BSF S20 Match – Part 2 Germany’s rifle-pistol

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

In the first report, I told you something of the history of the BSF S20 Match pistol but not everything. The gun I own doesn’t actually say BSF on it. It was exported by Wischo, a company that was also headquartered in Erlangen, the home of BSF. Like RWS, Wischo didn’t make airguns. They put their name on guns made by several other European makers, with BSF among them.

My pistol was purchased from Air Rifle Headquarters; and all the BSF guns they sold, at the time this gun was purchased, came through Whisco. It may seem like trivia unless you’re searching for a certain model. Then, knowing the other players is important–like the names Hy Score, Beeman, Winchester, Geco, Gecado, Original and Peerless can all mean a Diana gun. Before RWS took over distribution of Diana in the 1980s, any of those names could be found on the various models.


Wischo of Erlangen was the exporter, not the maker.


Many post-war German guns have this strange marking. “West” was added with a separate stamp.

But when you need parts for the gun, then you need to know where it really came from. Then the name Wischo means next to nothing, while BSF S20 Match is all-descriptive.

I also failed to make another connection in the last report. There was another rifle-pistol in the market back then, and it’s still being made today. The Beeman HW70 pistol has a stock that is more contemporary, but look closely and you’ll see the same youth rifle cut down to make a handgun. Even the advertised velocity of 440 f.p.s. is in the same ballpark as the BSF pistol that was rated to 470. We’ll find out today what my example does.

Velocity with 7.9-grain Premiers
The first pellet I tested was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier. This pellet fits the bore very tight, so I seated it as deep as I could with finger-pressure, because I didn’t want seating friction to affect velocity. It didn’t seem to, as the average velocity was 398 f.p.s., with a spread from 388 to 413.

Velocity with RWS Hobbys
RWS Hobby pellets weigh just 7.0 grains and have been used for decades to clock the fastest velocities with airguns. They’re pure lead pellets, though, so today there are a number of non-lead pellets that are even lighter and faster. I did something unusual while testing these pellets–I lubricated the compression chamber, even though it seemed to be well-lubed already. Pyramyd Air had sent me an Airgun Express .177 cleaning kit to evaluate, and I noted that it contained a small bottle of chamber lube, along with an oiling needle for oiling through the air transfer port. I just couldn’t resist the temptation to oil the leather piston seal. Guess what happened?

While there were several shots considerably faster than the 436 f.p.s. average for this pellet, there were also several that were slower. The result was that I got about the same average velocity, but the maximum spread went 73 f.p.s. – from 425 f.p.s. to 498! The moral of that story is don’t lube in the middle of testing.

Warp drive!
After two lead pellets, I tried a batch of Crosman Silver Eagle hollowpoint pellets. These lightweights are non-lead and ¬†generally less accurate in most guns, but they’re the speed-demons of the pellet world. Nobody uses them for anything but bragging rights, which puts them into a class by themselves. They averaged 553 f.p.s. in the S20 Match, but again the velocity ranged from 496 f.p.s. to 597 f.p.s. That was the lingering effect of the recent lube, however, the average seems about right.

The pistol continues to interest me. I like how it cocks so easily and locks up so solid at the end of the stroke. The light trigger is still a concern, but so far no problems. I’ll keep the muzzle oriented safely, nevertheless, which is good advice for all guns.

Accuracy testing comes next. I don’t know how the high center of the powerplant will affect where the pellet goes, but we’ll see.

32 Responses to “BSF S20 Match – Part 2 Germany’s rifle-pistol”

  • Vince Says:

    AFter lubing the gun in the middle of the test, did you re-check the velocity and ES with Premiers? That would give a better picture of exactly how the lubing affected things.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Vince,

    No, I didn’t. But you can expect a similar increase – diminishing as the number of shots builds after lubing.

    Because the Premiers are heavier, the spread would be less than the other two pellets. The average would probably remain close to where it is in the first test.

    B.B.

