Anschutz Model 1700 Series Rimfire Sporters
By Chuck Hawks
The J. G. Anschutz company was founded in Germany in 1856. Today J. G. Anschutz GmbH occupies a modern factory in Ulm, Germany. (The English version of the Anschutz web site can be found at http://www.chuckhawks.com/anschutz_1700_series.htm ) The President of the company is Jochen Anschutz, the fifth generation of the Anschutz family to lead the company.
Anschutz builds 1700 Series Sporters in rimfire calibers .17 Mach 2, .22 LR, and .17 HMR, and centerfire caliber .22 Hornet. It is the rimfire models with which this article is concerned, although the .22 Hornet models are generally similar (identical, in fact, in most particulars).
Most 1700 series models are available in the standard grade with a semi-fancy walnut stock or the Meister Grade with a fancy walnut stock. Meister Grade rifles are so inscribed in gold on the trigger guard. Here are the relevant 1700 Series Sporter models:
The abbreviations used by Anschutz in the model designations of its 1700 Series Sporters are as follows: D = single stage trigger, KL = leaf sight, HB = heavy barrel, MC = Monte Carlo.
Barrel length is 23" for all models except the 1712 Silhouette rifle, which comes with a 21.6" barrel. Most 1700 series rifles do not come with iron sights. The "KL" models are the exception, as they come with a hooded post/bead front sight adjustable for height and a folding, adjustable rear open sight.
The magazine capacity is 5 rounds in calibers .22 LR and .17 Mach 2. Magazine capacity is 4 rounds in caliber .17 HMR.
The length of pull for 1700 Series Sporter rifles is 14.2" and the overall length is 42". The only exception is the Model 1712, which has an adjustable length of pull and (due to its shorter barrel) an overall length of 40.6".
I don't have a complete Anschutz price list, but according to the 2005 Shooter's Bible, a 1710 D KL Monte Carlo rifle has a MSRP of $1358, or $1612 in Meister Grade. The Silhouette Model 1712 has a MSRP of $1438.
The 1700 series sporting rifles are built on the Anschutz Model 54 Match Action. This action is the heart of the famous Anschutz target rifles that have been used to capture more of the world's shooting competitions than all other brands combined. To quote from the Anschutz brochure, "Each 1700 series Sporter is engineered and built with the same attention to workmanship, accuracy, and quality as its Olympic target rifle brethren."
The 54 action is CNC machined from a solid steel block. The bolt lug recesses are machined eccentrically for optimum bedding. The bolt's eccentric face is recessed, there are dual rear locking lugs, dual claw extractors, and a fixed ejector. The inline firing pin is very light, has a short travel, and allegedly gives the Match 54 action the world's fastest lock time. The bolt and cam are lapped for smooth operation.
The bolt handle is long and easily clears a scope, and the bolt knob is smooth and round for comfortable operation by adult hands. This bolt is easily disassembled for cleaning without tools. The bolt release lever is at the left rear of the receiver. The safety is a wing type at the rear of the bolt. This safety encloses the firing pin and when set it pulls the firing pin back from the bolt face and locks it in place.
The detachable, steel box magazine feeds cartridges reliably and precisely into the chamber. This magazine can be disassembled for cleaning. The magazine only protrudes about 1/4" below the bottom iron--just enough to get a good grip on if necessary. The magazine catch is a small lever at the rear of the magazine well. Pressing it forward allows the magazine to drop freely from the action.
The top of the receiver is both drilled and tapped for scope bases and machined with 11mm scope rails for tip-off scope rings. Popular U.S. brands that supply ring/mounts for dovetail receivers such as the Anschutz include Leupold, Weaver, Simmons, Bushnell, and Millet.
Probably the best feature of the Model 54 action is its superb trigger. The single stage trigger is adjustable for weight of pull, sear engagement, and over travel. Pull weight adjustment range is 2 to 4.4 pounds. In 1700 D rifles this trigger is factory set for a 1200 gram (2.6 pound) release. The well shaped trigger guard is machined (not stamped) from steel.
A premium action can take a rifle only so far; it must be attached to a premium quality barrel. In the case of the Anschutz 1717 D series, this is an 8-groove Olympic Match Anschutz target grade barrel. This barrel is precision chambered, button rifled and lapped to Olympic competition specifications. The muzzle is finished with a target crown. The barreled action is finished in a deep, polished blue.
The stocks into which this barreled action is inletted are crafted from European walnut with the grain structure properly aligned for strength and stability. There are panels of hand cut checkering on both sides of the pistol grip and forearm.
The Classic stock has a deeply fluted, level comb. The forend tip is conventionally rounded. There is no pistol grip cap, contrasting forend tip, or line spacers.
The Monte Carlo stock's cheekpiece rolls over the comb. The pistol grip has a Wundhammer palm swell and a rosewood grip cap with a white diamond inlay. The forearm ends with a Schnable tip. There are white line spacers at pistol grip cap and buttplate.
Either stock is supplied with a black buttplate made from a hard, grooved, polymer. Detachable sling swivel studs are provided. The satin stock finish appears to be a tough and durable synthetic type.
The inletting of the barreled action into the stock is uniformly excellent. The entire rifle shows excellent workmanship throughout.
Here are the basic specifications of the Anschutz 1717 D KL MC rifle that was supplied to Guns and Shooting Online for review:
One of the most important aspects of any rifle is, of course, how it shoots. We tested our Model 1717 D KL MC extensively with four brands of .17 HMR ammunition (CCI, Federal, Hornady, and Remington) with consistently outstanding results.
Reliability and function were 100%. There were no malfunctions of any kind. And its performance was top drawer. See the review on the Product Review Page for the complete shooting test results.
The Anschutz 1700 Series Sporters are excellent rifles in all respects. They are a synthesis of sophisticated engineering, precise manufacturing, top quality materials, and superior workmanship. Their admittedly high price will, unfortunately, keep them beyond the reach of most shooters. But for those who demand the best, the 1700 Series Sporters deserve serious consideration.
Note: Complete reviews of the Anschutz Models 1717 D KL and 1717 D Classic .17 HMR Rifles can be found on the Product Reviews page.
Copyright 2005, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.