Image courtesy of https://www.the-saleroom.com/

Parker Hale Phoenix MK1 / MK2 Air Rifles (now discontinued)

The Phoenix is designed to look and handle like a full-bore stalking rifle, without deliberately copying any particular air rifle. It is a high quality under lever cocking pre-charged air rifle with a 10 shot removable magazine and air reservoir. The ambidextrous nature of the under lever system has enabled the walnut stock with a Monte Carlo cheek piece on both sides to suit both right handed and left handed users. It has a chequered pistol grip with a hand-filling palm swell, and the fore-end has a neat Schnabel tip with two panels of chequering in the grip area.

Compared to the usual ugly air bottle sticking out in front of the action or having a wobbly pipe-stem barrel super imposed above the action, the elegant Phoenix has its air reservoir hidden in the stock. This is aesthetically pleasing and has the advantage of allowing the centre of gravity to be towards the butt end, which rests on the shoulder giving greater support than when it is forward towards the fore-end.  The small 190cc removable air reservoir was chosen so that a spare charged bottle can quickly be changed in the field; it is very robust and complies with BS 5045 part 6 and is individually pressure tested for safety.

The Achilles heels in pneumatic air rifles are the seals, which eventually leak, causing frustration because most of them are not easily serviceable by the user. The Phoenix air reservoir is fitted with a high-pressure Schrader valve and a spare with its replacement tool is supplied with the rifle, which enables the owner to change the valve as easily as the one in a car tyre.

The under lever cocking system was adopted as this enables a fast slick cycling of the action without breaking aim. Unlike most under lever actions, the pivot point is behind the trigger, allowing the trigger guard to remain in place. The short throw of the lever allows it to be cycled speedily by simply opening and closing the trigger hand without moving it from the firing position, thereby helping to retain aim for fast follow-up shots. The forward stroke is light and doesn’t hurt the unpadded backs of the fingers, as it merely retracts the hammer and the pellet loading probe, engages the sear and indexes the magazine.

The effort to cock the rifle is on the closing stroke using the padded side of the fingers, which allows extensive use without discomfort. The mechanical advantage of the under lever makes the cocking effort very light and fast when compared to a bolt operated system. It should also be noted that the hammer when retracted is not cocked and the rifle cannot be accidentally discharged whilst the hammer is in its open position, making the rifle intrinsically safe. Unlike some other systems, where should the trigger sear fail when loading pellets, either singly or by inserting a loaded magazine, the rifle will fire, which could be dangerous.

The fully adjustable two-stage trigger is designed so that when the first stage is taken up the engagement is reduced until it hits the second stage, just before it “breaks” ensuring a crisp let-off. A large sear engagement reduces accidental discharge by knocks.

The manual safety catch is ambidextrous and can be changed around to operate in the opposite direction if required. The Phoenix is available as a rifle or a carbine, with a free-floating match grade barrel. 

It has a ˝” 20 t.p.i. UNF thread at the muzzle, to provide a positive correctly aligned fit for an optional Phoenix Phantom carbon fibre or  Parker–Hale steel sound moderator. (In countries where it is permitted).

Internally, the transfer port is fitted with a full-length restrictor, which reduces dead air space and helps to keep power levels fairly constant over a wide range of pressures for the maximum shots per charge. The hammer has a nylon insert on the striker face which mutes the sound of impact on the valve stem and the hammer spring is guided along its length in order to prevent a “twang” on firing.

All moving levers and sears are isolated from the action with nylon shims in order to prevent metal to metal contact. These painstaking measures will be appreciated the moment the Phoenix is fired making it a delight to shoot.

All Phoenix air rifles are tested to ensure that their kinetic energy is within the 12ft.lbs UK legal limit, (except FAC models). The proof of its accuracy is a bench rest 10 shot target group supplied with its operating instructions and 12-month warranty.

The high powered FAC Phoenix is the world’s first air rifle that will accurately shoot both the latest range of Piledriver high energy retention boat-tail pellets and also the old traditional diablo high drag pellets. See the link above for further details of our new pellet design.

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