  • Scott298 Says:

    Good morning B.B.–Scott298 checking in. Yesterday I cleaned the barrell as you have described in other post and the cph now fit in the barrell with no problem-then I noticed I was using a pellett from a different lot. Seems the last batch of cph’s have a slightly wider skirt, but all was not lost as my new leapers scope arrived and I wanted the barrell clean and everything perfect before sighting her in. When I purchased my 1st leapers scope I also ordered the side wheel fot the parallex knob which I fell in love with immediatly. When I recieved the new scope the wheel would no longer fit. I contacted leapers and they sent out a new -I guss you would call it a rubber retainer-that goes into the wheel and over the knob of the scope. I put this in the old side wheel and she fit perfect. This may be something for others to keep an eye on if they purchased a leapers scope and side wheel at the same approx a year ago and for what ever reason now they have a new scope and are trying to use the old wheel-I guess somewhere in production the parallex nob was made slightly larger in diameter, but the new rubber “retainer ” did the trick. Now I’m just waiting for my next day off to sight her in–shoot straight-Scott298

  • Mr B Says:

    Goodmorning B.B. I’m glad that you all didn’t get a full shot from Ike. Informative test that Brownells ran on rust preventing chemicals–thanks Volvo. B.B. do I remember you saying something about WD40, long term gun storage and a brownish residue? I’m waiting for tomorrow and accuracy tests.

  • wayne Says:

    B.B. and All,

    Has anyone else tried the “Napier Power AirGun Oil” that comes with the Air Arms S410? I have been putting about 5 or 6 drops into a new tin of the JBS pellets the gun likes so much. The foam pads are nice to absorb the extra oil, I put one on the bottom of an empty tin and them pour about 1/2 of a new tin on and then the 3 drops and another foam pad, and roll them softly around..

    I saw you do this B.B. on a blog, with your special mixture, and I never got the ingredients together, so I just tried this stuff.

    I don’t know if it’s because I have practiced a lot, or if the oil makes the pellets more accurate. But lately, my groups have been tighter..

    Is that what the oil is for? It doesn’t say, what it’s for on the add that came with it, it just says it’s the best… or at least that is what I remember.. I can’t find the add anymore..

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Scott298,

    I was unaware Leapers had changed the knob configuration of their scopes. Thanks for the tip.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Wayne,

    I did an exhaustive test of Napier oil for Pyramyd Air. The claims of greater velocity and better accuracy are not true.

    Over the years there have been numerous special oils like Napier – all with similar claims. The truth is, nothing like that can improve accuracy or velocity.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Mr. B.,

    WD-40 dries to a varnish that is difficult to remove. It is yellowish-brown and the only thing I have found that will eventually remove it is more WD-40.

    B.B.

  • wayne Says:

    B.B.

    The Napier oil seems to make the pellets easier to put into the magazine, and feed into the breech… Do you think it does any harm?

    Wayne

  • Anonymous Says:

    Wayne,

    Thanks to you and your team for putting together the contest this weekend which I followed with great interest. And as for your man who had to beg off because of his girlfriend, can't say that I blame him.

    No need to apologize for anything because the IZH 61 team has only begun to fight! Prepare for another entry on Photobucket! (And thanks to B.B. for introducing this tool. I'm going wild and sending files to all sorts of people.)

    Here is the rifle range I used.

    http://s415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/blargho_2008/?action=view&current=rifle.flv

    It's hard to love unless you're a fan of cardboard, and I don't expect that the Ashland Rifle Range will lose any customers to it. But you have to admit that the creator of it (me) wants to shoot. The distance from the shooting position to the target is about 20 feet.

    Here is my pride and joy topped with the Leapers Bug Buster and with the stock fully extended with LOP 14 inches as almost never appears.

    http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/blargho_2008/Still1-1.jpg

    (B.B. I guess I'm not much of a photo student. I tried a dark background, and I tried passing my Leapers tactical flashlight over the rifle but I just got a bright spot.)

    And here are two views of groups I shot this weekend. These are 10 shots each standing.

    http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/blargho_2008/group.jpg

    http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/blargho_2008/group2.jpg

    The first larger photo shows the effects of follow through. All but the measured group show my shooting technique without follow-through and the measured group is with. You see that the gun will tell you when you are not following through like I said before.

    As you can also see, my measured group is .5 inches which I make as .32 CTC. Now the problem is to normalize this for the different distances, shooting positions and numbers of shots. I'll go with the best group you reported of .25 inches at 20 yards since I took my best group in the last few days.

    The distance is easy enough. Your range is three times mine, so that expands my group to .94. We know that groups expand with more shots, so my equivalent 5 shot group is surely less than .94 but is probably not .47 either. Let's split the difference and take .71.

