Pictures of my Rigby style half stocked match rifle


September 22, 2003, 09:40 PM

This is the rifle I built using the kit from Pecatonica River. It's a Rigby 'type' match rifle. The kit consists of very well done sand castings with the exception of the lockplate, which is finished. The stock was superbly inletted and a nice piece of striaght grain walnut. Finish inletting only was required except for the barrel wedge that had to be done.

The kit doesn't come with a forend tip, nor any sights. No dovetails are cut so you have these to do yourself. Further, the tang is too short to mount a tang sight so I cut it off and welded on a piece of hot rolled 5/32" steel and shaped it. Rather than inlet a sightbase into the wood of the wrist, this is better. The sight base lug was brazed on afterward, before final finish of the tang.

The picture below shows the lengthened tang with the sight installed.

The tangsight is one I modified from a cartridge rifle one. Those sit too high to be used on one of these ML match rifles. I cut off the base and made a new one out of keystock, then welded the staff back on. In the photo below, you can just see a screwhead at the base of the staff, in the sightbase. A plunger fits in there to bear on the milled slot in the tangbase to keep it either up or down. The spring and plunger are the ejecter parts from an M1 Garand :-)

Finally, the front sight. I think it looks pretty good and fairly 'Period'. What it is is the windage adjustable front sight assembly from a Swedish Ag42B semi automatic rifle, HA! I cut the base off and using the "Nicholson Mill" filed in the flats to fit the barrel and silver soldered it on.

The barrel is a Green Mountain 45 cal (.450x.458x18" twist) that's 32" long and 1" across the flats. While the Whitworth with it's hex bore can utilize a heavy charge behind a naked slug, the shallow grooves of this barrel demands they be paperpatched.

The hardest part of the entire project was fitting the breakoff breech to the tang. These have to be as closely fitted for near 100% contact as possible. Otherwise under recoil the barrel can move a bit. And a bit here equals a whole bunch way out there. I was about ready to just weld the 2 pieces together, heh, heh!

Hope I didn't upset anyone with all the photos ..............


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Mike Irwin
September 23, 2003, 01:06 AM
So what kind of accuracy are you seeing with this gun?

What was the price of the kit?

How long did it take you to build it?

I got a raise at work today, so I'm looking for new ways to spend it... :)

4v50 Gary
September 23, 2003, 04:03 PM
What type of bullets do you shoot? I wondering how heavy and what mold and how much powder. Like Mike asks, what type of groups do you get with that "globe sighted target rifle" of yours. BTW, that's what they called those sights back in the American Family Feud.

Dave Markowitz
September 23, 2003, 06:43 PM
Very nice? I especially like the sights.

But more importantly, how does she shoot?

September 24, 2003, 03:25 AM
............The rifle is capable of excellent accuracy, but not with long range type charges. But it really needs paper patched bullets, due to the shallow (intended for smokless) grooves. I haven't tried hardened lead yet. The Brits used in these rifles, alloys of from 20-1 to 16-1 lead-tin. There is even written reports of using bullets alloyed with antimony to some extent. The Whitworth, having it's entire interior surface serving as the lands and grooves (if you will) has no problem with heavy charges and soft bullets.

As to exact group sizes, sub 2" is expected at 100 yards with visually inspected bullets. However, there is some evidence of tipping as these big bullets are still yawing a little. For best accuracy at and beyond 200 yards the bullets have to be scaled. Otherwise you'll get 2 or 3 close and then the whole deal is ruined by a wide shot.

Due to the patent breech, charges, and the bore, they operate at sufficiently high pressure as to be able to obturate a bullet considerably harder than pure lead. Yet with the pure lead I've used to date, the charges have to be held down below what is normal for such a rifle, ie: 75 to 90 grs of 2F type powder. I've not seen any leading, but increasing charges beyond 70 grs of Elephant 2F causes the groups to open. What leads me to believe that the bullets may be opening the windage side of the lands, is that they don't start shooting wild. The groups just grow.

If I was able to recover any of these fired slugs, then I could inspect for gas cutting to tell for sure. If using a hot sporting grade powder like Swiss 2F (when I SHOULD have bought 1 or 1.5F) the charge must be lowered even more. The Elephant powder which is no longer made was really more a musket grade and was "slow and sooty" compared to Swiss. I guess it was gentler if I had to pick a word for it :-).

As far as bullets I've used in it, they've been the same as the Whitworth, with the exception of the 'made' hexagonal slugs. Basicly any 45 cal rifle bullet. They get pan lubed then run up through successive Lee push through dies to reduce them ie: .458", .454", .451". This rifle's bore is .450" so the slug does mildly engrave the tops of the lands. There are several companies offering moulds for 45 cal slugs to paper patch, but they're all intended to have a finish diameter of .458" or so. These slugs cast at .452".

About a month ago I called Richard Corbin or RCE engineering and ordered his Walnut Hill swage press, a 2 die set for core, and final swaging, and a 4 cavity adjustable core mould. This to produce a 1.5R ogive cup based slug of .443" diameter. That way they can be patched to .450/.451". At my order he said expected shipping time would be no more than 4 months, HA! SO a bit after the first of the year I can expect the stuff. In addition to this Rigby, I'll also be able to use these slugs in the Whit. Since I'll have the press, further purchases will only need to be the dies for my 40 and 45 cal cartridge rifles. I'm NOT holding my breath for those :-).

If any of you have heard of Lee Shaver the gunsmith, then you'll be interested to know he's recently become a shooter of LRML match rifles. I believe he's still shooting a borrowed rifle.

Price of the Kit is $420 or so, plus shipping. The barrel is finish milled but needs to be draw filed and polished. The lock they supply is an L&R and is a POS. Better to get a Davis (a BIT better) as it's also a true 5 pin lock with the trigger carried on a trunion and not a bridle screw. The Gun Works at: has these locks, and also tangs for breakoff breeches with a tangsight mounting base intregal. There are NO truly fine production locks. They'll all required more or less tinkering done to them. There are people making very fine locks, and these will cost more than the entire kit :-)

Don Brown in Oregon has a kit for an exemplary LRML Rigby 'style' rifle, which I believe was $1500. His competed rifles were about $5000. You can see why I was happy to have mine come out as well as it did, and to shoot as well as it does :-).


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