by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
My rifle is actually a BSA Super Meteor.
Today, we’ll find out if a new breech seal fixes the low-velocity problem I had with my Meteor in the last test. You’ll remember that I tested the rifle for velocity and noted that the breech seal was pretty bad in the last report. I removed it and made a quick leather seal just to test the gun. I got initial velocities in the low 500s with light lead pellets, but they quickly dropped to the 300s to 400s. I felt the breech seal was the problem, and since T.R. Robb had treated me so well on the piston head and seals, I ordered some new breech seals from them. They were 5 pounds each, and shipping to the U.S. added 2 pounds, 50 pence for a total of 17 pounds, 50 pence, shipped ($28.82). They arrived last Friday, and I quickly installed one in the gun.
The new breech seal is small in diameter, but tall to fit the groove in the breech.
The temporary leather seal had flattened out across the entire rear of the barrel. The darker circle is where the actual seal is supposed to be.
This is the groove where the breech seal fits.
And here’s the new synthetic breech seal standing proud of the breech, as it should.
The rifle is already well-lubed from the rebuild I just finished. After the new seal was pressed into place, all that remained was to test it. You would do well to at least scan Part 5 to see the last velocities. RWS Hobbys were running around 360 f.p.s.
I’d seated the pellets deep for the previous test, so that’s how this test began. RWS Hobby pellets averaged 648 f.p.s. with a spread from 633 to 663 f.p.s. It was obvious that some dieseling was happening, as I could smell it as I shot. I think these velocities are slightly elevated from where the gun will settle after a break-in of a few hundred shots. At the average velocity, this pellet is producing 6.53 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. That’s not a lot, but it’s much more than it was doing before the breech seal.
Next, I tried seating Hobbys flush with the breech with finger pressure, alone. These averaged 652 f.p.s., with a spread from 638 to 665 f.p.s. The muzzle energy raised slightly to 6.61 foot-pounds — not really a significant difference. The velocity spread tightened by 3 f.p.s., too, but that’s also insignificant. I’m of the opinion that at this point, deep-seating isn’t doing much — at least for this pellet.
JSB Exact RS
Next, I tried the 7.33-grain JSB Exact RS pellet. This one shot faster when the gun had the leather breech seal — an average of 460 f.p.s., but that number was also declining fast as the seal flattened out. The difference in velocity between these and the Hobbys might just have been the order in which they were tested.
When seated deep, the RS pellets averaged 611 f.p.s. for 5 shots, but I got the impression that the velocity was starting to drop — as if the excess lubricant had been burned off. Seated flush, the same RS pellet averaged 592 f.p.s., but the string was an almost linear velocity drop from the first shot at 611 f.p.s. to the last, at 577 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this pellet produces 5.71 foot-pounds.
The gun seems to be breaking in and the velocity is declining slightly. I think it will settle down soon, so the gun will still show a marked increase from the new breech seal. To test that, I’ll do a special velocity retest after the accuracy tests are complete. They’ll give the gun more time to break in.
I’ve mentioned more than once how much I like the way this rifle fires. The trigger, though single-stage only, is crisp enough for me. It breaks at 4 lbs., 14 oz., which may seem like a lot; but on a handy plinking rifle, it really isn’t bad. If I’d been trying to shoot groups at 50 yards, maybe I could complain; but for what I want this gun to do, the trigger’s fine.
The rifle cocks with just 19 lbs. of effort! Though it’s an adult-sized airgun, it cocks like a youth model — a feature I really enjoy. And the cocking is so precise. Pull the barrel down until you hear the sear click into position…and you’re done. There’s no overtravel and no long cocking stroke that takes you outside the range where you have the best mechanical advantage.
There’s also no buzzing or vibration that’s noticeable. I’m sure there must be some, but the gun feels very solid when it fires. It’s difficult to explain until you feel it in another air rifle, but it’s a feeling you’ll really enjoy.
I literally cannot wait to shoot this rifle for accuracy! I’ll first try it at 10 meters. If it does well, I’ll also try it at 25 yards. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to test this rifle a lot, now that it performs so well.
