Rigby Highland Stalker vs. Mauser 98 Standard Diplomat vs. Blaser R8

White Buffalo

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Hello everyone!
First post on this incredible forum- greetings from Canada!
I've been lurking in recent weeks, and while any hunting trips to Africa are likely well more than a decade away for yours truly, I have found you lot to be the most knowledgable on the firearms which interest me most.
I am very new to firearms, but am no stranger to geeking out and going deep in other arenas... vintage guitars, watches, hifi, fine spirits, etc.
I have historically always searched out the best of the best in the various different fields that've interested me right off the bat. This is mostly filled with disadvantages, as I believe there is something to learning whatever it is on a more "everyman" piece of equipment- a great unifying experience, vs. immediately diving into the deep end with niche, often obscure, "boutique" iterations of these widely loved products.
But that's just how I've always rolled, even if it's to my own detriment.
My first rifle is going to be a Winchester Model 70 Super Grade in either .270 or .380, yet to be decided- and still mulling over optics.
I, unfortunately, cannot currently afford/justify any of the titular rifles, however, want to start saving for one already, so that within 1-2 years I can get into one.
Of course the Blaser R8 is something of an outlier between the other two- I guess, in the sense that it's so damn perfect, and very much contemporary when compared to the other two named classics.
And while I love the idea of the Blasers sheer precision, reliability, rigidity... the heart strings, they are so much tugged by the Rigby and the Mauser!
While any of the above discussed rifles, including even the Win70, are worthy heirloom contenders, you cannot deny the Rigby and Mauser fill that role on a whole new level. But I'm not looking to buy into these for some hypothetical wherein kids I don't yet have will inherit this rifle. I want it for me, now, obviously.
Both the Rigby and the Mauser evoke a feeling from within me which I've previously only felt when admiring the work of my favourite boutique guitar builders or enjoying a really special vintage scotch... I was, unfortunately, born with this gene, wherein I crave the finer things in life, but without the means to gratify the urges as quick as I'd like- so it'll take a while, but I usually get there, in time. I'm okay with that- something to look forward to; I'm "only" 34.
Anyways, I guess, in closing, I'm wondering whether any of you who've used the three titular rifles could comment on what your choice would be and why (particularly the new builds, not vintage versions). Again, I know the Blaser likely shouldn't even be mentioned here- not that it couldn't be a heirloom piece, or that it's somehow not on the level of quality of the others, but it just seems so far-removed from what the other two are about. Maybe I shouldn't have even mentioned it... or maybe the R8 should be the one to aspire to first, and later worry about one of the others.
There's so little info out there on the modern Mauser 98's- why is that? Simply down to pricing? Have found much more info on the Rigby HS, which shares a platform with the M98...
I have looked at a couple of other similarly priced, similar-tier, rifles, however, am going to stick to the ones named here.
The truth is, I am more than likely not going to be some great hunter/shooter, and will only get out on maybe 5-6 hunting trips a year (if that), with most of the time spent at ranges (indoor and outdoor) and larger private properties of friends. I merely just really enjoy working with superlative quality products- they bring me great enjoyment; I love their quality, but also the heritage.
My sincere apologies for the long-winding, probably absurd, first post, I just wanted to be thorough in expressing myself.
I look forward to being apart of this awesome community!
 
All three are under the same parent company: Blaser. The action of the Rigby HS is made by Mauser. Mauser vs Rigby comes down to minor style elements and the name. And I think the Rigby is more expensive. R8 is indeed something completely different.

And welcome
 
Welcome - there is something special about having a London address in Gothic style on a barrel. ;)

HS bbl.jpg
 
Welcome White Buffalo.

I think the best solution for your problem is to buy all three. I own both Blaser’s and Rigby’s. I can’t fault either brand. However if I had to use just one to hunt the world with it would be the Blaser R8.

As to the which is better out of the Rigby/Mauser ? Well the Rigby is a Mauser so I guess I killed 2 birds with one stone.

Enjoy the journey.

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First of all, welcome.

Secondly, I imagine that you meant to write '.308' rather than '.380'.

In my own opinion - only - the R8 is a beautifully engineered rifle that is completely lacking in any soul. It is difficult to describe, perhaps, what I mean; but it goes nowhere further than being a machine.

The Rigby is based on a Mauser action, with whom Rigby are in bed. It's open to question how much of it is actually made in England, with the cynics - moi?! - suggesting that it's nothing more than a rebranded Mauser proofed in England.

