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French Biathlete uses wood carved rifle

Fillion Maillet's carvings take five months
French Biathlete uses wood carved rifle
Posted at 3:15 PM, Feb 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-18 16:15:47-05

With new hi-tech suits, skiing robots and advanced training methods, the Winter Olympics are getting more technologically mind-boggling every year. 

But Frenchman Biathlete, Fillion Maillet, took a step back in time when he stepped onto the course, opting to use his handmade wood carved rifle in competition. 

"When I was young, I loved wood-making," Maillet said. "Then I decided to start with cross-country and afterward I decided to start with biathlon and thought, 'I can make myself my own stock'

All of Maillet's competitors were using .22 caliber rifles, and Maillet's wooden gun is on a similar playing field as a wooden golf club on the PGA tour or a wooden baseball bat in the NCAA. 

But Maillet still defends his decision, saying the love and care he puts into the five months it takes for him to make the gun are well worth it. 

"Now I can make all parts more ergonomic for me," he said. "Some parts are perfect for my hands, for example. All of the rifle is made for me and that’s perfect."

However, the way he crafts the gun isn't all old school as the gun itself. 

He uses a computer to make three-dimensional designs. He will sometimes use carbon to make the gun stronger.

Maillet hasn’t won a medal yet at the Winter Games, but has succeeded in the past. He won one gold medal, two silvers and a bronze in world championship relay competition.