Anschutz 1771 Tactical & 1771 DG Walnut Classic
- By Pete Moore
- 104 Comments
- Last updated: 29/08/2018
My experience with ANSCHÜTZ rifles has only been in the realm of rimfires for hunting. And there’s little doubt that they do make some seriously accurate machines, my favourites being their straight-pull 1727F and the 1777 DB bolt-action; the latter, in 17HMR, was capable of ¼” groups and the former the right side of ½” too at 100m. They are however, quirky designs, built by a traditional German company, in styles that seem to offer little compromise in terms of control positions, capacity and a willingness to address what the modern shooter wants. However, performance-wise they are easy to forgive.
ANSCHÜTZ also offers a small range of centrefires, all encompassed by a single model; the 1771 in a range of calibres and options; 17 and 22 Hornet, 4.6x30mm, 204 Ruger, 222 and 223 Remington and 300 AAC Blackout. Furniture-wise, you get four options; the Hog’s back, semi-Schnabel German Stock, a GRS Sport Varmint laminate, the DG Walnut Classic and the DJV, a heavy build with adjustable comb, a sort of Teutonic varmint target. New, and a radical departure for the company, is the 1771 Tactical that comes wearing an MDT alloy LSS chassis system with an AR15A2 pistol grip, buffer tube and telescopic CAR15 butt. Importers, RUAG AmmoTec UK, kindly sent me two examples; the DG Walnut Classic and the Tactical, both in 223 Remington. The former model has a more American-style stock, with a straight comb and rounded forend. And as I discovered and apart from individual furniture, they do offer very different possibilities!
These two rifles are identical in terms of the barrel and action. The receiver is a tubular steel design with 0.43” wide integral dovetail that’s also drilled and tapped for bases, should you wish. The Tactical has a Picatinny rail that screws over the integral base. The bolt locks by six-lugs in three rows of two directly into the barrel, with fullysupported head and spring plunger ejector system. The one-piece firing pin has a defined end-stop area to prevent damage when dry firing, which is a useful feature. The bolt handle is swept back with a plastic ball end and offers a low lift angle of 60°. The 2-positon, rolling safety catch sits rear/ right of the action and pushes forward to FIRE and reverses for SAFE with bolt operation.
ANSCHÜTZ triggers have always set the standard for quality, reliability, and precision and the Tacticals is no exception. Called the 5098/71 (catchy eh?) it’s a 2-stage unit that I would describe as ‘full-match’, as it has a length-adjustable blade that gives 17mm of forward/back movement. It comes factoryset at 300 grams (10.5 oz) that can be increased to 800 grams (1.76 lbs); sweet! At minimum weight, it’s an unforgiving bitch and you do need to practice, as once the first stage is taken up minimal extra pressure will trip it. Once your finger and brain learn how to handle it, it offers a seriously light and crisp break. Suffice to say, it’s a superb go switch! The Classic shows a standard blade with a single stage pull.
The barrels are 20” and of a light/ medium 18mm diameter with a 15x1mm threaded, recessed muzzle with protector. With 6-grove rifling, the twist rate for the Tactical is a pleasing 1-9” and the Classic the old school 1-14”; so, two very different pitches that will, to a greater degree, dictate bullet weight. Depending on model and calibre, you get a choice of three lengths; 20, 22 and 23”. For example, the 300AAC Blackout is a 20 at a 1-8 rate”.
One thing I have noticed with ANSCHÜTZ rifles, is that their wooden furniture comes up a bit short on length of pull (LOP). The Classic’s wood is a good piece of oiled walnut, with a ventilated rubber recoil pad and handles nicely. The forend tapers to a rounded tip and there’s well-cut chequering in the usual places. Low QD sling studs are fitted with swivels supplied. LOP is 14” but I still had to push the scope as far forward as I could, to get a workable head position and eye relief.
