Monthly Archives: November 2017

.275 Rigby Ruger Hawkeye RSI Stainless: Single Malt for Twenty Bucks

 

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.275 Rigby Ruger Hawkeye RSI Stainless: Single Malt for Twenty Bucks

Bless you Ruger, for continuing to make a real rifle. Even in light of the current Ruger “American” and the ARs, a precious trickle of proper sporting rifles continues out of what Bill Ruger Sr built. This comment is spurned whilst holding a spectacular wood and stainless steel .275 Rigby marked M77 Hawkeye. All the good guns are slowly being sent to old age assisted living, like the No.1 and its ever decreasing production, and then ultimately dying like the Gold Label to make way for cheap plastic handguns and hunting rifles, and $600 assault rifle shaped .22s. Ruger is one of the few companies to continuing to produce a classy rifle one can afford and wouldn’t be embarrassed to pass to their grandkids, in the Model 77 and Ruger No.1 lines. As for the “American” and tactijunk if it allows for a financially healthy company that can still churn out works of blue collar American industrial art like this, I’m all for it, if it replaces it, I’ll bemoan truly the end of an era and what has become of American manufacturing. A rifle like this is a still hot investment cast stanchion holding what’s good in the sporting arms world from tipping into the abyss. It’s a relief to hold one and know such a thing still exists.

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 This gun, this gun is something utterly and magnificently special. There are guns worth fifty times this sweetheart’s value I know I’ll reach past for years for it. Almost nothing in my safe is safe from sale as I’m but a temporary custodian of items that last far longer than I, and yet this one I sincerely doubt will hit the block anytime soon. In fact for years I’ve been trying to buy one from a fellow, who never could be enticed into selling; I understand why. It’s the near perfect bolt action in the near perfect chambering. There’s too much farmer in its blood to set foot on The East India Club grounds, and instead oozes sincerity like old money from the deep south that grew up with belt-beat respect. This rifle is America in a nutshell, an agglomeration and appropriation of the world’s best ideas at an everyman price. It’s chambered in a revolutionary German chambering in a revolutionary German action annexed by the British and rebranded the .275 Rigby, stocked in an Anglo-American straight combed take on a fabled style most associated with Mannlicher of Austria. Then the Americans made it stainless and put it together at a price that’s hard to wrap your head around where the profit is hidden. I even appreciate the large Ruger crest on the floorplate, normally I have a distaste for such flourishes, though Ruger’s earned the right to plant the flag on that ground, here.

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 This example in .275 Rigby / 7×57 weighs barely over six pounds which is startling for a walnut full stocked rifle with an action this strong and steel bottom metal, balances wonderfully between the hands, and points like the worn out BB gun in your hands as a kid. In short, it feels like I’ve owned and known this rifle forever. For fourteen hundred Canadian bucks that’s utterly priceless, don’t ask me where to find another, I don’t know. It should be noted thanks is due to Lipseys I believe for this particular variation seeing the light of day, I owned the RSI in Mark II guise and blued steel as a .308 ten years ago, and even then dreamed of making my own stainless RSI through mix and matching then current Ruger products. These days, I only allow a half dozen chamberings through the door including shotguns and handgun, and thankfully the 7×57, or as the British and this particular Ruger have taken ownership of it the .275 is one of them. Being a product of the Empire myself the .275 Rigby designation suits my tastes like entry level single malt. And that’s exactly what this rifle is, I tend to have more fun with a layman’s single malt as I get to enjoy more of it, and this beauty is no different. It’s fun and class you can afford to drag up a British Columbian mountain that provides 85% of the experience of spending ten times as much. In the end I think I prefer that accounting.