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The 1985 competition to pick a new sniper rifle for the British military came down to a closely fought contest between the Accuracy International PM and the Parker Hale M85. The M85 was a fantastically accurate rifle, every bit the equal of the AI submission and to this day there are still people who were involved in the trials who insist that the M85 should have been selected. Ultimately, the decision came down to the logistical issues surrounding the rifle, where AI’s chassis system was superior to Parker-Hale’s traditional construction. Despite being defeated, Parker Hale sold some 800 M85 rifles – nearly as many as the military contract would have procured (and in fact, a few M85s were purchased by several military units).
If you are interested in learning more, I highly recommend checking out Steve Houghton’s newly released book, “The British Sniper: A Century of Evolution”. It can be found at:
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At Forgotten Weapons I think the most interesting guns out there are the most obscure ones. I try to search out experimental and prototype weapons and show you how they work, in addition to more conventional guns that you may not have heard of before. You’re much more likely to find a video on the Cei Rigotti or Webley-Fosbery here than an AR or Glock. So, do you want to learn about something new today? Then stick around!