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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:14 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Sacramento CA
Here is a new alternative biathlon rifle available that was used at the 4th Annual Mammoth Biathlon - just FYI !!

http://www.easternsierraarmory.com/blog ... eFlyer.pdf


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 4:25 pm
Posts: 329
Location: New York
Nice units and based upon the Savage II actions it cannot be a loser; ecept in one category. The Savage II bolt action is not a short throw bolt and the user will suffer in time between shots. That being said they are very interesting looking rifles and worth the bucks for the tricked up stock. They will NOT be competitive in International competition against the $3000 + eauipment currently being used---IMHO...."Doc"


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:14 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Sacramento CA
They will be competitive for citizen racers competing in their local biathlon races though. And Clayton Mendel used one himself in the Elite race division at the 4th Annual Mammoth Biathlon. For those just having fun at this game it's another alternative that wasn't available before !


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:26 pm
Posts: 21
Location: USA
Awesome! I'm all about getting more people interested in the sport. That's a great price point. Wonder how it shoots in the cold.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 28
Location: Duluth, MN
Well done guys, this is a positive development for the sport of biathlon. Unfortunately at times the high cost of equipment has scared people away from getting involved. This is a really nice price point for entry to the sport.

Several people in our club here have used the Savage rifles, and for the price they aren't to bad. Certainly better than the Marlin 2000 or old Lakefield 90B. But as it gets colder the accuracy starts to go, as would be expected. They're not going to out perform a Izhmash or Anschutz, but they're also not going to cost $2K-3K either.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 6:26 am
Posts: 52
The big knock on these rifles are the sights. The rifle looks like a restocked FVT. The Williams sights use a set screw to lock everything into place. Backing out the set screw is not very race ready as it's slow. If you leave the screw loose to allow fir in race adjustments the sights wander more than a click or two. The screw also tends to back out.

The rest of the rifle is great for the summer season. The lack of sight snow covers will bite you pretty hard in the winter.

I built my wife a summer rifle around an FVT. It worked fine but the sights were a complete hassle. There were a few problems with feeding and ejection of spent rounds. The trigger ran okay but couldn't be altered enough to be in the 500 gram range which is the lower limit for biathlon. Most athletes run very close to this weight. Granted, I am used to the triggers on the 7-4 and 1827 which are very nice but the Accutrigger isn't even close.

Having kicked this rifle, it is great to have something biathlon specific for under a grand. My advice is cry once and find a 7-4 if you want to save some cash.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:34 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Upstate NY
Has anyone physically checked out the Browning T-bolt varmit grade gun for Biathlon?

The T-Bolt appears to have a short pull back push forward bolt that may be closer to a Fortner than some of the Savage Bolt guns.

It has a dovetail mount on the rear and the varmint barrel most likely accepts a globe mount (assumption)?

The T-Bolt is running just under $700 so adding a custom stock may take the cost too close a Izhmash, however with the stock as is it certainly looks to have the potential for beginners, Summer and training.


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 Post subject: Browning T-bolt
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 146
Location: NorCal
and the T-bolt is available in LH for southpaws...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:34 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Upstate NY
Amen as a fellow Southpaw the TBolt looks like great news to get
LH and RH folks involved in Biathlon.

Here is an interesting UTube Video on the TBolt in action

www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8JDx5liqSU
www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCcrEJCYj64

Looks reasonably fast, unlike Bolt action only the wrist, hand and fingers
need to move rather than shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand and fingers.

One issue for Biathlon the Helix magazine is 10 shot
whereas we require a 5 shot max
may have to go to a guns shop to see if they can be easily mod'd to stop loading after five rounds. Worse case rules may allow to put 5 dummy rounds in it (needs to be verified)


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 Post subject: Purchase an older one
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:33 pm
Posts: 87
The older Browning T-bolts had a 5 round magazine.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:38 pm
Posts: 1
Does anyone have first hand experience with the "less expensive" biathlon rifle from Eastern Sierra Armory that was shown at the start of this thread?

http://www.easternsierraarmory.com

I'm in the market for two biathlon rifles (one for my wife and one for myself). It seems like a very good price of approximately $1,500 for each rifle fully equipped.

$549 Finished Stock (includes two stainless magazines and handstop)
$350 Savage MkII FVT Rifle
$20 Extra Magazine
$40 Trigger Job
$50 Custom Stock Engraving (Name, graphics, etc…)
$10 Blinder
$350 Front & Rear Snow Sights
$100 Altius Harness
$16 Core sport cuff
$35 Core Sport Sling

I'm just not sure if the Savage MK II can handle the MN and Canadian winters of 0-10 deg F for 4 months of the year.

I'm also not sure if we would be better off to spend a little more $$ up front and buy some Izhmash Biathlon rifles from www.MTguns.com and then modify them as we get more into the sport. At close to $3,000 per rifle the Anschutz line is pretty much out of the question.

Any advice would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:37 am
Posts: 250
Location: Silver Lake WI
I have to ask you gents this question. Why do you think all these rifles will shoot poorly in cold weather?? The only rifle that has issues is the Ismash 3 and 4. The Ismash Biathlon Basic with it's heavier barrel has had no problems down to -5*F, at least in my son's rifle. I specifically went out on a 0* day with a Walther, Model 52, Ruger 10/22 and a Mossberg. They all shot well enough at 50 meters to consistantly hit the prone disk. Has anybody ever taken a Savage and shot it in the cold? I did deer removals with a 22 mag, head shots at 15-50 yds from Jan 1 thru Mar 31 north of Chicago in weather down to -20F and never had an issue with accuracy. Did over 500 removals. It is just one rifle that has problems to my knowledge.
Chris


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:17 pm
Posts: 251
Location: NW Ontario
I wonder why no one's converting CZ 455s into biathlon rifles. With the quick change barrel, easy trigger mods, magazine and a standard 11 mm receiver dovetail they seem to be ideal for conversion.

