Anderson Wheeler Double Rifles London

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by RichP, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. RichP

    RichP AH Member

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    Is anyone familiar with Anderson Wheeler London double rifles? I have seen their advertisements in the African Hunting Gazette and wanted to know if anyone owns one or has shot one.
  2. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    They sure look nice, that's for sure. Any price?
  3. Orvar

    Orvar New Member

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    Yeah, seen one. Cant remember price, but think ~GBP 35k... Lot of dough for a VC with good engraving and a wood boost IMHO.
  4. 505ED

    505ED AH Veteran

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    Yep thats what they are a Verney Carron with upgreaded engraving and a wood boost amd $10K added to the price tag.
  5. Sverige

    Sverige New Member

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    I have one of these rifles and the action that they use is the Demas action which VC own however the price tag is GBP 14K. They also make a best grade sidelock rifle which is stunning however starts at GBP 35K
  6. Orvar

    Orvar New Member

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    Sverige: the VC was 14K GBP, or the Anderson Wheeler?
  7. Sverige

    Sverige New Member

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    That was the Anderson Wheeler, I bought a 500NE boxlock which is one of their field grade guns, I think they import the barrelled action in the white. I wanted one of their sidelock best grades originally however it was a bit out of my price range so i settled for the boxlock. It is a very accurate working rifle and i am very happy with it.
  8. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    Thats not a bad price for a lovely rifle that is most likely proofed in the UK.
  9. 35bore

    35bore AH Legend

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    I think 505Ed is being conservative with the $10k tacked on, cheapest i have found was $53k. Ed I am not poking at you, just so you know that up front. They are beautiful rifles, no doubt, but, I lean more toward the Rigby's if I were going the double route, and I have.
  10. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    Rigby USA or RIGBY UK?
  11. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Exactly. Read Terry Weiland

    Now a pre-war rising bite ..........
  12. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Which Terry Weiland?

    The one that wrote in "Dangerous Game Rifles":

    "This rifle is an uncompromising 'best' quality rifle" commenting on a double built by Rigby in California.

    Then rumors of unpaid rifles and stolen girlfriends surfaced.

    Blogs were written:

    Will The Real John Rigby Please Stand Up?

    Lawsuits filed and dismissed:

    FindACase | Terry Wieland v. John Rigby & Co. [Gunmakers]



    Or is it the Terry that is now trashing Rigby (California).

    I shot one of the Rigby's from California in a 500 Nitro, handled well seems to be accurate, and was a beautiful rifle. Not saying it is equal to an "original" London Rigby, but a nice rifle.

    I have not seen a completed Double from Rigby in London nor are there any pictures of completed rifles on their site. There is a small picture of the same double for each of the three grades.
  13. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Anyone here know the details on the suit which I gather was dismissed or any other details? Behind the curve on this one.
  14. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Here are three articles...


    Will The Real John Rigby Please Stand Up?
    Historic British gunmaker gets batted back and forth across the Atlantic.

    by Cameron Hopkins

    The storied English gunmaker John Rigby & Co (Gunmakers) Ltd. has been operating out of Paso Robles, Calif. for 12 years, however, a new John Rigby & Co (Gunmakers) Ltd. has surfaced in London after the original corporate entity was abandoned in Great Britain.

    We'll refer to the pair as "California Rigby" and "London Rigby" for the sake of clarity. Only "California Rigby" claims to be the legitimate John Rigby & Co (Gunmakers) Ltd. dating to Ireland in 1735. "London Rigby" merely claims to have filed a corporation under the name John Rigby & Co (Gunmakers) Ltd. after "California Rigby" neglected to file a trademark or incorporate the company in England.

    This whole affair dates back to 1997 when Neil Gibson of Texas bought the historic record books, intellectual property and other rights to the John Rigby & Co (Gunmakers) Ltd. marque from Paul Roberts of J. Roberts & Sons of London.

    J. Roberts & Sons bought the rights in Rigby in 1984 and changed its name to John Rigby & Co (Gunmakers) Ltd. However, in 1997 when Roberts sold the Rigby rights to Gibson, Roberts abandoned the company name of Rigby and refilled under its original name of J. Roberts & Sons, thereby allowing the company name of John Rigby & Co (Gunmakers) Ltd. to lapse. It ceased to be a corporate entity in 2002.

    "California Rigby" came into being when gunsmith Geoff Miller of Rogue River Rifleworks in California signed a note to purchase the Rigby intellectual property assets from Gibson, however, Miller never paid Gibson.

