The early Rigby rifles competed in some of the trials of small-bore rifles held by the National Rifle Association for the rifles to be used in the finals of the Queen's Prize at Wimbledon. In 1865 the Rigby was selected for use; this was the only year 1860-1870 that a rifle other than a Whitworth was selected. In direct response to the success of the Gibbs-Metford rifle with its shallow groove rifling and hardened bullet, Rigby began a program of rebarreling in 1866 and 1867
John Rigby, Dublin, Ireland
Rigby muzzle loading and later breech loading long range match rifles were famously used by Ireland in international shooting competitions against America.
- Rigby: A Brief Introduction - Introduction to Rigby target rifles.
- The Rigby Rifle, 1864 - A description of John Rigby's muzzle loading match rifle from 1864.
- Rival Rifles - Rigby and Whitworth rifles vie for selection for the Queen's Prize match in 1865.
- The Rigby Rifle, 1869 - Contemporary description of the late form of Rigby muzzle loading match rifle .
- Rigby, Quicksilver & Bullet Alloys - Contemporary comment from the 1870s on bullet alloys and in particular the use of quicksilver (mercury) as a bullet-hardener.
Mr. Rigby has kindly furnished the following description of his rifle, which made such a favourable impression on the minds of all riflemen, by its extraordinary performances at the late Small-bore trials at Woolwich.
Trials were held at Hythe in May 1860 to select a suitable rifle for use in the Queen's Prize at long range. Mr. Whitworth and a deputation of Birmingham gun makers contested the trials, with the Whitworth rifle being the clear winner. With one exception, the Whitworth rifle continued to be issued to Queen's Prize finalists until 1871, when for the first time the match was shot throughout with breech-loaders. The notable exception was in 1865, when the Rigby rifle was issued to Queen's Prize finalists.
This short description text is extracted from "Handbook of Rifle Shooting" by Alex Lord Russell (1869, Toronto). It provides contemporary description of the late form of Rigby muzzle loading match rifle.
52 Bore John Rigby Percussion Match Rifle. 36" heavy barrel marked "John Rigby & Co Dublin & London".
52 Bore Best Quality John Rigby Percussion Match Rifle of historical importance, being attributed to Lord Elcho. 32¼" heavy round tapered barrel marked "John Rigby & Co Dublin and London".
John Rigby Long Range, match percussion rifle: 461 Cal; 34" rnd tapered barrel.
John Rigby - Rigby Banks actioned falling block single shot target rifle: set for the back shooting position; 451 Cal; 33" heavy target blued barrel.