Rigby Big Game Australian Water Buffalo special-edition rifle

Beautiful rifles: Rigby’s Australian limited-edition .450 Big Game

The Rigby Big Game Australian Water Buffalo special-edition rifle has been specially commissioned for Australia and there are only five in existence. Chambered in .450 Rigby, the rifle is a single square bridge Mauser 98 action design and features a three-round magazine, a 22-inch stepped barrel and a Grade 5 Turkish walnut stock.

The single square bridge makes mounting optics impractical. In the tradition of ‘proper’ express rifles, the flip-up iron sights are graduated to 65, 150 and 250 yards.

Rigby Big Game Australian Water Buffalo special-edition rifle
A beautiful rifle with exception finish, the Rigby Water Buffalo edition is also a first-rate hunting firearm

The rifle is built on a German-made Mauser action — supplied by Mauser — so does not qualify for London Best status, but all the other components are made or completed in the UK to those standards and the results are nothing short of stunning.

The rich, lustrous bluing immediately catches the eye, followed closely by the polished walnut stock. There is a gold-inlaid double-R Rigby logo on the underside grip cap, while the magazine floorplate features a gold-inlaid logo, gold-inlaid limited-edition numbering and an engraving of a water buffalo.

Colour case hardening accents on the stock pins and grip cap add to the visual appeal, along with the flame-blued extractor spring, bolt release and magazine follower.

The 4.75kg rifle comes to the shoulder perfectly, with the sights aligned and pointing pretty much right where you want them. The trigger breaks crisply and cleanly.

Rigby Big Game Australian Water Buffalo special-edition rifle
Rigby’s double-R logo is invalid in gold in the case-hardened grip cap

The .450 Rigby chambering was chosen after extensive consultation with big game hunters in the Northern Territory.

Clearly, it is a rifle that is designed to be both functional and aesthetic at the same time — to be as appealing in the trophy photos as it is when you’re pulling the trigger on your quarry. This is evident throughout the gun, from the flash bluing and gold inlays to the timber finish and overall lines.

It’s also why it costs $32,000.

Pro-Tactical is the official agent for Rigby in Australia and national sales manager Tom Auger says the rifle has been designed with Australian big game hunters in mind, and particularly those hunting in the Northern Territory.

Rigby Big Game Australian Water Buffalo special-edition rifle
The massive .450 Rigby cartridge will push a 500gn solid projectile out at up to 2500fps, producing almost 7000ft-lb of energy with no shortage of recoil!

“With Rigby being a global brand, we wanted to offer something to Australian shooters that is strictly available for the Australian market, celebrating big game hunting here by tailoring its specifications and design to suit,” he says.

“People often only relate big game hunting to Africa, both internationally and domestically, so we wanted to shine a light on just how good the hunting here is, and also hope that it can generate some international interest for hunting here in Australia.

“We were extremely happy with the result. This rifle offers a good mix of upgrades and engraving to make any enthusiast envious, while still keeping to a traditional look that any professional hunter would be proud to carry next to them in the field.”

One of the centrepiece design elements of the rifle is the engraved Australian water buffalo on the magazine floorplate. It proved to be a more involved element than initially expected — although the results speak for themselves.

Rigby Big Game Australian Water Buffalo special-edition rifle
The specially engraved floorplate is one of the signature components of the limited-edition rifle

“It ended up being quite a difficult animal to engrave in such a small space with the large expanse of their horns — quite a bit different to the African Cape buffalo which Rigby often engraves, with lots of back and forth discussing design,” Tom says.

“The engravers did such a wonderful job at providing such a high level of detail and the end result was really incredible.”

While five of the rifles have been produced, three have already been sold.

One of the initial purchasers took Rigby and Pro-Tactical up on their offer to help arrange a water buffalo hunt in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory with outfitter Graham Williams from Australian Buffalo Hunters.

Rigby Big Game Australian Water Buffalo special-edition rifle
The neat fit of the stock around the action is pure hand-crafted attention to detail

The client took his new rifle up north and into the scrub, and successfully hunted a buffalo with it — establishing beyond any doubt that the Rigby Big Game Australian Water Buffalo limited-edition rifle has what it takes.

“He was extremely happy with the shoot,” Tom says. “He successfully hunted a massive beast on not only his first buffalo hunt, but first big game hunt.”   

For more information visit Rigby’s Australian website.

Rigby Big Game Australian Water Buffalo special-edition rifle




Like it? Share with your friends!

What's Your Reaction?

super super
fail fail
fun fun
bad bad
hate hate
lol lol
love love
omg omg
Royce Wilson

Royce is something rare in Australia: A journalist who really likes guns. He has been interested in firearms as long as he can remember, and is particularly interested in military and police firearms from the 19th Century to the present. In addition to historical and collectible firearms, he is also a keen video gamer and has written for several major newspapers and websites on that subject.