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 Post subject: Anshutz Xgun
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:50 am
Posts: 8
I have one. Does anyone know the history behind them? Was it just a development rifle that was never meant to be sold to the mass market? (I don't think it is found in any catalog. People give it a "1600" series label, but not official i believe.) Am i correct? How many were made? Where can i get parts?


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 Post subject: Re: Anshutz Xgun
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:33 am
Posts: 1297
Location: Taunton, Somerset
OrlandoProneXgun wrote:
I have one. Does anyone know the history behind them? Was it just a development rifle that was never meant to be sold to the mass market? (I don't think it is found in any catalog. People give it a "1600" series label, but not official i believe.) Am i correct? How many were made? Where can i get parts?



Yes, the history is well known. It was not a prototype that escaped the factory; some 30,000 were made from 1976/77 to 1980, when the first 18xx rifles appeared.

The X/1600 guns represent a stage in Anschutz's attempts to improve accuracy in the Match 54. The first X guns appeared in the mid-late 1970s around 1976 or '77 and completely replaced the wing-safety Match 54 bolt. By that time the Match 54 had been in production for over twenty years, and had seen some small tweaks, a second bolt claw added, separating the indicator pin from the bolt, adding more steel behind the left-hand ejector lug, a second barrel retaining pins etc.

The X-guns represented a much more comprehensive and calculated revision. I don't know of any changes to the barrels, although these do appear to have been made of good steel, and the average quality seems to have been high. There are rumours in the UK that British steel was used, but I've never seen any good source for this. It's not impossible though; Hammerli advertised the use of special British steel barrels on their smallbore rifles during during the '50s and '60s.

The improvements were to the ignition and trigger. Anschutz lightened the firing pin to reduce travel time, which also permitted a reduction in the strength of the main spring, which created less vibration in the barrel. To add oomph the small spring around the indicator pin was made much stronger than on 1400 M54 bolts. The ratchet end-cap increased tension on the springs compared to the old bayonet fitting. Anschutz also cut a slot in the underside on the bolt along the guide groove for the ejector stud, that exposes the firing pin; the idea was to prevent the firing pin acting as a piston and being slowed by air compressed ahead of it. A completely new trigger was developed that could be safely adjusted very light, and was much more user-adjustable than the 1407-U9 trigger. It was a two-stage, but could be set to single stage; 1611 rifles had a single-stage only version from the factory.

The familiar cranked bolt handle was introduced during 1600 production, sometime in 1978 or '79.

At the time Anschutz did not change their sales literature and continued to marked the X-barrels as 1407/1411/1413 Match 54s, and barrels were still stamped "Anschutz Modell Match 54". However an X was added to the end of the serial number to identify the new rifles, which Anschutz have said stands for eXperimental. The 16xx designation is now common, and used by Anschutz themselves, to differentiate the various Match 54 and 18xx rifles.

The 1800 guns are themselves a development of the 1600s. The trigger is essentially the same, except the for shape of the catch, and the addition of a coarse weight adjustment cam. The firing pin was made even lighter, and as was the mains spring, but the secondary spring was made stiffer. This arrangement has remained to today, with small modifications for the 54.30. The slot in the bolt was abandoned as it allows crud into the bolt, but the inside was made large inside.


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 Post subject: Re: Anshutz Xgun
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 10:30 am
Posts: 160
Location: Rhode Island
Tim,

It actually goes deeper than that as I relate below.

Best,

Hap

I was standing in the assembly area at Camp Perry when my Pennsylvania shooting friend Terry Lightner hurried past me in a crouch, a soft rifle case cradled in his arms and held close to his chest. A vision of Ygor scuttling off to Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory with a full brain bottle under his cloak came immediately to mind.

Spotting me out of the corner of his eye he stopped, backed up and, with a conspiratorial wink, asked me if I wanted to see something special. Opening the case he rolled over the Anschutz rifle held within, chuckled, and pointed to the serial number which ended in ‘X.’ There I stood, looking down at the junction of Urban Legend, German manufacturing excellence, and military history.

An urban legend is an apocryphal, secondhand story, sworn to be true and just plausible enough to be believable. Remember the Black Widow spider in the beehive hairdo? Or Little Mikey from the Life cereal commercial exploding after ingesting pop rocks and Coca Cola? Usually they circulate in small circles but after Al Gore invented the internet, perhaps another urban legend, they began to grow geometrically and now spread about the world at the speed of light. This series of rifles is the subject of an urban legend which has yet to be verified or denied by Snopes.

