Breathing hard is usually the reason for missing the first shot, at least in my case. I appreciate the five shots simply b/c I can rest for 30 seconds before I have to go ski again. Competitive skiers sometimes will leave their last shooting stop front cover off b/c it doesn't matter as much as getting back up to speed on the skis for the sprint to the finish.
Anschutz is the main rifle for the top tier biathletes. For normal people izmash is a moderately priced alternative. Back in the day, there were some lever-action biathlon rifles in which the hand grip was the lever. Never saw one in person. In any case, the rifle must have iron sites (aperature is the norm) and a human-powered bolt. There is a minimum weight limit of like 3.5 kg.
I bought a used Marlin 2000 and Altius helped me get get parts to fix it up to hold extra mags, etc. It's turn bolt, but my skiing is so lame that the extra 2 seconds doesn't matter.
We have about 6 races a year in Colorado. Good times whether you're a talented skier or a talented shot, or lucky enough to be both.
sorry for the bump in the middle of summer, but I can actually talk about this topic.