Anschutz 9015 review – Thomas Bristow tests two new rifles

Thomas Bristow gets to test two rather special rifles – both Anschutz 9015s fettled by master regulating and tuning firm The RAT Works.

This 9015 HP has had a lot of time and effort invested in it, such as tuning work from Tench and a new handle from Tilly’s Gun Stocks

Many shooters regard German brand Anschutz as the best in the world. Often raved about on shooting forums, Anschutz is synonymous with the 10-metre shooting disciplines, a style of shooting that Anschutz continues to dominate. The Anschutz brand has always set new standards of quality when it comes to the air rifles the company manufactures, which is why they have proven to be so popular amongst today’s target shooters.

Other than the Anschutz 9015 HP (high power), from the factory, most Anschutz 9015s are set at 6 ft-lb as this is the optimum power for 10-metre Olympic indoor shooting. They require tuning and converting to get them running at the full 12 ft-lb needed to compete in most UK target shooting disciplines. The RAT Works, well known for their tuning services, are now renowned as one of the best companies to carry out these conversions – turning the Anschutz 9015 rifles into competition-winning airguns.

I was informed by The RAT Works that “Tench” is the man in charge of performing these conversions. “Simon ‘Tench’ Howarth has gone beyond the production specification of the 9015 HP to develop the action beyond what is feasibly possible for Anschutz to do in their production,” as quoted from their website. Many of the features of the 6 ft-lb rifles can be carried over into a 12 ft-lb Anschutz 9015.

This is where Tench and his expertise in this area comes in with the full-power conversion. Tench makes use of the components that are already in the rifle, allowing them to achieve a higher level of performance than a standard 9015 when combined with his own parts and tuning.

Throughout the duration of the most recent lockdown, I had two of these Anschutz 9015s loaned to me for testing. One a 6 ft-lb to 12 ft-lb conversion and the other a 9015 HP, both of which were tuned to the specifications of the owner by Simon at The RAT Works. 

This particular 9015 started life as a 10m match rifle running at 6 ft-lb, but was converted for Field Target use by The RAT Works

Anything manufactured by Anschutz is certain to be of the most premium quality, and after having witnessed the astonishing levels of accuracy these rifles are capable of delivering whilst on the HFT circuits I was expecting top-level performance, and I was not disappointed. 

After having both rifles digest a variety of pellets it seems neither were pellet-fussy and I was able to consistently produce some astonishing levels of accuracy with both rifles. Even whilst shooting in sub-zero temperatures the rifles were more than capable of punching pellet-sized groups at 25 yards.

Despite the bitter cold pinching at my fingers, the Anschutz 9015s were effortless to shoot and demonstrate the quality of German engineering. If I were given more time with either one, I am certain that after learning the rifles properly and gaining a better understanding of what they like and dislike, I would be able to produce some outstanding results.

Either of the 9015 models can be purchased with an array of unique stocks to suit the disciplines they will be shot in. Each stock option offers varying amounts of adjustability depending on the option chosen, and this is essential in maximizing comfort and stability for the shooter. The action can be purchased separately if the owner chooses to dress the rifle in a custom stock, much like the Tilly’s Gun Stocks offering that the 9015 HP I had calls home.

The action itself is beautifully finished and exhibits the world-famous Anschutz 4k trigger unit. Regarded as one of the best in the world, the mechanical 4k trigger unit boasts limitless adjustability, whilst promising a consistent shot release. When comparing airguns with one another I often use the 9015’s trigger as an example as I believe it is the pinnacle of all triggers as far as airguns go. Once set up correctly to the shooter’s desired position and weight, the Anschutz 4k trigger is extremely hard to beat.

Thomas praises the Anschutz mechanical 4k trigger unit for its almost limitless adjustability and ultra-consistent shot release

A precisely engineered firing pin, valve and stabiliser are installed for an even calmer shot release, making the Anschutz 9015 a recoilless and vibration-free airgun that’s perfect for the most precise target shooting. The maintenance-friendly system and backwards cocking (which is a modification that was done by Tench at The RAT Works) makes these rifles a true pleasure to shoot whilst also promising dependable reliability.

Although the price tag may deter some enthusiasts, the Anschutz 9015 represents the most premium engineering available on today’s market. Once paired with the tunes done by Tench at The RAT Works the Anschutz 9015 becomes even more capable in the disciplines it is shot in.

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