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Custom Anschutz Rimfire Benchrest Rifle Carl Boswell
Custom Anschutz Rimfire Benchrest Rifle
Carl Boswell
Custom Anschutz Rimfire Benchrest Rifle Carl Boswell This month I want to share with you the

This month I want to share with you the rifle itself. It’s a long time since I have written about a rifle and those were the ones I customised myself, so bare with me. As the rifle is based on the Anschutz 2013 action/ trigger it is not an uncommon occurrence to see this around a club range; as it is used reliably by prone and three position shooters across the UK. When considering the rifle design, I wanted something that could shoot in the Light Varmint (10.5 pound) class, but where further weight could be added to use in the unlimited class. I also wanted a reliable action and barrel. Considering this in the first instance I did want to go for a Hall action from the US, with a

interested in developing rimfire benchrest rifles. I would like to thank JR O’Neal and Border Barrels for all their efforts on my behalf. With my first efforts being abortive I Iooked at my second option which was the Anschutz action and barrel. Again I had problems in the UK being able to select the action with the specific select barrel and making this rifle from scratch to meet my design criteria. I did want to have this rifle made, or a least customised, in the UK. In the end I had to go to Italy to have what I wanted and within the time frame I had in mind. As I stated recently, the Italians really have got things sussed in shooting as a standard city shooting range like

The Stock is stock CNC machined for precision
The Stock is stock CNC machined for

Border Barrel. Sadly this was just not meant to be with the time frame I had to get the rifle built for the European Championships. Getting the Hall action from the states was a more difficult venture than hoped for by ‘JR’ over at Border Barrels. I must say both of us tried really hard and maybe this is a project for the future as I would like to get more UK based gunmaker’s

Milan are second to none and sadly put our ‘best’ to shame. The same can be said of the equipment and resources they have access to for Rimfire Benchrest. They have a good number of manufacturers available to them, supplying rifles and equipment that we are only just seeing over in the UK. (Again this might be a sign for some adventurous company to start bringing

The machined stock ready for finishing anf furniture
The machined stock ready for finishing anf furniture

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The finished article with butt plate and trigger guard
The finished article with butt plate and trigger guard

in this equipment or for gunmakers in the UK to start competing with US and other European contemporaries.) A name you have read in this column a few times is that of Varide Cicognani, as he manufactures everything that a benchrest shooter would want. Therefore with cap in hand and an ever shortening deadline I went to him to ask for help. The specification I asked for was;

rifle furniture really well. Although glass fibre is recommended for a benchrest rifle I could not resist this stock and went for it as it kept to the design I was looking for; and within weight! From the picture you can see stages of the stock manufacture, using very accurate CNC routing machinery. The overall effect with the rifle furniture is very pleasing; coupled with the accurate tracking in the bags, this stock is something else. Machining is very accurate and fits the action superbly. This is then bedded using four aluminium pillars, as there are four action bolts on the 2013 action. Using four action bolts is, I think, unique to the design of this action, as most use two action bolts. It is liked by some, but others feel it is hard to get the compression correct and consistent when tightening these bolts. Whatever your feelings are on this matter, the 2013 action does have a good track record and has performed very well in this rifle so far.

• Anschutz 2013 action/ trigger

• Selected barrel 500mm

• Cicognani stock black/grey (Edge design)

• Pillar bedding

• Butt plate in titanium

• weight well + weights + titanium top

• Barrel Stabiliser - silver

• 30mm Scope Rings

• Scope mounted spirit level

• Cleaning guide

Varide came back within a short space of time and said he could get this built in time and with

the month that I gave myself as a minimum to practice and get myself and the rifle tuned for the competition in Milan. Relief at last!! One thing I did want is the McMillan Edge stock as this is the latest in design from the US and really does perform well from all reports. Although this was an option, Varide offered the same design but in a laminated wood finish. This really does look the part and offsets the

The rifle itself is fully customised to my requirements – being of a silver/ grey / black colour scheme - and I wanted it to fit into the 10.5 pound section and have a weight that could be added to the rear of the stock to add the advantage that extra weight in shooting an unlimited rifle brings. This has worked well, taking the rifle from 10.5 pounds to over 11 pounds in weight. Although I am still looking at

