Just when you thought I was a man of the people, writing about $500 econo-guns…
I’ve always admired Anschutz rifles because they are very accurate and very German. In a time when everyone is selling out to American culture, Anschutz remains as teutonic as lederhosen, Wagner festivals, and sauerkraut farts. However, while the 1770 could not be anything but a Deutsche Bucsche*, it is distinctly American in purpose–it is the reincarnation of a gun I remember from my youth, the walking-around varmint rifle.
Once upon a time the proper form for hunting varmints was to sling a hunting-weight .22 centerfire across your back, put lunch and a canteen in a pack, and hike o’er hill and dale (being careful, of course, not to step in the cowflop) to see what was there. Townsend Whelen and Warren Page loved to do this, and I did too. Now, however, any respectable varmint rifle has to weigh as much as one of Rosie O’Donnell’s buttocks, which takes the fun out of the hiking.
Enter der Anschutz 1770, which weighs just under 8 pounds, has a medium-weight barrel of just under 22 inches, and can be carried around by a normal human being. It’s chambered in .223 only, has a big tactical bolt handle, and a very nice single-stage trigger that’s set at 2 ½ pounds. The action is actually Anschutz’ first new one in a long time, and features six (!) locking lugs and a very short 60-degree bolt lift.
The stock on my 1770 was a very, very pretty piece of fiddleback walnut with a Schweinsruken* (hog’s-back) comb, Schnabel fore-end, and very deep, full pistol grip. (I’ve just learned that in response to American demand, there will be a Classic 1770 with a straight comb, and a Luxus with a Monte Carlo comb.)
The one jarring note is a detachable in-line magazine with luminous strips along its sides. I guess they’re there to keep you from losing the thing. I didn’t have the 1770 for as long as I might have liked–there was only the one in the U.S.–and so I didn’t get the kind of accuracy out of it that I’m convinced it was capable of. Most ammo turned in 3/4-inch, 5-shot groups at 100 yards, but Ich schwore* bei Gott that if I could have wrestled with it for a while longer the groups would have measured 1/2-inch.
At $2,495 the 1770 is an expensive rifle, but it is also exotic, a wonderful piece of gunmaking, and a delightful gun to shoot. If you are jaded at all the synthetic-stocked look-alikes that grace our gunrooms, here is something truly different. Jga.anschuetz-sport.com.
*Yes, I know the umlauts are missing. You put umlauts in my MAC and I’ll use them.