Frequently Asked Questions
1. I have never shot a rifle before. Can I still participate?
If you have never shot a rifle before this is a perfect opportunity to give it a try in a safe and supportive environment. The rifles we use are .22 calibre and relatively quiet with no noticeable recoil. Every new biathlete is given a lesson in how to use the rifle in a safe manner and shooting, by all athletes, is monitored by a Range Safety Officer. We have never had a shooting injury in the history of the program.
2. I am new to skiing. Can I still race?
Ethan Allen Biathlon Club encourages everyone, young, old, inexperienced, regardless of previous skiing or shooting experience to join us. We regularly have participants who are new to both. We try to provide a comfortable atmosphere for those that are highly competitive as well as those that just want to have fun. It is a great community of athletes who love to share there sport with others.
3. Where can I buy a rifle?
Rifles are expensive, and most new biathletes or those just giving it a try share use of our club rifles. EABC has 18 adult club rifles for use during practice and races. Those who really get hooked on biathlon will want to buy their 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. A good explanation of the choices as well as a resource for them can be found at www.altiusguns.com.
4. Where can I buy a used rifle?
Used rifles are occasionally available, but most get sold very quickly. If you are considering a used rifle, make sure you understand what is included with the rifle as the cost of a harness, sling, cuff, handstop, magazines and case can add up to a significant extra. The condition of a rifle barrel is key to the precision of that rifle. Knowing the previous owner is a great help in knowing how well the rifle was cared for.
5. Can I use the range for skiing or shooting anytime I want to?
The simple answer to this is no. Use of the range for any reason is limited to scheduled training times. Using the range at other times can jeopardize everyone's future use of the range. The National Guard is very helpful in allowing us to maximize our use of these fantastic facilities. We need to act as good guests to keep this privilege
6. How old do I have to be?
We work with athletes of all ages. You must be 14 years old, or older, to use the .22 caliber rifles. Younger athletes are invited to participate through the use of air and laser rifles.