The Rarest John Rigby & Co. Rifles In the Entire World ?

Major Khan

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Dear Fellow Forum Members ,
It has recently been brought to my attention by learned fellow forum member , @spike.t ( who acquired this information for me from an extremely reliable source ) that the English company, John Rigby & Co. built 3 bolt rifles on Finnish Sako actions , chambered in .458 Winchester magnum during the 1970s ( When Mr. David Marks was running the company . ) . Would anyone happen to know if any of these rifles survived in to modern times ?
This is merely a casual question which I ask out of curiosity ( so it is not a very serious question ) , because I have never been able to find a single photograph on the internet of a John Rigby & Co. bolt rifle , built on a Sako action . Thus , the thought of actually seeing 1 intrigues me.
Yours sincerely ,
Major Poton Khan ( Retired )
 

perttime

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I was curious enough to search. I found one thing a little related. The caption says:
"Firstly we have a J. Rigby & Co. bolt action rifle chambered in .243 Winchester on a Sako action built in 1986, then a Rigby in a .275 Rigby caliber, completed around 1998 and built on a Mauser action, then a Rigby .375 H&H Magnum, completed around 1997 and built on a standard length Mauser action. Lastly, a W.J. Jeffery in .500 Jeffery calibre, completed around 2002, built on a double square bridge magnum Mauser action."

https://gentlemanbobwhite.tumblr.co...irstly-we-have-a-j-rigby-co-bolt-action-rifle

rigby sako.jpg
 

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Major Khan

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I was curious enough to search. I found one thing a little related. The caption says:
"Firstly we have a J. Rigby & Co. bolt action rifle chambered in .243 Winchester on a Sako action built in 1986, then a Rigby in a .275 Rigby caliber, completed around 1998 and built on a Mauser action, then a Rigby .375 H&H Magnum, completed around 1997 and built on a standard length Mauser action. Lastly, a W.J. Jeffery in .500 Jeffery calibre, completed around 2002, built on a double square bridge magnum Mauser action."

https://gentlemanbobwhite.tumblr.co...irstly-we-have-a-j-rigby-co-bolt-action-rifle

View attachment 335502
You never ceases to amaze me , Perttime !
I never actually expected anyone to be able to find me a photograph this swiftly . The Finnish Sako action is 1 which has always intrigued me . It qualifies neither as a control round feed action , nor as a push feed action . However , it seems generally quite well liked.
 

perttime

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Sako has made a lot of different actions. Very different.
The one on the left of the photo has a trigger guard shape that Sako has used for many decades. The action itself must be a relatively old one. Quite likely Rigby has done some modifications too.
 

Rob404

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@Major Khan
The Finnish Sako action is 1 which has always intrigued me . It qualifies neither as a control round feed action , nor as a push feed action .

I am copying your text because in last couple of days quote function does not work on my pc.

Anyway, regarding Sako CRF action - modern one is presently in production, on Sako85 line of rifles:

My humble opinion is that thay have tried to make CRF action in such a way to avoid making mauser 98 type of bolt, and keeping same operation.

In standard mauser 98 action, when magazine is loaded, it only needs to work the bolt forward and backwards to extract and ejects unfired cartridges.
pull back, push in. 2 movements, only.

On push feed actions, at least those that I have seen, bolt must be closed in order to extract next cartridge, so for each unfired cartridge to extract and eject, four bolt movements are necessary.
open bolt, pull back, push in, close bolt. 4 movements total.

In that description Sako 85, does mimic classic CRF action.
Sako claims it is CRF.
Every individual user, to decide for himself depending of his definition what CRF system is.

It has to be noted, that Sako at the present, has three production lines for hunting rifles, and not all of them are CRF system. All three systems are in different price ranges, and operation:

- Sako 85, CRF, 60 degree bolt rotation, three locking lugs (high end line) + removable double stack metal magazine

- Sako A7, push feed, 60 degree bolt rotation, 3 locking lugs (mid level line) + removable single stack magazine

- Tikka T3(x), push feed, 70 degree bolt rotation, 2 locking lugs (economy line, although some of tikka rifles with additional features cost more then standard sako 85) + removable single stack mag

In my experience, neither Tikka nor Sako 85 never jammed for me in hunting or during training at range.

