Rigby Shikari

Rigby’s exquisite new boxlock double rifle, the Shikari


After more than 100 years, elite British gun maker John Rigby & Co has brought the boxlock rifle back into its range in the form of a side-by-side called Shikari that duplicates the origin design of the 1890s.

Each Shikari is hand made on order, customised for fit and taste for the buyer, and you have at least $79,000 set aside for something unique, you could be one of them.

Rigby Shikari
The first boxlock from Rigby in decades: the new Shikari

Rigby toured the world last year for a series of invitation-only pre-release events for customers, the first of which was hosted by Australian distributor Pro-Tactical, showing off the first Shikari made and giving people the chance to talk to Rigby’s managing director Marc Newton and the new rifle’s designer, Jérôme Lanoue.

Tom Auger, director of Pro-Tactical, took eight orders for Shikaris from Australian customers on the night, some of them opting for the $105,000 Special Edition with Grade 9 Turkish walnut, upgraded engraving and a handmade oak-and-leather case. 

The Shikari is an exquisitely built double-barrel rifle: a “Best boxlock double rifle [that] embodies the spirit of a bygone era, while exceeding the demands of the modern-day hunter,” according to Rigby.

“The Shikari is mirrored on the original designs of the Rigby boxlocks from the 1890s,” Marc Newton told Sporting Shooter. 

Rigby Shikari boxlock double rifle
The boxlock action sets the Shikari apart from Rigby’s existing Rising Bite sidelock rifle

“The team tried to reproduce it to exactly the same specifications. If you take a picture of one of the original rifles and compare it to those of today, they look identical.”

However, there is one difference, Marc says. This one is stronger than the original as a result of the design that Jérôme Lanoue came up with. 

“To make it stronger, Jérôme used a solid action, similar to that of a side lock,” Marc said.

“Even though this element creates more work during the build process, the rifle’s strength will be appreciated for generations to come.”

Boxlock double rifle specialist and Shikari designer Jérôme Lanoue
Shikari designer Jérôme Lanoue, a boxlock specialist, customising the fit of a customer’s rifle

Jérôme was hired by Rigby specifically for the boxlock project, and he left his job with French gun maker Verney-Carron to take up the role in England. 

“Before joining Rigby, Jérôme used to work as a gunmaker and stockmaker, exclusively building boxlock rifles, so he understands the design process inside out,” Marc said. 

“Jérôme has been working on boxlock rifles for over 13 years and has developed specialist skills for working on these rifles.”

The Shikari is available in the classic calibres of 450/400NE, 450NE, 470NE and 500NE with barrel lengths specified by the customer. 

Rigby Shikari boxlock double rifle

Customers are measured and the rifles are tailored to fit. At the Australian release, Jérôme spent much of his time working with customers to compile notes about the Shikaris that would be made for them.

The customisation goes as far as ensuring the barrels are regulated at 50 yards for the exact ammunition chosen by the buyer.

Naturally, customers can chosen high grades of walnut for the stock as well as what engraving is done.

The Shikari joins the Rigby range alongside the Rising Bite double rifle, a sidelock action brought back into production only a few years ago, and while the Shikari cannot be called cheap, it is more affordable than the intricate Rising Bite. 

Rigby Shikari boxlock double rifle

“Rigby wanted to provide the opportunity for more hunters to carry a Rigby double rifle, yet maintain their renowned standard for producing very strong and reliable rifles that are made to be used,” Marc said. 

“The Shikari boxlock double has an incredibly strong action, is handmade to the customer’s specifications and takes less time to produce, compared to the Rising Bite double.”

Australians have been enthusiastic buyers are Rigby firearms over the past decade or so, a fact partly attributed to the efforts of the late David Auger, whose son Tom has taken over the mantle of Rigby distributor here. 

Rigby Shikari boxlock double rifle

Marc said that of the roughly 2000 rifles Rigby has made since 2013, about 300 have been sold in Australia. 

Contact Rigby or Pro-Tactical for more information or to inquire.

Rigby Shikari boxlock double rifle

 

 

 


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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.

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