Experienced hunter Jeremy Preston from south west England was one of the first customers to buy Rigby’s new ammunition. After he tested the ammo through his rifle and had phenomenal results, he took it with him on a hunting trip to South Africa. This is how he got on…
Finding the right ‘head stamp’ happily led to a really great result. What do I mean by that? Just 10 days before leaving for my third African safari to hunt plains game, I was warned of a potential issue with the South African police when applying for a temporary firearms import (SAPS 520) permit on arrival in Johannesburg.
The potential issue was a mismatch between my .275 calibre Rigby rifle and my 7×57 Mauser ammunition. We know they are the same, however it seems some don’t. So, after hearing that another hunter had experienced severe difficulties with his .308 rifle and 7.62 ammunition combination, bad enough to ruin his safari, it was a problem I was determined to avoid.
An anxious call to the John Rigby & Co. gunroom revealed to me that new .275 ammunition with the correct head stamp was now available. I had to have some and quickly too, perhaps more importantly to have time to familiarise and zero with it.
I planned and embarked upon a 600-mile round trip to Rigby’s Pensbury Place store in London, where I was greeted warmly. With the ammunition purchased I was given a delightful and fascinating tour of the workshops and gunroom, taking in Rigby’s fine array of new rifles and the historical displays. Jim Corbett’s .275, in particular, caught my attention in its glass case. I could have spent hours there just browsing and absorbing all that was on offer.
So, what of the performance of this new .275 rifle ammunition, specially loaded for Rigby by Hornady with its 140-grain interlock SP BT bullets? I am delighted to say that in my Rigby .275 it proved to be outstanding. It was particularly gratifying because this rifle, previously owned by my friend, the late John Kingsley-Heath, was going back to where it spent most of its working life until he retired and Rigby replaced the barrel for me.
My chronograph recorded the average muzzle velocity at 2610fps with less than +\- 10fps spread, all the rounds consistently producing tight or cloverleaf groups at 70 yards. The perfect test!
Full of confidence, I set of on the safari the following weekend. I invited Erik Du Plessis, my PH for the safari, to try my .275 Rigby on his bush range and he said it was a really sweet and accurate combination to shoot. I couldn’t agree more.
Some might argue that 140-grain bullets might be a little light for African plains game, however bullet placement is crucial and I had no problems achieving clean one-shot kills between 45 and 150 yards on warthog and a mature heavy greater kudu bull respectively. I also took impala, bushbuck, gemsbok, blesbok and a wildebeest.
I’m now looking forward to being back on the hill after the stags this year. I will definitely be taking my Rigby and this .275 ammunition. I am sure it will be a perfect combination. It is fair to say I am very impressed with the performance of Rigby’s new .275 ammunition.