What’s keeping the workbenches busy at the moment?
We’re due to finish more than 20 Best guns before Christmas and we’re looking forward to completing another fantastic ‘knock it out of the ball park’ year for Rigby. It still shocks me how the company continues to grow and we couldn’t do it without the massive amount of support we receive from our clients and our followers, and, of course, the dedication from the men and women who make this company so great.
You recently brought a bit of safari spirit to the West London Shooting School with the first Rigby Experience. Tell us a bit more about the event and Rigby’s connection with the range there.
The event went really well and we’re looking forward to the next one. It’s wonderful that people have a chance to experience and use the rifles we’re producing so close to central London. It’s one thing seeing pictures, but actually firing one is when you really feel how special they are.
Rigby has had a historic relationship with West London Shooting School for over a century. We have photos of the third John Rigby actually test-shooting double rifles there before the First World War, which is pretty incredible.
We’re very happy to see this relationship growing with events such as the Rigby Experience. We still test all our guns there, which involves shooting more than 250 rifles a year. We’re probably firing more rounds of big game ammunition than anyone else in the country at the moment: hundreds of rounds of .375, and bigger, and that all happens at West London.
There are more events planned so watch this space and our Facebook page for information.
Have you been out and about?
I’ve been lucky and done lots of deerstalking this month out in the fallow rut, which is one of my favourite times of the year. I’ve been very selective and have managed to take some beautiful old bucks with great character.
I’ve also been out with an early 20th century Rigby shotgun a fair bit. I’m really getting into smaller driven days consisting of a mixed bag of pheasants, wild duck, snipe and so on. I also have a little teal flight pond 250 yards from my house, so I can stand there enjoying all the thrill of flighting wild duck and then look up at my wife waving at me from the kitchen window, which is pretty incredible!
Eye-catching Rigby hunting journals have just been added to the Shikar Store, what would take pride of place in yours?
For me, it’s not all about what you’ve shot, it’s about the day itself as a whole – the people you’re with, the weather, the funny stories, how it makes you feel. I think a great deal of care needs to be taken when entering things into your hunting journal: a younger you might enter things, or leave things out, that you’ll perhaps regret when you’re a bit older. It’s important to remember that this is something that you’ll leave for posterity and will be here after you’ve gone. In many decades from now, someone might sit down in front of the fire – perhaps with a whisky – to read your stories and see how hunting has changed and stayed the same as time passes.
Speaking of whisky, we see there’s a festive offer on Rigby’s 18-year-old single malt. What makes this a special dram for you?
Whether you’re a connoisseur or not, it’s a very enjoyable drop of whisky in its own right. The thing I love most about it is that the water in it’s made from runs off the hills of the Blair Atholl estate, where stags are stalked, grouse are shot and salmon are caught. That water flows down the river and into the distillery, then goes on to make the whisky – you are in essence drinking the day on the hill itself, albeit 18 years later. I think that’s very romantic and a rather lovely thought. To purchase a dram as the perfect Christmas gift (or for yourself), click here