although the movements of the eye-cup block for line and elevation are small, a rigid attachment would cause the 'scope-tube to strain, and bring strain to bear on the back- sight. This would in time result in looseness and get you into hot water with the makers when you sent the sight back and blamed them , for it!
It was the problem of designing an attachment which, while giving sure movement to the 'scope from the clicks, would allow this necessary flexibility, which, gave me sleepless nights. However, the solution is simple, and consists in effect of a ball-joint. You take out your eyecup, which screws into a hole about 1/4-inch diameter in the eye-cup block. Through this hole now goes a horizontal bolt fixed to the back of the attachment, and much smaller in diameter than the hole (5/32 in.). At the head of the bolt is a small spherical-faced washer, slightly larger than the hole. The bolt is secured at the back of the sight-block by a spring washer and nut, finger-tight. Thus the ball-face bears on the metal of the block at the edge of the hole, and forms a ball-joint, while the spring washer allows the bolt to move around a little in the hole as the adjustments are made. The illustrations herewith will make clear the general arrangement, and, incidentally, reveal to any old cyclists among you that the materials I used were, a certain old-fashioned type of cycle lamp-bracket and a couple of small cycle-bolts! You also require, of course, a certain skill in the art of using a file, if you are going to make your own ball-washer! I anticipated criticisms to the effect that this was a wobbly sort of arrangement and that it would not stay put. In fact, I admit to some misgivings on the point myself, before I tried it. The proof of the pudding is in the eating ; and the actual facts are that the 'scope is held with amazing rigidity and that it stands up to continuous shooting and answers the helm perfectly. As no rifleman in his senses is going to make a practice of knocking any 'scope sight about or even risk leaning his rifle on it, the strength afforded is ample for all requirements. Also, you can take the 'scope off the gun and replace it with the certainty of its keeping the same zero.

As you know, I like to anticipate criticism as much as possible and to provide proofs of my statements. It saves such a lot of unnecessary correspondence afterwards! So in order to prove that the sight goes back without alteration, after being removed, I am publishing a 25-yards target. It looks a very ordinary target, worth 98 (or 99 if Mr. Tucknott is feeling generous!), with the elevation set a bit too high. But it is, in fact, a very extra ordinary target ; because the 'scope was removed completely from the rifle and. refixed after each bull— five times, and, incidentally, dropped once! I can assure you that doing this on the firing point, in the prone position, and getting in and out of the sling, is shooting under difficulties and is hard work, so I must be excused for not producing a '' possible " ; for I found one such target quite enough.






The " Sighter Bull " of this card was shot last, as proof of another point—that the ball-joint does really communicate the click adjustments accurately and consistently. The five shots, all aimed at the centre, were fired respectively with 8 clicks up, 8 clicks down, 8 clicks right, 8 clicks .left, and then back to zero for the last shot. This bull I have cut out and illustrated separately to show up the shots. It also shows that I had the elevation set too high. It should have been one click lower. It must be understood that the clicks now give more than quarter-minutes, owing to the shorter sight radius between the mounts than between backsight and ordinary foresight Actually four clicks give you 1-1/2 ins. at 100 yards, 3/4 in. at 50 and 3/8 in. at 25. In other words, each click gives exactly half as much again on the target as it does when used in the ordinary way with a foresight. This looks at first glance rather a bore, but in practice I am not sure that it is not an actual advantage. One finds so often in shooting a situation where one feels that one click will not be enough, while two may be too much. Here you get an allowance exactly half- way between, with one click! After these preliminary 25 yards' tests I then had to prove that the outfit would " do its stuff " on the 100 yards range, and stand up to continuous shooting. At last the requisite calm day came along, and I sallied forth. The usual elevation with this rifle from 25 to 100 yards -was 8 minutes. I therefore calculated that 5-1/2 "degrees" on the sight should about do the trick, and it did. The first shot was a bull with elevation practically correct. The first ten shots made a 1-1/8 in. group. I fired three more 10-shot groups, and they measured respectively 2 ins., 1 in. and 1-3/8 ins., the last being centred all in the bull. I came away perfectly satisfied that the 'scope fixings were as solid as a rock and would go on doing it indefinitely. This S.M.R.C. 'scope spots in the black at 100 yards quite easily, if you have the usual white backing sheet behind ; and I never took my spotting telescope out of the case. That is pretty good illumination, you know, for an 11-power 'scope. The only trouble is, you have to resist the fatal fascination of wanting to move your cross hairs away to watch the shot go through the bull! If you do, it doesn't. By means of the attachments described, the 'scope is held , in the lowest position which would be feasible, while still allowing space convenient for loading the rifle—that is, about half an inch higher than the normal iron-sight line. One looks over the top of the backsight, of course, and the full field of the 'scope is visible with the exception of a small segment of the left side, which is unavoidably blocked out by the elevation screwhead. Even this can be avoided if one takes the trouble to set the 'scope to zero with the wind gauge set well over to the right; but it is of no practical importance, and I prefer to have my 'scope set to zero, by means of the front mount, with the wind-gauge also at zero—i.e., in the centre of its travel. (April, 1938.)


So much of "A.G's." comment is still valid today, as are his following remarks on the subject of shooting with a telescopic sight.

"The first thing one finds, upon using a 'scope sight, is that, whereas one used to think that one could hold " rock steady," the rifle now appears to dither about as though possessed, even when using the relaxed hold. It is a matter almost of impossibility to hold the cross hairs steady on the centre of the bull for X more than a moment, and so one realises why in the past so many shots which one thought would be central bulls actually turned out to be clipping bulls or even nines. The danger in 'scope sight shooting is of concentrating so much upon the aim that the niceties of hold and trigger release, which I have dealt with in recent articles, are neglected. It is very fascinating to watch the shot hit the target, when it appears in the spot where one is looking for it. When it does not, it is not so fascinating!
Using a telescopic sight, there is no doubt whatever when the aim is perfect, and it drives home to one the fact that real shooting depends chiefly upon regular holding ; for when a perfectly aimed shot falls elsewhere than in the centre, given first-class tools, there is no question at all that the holding or trigger release is at fault. Nothing could popularise the genuine telescopic sight more than the general trial of this experiment which I have carried out and described, and when a real demand arises, manufacture in large quantities will ensure a much reduced price. "

"A.G." did not mention that the use of a telescope for practice can provide the very best indication of one's faults with hold, breathing, aiming and let-off. Suddenly all the errors, previously unseen and unknown whilst shooting over or through iron sights, are magnified, visible and, most importantly, correctable.

We now copy the very comprehensive Parker-Hale brochure for their 'scope. It is best shown in pictorial format and will surely have loaded on broadband by the time you read down to here!














Parker-Hale's 1940 advertisement for a 'scope mount suitable for the S.M.L.E rifle

To close, in order not to offend or mislead any North American readers, we should mention that we are aware that these scopes were manufactured by Fecker of Cleveland and imported by Parker-Hale for sale in Great Britain under their own name. A considerable recommendation we would have thought.

See also the Parker-Hale CMT rifles , the Parker-Hale_Dewar_rifles and ParkerRifling, A.G._and_A.J. Parker_and_ Parker-Hale,

plus Parker-Hale Service Rifle Target Sights, and the Parker-Hale Optical Sight Set


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