    Gibson subsequently sold the note to Marc Halcon, a longtime firearms industry figure, who foreclosed on Miller. Rather than face foreclosure, Miller filed bankruptcy. As a result of the bankruptcy, a new investor paid off Halcon's note. Miller continues to make guns under the John Rigby name in an arrangement with the current note owner.

    Meanwhile, up steps Mark Neal of London, an engineer by profession and an avid shooter by avocation.

    Neal launched a project to build a modern version of what is widely regarded as the finest double rifle action ever made, the Rigby "rising bite" or Bisel action. Working with gunsmiths in the trade as well as other professional engineers, Neal dissected the rising bite action and rendered it into a CNC program. His intention is to offer rising bite rifles and shotguns under the corporate name of John Rigby & Co (Gunmakers) Ltd., which he has registered as a company in England.

    I checked the British Trademark Registry and indeed no marque for John Rigby & Co (Gunmakers) Ltd. existed before June 11, 2009 when Miller belatedly filed an application, subsequent to Neal's launching of "London Rigby."

    Neal explained his position on "London Rigby" in an e-mail to me, "I should briefly explain who we are as people. We are a collection of fairly ordinary people, engineers, gun-makers, shooters and hunters, gamekeepers and others. We are devoted to the Company that we have formed and it is our greatest wish that it succeed in bringing Rigby back to England and placing it again with the greatest names in gun-making. To this end we have worked tirelessly for more than a year.

    "From the way that the knowledgeable shooting public have received us, overwhelmingly in the main, we feel that we have every chance in doing so."

    Meanwhile, "California Rigby" issued this press release on Aug. 7, 2009:
    "John Rigby & Co. (Gunmakers) Inc. is the only company that has the legal right to use the John Rigby trademarks and logo worldwide. We are advised by our legal counsel in both the U.K. and in the U.S. that the London-based company's unauthorized use of our John Rigby name is a clear infringement of our registered trademark rights and is clear grounds for a passing-off claim as well. We intend to initiate legal action forthwith seeking an injunction, damages and attorney's fees for this willful and egregious violation of our intellectual property rights."

    On the same date (Aug. 7, 2009), Roberts issued the following statement:
    "It has come to my attention that a new entity has formed under the John Rigby & Co. name and are now attempting to offer John Rigby guns and rifles under the trade name John Rigby & Co. (Gunmakers), Ltd.

    "Under the circumstances, I wish it to be known that the new entity John Rigby & Co. (Gunmakers), Ltd. is in no way associated with the old firm, its staff or its products. Equally they have no connection with any guns and rifles manufactured and sold by J. Rigby & Co in the USA."

    This prompted Neal (of "London Rigby") to offer the following:
    "We state for the record, as we have done many times over the past few days, John Rigby & Co. (Gunmakers) Ltd. has no connection with a company of a similar name registered in the United States nor, heaven help us, would we wish to claim any.

    "John Rigby & Co. (Gunmakers) Ltd. has no connection with any former company bearing that name. Again, we have stated this categorically before."

    Source: Will The Real John Rigby Please Stand Up?


    Follow-up article.
    John Rigby vs. John Rigby: The Proof Is In The Gun
    An expert picks the real John Rigby based on looking at the two company's guns.

    by Cameron Hopkins, Industry Insider

    Insider broke the story in August of how two companies, both named John Rigby & Co. (Gunmakers), are building guns under the Rigby name. With some new information, we can now make a more definitive decision on which is the real John Rigby.

    John Rigby & Co. was sold to Texan Neil Gibson in 1997 by Paul Roberts of London. Gibson then sold a license to produce Rigby-branded guns to California gunsmith Geoff Miller of Rogue River Rifleworks in Paso Robles, Calif.

    Later, a man named Mark Neal of London, made the stunning discovery that the English trademark for John Rigby & Co. (Gunmakers) Ltd. had been abandoned! When the sale was made to Gibson, he only filed for a U.S. trademark.

    Neal was issued a Rigby trademark in England and has opened a shop there.

    Accusations flew across the Atlantic, but despite a lot of bluster from California Rigby, the trademark it owns is valid only in the U.S.

    So which is the real John Rigby? Without any other ties, the answer must lie in the guns.

    Rigby was known for making several grades of double rifles, including a boxlock on a "trade action," but Rigby's rising-bite action, otherwise known as the Bissel action, is the signature action that Rigby built during its zenith. It turns out that "London Rigby" took on the task to make the Rigby rising-bite action using modern manufacturing methods.

