Best of British: Parker-Hale

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The name Parker-Hale is synonymous with rifle shooters across the globe. A brand with a huge history, particularly for small arms production during the early 1900s and into the wartime period. Today, the brand is more prominent in the accessories and cleaning market. One of its most famous and popular items is the Parker-Hale rifle cleaning rod.

All components of the Parker-Hale rifle rod are made in the UK, with the complete assembly process taking place at John Rothery Wholesale’s Hampshire warehouse. Initially, British steel wire is hardened, straightened, cut to size and threaded in the UK before arriving at Rothery’s. Before the rifle rod manufacture takes place, this steel is carefully inspected for quality and rejected if it is not correct. The John Rothery Wholesale team will look to check for any imperfections, length discrepancies, and even the ‘springiness’ of the steel. It must be able to flex and return to its original state with ease.

Once happy with the steel, the process can begin. This involves sealing the steel with layers of polyshrink to protect both the rod itself and the barrel of any firearm it is to be used in. Adhering the polyshrink to the steel is a time-consuming and labour-intensive process, involving extreme heat. Once the steel rod is covered and checked again for consistency of all materials, the ends of each rod are cleanly cut and finished.

The next stage of the process is the handle. This freely-rotating handle is complicated in its manufacture. If the slightest part of the process is incorrect, the rotation of the handle will be too loose or too tight. Each handle is checked multiple times for its range of movement, and adjusted if it is not perfect. How the handles are manufactured and attached is one of the more secretive parts of the entire process, but is one of the main benefits of the Parker-Hale rod over a far cheaper, imported rods.

Parker-Hale rods have been known as the best rod in production for many years. Under the John Rothery Wholesale banner, and actually assembled in their own warehouse using the highest-quality materials made in the UK, this will continue for many years to come.

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