Participants can use their own .22 bolt action rifles or use a club rifle. You will not run or bike with a rifle, and rifle will be left at the biathlon range. Club rifles will be available for novices and those without their own. These are Savage Mark II rifles.
- Rifles should have a 5-round magazine or can be a single shot.
- Only non-magnified diopter rear (aperture) and globe front sights are permitted.
Buying a Rifle
Try the biathlon with one of our club rifles, which are rented by CSEC at $15 for practice and races. Once you decide that you enjoy this sport, you will want to buy your own rifle so it can be custom fit and allow dry fire (shooting without bullets) practice at home. Before buying a rifle, you should become familiar with the different models available and other options by trying the club rifles and talking with biathletes that already own rifles.
Altius Handcrafted Firearms is an excellent source of biathlon rifles, biathlon rifle conversions, custom stocks and accessories. Owned by Marc Sheppard in West Yellowstone, Montana, Altius offers unparalleled expertise in all things related to biathlon.
A popular and inexpensive option is presented by Savage Arms with the Savage MKII FV .22lr target bolt action rifle. This rifle typically costs under $300 but it comes with no sights. You'd need to separately buy a sight set:
- Gehmann Biathlon Rear Sight: $255 (https://lostnationrd.com/product/gehmann-biathlon-rear-sight/)
- 11mm Dovetail base for Savage MKII: $35 (https://lostnationrd.com/product/11mm-dovetail-base-for-savage-mkii/)
- LNRD Biathlon Front Sight: $140 (https://lostnationrd.com/product/lnrd-biathlon-front-sight/)
The Savage Arms Mark II FVT offers user-adjustable AccuTrigger technology for crisp, customized trigger pulls. The Mark II FVT already comes with peep sights (biathlon sights) and is ready to go in a biathlon out of the box.
CZ 457 Varmint At-ONE's stock is stable with adjustable comb and length of pull, making a great competition rifle right out of the box. You'd need to add a sight set.
A very precise rifle and popular in rimfire competitions. $865 retail price makes it a very good value. You'd need to add a sight set.
Altius sells a race-ready biathlon version of CZ 457 rifle for $2,195. The package includes CZ457 rifle, Boyds AT-ONE Stock with adjustable cheekpiece and length of pull, sights, handstop, sling, cuff, harness, rifle cover, blinder, 4 magazines, and adjustable buttplate.
Anschütz rifles are considered by many as the best rimfire rifles, which are internationally renowned for their construction, workmanship and precision accuracy, notably in biathlon shooting. The Anschutz 6834 Match Sight Set M18 mounts directly on the groove on the barrel action without any additional adapters.
The most popular and successful biathlon rifle in the Olympics, the Anschutz 1827 F, is also one of the most advanced firearms in the world.
No longer in production but worth mentioning here is Marlin 2000, which was built specifically as an affordable beginner biathlon rifle. Comfortable for smaller people, precise, and priced around $400 this rifle is worth pursuing on auction sites, if new or in excellent condition.
You can convert the basic rifle stock Savage Mark II, CZ 457, Marlin 2000 and Anschutz 1827 to a fully-adjustable biathlon stock for $480 with Versatile Biathlon Stock (VBS) from Lost Nation R&D.
If you own a rifle, you also need to own cleaning tools and supplies to keep your rifle safe and operational. A .22 caliber rifle should be cleaned every 200-400 rounds of firing.
Every time you shoot your rifle, carbon, lead and copper residue are left in the barrel, chamber and action. After 200-400 rounds this residue begins to builds up and it will affect the functioning of you rifle. Cleaning and lubricating your rifle will ensure proper functioning and longer lifespan of moving parts inside your rifle as well as of the barrel and stock/chassis. Regular rifle maintenance stops it from jamming, and provide you with maximum precision and accuracy.
You can buy a .22-caliber rifle cleaning kit in most outdoor or gun stores. Your kit should include:
- Rifle cleaning rod with a handle (long enough for the barrel of your rifle)
- .22-caliber brass jag
- .22-caliber brass or polymer slotted tip
- .22-caliber brass brush
- .22-caliber nylon brush
- .22-caliber cleaning patches
- Gun bore cleaner
- Gun lubricating oil
- CLP ("Clean-Lubricate-Protect") solution