SOLD FOR: $10,076.52
Make: John Rigby & Co.
Model: Big Game, Mauser Sporting Rifle
Serial Number: 6062
Year of Manufacture: 1957
Caliber: .416 Rigby
Action Type: Bolt Action, Internal Magazine
Barrel Length: 24″
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a white beaded blade in-line dovetailed to a ramped base at the front of the barrel. The front sight has a set screw and the top of the base is serrated for glare reduction. The base is slotted for a protective hood (not included). The rear sight is an Express-style sight with one fixed and two folding “V”-notches, marked “100”, “200” and “300” in ascending order. The folding notches each have a vertical platinum line aiming reference. The rear sight is mounted in a small rib that is fixed to the barrel shank. The receiver bridge and rear sight rib are both serrated for glare reduction.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock is one-piece checkered walnut with a capped pistol grip, straight comb, cheekpiece, nosecap, recoil lug, and a sling eyelet in the belly (there is a sling mount banded to the barrel forward of the forend). There is an unmarked initial plate inlaid in the pistol grip. There are a few light scratches, most noticeable on the comb at the heel and right side at the front of the bottom metal. There are a few minor compressions and draglines. There is a more notable compression on the comb at the heel. There are a few little nicks and small dings through the finish, the most noticeable are on the top of the wrist and on the buttstock down by the toe. There is some thinning and finish loss on the hard edges. The checkering is strong and well defined. The LOP measures 13 3/4” from the front of the trigger to the back of the Old English black rubber buttpad. The pad has some light wear, no gashes or tears. Overall, the stock is in Fine Plus condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There are a few little spots of pinprick surface erosion and freckles of frost at the muzzle. In my opinion, this bore rates 9.5 out of 10.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 95% of its current metal finish. There is a patch of pitting and discoloration from previous oxidation at the barrel band. There are some spots of oxidation on the trigger guard and on the floorplate release lever. There is thinning at the muzzle. There are a few infrequent freckles of surface oxidation. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is a printed certificate of authenticity from Rigby.
Our Assessment: The story of John Rigby & Co. is long, impressive, and continues to this day. Founded in Dublin, Ireland in 1775, the original John Rigby’s gunmaking business was nearly destroyed by the Irish rebellion of 1798 (one can imagine that this was the case with many if not all Irish gunmakers at the time). Rigby would rebuild his business over the next decade, but would pass away in 1818 leaving his business to his sons William and John Jason. W. & J. Rigby developed a reputation for their abilities in barrel making and rifling as well as for high grade dueling pistols. W. & J. Rigby’s tenure was an exciting time for firearms development, seeing the technology advance from flintlocks to the early metallic cartridge era.
The third John Rigby would open their London office at 72 St. James Street in 1865 and would eventually close the Dublin location. Rigby was quite an excellent shooter, winning Wimbledon Cups and even posting the best individual score in the first International Rifle Match at the Creedmoor Range in New York. He also was obviously well suited to the business of both fine rifle making as well as helping the technology of gunmaking to mature, being selected to refining both the cartridge and the mechanism of the .303 Lee Enfield rifle as the superintendent of RSAF Enfield.
As the Rigby name only gained in prestige, they secured an exclusive import contract with Mauser for their rifles and components in the Empire and Rigby would do great things with the Mauser action as they developed new cartridges. This is an excellent example of their work, a Mauser Sporting Big Game rifle. The rifle is chambered for the .416 Rigby cartridge, a potent dangerous game cartridge which can push a .416” diameter 400 grain bullet 2,400 feet per second! Jack O’Connor used a .416 Rigby on his African safari and successfully took elephant and lion with it. Professional hunters such as John “Pondoro” Taylor, David Enderly Blunt and Harry Selby used the cartridge extensively for the hunting and culling of dangerous games such as elephant, rhino and Cape buffalo.
There is something so special about these classic Safari guns; the passion and love that went into it is evident. They are in a league of all their own and the best for a reason. Many will not get the chance in their life to see a Rigby, let alone own one, but this one is ready for your next Safari or to join your collection of fine arms. Being the proud owner of a Rigby rifle has a romance and prestige not carried by many other rifle makers, this one is just waiting to be yours! Please see our photos and good luck!
Some are hot, some are not, but thankfully most can be shot!