We’re all familiar with the ubiquitous saying; ‘keep calm and carry on’ right? It was first conjured up ahead of World War II as a motivational poster produced by the Government in 1939 in preparation for the onslaught of a second World War.
Since then the stalwart phrase has been heavily associated with the attitude of Britain, plastered over various merchandise, a regular on memes and a commonly used phrase in the media, but more recently and perhaps most one of the most typically unlikely of brand’s to jump onto the bandwagon is London gunmaker John Rigby & Co who have announced the production of 10 limited edition ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ rifles. Though when you cast your mind back to the saying’s origins, the connection is a little more understandable.
Built during the spring 2020 COVID-19 lockdown while the gunmakers were living at Rigby’s Pensbury Place headquarters. Talk about a productive lockdown?!
First founded in Dublin, Ireland in 1755, John Rigby & Co has over 240 years of gunmaking experience. Best known for manufacturing exquisite bolt-action, double action rifles and shotguns including the renowned Highland Stalker rifle and Rising Bite shotgun.
The inspiration behind the creation of the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ rifles was to, ‘commemorate the camaraderie and commitment that have come to the fore during this turbulent year.’
Each of the special edition rifles boasts exclusive white gold engraving, including: ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, calibre and ‘number X of 10’ on the floor plate; ‘2020’ on the bolt handle, and the initials of the 10 gunmakers involved on the quarter rib, along with Rigby’s Double R logo.
Built on the brand’s famous Mauser M98 action in .416 Rigby, these single square bridge rifles feature three-position flag safeties and nitride finished 24-inch barrels. Their deluxe Turkish walnut stocks have a Best oil finish and measure 14 ½ inches including black leather-covered butt-pads. Each rifle also comes with a canvas case and cleaning accessories. A very special collector’s rifle indeed.
The first edition, ‘number one’ will be sold by auction, with the sale proceeds to be donated to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
Rigby’s managing director Marc Newton commented: “Rigby’s mentality has always had a strong streak of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ and this has been instrumental in helping us come through the challenges of this year with our heads held high, especially during the spring lockdown when the factory became our home and these rifles were made. We’re also thankful to all of our health workers who have showed courage and commitment throughout, which is why we’re auctioning rifle one for the NHS.”
Retailing at £14,950 (excluding VAT), these are likely out of the price range for the majority of ITC readers, alas, we can admire the inspiration and thought behind their creation and the desire to raise money for the NHS from a brand synonymous with the country way of life.