German Precision: Anschutz Benchrest 54.18 Rifle

We’ve become big fans of Anschutz, a premier rifle manufacturer known for its incredibly accurate rimfire models. We’ve covered the Anschutz 22LR 1710 Competition, but I wanted something from the benchrest world I could test tuners, silencers and rimfire ammunition with. The Anschutz 54.18 match BR50-U7 is the answer. 

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About the 54.18 BR-50 

From Anschutz

Caliber: .22lr

System: Match 54 bolt action repeater, 5018 match trigger, blued receiver and blued barrel.

Weight: 8 lbs, 15 oz.

Receiver: Scope mount attachment with 11mm rail and drilled and tapped (Same hole spacing as 1710 and 1712 action)

Barrel Length: 20″ blued heavy barrel, no iron sight provision

Chamber: Optimized Match Chamber

Crown: Recessed Target Crown

Muzzle Diameter: 0.900″ (Tapered down from 0.987″)

Trigger: 5018 Match Two Stage Trigger. Can be adjusted to be Single Stage

Trigger Weight: Adjusted to 3.2 oz. (90.7g)

Trigger Weight Range: 2.4 to 7.0 oz. (68.0 to 198.4g)

Trigger Post: Upgraded to 30mm length from standard 20mm length

Trigger Blade: Anschutz 007434 in silver

Magazine Capacity: 10

Magazine Release: Extended

Stock Style: BR50-U7 Walnut

 

Upgrades included on this rifle:

Epoxy bedding done in house. $200.00 Included

BR50 Stock fitted for recoil lug and magazine well in house. $100.00 Included

Steel bolt knob installed in house. $ 25.00 Included

What’s in the Box

This rifle came largely disassembled. 

Inside was the following: 

  • 54.18 barreled action with bolt (bagged separately) 
  • Trigger guard 
  • BR50-U7 stock
  • Action screws (labeled 25-30 inch-lbs!)
  • Printed materials
  • Quality control card with test target
  • Gun lock

The included test target showed a group of 10 shots at 50m measuring about 0.3 inches. Keep in mind this is the starting point. Ammunition is key with rimfire rifles and accuracy can vary not only by brand and product line, but by lot number. This is the reason Lapua Test Centers exist. 

Stock Installation and Options

The barreled action fit into the stock like a glove, not surprising considering this particular stock was bedded at Anschutz North America. Everything fit together perfectly and I tied it all together with 29 inch-lbs. of torque on the action screws. 

Anschutz offers several different versions of the 54.18 and BR-50. There are two barreled actions available: 20” threaded and 25.9” non-threaded. Stock options include the sloped BR-50 U2 featuring a logo and rubber buttpad and the BR-50 U7, a straight stock with no logo or buttpad. 

We have the 20” threaded model with the U7 stock, making it easy to test suppressors. The 54.18 is a repeating benchrest rimfire model. There are a wide variety of single-shot benchrest rimfire rifles on the market, but I wanted something with a magazine for easier testing. I also preferred the straight U7 stock for testing and better tracking in the rest. 54 indicates the Model 54 action, while .18 means repeater. The included 5018 match trigger is adjustable from 2.4 oz. to 7 oz. The blued barrel has a ½ x 28 thread, compatible with all of my rimfire accessories. Also of note is the tight, optimized match chamber and recessed target crown. Altogether, without optics or accessories, this gun weighs 5 lbs. 5 oz. 

Returning to the U7 stock, this walnut-constructed piece has a 3” replaceable forend and optional magazine cut. Depending upon the rifle, I run 3” or 4” forends for benchrest rifles and already have a bag rider that will work for the 54.18. The replaceability feature is nice as removing three screws allows the user to replace the forend in case of damage. The complete package included gorgeous epoxy bedding and a steel bolt knob with the stock fitted for recoil lug and magazine well. 

Examining the Bore and Trigger 

With the rifle put together, I took a look down the bore with the TESLONG NTG100H rigid rifle borescope. This borescope offers great value with good image quality available on laptop, phone or tablet. 

I noticed a few pieces of debris, likely from transit. Besides needing to run a patch through it and noticing a little bit of copper, the bore appeared smooth.

Next I utilized the TriggerScan TS-11, a sophisticated trigger analysis device, on the Anschutz 5018 trigger. I ran three passes on the TriggerScan, looking for consistency. To start out, force peaked at approximately 3.8 ounces, exactly where I would want it to be. Travel to actuate measured 0.064” each time with no variation while overtravel came in around 0.051”. Between both of these measurements, there is a variation of a single thousandth— pretty impressive! These numbers speak to the consistency of the trigger.

The Set-Up and Test 

I installed the Athlon Midas TAC 5-25 x 56mm for testing on a Murphy Precision 30 MOA rail. Both of these products were installed as part of a video on the Lyman Torque Wrench (coming soon!). This gun is set on a Sinclair rest equipped with windage adjustment and a Protektor model leather rear bag. I’ve already noticed that I may be able to come up with a better fit for the V-notch on the profile of the bottom of the buttstock, but it still worked well.

I went to the Ridgeline range early in the morning to avoid mirage, but ended up shooting directly into the sun. Winds peaked at 4-5 miles per hour. I started out aiming at the middle of the target and had to make a windage correction to get the rifle sighted in. Next I began shooting five-shot groups with different types of rimfire ammunition. The Center-X group measured 0.531”. The second group was 0.404”. Looking for better results, I moved to Midas+, a top-of-the-line rimfire ammunition from Lapua. The first group with Midas+ measured 0.297”. R50 gave a 0.637” group, which may be able to be tightened up with a tuner. SK High Velocity Match gave a 0.582” group with vertical stringing. After a few environmental issues, I concluded break-in and initial testing with a 0.289” five-shot group with Midas+. 

Next up will be working with the EC Tuner and suppressors like the Defcan 22 from CMMG, or the Alamo from Phodera Armory. This rifle is very accurate with a high level of precision — making it ideal for a rimfire test platform. 

Get the Gear

Anschutz 54.18 Match BR50-U7 20” Threaded (shown on video)

All Anschutz 54.18 Models

Rimfire ammunition available at Creedmoor Sports: 

Lapua Midas + .22 LR 

Lapua Center-X .22 LR 

RWS .22 LR R50

Athlon Midas TAC 5-25x56mm Scope

Sinclair Competition Shooting Rest with Windage Control (shown in this article)

Sinclair Competition Shooting Rest Non-Windage Model

Protektor Model Bags, front and rear

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Thanks,
Gavin Gear 

 

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