Olympic Biathlon rifle- Anschütz 1827F Fortner

The biathlon has been an Olympic sport since 1960. It’s a combination of cross country skiing and rifle shooting in the prone and standing positions. Athlete’s get their heart rates going skiing a course, and then they have to shoot five circular metal plates on each round. In the prone position, they shoot at 45 millimetre (1.8 inch) plates, and at 115 millimetre (4.5 inch) plates.

The sport originated from Norway where it was an alternative to training for the military. One of the most popular rifles is the Anschütz 1827F Fortner .22LR rifle. According to Anschütz, “More than 97% of all biathletes worldwide rely on the ANSCHÜTZ precision rifles made in Germany.” Men’s and Women’s biathlon is occurring almost every day during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Specs, pics, and video:

Model 1827F ANSCHÜTZ Sprint nitrided

A combination of an extra light 1827 Fortner barreled action with the stock of the model 1827. This combination makes the rifle 300 g lighter, the center of gravity is closer to the body. The weight is 3.7 kg. The other functions are equal to the model 1827 Fortner.

Barreled action:
The straight pull action with repeating device which is reliable at all weather conditions in connection with the match two-stage trigger adjusted to 550 g allows very fast and reliable repeating which results in important seconds for the success.


Cold-tested barrels guarantee an excellent shooting performance even at extreme temperatures of -20°C. The rifle is equipped with a special front sight with snow cover, which prevents snow deposits on the sight and which can be opened and closed quickly.


The new ANSCHÜTZ biathlon stock fulfils all requirements of a modern biathlon competition rifle with regard to ergonomics and aerodynamic. Shortened 5-shot magazines were laterally incorporated into the stock to reduce the surface on which the wind can act. In addition non-slip magazine bottoms make the handling of the loading process easier. An additional magazine release lever on the side makes an even faster exchange of the magazines possible. To speed the reloading process the extra cartridge box for 6 cartridges has been placed at an ergonomically especially favourable position in the stock. The height of the forend can be adjusted to the individual shooter by two forend raiser blocks to the maximum length of 12 cm allowed by the IBU. A clamping piece in addition makes an individual length adjustment of the harness sling possible.

Pictures courtesy of the Anschütz website:


Adjustable comb and buttstock.


Adjustable forend via raiser blocks.


Spare magazines and rounds.

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Chris Cheng

Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion and author of “Shoot to Win,” a book for beginning shooters. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career.

He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. He resides in San Francisco, CA and works in Silicon Valley.



  • Jeff Smith

    I would have to take a sandwich break halfway through the race.

    • ThomasD

      and a nap would be nice too.

      • gunslinger

        next time at the couch and armchair olympics…

      • Jeff Smith

        Perhaps Jimmy John’s can deliver to the 4 kilometer marker?

  • Such a neat sport!

    • iksnilol

      From personal experience:

      No it isn’t. The skis mess you up, have you ever tried to get in the prone position while wearing planks (albeit nice ones) that are as long as you are on your feet (and let us not mention getting back up).

      I do like watching it though (as much as I do any other sports).

      • I have seen snow like 5 times so I can’t comment much. If God would have meant for Texans to ski, he would have made bullshit white.

        • smurf

          haha. That’s why I paint my steel targets hi-viz pink or yellow in the winter months. Makes it possible to see among the white ground and grey skies.

      • Nicks87

        I think thats the point. It’s supposed to be challenging. If it was easy more people would do it.

  • Giolli Joker

    I love the snow cover feature!

  • Eric S

    That’s some hefty engineering when you take pride in shaving off grams. With that, I’ve always felt they should make all the biathlon shooters use surplus 91/30s. Screw the bulls eye, make it a challenge to even hit the target.

    • Jon

      My unaltered 1943 91/30 will shoot 1.5″ groups at 100 yards all day long. I have to aim 6″ left and 6″ down, but the point is that it is consistent and reasonably accurate. I think as time goes more and more people will learn to appreciate the 91/30 as something more than a Russian oddity. On top of that what other rifle can you buy 440 rounds for 90 bucks?

