BSA Airsporter Mark I: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSA Airsporter
The BSA Airsporter Mark I is an all-time classic.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Sleeper?
  • How to date your BSA
  • Condition
  • The rifle
  • Stock
  • Trigger
  • Wood
  • Rust
  • Firing behavior

A few weeks ago I landed several great airguns on the Gun Broken auction website. One was that Mauser 300SL target rifle that we aren’t done with yet and another was the BSF S20 pistol I’m looking at now. The third one was a BSA Airsporter. It’s an taploading underlever whose lever is concealed in the forearm, so it looks much sleeker. I’m sure when it first hit the market in 1948 that it sent shockwaves around the world. In fact Falke copied the action for their famous model 80 and 90 rifles, and Anschütz did the same when they made the sporting rifle that later became the Egyptian Hakim. They all started with the Airsporter Mark I.

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BSF S20 air pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSF S20
The BSF S20 pistol looks like a rifle that’s been cut down to fit into a pistol grip.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Chinese copy?
  • An HW70 copy?
  • Velocity test Premier 7.9-grain
  • RWS Hobbys
  • Crosman Silver Eagle hollowpoints
  • Breech seal?
  • Trigger pull
  • Cocking effort
  • What’s next?

Today we’re going to see what condition my new/old BSF S20 pistol is in. I will compare it to my BSF S20 Custom Match pistol that I tested back in 2008. That pistol is shooting at the rated velocity of 440 f.p.s., for pellets that were never specified in the ARH catalog, so I guess they are Hobbys or something equally light. But before I get into that testing, I have a surprise for you.

Chinese copy?

Reader Richardwales mentioned that he had owned a couple Chinese copies of this pistol in the past. Then reader JimQwerty123 mentioned that he had also considered buying one. I answered that I had allowed $10 in trade on one (a Chinese copy of the S20) at the Findlay airgun show several years ago, and I had always intended testing it for you. Today I’m going to show you that gun and ask both readers if it is the one they were referring to in their comments.

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BSA Meteor Mark I: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSA Meteor
BSA Meteor Mark I.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4 
Part 5
Part 6

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Scope not good!
  • Sight-in
  • RWS Hobbys
  • The state of the tune
  • RWS Superpoints
  • Results

Today I shoot the BSA Meteor Mark I with its factory scope. This is a 2-power scopes that I doubt was ever filled with nitrogen, so the optics are less than sparking. They are at the toy level, at best.

The test

I’m shooting at 10 meters, using the two pellets that were the most accurate in the last test. The rifle is rested directly on a sandbag, because it demonstrated that was okay in the last test. Last time I shot at 10-meter air pistol targets, but this scope magnifies two times, so now I’m using 10-meter air rifle targets.

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Life in the golden age of airguns

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Growth
  • Why do we shoot?
  • Accuracy
  • Smooth shooting
  • Pride of ownership
  • Technology
  • Today
  • Where to next
  • What to avoid

As I read your comments I can’t help but marvel at the changes I see in airguns. Let’s start with their popularity.

Growth

When I started writing about airguns in 1994 we had very little idea of how many airgunners there were in the United States. We knew how many people owned firearms because the NRA kept track of that number, and at that time there were between 5 and 10 million shooters in the U.S. The number depended on which definition of shooter you used. If you were interested in shooters who were very active, the number was smaller. If you defined a shooter as someone who shot a firearm in the last 10 years, the number was large.

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BSF S20 air pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSF S20
The BSF S20 pistol looks like a breakbarrel rifle that’s been cut down to fit into a pistol grip.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • BSF S20
  • Finding the gun
  • Some faults
  • Not so simple
  • Description
  • What to do next?

BSF S20

I saw my first BSF S20 pistol in an antique shop in Fürth, Germany in the mid-1970s. I went there to buy old clocks that the shop had in abundance. To me the pistol on the table looked like a small air rifle that had been cut down and fitted to a pistol stock. It wasn’t until I returned to the States and started learning about airguns that the genuineness of the BSF S20 pistol was discovered. I had lived for 3 years and 9 months in Erlangen, the city that was home to the famous airgun manufacturer Bayerische Sportwaffenfabrik (BSF) without realizing it!

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Mauser 300SL target rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Mauser 300SL
Mauser 300SL. There are three finger scallops along the cocking lever.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • The trigger
  • Firing cycle
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
  • H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets
  • Last pellet was a dome
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Evaluation

We start looking at the accuracy of the Mauser 300SL target rifle today. This may be the first time this air rifle has been tested this thoroughly and also  documented, so I want to cover as many of the bases as I can.

The test

I shot the rifle off a bag rest at 10 meters. I rested the rifle directly on the bag because of its gentle shot cycle. I used the sporting open sights the rifle came with. They are easy to see when the target is lit by a 500-watt photography light. I do think I would like to test this rifle with a rear target peep sight and, because the front sight accepts inserts, I would like to try installing an aperture insert in it. I think the accuracy might improve with these things, and we will have today’s results to compare to.

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Daisy’s Red Ryder: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

Daisy Red Ryder
Daisy Red Ryder.

This report covers:

  • Why velocity today?
  • Oil the gun
  • Daisy Premium Grade BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Umarex Precision Steel BBs
  • No Smart Shot BBs
  • Cocking is different
  • Summary

This is our last look at Daisy’s Red Ryder, and how fitting that it comes just in time for Christmas. Every year tens of thousands of Red Ryders are sold in this nation. It’s almost an established part of the holiday season and is certainly a rite of passage for a young shooter. The Daisy company certainly thinks so, as the Red Ryder is the mainstay of their business and has been for a great many decades. No doubt there will be some changes made by the new owners at Gamo, but let’s hope they have the good sense to leave the Red Ryder alone.

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