The rifle I was looking at, an example of German manufacturing excellence, was a 1600 series Anschutz. This model was a transition model between the 1400 and 1800 series. The 1600 or "X" series, so called because each serial number carries an X suffix, is a very sought after commodity in Europe as it has been used by some top shooters to win some big matches. In true urban legend style the legendary, perhaps mythical, accuracy of these rifles is laid at the feet of an exceptional batch of British steel used to make the barrels rather than the rifleman who shoot them.

As far as military history goes the steel used in these barrels, it is said, is to have been salvaged from the hulls of the Hochseeflotte, the Imperial German Navy’s High Seas Fleet of World War I. Veterans of the Battle of Jutland these ships were held at the Royal Navy's base at Scapa Flow in Orkney, Scotland pending their disposition, as part of the terms of the Armistice. The proud German fleet, eleven battleships, five battle cruisers, eight cruisers and forty-eight destroyers, dejectedly steamed into Scapa Flow under the guns of sixty allied warships on November 21, 1918. Dropping anchor they faced an uncertain future that promised to be as cold and as dark as the approaching arctic winter.

The crews suffered through nearly seven months of boredom, poor food, cold, lack of mail, poor morale, and rumors before Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter gave the secret prearranged signal to scuttle the ships on June 21, 1919. At ten o’clock in the morning flag hoists soared to the top of the signal yards of the Friedrich der Grosse and were broken out as signalmen windmilled semaphore flags and the bridge was illuminated by the flashing of signal lamps. Within seconds seacocks were opened throughout he interned fleet and cold oily water gushed into the hulls. Within two hours the first of the ships began to list and turn turtle. By five in the evening nearly all the German warships lay under water.

The hulks lay on the bottom until 1923 when entrepreneur Ernest Cox purchased salvage rights to the sunken fleet. Local fisherman had raised concerns about the hulks being a hazard to navigation and the Admiralty acted accordingly. Almost all of the ships were removed by the start of World War II.

The ships not salvaged by Cox constitute the world’s largest reserve of non-radioactive steel because the metal was manufactured before the nuclear age and, as such, used no alloying material contaminated by fallout. The metal is important in the construction of radioactive measuring equipment, deep space probes, and other sensitive mechanisms. Perhaps even Anschutz rifle barrels, or so we would be led to believe by the mystics of our sport.

My interest in this particular urban legend was more than just passing for it turns out that, while Terry had just acquired an 1600 series rifle, I have been using one for several years. My rifle’s last four serial number digits are 400X, adding to its enigmatic aura, and, maybe because it is a 1600 series, I have also shot a 1600 with it.

Taking everything into consideration I guess I have every reason to believe the urban legend concerning the special nature and source of the magical steel used in these exceptional rifles. Deep down inside I am convinced that my rifle barrel is made from Krupp steel salvaged from one of the tubes of a 12 inch gun taken from a turret of the König class battleship Kronprinz Wilhelm, which lies upside down in 35 meters of water. The ship is a popular dive site but riddled with holes where salvors have cut away valuable metal, some say to make tack driving barrels for Anschutz.

I would wonder about the British providing a German rifle company with scrap metal taken from German warships but as a Brooklyn, New York native I remember the Sixth Avenue Elevated, a subway line which was closed on December 4, 1938 and razed during 1939. It turns out that much of the scrap metal from the El was sold to Japan. During World War II it was said that this scrap was used by the Japanese to manufacture bombs, tanks, planes, or ships-you can take your pick-used against the United States almost exactly three years later on December 7, 1941.

It may, or may not, be true but certainly one urban legend concerning scrap metal deserves another.


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 Post subject: Re: Anshutz Xgun
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:47 am
Posts: 106
Location: CT
Great story Hap!


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 Post subject: Re: Anshutz Xgun
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:33 am
Posts: 1297
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Hap,

I can think of worse fates for the High Seas Fleet than to go from sword to ploughshares. The legend here in Britain is that the steel came from Ravenscraig in Scotland, although whether that was via Scapa Flow, no one can say.

Similar rumours abound. A shooter I met many years ago used an old Russian Strella, the barrel of which he was convinced came from the trans-Siberian railway.


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 Post subject: Re: Anshutz Xgun
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:24 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:42 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Hap & Tim -

Thank you, both, for the nice summary of the 1600 X-rifles. I feel lucky to own one and, to this day, it continues to exceed my expectations!

Mike


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