    Well-known author and expert on fine English guns Terry Wieland recently visited the premises of London Rigby and had this to say about what he saw:

    "I met with Mark Neal and spent two days with him in his shop. I saw the first rising-bite frame that had come back from the CNC shop, and I looked at the CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) computer model in the company of an American CNC expert, who confirmed that it is the genuine article, Wieland said. "I also saw the chopper-lump barrels for the first rising-bite rifle, which will be a .450 Nitro Express. They were ready to be soldered together in the traditional method of regulating barrels by hand."

    "For specialist operations, such as barrel-making, engraving, and final finishing, Mark Neal has lined up some of the very best people in the English gun trade, and they are all enthusiastic about helping to rehabilitate the Rigby name.

    "Altogether, my conclusion is that the new London Rigby is very much for real, and they are making genuine products, the author of six books and an expert on the English gun trade concluded.

    As journalistic fortune would have it, Wieland also visited California Rigby so he could make a comparison. "I was shocked," Wieland said. "There was a total lack of traditional gunmaking."

    What he found was a couple of laborers cobbling together doubles rifles on Merkel shotgun actions (complete with German proofmarks). Instead of regulating the barrels by hand, like skilled gunmakers, the California workers clamped the barrels in some Rube Goldberg contraption and "regulated" them.

    "I was appalled", Wieland said. "Geoff Miller actually bragged to me that he does not employ traditionally qualified gunmakers. Instead, he had hired a guitar maker to fit the stocks on the theory that wood is wood, and an auto mechanic to fit the barrels. Miller's contempt for his products, his so-called craftsmen, the gunmaking trade, and his customers is almost palpable."

    Wieland is in the final stages of updating the second edition of his best-selling book "Dangerous Game Rifles" which will include details of his visits to the two Rigbys.

    "I really believe this may be the beginning of the road back for the Rigby name from the disgrace of the Paso Robles years, Wieland concluded.

    Source: John Rigby vs. John Rigby: The Proof Is In The Gun


    Geoff Miller's response.
    Rigby vs Rigby: The Proof is in the Gun
    John Rigby & Co. (Gunmakers), Inc., responds to the Insider Blog.

    by Geoff Miller, Managing Director, John Rigby & Co.

    In reference to article on the American Rifleman blog concerning Rigby vs Rigby; the Proof is in the Gun? I like to state for the record that both Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Wieland have personal issues with me and for that reason and no other have decided to defame John Rigby & Co. (Gunmakers), Inc., its products and its personnel when the facts completely negate their statements in the blog. If one wishes to see how we regulate our guns I would refer them to Winter 2002 Double Gun Journal which deals exclusively with how we regulate double rifles.

    Further, I would refer you to the Shooting Times Guide to Accuracy published this year with an article written by Terry Wieland who essentially cites us (Rigby) as the expert on regulating double guns. Further I would also refer you to Mr. Wieland's book on Dangerous Game Rifles, page 6A where he states that the rifle we built him is "uncompromising Best Quality rifle". Which, incidentally, he has refused to return or pay for.

    The fact is we are considered the Premier Rifle Builder in this country and perhaps the world and have many letters from many satisfied clients to that effect. While I refuse to lower myself to their level and issue a bunch of personal attacks I would welcome anyone who has any curiosity about this situation to contact me at John Rigby & Co. (Gunmakers), Inc. 805.227.4236 and I would be glad to discuss any aspect of the situation with you.

    As a final word we do have every possible example of the name registered in the United States and the U.K. and have filed suit both in Federal Court here and in the English Court system... documentation is a matter of public record.

    Geoff Miller
    Managing Director
    John Rigby & Co. (Gunmakers), Inc.

    Source: John Rigby & Co. (Gunmakers), Inc., Responds to Insider Blog
  15. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks Jerome!!
  16. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks for the research Jerome...

    Rigby Vs Rigby who would have thought...
  17. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    Isn't it true that Rigby US uses Merkel Actions?
  18. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    The only one that I have actually held (a .470) clearly had a Merkel action or a clone - Anson and Deeley boxlock with greener crossbolt, with the Merkel reinforced face and water table. That said, regardless of the name on the barrel, were I going to build a modern boxlock, the Merkel is a really good place to start. They also offer a sidelock, though I do not know where they source that action. In photos it is pinned like an H&H and is sculpted like the traditional Rigby. It is not a rising bite.
  19. TrueEnglish

    TrueEnglish New Member

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    Anderson Wheeler are a UK based gun, art and clothing shop. The company sells shotguns, bolt action and double rifles which are made in France, Germany and Spain and branded as Anderson Wheeler, this includes the best and field grade guns. The gun provided to the armourer for use in the latest James Bond movie Sky Fall, was made in France and as far as I am aware the company has never employed an English gunmaker.

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