Big, Bigger, and Biggest Bore – A Visit to M.R. New System Arms Workshop

Giorgio O
by Giorgio O

Back in 2020, we had a look at some of the creations of Marco Rigido, the creative mind, and skilled hands, behind the M.R. New System Arms gunsmithing company. Earlier this year we had the chance for a visit to Marco’s workshop and we can offer you a glimpse of some unusual big bore projects.

More on M.R.New System Arms and Big Bore @TFB:

The A-bore: handheld muzzleloading artillery

You may not be familiar with the A-bore caliber; indeed, when we think about the largest gauges from the black powder era, our mind may go to either the 2-bore or the slightly better-known 4-bore. Both of these are massive rounds, both by modern and antique standards. The 2-gauge translates to a 1.326″ caliber, while the 4 is still impressive at 1.052″.

Big, Bigger, and Biggest Bore - A Visit to M.R. New System Arms Workshop - From left to right: 2-bore over the A-bore ball, Cal. 1,000 mock-up round, 4-bore case, .728 MR, .577 Nitro Express, .50 BMG, and .500 Jeffery. (Credit: Giorgio O.)

Enter the ball of the A-bore: a 2″ sphere that doesn’t look like it may reasonably belong to any shoulder-fired weapon. Indeed, if Marco Rigido had placed the muzzleloading barrel on a wheeled stand, the Italian authorities would have called it a cannon, preventing its legal ownership to licensed citizens. But Marco had no intention of doing so, and he made a smoothbore, shoulder-fired rifle!

This firearm (arquebus?) is capable of accommodating a spherical payload of either 740 grams of lead (1.63 pounds) or 520 grams (1.15 pounds) of steel, over generous amounts of black powder. Marco did fire these while shouldering the cannon; we don’t have data on the ballistics, but the goal in load development is more focused on not killing the shooter. We can guess that each shot doubles as a fairly effective smoke screen.

The cartoonishly large rifle, still missing sights and a wooden handguard in the photo, allows for a convenient storage solution: it stands up straight if the muzzle is placed on the ground.

Big, Bigger, and Biggest Bore - A Visit to M.R. New System Arms Workshop - A-bore rifle, still missing sights and handguard. (Credit: Giorgio O.)

You may think that a large A-bore rifle may be a bit unwieldy during your monthly werewolf hunt in the woods, but fear not, Marco got you covered! You could have similar ballistics, and the same physiotherapist bill, in the much more carry-friendly package of a pistol.

Big, Bigger, and Biggest Bore - A Visit to M.R. New System Arms Workshop - A-bore pistol, still missing sights and handguard. (Credit: Giorgio O.)
Big, Bigger, and Biggest Bore - A Visit to M.R. New System Arms Workshop - A-bore ball, over 1.6 pounds of lead. (Credit: Giorgio O.)
Big, Bigger, and Biggest Bore - A Visit to M.R. New System Arms Workshop - An impressive muzzle: the barrel walls seem more than capable of handling any pressure that could be developed by black powder. (Credit: Giorgio O.)

Those not feeling brave enough to handle the A-bore can downsize to the 2-bore, a somewhat more accessible option, delivering just 350 grams (0.77 pounds) of lead downrange.

Big, Bigger, and Biggest Bore - A Visit to M.R. New System Arms Workshop - 2-bore pistol next to a slightly more comfortable CCW option. (Credit: Marco Rigido)

The Cal. 1,000 Bolt Action Rifle

Jumping onto a more modern, cartridge-based platform, we can see another massive big-bore rifle. A magazine-fed (3 rounds) bolt action rifle, the Cal. 1,000 can propel a one-inch diameter bullet toward any large game, with no risk of lacking stopping power.

The rifle weighs 12.5 kg (27.6 pounds) and its target performance was 2,000 grains at 2,000 fps, enough for 35,600 ft-lbs, and enough for a stout recoil. Unfortunately, the Italian authorities killed this project (and given the guaranteed DD classification, the USA is unlikely to be a market either), but Marco still owns the functional and basically finished prototype.

Big, Bigger, and Biggest Bore - A Visit to M.R. New System Arms Workshop - The Cal. 1,000. (Credit: Giorgio O.)
Big, Bigger, and Biggest Bore - A Visit to M.R. New System Arms Workshop - The Cal. 1,000. (Credit: Giorgio O.)
Big, Bigger, and Biggest Bore - A Visit to M.R. New System Arms Workshop - The Cal. 1,000. (Credit: Giorgio O.)

Conclusions

These are some of the most eye-catching creations of Marco Rigido, but a visit to his shop could last hours and hours as none of his projects is conventional. Marco would be casually picking up unique designs going from large bore pistols to revolving shotguns, to blowback .45 ACP 1911, etc…

Even though most of these designs will remain unique pieces and they may have very limited practical use, in a world of risk-averse industrial manufacturers seeing someone willing to go against the flow is always fascinating. Let us know in the comment if you agree with such a statement.

Big, Bigger, and Biggest Bore - A Visit to M.R. New System Arms Workshop - A shelf that would get the interest of Taofledermaus - the experiments never end. (Credit: Giorgio O.)
Giorgio O
Giorgio O

Italian firearm enthusiast, Giorgio has a passion for innovative or plainly unusual mechanical solutions. He's also interested in manufacturing technologies with a recent focus on additive manufacturing.You can contact him at giorgio_o at zoho dot com and you'll find him in the comments section as Giolli Joker.

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2 of 9 comments
  • Joe R. Joe R. on Apr 11, 2024

    What's old is new again.

    Man the cannons!

  • MediumSizeTex MediumSizeTex on Apr 11, 2024

    I wouldn't fire those with Moltar's wrists.

    Good on this guy, though, we need more of this particular kind of lunatic with a gun.

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