Gratuitous Gun Pic – Champlin Sport (.416 Rigby)

Browsing through Collectors with nothing but gun lust on the brain, I come across this vision of loveliness:

An octagonal barrel in a dangerous-game rifle?  Have mercy.

People often talk about horse-racing as “the sport of kings”.  With all due respect, I think the appellation more correctly applies to big game hunting.  Why so?  Because rifles as fine as this Champlin Sport cost a king’s ransom, that’s why.

Granted, this is a handmade number — and a quick scrutiny of, say, James Purdey’s wares will show you how kingly a sport that  is — and I should also mention that I can never venture up I-35 to Enid, Oklahoma because that’s where danger lurks, in the shape of the Champlin Firearms establishmentTheir  wares are positively Purdeyesque, and the $7,500 asked by Collectors for the above rifle barely comes close to the average gun in  Champlin’s inventory.

Lemme check those lottery numbers quickly… ah, shit.


  1. Nice, nice, veddy nice.
    But, and there’s always a but.
    You got that long, continuous run of gorgeous walnut and then… plastic at the front end.
    I know, I know, it serves a purpose.
    But still, I just don’t like it.
    A redesign is in order, so that that walnut will terminate at the front end unmolested the way it’s supposed to.

    Oh, one other thing. While an 8 sided barrel is extremely cool, a 9 sided one would shove it all the way over the top and people would be talking about it for decades. Yeah, the flat side would be down, and the top would have the point.

  2. Ghost… that’s an Ebony fore-end tip on the rifle, not plastic.

    Serves a real purpose, too. It’s damn near a plastic itself, in wood form. The grain structure and natural wood resins make it about as waterproof as a plastic, and this closes-off the walnut’s less-dense end-grain, which would be left open and exposed without the ebony tip.

    Even if the walnut didn’t take on water at that point, it’s also where the walnut would “give up” the most moisture, and where a longitudinal split would be most likely to evolve. Ebony again, to the rescue.

    You’ll notice all the Mauser-based Rigby bolties do likewise, as well as Ruger’s “African” series of M-77 bolt action beauties.

    Yay, ebony.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

    1. Thanks for the info Jim.
      Yes, ebony is much better than plastic.
      Still, I think it messes up the view.
      Also, regarding the walnut taking on moisture.
      I have a 1952 Winchester model 71 .348 sitting over here that was my Pappy’s Pennsylvania deer rifle and it has spent countless wet days and nights out in the Blue Ridge mountains and to look at it now it has not suffered from the abuse. Still looks mostly pristine and that walnut has held up mahvalously.

      1. You will notice that your 71 and the 1886 it derived from all have metal caps on the fore end and butt plates on the rear. This serves the same purpose as the ebony cap, which some 70s were fitted with.

    2. I have an old BRNO Sporter with a custom walnut stock that sports a fore end tip made of buffalo horn – Nature’s plastic.

  3. Truly a work of art. Octagon barrels on bolt guns don’t really do it for me. On lever guns? Oh, baby. That walnut stock makes me drool on my keyboard. What really sets my teeth on edge are those “white line” spacers that used to be in vogue.

    I moved to Chico, CA in ’78. At the time, I was unaware that the area was pretty much the gun stock capital of the world as a source for AAA fancy walnut stock blanks. Think Weatherby, Fajen, et al. There was a time when walnuts were a large part of the agriculture around Chico. Times changed, and the walnut orchards were replaced with citrus and almonds.

    One fine day at the local gun show, I had the good fortune to meet the gentlemen who had recognized the opportunity and started their business when all that walnut became available. They invited me to their warehouse. Oh my. I nearly needed CPR, and I was still in my early thirties.

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