The third in a series of World Heritage Rifles is heading to the auction block. The Europe tribute rifle, created by New England Custom Gun Service, Ltd., will be up for bidding next week at the annual SCI convention in Las Vegas. The auction will take place Saturday, February 4, with the rifle valued at $150,000. If past auctions are any indication, the winning bid will be well north of that figure.
The rifle is chambered in the traditional European 9.3x62mm and features a standard-length Johannsen Mauser action. It comes with integral EAW scope bases built into the square bridges, sports a Lothar Walther barrel, and is equipped with a classic ramp front sight and folding hood. It’s custom rear sight comes with NECG’s new “Half Moon” sight.
“The idea behind our rifle was to create a gun with ‘Old World’ flair while using modern components and then mixing in some unique ideas along the way,” said NCEG’s Mark Cromwell. “We wanted a ‘Continental Sporter’ look with our sleeker lines.
“We fit a Swift/Blackburn guard to the action and extended the bottom tang, just because we could.”
The tribute rifle features a dark Turkish walnut stock from the folks at Luxus Walnut, LLC., complete with two NECG recoil pads—one in classic red, the other in wrapped leather. The two can be interchanged via a detachable system so the rifle can be displayed with either pad.
NECG contacted Gabi Recknagel to produce a limited set of removable grip caps for the rifle. It comes with five, one for each of the four most commonly hunted European game animals—moose, stag, boar, and roe deer—and one with the SCI logo and lion. Each was designed by Evelyn Ern, the artist who laid out the Old World-style engraving used throughout the project.
Ern also created the unique “night view from space” map of Europe that appears on the rifle’s magazine floorplate. The engraving resembles the continent’s cities in lights, just like an observer would see it on any given night . . . from the International Space Station.
Finally, the tribute rifle comes topped with a Schmidt & Bender 1.5-8×42 Stratos scope with standard illumination and a FD7 reticle—perfect for taking a shot in the field.
“Our intention was to build a gun that the owner could also use,” Cromwell said. “That’s why it will come with 200 rounds of RWS 291-grain EVO (Evolution ammunition), as well as the 30 rounds of RWS Special Edition ammo engraved with ‘World Heritage’ on each cartridge case.”
There’s even an accompanying Puma knife, its bolster also engraved by Ern, for when the new owner takes the gun hunting.
A leather case has been built by master case builder Marvin Huey. It will feature compartments for the grip caps, Puma knife, and cleaning accessories. The rifle itself will be displayed in a walnut-and-leather credenza build by the renowned Julian & Sons, with case-colored rifle posts to support the gun by the swivels. There is a lower compartment to store the ammunition and a hidden drawer that will store the Huey case.
The Europe tribute is the third in a series of five rifles, each celebrating a different hunting area around the world: Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania (Australia and New Zealand), and the Americas. The Asia tribute, a Jim Corbett commemorative recreation, was auctioned at SCI’s 2016 convention, fetching the highest price of any gun ever auctioned there, in this tribute series or any other—a whopping $250,000.
Only time will tell what the Europe rifle will go for at auction, but a new record could be in the works.