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Old 03-28-2007, 02:40 PM
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Biathlon Basic - Russian American Armory, 2nd Part

The Biathlon Basic is Back! Now from Russian American Armory
by Jeff Quinn, photography by Jeff Quinn, March 25th, 2007

The Russian-made Biathlon basic is, as the name implies, a "basic" or stripped-down version of the Ishmash Biathlon rifle that is used in serious small bore rifle competition. The Biathlon rifle wears special micrometer adjustable target sights and has a radical target stock, which is perfect for serious competitors, but a bit out of place for a hunting rifle. Enter the Basic. It has the action and design of the competition rifle, but in a style more suited to the woods or small bore metallic silhouette rifle range. The proper name for the rifle is Biathlon 7-2-KO Basic. It wears a wood stock of what appears to be birch, and has cut checkering on each side of the pistol grip area. The factory specs calls for birch, beech, or walnut. The sample rifle weighs in at six pounds and seven ounces, but factory specs calls for 7.7 pounds, with the weight difference probably coming from the wood on a particular rifle. The barrel measures just under nineteen and three-quarters inches long, and is of a semi-heavy profile, measuring right at three-quarters of an inch diameter at the muzzle, which has a radically inset crown. The barrel is free-floated its entire length forward of the action, and the barreled action is finished in what appears to be a black epoxy finish that is both good looking and functional. The barrel also appears to be hammer forged. The RAA Basic comes supplied with both a five-round and a ten-round magazine, and like many Russian made rifles, comes with a cleaning rod and oil bottle. The trigger guard and floorplate are made of plastic, as are the magazines. The safety is a handy little unit that slides forward to fire, is inset into the front of the trigger guard, and is in an ideal location for both left-handed and right-handed shooters. The toggle action is very quick and easy to operate; much faster than a turn-bolt action. Simply pull back to eject a fired case and push forward to chamber a cartridge from the magazine. During testing, the action functioned perfectly, never failing to feed, fire, extract, or eject. The Biathlon Basic comes with a Weaver style scope base atop the receiver for easy scope mounting, and wears no open sights.

LEFT: This screw adjusts the safety slide's tension.
RIGHT: A look at the sear spring.

Now we come to the most impressive part, to me at least, of the rifle; that wonderful trigger! The trigger pull on the sample rifle measured just one pound and six ounces on my digital trigger pull gauge. The pull has about an eighth inch of take-up and then a perfectly crisp feel as the sear is released. It is absolutely the best trigger pull that I have ever found on a rimfire rifle, at any price.

Surfaces of receiver and stock are grooved to eliminate any movement.

Last edited by aom22; 03-28-2007 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Additional Images
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