The Parker-Hale Original Steel Bipod is an excellent bipod design that has proved itself over the generations.
The Original Steel Bipod is a smaller and lighter variant of the BREN light machinegun's bipod. The BREN's bipod was an excellent design, and offered cant to level the weapon on uneven ground and traverse for engaging moving or different targets without resetting the weapon. The legs could be adjusted for height to suit the terrain and range, and the legs could be folded forward or backward to facilitate transportation. The ski feet did not sink into soft ground. The BREN was not fitted with a forend to maximize cooling and the bipod legs served as handles for transport. All of these desirable features remain on the Parker-Hale Original Steel Bipod.
Unlike many bipod designs, the Parker-Hale design lets the weapon cant to the left or right to suit uneven ground. A rifle should be fired when the weapon is oriented vertically or accuracy will be affected. A rifle's barrel is not parallel to the sight line. If it were, the bullet would not hit the intended point of aim unless the rifle was fired upside down. To enable a bullet to hit the point of aim from standard firing positions, the barrel is pointed upward relative to the sight line and the bullet is launched upward to enable the bullet to cross the sight line at some predetermined distance. If the weapon is canted to the left when the shot is discharged, the bullet will impact left of the intended point of aim.
The Original Steel Bipod's head features a cylindrical hole that mates with the bipod spigot. While the spigot is fixed in place, the bipod is free to cant to to the left or right to the level position on uneven ground.
The bipod head and spigot feature stops that prevent the rifle from falling over completely to either side. This limited swing arc is more than plenty, as very uneven ground can be accommodated by lengthening one of the bipod's legs.
The heart of the Parker-Hale design is a ball joint within the bipod's head. This ball is free to rotate in different directions and gives the shooter the ability to traverse as well as fold the bipod's legs forward or backward.
The Parker-Hale Bipods feature traverse ability. That is, the shooter may pan the rifle left or right to engage moving targets or multiple targets without having to reset the bipod feet.
The bipod's legs may be folded forward or backward, whichever the user prefers. To fold the legs, simply hinge them together and then fold them forward or backward. The bipod will not fold on itself during firing when the legs are separated by their spring and also by the weight of the weapon. The spring-loaded locking gate on the port side of the bipod head locks the bipod onto the spigot.
The legs on Parker-Hale Bipods may be extended for length to suit uneven ground or very long-range shooting.
To lengthen a leg, simply pull on the ski foot. The locking notches are serrated so that the legs will lock against collapse during firing, but the legs may be expanded by pulling pressure alone.
Each leg features a spring-loaded locking bar. To compress the legs, depress the end of the locking bar and push the extended leg back into the outer leg. If the rifle is set up on the ground, the weight of the rifle will compress the leg automatically when you depress the locking bar.
The Parker-Hale Bipod's ski feet prevent the bipod from sinking into soft ground. The feet feature a ridge on their centers to prevent lateral shift during recoil.
While the Original Steel Bipod is an excellent bipod, it is not popular in this country because mounting it to a rifle is not as convenient as mounting a Harris Bipod. The Parker-Hale Original Steel Bipod does not clip to the common Uncle Mike's sling stud like the Harris.
One way to mount the Original Steel Bipod is with the Parker-Hale Handstop & Spigot.
The Original Steel Bipod clicks onto the Handstop & Spigot.
When mounted to the Handstop & Spigot, the Original Steel Bipod's legs remain free to fold backward as well as forward.
The Handstop & Spigot assembly is held together like a chinese puzzle and easily disassembles into its elements for maintenance, customization, or fitting to various rifles.
The easiest way to mount the Handstop & Spigot is to an Anschutz or UIT rail.
Most target rifles have an accessory rail on the forend for fitting various bipods, handstops, and sling swivels.
The Parker-Hale Handstop & Spigot assembly hand-attaches to the Anschutz rail. Simply slide the Handstop & Spigot assembly onto the Anschutz rail and hand-tighten the knurled mounting screw.
The handstop features a V-shaped top to mate with a wide variety of forend shapes. If you like, you can grind the handstop to fit your particular forend exactly.
Even if your rifle does not have an Anschutz rail on the forend, it is possible to mount the Handstop & Spigot by drilling and tapping a thread into the forend. The Handstop's mounting screw will thread directly into the forend.
The bottom of the mounting screw is cut to receive a flush-mount sling swivel.
A second way to mount the Original Steel Bipod to your rifle is to mount only the spigot permanently into the forend tip. Parker-Hale sells the spigot separately exactly for this reason.
Many rifles like the Steyr SSG have a sling swivel drilled into the forend tip.
With some careful drilling and cutting, is is possible to replace the SSG's forward sling swivel with the Parker-Hale Spigot. The spigot is then epoxied and pinned in place.
This type of installation makes for a very clean appearance, and the bipod's use and function are unaffected.
The entire Anschutz rail is left open for things.
