The Parker-Hale M82 (Model 82) was a conventional bolt-action rifle appearing from the British Parker-Hale concern of Birmingham. The company was already a well known entity for its line of successful precision sporting rifles and the M82 represented a militarized version of its existing Model 1200TX Target Rifle. Design work began in the 1960s and the type was adopted for service in 1972 and has continued use into the 2000s by a handful of national military forces including the British Army.
The M82 featured a traditional layout with a single-piece, epoxy resin-coated wooden stock component. The barrel was of a "free-floating" design to aid in accuracy - the barrel was not touched by the stock at any point of its length. Additionally, the barrel assembly was completed in chrome molybdenum steel to resist corrosion and lengthen its service life. The butt section was made as customizable and adjustable as possible to suit most shooter requirements for comfort and general ergonomics. The pistol grip was well curved behind the underslung trigger unit. A "silent" safety feature minimized accidental discharges. A scope was fitted over the receiver in the usual way while iron sights were retained as a backup measure. Overall weight was near 16lb with a length of 1,162mm with a barrel assembly of 600mm long. The weapon was chambered for the widely-available 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge fed by way of a 5-round capacity magazine well.
As a bolt-action rifle, the M82 required the operator to manage the bolt through the integrated handle assembly which cleared the chamber of spent shell casings and introduced a fresh cartridge from the magazine well. The action of the M82 was related to the proven system first perfected in the German Mauser of the late 1800s. Effective firing ranges were out to 800 meters while a variety of optics could be fitted on the provided receiver mounts.
M82 marked the original full-length rifles. The L81A1 of the British Army was a shortened form and joined the L81A2 in cadet training roles (the A2 succeeding the A1 models in time). The Canadian Army accepted the M82 as the C3 series in 1972 and featured some subtle changes to the base design to fulfill the Canadian requirement. The C3A1 was a modernized mark for the Canadian Army. Operators beyond the British Army and Canada became Australia and New Zealand. The Australian Army later replaced their M82 rifles with an Accuracy International (AW) long-range precision product.
Model 82 (M82) - Base Series Designation
L81 - British Army Designation
L81A1 - British Army Cadet Training Rifle
L81A2 - British Army Cadet Training Rifle; modernized and succeeding the A1-models.
C3 - Canadian Army designation; adopted in 1972
C3A1 - Modernized C3 model
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