In a follow-up test of $1,200 10-meter air pistols, the new Anschutz Model 10 out-features the Swiss-made 162EA.
Two months ago, we compared the performance of the Morini Deluxe Compensated Air Pistol 162EA ($1,201) and the Hämmerli 480K, which sells for $1,155. We said both products were superb shooters, but we gave the nod to the Morini because of its superior feature set. Next, we wondered how the Morini would fare against one of the newest entries in the compressed-air pistol field, the Anschutz-SAM Compressed Air Pistol M10. The M10 is similar to the Morini 162E we tested in April, which should come as no surprise, since the Anschutz gun is a collaboration between the well-known rifle firm and Cesare Morini. Morini is the patriarch of the family airgun business his son now runs, and which bears his name. We don’t know why the elder Morini left Morini Competition Arm S. A. of Bedano, Switzerland, but we do know he took a lot of knowledge with him, all of which seems to be reflected in the M10.
As in the previous test, we found these 4.5-mm (.177-caliber) pellet guns to be superbly accurate guns that will outshoot all but the best air-pistol competitors. But for the reasons we detail below, we liked the $1,100 Anschutz product better.
The Anschutz-SAM Compressed Air Pistol M10 comes in a foam-lined hard-plastic case with assorted allen wrenches, a Torx screwdriver, and an aluminum DIN filling nipple, a tool set comparable to the one found with the Morini. It weighs 950 grams (2.09 pounds) and measures 420 mm in length (16.5 inches). The manual says the M10 is 200 mm tall from the top of the rear sight to the bottom of the grip, which would be 7.87 inches. The widest point of the gun at the base of the grip is 50 mm (2 inches), the maximum allowed. The sight line length (sight radius) can be adjusted between 300 mm to 350 mm (11.8 to 13.8 inches). The barrel measures 240 mm (9.4 inches). At the end of the barrel is an aluminum sleeve, which fits into the sight housing. Cutouts in the sight housing act as compensators. The gun has a two-stage mechanical trigger adjustable in both stages, and the trigger has a 4.8-millisecond locktime. The front-sight blade ranges in width from 3.5 to 5.5 mm, in half-millimeter increments. The rear-sight slot is adjustable in micrometer increments. The adjustable walnut grips come in left or right-hand models in large, medium, small, and extra small sizes, and are stippled in the palm and finger areas. There’s also an adjustable hand shelf at the bottom of the grip and a thumbrest at the top. The Anschutz also has a carrier (a rod that juts out from the front of the trigger guard) and two weights.
Rather than repeat all the Morini specs covered in April, we will note here the major differences in the guns. Most of the guns’ exterior dimensions and weights are within centimeters or grams of each other. Like the M10, the Morini’s sight-line length (sight radius) can be adjusted between 300 mm to 360 mm (12 to 13.5 inches). The Morini has a two-stage electronic trigger adjustable in the first stage between 70 to 500 grams (2.5 ounces to 17.6 ounces) and between 50 and 400 grams (1.8 to 14.1 ounces) in the second stage. The trigger is mounted on a micro-roller bearing and is driven by a 15-volt battery good for about 15,000 rounds. The rear sight slot is adjustable in micrometer increments. The adjustable walnut grips come in left or right-hand models and are stippled in the palm and finger areas. There’s also an adjustable hand shelf at the bottom of the grip and a thumbrest at the top of the grip.
UIT rules specify that the trigger draw weight must be 500 grams. Most shooters will adjust the first stage to take up as much of this weight as possible, without making the let-off point unstable. We noticed no difference in the adjustability of either trigger in either stage. Like the Morini, the Anschutz has clear descriptions of how to adjust the trigger in its manual.
How quickly the trigger releases a shot (lock time) is where the rubber hits the road in air pistol shooting. But in our testing, we couldn’t determine any advantage the Morini’s electronic trigger had over the mechanical Anschutz. However, the Morini did have an advantage in dry-firing drills. With the electronics turned on, the Morini trigger resets itself after each pull. That means the shooter can easily perform dry-fire drills without wasting time to operate the action, as is necessary on the Anschutz. To dry-fire the Model 10, the shooter moves a lever on the right side of the pellet ramp toward the rear. Both triggers were adjustable for length of pull, but their shoes couldn’t be swung to the side.
Grips on the two guns are very similar; in fact, in blind testing we had trouble distinguishing between the two. Stippling on the grips was comfortable and offered a nonskid gripping surface for the hand. Our test shooters thought the grips’ thickness felt comfortable, and the hand shelves on both adjusted satisfactorily.
Both guns offer a selection of replaceable front-sight blades that range in width from 4 to 6 mm on the Morini to 3.5 to 5.5 mm on the Model 10. Both guns’ sight radii are adjustable. The Morini’s rear blade allows the shooter to open or close the slot-aperture width in 0.1-mm increments with a screw located on the right side of the rear sight. That same feature is available on the Model 10. Windage and elevation adjustment were clearly marked on both guns.
Grip To Barrel Angle
One major advantage the Anschutz offers over the Morini is the adjustability of the grip-to-barrel angle. The horizontal relationship of the grip and barrel can be swung out to the left or right as much as 2.5 degrees and up and down as much as 5 degrees. This allows the shooter to fine-tune his grip on the gun to get the best arm and hand position.
Performance Shooter Recommends
• The Morini Deluxe Compensated Air Pistol 162EA is a world-class product in every way, and we believe it is worth its $1,201 price tag.
• The $1,100 Anschutz-SAM Compressed Air Pistol M10 is a superb second-generation air pistol that offers every conceivable refinement a competition shooter demands. In most areas, the Anschutz-SAM and Morini products run a dead heat. Still, in our view, the Anschutz-SAM’s adjustable barrel–angle feature and its trigger guard–mounted counterweight system give it the nod over the Morini.