Tamás Szarka takes time out from a hectic schedule to give us November’s update from the Rigby workshop:
What are you focusing on this month in the workshop?
The first of our new falling block rifles is coming through at the moment, in our .416 No 2 calibre. This one is particularly special and gets a bit of extra attention from everyone.
In general, we’re extremely busy at this time of year even in normal years. These past two have been strange because of the pandemic, but we’re busier than ever right now. There are so many orders going through and there are shows coming up.
It’s good to see shows starting up again, how are you and the team preparing for them?
There is a lot of administration required to make sure the shows run smoothly, but normally we do not prepare any ‘special’ rifles in the sense of just for a show, because everything is interesting. Often, we also have customers lending rifles back to us to display on the booth: it’s really good to see these guns again and to hear about how they’ve been used since they left the benches here.
What have been the best parts of working for Rigby so far?
It’s great to be working with such a creative and passionate team. It makes such a difference to the atmosphere and the quality of the craftsmanship when people are so enthusiastic about what they’re doing. It’s never enough just to produce something that’s merely ‘good’ – I love that. Rigby has a long history of working this way and I’m very proud to be a part of it.
Which projects are you looking forward to for next year?
It’s hard to pick as all of our rifles are unique. I don’t think there are any I don’t enjoy working on. But, if I had to narrow it down, we have a set of three take-down rifles currently in the works that I am really excited about. They are going to look amazing.
We understand you enjoy clay shooting and hunting when you get a free moment, have you managed to get out and enjoy some shooting this autumn?
Not at all: it’s been so busy that I haven’t had a moment! Hopefully there’ll be a chance or two next year though.
Tamás has responsibility for production management (firearms and parts) at Rigby’s Pensbury Place factory in London, having joined Rigby as a gunsmith in the spring of 2018. He is a graduate of the Csongrad gunmaking school, which lies around 150km southeast of the Hungarian capital, Budapest, where he was born and brought up. While studying, Tamás focused on the mechanics and artistry of rifles, machine guns and pistols. He is also a skilled CNC programmer.