Jim Corbett and the Rudraprayag leopard.

The Making Of Rigby’s Best


This year, one SCI Member will leave Convention able to say they own what Rigby’s Managing Director, Marc Newton, calls Rigby’s “best .275 bolt rifle ever made.” When the hammer falls Saturday night, the winning bidder of the World Heritage Rifle celebrating hunting in Asia will own that gun; one meticulously patterned after Jim Corbett’s original .275 Rigby rifle famous for its role in ending the carnage cause by some of the most infamous maneaters ever documented.

Jim Corbett and the Rudraprayag leopard.
Jim Corbett and the Rudraprayag leopard.

The resulting bolt-action London Best is a labor of love, taking the Rigby team of artisan gunmakers and engravers an estimated 850 hours of work to produce. The painstaking attention to detail captures the spirit of Corbett and shows the art of modern gunmaking at its finest.

Sketch of leopard engraving for Rigby .275 Corbett rifle.
Sketch of leopard engraving for Rigby .275 Corbett rifle.

The donation piece is a single square bridge, and, just like the original, is built on a classic Mauser action. It has a 25-inch classic Rigby barrel, claw extractor, three-position Mauser-style safety and classic Rigby-pattern sights. It also features exquisite engraving inspired by Corbett’s achievements and illustrations from his books on the barrel, action, magazine, bolt, grip cap and metal butt plate.

Leopard engraving on Rigby .275 Corbett rifle.
Leopard engraving on Rigby .275 Corbett rifle.

All the work on the rifle was undertaken at Rigby’s London workshop, with, among others, gunsmith Olivier Leclercq crafting the metalwork, Vladimir Tomascik stocking and Mark Renmant chekering and finishing.

The design and execution of the engravings was driven by one of the newest members of the Rigby team, the exceptionally talented young French engraver, Geoffrey Lignon. Geoffrey’s passion for big game animals is akin to Corbett’s own, and he has a rare ability to capture their beauty and power.

Telegram congratulating Jim Corbett on killing the Rudraprayag leopard.
Telegram congratulating Jim Corbett on killing the Rudraprayag leopard.

The donation rifle will be auctioned with a specially made case crafted from buffalo leather by London firm Traditional English Guncases along with a stunning display credenza manufactured for the convention by specialist woodworkers Julian & Sons. It will also be accompanied by a limited edition commemorative set of Corbett’s writings, which will feature a new foreword by vintage gun specialist Diggory Haddoke.

If you can’t be at Convention, you can still bid online for this incredible rifle.

Copyright--John-Rigby-&-Co-18

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