BSA Comet breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


It’s medium-sized and lightweight. The velocity in .177 is 825 f.p.s. The BSA Comet is a different air rifle.

Today, we’ll look at the accuracy of the BSA Comet. To refresh your memory, we’ve learned that this breakbarrel rifle has strong family ties to Gamo breakbarrels and that it pretty well delivers on it’s advertised velocity of about 800 f.p.s. in .177 caliber.

That sort of made me hopeful that the rifle would not be very hold-sensitive, since sensitivity rises with power. Breakbarrels are the most hold-sensitive rifles in the world, so any break you can get is a blessing.

I always learn more about the airgun when I’m testing it for accuracy, because I’m forced into such close proximity though the shooting. This time was no different. I learned, for example, that the trigger has a very long and very creepy second-stage pull. It was a mystery exactly when it was going to release; and while that’s usually a good thing, in this instance it wasn’t.

I also discovered that the rear sight hangs over the breech just enough that you notice it when loading. I was fortunate that the scope still cleared this sight when the barrel was broken open, but buyers should take this into account when thinking about a scope.


The rear sight hangs past the breech just enough that you notice it. Make sure your scope is short enough for this sight to clear when cocking.

On the plus side I can tell you that the balance of this rifle is quite good. When holding it with the artillery hold the muzzle is just slightly heavy — enough to stabilize the rifle but not so much that your off hand hurts from holding it.

Scope
I mounted the Hawke 4.5-14x42AO Tactical Sidewinder scope on the rifle, so there can be no doubt that good optics were used. I really like this scope and am trying to find a good reason to hold on to it; because whenever I need something really good, this is what I turn to. The optics are clear as a bell and as bright as they can be; and the reticle, which is illuminated by the way, is very thin for more precise aiming.

The test
It took five shots to get zeroed at 25 yards. Then, I was ready to shoot for the record.

I sighted-in with JSB 8.4-grain Match Diabolo pellets, so those were the first group I shot. Naturally, there were 10 shots per group, and the distance is 25 yards.

I’d hoped the JSBs would be accurate in this rifle, given the power level, and they didn’t disappoint me. Ten pellets sailed into a group that measures 0.767 inches between the two farthest centers. While there’s some openness to the group, notice that it’s roundish, which means the gun has no bad traits.


Ten JSB Exact 8.4-grain domes went into this 0.767-inch group at 25 yards.

RWS Hobby pellets, on the other hand, grouped into a much wider area. Ten made a group that measures 1.286 inches between centers. Clearly, they’re not the pellet for the Comet. Isn’t it interesting how simply changing the pellet has so much effect on the target?


RWS Hobby pellets, on the other hand, went into this 1.286-inch group.

The next pellet I tried was the venerable Crosman Premier 7.9-grain “lite.” These pellets are usually among the best in spring-piston rifles of this power. In the Comet, they’re okay, but not spectacular, measuring 1.043 inches between centers for 10 shots. The group was rounded, once again, but not as tight as I would like to see at this distance.


Premier lites made this group, which measures 1.043 inches between centers.

The last pellet I tried was the lightweight Falcon from Air Arms. At just 7.33 grains, this domed pellet is often a very good performer in airguns that run less than 1,000 f.p.s., so they seemed like a good choice for the Comet.


Ten Falcon pellets went into this 0.829-inch group.

The results of the test indicate that the rifle likes domed pellets that are well-made. Both of the best pellets in this test were made by JSB (Falcons are made by JSB), which means that would be where you should look if you get a Comet. There are still several pellets that I didn’t try, and these are just a few shots, so the rifle could be even more accurate than what’s seen here.

Bottom line
I have to observe that, for the money, this BSA seems to have some features I could do without. The creepy trigger is first among these, but the buzzy firing cycle is also an annoyance. Still, it does have some things going for it.

The light weight of the rifle coupled with easy cocking make it a fine intermediate airgun. True, the price is high, but quite not as high as an HW50 that would be a close equivalent in power.

I think the Comet would benefit a lot from a professional tune and from a couple thousand shots on the trigger. Like other Gamo-style triggers, a lengthy break-in period usually smoothes them out considerably.

26 Responses to “BSA Comet breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3”

  • RidgeRunner Says:

    Like you said, it is kinda pricey for a Gamo. Putting the BSA name on it did not make it any better, just more expensive. Add a tune and a retrigger to it and you are almost to that HW50.

  • Bob Says:

    Watched for the first time on TV the show Bone Hunters. They went out to Ca. to hunt squirrels & turkey with Gamo rifles and PBA pellets. It’s also the last time as not only was the show stupid but those guy are idiots.

  • Fred PRoNJ Says:

    Hi BB,

    you answered my unasked question when you mentioned the Falcon pellets were made by JSB. I always wondered why the tin of Falcons would do so well in my rifles that also favored JSB Exacts. Now I know.

