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A forum to talk about Olympic style shooting, rifle or pistol, 10 meters to 50 meters, and whatever is in between. Hosted by Pilkguns.com
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 Post subject: Wisconsin Biathlon Guys
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Iowa
Just joined the forum. I'd like some insight and advise before buying a rifle. I raced the Novice class at Eagle and Madison the last two races of the season. Ok, I'm hooked now and need to purchase a gun.

I sent out a couple of emails to the Blackhawk club, but did not get any response, so I found this forum and saw some of you guys post here .I'm not exactly a noob, in that I've shot a few matches before and used to ski race, but it's been 15 years.

I've searched all the info I can find on available rifles and it looks like it comes down to three choices. Anshutz, Izhmash and ESA. Probably too much info to try do on the forum, but if someone is willing to talk on the phone for awhile, or knows who I should get in contact with, PM me and I'll give you my phone number.

Thanks

Mike


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:23 pm
Posts: 37
Location: MA
The only 2 real viable choices are going to be Anschutz or ESA at the moment. The importer for the Izzies has been giving folks excuse after excuse for the past few years. However, they have gotten in some Biathlon Basic 7-2s recently but they are 3-4 times the cost compared to 4 years ago. If the 7-3/7-4s follow this trend, you might as well just buy an Annie.

PM me and I can give you a call sometime in the next few days. I own all 3 rifles you have listed.


Last edited by crasher on Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 28
Location: Duluth, MN
crasher wrote:
The importer for the Izzies has been giving folks excuse after excuse for the past few years.


This isn't necessarily the fault of the importer. Izhmash is in bankruptcy, and until things get worked out with that then the supply will be limited to non-existent. At least that is what I have been told. So that leaves an Anschutz or ESA modified Savage. The Savage is what it is: a low cost (relatively speaking) entry level biathlon rifle. But it has it's limitations. If you are serious about getting involved with the sport long- term, then I would encourage you to try and get an Anschutz. Yes, they are (very) expensive, but it is a one-time investment that will last a lifetime. It is also the perfect time of the year to be on the lookout for used rifles. The season is winding down and some are looking to upgrade their equipment or are leaving the sport. Contact someone from all the different clubs and let them know what you're interested in.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:23 pm
Posts: 37
Location: MA
RonBott wrote:
crasher wrote:
The importer for the Izzies has been giving folks excuse after excuse for the past few years.


This isn't necessarily the fault of the importer. Izhmash is in bankruptcy, and until things get worked out with that then the supply will be limited to non-existent. At least that is what I have been told.


If you look at dealers in Canada and Europe (Larsen), they are available. So if we can find an importer in the US that is willing to do the legwork to get them from Canada, I know a few distributors that had them in stock this past fall. I can reach out to them again to see about availability if we can find an US importer. But now may be the case with the bankruptcy and rifles will be limited because of that.

The original inside sales rep that I spoke with during the change had told me they had them on order and would be getting them in. A few months later he was no longer with RWC and reached out to me to let me know that it was a low priority for them to import. There was something about the rifle coming from Russia and that the newer model was not on an import list (Chess Version) so paperwork needed to be filed to get it on the list. Not sure if this is true as I had thought that was for semi-auto rifles. Then I spoke to the new rep and he had no idea of said paperwork and that they were getting them in shortly. This was last year before they went bankrupt.


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 Post subject: Noob Rifle
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:44 am
Posts: 19
Location: Wisconsin
I'm a noob but as far as I can tell for a noob, the main difference in the rifles is the action. Eastern Sierra Armory right now uses the Savage Mark II rifle which has a bolt action and requires more body movement in between shots. The Izhmash and Anschutz have a different action which requires less body movement and is probably quicker. ESA may be making a stock soon that will work with the slide action rifles (Anschutz). See their recent announcement on facebook.

I bought an ESA rifle this year. Very happy with it, and if I really get into the sport and want a different rifle, I could probably easily sell it and buy a different one. Truth is for me as a beginner, I will probably ski a lot of penalty loops and the skiing time will be the bulk of my race time, not the time on the range -- even if I had a quicker action rifle.

The ESA rifle came in at $1400 (with a few upgrades that you don't need) plus you need to buy the sling and harness (a couple hundred). Clayton, the guy who runs ESA is awesome and will tell you what you want and need. His rifles look awesome and from what I can tell, perform great.

There is a Used Izhmash here on this site for $2K, check out the For Sale ads. If you look on the MN biathlon webpage and check the classifieds, there is also a new Anschutz for sale, though the ad is several years old and it may be sold and just not removed from the site. There are a couple for sale of various firearms websites as well. Best thing to do would be try a few out if possible, IMO. I assume at the novice races you tried a couple different rifles. I was at the Madison one this month as you were and skiied the novice race. You would be welcome to come and try out my rifle sometime if you pass through again and the range is open. There are a variety of folks who regularly shoot at Blackhawk who have the other rifles who I am sure wouldn't mind you trying them out as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:44 am
Posts: 19
Location: Wisconsin
Just re-read your OP and realized you were asking for a phone call. PM me and we'll get in touch.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:40 am
Posts: 35
Location: Southern WI
First off, sorry the Blackhawk club email didn't get back to you. I don't know who is receiving those emails anymore. I can add you to our listserv if you want to be apart of some of the club discussions.

