Need Advice on Parker Hale M84, M85 action and bolt...

JustAnOldCoot

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Oct 4, 2014
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Idaho
Hi all,
Thanks for any specifics you can provide. I recently acquired a Parker Hale Norwegian Steel Original 28" heavy profile Sniper Barrel in the Arsenal Wrap and cosmoline, and I'm in search of the appropriate action for it. I have read that the M84 action has a different barrel thread depth in the action (shorter) than the M85 (deeper). Is this true? Secondly, I can source an M84 action int he white that will require tempering etc., but am unable to locate a bolt. One thread I read mentioned the M84 and M85 actions use standard Mauser 98 bolts made by Parker Hale or otherwise...is this true?

Many thanks again for your help...!
 

BrianLara400

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Jun 6, 2012
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Hi Mate, would be well worth your while getting in touch with Bill Smallwood @ normanclarkgunsmith.com.
He's formerly of Parker Hale and was heavily involved with the development and production of the M85's, so I'd imagine he's probably the foremost qualified to answer your questions.
They are a fascinating action, and one that would still hold a great deal of appeal should anyone ever choose to acquire the rights and re-commence manufacturing.
Not sure how true it is but I too have heard both those points you raise: that they use the longer than mauser standard, barrel tennon, and that the bolt they use is essentially that of the standard PH 1200TX model, albeit with the enlarged handle/ knob.
But yeah I'd get clarification from Bill, PM me if you require his email address.
ChrisF on here is also very PH knowledgeable and I'm sure he'll chime in at some point.

keep us informed of what you find out and any progress on this PH project of yours
 
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JustAnOldCoot

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Oct 4, 2014
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Idaho
Outstanding - many thanks Brian!
I'll be sure to repost as I learn more.

All members, please chime in ;-)
 

ChrisF

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Jul 20, 2002
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Hi Guys ,

As far as I know , the Parker Hale M85 rifle , is the ONLY PH action that has a long tunion( thread lenght ) to better support the heavy barrels commonly used on sniper rifles .

As too wether a Mauser M98 bolt will work , I donot know , the PH is broadly described as using a M98 mauser type action , dosnt mean its 100% M98.
I can tell you the approx measurements off some PH bolts , from the rear of the front lug to the bolt handle root , M85 is 119.85 mm , M87 is 120.6mm & TX1200 is 119.60mm , these are rough measurements only .
Also the PH bolt shroud is different , as is the bolt stop etc .

As to the M84 ( I donot have one ) , its my understanding that its designed as a single shot target rifle , and it appears to me to be a single shot version of the M87 action , BUT as it was designed as a iron sight target rifle , it appears that the top of the action has had the top portion ( that has the front scope dovetail ) , machined off , making the action completely flat , so its shorter in height compared to a M87 repeater by approx 4-5mm.
So IF you have a M84 , and wanted it to be a M87 , its not able to be , due to the missing metal on top of action , so even if you cut the bottom of the action for a M87 mag , and have a M87 bottom metal , its still will not be right .
Best bet is get in touch with Norman Clarks in the UK .

Yours Chris

P.S. Just watch the twist rate on your OLD barrel , a lot of target PH barrels ( ie TX1200 & M84 ) where 1-14 twist , so not good for say 168-175gr bullets , the M85, M87 , M82 used a 1-12 twist .
 
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Emouse

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Aug 11, 2009
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Search back on the PH and I believe their was a thread on a gentleman who had pretty much all the spare parts for the M85 except for the stocks. This included receivers and unfinished forgings tec. He also has some of the finishing jigs. This was a least a couple of years ago but its worth looking into if you are building one. Failing that, Norman Clarke in the U.K is the man to talk to.
 

JustAnOldCoot

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Oct 4, 2014
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Idaho
Outstanding - thanks ChrisF! Measured my twist rate at 1:12". I'm hoping it will stabilise up to the 190 Accubonds (have 300 of those)...but I know that will be a stretch for sure. I contacted Norman Clarks and got a one sentence answer: "No bolts available at this time.". I was hoping to get more answers to the questions of the 98 bolts etc. or can a 98 be converted to a M85 with the proper bolt shroud etc. Maybe I'll call instead ;-)

MANY Thanks as well for the bolt Measurements!!! Worst case scenario I guess I could take a 98 that has slightly over-sized dimensions and have it CNC'd down to match and lap from there...
 

jwSubMOA

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May 13, 2010
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Howdy. I have probably the last unassembled M85 actions in existence. I also have several M84 and M87 recievers, actions and parts. I have a factory M87 rifle that shoots wonderfully and a short barrel M87 I built. The M85, M87 recievers are virtually identical except for the closed bottom of the M84. The barrel thread length is standard Mauser 98 on both the M84 and M87 while the M85 is about .375 longer. I would suggest having your receiver hardness tested as many of the ones sold as unfinished actually are. You can use standard 98 bolts though Sarco used to have factory bolts. PM me with questions.
 

sandwarrior

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Howdy. I have probably the last unassembled M85 actions in existence. I also have several M84 and M87 recievers, actions and parts. I have a factory M87 rifle that shoots wonderfully and a short barrel M87 I built. The M85, M87 recievers are virtually identical except for the closed bottom of the M84. The barrel thread length is standard Mauser 98 on both the M84 and M87 while the M85 is about .375 longer. I would suggest having your receiver hardness tested as many of the ones sold as unfinished actually are. You can use standard 98 bolts though Sarco used to have factory bolts. PM me with questions.


jw,

You wouldn't possibly be needing another Grendel would you???;):D
 

sandwarrior

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Long time since we've been here at the true home. My last post here was right about when we moved. So, I'd like to say a good resource here is RWS Gunsmithimg
. My dream rifle would be a M85 in 7mm something that maximizes the action length of that action.
 

TacT-MecH

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I too have an m85 (not assembled yet). I actually bought 2 scope mounts (1 original, 1 made up of spare parts), and some other parts from Norman Clarke a few years ago. They were very helpful. I have considered sending my parts to rwsgunsmithing but life has usually found a way to keep me from it lol. Thank you for starting this thread back up.

Chrisf- did you ever get your mount returned?