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Big Bore (Afro Centric)

African Rifles have a special place of honor. After all, Africa is a special place. If you've been there, you know.

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.450 Nitro Express - Ferlach Double Rifle - Engraved

A beautiful Austrian Ferlach Double Rifle in 450 N.E. (nitro express). It's been said that no-one really owns fine art. It is merely possessed and then passed on. I have been privilidged to be the keeper of this one.


Double rifles harken back to the nineteenth century and the big bore doubles used to hunt dangerous game. These blackpowder big bores gave way to the more modern cordite used in the original big "nitro" guns.


On the starboard side is a full sized rhino.


The European Cheekpiece and shadowline are exquisite.


This particular gun is completely engraved. On the port side is a full sized elephant.


A full sized lion adorns the underside of the action and a cape buffalo stares from the trigger guard. The pictures just don't do justice to this magnificent engraving.


Quality and tradition just drip off this gun.


There is nothing like staring down the double barrels at dangerous game, comforted in the knowledge that you have an instant backup if you need it.

Lion loads make the 450 N.E. perfect for thin skinned dangerous game like african lion. The heavier loads are perfect for elephant, cape buffalo or rhino. When you finally make that trip to Africa do it like the old timers did in the "golden age of safari's". Hunt your dangerous game up close and on foot. Make sure you are carrying the right rifle.

I've been fortunate enough to take three cape buffalo on three separate safaris. I used this rifle to take my second one. It was an incredible hunting adventure and a story worth telling. I've also stared down a giant african lion at very very close range. I let him walk but staring eye to eye with that guy over this gun ... well, as they say: "priceless"..


The checkering is tight and clean. Just what you would expect on a Ferlach rifle.


The rifle is topped with a quarter rib site and three leaves

For now here is a link to a great article by Craig Boddington. Worth reading even if only for an historical perspective. Click HERE for Craig Boddington.

By the way, just for reference sake.

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.416 Rigby - By John R. Rigby Company - London England

The next rifle is one that needs no introduction to Africa hunters. In 1911, John Rigby developed the legendary .416 calibre, Rigby. He built his new rifles on giant Mauser square bridge actions. The gun and round soon became legendary. These fine old actions are no longer available.


When it came time to go to Africa and hunt the most noble of all creatures, I wanted to do it like Harry Selby. With a .416 Rigby, made by Rigby. Yes, the original classic itself.

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The wood is beautiful and the craftsmanship is everything you would expect from the John R. Rigby Company.

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It wasn't easy to find one. There was certainly a steady production of these fine guns over the years, but John R. Rigby Company was a small company. I'm sure that Remington probably makes ten times more 30'06's in one year than the total production of Rigby 416's built by Rigby since day one! The people who have nice ones don't want to part with them much.

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It was worth the search. A beautiful .416 in pristine condition was soon mine.

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I don't know what else to say. There is no finer rifle made when it comes to facing down dangerous Afridcan game.

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To give you an idea of the massiveness of the action, take a look at the following picture. This is the bolt from a Standard Model 98 Action next to a bolt from the Magnum Model 98 Action. The original Magnum Mauser Actions were made by Mauser specifically for Rigby to be used with the .416. According to its records, Rigby made exactly 169 .416 Rigby-cal. rifles between 1912 and World War II. Between 1939 and 1984, it made 180 more.

These rifles were made to be used. And they were. Most of these rifles went to Africa. There they were used by everybody from game scouts to Harry Selby. Most of the surviving rifles are gathering rust in government armories. A great many were converted to .458 when .416 ammunition became scarce.

Fortunately, the .416 is enjoying a renaissance. A great many rifle makers built rifles based on this round. From the Ruger #1 to the CZ.

BUT, there is only one John Rigby & Co. (actually there is only one pre '84 John Rigby & Co. While it's true the Rigby Co. exists in it's current incarnation out in Paso Robles, California, this seems somewhat like moving the London Bridge to Arizona. It loses something in the move

You ought to see what this bad boy does to an elephant's heart at 35 yards !

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.375 H&H - African - By Sterling Davenport

Sterling Davenport - what an artist.  Last I heard of him he was in Tuscon, Arizona.  A fantastic craftsman.  One of his earlier accomplishments...he was in charge of all of Rigby's (of England) U.S. stock work.  He's a big time conservationist and a large benefactor of the Dallas Safari Club for many years.

