John Rigby & Co. and Mauser are back at it again. And the European gunmakers' new creation — the Rigby Big Game — is certain to get hunters' hearts pumping.
Around a century ago, one of the most renowned partnerships in European firearms manufacturing came about.
The companies have partnered for the first time since before World War I, to create a rifle that should get globe-trotting hunters drooling. The Rigby Big Game was recently unveiled and while it is definitely a modern rifle, it is also a throwback to Rigby and Mauser’s earliest joint ventures.
Like their early partnership, Mauser will produce the actions of the rifle at its Isny, Germany factory. The gun will then be hand-finished at Rigby’s England operation and will carry the London proof mark. This is exactly how the companies operated in their earlier collaborations.
“This is a historic moment for both companies and an echo of times past,” Rigby & Co. posted on its Facebook page about the new rifle.
The bolt-action rifle is built on the Magnum Mauser action, which is based on the classic model 98 design. Many aspects of the original have been retained, including the extractor claw and its three position flag safety.
The Rigby Big game will be available in two models, Single or Double Square Bridge versions.
The Single Square Bridge model will be available in .416 and .450 Rigby calibers. This edition is designed for use with express sights only and has a quickly maneuverable 22″ barrel. The model's overall weight unloaded is 10 pounds 8 ounces and its stock length is 14.5 inches, including a rubber recoil pad. It comes with a three-position flag safety.
The Double Square Bridge model is produced in .375 H&H and .416 Rigby calibers. With its 24-inch lightweight barrel, this rifle is suited for use with a telescopic sight. The model’s Winchester style safety is in the horizontal position to facilitate the fitting of a variety of mounting systems on the machined bridges. Weight of the rifle unloaded is 10 pounds and its stock length is 14.5 inches, including red rubber recoil pad.
Both of these rifles boast classic Rigby design features. Each includes an ergonomic stock shape with higher comb for better fit and absorption of recoil. The metal surfaces have a plasma nitride finish resulting in a resilient, anti-glare and rust-resistant surface.
Rigby express sights dovetailed directly onto the rib with a single fixed V and two folding leaves zeroed at 65, 150 and 250 yards. The Rigby pattern magazine floor plate allows the .416 rifles to hold four rounds in the magazine and another in the chamber.
With hand engraved finishing touches, case hardened recoil bars and heat-blued extractor, the companies’ aim for this to be an exceptional rifle. In their press release, they went as far as saying the Rigby Big Game would be a “landmark in modern sporting firearms manufacturing.”
The Big Game aims at giving professional and recreational hunters a more moderately priced alternative to the brand's London Best custom rifles. But with Rigby and Mauser’s name on it the rifle still does not come cheap.
Suggested MSRP with Grade 5 wood begins at $13,558. But for those who can afford it, the Big Game has a potential to please as much as it forebears did 100 years ago.