- Dec 10, 2020
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As noted by Widows Son, Parker-Hale’s ‘Whitworth’ model is fitted with a barrel using Joseph Whitworth’s characteristic hexagonal rifling. It can be loaded with a mechanically fitting hexagonal section bullet or a cylindrical bullet. The .45 bore has a 1 in 20 pitch rifling and typical 19thC bullets weighed 530 grains. This commenced as a military rifle design in the mid-late 1850s, but a new market was to open up for Whitworth.
Rifle Volunteers Corps (akin to the US National Guard) were established in 1859, closely followed by the establishment of the NRA(UK). With the first NRA rifle meeting at Wimbledon in 1860 and Royal Patronage rifle shooting became a popular pastime. Rifle Volunteers used their .577 rifles in competition and ‘Any Rifle’ events open to all-comers saw the ‘small-bore’ .45 rifle widely used. The latter saw many makers enter the market following the principles established by Whitworth - Rigby from Ireland and Alex. Henry from Scotland being just two examples. These rifles of the early 1860s externally appeared as a full-stocked military rifle.
Parker-Hale used ‘Volunteer’ as a marketing name for their ‘military match’ rifle, originally introduced with a form of Rigby rifling, and later switching to Henry rifling. (The latter have a ‘H’ prefix to the serial number).
Typically the .577 Enfields in the hands of Rifle Volunteers were used in competition out to 600 yards, whereas the .45 rifles used in Any-Rifle events would be used to 1000 yards.
It's a Euroarms in pristine condition. Is the "Volunteer" model as accurate without the Hexagonal Rifling?