    Now the hard part. How to compare standing shots with shooting across your knees on a recliner? (I don't believe I could hit anything from a recliner.) B.B. can help us. In one post he discussed comparing positions and mentioned that "You and I would probably shoot a 6 inch group standing.") If B.B. can shoot 6 inches, I'm sure that I can do no better than 7 inches. I've never shot at 100 yards before, but let's suppose that with my half minute of angle police sniper rifle that I could shoot 2 inches. The conversion factor from benchrest to my standing group is 3.5 which I divide my standing group by to get my equivalent benchrested group. And the result? .21 inches and the IZH 61 noses to victory!!

    Okay, Wayne, time to order your dozen IZH 61 AND don't take this too seriously. :)

    Matt61

  • Anonymous Says:

    Wayne and B.B.,

    Whoops, here are the links in a readable format.

    Range
    http://s415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/blargho_2008/
    ?action=view&current=rifle.flv

    Rifle
    http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/blargho_2008/
    Still1-1.jpg

    Group
    http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/blargho_2008/
    group.jpg

    Group Close-up
    http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/blargho_2008/
    group2.jpg

    Matt61

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Wayne,

    No, it doesn’t harm anything. In fact, if you want to oil your pellets this is as good as anything. Just don’t believe their claims of greater velocity and accuracy.

    B.B.

  • wayne Says:

    Matt61,

    Those are great groups, I don't know who won either.. Standing offhand, super wow!
    I know I can't do that.
    When I'm in a recliner, my legs are locked by my elbows and the chair, my back is set, and the gun is resting on a thin foam pad on my knee. This is very steady for me. The outdoor chair is not as easy, but better than the FT sitting position, for me..which is getting easier & easier, with practice. The 12 sets of ten shots on a 1" black (last 10 on two 1/2" dots) "shoot N see" dots were outdoors at 22 yards in a chair. The best 10 shot group was 9/16" and the best of the last two 5 shot groups was 1/2" outside to outside..

    But with you shooting standing offhand, I'd say you win!!

    I must have missed the blog on how to use the photo bucket..
    I could send them to B.B. and he could put them in a bucket or we can wait for Chris to get back from his supply run later today.

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  • Anonymous Says:

    Wayne,

    I don’t think there was a whole blog on photobucket. B.B. just mentioned it. Here is the site:

    http://photobucket.com/
    ?special_track=nav_logo

    You just register for free, and then on your account, you can download video and photos. Each download then has a link to share. There are probably other capabilities, but I was able to make that work.

    I notice one of the options is a group album. Maybe there could be a group album for the blog for people to post to.

    The whole cross-positions business raises an interesting point. B.B. mentioned in his review that the IZH 61 is more forgiving offhand. I haven’t had a chance to benchrest with it much, but from my limited experience this comment sounds right. My groups from the bag were unimpressive, and I did better shooting with elbows supported off the bench. So, I don’t know how standing groups convert for this rifle.

    I also don’t really believe that it can outshoot an S410–time to get real. But I do believe that this rifle is an exceptional bargain, especially with the Leapers Bug Buster which has not changed its zero in thousands of rounds. The rifle is everything that B.B. ever said about it.

    Matt61

  • wayne Says:

    Matt61,

    Thanks for the help..

    I registered and down loaded a few shots.. try this:

    http://s424.photobucket.com/albums/pp325/wayne177/

    Wayne,

    Ashland Air Rifle Range & Rentals

  • Anonymous Says:

    Wayne,

    Got it. That is outstanding consistency. My target sheet has 12 dots which is about the same, but they don’t look like that. I don’t really hit the groove until the last three or, in the case of the target I sent you, the very last one.

    Let’s see more of the rifle range when you’re ready.

    Matt61

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB,
    I took the advice of (unnamed) about the stock. Here in Virginia it has been humid all week, so I put the stock in an oven set at 240f. It was bone dry an hour and a half later and very shiny (I used High Gloss polyurthane).

    So I took my Storm XT with a centerpoint 4x16x40 mildot scope to the range. At 75 yards I was able to put 5 premier ultra magnums in a half dollar sized group. After finishing at the range, I went home to find crows picking at some corn in my garden. I had some premier hollow points in the gun case and took the shot at 25yards. He went down in feathers, I picked him up and his guts fell out. I suppose the hollow point did it’s job because there was a hole the size of a quarter in his right side. Just orderd some .22cal JSB predators for my Shadow Express, imagine that hole.
    Shadow express dude

  • wayne Says:

    Matt61,

    In my “Easyboy” with the foot support up, I’ve got a place to put both feet, almost like the FT sitting position, except way more commfee and solid.

