Which riflescopes are used in biathlon rifles

The sport of biathlon is on a new upswing. For athletes to achieve good results, they need good running performance, but above all accuracy when shooting. The entrepreneur Peter Fortner, who founded the company Peter Fortner Jagd- und Sportwaffentechnik in Rohrdorf near Rosenheim in 1984 and is still managing it himself, is involved in the hits. He is one of the world's leading manufacturers of biathlon caps. “In addition to the barrel, the breech of a weapon is the most important part, like the engine in a car. Its task is to enable the reloading process and to safely complete the barrel when the shot is fired at the rear end. It is well known that when a shot is fired, an explosion takes place in the cartridge, and it must not backfire, but must press the bullet out of the barrel, ”explains Fortner. In 1984 he developed a rifle bolt that can only be operated in a straight line with the index finger and thumb. As a result, the shooting times in the biathlon could be significantly reduced.

Before that, the biathletes had to shoot with rifles, where you had to laboriously operate a lever with your hand to reload. There was always a tear in the weapon. In cooperation with J. G. Anschütz GmbH & Co. KG from Ulm, a leading manufacturer of small caliber sport rifles, Fortner now equips 95 percent of all biathletes in the international competition. In Germany, thanks to his patent, he is the only manufacturer of biathlon weapons. Worldwide he only has to fear one competitor from Russia in this sector. “The Russian competitor Izhmash currently only has around 3 percent of the global market share. The Russian rifle is a bit cheaper, but the quality is not so good, ”says Benjamin Wirthgen, specialist in biathlon rifles at Anschütz. The company supplies Fortner rifle barrels, trigger units, magazines and various other parts. Fortner creates the complete biathlon weapon from it using its locks. In turn, Anschütz takes over sales. Around 500 biathlon rifles are added to their worldwide sales network every year. A customer has to calculate around 3000 euros for a complete biathlon rifle with accessories. Fortner has already sold more than 10,000 biathlon rifles.

The ski boarding school in Furtwangen procures all rifles, spare parts and custom-made products from him through Anschütz. “Fortner makes many things possible that are simply impossible for others. For example, he created a custom-made product for one of my students who is right-handed but aims with his left eye. With an attachment consisting of two struts, he simply moved the sights to the left, ”reports Ina Metzner, trainer for the Baden-Württemberg state team for biathlon at the ski boarding school. Fortner produces individual parts on customer request. "For our industrial customers we also manufacture series with several hundred or even a thousand pieces," reports Peter Fortner. Biathlon weapons are the most popular product. Fortner also offers its customers a wide range of more than 1000 items such as hunting and sporting weapons, ammunition, binoculars, telescopic sights and accessories. Fortner also manufactures the catches for sporting weapons and sells them through Anschütz. "On January 24, 2012, the Chinese shooter Du Li set the world record in small-caliber 3-position combat with our model F27A at an international competition in Doha / Qatar, ie three times 20 shots at 50 meters," says Fortner. His sporting weapons cost between 3,000 and 4,000 euros. Every year between 70 and 100 sporting weapons are sold through Anschütz. Fortner produces the closures and various other products such as biathlon and shooting accessories in-house on six computer-controlled machines. He has other patented products produced under license. For example, Heym in Gleichamberg in Thuringia manufactures bolt action rifles on a license basis. Fortner currently has eight employees. In addition to part-time office workers, he also works with apprentices in parts production and assembly, a master for training and biathlon production, and a prospective master for hunting weapons. "My clientele consists of biathletes, corporate customers, hunters and marksmen," says Fortner. The proportion of private customers and associations in the equally female and male customer base depends on the different laws of the countries. "In Russia, for example, guns are only allowed to be acquired by clubs," explains Wirthgen. In Germany, on the other hand, the buyer of a biathlon weapon must be able to show a weapon possession card, have reached the minimum age and prove a need. Anschütz sells its products through dealers and also directly to end consumers. It is mainly exported to Scandinavian countries. For example, Anschütz supplies a Swedish sports high school. Fortner achieves the highest profits with its own developments. In the previous year it generated sales of around EUR 700,000. He achieves more than half of this with the sale of biathlon weapons and accessories. For this year Fortner expects sales of the same amount. “The hunting and sporting weapons industry is doing rather badly at the moment. We have to fight against strict legislation and the bad image of hunters and shooters in the media. The biathlon sector, however, is not affected, it is still growing, ”says Fortner.

Wolfgang Fuchs, Managing Director of the Association of German Gunsmiths and Gun Dealers, confirms this. “Due to the strict gun laws, sales in the entire industry are declining. The legal situation for minors in particular is strictly regulated. ”In addition to the increased demand from hunters for high-quality hunting rifles, the industry is also registering a trend in the demand for highly developed sporting weapons, according to Fuchs. This keeps the fun of shooting sports.

Information about the contribution

This is how you keep biathletes in good shape
Michelle Nicolaus
Günter-Wöhe-Gymnasium, Saarbrücken
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Thursday, December 6, 2012
Youth and Economy 2013/2014