Each year Safari Club International commissions a rifle to celebrate a continent’s hunting heritage, with the gun subsequently auctioned off at the organization’s Annual Hunters’ Convention in Las Vegas. In 2017 it was the Europe tribute rifle designed by New England Custom Gun Service, Ltd.; in 2016, the Jim Corbett commemorative from Rigby celebrating Asia; in 2015, the Africa tribute built by John Bolliger and Mountain Riflery.
For 2018, SCI is auctioning off a tribute to Oceania—Australia, New Zealand, etc.—and the hunting available there. Some three years in the making, this bolt-action rifle is the work of Ryan Breeding and features a double square bridge magnum Mauser action, exquisite wood, and extensive engraving. It’s being chambered for .375 H&H Magnum, a cartridge capable of taking the region’s largest game animal—the Asiatic water buffalo.
“I’ve made a lot of custom guns in my day, but this gun is totally something that I have never done before,” Breeding told SCI.
Some of the unique features of this gun include:
- sights integral to the barrel
- a recessed trigger and hidden screws
- water buffalo horn fit into the forend tip and surrounded by custom metalwork
- an engraved floorplate featuring three buffalo
Breeding is well known for his namesake Ryan Breeding Rifle. He specializes in short-barreled big bores, the sort of gun perfect for whatever lies in wait for hunters in the Pacific Southwest. Thanks to a long association with noted riflemaker and African hunter Gil Van Horn, Breeding’s designs bring more than 90 years of experience to bear.
Breeding headed up the project, but other firms were also involved in its creation: Granite Mountain Arms made the gun’s action. Lee Griffiths of Hyde Park, Utah, did the engraving. Federal Premium is making custom ammo for the gun, along with a custom box and case. Julian & Sons is making a credenza for the set’s display.
The Oceania rifle is the finishing stages (hence the photo above showing the barrel “in the white” with no bluing, taken in September) but will be completed, sighted in, and ready for its new home come January. Make plans now to attend the Annual Hunters’ Convention January 31 through February 3, 2018, in the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo: SCI/Jason Murphy/Hill Photography Studio