I also tried basic bolt operations in various positions with dummy rounds, to confirm reliability, including upside down operation, frequently quoted as issue on push feed rifles, but all that i have tried never jammed any of those two rifles, except short stroking the bolt which caused double feeding and subsequent jamming of both systems. (if intention is to jam, any system can be jammed)

For larger calibers in S-85 system (375 and up), I read on this forum, that extraction of casing is sometimes causing a casing to hit the scope. But in moderate calibers I have not seen this issue.
 

perttime

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...
It has to be noted, that Sako at the present, has three production lines for hunting rifles, and not all of them are CRF system. All three systems are in different price ranges, and operation:

- Sako 85, CRF, 60 degree bolt rotation, three locking lugs (high end line) + removable double stack metal magazine

- Sako A7, push feed, 60 degree bolt rotation, 3 locking lugs (mid level line) + removable single stack magazine

- Tikka T3(x), push feed, 70 degree bolt rotation, 2 locking lugs (economy line, although some of tikka rifles with additional features cost more then standard sako 85) + removable single stack mag

In my experience, neither Tikka nor Sako 85 never jammed for me in hunting or during training at range.

...
Tikka is a separate brand - but obviously closely related nowadays.
Recently, Sako introduced a new highly modular line of riflers/actions: S20.
It seems to take inspirations from features that the precision shooting crowd likes: integral Picatinny rail on the action, adjustability in the stock, a kind of chassis backbone in the stock, The rear of the stock can be removed easily for transportation.
 

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@pertime, as usual you are to the point! (y)

Tikka was separate factory bought by Sako in 1983. and Sako was bought by Beretta in 1999.
Today, they are installing same barrels in tikka and sako.

For Sako s20, you have just brought me the news! (y)

BTW, tikka t3x, serial number 1.000.000 has just been made, yesterday (this one in 270wsm)!
 

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Sako used to make lovely rifles..not so much anymore, now they just look cheap and overpriced.. The Company is no doubt run by economists….and when they go the el cheapo way and still ask top dollars, I say bye-bye..

That said...I treasure my old Sako..
 

Major Khan

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@Major Khan
The Finnish Sako action is 1 which has always intrigued me . It qualifies neither as a control round feed action , nor as a push feed action .

I am copying your text because in last couple of days quote function does not work on my pc.

Anyway, regarding Sako CRF action - modern one is presently in production, on Sako85 line of rifles:

My humble opinion is that thay have tried to make CRF action in such a way to avoid making mauser 98 type of bolt, and keeping same operation.

In standard mauser 98 action, when magazine is loaded, it only needs to work the bolt forward and backwards to extract and ejects unfired cartridges.
pull back, push in. 2 movements, only.

On push feed actions, at least those that I have seen, bolt must be closed in order to extract next cartridge, so for each unfired cartridge to extract and eject, four bolt movements are necessary.
open bolt, pull back, push in, close bolt. 4 movements total.

In that description Sako 85, does mimic classic CRF action.
Sako claims it is CRF.
Every individual user, to decide for himself depending of his definition what CRF system is.

It has to be noted, that Sako at the present, has three production lines for hunting rifles, and not all of them are CRF system. All three systems are in different price ranges, and operation:

- Sako 85, CRF, 60 degree bolt rotation, three locking lugs (high end line) + removable double stack metal magazine

- Sako A7, push feed, 60 degree bolt rotation, 3 locking lugs (mid level line) + removable single stack magazine

- Tikka T3(x), push feed, 70 degree bolt rotation, 2 locking lugs (economy line, although some of tikka rifles with additional features cost more then standard sako 85) + removable single stack mag

In my experience, neither Tikka nor Sako 85 never jammed for me in hunting or during training at range.

I also tried basic bolt operations in various positions with dummy rounds, to confirm reliability, including upside down operation, frequently quoted as issue on push feed rifles, but all that i have tried never jammed any of those two rifles, except short stroking the bolt which caused double feeding and subsequent jamming of both systems. (if intention is to jam, any system can be jammed)

For larger calibers in S-85 system (375 and up), I read on this forum, that extraction of casing is sometimes causing a casing to hit the scope. But in moderate calibers I have not seen this issue.
Thank you so much for taking the time to explain this to me , Mark Hunter. If a company like John Rigby & Co. used Sako actions in order to build their bolt rifles ( albeit only 4 , that I know of . ) , then clearly they had a great deal of faith in Sako actions.
I understand that Sako even chambers their Model 85 in the mighty .500 Jeffery calibre . Do their .500 Jeffery variants also come equipped with a removable magazine ?
 