The Mauser diplomat is a very practical rifle as it will allow you to disassemble and squeeze it into an airline standard-sized baggage allowance, which will save you from paying the excess baggage fees.

Don't forget to get quick detachable (QD) mounts for the telescopic sights.

Expect a lot of enthusiasm for the R8 and Rigby.

I'd make two suggestions: consider a Mannlicher-Schönauer stutzen (carbine) in 6.5x54. It does not suffer from the sloppy Mauser pendulum-like bolt and has a very light recoil. Also: don't buy new, and keep an eye open on auctions.
 
Welcome White Buffalo.

I think the best solution for your problem is to buy all three.

AH - the internet’s home of friendly enablers :ROFLMAO:
 
They come from the same machines so buy the one you like.
 
The Mauser diplomat is a very practical rifle as it will allow you to disassemble and squeeze it into an airline standard-sized baggage allowance, which will save you from paying the excess baggage
Apart from your inaccuracies on rigby ....I am wondering how the m98 diplomat is any different to any other standard bolt action rifle that you say makes it easier to disassemble and pack in a small case?...
 
If you are considering Rigby and Mauser, then you should also look at the Heym Express as an option. There are others like the Kimber Caprivi and custom AHR CZ550’s that are more affordable and still CRF…if you are into that sort of thing.

Of course, with me lacking any soul I’ll firmly back the Blaser R8 and be on my merry way.
 
This isn’t a critical decision, so my real advice is go with whatever floats your boat.

That said, it depends on what you want. This is coming from someone who owns both a bespoke rifle and an R8: You can think of the Mauser or Rigby as a classic car (perhaps a factory replica is more accurate, but same idea) and the Blaser as a new Lexus. One looks better in your garage and is fun to drive on a sunny day then take home, dry it to make sure it doesn’t rust, change the oil, wax it, perform the necessary adjustments, and show to your friends. The other is “soulless” (whatever that means), works perfectly every time you use it, requires a tune-up at 100,000 miles, gets better mileage, can be parked in your driveway all year without concern for rust or rain leaking into it, and drives better.

They are both great in their own way; what makes one great is precisely that it has none of the things that make the other great. So it all depends on what you want.
 
Buy a custom made based on Mauser action, by a true craftsman, pay probably less money and never look back. As mentioned previously, the r8 is a masterful machine but completely lacks soul, style, and tradition.
 
The Blaser R-8 has plenty of tradition and style. Just not the romantic tradition and style.

What it has is the Germanic tradition and style of engineering, efficiency in effort and reliability. Centuries of that tradition.
 
Apart from your inaccuracies on rigby ....I am wondering how the m98 diplomat is any different to any other standard bolt action rifle that you say makes it easier to disassemble and pack in a small case?...
(1) You can see Rigby's latest annual accounts, submitted two months ago, here. At page 12: The Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of L&O Hunting Group GmbH, a company incorporated in Germany. The ultimate parent company is L&O Holding GmbH & Co. KG, a company incorporated in Germany [...].

You can find confirmation here: https://www.johnrigbyandco.com/about/history/

(2) Apologies. The Diplomat model used to be available in a takedown version, and it was this that I assumed that White Buffalo was referring to. Checking the Mauser website, it is no longer offered.
 
I’m sure it’s all accounting voodoo. On paper Rigby on its own does not look solvent.

But again. I doubt they were acquired to make a profit. Might be ripe for the picking when the novelty of ownership wears off.
 
(1) You can see Rigby's latest annual accounts, submitted two months ago, here. At page 12: The Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of L&O Hunting Group GmbH, a company incorporated in Germany. The ultimate parent company is L&O Holding GmbH & Co. KG, a company incorporated in Germany [...].

You can find confirmation here: https://www.johnrigbyandco.com/about/history/

(2) Apologies. The Diplomat model used to be available in a takedown version, and it was this that I assumed that White Buffalo was referring to. Checking the Mauser website, it is no longer offered.
I know who owns rigby etc etc.....and how it runs...I have known marc for quite a few years....from when he started working for Paul. I was more interested in your comment on the m98....also can't remember seeing a take down version when I looked on the mauser website over last few years...you have any photos?...be interested to see it
 
You couldn’t go wrong with any of them. But I personally like the Mauser Model 98 Standard Diplomat.
 
If you are seeking a classic medium or big game rifle, I recommend having one built on a Mauser 98 action to your specifications including the desired ‘bells and whistles’.
 

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