New year, new lockdown: how can Rigby followers get their fix during this latest shutdown?

Communicating as openly as possible with our friends, followers, customers and fans all over the world has always been one of our top priorities. Lockdown makes us even more determined to keep these channels open. We’re still here and still working and want to encourage everyone to keep in touch via social media, our website and – of course – our amazing dealer network, which is a vital part of Rigby’s global extended family. Thanks to technology, we can continue to update people with the amazing stuff that the guys here are doing.

It’s a great shame that we can’t do the shows that we’d normally be doing at this time of year and it feels kind of weird. This is the first time in thirteen years that I haven’t been to Dallas or Nevada for the Safari Club shows and they’re sorely missed, as are the people. Hopefully next year things will bounce back and we’ll be able to get over there again and make up for this year’s absence. 

It’s great to see yet more options added to the Highland Stalker range with the new Magnum edition. How did it come about? Which aspects of it are you most excited about and where would you most like to take one?

As I mentioned already, communication with our customers and followers is so important to us. We really make an effort to listen to and act on what people say. People have been asking us for a .300 Win Mag version of the Highland Stalker, saying they’d love something that was set up for longer distance shooting, perhaps for plains game or for some of the larger species of deer and antelope around the world. That gave us the inspiration and impetus for this new model.

More than anything, I love the balance of this Highland Stalker. It looks classic but it’s so perfectly balanced that it feels – it’s hard to express it without sounding a bit crazy – but it feels like it’s ‘ready for action’. You feel extremely capable with this thing in your hands on the range. I’d love to take one to Africa. I think it would be a great rifle for plains game and so many species there. It’s unbelievably accurate and the lovely thing about that exquisite balance is the comfort when shooting.

What else is new for 2021, both on the workshop benches and in the shop?

As always, we have some stunning rifles coming through the workshop, with some superb examples of craftsmanship nearing completion. The online store is still thriving and very much open for business with some great products. We’ve also expanded the Rigby Art range again. Our in-house artist-engraver Geoffrey Lignon is now accepting canine commissions and is producing some wonderful portraits of customers’ dogs.

Did you manage to enjoy the Christmas break with your family?

Absolutely. Covid regulations in the UK meant that we weren’t able to mix with other people, but it was great to spend time with my daughter and my wife. It was good just to have some time to decompress and reflect on what was an extraordinary year for so many reasons. It was also very beneficial to be able to get ready to come back and get our teeth into 2021, which presents a whole bunch of new challenges. This is a pretty extraordinary time to be alive and it’s amazing to see the good stuff that comes out of situations like this: there are so many inspiring stories, new products and new ways of doing things. The way that we’re doing business all around the world now is different. It’s pretty amazing how so much has changed.

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