What have been Rigby’s gunmaking highlights of 2019?
There have been several! It’s such a pleasure to head up this historic gunmaking company that it’s sometimes easy to forget how long we’ve been in existence and just how many special Rigby rifles there are already out there. We almost feel that the firearms we enjoy producing here are just a drop in the ocean when you think of all the great Rigbys ever made.
In general, it’s been another year of continued growth. Rigby’s fully back now and has been back home in London for seven years this year. Particular highlights of 2019 have to include completing the .577, which was the first Rising Bite in that calibre in over a century. It was very, very exciting: it shot beautifully, and the whole package was awesome. I’m really pleased and proud of how we brought it about. The completion of several other high-end double rifles were also high points, as was working with some of the best gun engravers in the world. To name but a few, we’ve had the privilege of collaborating with Phil Coggan, Simon Coggan, Will Wild, Marcus Hunt, Frédérique Lepinois, Cecile Flohimont, Steve Kelly, Andy Miles, and of course our own Geoffrey Lignon and Sajia Koskialho. Working with craftsmen of this calibre is always a pleasure and it is pretty incredible to see their art on our guns.
What have been the most challenging pieces for the team to produce?
All double rifles are challenging. They’re the pinnacle of the gunmaker’s art, in my opinion. These things have got to look flawless but they have to perform flawlessly as well. We put a tremendous amount of effort into range time with these guns so that they shoot and handle, as well as eject and feed, as perfectly as we can possibly make them. Rigbys are made to be fit-for-purpose: they’re made for hunting and that’s the core of the Rigby brand.
Do you have any new year’s resolutions or goals?
For the company, I’d like us to reflect a little bit more on the amazing success we’ve had. We’re so close to the coal face here it’s very easy to lose track of that, so I suppose just taking time to have a look back on what we’ve done, what we’re doing and what we’re going to do. I think that’s really important and want to instil that into our guys and girls here because they’re the people that have made it happen.
Personally, I’m planning to lead a more active lifestyle. Too many dinners while travelling all around the world, and now being the wrong side of 30, have taken their toll. I’m already in the process of getting fit though, so it’s not necessarily just for New Year.
What are you looking forward to most in 2020?
I can’t believe it’s nearly 2020 already – that’s pretty scary. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into the building project at Rigby and expanding the size of the building that we have here. That will be very exciting. I’m also looking forward to more of the same in terms of the business really: seeing the continued growth of the company and bringing on more and more talented people.
What’s on your Christmas list?
I’m already very spoilt and very lucky in my life, so I don’t really ask anyone for anything for myself. I just want to spend some time with family, and getting out with a gun on Boxing Day would be lovely. I also want to wish all my friends, family, and the other people whom I have the pleasure of being associated with a lovely Christmas time and
Hard to believe it has been seven years in London and hardly a grey hair to show for it! Congrats on the stunning revival of Rigby’s due in large part to your leadership and experience.