Jason


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:28 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA
Hey guys, just checking in. I was informed that there was a thread going on over here that appears to have started some time ago so I figured I would step in and introduce myself and my business.

My name is Clayton Mendel, and I am the owner of Eastern Sierra Armory. I'm based out of Mammoth Lakes, CA, home to North America's largest biathlon race. Being good friends with the director for said race, I began to realize that although we were exposing a lot of people to the sport of biathlon, if they couldn't afford the equipment, the biathlon community was never going to grow. Thus began the pursuit of an affordable domestically manufactured biathlon rifle.

A lot has changed since I showed the first two concept rifles (pictured at the top of this thread) in spring of 2011. The business has grown out of my garage into it's own commercial location now. Last year a lot of time, effort, and money was spent to bring the business to the point where it is now; poised to bring a volume of new products into the community. The first fruit of those labors appeared last fall with the release of the new Gen2 stocks, which being our first completely CNC'd stock, allowed the incorporation of some radical design features in a very consistent product.

The three biggest concerns about the product have been lack of snow sights, availability of a left handed model, and cold weather performance.

New for January this this year is an in house designed and manufactured snow sight system that is compatible with any of the bull barreled MkII rifles. This includes blued and stainless models, right and left handed actions, as well as models with fluted barrels. It is also available as a retrofit kit intended to provide FVT owners an upgrade path should they get more into the sport. Stocks are available as right or left handed in three different sizes and a variety of woods.

To address performance concerns in extremely cold environments as well as offer an option for improved accuracy in non sub zero environments, I'm recommending the Tubb's Final Finish product for customers. It is something people can pursue on their own, or can be performed before a rifle is shipped.

Additionally, while the accutrigger is a good system for the price, should an improvement be desired I'm recommending the installation of a Rifle Basix unit which allows adjustment down to 1.25lbs. Again, user installable, or can be preformed before a rifle is shipped.

Lastly, new products are on their way. Production stocks for the Izhmash, Anschutz 1427, and Anschutz Fortner are in the works.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:32 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Eagle Mountain, UT
I found this site and love it, glad there is a place to talk and learn about biathlon. I am just getting back into biathlon (used to to it 25+ years ago) and I have an Eastern Sierra Armory Stock. I love it!!!! The National Guard Team that I am on has several old Anschutz rifles, both bolt and fortner the one from Eastern fits me better than any of them. I put a Savage Mark II TR (target rifle) variant on it with a Lyman Globe Match 93 Front Sight, mounted on a barrel band with my own designed snow cover, added an AirForce TS-1 rear sight with an Anschutz iris (I went with this sight because it is made in the USA, 1/8 MOA, excellent quality, metal construction, comes with a 11mm mount or can use standard 1" scope rings like I did and put a 1" butler creek flip open scope cover for the rear snow cover). This rifle is every bit as accurate as the Anschutz that we have. Yes it may take a couple of extra miliseconds to work the action instead of the Anschutz Bolt (we have very limited fortner actions) but I love this gun. With the addition of a Altius Harness and a Maverick sling (a new outfit here in Utah that makes and sells Biathlon equipment) this rifle is less than $1000. I cannot say enough good things about Eastern Sierra Armory. Great product, great service and you have to love the price. To anyone that is looking to get a biathlon rifle, get an Eastern Sierra Armory. We have been having a real cold snap here in Utah (temps in the -10 to 8 F range) and I have had the Eastern on the range with no problems due to the cold, still as accurate on the biathlon range as in the indoor ranges.


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 Post subject: ESA rifles
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:44 am
Posts: 19
Location: Wisconsin
Quick note to say I recently purchased a gen 2 ESA rifle from Clayton (who posted a couple above here in this thread). Super happy with the rifle, service from Clayton, and whole process. He even rushed it out the door so i would have it in time for an event last weekend. Thanks Clayton.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:44 am
Posts: 19
Location: Wisconsin
ESA will be starting production soon on a stock that will compatible with other rifles, including anschutz and ishmash.

http://www.easternsierraarmory.com/blog/?p=674


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 Post subject: Update
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 9:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:54 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Smithers, bc
Quick update on these. I bought two left handed savage rifles here in canada for my club. Finding the rifles took months but we ended up getting good service from Bartons big country sports. I installed the stock and sights from sierra armoury on one, and just sights on another. After one season of use these are close to izhmash for reliability, fit and accuracy. Since our rifles are used for kids we can't do the kind of comparisons required to distinguish minor differences in accuracy that may exist.

For really small athletes (ie length of pull of around 11 inches), the stock from sierra is still too big. So I just cut down the stock that came with the rifle.

I am very happy with these rifles as a club gun. For athletes competing provincially or nationally I'd lean to izhmash, but for most biathletes they will not notice the difference. And they are really pretty!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:44 am
Posts: 19
Location: Wisconsin
I saw a facebook post that ESA is not accepting any more new orders for stocks or biathlon rifles.

Not sure if they will start up production again at some point, but in my opinion this is a bit of a blow for the US biathlon community, particularly new participants who may not have $4k to spend on a rifle.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:44 am
Posts: 19
Location: Wisconsin
http://www.easternsierraarmory.com/blog/?p=1145


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