The MDT LSS unit is matte black anodised aluminium alloy with a slim, ventilated forend that’s all free-float. At the front, it’s drilled and tapped for a bridge with Picatinny base for items like forwardmounted NV etc. with a single QD sling stud underneath. There’s no bedding, just a superb fit, and once the action is bolted down, it’s solid. Feed is from a singlecolumn, 4-round, detachable magazine, with a large, push-forward lever at the rear of the mag well. Feed on the Classic is the same, but the mag catch is considerably smaller and not so easy to operate, certainly with gloves on. The pistol grip is an AR15 A2 type with one finger shelf and no back strap; adequate but not ideal. Equally, the butt is a generic, Rock River Arms telescopic design, it’s typically loose and is adjusted by a pull-up lever underneath giving an LOP range of 290 – 380 mm (3.5”)
ANSCHÜTZ have gone for the most basic stock options for the Tactical; workable but far from ideal in terms of furniture commensurate with the quality and potential of this rifle. However, the choice of AR15 accessories is huge and I dug out a Luth-AR adjustable LOP and comb, lockable butt along with a fat, rubber over-moulded, Trinity Force grip with in-fill back strap. Both immediately added to shootability. Chances are, buyers of the Tactical are going to do similar!
Keeping it in the family, RUAG supplied the support kit. Ammo went to RWS 55-grain soft point and Geco 55-grain FMJ Target, I added two reloads; my 69-grain Sierra TMK (tipped match king) and a 60-grain Nosler ballistic tip. A Haukson 22 to 22-250 Hunter 184 reflex moddy finished off the muzzle. Scopes went to the new Kahles 318Ki (also on test this month) for the Tactical and a Geco Gold 2.5-15x56i for the Classic, both in Tier One (level bubble) mounts. I added a Harris BRS bipod.
Despite being near identical rifles, the two different types of furniture dictate first impressions. The shorter LOP of the Classic does not detract from the fact this is a sweet and handy little varminter and small deer rifle. Initially, I found the tiny Tactical layout a bit odd, but you get all the features and advantages of this build in a far lighter and handier package than we are normally used to with guns of this nature.
The Tactical’s trigger was set at 300-grams and took some learning, as you had to be cautious on the first stage, as the break was just 10oz away. It’s easy enough to adjust; remove the action and there’s a screw in front of the trigger lever, you can also adjust the blade LOP too. The Classic’s is a single stage curved design and came out at a firm and crisp break, that could do with coming down a tad.
The action feeds reliably, but in use, and despite the plunger-type ejector and wide extractor claw, slow bolt operation causes the empty to disengage from the bolt face, which is more prevalent after the last round. The safety proved initially stiff but soon smoothed up after 50-rounds. The tubular receiver shows a long slim ejection port and the action cannot easily support single loading.
The 1-14 twist of the Classic is not ideal for the UK market, better would have been 1-12. With the 55-grain ammo, it shot around .75” with the Geco FMJ and an inch with the RWS soft tip. Good enough, but I’d drop down to 50-grains and even go lower, which could make it a flat-shooting, small varmint and fox gun. The Tactical shot both 55-grain loads at around the inch, but really sang with the two reloads; the 60-grain Noslers were averaging ½” and the 69-grain TMKs grouping into a ¼”. The difference in feel and shootability between the issue butt and pistol grip compared to my after-market ones was very noticeable. I think RUAG AmmoTec UK will be addressing this, as they are already considering sourcing something better.
About half way through the test the Tactical started to throw it’s shots, which was traced to the screws holding the Picatinny rail to the base being loose. For some unknow reason ANSCHÜTZ use tiny slot heads here, which I managed to snap my screwdriver blade on; ever heard of TORX? I would recommend you Loctite these in place and tighten down judiciously!
However, these are both sweet little rifles that with the right weight ammo will shoot very well. For most needs, I reckon 223 Rem is your best bet, but the 300 AAC Blackout could be an interesting consideration.