37 thoughts on “BSA Meteor: Part 6”
That new seal looks great… nice fit and it’s standing tall.
Happy Holidays all,
Let’s hope there isn’t too much more rust and pitting inside the barrel… I can see a little in that photo.. and lots on the sites and outside of the barrel.
B.B. are you planning on cleaning/polishing the barrel before and after the accuracy test? … might be interesting:-)
.. and by the looks of this short article, you might be scrambling/stretching this one out a bit… creating a much deserved holiday break:-)
In Part 5 I mentioned that I cleaned the barrel with JB Bore Paste.
Sounds like good news to me.
Your description of the trigger pull, cocking effort and a solid firing cycle brings to mind another BSA.
Not about the Meteor, but while cruising the new products page I see this: https://www.pyramydair.com/product/umarex-elite-force-m4a1-aeg-airsoft-rifle-clear?m=3345,
It has a list price of $900! But an original price of $169.95, on sale for $119.95.
PA might want to edit the product.
Edith will have to look at that one!
I notified the airsoft department at Pyramyd Air. Thanks!
And now it says
List price $179.99, Orig. Price $169.95
and still $119.95 sale price…
List price = $179.99 (mfr-suggested retail price)
Original price = $169.95 (original selling price of the gun on Pyramyd Air’s site)
Sale price = $119.95 (it’s temporarily on sale: You’re saving $50 off the original price of $169.95)
Does this now make sense to you or am I missing something?
Only that “original price” immediately after “list price” sort of implies that the “list price” has increased…
“original price” followed by “our price” then followed by “sale price”, to me, seems the actual intent — of indicating that they didn’t sell it at list price to begin with.
List price is the correct term: The price on the list supplied by the manufacturer (that’s the original meaning).
We use the Original price field only when we put something on sale. This lets customers see how much we used to charge in comparison to what we now charge. For instance, look at this page. No Original price is shown because the item is not on sale. Only the List price is shown. Above it is the price that, if we were to put it on sale, would become the Original price. See?
Another airgun comes back to life!
Very good results with the new breech seal. This airgun reminds me of the Bronco, but with more velocity – my Bronco gives about 565 fps with Hobbys. Looks like the Meteor would be a perfect backyard plinker.
Paul in Liberty County
I agree! Yes, this Meteor is a lot like a Bronco. In fact, the Bronco is a sort of reemergence of guns like the Meteor! I hope such guns will always be available new.
Alright everybody! You heard BB! The only way the marketeers will have any inkling of a clue that we the consumers just might be interested in anything but super duper hypervelocity air rifles is if we start buying things like the Bronco and the R7 and not the junk they are peddling! Now pull out that plastic and get at it!
I’m considering an HW35E myself.
I absolutely agree. I too love the mid power, accurate, smooth shooting spring piston rifles. I have a Weihrauch HW30S and it is one of my favorites, especially for standing, off-hand shooting. Every airgun lover should have one.
Nice job, BB! I can’t wait to see how she shoots after regaining her old vim & vigor! I guess this is what I enjoy about old-ish airguns. They’re usually revivable. New seals, a little tlc and they’re good to go for a bunch more years!
this rifle pretty much mirrors what I am getting with that Webley Tracker / Burnett Tracker that I bought in Roanoke last year. About 640 fps with 7.5 gr .177 pellets for muzzle energy in the neighborhood of 7 ft. lbs. (am at work so don’t have exact figures). However, the trigger is a real bear – it’s narrow, heavy and does hurt the index finger after a session.
BB I got to ask you a question or the other people here too for that fact.
This may help somebody to make a decision on getting a old or new spring gun. And I have mostly messed with pump guns, Co2 and PCP guns so I don’t know the real answer. I have had my Diana 54 Air king for a number of years with absolutely no problems.
But have you seen very much spring failure on spring guns? I guess I’m mostly talking spring breakage.
It does on occasion happen, but not often. Usually that is because of a manufacturing defect. What is far more common is when a spring gets old and worn it will “relax” at some point and no longer be straight. If you chrony it regularly, when that starts to happen you will see the velocity start dropping off.
