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Rigby - London -243 Win - Light Sporting Magazine Rifle - 23" Bl -- 99% Condition
RIGBY – LONDON – 243 Win. – Light Sporter Magazine Rifle – 23’ Bl – 99% Condition
John Rigby & Co., 13 Pall Mall, London, W.1 - John Rigby’s Light Sporter Magazine Rifle built on a Finnish-made Sako medium action in .243 Winchester, SN 6360 (December, 1983) and proved in London, built by the ORIGINAL Rigby London maker.
This rare Light Sporter is Rigby’s quality magazine rifle built the same way they were built for the last 100 years. It is a London Best rifle, fabricated by hand at their Pall Mall address, fitted with a deluxe stock of premium quality dark English walnut with desirable grain -- some fancy fiddleback or tiger stripes intertwined with dark streaks yielding a very pleasant color overall.
As was popular at the time, its 23” tapered round barrel features no sights but is finished with Rigby’s top drawer rust blue. The action is Sako’s renown double square bridge intermediate version ( L591), the right action length designed for the .243 Win. cartridge. This action has been used in many fine rifles: besides Sako’s, Browning used this intermediate action for their High Power series in all three grades: Safari, Medallion, and Olympian when they upgraded from the larger Mauser action for their intermediate length cartridges. Colt used this action as well for their popular Coltsman rifles, and many custom makers today develop their rifles with Sako actions.
Rigby chose to leave the square bridges clean with no drilled or tapped holes, displaying Sako’s fine checkered steel bridge treatment, allowing the scope mounting system to use the dovetailed bridges as Sako intended. Several scope ring makers adapted their designs for these dovetailed bridges. This rifle has what is the most popular choice by custom makers: Talley clamp on bases with Talley fixed rings, a sophisticated scoping system in the tradition of custom-made rifles – which Rigby’s English gun and rifle makers have always been.
The barrel, stock and action have the correct Rigby serial number. The floorplate is hinged with a trigger guard frontal release and the bolt knob shows Sako’s knurled ring for non-slip control. The caliber marking is inlaid in gold on the floorplate,”CAL 243 WIN” and the serial number is inlaid in gold on the trigger guard “6360.”
The Light Sporter stock has a classic comb in beautiful dark English walnut (figure described above) and shaped with a sculptured shadowline cheekpiece, an inlaid monogram oval (vacant awaiting owner’s initials), a buffalo horn pistol grip cap with engraved screw and full wrap-around classic point-pattern checking (22 lpi) with combinations of double and single borders, in keeping with best gun quality. The LOP is 14 ½” to the classic 5/8” Silvers red recoil pad, original to the gun. Weight with scope is 8 lbs, 15 oz.
The internal inletting is excellent, best London quality. The name and address are on the barrel, “J. Rigby & Co., London England.” This piece is still manufacturer-fresh, all original with the blue at 99%, original wood finish at 99%, the checkering 100% (diamonds still sharp to the touch), and the bore is sharp and bright. The Light Sporter magazine rifle was Rigby’s top-drawer London Sporter intended for the gentleman hunter but built to handle the rigors of hard field work, and famous for accuracy.
Verified by Rigby’s Gunroom Manager, David Miles, this Light Sporter Magazine Rifle (serial number 6360) was built in December, 1983.
The scope, fitted with Butler Creek covers, is an Austrian-made Swarovski Optik Habicht 3-10x36 known for incredible brightness and clarity, with standard duplex reticle, the perfect size for carrying in a rifle scabbard or for toting in the field.
About Rigby: According to Geoffrey Boothroyd, Rigby was founded in 1735” and “flourished in Dublin. In 1866, the maker opened their London shop at 72 St.James’s Street under the management of John Rigby.”
George Caswell of Champlin Arms gives a brief history from there:
“Rigby was at 72 St. James's St from 1866 to 1907 and then at 43 Sackville St. from 1908 to 1955 and then on to 32 King Street, St James's. In 1963 the shop moved to 28 Sackville Street and in 1969 to 13 Pall Mall (where this gun was made). In 1984 J Roberts & Son (Gunmakers) Ltd bought the company and in 1985 moved their premises to 5 King Street, Covent Garden. In 1987 the factory and shop moved to 66-68 Great Suffolk Street, Southwark. In 1997 the goodwill and rights to the Rigby name were bought by Rogue River Rifle Works and a new company, John Rigby & Co Inc. was formed at 1317 Spring Street, Paso Robles, California. On about March 1, 2013 John Rigby & Co. was acquired by Blaser of Germany. All connections with the unbelievable and indescribable mess in California have been severed, and the current Rigby Company moved back to London and is run by Marc Newton and Patricia Pugh. I wish them well, Long live the King!”
Thank you, George.
The last MSRP on the Light Sporter magazine rifle was $12,750.00 without scope back when their guns like this one were handmade. Rigby’s newer versions are CNC produced with a minimum of hand work and consequently, would be apples and oranges to compare. An educated guess as to the cost of a handmade version by Rigby today would be in the $15,000 range not including its after-market scope and rings.
Priced here to sell at $9,950.00 with scope. Shipping $65 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. 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.
Price: $8,250.00 reduced
Barrel Length: 23
Condition: Near Mint
Metal Condition: 99%
Wood Condition: 99%
Bore Condition: new
Butt Pad: Original Silvers
Extras: Buffalo Horn PG cap
Optic: Swarovski 3-10x36