Parker Hale .303 Problem


September 13, 2007, 11:27 AM
Hey, quick question.
Recently got a new .303, It looks like a #4 MK I, but with new stock pieces, monte carlo with nice pistol grip, and flat bottom forestock. It also seems to have a new barrel, and the barrel is a heavy barrel marked "Parker-Hale" on the top.
Anyway this thing is a deadly shooter, I was shocked, maybe my other enfields are badly shot out or something because this thing makes them look silly!
The problem is the magazine, the one I got with the rifle is a regular #4mkI 10 rnd. When it is inserted it doesn't "click" home like other enfields. It goes in fine and seems tight, but if I tug down on the front side of the mag it has a bit of play. Even worse every time I fire the weapon, it knocks the bloody thing loose. After each shot I have to slap the mag back in or it will be too low for the bolt to catch the next round.

Is this a magazine issue? Or a problem with the rifle? I looked around and checks some other enfields I have but they are all using the earlier #1mkIII style mags and those fall right out of the parker-hale.

Help please.

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Jeff F
September 13, 2007, 12:50 PM
Is that a real no. 4 mag or is it an aftermarket. I had a no.4 that was in need of a magazine and all I could find locally was a Pro mag. Real POS, same problem. A few months later I was at a gun show and ran into Brian from BDL LTD. He had a brand new no. 4 mag still in the paper wrap for 50.00. Fit perfect but I did have to play with the feed lips a little, It runs good now with no problems.

uk roe hunter
September 13, 2007, 03:31 PM
Parker hale did "sporterize" a lot of .303s. they also made sniper rifles on the "chassis" I have a parker hale rifle and it is Very accurate indeed. I wonder if you have a bit of a hybred there. What action does it have? Is it the normal enfield, rear locking bolt?


September 13, 2007, 04:20 PM
Parker Hale conversions are considered some of the finest sporter jobs ever done on the Lee Enfield. The rifle should have a rib on the back of the magazine that is locked in place by a metal clip. This is pulled back by pressing the magazine release catch. If its not locking into place there is only a few possible causes.

1. The magazine could be a junk replacement where they didn't make the metal rib on the back large enough to catch into place. This is the probroble cause.

2. That the rib has eroded away over time and theres not enough metal there left to clip into place. This can happen from over excessive removal of the magazine many thousands of times.

3. A build up of cosmoline or other junk that is jamming the magazine locking latch. Unlikely with a Parker Hale sporter.

4. The end of the metal latch that clips the magazine into place has eroded over time so it can't catch the rib on the back of the magazine. Unlikely but you can get a replacement part from Springfield Sporters or Numrich.

5. It could have a No1 Mk3 magazine in there. They have a rib that goes all the way down to the bottom of the magazine on its back and they are not readily interchangable with the No4 Mk1 magazine.

If I could find one and had some money I would love to pick up a Parker Hale Lee Enfield conversion.

September 13, 2007, 07:58 PM
OK, first the mag is a #4 mag. I can't tell if it a replacement or what.

I hope it is the mag, the other 303's I have are #1 MK III's and you are right that the mags don't fit at all.

Mine does look like your pic, only mine has a flat bottom forestock and the pistol grip is a bit different.

It is drilled and tapped for one of those parker hale scope mounts, but didn't come with the mount.

It shoots very nicely, offhand using the peep sight I was getting five or six inch groups at 100 yards and two inch at 50 yards.

Here are some images:

September 13, 2007, 08:16 PM
That looks like someone put the action in a Reinhart-Fajen stock;lot of that happening back in the mid '60's. Not a bad thing; could be a rifle that was "sporterized" by the owner back then. IIRC you could buy the rifles for about $29.95 and the stocks were about the same for the "standard" grade. Lots of nicely done "custom" rifles from that period.

September 13, 2007, 08:34 PM
Nice to know, I want to fix the mag issue, then bears beware!

September 13, 2007, 09:08 PM
Remove the magazine and check the edge of the magazine release latch just inside the magazine well. It should be just inside and as you feel it, you should feel a fairly sharp, hard metal ledge that is used to lock in under the magazine ridge. If that is rounded away it might not be locking in, especially if the magazine ridge it lacks too isn't fairly decent too. Also make sure the magazine release latch is fairly stiff. It shouldn't move very easily. If it does or its not clicking into place and holding there that would seem to indicate a weak sear spring. If thats the case it will need to be replaced.

I am not sure if thats the original magazine for the rifle. The blueing colour looks a little different but that could just be the light from the picture. You really need to test it with a magazine from another No4 rifle. Any should work fine.

September 13, 2007, 10:37 PM
"...a No1 Mk3 magazine..." It has two locking lugs on the back. The No. 4 mag Parker-Hales usually use have one.

September 13, 2007, 11:17 PM
Remember that the magazine was NOT intended to be easily detachable for reloading. It was supposed to be removed only for cleaning the rifle. In many #4s, it's quite a bit of a hassle to get the mag latched in place.

To install the mag, the front end should be inserted into the well as deeply as possible, and then the back (bottom) corner should be smacked HARD with the open palm. Don't be afraid to exert some force! If the catch doesn't engage properly, the mag is certainly going to want to drop out at the first opportunity.

If the latch IS properly engaged, it'll take a team of mules to pull it out of the rifle without pushing on the catch.

This was one of my service rifles in the Canadian Army, until replaced by the FN C1/C1A1, and it does not need to be babied. I do love the #4 Rifle..... anyone seen Long Branch #85L7408?? It was issued to me in the summer of 1958 at Camp Dundurn, Saskatchewan, and I'd pay big-time to have it back in my hands again.

Jeff F
September 14, 2007, 12:11 AM
That is the right mag for a no. 4. Try giving it a good smack with the palm of your hand when seating it and see if that helps. I have one savage no. 4 and thats the only way I can seat its magazine. Only other thing I can think of is a worn mag catch or weak sear spring which is also the mag catch spring.

September 14, 2007, 01:02 AM
I've hunted with an old #1mk3 since I was a kid and I smack that suck home when I do insert it. With the parker-hale I inserted the mag just how you described, and scacked it, but there was no click, and it is loose in there.

I try a different mag and if that fails I'll take the release and catch pieces out and have a look.

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