Anybody here ever shot a biathlon rifle?


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SlimPickens67
February 24, 2010, 05:16 PM
I've been watching the Olympics and it never ceases to amaze me how well biathletes shoot (heart racing, no heavy jacket, no thick shooting mitt etc). And of course the rifles themselves are very nice to look at. The feature that's the coolest to me is the straight pull bolt action and how smooth the action looks. Has anyone here ever had the opportunity to shoot one? Is it substantially different from an Olympic 50m style rifle for example? This enquiring mind wants to know!

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WNTFW
February 24, 2010, 05:34 PM
Never even seen one except on the net. I like the way the mags store on the rifle.

I have only seen one of the Olympic 50m style firsthand locally. The young man had the full gear down to the shoes. I was aquainted with the guy he was with. They looked like they were ending up & we were starting so we decided to wait on them & check out the equipt. The rifle had a tube to extend the sight radius. It was pretty quiet with the ammo he was shooting.

Juice Boxes
February 24, 2010, 05:54 PM
It was pretty quiet with the ammo he was shooting.

Do they shoot subsonic ammunition? I have heard subsonic is more controllable.

ArmedBear
February 24, 2010, 06:02 PM
The reason that competition .22 rifle shooters use subsonic ammo at 50 yards or 50 meters is that high velocity ammo is transonic right about at that distance. That means it crosses the sound barrier as it slows down, right about at 50 yards. When a bullet goes transonic, its path goes a little haywire, until it settles down again when it's going below the speed of sound.

It sounds crazy, but a standard HV .22 bullet can group better at 100 yards than at 50.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/External_ballistics#The_transonic_problem

SlimPickens67
February 24, 2010, 06:10 PM
I've been told that the French biathlon team trains with SK Standard (same stuff I shoot in my CZ 452) and shoots RWS R 50 in competition. Both are supersonic. Maybe this is preferred because wind is more of a consideration in biathlon?

http://media.midwayusa.com/ProductImages/Medium/658014.jpg

http://www.rws-munition.de/images/sport_kk/2134187-R50_web.jpg

ArmedBear
February 24, 2010, 06:18 PM
That's the flipside.

Biathlon targets are steel plates, not dime-sized 10-rings. They probably figure that the wind hurts them more than the transonic thing, for Biathlon.

My $135 Marlin 60 shoots well enough to shoot those plates at 50 yards, no sweat, with HV ammo. So I'm guessing their rifles do even better. I think the challenge is to do it fast, under stress, in between skate-skiing at race pace, which is enough to drive you near to collapsing on the snow all by itself.:)

Zak Smith
February 25, 2010, 12:06 AM
I've shot an Izhmash biathlon rifle. It was nice.

HB
February 25, 2010, 12:09 AM
Ive shot the IZH as well. Very nice guns. I've handled one at J.O.'s as well and I believe it was an Anshutz. I love german guns. Except FWB's... they have never been good to me!

HB

GMFWoodchuck
February 25, 2010, 08:07 AM
I've never shot one, but I hear that adrenaline can make a person shoot better. Perhaps that's why they seem to do so well.

Matt-J2
February 25, 2010, 08:10 AM
That, or the countless hours of practice. ;)

Mp7
February 25, 2010, 08:21 AM
...countless hours of practicing the same targets
at the same distance ...

Saw a tvreport about members of the german team,
who switched to Lapua in prep-phase.
They freeze the rifles and ammo on the range
to get perfect conditions.
Crazy ... love the actions too.

Lovesbeer99
February 25, 2010, 08:44 AM
Biathlon shoot to know over plates and they don't have to be centered and you don't get scored. 50m you have a score and the scores get higher at the center.

With all that, I'm still betting those rifles are accurate. By the way, that straight pull is called a Fortner Action. You can check them out at Champions Choice on line.

SlimPickens67
February 25, 2010, 08:56 AM
By the way, that straight pull is called a Fortner Action. You can check them out at Champions Choice on line.

Thanks for the info!

Owen
February 25, 2010, 09:06 AM
Slim, RWS R50 (1080 fps) and SK standard (1050 fps) are both subsonic. Target/Standard velocity .22 is usually around 1080 fps. Speed of sound is 1120 or so.

SlimPickens67
February 25, 2010, 09:20 AM
Oops, indeed I screwed that up, you're right. A question then: if the speed of sound in air at sea level is 331.5 m/s at 0 C and 343 m/s at 20 C ( http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/CheukWong.shtml) and the speed of sound decreases with altitude (I think) SK standard plus chrono's at 320 m/s, might it break the sound barrier in the conditions and places biathletes shoot? I was sure the ammo was supersonic because I'm sure I hear a "crack" when I shoot it. I live in Strasbourg (elevation 142m, so not much above sea level) and I've been out shooting at -5C. I don't imagine that makes much of a difference. I must be imagining things I guess!

BCCL
February 25, 2010, 09:45 AM
I got to put 5 rounds through one at a demonstration, slickest rifle I have ever shot.

At first, holding one it seems like something out of Star Wars with all the special stuf mounted on it.

axeman_g
February 25, 2010, 09:56 AM
The IZH Biathalon Rifles are affordable at $400 or so. I mounted a nice Bushnell Banner on mine. I liked it alot, shot very well and was fast, but it was heavy for a .22. Sold it and got a CZ427. Sold that... and kick myself every day.

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