    Fred PRoNJ

  • Mel Says:

    I find it a bit sad, how BSA, with all its glorious history, is used to sell a rather unimpressive run-off-the-mill springer for twice the price it should cost. for 100-200$ you get so many nondescriptive springers from Norica, Gamo, Beeman, Baikal, Mendoza, Remington, Crosman, Ruger, Winchester you name it…and (at least in the USA) the majority of these guns is re-labeled, which makes it very very difficult to pick the right rifle in that price range.

    So instead of jumping on the bandwagon and selling yet another clon with yet another creepy Gamo trigger (what makes this trigger so special to be found in so many rifles?), BSA should come up with a gun that at least has a decent trigger, and either costs less or has more to offer than a 150$ Gamo :( Geez, you get a Diana 34 for 220$!

  • kevin Says:

    Thank you Pyramyd Air! Yet another unique service that no other airgun dealer offers (see below).

    I buy the majority of my airgun supplies from Pyramyd Air for several reasons:

    1-broad selection
    2-good prices, 10% off coupon always in effect (very few items that the coupon doesn’t work for)
    3-free shipping on orders over $100.00
    4-no questions asked return policy within 30 days
    5-4th tin of pellets is always free
    6-they pack pellets for shipping better than anyone else
    7-very responsive and courteous customer service department
    8-they provide this blog
    9-they constantly update their site and strive to make it as accurate as possible even if it means ignoring manufactures specs. Other airgun dealers haven’t updated their sites in years
    10-they are a factory-authorized repair/warranty station for most major brands. If you have a problem they have replaced my guns or fix them on the spot. I’ve had other dealers that must ship guns with problems to the factory and won’t provide a replacement until the factory looks over the gun. Long waiting periods.

    Here’s my latest reason that I patronize Pyramyd Air.

    If you have one of the many guns that has a 13mm rail/dovetail and need a secure mount for a scope the options are limited. One upon a time BKL offered to machine any of their terrific mounts to fit a 13mm rail/dovetail. When Airforce purchased the BKL operation this service was discontinued. I just received word from Boris via Stacey that Pyramyd Air will offer this machining service on their BKL mounts for $15.00.

    Can you name another airgun dealer that goes this extra mile?

    Thanks again PA.

    kevin

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      Kevin,

      I forwarded your comment to the entire office at Pyramyd Air. Thank you for saying such wonderful things about them.

      Edith

      • kevin Says:

        Edith,

        I just received a very pleasant surprise from Elise Venditti and Pyramyd Air.

        As a result of you forwarding my comment to PA Ms. Venditti contacted me to say they’re sending me a gift. I’m overwhelmed. Thank you for your role in this blessing.

        kevin

        • Edith Gaylord Says:

          Kevin,

          Glad to do it! I know you’ll enjoy the package. Some nifty things are headed your way :-)

          Edith

    • MCA Says:

      Kevin
      I think I have another reason to add to your list. I placed an order for over $100 and got the free shipping, but a couple items were out of stock. I indicated that I wanted to make it one shipment, but It looks like PA is splitting it into 3 shipments (all < $100) and the first 2 say free shipping! If they are doing partial shipments for the original agreement (free) that would be a huge advantage.

  • Victor Says:

    B.B.,

    This Comet is kind of pricey for what it is, but apparently it can shoot well. I own a few Gamo’s, and am impressed with the CF-X and Hunter Extreme (which is not easy to shoot really well, but is doable). Of course, I did replace the triggers on them (as I do all that can be fitted with the GRT-III).

    Anyways, I understand that the CF-X has been discontinued. Do you know what the replacement might be, if there is such a thing? If so, can you please review it?

    Thanks,
    Victor

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Victor,

      I’ll look at whatever Gamo brings out.

      B.B.

    • Loren Says:

      I believe the Gamo cfx has been replaced by the whisper cfr with thumbhole stock.

      Loren

      • Victor Says:

        Loren,
        Wow! If the CFR replaces the CFX, then Gamo is taking a step down with their products. The CFX (mine, at least) shoots much better than the CFR. What is going on with these air-gun companies that they don’t design better products, having had successes?
        Victor

    • Matt61 Says:

      You’re kidding. Now that is quite the coda to the incredible and unequaled fanfare to the CFX when it was brought out. There were claims that it equaled the TX200. Then, there was a cooling period. Then, it came out that the CFX loses power at distance and doesn’t do well at .22 caliber. That seems to have been the turning point, and I haven’t heard anything else about it until this. But doesn’t duskwight shoot a customized CFX? That’s quite the recommendation.

      Matt61

      • Wulfraed Says:

        “loses power at distance”???

