Rigby's Big Game vs Heym Express

Which one would you take, Rigby or Heym?


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Riksa

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Has anyone here been able to compare new John Rigby Big Game with Heym Express rifle? Both seem very nice rifles in about the same price range, but which one has the advantage? I know it will come down to personal preferences, but in case someone here has been comparing them, I would be happy to get your thoughts on them.

https://www.johnrigbyandco.com/guns/the-big-game/

https://www.heymusa.com/rifles/express.html

I have not had either one in my hand (I'll try to fix it in the Spring 2018), but based on findings from internet and feelings I would say that Heym makes better "technical" impression while Rigby's history appeals to me.
 

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IvW

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Milan

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I liked the Heym better also. I mean the Rigby is just gorgeous but seemed bulkier to me and unnecessarily so. Heym has nicer lines, IMO, seemed smoother and slicker and really well designed, and about $4k CDN cheaper. Plus I met Ralph Martini at couple of the shows and have seen his work which seems impeccable and I like his "taste" and opinions on firearms. I'm sure they both work fine and they are both beautiful, but the Heym seemed more thought through or complete. Rigby seemed just like another Mauser (not that there is anything wrong with that :D). I almost bought a .404 Jef on the spot. Should have, they are $2000 more now. Oh well, maybe next time.
 

Hank2211

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Has anyone here been able to compare new John Rigby Big Game with Heym Express rifle? Both seem very nice rifles in about the same price range, but which one has the advantage? I know it will come down to personal preferences, but in case someone here has been comparing them, I would be happy to get your thoughts on them.

https://www.johnrigbyandco.com/guns/the-big-game/

https://www.heymusa.com/rifles/express.html

I have not had either one in my hand (I'll try to fix it in the Spring 2018), but based on findings from internet and feelings I would say that Heym makes better "technical" impression while Rigby's history appeals to me.

Riksa, I have a Rigby Big Game (416) and I have a rifle made for me by Ralf Martini (who is just finishing repairing a broken stock on the rifle, curtesy of an airline), who designed the Heym Express.

Interestingly (since he's German and learned his trade there), Ralf has always had a fondness for English rifles and in particular the English stock designs, so the Heym Express is much more of an English type of rifle than you would expect from a German company (which is no doubt a good part of the reason it has been successful in North America).

I think you would find that they are very similar in overall handling, and in design. Both use a Mauser action. I've handled both, and I'm not sure I could really tell them apart, without looking at them. So I'd suggest that's where the difference lies. I upgraded the wood on my Rigby and got the "London best" oil finish, which resulted in a spectacular looking stock. I don't know if you could customize a Heym to the same extent, but my guess is you could, if you really wanted to, but it's not the norm, I think.

I think the Rigby costs a bit more, and it's more readily customizable. On the other hand, the Rigby action and barrel are from Blazer, I think, whereas I believe Heym makes the entire rifle in-house. Is that better? It might be, but I can't be sure.

Overall? I still like the Rigby. Customization, plus getting your name in that ledger, along with great hunters of the past, is an intangible. Hard to put a price on that, but it mattered to me!
 

sierraone

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Rigby, because of history. But also have never heard or read anything negative on the Heym Express.
 

cpr0312

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The Rigby's pictured sure are nice looking! Not having handled either one of these rifles, but understanding both have a great reputation....hard choice I would say.
 

sierraone

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The Rigby's pictured sure are nice looking! Not having handled either one of these rifles, but understanding both have a great reputation....hard choice I would say.
If either one of these rifles ended up under the tree next week, I promise not to ever complain!!!
 

Red Leg

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Riksa, I have a Rigby Big Game (416) and I have a rifle made for me by Ralf Martini (who is just finishing repairing a broken stock on the rifle, curtesy of an airline), who designed the Heym Express.

Interestingly (since he's German and learned his trade there), Ralf has always had a fondness for English rifles and in particular the English stock designs, so the Heym Express is much more of an English type of rifle than you would expect from a German company (which is no doubt a good part of the reason it has been successful in North America).

I think you would find that they are very similar in overall handling, and in design. Both use a Mauser action. I've handled both, and I'm not sure I could really tell them apart, without looking at them. So I'd suggest that's where the difference lies. I upgraded the wood on my Rigby and got the "London best" oil finish, which resulted in a spectacular looking stock. I don't know if you could customize a Heym to the same extent, but my guess is you could, if you really wanted to, but it's not the norm, I think.

I think the Rigby costs a bit more, and it's more readily customizable. On the other hand, the Rigby action and barrel are from Blazer, I think, whereas I believe Heym makes the entire rifle in-house. Is that better? It might be, but I can't be sure.

