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Parker Hale, AGP and 100+ years of Enfield Shooting Sports

Updated: Dec 14, 2021

Having chosen to pursue target shooting with various years and models of Lee Enfield - I have naturally become acquainted with the efforts of both the Parker and Hale family contributions to shooting sports technology.

The early days of Parker Hale growth were boosted by their printed materials - a shooting score book that also has lots of technical information and serves as advertising / marketing for more of their widgets. This one carries both the Parker Hale branding and the AGP of Bisley Works:

The front cover features the "rise between ranges" elevation adjustment for British 303 Mk7 as well as a rotating disk windage adjustment - based on "fall of flag". It also features a wire stand to prop the book open to a score page while shooting and includes a pencil storage tube in its spine and a patch of emery paper on its back cover to sharpen the pencil on. Clearly indispensable!

Of the sights I have, and have had:

PH5A - for the Lee Enfield No1 mk3 (and Ishapore 2A or 2A1)

PH5B - for the Pattern 14 or the Model of 1917 "American Enfield" - there are two mounting bases and versions of this - one which replaces the volley sight "button" on the P14 and has an integral peg for the empty grove and one with a slotted base for the Model 1917 which requires a special "widget" to grip the slot in the sight base and the action hole.

PH5C - for Lee Enfields based on the No4 and No5, available with 1/2 and 1/4 MOA clicks.

PH5E - for 7.62 x 51mm No4 Lee Enfield (Enforcer)

AGP TZ 47 - for Lee Enfield based on the No4 action - this design features a removable windage arm on a catch that acts on the elevation screw. This allows the rifle to be shot with just the sight body present with a scope or as an as issued service rifle and then return the windage arm assembly for a fast zero and compete in a modified class. This example is marked and calibrated for range (meters) for the 7.62 x 51mm Nato round and has 1/4 moa adjustment clicks on both Elevation and Windage scales.

AGP 8/53 - For Lee Enfield No4 Machined Singer sights - this bolt on windage scale and eyepiece converts a stock No4 milled rear sight into a decent windage contender. This comes at the cost of the height of the windage body which essentially raises the standard sight to the 1000 yard mark to achieve a decent zero - thus only around 600 yards of additional elevation available while using this device.

AGP M80 sight - released in the 1980s this is the last and most compact generation of the TZ series sight bodies (preserving the ability to remove the windage mechanism at the elevation screw to use iron sights or optics and quickly change back with a decent zero). Made with a universal body in mind, there are interchangeable mounting brackets for Mauser or Lee Enfield No4 actions. This one features 1/4MOA adjustments.

The Parker Hale "scorebook" section for Pattern 14 accessories:

Most target shooters required improved and variable target sling options. The Lee Enfield has long demonstrated its preference or a firm grip of the fore end (mid wood) and despite people searching for better bedding, the standard military front bed pressures worked best. These were best preserved by removing the sling tension from the upper and mid band swivels and the ubiquitous trigger guard front screw triangular sling swivel is "king". The originals were developed by the MoD for the No4T sniper rifle (they may have been defined from previous times and rifle models - Ill have to research... The MOD design features a "low tower" which allows the swivel to rotate and stop on the trigger guard lugs (used only for securing the canvas action cover on a No4). This version has to be installed in left hand or right hand shooter positions due to this designed travel stop (so the angle of the triangle gives the right presentation of the sling to the upper arm). The Parker Hale versions were designed as "high tower" models and would clear the triangle swing over the trigger guard lugs so that it could freely rotate. This basic triangular sling swivel was produced in the required shape and thread form to replace the front trigger guard screw on the P14 (No3mk1 Rifle) the No1 nd No4 actions - the the latter being extended to the L39 and L42 programs.

Each if the sights above use a standard Parker Hale thread to take a choice of eyepiece. There is also an adaptor that also the Metric Gehman and Anschulz eye pieces to be used in a Parker Hale sight. Here is a range of eye pieces and their functions descriptions:

The base eyepiece is just a disk with a hole in it of a specified size. The face of the eyepiece is matt black to absorb light so the eye can be trained on the image within.

The six hole eyepiece models present a rotating and ratcheted disk with 6 different aperture sizes. When at the range a shooter can adjust the size of the aperture bewtween choices depending on the prevailing or changing light conditions. With these peep sights so close to the eye, there is a natural mechanism for the rear sight to be automatically centered and in relationship to the front sight - so a shooter simply focusses on the front sight and target (the front sight can / should also be black for high target contrast). While using these peep sights the shooter can be aware that the rear aperture presents a complete soft / foggy circular image around the front sight - as it should be. Some of the six hole eye pieces have been observed with a raised annular lip - to form more of a shadow / tunnel.

As the control of light in front of the sight and shadowing of the rear of the sight become key, a tube rear sight can be beneficial to extenuate the darkness that a bright sight image lives within. Here is a short tube aperture with a 6 hole diopter ring. The body is split and is two threaded halves, making it possible to put a filter or lens within the tube body - these were sold separately.

I have sourced a suitable optical laboratory polaroid filter that fits these split body sights. I have seen and own only one original Parker Hale polaroid filter - it stays at home in my collection, while the new lab grade filters to out to the range.

As found in film cameras, an Iris can produce a fine adjustable aperture size between a max and minimum range. The lever adjusts the iris within from max to minimum aperture sizes and any increment between - just tap lightly. A frequent fault is a broken lever. The same sized threaded body as the tube apertures allow a front ring / eye cup to be interchanged as well as the continued provision for filters / lenses. This Iris has a low profile eye cup (allows for clearance on some bolt actions).

Above is a de-lux Iris - this has a 6 filter wheel built in so the user can also adjust color or polaroid contrast effects under the prevailing light conditions as well as the size of the diopter aperture. This unit has a large eye disk and is well made but bulky - a large piece to use on a standard issue rifle - clearly more at home on a dedicated target shooting rifle such as the L39.

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