Major Khan

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Sako used to make lovely rifles..not so much anymore, now they just look cheap and overpriced.. The Company is no doubt run by economists….and when they go the el cheapo way and still ask top dollars, I say bye-bye..

That said...I treasure my old Sako..
I know exactly how you feel , Pondoro . I was personally extremely disappointed when Winchester decided to replace their venerable Model 70 bolt rifle with a " New & Improved " version in 1964 . New & Improved... my foot !
 

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Please don’t thrash me for this question/comment, but I’d like to know what exactly makes a Rigby rifle so special? I’ve held and shouldered a couple over the years, and they are very nice, but I really don’t see where the price tag comes from, that they are any finer than any number of other rifles I’ve held/shouldered/used, etc. Rigby uses other manufactures’ actions not something unique they designed or built themselves, they don’t shoot any more accurately than other well made riles, and aren’t any more beautiful aesthetically than many other rifles. Would say the same for Holland & Holland. I just don’t get why they are so expensive compared to other quality riles, hoping maybe someone can explain where the differences are so I can. The ones in the picture above are beautiful, love the wood.
 

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Please don’t thrash me for this question/comment, but I’d like to know what exactly makes a Rigby rifle so special? I’ve held and shouldered a couple over the years, and they are very nice, but I really don’t see where the price tag comes from, that they are any finer than any number of other rifles I’ve held/shouldered/used, etc. Rigby uses other manufactures’ actions not something unique they designed or built themselves, they don’t shoot any more accurately than other well made riles, and aren’t any more beautiful aesthetically than many other rifles. Would say the same for Holland & Holland. I just don’t get why they are so expensive compared to other quality riles, hoping maybe someone can explain where the differences are so I can. The ones in the picture above are beautiful, love the wood.
Fastrig, I think that’s a fair question. I’ve only seen them online and I like them but I am keen on nice rifles and traditional sporter styled rifles.
Perhaps it is the fact they are hand finished and individually made and they become a status symbol so to speak.
They do look nice, they are considered high end I guess to some degree they are handcrafted and not mass produced. Each rifle is crafted to be individual and nicely finished.
Maybe they smooth actions etc. that’s was said about the Remington 798 built on Zastava actions. Semi custom from Remington.
Are Rigby worth it. That is in the eye of the holder I guess and something that people who can afford them I’ll choose.
I hope that helps but really I think it’s just the handmade aspect and time that adds to the production cost and what people are willing to pay.
Google Rigby You Tube clips.
Is a Rolex better than a watch that keeps the time?
 

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I have handeled newly made bolt rifles from Rigby, Purdey, Holland & Holland and Westley Richards..

The only brand I think are worth the price are the New Rigby´s… the others are priced far far out.
The New Highland Stalker is a gem..
 

Fastrig

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Fastrig, I think that’s a fair question. I’ve only seen them online and I like them but I am keen on nice rifles and traditional sporter styled rifles.
Perhaps it is the fact they are hand finished and individually made and they become a status symbol so to speak.
They do look nice, they are considered high end I guess to some degree they are handcrafted and not mass produced. Each rifle is crafted to be individual and nicely finished.
Maybe they smooth actions etc. that’s was said about the Remington 798 built on Zastava actions. Semi custom from Remington.
Are Rigby worth it. That is in the eye of the holder I guess and something that people who can afford them I’ll choose.
I hope that helps but really I think it’s just the handmade aspect and time that adds to the production cost and what people are willing to pay.
Google Rigby You Tube clips.
Is a Rolex better than a watch that keeps the time?

Thanks. Wear a $300 Costco self-winding watch without a Rolex name plate that keeps great time, so get what you are saying :) Was looking at some of the Rigby’s online and the cheapest are close to 10K with the more highly figured ones going upwards of 50K or more, Holland and Holland’s are even worse. Then I see beautiful fully hand engraved rifles from companies like Blaser and Sauer for roughly half that. All magnificent works by artisans, and you are probably right that it boils down to what a person’s eyes behold as the value of these folks works of art.
 

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I am also with @CBH Australia, in agreement with his desciption.

And I would like to add few more values, fore example a piece of history - Karamojo Bell, Jim Corbet. (many would like a piece of such history in their gun locker, the history makes tradition)
Great design - rising bite double actions, for example.
Finally these are fine english guns, that demand price comparable to competition.

And they are too expensive for me.
Although, in reality, rigby bolt action is in similar price level as new masuer 98, made by mauser factory. So, in fact, the prices are not unreasonable for basic models.

