February 19th, 2010

European Kids Start Biathlon Training at Young Age

If you have been watching the Winter Olympics, you’ve probably seen some coverage of Biathlon, a challenging sport that combines Nordic skiing and rimfire shooting. It takes years of training to produce a world-class Biathlete. In many European countries, future biathletes may start their training in grade school — like little leaguers do here in the USA. For example, in Norway, kids often get started in competitive biathlon as early as age 6. Basically, some youngsters start the sport as soon as they’re big enough to strap on skis and to hold the rifle. In this video, you’ll see four Norwegian kids, Torje (age 8), Anders (age 7), Tonje (age 9), and Mari (age 15) trying out an Izhmash Biathlon rifle.

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You’ll be impressed by the steady shooting skills of the youngsters, particularly 8-year-old Torje. He’s a future champion in the making we think.

Here’s another video with 15-year-old Mari, showing her rock-solid form with an Olympic-grade Izmash, using a quick-release arm sling. Note how steady she holds the rifle. This girl can shoot!

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The rifles in the videos are both toggle-bolt Izhmash Biathlon guns, made in Russia. Like the German Fortner straight-pull action (used by Anschütz), the Izhmash toggle bolt action allows extremely rapid bolt-cycling. Shooters can quickly eject and reload without disturbing their shooting position or sight picture. The rifle in the first video is sold in the USA by Russian-American Armory for about $1400.00. That sounds expensive, but it is less than half the price of the top-of-the-line Anschütz Fortner biathlon rifle. The Izhmash Biathlon is offered in two models, the Biathlon 7-4 for adult men and the more compact Biathlon 7-3 for women and juniors.

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February 19th, 2010

Bushnell Sues Leupold & Stevens for Patent Infringement

Bushnell Outdoor Products has sued Leupold & Stevens for infringing on two Bushnell U.S. Patents covering the Bushnell Angle Range Compensation™ (ARC™) and Rain™ Mode laser rangefinder technology. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas on February 9, 2010 and alleges that Leupold is infringing on Bushnell U.S. Patent Nos. 5,926,259 and 7,658,031.

Angle Range Compensation is important for both rifle shooters and bow-hunters. When a shooter or archer takes a shot at an extreme up or down angle, there will be less drop than with a non-angled shot (given the same line of sight distance to target). By fitting an inclinometer to its rangefinders, Bushnell is able to plot the shot angle and display the “effective ballistic distance” to the target. You can then quickly calculate the hold-over you actually need.

Bushnell pioneered the sportsman-oriented laser rangefinder, and Bushnell was selling rangefinders long before Leupold even entered the laser rangefinder market. Bushnell earned U.S. Patent No. 7,658,031 for its rangefinder technology that provides hold-over info for angled shots.

“Bushnell has invested an enormous amount of time and resources into developing our patented technology and we will vigorously enforce our rights against all infringers,” said Phil Gyori, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Bushnell Inc. “While we prefer to resolve disputes with our competitors without resorting to litigation, we felt we had no choice but to defend our intellectual property against Leupold’s infringement.”

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February 19th, 2010

MidwayUSA Master Catalog Released — Nearly 1000 Pages

MidwayUSA has started to ship the 33rd edition of its Master Catalog. As you’d expect from MidwayUSA, one of the nation’s largest shooting products vendors, the new catalog is huge. As big as a phone-book, and nearly 1000 pages long, the new Master Catalog really does have “just about everything”:

• Over 27,000 Products for Shooters
• Over 24,000 Products for Reloaders
• Over 32,000 Products for Gunsmiths
• Over 7,000 Products for Hunters

“Customers tell us every year they look forward to seeing this catalog in the mail,” says Aaron Oelger, VP of Marketing. “A lot of work goes into the Master Catalog to ensure great product selection, quick and easy navigation and the best possible product information. Every year we improve the Master Catalog.”

MidwayUSA started mailing Master Catalog #33 to current customers in February. For new customers, Master Catalog #33 is free with the first order. Otherwise, to get a copy of Master Catalog #33, visit www.midwayusa.com or call 1-800-243-3220.

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