We sit down with Gary Duffey, Rigby’s US Sales Representative to delve into his recent activities, projects, and upcoming plans in our latest Campfire blog. Discover more about Gary’s recent experiences and insights in promoting the London gunmaker in the United States.

Gary, since we last caught up with you, what have you been working on?

Over the past few months, my focus has been on the January shows – Dallas Safari Club (DSC) Convention and Safari Club International (SCI) Convention – which require extensive planning and preparation, starting as early as September for me. This year, our presence at Dallas saw significant expansion, reflecting on the company’s dedication to growth. As always, after these shows I had a flurry of activity from developing projects, to working on quotes and connecting with clients. These shows tend to generate a whole year’s worth of activity for me.

I’m continuing to widen our dealer network, particularly in the west and north-west regions. I’ve just established a new dealer in Livingston, Montana and spent a few days up there with the young man who’s running the shop for the owner, so that was a really nice and rewarding experience. I’ve also just established a new dealer relationship in Park City in the Utah area, as well as one in Rhode Island. Since joining the company around six years ago, I’ve been focused on strengthening our dealer relationships, and it continues to be a key focus in my role.

Talking about the recent US Shows, what was the biggest standout moment for you?

Undoubtedly the expansion of our booth at the Dallas Safari Club Convention. It was a clear demonstration of our commitment to progress and we received a huge amount of positive feedback from those who visited.

Personally, I find it hugely gratifying that I come away from the shows each year having developed three or four new relationships with clients. Somehow, you just click with certain people and get really close, so much so that they become lifelong friends.

Are you working on any projects behind-the-scenes that you’re able to share with our readers?

We always have some exciting developments going on behind-the-scenes. Each year at the shows, we’re either doing a soft launch of a Rigby legacy gun or introducing a new model, but we always have something else on the drawing board.

This year, the debut of the Shikari double boxlock and Big Game Lightweight surpassed our expectations and garnered significant interest. Additionally, our special edition models of Highland Stalker and Big Game rifles received positive feedback, along with the new animal print guns.

We’re also deeply involved in conservation efforts, such as the Habitat for Rhino project and the Dagga Boy Award. Both have been well-received and are gaining traction. For the Habitat for Rhino project, we created 12 exclusive London Best rifles chambered in .350 Rigby, with the Habitat for Rhino logo on the floorplate and each individually engraved with the name of one of the rhinos from the project. We’re just about to start delivery of these rifles. Having visited Namibia and having experienced these magnificent rhinos in their habitat, I am very proud to be playing even a small role in contributing to their preservation, as I was profoundly impacted by being with them.

For the Dagga Boy Award, we’re now into the second contest and as we enter another season of it, it seems to be growing more legs and I’m getting a lot more questions about it. I’m very proud to be a part of it. It’s great to be able to practice what you preach because conservation talk is cheap, but we’re putting our money where our mouth is.

Looking ahead for the year, do you have any particular goals you are hoping to achieve?

My primary goal is to continue growing the business, especially by providing support to our new dealers in the western regions and this summer I’m aiming to head back over there to help support them. The Rigby brand is synonymous with African hunting, and we aim to foster and facilitate that adventurous spirit among our clientele.

Can you tell us a bit more about the reception to the Shikari and the Big Game lightweight rifles?

The response to the Shikari and the Big Game lightweight rifles has been overwhelmingly positive. Customers are eagerly awaiting their delivery, so we’re staying in regular contact and providing lots of updates on these. The Shikari, in particular, fills a crucial niche in the market for an English double, with true English styling, design and characteristics, at a price-point that hits a spot in the market and has been well-received by enthusiasts.

What’s real interesting is John Rigby the third was really an innovative guy in the proprietary cartridges. The .350 Rigby and the .416 Rigby were really quite modern cartridges in their day. They’re very effective, good performers, operate at low pressure and in tough hunting environments, and they’re just as viable today as they were then. I really find that people love that. To be able to hunt with that legacy or historic rifle, but it’s still just as modern and effective today, people are really enthusiastic and always want to know what we have coming next.

You’re passionate about hunting. Do you have any more hunting trips planned for the near future?

Absolutely, hunting remains a significant aspect of my life. I have a Saskatchewan whitetail hunt planned for November, followed by expeditions to Zimbabwe in 2025 and 2026 for buffalo and leopard. I’ll be relying on my trusted Rigby .416 for these adventures, as it’s always the right choice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

50 − 42 =