RIGBY STORY (Article by Werner Booysen)
There can be no question that RIGBY rifles are in the top most wanted category of fine rifles. Every rifle sports man / woman will be able to tell you about his dream rifle manufacturer. Rigby's will feature in the majority of conversations, along other famous brands like Holland & Holland. Unfortunately the rifle industry is no different from any other industry and the original founders who create these excellent brands die and new people arrive on the scene. Rigby was also sold and sold again, the last time to a person in the USA. It looked like the company would leave the UK for good, but this was not the case. Rigby (USA) owners did not file for rights to keep the Rigby brand registered in the UK and soon we found a Rigby company in the United Kingdom again! Much to the dismay of the Rigby (USA) team.
It is my believe that we will soon hear collectors and hunters talk about the "pre 1997" Rigby products.
The Rigby company and the history behind it
Captain John Rigby John Rigby
Rigby was founded in Dublin, Ireland, in 1735.
"W & J Rigby" traded during 1820 - 1865.
The company was very well known for the best quality flintlock dueling pistols.
1865 the London branch of Rigby is opened.
1880 Mr. John Rigby is appointed as the Superintendent of the "Royal Small Arms Factory" at Enfield Lock (UK).
1897 the Dublin office closes.
1984 J. Roberts & Sons bought the rights to "Rigby".
1996 the London branch closes.
2002 The original corporate entity "Johan Rigby & Co (Gunmakers) Ltd." ceased to exist in the United Kingdom.
1950 Joseph Roberts founder of J. Roberts & Co. (UK)
1959 Paul Roberts joins his father at J. Roberts & Co. (UK) and form J. Roberts & Sons.
1997 Neil Gibson (Texas USA) buys Johan Rigby & Co (Gunmakers) Ltd. from Paul Roberts (J. Roberts & Sons - London).
Geoff Miller agrees to buy Rigby from Gibson, but defaults on the payment.
Gibson now sell off to Marc Halcon.
Geoff Miller continues to manufacture rifles under the Rigby (USA) name as per arrangement with Halcon.
1997 "J Roberts & Son" brand stays on to manufacture quality products in the UK.
2000 J Roberts & Son acquired the sole manufacturing rights for W.J. Jeffery & Co (British gunmakers).
Mark Neal (London) launches, Johan Rigby & Co (Gunmakers) Ltd.
11 June 2009 in London Geoff Miller of the USA now tries to file an application for the Rigby trademark in the UK.
Mark Neal publically declares that his company does not have anything to do with any other Rigby company.
|Rigby (UK)||Rigby (USA)|
66-68 Great Suffolk Street
500 Linne Road, Suite D
Internet domain addresses
Terry Wieland visits both companies
Terry Wieland is a very well known gun writer in the USA and is also a hunter of many species including the big Five in Africa. Reportedly Wieland was not happy with the products he saw in the USA and was on the other hand very satisfied with the Rigby products in the UK. Naturally there are explanations on both sides of any story.
The Rigby (UK) team is making no claim to fame and focuses on quality of their products. In fact they even offered a return of the USA products at cost for a UK product. The famous Rigby "rising bite actions" also known as the "Bisel" action is now made in London with the latest technology.
The Rigby (USA) does use Merkel actions (German) and other spares in their line of products, much to the disdain of the purists and elite.
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