The Essence of Life

The Essence of Life

Saturday, November 30, 2013

My $99 Anschütz

The perfect complement for my Haversack

On my latest trip to Brazil I had the opportunity to visit my hometown in the last weekend of October, and during that time I had the pleasure to meet my friend Aluísio Albuquerque, and during a brief visit to his home he showed me a gift that he had received shortly ago, a little Winchester 22 bolt-action "Tumb Trigger". To say that I was envious would probably be an overstatement, but that reminded me that I did not have a single shot twenty-two, and a professional small boy, to parafrase the late Peter Hathaway Capstick, who was too smart to take himself too seriously, not only needs, but truly desires such a timeless classic.

Well, some weeks ago my wife, who among many other responsibilities takes care of our mail and personal accounting, handed me a US$ 120 vaucher that Gander Mountain sent me and minutes later I found another US$ 10 gift card gratiously sent by Pheasants Forever. With that much "free" money available I was compeled to visit the local Traverse City store and explore the many possibilities to use my newly acquired funds.

The first trip with my wife was unsucessful as nothing caught my eye, but a week or so later the situation changed. After dropping my wife at the gym I drove to Gander Mountain to again search for that special something that would find a place in my heart and my life (you know how small boys behave).

Upon entering the store and quickly perusing the new firearms without finding anything attractive I moved to the relative small used guns shelf and among a lot of Mosin-Nagants, several shotguns and other center-fire rifles there was this small bolt-action twenty-two. I saw that it was in very decent shape and started to exam it and two things really caught my eye: the ANSCHÜTZ logo on top of the action and the $99 price tag!

As the sales associates were busy and there were other people looking at used guns that could steal my just found treasure I just stood there until help came my way, and before anything I double checked the price. It really was $99 and soon afterwards we , the little Anshütz and me, were on our way home.

When we arrived I immediately started an internet search to learn about my new acquision and after some false starts which called the rifle a "Garden Gun", which would have made me happy if that was the case as I really like those ancient European smooth bore "micro-shotguns", but finally I found a copy of an early 1960's Stoeger catalog that portraited ANSCHÜTZ JUNIOR VARMINTER .22 Long Rifle Caliber Rifles and Carbines. There were four guns on the page with prices varying from $22 to $110, and the top and least expensive one was the MODEL 1361E .22 RIFLE. The description matches my own rifle in every aspect, except that while the catalog states "A single-shot rifle with a manual cocking knob" my rifle will cock upon the bolt being closed.

As we had a week of pretty nasty weather the only place that I could comfortably test my new rifle was my basement airgun range, and in order to make it safe I relied upon Aguila's Super Colibri ammo which is actually less powerful and quieter than some of my air rifles, and therefore totally safe for my bullet traps. At around thirty feet off-hand (remember Jeff Cooper: rifles must have practical hitability) the little Anschütz performed as expected, hitting the twelve gauge empty hulls I was using as reactive targets and later my airgun metallic silhouettes. The only noise was that of the 20 grain lead pointed bullet hititing its target.

Today I disassembled the little Anschütz for proper cleaning and to better understand it mechanism. A single screw joins the stock with the lock and barrel. A robust leaf spring provides resistance to trigger movement, and the complete lock mechanism is of a sinmple and elegant construction, and the complete rifle probably has less than twenty parts, counting all moving and non-moving parts. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo da Vinci

Since my Anschütz held minute of mice accuracy in the indoor range, I am sure it will perform just as well outdoors, and I am now planning a small game safari after cottontail rabbits and maybe squirrels for the Christmas holidays, but first I must secure the front sight that has some play to it. Maybe Del will coach me.

Well, now I have a rifle that not only rivals Aluísio's Winchester Tumb Trigger, but complements my grandson's Crickett (maybe in four or five years), and also is the perfect companion for my haversack. And who knows which adventures we may enjoy in the northern Michigan woods?

The 1960's Stoeger catalogue page




4 comments:

  1. helo i am from Belgium and have the same gun,works great.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am in Canada and have a CIL 111, which is the exact same rifle. I have owned several single shot 22's over the years, but I must say, this one is the most accurate and most reliable, just a great little plinking gun.

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  3. Seem you have a variant of the Anschutz Flobert 1 action, the bolt handle slot being on top of the action (Flobert 2 has the slot on the side as in CIL-Anschutz Model 167)

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