Specs

  • Manufacturer: Parker-Hale
  • Model: M85
  • Caliber: 7.62mm NATO (.308 Win)
  • Barrel Length: 24.5" (622mm)
  • Magazine: 10 round detachable box magazine
  • Stock: McMillan fiberglass (several color patterns available), Older models had wood stock, same shape
  • Finish: Matte Bluing
  • Weight: 12.57 lbs. (5.71 kg)
  • Overall Length: 45.3" (1151mm)
  • Additional Notes: Quick-detachable bipod, palm stop with rail, sling swivels Aux Sights: Post front adjustable for windage, fold down rear adjustable for elevation

The Model 85 is a first-rate sniper rifle, capable of precision fire to ranges of 900 meters. The synthetic stock is manufactured in different colors, according to preference, and is fitted with butt spacers to adjust overall length. A detachable bi-pod is standard, and is one of the finest ever put on a rifle! The M85 took part in a U.K. military trial in the 80’s to determine the next issued sniper rifle for the U.K. It was pitted against the AI, H&K PSG-1, SIG SSG2000, and a Remington 700. It came down to the AI and the M85 with the AI (L96) ultimately being selected by the narrowest of margins (and with some controversy….) The L96 was modified and is now the L96A1 and still the current sniper rifle for the U.K.

The Model 85 has guranteed first round hit capability up to 600 meters, and 85 percent first round hit capabilities from 600 – 900 meters. The weapon also has a silent safety catch, a threaded muzzle for flash suppressor, and an integral dovetail mount that accepts a variety of sights. The satandard scope is a 6x42mm Schmidt & Bender with a BDC from 200 – 900 meters. Emergency iron sights are also fitted.

This is by far my favorite rifle ever manufactured. In my humble opinion, this rifle has the perfect combination of great looks, excellent accuracy, superb functionality and a stellar service record. Parker-Hale quit making this rifle, and for a while had gotten out of the rifle making business altogether, and Gibbs Rifle Co. (Who had recieved the Parker Hale M85 manufacturing license) also ceased producing this outstanding sniper rifle and they are now only available on the used rifle market.

Sniper Central Ballistic Cards

4 Comments

David hart

My M85 is in black and manufactured in August 1985. It was issued to a special forces regiment in Hereford. I have had it rebarrelled twice by Norman Clarke who bought all of parker Hales barrels.
It still shoots 1/2″ groups

Reply
mele-02

Thanks for the input! We love these PH85 rifles….We assembled one from spare parts, but had to source a barrel that is “close” but not an exact factory barrel
MEL

Reply
Jonathan Kamps

There’s an old thread od milsups forum regarding the M85 that mentions various units using thr m85. 2nd Para briefly in Germany until getting L96; possibly some Royal Marines and a squadron or two of SAS. Some British Army Gurkha units to. Mark Spicer has photo eviyand description of Falklands defense Gurkha using the M85 but doubtful any of those British or British linked units would still use the M85 since more powerful cartridges and a multitude of chassis systems AI and other are now the norm globally. Long story short I’m curious as to which was the most common optic for M 85 for elite Gurkha British Army? The M85 as far as I can tell was usually either the S&B 6×42 Similar to one for initial L96 issue, or Kahles ZF. I may be wrong but I’m under the impression the British would favor thr S&B scope and the Gurkha units might do likewise? Or was there a chance of Gurkha units also fielding the Kahles ZF option scope? Id understand if details like this are lost as the Parker Hale limited production of the M85 is almost 40 years old!
PS anyone know if British or Gurkha units ever used the wooden stock M85 or were they all McMillan Stocks beyond prototype sniper trial rifle

Reply
mele-02

There are a lot of questions about the M85 that do not have a black and white answer. My understanding is that most of the M85 rifles from the time ended up with fixed 10x scopes, likely S&B and also Kahles ZF, which is what I put on my rifle here. The one I built used surplus parts gathered from all over and the stock was NOT a McM stock, so I suspect some, or a lot, of them did not have the McM stocks. The rifles were only used by a select few groups, and only for a short period of time. But cool rifles.

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