I agree with all the points made so far. I'm glad to hear you are interested in getting into the sport! I always wonder how many people come away from our Novice events thinking they want to buy a gun. I spent a long time researching this very topic when I decided to make the plunge, albeit the market was a bit different at the time. He's what I've concluded since I bought my first rifle and competed locally for the last 2 years:

-A skilled shooter can hit all five with almost any rifle (be it Izh, Annie or a sling shot)
-A non skilled shooter can miss all five with the most expensive (or cheapest) rifle out there
-Rifle fit is THE MOST IMPORT part of YOUR rifle. Just because it says Anchutz or has a picture of Martin Fourcade on it doesn't mean it will put down targets.
-I can't tell you what rifle to buy. I know if I could do it all over again, I would by the Annie. That isn't because I feel like my shooting is limited by the rifle I bought, I just like nice toys.
-You need to decide your price point and how willing you are to wait to get a rifle. Waiting around for 6 months to a year to save $$$ won't help you hit targets next season. Putting lead down range this summer will.

This all being said there are definitely short comings to the ESA rifle. It is a GREAT way to get into the sport. Questions I still have about that rifle that would make it non-competitive in Midwestern Biathlon competitions:

-sub 15 F group size? (this very well could be fixed with some barrel work)
-rear sight adjustment/durability (one of the savage mkIIs I've shoot is PITA to zero, as you need a screwdriver to make windage/elevation adjustments, I believe this was corrected with the sight kit ESA is selling)
-standing fit (the rifle seemed small to me when I held it)

PM me if you want more info.

MR


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Iowa
Thanks for the info.

I agree that the Annie "the buy it and be done with it" gun and I too like nice toys. So it's hard to resist, but trying to be realistic, there are currently only 5 races in the area so that's a huge commitment for so little events. I'm old and have no delusions glory of other than having "another" hobby. Crap all of my ski gear is 15 years old, so I have to upgrade that too. And this is very much still a ski race, if I want to better my times, I need to ski faster and little extra time in the range or penalty loops, probably isn't going to matter much.

I will most likely go with ESA, because of cost and it sounds like I can get a rifle much sooner. Later if I find I'm battling it out for the Masters domination and losing by a few seconds, my competitiveness will force me to buy the Anshutz, but I doubt if that's going to happen. And like any firearm, I'm sure I can sell it, without taking a big loss.

So are you guys still skiing at Blackhawk? I would come up, if I knew someone was going to be there. I am thinking about joining, even though I'm 1.5 hours away, I might be able to get up there occasionally.

Mike


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 Post subject: Sloppy but still snowy
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:44 am
Posts: 19
Location: Wisconsin
I just got home from Blackhawk. Some of trails will soon be mud and grass, probably within 48-72 hours, but it sure was fun to be skiing at 40F in mid March. The downhills have a nice probably 2? foot base but the natural snow is pretty slushy and thin. Spent some time today skiing up the downhills. Probably will be able to do that for a couple weeks. There were a couple people shooting this evening as well. Don't know that it would be worth joining for the rest of this winter but definitely do it next winter. Sounds like the range gets pretty muddy pretty soon and it shuts down until it dries out later in the spring. You could buy a rifle, and join, then come for the summer range times? It's a nice little area to hike and mountain bike as well during the summer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Iowa
I see Blackhawk has mountain bike trails. Have they ever done a mountain bike/cross bike biathlon series? I would be all over that, since bike riding is my main form of summer exercise.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:40 am
Posts: 35
Location: Southern WI
There is a Wednesday night mountain bike race series (TT no shooting) put on by the Chainsmokers club in Madison. I've been thinking about holding a few races this Summer/Fall but haven't got my act together yet. I'll make sure to post something on here if we have something.

If you do decide to join the club, we hold twice a week night practices when we have snow (Mid Dec thru Mid March) and normally 1 night a week practices during the summer/fall. There is some discussion of holding a Thursday evening race series next winter to get more race experience.

PM me if you want more info.

MR


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Iowa
I just ordered an ESA rifle!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:23 pm
Posts: 37
Location: MA
nice, what stock color/option did you get?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:44 am
Posts: 19
Location: Wisconsin
Sweet! One thing I didn't get and didn't think to ask for was a place to put the extra 3 rounds somewhere on the stock.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Iowa
egghead wrote:
Sweet! One thing I didn't get and didn't think to ask for was a place to put the extra 3 rounds somewhere on the stock.


I did. I'll post up a picture later.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Iowa
Rifle will look just like this, except RH action.

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Iowa
I see I have broken the internet. I don't know how to downsize the photo.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Iowa
No gun yet, but I did get my Altius harness, sling, etc...today!


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