I hope what I just told you is correct. If not, I await my deserved chastisement.
I just wondered if they were a better choice than a nitro spring.
Seems like the old fashioned steel spring is smoother. Well comparing the guns I have to each other. Spring breakage has always been my concern with spring guns.
But I guess if you look at the valve springs in a car engine. How many times they cycle and how long they last I guess the steel spring should stand up to time.
I personally am not convinced that a gas spring is really better. I can see some minor advantages, but my personal experiences with them have not been all that positive. Perhaps if a top shelf company was to design a quality air rifle around the gas spring from the beginning…
Diana mainsprings used to break all the time. You could count on it happening.
I haven’t heard that they do it anymore, but they still could. They were too brittle and broke off one inch from the end, then wound the broken part into the spring. I have seen springs with both ends broken this way.
Would you be refering to those of post WW2 era or those of more recent vintage like the sixties?
They did it in the late 1990s.
Hello B.B. and Fellow Airgunners
You sure have a nice plinking gun after all your toils to make it so. I have always been a fan of the older spring break barrels. They were crafted of wood and steel with no plastics or fibre optics to vex us. I especially enjoyed learning how you repaired the Meteor’s piston and seal. Previously, I was aware of Weihrauch’s method of placing a new parachute seal onto the piston head. I have an opportunity of purchasing a three year old BSA Supersport in .177. Would the piston and internals be similar to those in your Meteor? The fact your Meteor is still providing you with many hours of shooting fun, tells me a BSA would be a good investment.
I don’t know for sure, but a gun made in the last 3 years should almost certainly have a parachute seal, I would think. I think the separate piston head with its o-ring seal is a thing of the past.
To find out for sure, go to T.R. Robb’s website and look around. The replacement seal should be there.
Happy New Year to one and all! I’m back, sorta. I’m waiting for my kids to get medically cleared to give me a new kidney, the only chance I have to make it to June. I’m a bit shakey from the lack of kidney function; my hands twitch a bit, making typing in the iPad a bit unpleasant. Don’t know what shooting would be like. But it doesn’t matter; 4 weeks ago I fainted, fell, and busted my left ankle. I can’t walk steps, so I can’t get to the range. 3+ more weeks.
Cheers; hope Santa was good to you; she brought me a new iPhone 5s!! Very nice.
I want you to know that I pray for your health every day. I realize how serious this is, and I think you are being very brave to face it like you are.
I dont know how to respond but to say this.
I had to have some of my colon removed a few years back. I had Diverticulits. It got my bladder and kidneys infected.They thought I was going to loose one.
It was a very scary time for me. My kids were young. So the best I can say is pray. The more prayer the better.
I forgot to add one pIece of GOOD news. As part of the screening for the transplant, I got an incredibly thorough exam for my cancer. Final result? It is Cured! (The anti rejection meds would a activate any residual cancer, so you have to know its gone!
Excellent news, Pete! Praying for your full recovery from the kidney ordeal!
That is very good news. That was a worry I had. Colon cancer. I was lucky there. None.
And Im glad that you have shooting on your mind. Always helps to have a good thought.
I love it when a nice old gun gets new life. easy cocking is the best part. like my Christmas gift I got myself . I got me a new old stock Diana 24 to-5 and ive got to shoot it mabe 40 shots but I like it so far. b.b. keep up on this fine old meteor, I like it. and hope edith n you had a very nice Christmas. oh isn’t the shot show coming up soon too?
Yes. SHOT is in 2 weeks.
Happy New Year Mr. Gaylord,
Nice to see another rifle came to life with your effort. I wonder what kind of synthetic material that T.R. Robb use for the breech seal. Do you mind to give some clue to it? I have local a springer made from Diana 27 design that need some works on sealing. The leather breech seal feels a little bit leaking after few hundreds shots.
I can’t tell you what the material; is, but it’s soft, so the durometer rating is 10 or so. It’s translucent and not dense, plus it has to be impervious to oil.