The 1416 DG Classic is a trim rifle with the superb trigger that you’d expect from Anschutz. It is the perfect choice for pest control, says Bruce Potts
Anschutz rifles are that bit more pricey than other rimfires. That’s because the quality of the barrel and triggers has always been superb and stem from a pure target pedigree, and that’s what you are buying. The Anschutz 1416 DG Classic, with a short barrel and a sound moderator and bipod fitted, is a kit put together by the importer, RUAG, so that all the shooter has to buy is a scope of their choice.
It’s a lovely, trim little rifle of 33in overall (383⁄4in with sound moderator fitted) that handles nicely. This model came with a plain walnut stock made for practical use; others have fancy walnut and thumbholes if you want them.
Barrel, moderator and action
This model has a 15in barrel and a 1⁄2in UNF threaded muzzle for a sound moderator. It is a nice weight with a 0.66in muzzle diameter to the barrel, so short but stiff.
The muzzle crown is recessed to avoid damage to this area and is about 1⁄2in deep. Supplied in the kit is an Anschutz aluminium .22LR sound moderator, which is made in Switzerland by Brügger & Thomet. It’s a light and effective moderator with subsonic ammunition and is ideally suited to this little rifle. The action is the Anschutz 1416 model, which is the Sporter version of the larger model 54 target-based action. Its size is perfect for a small vermin rifle and is manufactured from a hammer- forged process and button rifled. The Anschutz 1416 is scope-sighted only via twin 11mm dovetail rails; there are no open sights because it does not need them. Best of all is the action itself, which is a 1in- diameter cylindrical tube construction that is deceptively simple but very strong and rigid for great accuracy and bedding to the stock for consistency.
The bolt cocks on opening via a bolt handle with a large plastic bolt knob ensuring positive cycling. This is also helped by the slightly curved bolt handle body towards the shooter. There are two large claw extractors in the front of the bolt face sited at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock for reliable cartridge feeding. Extraction is positive by two protruding tabs in the action base: as the bolt is retracted the case is forcibly ejected.
Trigger, safety and magazine
Anschutz is famous for its triggers and fits precisely the best to each model. This one, a 5094D model, was a single-stage unit that broke extremely crisply at 2.75lb weight. Adjustments can be made via a small screw in front of the trigger-blade. This is grooved for better grip and, overall, is a lovely trigger in all respects.
The safety, operated by a lever behind the bolt handle, blocks the trigger and lifts the trigger sear and bolt release catch, so that the bolt can be opened in the safe position.
The five-shot magazine is detachable — a 10-shot version is an optional extra. It is made of metal and plastic and is reliable — but don’t lose it, because they are expensive to replace. Removal has always been a bit fiddly because the release catch has to be pushed forward and there is not quite enough to get hold of, but you do get used to it.
The stock is plain, straight-grained walnut with a good, dark, heavy lacquer to it — it’s practical rather than beautiful. It handles very well because the straight comb non-cheekpiece design fits most shooters’ dimensions and the pistol grip is generous enough even for my big hands.
The fore-end is long with a rounded end, and chequering panels cut to this and the pistol grip are well executed, though there is no palm swell to the pistol grip. The only real bugbear of mine is the plastic butt-plate, which would be nicer if it were made of rubber. It is a stock that most shooters, even left-handers, will get on with.As part of the kit a 6in to 9in or a 9in to 14in-length swivel bipod is fitted via a sling swivel stud.
Anschutz 1416 in the field
You really notice how light and good handling this Anschutz 1416 is from the shoulder — and, when testing accuracy from the bench, how good the trigger is. At 30 yards the Anschutz 1416 was capable of almost one-hole clusters with nearly all the subsonic ammunition. In this rifle, the best were the Eley subsonics, Winchester Max and RWS subs.
It was not until 50 yards that the Winchester Max just edged it, with Eley and RWS close on its heels, but there really is nothing in it. If you like high-velocity ammunition, once again the RWS HV 31-gr bullets were a clear winner at 1,230 fps for 104ft/lb energy, 0.45in groups at 50 yards and at 100 yards under 1in. The Federal 31-gr bullets were good too — 0.65in at 50 yards and 1.25in at 100 yards.
The stock is a little plain but very practical, and the barrel length is ideal for this type of .22LR, especially with a fitted sound moderator that doesn’t increase the overall length too much. The trigger, as on all Anschutz rifles, is superb, and the accuracy is one of the reasons someone would choose this rifle. It is a nice package deal for anyone wanting a handy, accurate vermin gun.
Imported by RUAG tel 01579 362319
This is a wonderfully light and well-handling little rimfire, which, even with a sound moderator, scope and bipod fitted, was a delight to shoot in the field.