As we approach the third anniversary of the UK and most of the world closing borders and shutting down as Covid-19 swept the globe, we can reflect on a unique period of history. For a not inconsiderable length of time, nothing was even close to normal. Long planned and highly anticipated hunting trips were postponed or cancelled, and a number of our customers took delivery of their bespoke Rigby guns at a time when hunting anywhere away from home was next to impossible. One such customer was Olly Williams, who kept in close contact while his bespoke Rigby 9.3 Alaska rifle was being crafted in our workshop and then when he finally got to shoot with it, a process which started just before the pandemic. Here, in dispatches sent before the pandemic began, and another as life started to return to normal, Olly shares his delight at taking possession of the rifle and then his joy at finally being able to take it on a hunting trip to his beloved Isle of Jura in Scotland.
Dear Marc and Jamie,
Thank you so much for all your guidance and advice and craftsmanship in creating the Rigby Alaska rifle. I’ve just enjoyed a fun session with Jamie on the range, with 10, 20 and then 60 yards of both slow, deliberate and rapid fire under my belt. We got some good images and thoroughly tested the feed, function and accuracy, which as you can see is superb for a rifle designed for hard use in an Arctic environment with a peep sight.
I have to say I am now a total convert to the elegant and protected Rigby peep sight and the brilliant red fibre optic bead. The re-engineered bolt sweeps up to meet my hand and is super easy to cycle, and the trigger broke like glass. Moreover, the fit and field finish of the stock was simply superb.
Literally – job done. I wouldn’t change a single thing and I’m really looking forward to carrying this superb rifle on my shoulder in the Arctic in the near future.
Massive thanks team and all my very best,
Dear Marc and team,
In light of the restrictions that we’ve faced in the past two years (both Svalbard and Arctic Alaska have been ‘closed’ communities during the pandemic) I am glad to report that my wonderful Rigby 9.3 certainly hasn’t been gathering dust!
We have been training with the rifle at both Bisley and Holland & Holland ranges alongside your own, and it’s been out into the wild on our beloved Isle of Jura. For the latter, I fitted a simple Leupold 2.5 fixed scope on swing off Apel mounts. This allows me to quickly deploy with peep sight or have that little extra bit of clarity for longer shots. The Leupold is perfectly matched to the Mauser-actioned Rigby – a battle/field-tested action and an utterly bombproof ‘Alaska’-rated optic.
My kids love Jura. It is a yearly pilgrimage for our family and both the kids enjoyed shooting the Rigby. Jura shares many traits with the Arctic tundra – the endless rolling hills, wild deer and eagles – and on occasion, pretty foul weather! It was also the perfect place to train my daughter to shoot. Both my son Bear and daughter Kora travel with me in the Arctic where we have a small log home, and as a result both are competent shots.
They also both also have an eye for good kit, despite their tender years, and both gravitate to simple things. A low-power scope, the positive feeding action and the clean lines of the stock fitted both children well. The Rigby rifle got the thumbs up from both!
Our old friend (and professional stalker) Ewan is also a big fan of Rigby. His father, also a professional stalker, used a .275 with iron sights for many years and he loved to handle and shoot this new iteration of a timeless classic – it was hard to pry it away!
Thank you all for building me such a reliable and elegant tool. It will be worth its weight in gold on all of our expeditions in the north country. You can expect more reports from me in the months and years to come – I am proud to fly your flag!
All my very best,