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Anschütz RX22 MSR

The Anschütz RX-22 MSR redefines the rimfire target rifle concept by blending German accuracy in a military-style dynamic platform

German accuracy blended in a military-style dynamic platform: thatʼs how the Anschütz Rx22 MSR redefines the concept of the modern rimfire target rifles for academic, olympic and dynamic shooting competitions

Pierangelo Tendas
With its wood or fake-wood polymer furniture, the RX-22 MSR in its “Precision” configurations represents the evolution of small-caliber rifle platforms
With its wood or fake-wood polymer furniture, the RX-22 MSR in its “Precision” configurations represents the evolution of small-caliber rifle platforms

With a 155-years-long history, the German gun manufacturer J.G Anschütz & Co. Gmbh, headquartered in the city of Ulm, is definitely one of the first names that most of gun experts will think of when it comes to competition small-caliber guns and airguns for official or Olympic specialties. The Anschütz product line features today a surprisingly high number of specialized models for propedeutic shooting, training, competition, hunting and plinking. It's no wonder if most of Olympic, European and World champions, not to mention 97% of biathletes, use Anschütz guns: the German company lives a constant challenge with itself to come out with the perfect sporting gun, and all its components are completely engineered and realized in-house, from barrels down; assembly is followed by a total tuning phase, so that every Anschütz gun will always provide the best performances available on the market.


This said, the Anschütz name sounded unlikely to be associated to military-style firearms, even if rimfire... that is, until now. Big news for 2012 coming from Ulm concern the launch of a new Anschütz semi-automatic rimfire rifle that totally departs from whatever the German firm got us all used to during the years: we are talking about the Rx22 MSR .22-Long Rifle carbine.

Featuring a railed handguard and a military-style folding/adjustable stock, the “Black Hawk” and “Desert” variants of the RX-22 MSR rifle are more akin to the concept of military trainer
Featuring a railed handguard and a military-style folding/adjustable stock, the “Black Hawk” and “Desert” variants of the RX-22 MSR rifle are more akin to the concept of military trainer

The Rx22 MSR project spawns from the idea of a rimfire target shooting/plinking carbine based upon the cosmetic appearance of the Belgian/US FN SCAR special operation forces-capable assault-battle rifle. To tell the truth, this wasnʼt an original Anschütz concept: back in 2009/2010 the Austrian gunsmith Wolfram Kriegleder, previously a Carl Walther GmbH employee and creator of the P-22 semi-automatic rimfire pistol, opened its own activity in the Austrian city of Ried im Innkreis, the ISSC HANDELS GmnH, and rapidly launched two semi-automatic rimfire guns for sporting purposes: the M22, a Glock-lookalike pistol with external hammer and manual safety, and the Mk22-MSR (standing for “Modern Sporting Rifle”, an acknowledgement to the great commercial popularity of military-style semi-automatic guns worldwide); this last model was a SCAR-inspired semi-automatic carbine that was introduced, with a lot of hype, at the 2010 SHOT Show. The Mk22-MSR is still in production and on sale worldwide in several variants, and is enjoying a good commercial success. Yet, it wasn't enough: the ISSC HANDELS and Anschütz companies announced in 2011 that an agreement had been reached to start the joint development phase of a specialized variant of this platform for high-end competition shooting, with the collaboration of another German company, the GSG - German Sport Guns GmbH, already known for its rimfire versions of the 1911-A1 pistol and of the HK MP5 and Kalashnikov AK-47 assault weapons. As most of the demanded features and capabilities were already in place, development proceeded smoothly and quickly, and the first samples of the new race gun, dubbed the Rx22 MSR, were first seen in 2011, albeit Anschütz started global distribution only this year.

The Anschütz RX-22 MSR features a full-lenght top MIL-STD-1913 “Picatinny” rail for iron sights or optics
The Anschütz RX-22 MSR features a full-lenght top MIL-STD-1913 “Picatinny” rail for iron sights or optics

Anschützʼ signs of distinction, inspired by years of experience in rimfire race guns manufacturing, are easy to spot at a quick glance on the Rx22 MSR, despite the highly unconventional design for a competition carbine. It would be wrong to consider the Rx22 MSR as a “Politically Correct” version of an otherwise pretty much aggressive military-style rimfire trainer in order to appease the regulators of the strictest gun-controlled markets out there; it rather represents the proof of how lungimirant Anschütz is for having immediately noticed the explosive innovative potential of the Mk22-MSR platform, and for having it evolved in a next-generation target shooting competition instrument, possibly setting the standards by which all future developments by any other manufacturer in the world will be judged.

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