Biathlon guns?


White Stallion
March 23, 2006, 06:43 PM
I was just watching the biathlon, and I noticed that their guns looked like pellet guns but when they pulled the bolt back it ejected a small shell. Does anyone know what kinds of guns they use? Pics would be nice.

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Car Knocker
March 23, 2006, 06:50 PM

And if you do a search here on "biathalon" there will be more info.

March 23, 2006, 06:50 PM
Biathlon shooters use rifles chambered in .22 LR.

There's more than one manufacturer, but probably the most well known is Anschütz.

My understanding is that one of the more common designs is a straight-pull bolt action, if you watch, you can see them pull the bolt back with their index finger and then push it back into battery with their thumb.

Pdf brochure for the Anschtüz 1827 (

For the Pentathalon, they use air pistols.

March 23, 2006, 07:10 PM
For those of you who may have missed the biathlon on TV here is a taste of REAL biathlon

;) :evil:

March 23, 2006, 08:28 PM
Was that the members from the PLO ski team? :what:

White Stallion
March 23, 2006, 09:03 PM
which one?

White Stallion
March 23, 2006, 09:49 PM
I really like them and am thinking about asking my mom about getting one. How much do they cost?

March 23, 2006, 10:04 PM
I can't think of a better and more accurate rifle for 300.00. The trigger on mine is insane and it comes floated and bedded from the factory. I paid right at 500.00 with scope and all.

March 24, 2006, 01:51 AM
Why don't they use a more practical (in real life) caliber like some type of .30?
I can't imagine the Fins ambushing Nazi's and Russians with .22 LRs, a real life application of the biathalon.

March 24, 2006, 09:37 AM

Jim Watson
March 24, 2006, 09:43 AM
Why not a "more practical" caliber?
The weenies on the Olympic Committee have been watering down and cutting back the shooting sports for years. Look at the rifle moving target event. It started out as the Running Deer shot at 100 metres with a manually operated centerfire rifle. Walter Winans won in 1904 with a Rigby double rifle. The US AMTU was working with Remington pumps in the '60s.
They cut it back to Running Boar at 50 metres with a .22. I think this was where they cut out the double runs that made skill with a repeater important.
Then they cut it back to Running Boar at 10 metres with an air rifle. Then they got worried about offending the piglovers and eliminated the animal outline and now shoot at a moving bullseye with an air rifle.

March 24, 2006, 01:50 PM
It's my understanding that years ago biathlon was shot with a centerfire rifle.

But what's been said about the Olympic Committee watering down the shooting sports is, unfortunately, true.

The elimination of the Running Target event was pretty stupid because, as I understand it, Running Target is quite popular in Europe, along with International Sport Pistol and Rapid Fire Pistol.

There's been talk of running some form of practical shooting competition as a demo sport for a couple of years, but it's been a huge debacle for political reasons. The practical shooting people want to be the governing body for the sport, which isn't going to happen because USA Shooting is the governing body for all Olympic shooting sports in the US.

And of course, the Olympic Committee is cold to the idea for PR reasons.

Unfortunately, the OC is more interested in sports that garner high television ratings (snowboarding, basketball, etc.) which doesn't bode well for a lot of the shooting sports because, quite frankly, they're boring to watch.

March 24, 2006, 08:40 PM
Until this year, with twin blondes, curling was pretty boring too. I think I named the only reason the sport was pushed by NBC this year.

That is too bad that more money interests creep in. They make enough with bribes anyways. It is supposed to be about competition. I like watching people give there all.

So, Owen, anything more wordy than that? With the greater recoil and longer distances & therefore more drift from wind, my understanding is that it would take more skill to do it the way I asked.
Or do you have a whole lot of nothing but want to pretend otherwise?

March 24, 2006, 10:07 PM

Everybody always seems to have a problem with the various shooting games the way they are. It is the way it is, and like most things, it got that way for a reason.

There is a litany of reasons why centerfire would be an issue.

1.) Space: Many of the countries that participate in Biathlon are crowded, and land is extremely expensive. For most of those countries, building a large outdoor range to permit the shooting of centerfire rifles, with an acceptable safety cone for the 5 to 6 mile range of .30 caliber cartidges would be difficult. Further, it would likely be a facility that would never be used again, because most countries are looking at 100 years or more between Olympics. Most of those countries would have political hell to pay for the razing of the park land or whatever required.