        Everything loses power at distance… Two different rifles launching the same pellet with the same muzzle velocity will have the same downrange ballistics. Unless one is mangling the pellet so badly its aerodynamics are shot…

      • duskwight Says:

        Matt,

        Well if duskwight in his time had enough money to buy custom TX200 Mk III or AA ProSport – history could go another way ;) After all there’s a little left from CFX in my case.
        I would call CFX a cheapest “serious” rifle with almost infinite potential for customization. And in that way it is unequaled. Even with factory barrel and steel spring it can hold its own against more expensive rifles. However since that time I got a real distrust towards pistons with central grip – they don’t allow gas springs (they did not actually, people here make twin-rod gas springs for Dianas).
        What is CFX customization in reality? It’s just making it the way it could be made but haven’t been done due to economical reasons. Stamping instead of machining, softer lower quality metal and so on. If it was made RWS or AA way – it would cost twice for El Gamo, however it doesn’t mean shoot way better. That’s why – take a triangular scraper everyone and start working on those edges and thank the Almighty that He provided you with CFX and a set of relatively straight hands.
        Discontinuation of CFX… well it’s like to cut a hen that lays golden eggs for soup. I feel I need to buy one or two more (in plastic of course) just for keeping sake and as a Mod. 2 base.

        duskwight

    • JohnG10 Says:

      Check out BBs review of the BSA Polaris. Its essentially a wooden, upgraded CFX and still sold.

  • Matt61 Says:

    Maybe this rifle is a candidate for a tune by Rich Imhoff or Mike Melick. Before tuning, my B30 was endlessly troubling, and I think I went through three of them. But since the tune, it is fabulous. Maybe this is another one for the old Charlie Da Tuna category of best deal with a tune.

    Reloaders, thanks. That’s valuable information about just what is or is not acceptable variation now that I’m on the ground and working with the equipment. It sounds like a powder trickler is the thing for me.

    PeteZ, I was curious what they use for polar bear guns up there, especially as to caliber.

    Okay, students of rifling, have a look at this about finding the equation for a helix:

    “It’s a great question. And I think I found the error. To start, I would begin with x(t) = acos(t) i + asin(t) j + bt k rather than x(t) = -asin(t) i + acos(t) j + bt k as you have, but that shouldn’t really cause any difference. The issue is this, if you take a twist rate of 1 revolution in 9 inches, then the parameter t will have advanced from 0 to 2π as the k-component advances from 0 to 9. This means that b should be 9/(2π), rather than 9. Using that value, I got a rifling angle of 4.45 degrees.”

    So, that’s how you describe a helix using constants a and b and this also matches up with Victor’s method of using the period of the circle in his calculation. But what’s interesting here is less the math than that this is from a full professor of mathematics at Oberlin who is one of my allies and one of the truly great resources in the collective mind of Palador! She likes it! So, this question is actually of interest to a real mathematician. I guess everyone just needs their own way of getting into airgunning.

    Slinging Lead, have I got the ultimate prize for you: videos of Russian women lifting kettlebells. As Victor tells us, we need to be in shape to shoot, so this is relevant, right?…. Here are the heirs to the Russian womanhood of the WWII female snipers, now engaged in more peaceful pursuits. Now the interesting thing, as you can see, is that they are not bulked up. They look totally normal, even a little on the thin side. But the kettlebells they are lifting tirelessly are significantly larger than mine and they are doing more difficult things with them. The fact is, you wouldn’t want to come to grips except in mutual passion. Maybe their role would be as bodyguards. In any altercation, the assailants would find themselves stuffed into trash cans by the small unassuming woman next to you. The physical ideal is very interesting. We are trained to think in terms of a contrast between Clark Kent and Superman where strength is associated with huge, bulging muscles. But what if you could be both at the same time. Look like a totally normal person but flip over 600 pound tires like this other guy I saw. This would in some ways be more satisfying.

    Matt61

    • Victor Says:

      Matt61,

      When you first posed the question, I had assumed that you were somewhat experienced with Vector Analysis (at least academically), and just needed a bit of a refresher and lead. That’s why I was initially only concerned with the basic setup of the problem. Also, because of my first assumption, I thought that you were interested in a general solution, which in my opinion falls under the realm of Vector Analysis, as I had presented it. I hadn’t considered that you’d be interested in anything else. With my assumptions, I thought that the general solution would have been of value to you because it could be applied to any such problem. In the end, I arrived at 4 equivalent results using the same starting point from a Vector Analysis perspective. It really was fun to do this sort of thing again.
      I can almost consider getting back into that sort of thing again. I may never have a need to this again. :( Thanks again!

      Victor

    • Pete Z Says:

      Matt61,

      Sorry. I actually forgot to ask. It was a large bore, not a .223 AR-15 sort.

      Pete

  • Matt61 Says:

    Slinging Lead, the gate to bliss is a YouTube search of “female” and “kettlebell”.

    Matt61

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