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Firearms, Long Range Target Shooting & Associated History

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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 Rifles

Rigby: A Brief Introduction

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

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Rival Rifles

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.

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