    • JLR84

      Up until 1965 biathlon commonly used centerfire caliber service rifles in 308 or 30-06 chamberings, more closely reflecting the sport’s martial history.

  • Adler
  • anonymous

  • Blake

    Awesome rifle. But for us mere mortals it’ll be an Izhmash Biathlon Basic, which will more than get the job done until you’re up to competition level. Can’t beat the accuracy for the price.

    • iksnilol

      If you can’t afford one of those high-end rifles, try borrowing/renting one. That is how I shoot with a 2000$ rifle even though I am not even done with school and studies.

  • highhammer

    as alpine skiier and a shooter. i think they should ditch the boring cross country and instead maybe mix some sort of back country run or mogul and shoot with 3 gun ar15’s.

    • Kai

      I think it’d be cool if they combined biathlon with 4 man bobsleigh, where the second and third riders have to take turns shooting at targets.

      • wetcorps

        With a pintle-mounted PKM 😀

      • MichaelZWilliamson

        Skeet jumping. That is all.

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      Cross country isn’t boring, with different stances, terrains and strategies, but perhaps we could ditch the boring alpine skiing, since it only involves sliding down a hill.

  • BryanS

    Lets see them do this with their country’s military arm of choice.

    But then again, how many countries would be out of luck since their people cant own such things?

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      Originally the sport was called “military patrol” and used battle rifles and rucks. They changed to .22s in 1980.

  • PatrickPM
    • jmeg8237

      Unfortunately, I can’t say that’s a huge surprise….

  • Little Johnny

    Where are they getting all the 22 ammo to practice with? That is what I would like to know.

    • Leonard

      Honestly, .22 ammo is not exactly rare outside the US. I could buy 10.000 bullets and upwards tomorrow if I wanted to (living in Germany). How exactly you in the US got a shortage of them remains a mystery to me, despite having read the corresponding TFB article trying to explain it.

      • Mikey

        Because Obama is the best gun and ammo salesman of the century. Just as fast as it hits the shelf it is sold, lately it has been staying on the shelf for awhile and shortages are spotty at best…..

      • Stu Chisholm

        It’s hoarding and panic buying, pure and simple. As soon as the ammo hits the shelves, people buy it up and toss it in their closet or safe. I’m happy that it’s finally easing up with 9mm and other centerfire calibers, but this .22 crap is getting truly annoying.

  • awmperry

    I rather like Jeremy Clarkson’s approach to the biathlon. Not hugely effective, but it seems enjoyable…

  • petru sova

    They are one of the very few quality firearms still being manufactured. No junk plastic receiver, no junk stamped sheet metal, no junk castings. Of course they cost $4,000 with sights and a little cheaper sans sights. Of course the ammo that makes them shoot so well will set you back $21.00 a box of 50 with shipping (Eley Red Box). You do not get one hole groups with WalMart ammo. My advice will fall on deaf ears but its better to own one quality firearm than a safe full of modern made plasticky garbage, Just add up how much money you have spent over the years on modern made junk guns if you think you cannot afford this quality gun.

  • mcrognale

    Do you know how HARD it is to find one of those to buy? I have been looking for a week. Saw one on Gunbroker yesterday that was beat to crap and it went for over $2500. The butt plate was taped to the stock with brown pastic wrapping tape. Lol oh well.

  • cynicalman

    seems like a lot to pay for a 22, doesn’t it?…I’m pretty sure my dad wouldn’t have gotten me one of THESE for my 10th birthday…the weight is the astounding thing…geez…of course, it makes sense in that it’s just one less gram to haul around that despicable course…I would think that the weight would be more advantageous in any wind turbulence during the shoots…the whole thing boggles my mind, and I stand in awe of the people who compete…really, now–what other sport do you see athletes throw themselves on the ground 2′ across the finish line…I’m surprised that they’re not ticketed for either loitering, littering, or blocking traffic…