This is our favorite way to mount the Original Steel Bipod. The appearance is very clean. The rifle can sit lower to the ground than is possible with the Handstop & Spigot, and the legs can always be raised by lengthening the bipod legs if desired.
John chose this mounting method for his Anschutz 64R Biathlon. The tip of the forend is drilled to accept the Parker-Hale Spigot and the bipod clipped to the spigot. The spigot is epoxied in place.
The sloping forend tip of the Anschutz prone stock can present a problem, but that is nothing that a delrin spacer cannot fix.
The Parker-Hale Bipod attaches and detaches in the standard manner,
and the bipod's cant and traverse functions are unaffected.
The second type of bipod offered by Parker-Hale is the Steel Bipod With Fixed Spigot. With this bipod, the spigot is integral to the bipod and locks into a receptacle in the forend.
These are the type of bipods on the early Accuracy International rifles like this Arctic Warfare Police model.
John's Swedish PSG 90 variant came from the factory with a genuine Park-Hale Bipod fitted.
John's early Arctic Warfare Police variant came with the same bipod. Current Accuracy International rifles come with a copy of the Parker-Hale bipod that is made in-house by Accuracy International.
Both of us use the Accuracy International variants of the Parker-Hale Bipods on our precision rifles. John's Arctic Warfare Police is on the left. Ho's Accuracy Enforcement is on the right. We really like these bipods. They load better than the Harris and also give traverse without sliding the feet around. Both of us have attached rubber covers to the ski feet to permit loading the bipods on shooting mats.
The fixed spigot is roll-pinned onto the bipod head.
The head of the Steel Bipod With Fixed Spigot is narrower because there is no locking latch attached to the port side of the head. Other than the method of attachment to the forend, there is no real difference between the Original Steel Bipod and the Steel Bipod With Fixed Spigot.
The legs can be extended to suit uneven ground, just as on the Original Steel Bipod.
For positional stages during our local rifle club's matches, John likes to fold his bipod backward and extend the legs. The extended ski feet under the forend act as a handstop for his support hand. When combined with a loop sling, this configuration is very stable for supported positions like kneeling, sitting, and prone. This ability to fold the legs backward for use as a handstop is a big advantage of the Parker-Hale design over that of the Harris.
The fixed-spigot model also permits the same cant and traverse functions that the Original Steel Bipod does.
Many shooters prefer the Harris over the Parker-Hale design because they can adjust the amount of tension on the cant mechanism and prevent the rifle from flopping around during shooting and reloading. The Parker-Hale design does not permit this, and the weapon flops from side to side when not held stationary by the shooter. This is probably the only criticism of the Parker-Hale Bipods.
Both of us have modified our Accuracy International bipod blocks to be adjustable for tension. Our bipods are not locked in place and we still have the benefit of cant, but there is sufficient tension between the bipod and the rifle that the rifle stays oriented as we left it and does not flop around. During recoil and reloading, the weapon stays vertically orientated when we use good technique.
The modification to the bipod block is a simple one and does not affect the appearance of the weapon. When removed, the Accuracy International bipod block looks like this. There is slop between the bipod's spigot and the bipod block's cylindrical receptacle.
We modified our bipod blocks with a longitudinal cut along the top. The locking mechanism is unaffected by this modification to the block.
Recessed Allen screws squeeze the bipod block against the bipod spigot. The amount of tension is adjustable from nothing at all to nearly a full lock on the spigot. Different shooters will like different amounts of tension. We like the tension such that the weapon does not flop around during recoil or reloading, but not so tight so that there is any stiction when canting the rifles to back vertical on uneven surfaces or after a shot.
Done in this way, the modification is not visible at all after reinstallation of the bipod block. Even with the stock sides removed, there is no indication that the bipod block has been modified.
A collateral benefit of this modification is that it permits firing from the bipod during side prone. While the practical utility of side prone is in substantial question, many rifle competitions often have side prone stages to test the shooter's knowledge of his rifle's trajectory. Again, a rifle that is canted to the left will hit left. The shot will also hit low. These side prone stages require the shooter to know by how much at a given distance.
To orient the rifle for side prone with the modified bipod block, disengage the bipod lock on the forend and twist out the bipod past the cant limiter on the bipod block. Then turn the bipod to the side. This orientation will not work on the standard Accuracy International rifle because there is a good likelihood the bipod will detach from the forend during recoil and the muzzle will fall to the ground. But with good tension between the bipod block and spigot, the bipod is held securely, even for repeated shots.
If you have an AICS chassis for your barreled action, we think the Parker-Hale Bipod is a superior choice to the Harris. All of the aforementioned advantages of the Parker-Hale Bipods work with the AICS stocks as well as the AW and AE stocks. The bipod block on the AICS is also identical to the block on the AW and AE stocks and can be modified in the same way if you want.
Just don't put eagle claws on your bipod. This is bipod, not a bird of prey.
Parker-Hale cleaning equipment is some of the finest available. Complete Accuracy International packages like the ones shown above come standard with the distinctive yellow Parker-Hale coated rod, brush, jag, and patches. Also note the Parker-Hale Steel Bipods with Fixed Spigot mounted onto these different Arctic Warfare variants.
