No matter how poorly you speak German, spell it Anschutz. Here’s a profile on Die Meister Macher and how they make a sporting rifle.
by Chick Blood
I’ll let you off the hook. Die, pronounced dee, translates to the. Meister, pronounced myster, no surprise, translates to master. Macher translates to maker. The phrase translates to English as “The Maker of Champions.” In this case, it applies to the producer/designer of the magnificent target rifles that overwhelmed the world of smallbore competition in the 1970s and the translation must be appropriately expanded to include the gunmaker behind them.
Anschutz started out in 1856. Julius Gottfried Anschutz, son of a gunsmith, founded J. G. Anschutz to primarily manufacture Flobert rifles and pocket pistols. Upon the death of Julius in 1901 his sons Fritz and Otto continued their father’s life work. Generation after generation the company prospered and grew—until 1945. In that year, so I’ve been told, the French occupiers of what had been Nazi Germany expropriated and dismantled the manufacturing facility. Don’t be misled by the word expropriated. It’s entirely too diplomatic a term to describe how all Anschutz had accomplished from 1856 until then was erased and shipped out without the permission or cooperation of its rightful owners.
Fortunately, only five years passed before the company, renamed J. G. Anschutz GmbH, reopened for business in Ulm with seven employees and twenty machines. Their initial intent was to manufacture and service air pistols. Soon there were 250 employees, with some tending to the air gun side of the business, others taking a leap backwards into Flobert rifles and still others addressed their skills into developing and marketing target rifles worthy of world-wide note for precision, workmanship and accuracy. By 1972 the overwhelming success of Anschutz match rifles begat the slogan Die Meister Macher. It remains reflective of the company’s past tradition and serves as the benchmark for its future.
Read more in our July 2012 issue. Back issues are available.
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