Overall? I still like the Rigby. Customization, plus getting your name in that ledger, along with great hunters of the past, is an intangible. Hard to put a price on that, but it mattered to me!
Hank pretty well sums up my thoughts exactly.
 

cpr0312

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Tokoloshe Safaris

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I have both a original .416 Rigby and the current reproduction. Feed ramp much different on current does not feed like original. One thing I like about the Heym is the model 70 type safety much quiter than original or repop.
 

larryi

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I have both, a current Rigby BGR double square bridge in 416 Rigby, and a Heym Express by Martini in 404Jeffery.
Rigby: not well balanced, too much weight in the bbl., heavy overall. good stock design for handling recoil. feeds all bullet shapes well until you put 5 cartridges in the rifle. In this circumstance, it is almost impossible to extract this shell without bracing the rifle against my leg. Rifle shoots well though. Prefer the more pronounced detents in the safety than the Heym.
Heym: has great balance and feel to the gun, flawless feeding and ejection of all 5 cartridges that can be loaded, so smooth. Great styling along English lines, rifle shoots well and handles all bullet styles. Safety on smaller side, detents are less pronounced.
Larry
 

Milan

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My feeling is that Heym set out to design and build a really great product and I think they succeeded. Rigby tried to revive their name and is riding on past glory of it. Also success I guess, but it almost feels as if the brand name was more important than the product.

Also, either rifle can have fancy wood put on I'm sure. If that is what makes rifle for you, great. While I'm like anybody else and get taken by beautifully figured walnut stock, I consider the whole package and if wood has some flaws? Oh well...as long as it holds the important bits well. With these two it was more the overall feel and look that had me considering the Heym. Plus it seemed to me like "everybody wants and has a Rigby" and I don't want to be like everybody. LOL

In the end I'm thankful for both being available. I just wish I could buy both like some of you.
 

Tokoloshe Safaris

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A dangerous game rifle that is not 100% reliable. Is a danger in itself!
 

Hank2211

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My feeling is that Heym set out to design and build a really great product and I think they succeeded. Rigby tried to revive their name and is riding on past glory of it. .
I emphasize "My feeling."

You are more than entitled to your feelings, especially where I share them, as I do in this case. However, you don't qualify your statement about Rigby as also being a feeling, but rather, you present it as a fact. That's a debate we could have, but my guess is you would find that the Rigby people were and are trying, as much as anyone can, to ensure that the quality matches the name. They have not always succeeded with every rifle - every new venture has its ups and downs - but I think it is both wrong and unfair to suggest they set out to revive a name and ride it.

Also, either rifle can have fancy wood put on I'm sure. If that is what makes rifle for you, great. While I'm like anybody else and get taken by beautifully figured walnut stock, I consider the whole package

I guess I've learned my lesson. In future, when I'm buying a gun, I'll make sure to consider the whole package and not just the stock. Then I'll make sure to say that even though I really like beautiful wood on a stock, the gun also has to shoot well, otherwise people will think I'm I don't know what I'm talking about. Or something. But you know what - that Rigby really can shoot, and has taken at least two buffalo, a hippo and a couple of giraffes, as well as some odds and ends like a Natal red duiker. How lucky am I!
 
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Tokoloshe Safaris

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Milan speaking of wishes. I see that we share the same birthday except mine is exactly 20 yrs earlier. Want to trade?
 

Hank2211

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A dangerous game rifle that is not 100% reliable. Is a danger in itself!
Agree 100%.

And since I got it out of my system with my previous post, I won't even suggest that you might be saying that Rigby's are inherently unreliable. I note from you earlier post that you've had some issues with a new one. Again, I won't assume you're saying that one rifle means that all are unreliable. Because if a rifle isn't 100% reliable, whose fault is that? Even the most reliable rifles can become unreliable over time with use and knocking about, or when loaded with new or different ammunition.

That's where you and a good gunsmith come in.
 

Tokoloshe Safaris

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I agree with you on every point now would you point me to a gunsmith in Zimbabwe that you would use for such a task.
I might point out that my pre war digests everything you put in it, is it knocked about a bit? A little, is it maintained? With a passion
 

Hank2211

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I agree with you on every point now would you point me to a gunsmith in Zimbabwe that you would use for such a task.
I might point out that my pre war digests everything you put in it, is it knocked about a bit? A little, is it maintained? With a passion
My PH Stobbs has a guy in Bulawayo . . . He made a Lott out of a Win mag . . . And it seems to work.
 

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