2.)Equipment Races. .22 rifles are affordable, as is match grade ammunition. For a $2000, a competitor can buy a top of the line rifle, and enough match ammo to last for years. The rifle, well taken care of, will easily outlast the competitor. With a requirement to use a caliber of military utility or such, you would add in the whole problem of checking ammunition for power factor, etc. Further, if you put an actual military utility requirement on the cartridge and rifle used, you would be eliminate a large number of the countries that currently compete.

3.) Obsoleting current equipment. You're going to piss everyone off. The competition has been using .22 since the 70's.

4.) Barriers to entry. It's tough to get non-shooters into a sport that requires a punishing tool (for newbies.) Learning how to shoot is tough enough, but having to start with a centerfire, and all the technical detail and recoil that involves would be a high enough barrier that many, many people would not climb it in the first place.

5.) you say the larger cartidges and longer ranges would make the game more challenging. It seems that hitting a 4.5 circle from the standing position at 50m, or a 1.75" circle from the prone position, while winded is hard enough. .22's drift like crazy. It's been stated in more than one place that shooting a .22 at 100 yards is like shooting a .30 at 500

6.) Political feasibility. The IOC is already working to eliminate shooting from The Olympics, even though it is one of the most egalitarian sports. It's politically incorrect in most of the countries that are capable of hosting an Olympics. It's boring as hell to watch, so it won't draw viewers. Many host countries ban any shooting activity that could be construed as martial.

Raising the barriers to start playing the game, both for the athlete's and the host's point of view, and making the activity even more militaristic than it already is, is guaranteed to get Biathalon eliminated from the Olympic Games altogether.

March 25, 2006, 08:59 PM
Actual information, I have no issue with the way things are, but don't know why it is the way it is.

Since shooters should start with .22LR, I do not see this as raising the price of admission. Rather, I see a series of rungs as skill level increases.

A lot of Olympic facilities are never used again. Check out LA and Atlanta, much less Salt Lake City and the Canadian sites. While it takes up space, these do not look like very expensive venues to set up. The white water kayaking is, with all the cement and water pumps needed. Berms and backstops can be torn down.
What is more, the European countries that host winter Olympics have Alpine troops and light infantry. Both need this sort of training facility.

Obsoleting equiptment - happened in IPSC with the technology race. People deal. It happens anyways as people go from their starting rifles to high-end custom rifles. I bet any contender doesn't use an off the shelf rifle, just like any NASCAR team doesn't use a car that might be considered baseline.

Gun laws are the way they are too, yet we want to change it. Inertia and tradition are poor reasons for anything except decay.

I'm not saying these are reasons for change. But except for political feasibility these aren't large or insurmountable reasons.

March 25, 2006, 09:07 PM
One last thought on obsolete equiptment - regular TVs are becoming obsolete too, almost by law. The FCC has pushed back the date, but broadcast stations are required to broadcast in high definition by a certain time. Eventually regular resolution broadcasts will be suspended, so that television you have may be just a large rock.
This in spite of the fact that material that is worth seeing in high definition is no more common than before.
The DVD player I have will also be phased out. There are two competing standards, but high definition DVDs are on the way in and DVDs are already being released in high definition. Like VHS tapes, eventually nothing will be offered in regular DVD in the next few years.

Nothing worthwhile is being offered, just new technology and replacement costs.

Microsoft and Office upgrades work on the same principle. Nothing worthwhile to the user is given, but if you don't upgrade nothing you have will be compatible. This is just to make money on replacement costs.

So this is a part of modern life. The guns will still work. They have much use to start newcommers and for practice. Unlike the above examples, there are argueable benefits to a .30 caliber.

Car Knocker
March 25, 2006, 10:04 PM
A lot of Olympic facilities are never used again. Check out LA and Atlanta, much less Salt Lake City.

That's not quite correct. The Salt Lake City venues, site of the 2002 Winter Olympics, are used in competitions and athlete training. Overtures are being floated to host the Olympics again in the future, however that may well be hampered by the exposure of IOC corruption in connection with the Games here. I believe that SLC will be a Western version of Lake Placid, site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics.

March 26, 2006, 08:48 PM
I thought only the skating (for racing) and some of the skiing facilities are in use, with preference by many top skaters to train elsewhere.

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