I finally own a Whitworth

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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.

David

It's a Euroarms in pristine condition. Is the "Volunteer" model as accurate without the Hexagonal Rifling?

Thanks!

Walt
 

ResearchPress

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It's a Euroarms in pristine condition. Is the "Volunteer" model as accurate without the Hexagonal Rifling?
I had a Parker-Hale ‘Volunteer’ with Henry rifling and set an MLAGB National Record at 600 yards with it, beating Whitworths, Metfords, Rigbys.... it was several years before a new record was set. It’s not so much the hexagonal rifling, but establishing a relationship between bore size, bullet length and rate of twist that marked the accuracy - many others followed the principles established by Whitworth. His rifling was supplanted by Metford’s shallow groove rifling and hardened cylindrical bullets.

David
 

TFoley

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I am concerned, I remove the “clean out” screw each time I clean my TC Seneca and patriot and really want some hard info as to whether I should or shouldn’t do this. Can anyone point to some authorities information or a link
Gary
As mentioned here and on other sites, the screw was there to fill a hole made during the complex operations to machine the flash channel, and then fill it. It is, in my understanding NOT intended to be removed, as the sight of a number of b*ggered-up screw-heads on similar rifles noted over the years would testify.

My Whitworth, an early production from 1980, has had the screw emplaced, and then smoothed over - later production, in a cost-saving exercise, omitted this extra work and left the screw head visible - see lower photo -
1627372331763.png


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However, it is your rifle - do as you want.
 

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I am concerned, I remove the “clean out” screw each time I clean....
The breech plug cross channel is bored from the right and needs to be closed; a 19thC solution was a platinum cap as per the original Gibbs-Metford target rifle breech plug illustrated. Platinum was resistant to wear and corrosion. As per the post above, note no means to remove the cap.

Consider the wear to a screw and the pressures that it may be put under. Irrespective of any damage that may occur to the rifle should the screw blow out, consider where it will fly and who may be ‘in the line of fire’.

David

7FDBB6B2-8C51-4E2C-9BA9-7F9442598ACF.jpeg
 
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I had a Parker-Hale ‘Volunteer’ with Henry rifling and set an MLAGB National Record at 600 yards with it, beating Whitworths, Metfords, Rigbys.... it was several years before a new record was set. It’s not so much the hexagonal rifling, but establishing a relationship between bore size, bullet length and rate of twist that marked the accuracy - many others followed the principles established by Whitworth. His rifling was supplanted by Metford’s shallow groove rifling and hardened cylindrical bullets.

David
Thanks for the info, David. From what I’ve read so far, you’re the expert in English Target Shooting and Rifles.

While waiting for your response and Googling the Volunteer, I found this very quote in another thread. I also discovered your Facebook page and Website.

I think I’m going to “Pull the Trigger” on the purchase of this fine firearm. It’s reasonably priced.

From what I’ve read and heard from my local Muzzle Loader shop, Euroarms purchased the tools and machinery from Parker Hale to continue manufacturing these fine arms. I also heard that they went out of business and that they were bought by Pedersoli. However, their website is still up and running, for information only. If that’s the case, maybe the new Pedersoli models are also made with the PH equipment. I wish they'd bring back the 1803 Harper's Ferry.

I’ll have many more questions and look forward to having them answered here.

Thanks again!

Walt
 

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The breech plug cross channel is bored from the right and needs to be closed; a 19thC solution was a platinum cap as per the original Gibbs-Metford target rifle breech plug illustrated. Platinum was resistant to wear and corrosion. As per the post above, note no means to remove the cap.

Consider the wear to a screw and the pressures that it may be put under. Irrespective of any damage that may occur to the rifle should the screw blow out, consider where it will fly and who may be ‘in the line of fire’.

David

View attachment 86853
A friend of mine was almost hit with an incorrect sized clean-out screw from a CVA muzzle Loader!
 

TFoley

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Here is the bolster from P-H Whitworth #624 - recently sold in UK.

1627420942301.png
 

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