On other side: Can an economic factory rifle be reliable and accurate? certainly.
but accuracy and reliability are not the only reason someone buys rigby or other fine gun, there are other values in it such as above, and they are in the eye of beholder.
And final value, the last but not least, a pride of ownership.
 

Fastrig

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I am also with @CBH Australia, in agreement with his desciption.

And I would like to add few more values, fore example a piece of history - Karamojo Bell, Jim Corbet. (many would like a piece of such history in their gun locker, the history makes tradition)
Great design - rising bite double actions, for example.
Finally these are fine english guns, that demand price comparable to competition.

And they are too expensive for me.
Although, in reality, rigby bolt action is in similar price level as new masuer 98, made by mauser factory. So, in fact, the prices are not unreasonable for basic models.

On other side: Can an economic factory rifle be reliable and accurate? certainly.
but accuracy and reliability are not the only reason someone buys rigby or other fine gun, there are other values in it such as above, and they are in the eye of beholder.
And final value, the last but not least, a pride of ownership.

Yours and the other member comments are kind of what I thought, it's an eye of the beholder type of purchase. Thought maybe Rigby had some sort of special sauce they put in the rifles that I was not aware of, but kind of doubted it :)

IF I every hit the lottery, this work of art will be coming home in short order....definitely an eye of the beholder rifle :)

https://gordyandsons.com/the-vault/fine-guns/rifles/sauer-s404-custom-valhalla-33722.html
 

Major Khan

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Please don’t thrash me for this question/comment, but I’d like to know what exactly makes a Rigby rifle so special? I’ve held and shouldered a couple over the years, and they are very nice, but I really don’t see where the price tag comes from, that they are any finer than any number of other rifles I’ve held/shouldered/used, etc. Rigby uses other manufactures’ actions not something unique they designed or built themselves, they don’t shoot any more accurately than other well made riles, and aren’t any more beautiful aesthetically than many other rifles. Would say the same for Holland & Holland. I just don’t get why they are so expensive compared to other quality riles, hoping maybe someone can explain where the differences are so I can. The ones in the picture above are beautiful, love the wood.
I 1st saw your comment when I was in my car , Fastrig. And I actually gave some very serious thought to your question. Truth be told ... you have raised an extremely thought provoking question . What makes a rifle or shot gun made by John Rigby & Co. or Holland & Holland superior to all other rifles or shot guns made by other brands ? Well , I personally am partial to the BRNO ZKK 600 series and the pre 64 Winchester Model 70 series of bolt rifles myself. I really like their design. We cannot argue superior functionality in favor of the John Rigby & Co. and Holland & Holland brand rifles.
I have seen more than a few Holland & Holland double barreled rifles and bolt rifles brought by my clients for shikar to India , which failed to function properly in the field . Double barreled rifles were often experiencing double discharges and their extractors were often not working properly. Bolt rifles were having their magazine floor plates pop open . The Holland & Holland bolt rifles which were built on Mauser Model 66 actions were also vulnerable to the occasional extraction issue . The large calibre bolt rifles , which used those cheap lightweight alloy magazines were plagued with their own problems.
Holland & Holland do not provide a warranty for their rifles , if used with modern brass monolithic solid bullets .
However , to be fair .... the duration of my career as a professional shikaree was during a time ( 1961 to 1970 ) when the British gun trade was going through a bit of a “ dark age “ .
Since , we cannot argue functional superiority .... can we argue tradition ?
We have masters of the art of shikar , such as Jim Corbett and Karamojo Bell , who used Rigby rifles extensively . However , it is also a widely documented fact that Karamojo Bell ( In his final piece of writing , prior to his death in 1954 . ) actually declared a Winchester Model 70 , chambered in .308 Winchester to be infinitely superior to any of the various English rifles which he used , during his career . And what of Jim Corbett ? If Mr. Corbett lived in the modern era , would he have used a Blaser R 8 or a Winchester Model 70 Safari Express for all of his hunting purposes ? Perhaps, he would .
In the end of the day , I believe that the reason why 1 would want to purchase a Holland & Holland brand rifle is simply because .... it is Holland & Holland . It is bit like choosing between purchasing a suit from Brooks Brothers , or purchasing a suit from London’s Savile Row . The Brooks Brothers suit is beautiful , affordable and sturdily constructed. However , Savile Row is from where the Royal Family have their suits made for them , so it more “ grand “ .
 

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