by B.B. Pelletier
Today, we’ll look at the power of the BSA Scorpion PCP. You’ll recall that this rifle is advertised to hit 30 foot-pounds, so we’ll see how well that works today.
Now, for the first time I found myself short of air. My carbon fiber tank only had about 220 bar in it, and of course this rifle fills to 232 bar. I do own a Hill pump that could do the job, but until my hernia is repaired I don’t think that’s such a good idea. So I can’t report on the maximum shot string today. It’s supposed to be 20 shots but my rifle started to lose velocity after just nine shots. So, we won’t count that against the rifle; we’ll just have to see to it another day when the tank is full.
The cocking is harder on the Scorpion than on other bolt-action rifles, and that’s because of the high pressure at which the valve operates. On the plus side, BSA gives you a nice long bolt handle to grasp.
The trigger has some play in stage two. It releases at about 56 oz., but I’ll adjust it for the accuracy test. Okay, let’s get on with the test. Remember, the Scorpion is a .22 caliber air rifle.
The first pellet to be tested was the Beeman Kodiak. Kodiaks weigh 21 grains in .22 caliber and are usually among the most accurate pellets in powerful PCPs, so they’re a good place to begin. I’ll probably use them in the accuracy test, as well. In the Scorpion, Kodiaks averaged 847 f.p.s. The spread went from 841 to 849 f.p.s., which is pretty tight. At the average velocity, they’re giving us 33.46 foot-pounds, so BSA is already off the hook for power. It breezed through with ten percent to spare! That result is giving me good feelings about the rifle.
The Crosman Premier dome is a 14.3-grain pellet. That’s right in the center of the middle-weight range. PCPs don’t generate their most power with lighter pellets, so I didn’t expect these to hit the 30 foot-pounds mark. They averaged 978 f.p.s. and the spread went from 975 to 985 f.p.s. Once again, a tight spread. At the average velocity they generate 30.38 foot-pounds at the muzzle, so we have another winner. Clearly, this Scorpion wants to shoot!
Gamo TS-22 pellets
The next pellet I tested was the Gamo TS-22 pellet. At 22 grains, it’s heavier than the Kodiak and is another domed pellet. In the Scorpion, they averaged 830 f.p.s. and the spread went from 829 to 831 f.p.s. Talk about tight! At the average velocity, the TS-22 pellet generated 33.66 foot-pounds, the highest of the test by a slim margin. What that tells me is that if I shot 28.4-grain Eun Jin pellets, I would probably top 35 foot-pounds. Oh, what the heck. Let’s do it!
Eun Jin pellets
This last test was with 28.4-grain Eun Jin pellets, and I expected to be surprised. My tank was even lower by this time, but I do believe from the performance I saw that it was still getting up into the power curve. Eun Jins averaged 748 f.p.s in this rifle. They ranged from 746 to 750 — another very tight spread. At the average velocity, they were developing 36.29 foot-pounds at the muzzle, so this Scorpion is way ahead of its advertised numbers! And, Eun Jins can be surprisingly accurate at this speed, so maybe I’ll include them in the accuracy test, as well.
Clearly, this Scorpion wants to shoot!
Observations thus far
I thought the Scorpion was going to be like another BSA Hornet, and indeed it is. It’s not just a 30 foot-pound gun. It’s really more of a 35-38 foot-pound gun when the right pellets are used. BSA knows how to make a good air rifle barrel. So, I’m expecting surprising things in the next test.
You know, at the price, this isn’t such a bad little PCP. It’s got oodles of power and a very simple design. If it’s also accurate, we’ll have a winner.
As you read this, I’m traveling but will be back home Wednesday evening. I’ll be logging on periodically during the day but would appreciate it if the regular blog readers would chip in and help with answers to any questions. Edith will also monitor the blog more closely than usual.