Sterling Davenport, Double Sq Bridge Magnum, .416 Rigby, 24", Mint
Guns International #: 100932552 Seller's Inventory #: 98-2017
Category: Rifles - African Dangerous Game Safari Magazine - Custom Rifles
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Member Since: 9/26/07
First Name: Roger
Country: United States
Seller: Private Seller
Return Policy: 3 day inspection and return policy on used guns.
Payment Types Accepted: cashiers check or money order or pay pal plus 3%
Sterling Davenport, Double Sq. Bridge Magnum Action, 416 Rigby, Mint Condition
Want to impress your Professional Hunter? Here’s a rifle that will, not a Ruger, not a CZ, no factory rifle – but no $12,000 job either, although it is as nice as anyone of those.
Classic African rifle by master gunmaker Sterling Davenport, 9611 E Walnut Tree Drive, Tuscon, Arizona. Chambered in .416 Rigby, it’s based on a forged one-piece BRNO ZKK-602* Magnum Double Square Bridge action (No.10767), fitted with a 24” Douglas premium barrel Magna-Ported. It features everything desired for and by professional hunters for big-bore rifles: a custom quarter-rib nicely matted on top with one V-type blade and two folding leaves, a barrel banded sling eye, a silver bead front sight mounted on a banded “Masterpiece” front matted ramp with detachable hood; a serrated trigger; and steel bottom metal with hinged floorplate.
But Davenport didn’t stop there, he fitted the action with a Recknagel Model 70-style 3-position safety, lengthened the bolt handle, and altered its contour with scope clearance while keeping the popular PH design. The bolt knob is checkered with two large tear-drop panels, and the small bolt release was reconfigured and checkered for easy operation. Action rails are polished. The metal has been bead blasted to a satin finish, not polished which hunters have learned alerts game. It is engraved with the caliber marking and “Sterling Davenport, Tucson, AZ.”
The stock is pure classic Sterling Davenport, a Custom Classic Stock using an exceptional piece of English walnut with rich brown colors and just emblazoned with outstanding fiddleback figure. The fully formed shadowline cheekpiece is true Davenport art. The forend is fore-shortened to meet the length of the quarter rib and matches the popular British length used by Holland & Holland and other premium English makers. The steel pistol grip cap is perfectly fitted with indexed screws and the rear sling eye base is inlaid with a two-screw tie-down.
In addition to the metal attachments, the stock is adorned with two ebony covered steel cross-bolts and a very nicely shaped ebony forend tip. Checkering is superb and fully wrapped around: over the wrist and under the forend. Wrap-around patters are extremely hard maneuvers to keep parallel and symmetric… and here Davenport has done it perfectly. The checkering is exquisite work with very fine diamonds in 22 lpi allowing the beautiful grain of the wood to show through.
The original blue remains at about 99%, the stock finish is 100%, wrap-around checkering is 100% and the bore is new. Davenport’s attention to detail is complete from the crown of the muzzle to end of the recoil pad. This is an heirloom rifle.
The length of pull is 14” over the 7/8” Decelerator pad. Weight is 10 lb. 1 oz. without scope.
The scope is a high-end Austrian Swarovski Habitch 1.5-4.5x20, a proven dangerous-game scope with duplex reticle. It is mounted with the unique Alaska Arms “One Set” quick release scope rings (known by few but considered better than Talley or Warne rings) which mount directly to the square bridges. This system is better because of its positive and quick return to zero after scope removal. Its patented spring-loaded levers allow the scope to re-mount with one twist of 90 degrees of each lever returning to positive stops. The maker has machined recesses into the square bridges to accept the rings’ locking dovetail feet, the practice today of the great German gunmakers. *These best double square bridge Brevex-style actions were made by BNRO in the old Czechoslovakian plant, forged from one piece of steel and machined to incredible tolerances, made only a few years, and are rarely encountered today.
History of Sterling Davenport
Sterling Davenport retired from the US Navy after 20 years’ service in 1975 at the age of 40. During his stint in the Navy, he was trained as an aviation metal smith and while stationed at Pearl Harbor, he did light gunsmith work for Honolulu Sporting Guns. Finding his work well accepted, when he retired he attended the 10-month gunsmith program at the Colorado School of Trades for Gunsmiths, graduating with a job as a gunsmith with Harry Lawson Custom Gunmaker in Arizona. During his next 20 years, Sterling showed his own work in shows such as the Safari Club and others where the talents of the American Gunmakers Guild members were displayed. It was at one of these shows that Paul Roberts of Rigby examined Davenport’s work and hired him to build bolt rifles for Rigby under the Rigby name. Sterling said that Roberts would supply the barreled actions and the wood and Davenport would take it from there. His first firearm finished for Rigby had such exquisite and fine checkering, that Roberts complained that it was not of the Rigby style. From then on, Sterling finished the stocks and sent them to London for Rigby’s checkerers to finish, which used smaller patterns with coarser checkering than the work that Davenport did. For Rigby, Sterling used BRNO actions for the magnum action and either FN or Pre-64 Model 70 actions for the standard length cartridges. He said, “The BNRO forged Magnum action was as good as it gets… the more renown Oberndorf Mauser Magnum action is really no better, just more in demand and short in supply.”
Davenport figures he only made about 60 rifles under his own name; this is truly a rare masterpiece in one of the most sought-after calibers for the magnum actions. And for this particular rifle, according to Mr.Davenport, the stock began from a selection of exhibition grade English walnut purchased in northern California. Chosen for its dramatic fiddleback grain, it was then shaped into the English classic heavy-caliber hunting profile complete with a cheekpiece and contoured shadow line, and then inletted to the barreled action to insure tight groups.
This is a custom rifle made by one of the great custom makers of our time (besides its great looks, its smooth action and great trigger pull, it is deadly accurate).
Price is $7,750. Shipping $55 to any of the lower 48 states.
Buyer must furnish current FFL copy for shipping. Buyer has 3-day full refund non-firing return privilege. Payment by wire transfer, money order, certified check or personal check with delay for validation.
Seller is the author of The Rifleman’s Rifle (Winchester pre-64 Model 70s) and will furnish a Letter of Provenance that this rifle is from his collection. Feedback can be checked on ebay under seller’s login rcrwin70roger.