Anschutz 1416 - Rifle Shooter January

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Anschutz 1416 - Rifle Shooter January
ON TEST
mini
TEST
In-depth, independent
reviews every month
Anschutz 1416 in .22 lr
Chris Parkin champions a near faultless rifle from ‘The Master Maker’
I
’m not sure Anschutz can be taught
much about .22 rimfire rifles, but
we all have to give an opinion now
and again. I felt myself stepping on
dangerously thin ice when testing a
rifle that, on paper, meets and may
well be suggested to exceed all UK
rimfire hunters’ requirements. The
1416 is based around the legendary
Match 64 action, and when you pick
one up it feels immediately right in so
many ways. Although appearing small
with a 14" barrel, what more is needed
to fully burn a .22 LR powder load?
And when it comes to manoeuvrability,
it fits well into any truck cab for a night
of left- and right-handed rabbiting from
a window.
Conversely to this, that petite
appearance actually hides full-sized
stock dimensions, with a benchmark
man-sized 14" length of pull to mirror
the barrel. When shot prone, it
immediately feels like a centrefire to
position yourself with, but with none of
that weight or bulk. Similarly, the
walnut stock is straight grained and
modest in appearance, stained darkly
to complement the deluxe breed. The
gun is available in a true left-handed
specification, all the way down to the
very slightly cast stock geometry.
Inletting within the stock is actually
very simple; the 16.5mm barrel is
parallel throughout its whole length
before meeting the 26mm diameter
action, so any bedding stresses are
simpler to avoid. The action has been
enlarged slightly from the 25mm
diameter of old, to increase rigidity and
the size of the locking surfaces.
.22 rimfire bolt-actions can appear
very dirty, as the lead and lubrication
does squeeze off the bullets as each
round is fed, but all functions were
perfect in the Annie. The steel
magazine holds five rounds, plus one
in the chamber if you desire, with a
single lug to lock the bolt – the base of
the bolt handle to be exact – but
nothing more is needed and the
machined fit of the two sliding bodies
is unquestionable. With a 60mm bolt
handle and only 45-degree lift, you can
keep everything well clear of the
objective on a scope with fast reloads.
above: The magazine
release button is very
firm – perhaps a little
too firm – but the
spring will soften as
the gun wears in
below: The
Anschutz-B&T
moderator is
excellent, just like
.22 subsonics
should be
The action feels tight, but in a good
way. There is perfect linear motion, but
you need to keep the forward force on
the bolt gently applied as you also
push down. The headspace, controlled
on the rims of the RWS Subsonic
ammo, seemed to fit snugly without so
much as a thou of play.
Scope mounting is via the full-length
11mm dovetail, machined into the
action. Behind the bolt to the right, a
two-position safety catch blocks the
trigger, but doesn’t lock the bolt, so
you can load/unload with safety
applied. On the left side, a very small
lever, nestled into the walnut, allows
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77
mini TEST  Anschutz 1416 in .22 lr
ON TEST
Contact
\\ THE REFINED SIMPLICITY
CLEARLY DESCENDS FROM
THE TARGET WORLD //
pros
Trigger
Bolt handle
geometry
Action precision
Accuracy
Stock
dimensions
cons
above: The mag
is easy to load
and quiet
inset: Five rapid
shots from an
80-yard zero using
RWS Subsonic hollow
point ammo
Anschutz clearly makes sporting rifle
barrels to the same standards as its
target rifle units; the action fitting on the
1416 – and specifically the muzzle’s
cleanly cut crowns – is done to perfection.
The crown is actually deeply counterbored
to avoid any possible damage, but,
although mechanically ideal, one must
remember to clean into it as it may
easily harbour corrosion if ignored! There
are one or two tiny features that would
not be easily noticed on a new gun. For
example, the rear action bolt has a tiny
steel pillar surrounding it within the
stock so, after years of use, the walnut
will not compress.
This, like the tiny nut holding the
bottom metal to the stock, is
something easily forgotten or ignored
by an accountant, but demanded by a
true gunmaker. The company’s slogan
‘Die Meister Macher’ doesn’t translate
directly, but sounds appropriate when
phrased The Master Maker!
right: Forty-five
degree lift from the
single lug means
fingers remain well
clear of the scope,
and fingers are all
that are needed to
operate the action
Magazine catch
very firm, but
you get used
to it
verdict
It is hard to
criticise a
rifle of this
design quality
and build
precision; if
you can justify
the expense,
you will never
regret it.
Pictures: chris parkin
bolt removal when pressed in
conjunction with the trigger.
The trigger is nearly a joy. When
examined, it is visually more complex
than those of competitors’ guns, and
engraved to warn you that adjustments
should only be performed by a
qualified gunsmith (but you just know
it will be inviting a tweak). It broke at
1,300g/44oz every time, but there
was a slight movement visible, if not
easily felt. This is sear engagement
and clearly adjusted toward the safe
side of optimum; were the gun
mine, I would take 1mm out of
the 1.5mm travel, visible at the
tip of the long, slender blade.
But that is me, and it is still a
delight that it is adjustable,
weight-wise, from 1,0002,000g. You don’t see
threadlocker poured all over the
place either!
Some guns seem to have bits
wedged, screwed and stuck, left, right
and centre inside the stock below the
action, but nothing like that is found
here. That refined simplicity clearly
descends from the target world in
which Anschutz ranks among the
aristocracy. Everything is metal, from
the magazine well to the bolt shroud,
with only butt plate, magazine base
plate and bolt knob made from
polymers (the latter being welcome as
it’s never cold to the touch). Sling studs
are fitted beneath the butt and under
the fore-end – itself quite square in
profile, yet remaining slim. It fully floats
the barrel in all conditions with no loss
of zero from careless handling, and the
chequering shown along the sides of
the fore-end, like the grip, is quite deep,
but uniformly neat and sharp.
RUAG, 01579 362319,
www.ruag.co.uk for
more details and
your nearest dealer.
the alternatives /
Sako Finnfire II
A fine gun, but somehow
lacking that correctly
dimensioned yet compact
feel. Probably equal
quality-wise and certainly
in the same price bracket,
but a little bit more
plasticky.
78
Browning T-Bolt
Interesting design with a
unique selling point, but
not in the same price
range so not truly
comparable quality-wise.
www.rifleshootermagazine.co.uk
Ruger 77/22
A nice gun with an almost
Mauser-like action, but
even more expensive and
no better mechanically.
Perhaps a weaker trigger
design, too
Weihrauch HW60J/66
Similar barrel specs and
build reputation with a
reputation for great
triggers on their airguns;
one I would love to see in
detail!
Semi-autos
At this price point you can
move into the world of
seriously well-tuned
custom Ruger 10/22 and
AR15-styled semi-autos,
but reliability is never
quite that of a bolt-action.
»
www.rifleshootermagazine.co.uk
79
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