The distinctive Parker-Hale jag and female-threaded bronze brush are in every Accuracy International Maintenance Kit. As with the Parker-Hale shotgun jags, the rifle jag is designed so that the Flannelette Patches wrap around the jag.
Each Accuracy International Maintenance Kit also includes a box of Parker-Hale Flannelette Patches.
Parker-Hale's 12-Bore Bisley Cleaning Kit will service nearly all 12-gauge shotguns.
The Bisley Cleaning Kit comes complete with a two-piece hardwood rod,
12-gauge bronze bore brush,
12-gauge plastic jag,
12-gauge wool mop,
gun oil, and yellow cleaning cloth.
As its name suggests, this particular Bisley Cleaning Kit is for 12-gauge shotguns. The wool mop, bronze bore brush, and plastic jag fit only the 12-gauge.
The two-piece rod, however, will fit all gauges down to the 28-gauge. The rod measures 34" long when assembled, so it is long enough to clean nearly all 12-gauge shotguns. If you want to use this Bisley Cleaning Kit for other gauges, it is a simple matter to acquire the correct tips.
The beautiful handle is knurled for indexing in the hand.
All fittings are solid brass rather than plated steel.
The entire kit is housed in a cardboard box with fake leather finish. The kit is extremely compact. The cardboard box measures only 17.5" x 2.5" x 1.5".
The Bisley Cleaning Kit is a very nice kit, but it can be made even nicer at minimal cost. We like to replace the standard bronze bore brush with the 12-Bore Payne Galloway Brush.
The standard bronze bore brush works perfectly well.
But the Payne Galloway Brush is a much nicer brush that fits the traditional tenor of the Bisley Cleaning Kit and just makes the kit more pleasurable to use.
The Payne Galloway Brush uses very fine bristles that are kinked for added stiffness and scrubbing power.
This is a very fine brush and the one you often see in the oak-and-leather transit cases housing the finest London Guns.
The Bisley Cleaning Kit also comes with a plastic jag.
This jag works perfectly well. It just isn't as nice as the rest of the Bisley Kit.
We recommend replacing the plastic jag with the 12-Bore Brass Jag.
The Brass Jag doesn't work any better than the plastic jag. It just looks and feels nicer and is more pleasurable to use.
The Parker-Hale jag design is split down the center to work with strips of cloth rather than square or round patches. Just slide the jag over the middle of a strip of beater cloth and then turn the rod so that the cloth wraps around the jag. The jag is knurled to hold onto the cloth. The system works very well.
By swapping out the standard brush and jag at very minimal cost, you can make your Bisley Cleaning Kit much nicer and more pleasurable to use on your favorite 12-gauge.
Many shotgunners have a 20-gauge as well as a 12. In fact, these are easily the two most popular gauges.
For the popular 20-gauge, the 20-Bore Payne Galloway Brush, 20-Bore Brass Jag, and 20-bore Wool Bore Mop are available separately at very minimal cost.
The 20-gauge tips fit into the Bisley Cleaning Kit with the 12-gauge tips, making this very compact kit eminently suitable for servicing both 12- and 20-gauge weapons. Remember, the two-piece rod that comes with the 12-Bore Bisley Cleaning Kit is suitable for all gauges down to 28-gauge.
All of the Parker-Hale tips use the same thread and fit the Parker-Hale shotgun rod.
This is a very nice shotgun kit for two gauges, all in one package. The entire package is also very reasonably priced. We opine a kit such as this strikes a proper balance. It is a very elegant kit that is a pleasure to use, but it is not some ridiculous kit that has ivory handles, platinum fittings, or cleaning patches made from the fur of a snow leopard.
If traditional products like the Parker-Hale products appeal to you, then you might like our line of Barbour waterproof and protective clothing.
Barbour also makes shooting gear like the Olive Cotton Canvas Cartridge Bag, which will transport 100, 20-Bore 2.75" shotshells.
The Galco Sporting Collection is also an excellent choice for shooting gear. These items are completely handmade in Galco's USA facility and feature Latigo Leather and solid-brass construction throughout. All edges hand-polished to a fine luster. All brass fittings are cast in Galco's own foundry. There are no finer sporting bags than these.
Ballistol (ballistic oil) is over 100 years old and yet it remains the best product of its kind. Ballistol cleans, lubricates, and protects both blackpowder and smokeless firearms. Ballistol is biodegradable, safe on wood and leather, and non-toxic. You might think that a non-toxic CLP like Ballistol would not clean as well as dedicated cleaners, lubricate as well as dedicated lubricants, or protect as well as dedicated protectants, but you would be wrong. Ballistol works as well or better than all of these dedicated products, and it has not harmed any material we have put it on. Ballistol is the last gun cleaner, lubricant, or protectant you will ever use, but it is so much more. We use it on nearly everything and so will you once you try it and see how well it works.