As many of us are prone to do, Sterling dreamt of going to Africa.  By the time he was ready to go he had built himself the perfect rifle. It's hard to not look at this rifle and think of Rigby and other fine English Gun Makers. Sterling applied the same skills and techniques that he used when working on Rigby Rifles to make his own. It is a truly classic style in a fantastic caliber.

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This is a rifle made in the true English tradition.  It is built as a "Dangerous Game Rifle" and is something Hemingway would have been proud to carry.

It began as a Military Mauser, long sought after for custom made dangerous game rifles.  A dangerous game rifle has to be dependable.  For that reason, control round feeding is a must, when shouldering a bolt action rifle.  Sterling chambered his rifle in the time-honoured tradition of the great safari hunters.  He chose .375 Holland & Holland.

The military bolt was replaced with a custom bolt handle to facilitate mounting a scope.  The bolt handle has been enhanced with a beautiful hand checkered five frame knob.  The pictures don't do it justice.  Notice the tiny ribbons that continue through the ultra-fine checkering.

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The bolt is fully jewelled, the safety has been replaced with a three-position, "Winchester type" wing safety.  The 1-4.5 Khales scope is perfect for dangerous game hunting.  The scope is mounted with European style "quick release" Talley mounts.  If you are trailing wounded game through the high grass, you might not want that scope.  The quick-release mounts allow you to take the scope off in a split second and uncover your 3 blade wing sights regulated from 50-400 yards by the gunmaker!

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The scope goes back on, just as easy, while maintaining the point of aim.

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The shadow line cheek piece is flawless.

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The beautiful filigree continues throughout the stock and on both sides.

The pistol grip and all of the bottom metal is one-piece solid steel and there is a brass engraving plate on the underside of the butt that has never been used.

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Check out the quickly removable sling swivels!

Long story short, Sterling took his Africa trip.  Took a very nice Cape Buffalo along with some plains game.  I talked Sterling out of this masterpiece and duplicated his accomplishment on my first Africa trip.  When you are at 35 yards, staring down dangerous African game, it's awfully satisfying to know that you are doing it in the tradition of the "golden age" of safaris.

Priced at $4750.00, with scope, o.b.o.

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Okay, the piece de resistance!  Check out the bolt holding down the bottom metal.  Yes! That's a bolt!  This is the kind of detail that just makes me NUTS for Sterling's work!  He used Allen bolts.  He then cut out the bottom of the hole and installed a spring topped by a cap that fits flush with the bolt.  He then engraved the whole thing to be a flower.  To use it, you take a correctly sized Allen wrench and it presses down the centrepiece on its spring.  All I can say is WOW!

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Forty inches, thirty yards, one shot, one kill, 375 H&H.  Priceless !

Click here for knowledgeable writers' views of this caliber.

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.35 Whelen - Custom Mauser

What a fantastic cartridge the .35 Whelen is. When you think about it , the 30'06 spawned a lot of other cartridges. This one is simply a 30'06 necked up to .35. Click here for some basic information. It is fascinating reading.


What a beautiful little rifle. I love this gun. It exhibits all of the bells and whistles of the classic European bolt rifle.


The stock has a cross-bolt for strength. The action is a genuine BRNO double square bridge. The barrel comes out of the action with a half octagon for 1/4 the length of the barrel. There is a full-length rib with an integral front sight and twin-blade rear sight.


It has an ebony forend cap and the sling swivel is mounted to the barrel in the European fashion.


The lines are simple and clean. The checkering is clean and tight.


The mounts are quick release Talley mounts. The scope is a 30mm Steiner Infrared Penetrator in 3-9x.


This is a great little rifle that unfortunately, probably can't really be appreciated from pictures. The way it goes to your shoulder and the way it handles. The balance is just wonderful.

This gun is for sale at a very reasonable price. $2850.00 without the scope. The scope is brand new and has only been used to make the gun look nice in my display case. The scope is a 3/9x Steiner. These are no longer available and is a true find. The scope is available for $700.00. This is the same price you would pay for a Swarovski American in 3-9 and it's twice the scope.

There is a lot of great info on this cartridge available:

.35 Whelen History

For a review on the .35 Whelen as an excellent Africa cartridge, check out this link:

.35 Whelen in Africa

Some of the other scopes shown in photographs are also brand new and available separately. Please inquire if interested. We will entertain all reasonable offers.

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