    It is so close to the non supported FT position, that it is somewhat of a practice session every night. My comfort level outdoors has been getting better all the time. Now in the FT position, I can almost do the same thing as the chair, but I have to wait a lot longer in between shots.

    That is why the S410 is my favorite so far, when the cross hairs come across, I finish the one lb pull, and it goes where it was pointed. Follow though is not as much of an issue. And set on half power, it still buries the pellets, at 22 yards, as you can see. The IZH61 was bouncing off the board at 20 feet… Fine for paper though.. Like we’ve both said the 61 is a great value, at 1/10th the cost of the Air Airs S410.

    But anyway Matt, you said you are working on your sitting FT position also, so maybe, move your recliner (or buy one for $10 at a yard sale) to your indoor shooting range, it has helped me a lot..

    I am seriously thinking of having at least one booth with a recliner in it. I know I’m crazy!!! but at least I’ll use it.. step by step, right?

    Wayne,

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  • wayne Says:

    B.B.

    I got the Daisy 25 set today, Thank you so much for the careful packing job. It is way nicer than I thought possible for that age… I’m so happy! This has got the be the Daisy 25 deal of the year.. the rifle is even better than the one on the blog.

    Thanks again so much.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Wayne,

    My range really doesn’t have room for a sitting position, but I actually have resumed this position while dry-firing my rifles since I will definitely do this in preference to kneeling. I’m getting a little better at it, but I find that it is a strain on the abdominal muscles to lean far enough forward for any length of time. With the trouble I’ve had with this position, I’m sure that the recliner booth would be very popular.

    Matt61

  • Anonymous Says:

    How do you remove the rear sight of a Sheridan Blue Streak without damaging either the sight or the barrel? I want to install a Williams peep sight .

    Thanks,
    –Witt

  • wayne Says:

    Matt61,

    Yes, I know what you mean about the tummy muscles. Those are where my movements are coming from in a round about way as well.. lack of back support.. It sounds like we both need more sit ups! ICK!!!

    Wayne

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Shadow Express Dude,

    So, I guess you are a happy camper? The man who told you about the wood was BG_Farmer, I believe.

    The Premier hollowpoints are just as accurate as regu8lar Premiers, but test the Predators at the range you intend shooting, because they may not perform the same.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Wayne,

    I’ve very relieved to hear the 325 made it in good condition. Yes, that 1936-gun I put in the set is a nice one.

    I hope you enjoy that set for a long time.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Witt,

    There is no special trick to removing the rear sight from a Blue Streak. Yes, the finish will probably be marked. The sight’s legs are spring steel and should not be damaged, as long as you don’t over-extend them.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    B.B.

    Nice to see a classic tested. My BSF S20 match was imported by Beeman in the late 70's as a Wischo CM.

    Always found the sight picture difficult under poor lighting. BTW mine always seemed to like H&N Match HS pellets best.

    Al

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Al,

    I'm glad I'm not alone in disliking that sight picture. I'm low on H&N pellets so I have to use the RWS Basics.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    I have a BSF S20 model pistol. Can someone provide information on how to operate this weapon?

    Regards,

    MG

  • kevin Says:

    MG,

    You own a break barrel spring pistol. To cock this gun you must grab the barrel and "break it" at the hinge. Keep your finger off the trigger, load a pellet, while aiming the barrel in a safe direction close the barrel. The gun is now loaded and ready to fire. Please re-read both (part 1 & part 2) of B.B.'s articles on this gun. This gun is notorious for a light trigger which can fire the gun without even touching the trigger. Please be careful.

    kevin

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    I will add to what Kevin has told you. Always hold the muzzle when the barrel is broken open to prevent the barrel from snapping shut violently.

    The article above is one of a three-part report. Copy and paste this link into your browser window to go to part 3, which has links to parts 1 and 2.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2008/09/bsf-s20-match-part-3-germanys-rifle.html

    Each linked part opens in a new window.

    Reading all three parts will tell you a lot more about your pistol.

    And finally, let’s not call this pistol a weapon, because it really isn’t one. This is an air pistol. It would make a very poor weapon, because it isn’t that powerful. I know that sounds picky, but it keeps us from getting the wrong mindset about airguns.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    I was looking for info on the bsf s20 air rifle specifically on what size pellets it uses

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    The BSF S20 uses .177 pellets.

    B.B.

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