The action ready for bedding
The action ready for bedding

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The Cicognani tuner - now replaced withe a bloop tube version
The Cicognani tuner - now replaced
withe a bloop tube version
Modified 20 inch barrel to make light varmint class
Modified 20 inch barrel to
make light varmint class

how even more weight could be added. Believe me this extra weight does supply an advantage. At the rear of the rifle the butt is capped off with a titanium plate which is relatively light and aesthetically pleasing. The rifle also has a specially selected match grade barrel from the Anschutz factory and cut to 500mm (retaining the choke at the end of the barrel). This is then machined with a match grade chamber and finished off with a barrel tuner at the fore end of the barrel. (I have discussed these in a previous article so I do not need to reaffirm the need for one here). The trigger guard is CNC milled from aluminium for lightness, as are the scope rings and scope level supplied with the rifle. Each one of these parts, with the barrel tuner, is acid etched, providing a matt and even finish. All of these different elements come together befitting what is a very good custom conversion of theAnschutz 2013, for the purpose of rimfire benchrest shooting. (As a side note Anschutz do produce an off the shelf benchrest model for unlimited class, but this looks more like a prone rifle than a BR rifle and tracking could have issues without some modifications). Without the weight in the butt of the stock all this weighs in at just less than 10.5 pounds, with scope, which is quite precise and has serviced me with two medals in the Light Varmint class (10.5 lbs) at the European Championship. The 2013 action/ trigger need no introduction, but the trigger on this rifle has been set very low, about 6 ounces or 170 grams, for the type of shooting I am doing. However, a bit of experimentation does need to be done to get this a little bit lower. I am aiming for about 4 ounces or 113 grams. This is something I will work on over the coming months. This action is used extensively in Europe for

rimfire benchrest, as are other Anschutz models due to their ability to perform well and because we have relatively easy access to them on this continent. What is pleasing is to see Anschutz rifles being used in the Light

Varmint (10.5 lb) class, as they are more commonly used in the unlimited class; so there is scopeforthisactionotherthanonanunlimitedrifle. The rifle has the potential to shoot better than


can and I wish I’d had more time with this

before the European Championship. Before the championship the rifle shot within a 6mm to 7mm diameter group. Well within what is needed for punching that centre ten ring time after time. Counting the errors I made at the European Championship, all were 9’s so this is down to my shooting unfortunately, ‘the nut

behind the butt’. I scored reasonably well, but


know that this custom Anschutz can shoot

whole lot better. The only answer for this is ‘trigger time’ and I think I need to practice



great deal more, to get the best out of it.

The winter season will provide this time to practice and work on a few other items. This is the time when I do not usually compete, but get

myself together for the forthcoming summer

Titanium butt plate, with weight system in side the butt
Titanium butt
plate, with
weight system
in side the butt

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Trigger guard details and 2013 action - not everyones taste but it works
Trigger guard details and 2013 action -
not everyones taste but it works

season, which is usually a bigger match. With the world championship next year I havealottosortoutandgetmyselfreadyfor. This rifle, like any and all custom rifles, is expensive and will cost a bit over £2500, but this depends on the options you want. With the Euro fluctuating and depending on the components being added, you may pay more or less. It is wise therefore to contact about prices and rifle design before making a definite order. (Let’s face it an Anschutz 2013 rifle for prone shooting will cost just under


Rifle front view, with everything on it just making LV class
Rifle front view, with everything on it
just making LV class

RFD who brought in the rifle from Italy for me.

Alternatively you could just go for the stock and have conversions or bedding done in the UK. We have UKBR22 members who have done this with virtually the same stock/ furniture as shown here. This will set you back about £350-400 pounds. Again enquireaboutthis.VarideCicognanicanbe contacted via; varide@varidecicognani. com or you can view all the benchrest equipment he does at the business website; Finally, I would like to thank Craig Whitsey, a well known gunmaker in West Sussex, who acted as the

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