View Full Version : Olympic Biathlon Rifles

02-16-2010, 04:59 PM
I'd never paid any attention before to the rifles used in the olympic biathlon events. But now I'm curious about them.
After each shot the shooter seems to just lightly touch a bolt handle and it clicks back (straight) to eject and feed the next round. It almost looks like the bolt is spring loaded. There's no bolt rotation that I can see.

Can anybody shed any light on that action? A google search didn't offer much insight, other than one mention I saw of something called a "Fortner action."

I've heard of a T-bolt action before, but not seen one. Is this similar?

02-16-2010, 05:16 PM
I watched and wondered too. To me it looks like they push the bolt closed with the thumb.

02-16-2010, 05:43 PM
It is a straight line action made by Anschutz. It is described in this video along with the air rifle also used in the Olympics. Not your father's Daisy Red Ryder.


02-16-2010, 07:39 PM
The olympic biathlon rifles are made in Germany, weigh about 7.7 lbs, are 22 caliber and (you may want to sit down) cost about $4000.


02-17-2010, 12:37 AM

Langfur Buchsen
02-17-2010, 03:19 PM
Some of the rifles used are Russian Izhmash....

These straight pull bolt actions are reputed to be very fast to operate and accurate, you can see in the picture how spare loaded magazines can be stowed in the buttstock.


They are also quite expen$ive for a .22

02-17-2010, 05:25 PM
Here's my olympic gun. It started out as a 10meter gun, but was rebuilt for greater power for use in field target shooting.

02-18-2010, 09:23 AM
What's that round thingamajiggy mounted alongside the scope?

02-18-2010, 12:26 PM
What's that round thingamajiggy mounted alongside the scope?

That is the integral fan to cool you on those hot days. :D Actually, that should be the parallax adjustment, but I don't know the reasoning behind the giant wheel. I've only seen that on the BSA's and a couple of Tasco's.

02-18-2010, 07:42 PM
What's that round thingamajiggy mounted alongside the scope?

The scope is a 10-50x60 BSA that has a sidewheel focus rather than focus on the big objective bell. I machined a 6" dia. focus wheel, as well as a 2.3" dia. elevation knob. I calibrated the focus wheel tape from 9 yards out to 70 yards. By focusing in on the object, I can determine how far it is. I wrote ballistic software that calculates the pellet trajectory and prints an elevation tape that is on the elevation knob. If I determine the target is at 55 yards, I simply rotate my elevation knob to the 55 yard mark.
The rifles is a precharged pneumatic meaning that it is charged to 3000psi with a scuba tank. I get around 30 regulated shots before the pressure drops too low for the gun's regulator and the velocity drops off.

We shoot at metal animal silhouettes that have a hole in them from 3/8" out to 1-1/2" diameter. You have to pass the pellet cleanly through the hole in order to hit the paddle behind the hole hard enough to drop the target. We shoot from 10 yards out to 55 yards.
It's loads of fun and takes a real steady hand at 55 yards.