by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
BSA Airsporter Stutzen was the final version of the Airsporter to have a tap.
This report covers:
• What’s a stutzen?
• My first encounter
• Parallel development
• Fast-forward to 2010
• BSA Airsporter
• Underlever spring-piston air rifle
• Open sights
• Overall evaluation
Today, I’ll start a report on an airgun that’s tantalized me for over 20 years. It has done so in multiple ways and has caused me to learn more about this hobby of ours: The BSA Airsporter Stutzen.
What’s a stutzen?
First, let’s discuss the name. A stutzen is a style of rifle, not a specific model made by just one manufacturer. There are stutzen air rifles and stutzen firearm rifles. So, what is it?
The German word stutzen means to crop, dock or prune, so a stutzen rifle is one that looks cropped. Fundamentally, it’s a slang term give to a rifle that’s mounted in a stock that goes all the way to the end of the muzzle. The rifle barrel may be full length, but it appears cropped because the forearm is just as long.
A stutzen is not necessarily a carbine, though it can be. The stutzen name doesn’t refer to the length of the barrel, but rather to where and how the stock ends in relation to the barrel. You see, Mannlicher stocks also go to the end of the muzzle. Does that mean that all rifles with Mannlicher stocks are stutzens? Yes, I suppose it does, but there are subtle differences. Classic Mannlicher stocks have distinctive steel nose caps that enclose the end of the barrel. However, in the past 30 years, people have blurred the distinction between a classic Mannlicher-style stock and a stutzen, and today the terms are used interchangeably.
The BSA Stutzen’s stock ends in a schnabel of dark wood. There’s no metal end cap that a true Mannlicher stock would have.
My first encounter
The first stutzen I tested was for The Airgun Letter. It happened in the 1990s, at a time when I was very much into spring-piston airguns. The rifle I tested was a Gamo Stutzen that was a less-expensive version of the BSA Stutzen that had either just been discontinued or was soon to be. At the time, both the Gamo and BSA rifles had rotary breeches. I’d never seen a BSA Stutzen, so the Gamo Stutzen I tested represented all stutzen air rifles to me. That was a shame because the Gamo rifle was hard to cock, harsh-firing and not very powerful. As I recall, it wasn’t that accurate.The hard cocking and harsh firing cooled me to the rifle. I was shooting and playing with TX200s in those days, and any spring rifle that I tested suffered by comparison.
At the same this was happening, I was also deep into Hakim air rifles. I’d already owned about 10 of them and tuned them for others as well as for myself. The Hakim is also an underlever spring rifle, just like the BSA and Gamo Stutzens, but it’s lower-powered, making it easier to cock; after a tune, it shoots quite smoothly. Why, I wondered, couldn’t these stutzens be more like the Hakims? They were actually a lot more like them than I knew!
Fast-forward to 2010
I was at the 2010 Roanoke Airgun Expo, only because my buddy Mac drove out to Texas from Maryland and drove me back East (and then back home to Texas, again). I still had a drain tube coming out of my pancreas from a failed operation five months before, and I was barely able to walk. Another friend at this airgun show, Marv Freund, insisted I buy a strange German underlever rifle from him that turned out to be the Falke model 90 I’ve written so much about. If you don’t remember our first look at the gun, perhaps you’ll remember that it had the stock that I’d restored and reported on in a second 4-part report.
During both those reports, I remarked how much the Falke 90 action resembled the Hakim action. On closer inspection and after more research, I discovered that both rifles had their heritage in the BSA Airsporter of 1948. The title of this report is the BSA Airsporter Stutzen. Is this starting to make sense?
The BSA Airsporter is the underlever that started all of my fascination with these rifles, yet I’d never actually owned one. I’ve had bundles of Hakims and even the super-rare Falke 90, but somehow the BSA Airsporter eluded me all those years. Well, not entirely. I did actually own an Airsporter that was just a junk rifle I picked up at a local gun show. The stock was broken off at the triggerguard, and you could see the insides of the action. My thought was just to rescue it for airgunners, so I was happy to sell it to collector Larry Hannusch at Roanoke for what I’d paid. A year later, Larry had installed another stock on it, and I almost bought the rifle back from him before realizing it was the same gun. Other than that, I’ve never owned an Airsporter.
Then, several weeks ago, I was at another local gun show — in fact a show that was held at the very place that the 2014
Ft. Worth Airgun Show will be held. The guys out there know that I’m into airguns. When they have something, they sometimes bring it to me. At this show, there was a very familiar rifle laying on one of the tables. It looked like either a BSA or Gamo Stutzen, and it turned out to be a BSA. But this one was different from the one I’d tested back in the ’90s.
Instead of Gamo’s rotary breech, this one was a true taploader, which I knew made it older. It’s in like-new condition, and the seller knew that I was the only airgun guy in the room — or in the state, as far as he knew — so he offered it to me in a trade deal I couldn’t refuse. It was basically anything to get this airgun off his table because he doesn’t do airguns. By the way, if you do come to the Ft. Worth show this September, you’ll meet a bunch of members of this gun club who are very excited to sell all their old airguns. The club is giving them a communal table so they won’t have to pay to display and sell all their old airguns — and remember — they’ve been asking me for the past 2 years to have this show!
The loading tap is opened manually after cocking. Drop the pellet in nose-first.
Anyhow, I got this Stutzen in trade, even though I didn’t want it because of my experience with the Gamo years before. It’s so beautiful that I knew someone else would want it for sure. When I got it home and looked in the latest Blue Book of Airguns, though, imagine my surprise to discover that this isn’t just a stutzen. Its full title is BSA Airsporter Stutzen. That’s right — this is the Airsporter that I’ve been hunting for over the past 15+ years!
Underlever spring-piston air rifle
The Airsporter Stutzen is an underlever spring-piston rifle whose lever is concealed in the forearm. From the side, there isn’t a clue that the lever’s there. Despite what I said earlier about stutzens not necessarily being carbines, this one is — at just 39.25 inches long. The barrel makes up almost 14 inches of that length. The length of pull is 13.50 inches, which includes a one-inch black rubber buttpad at the back. So, this rifle is compact.
The stock is beech wood, but it’s from an earlier era and is far more attractive than the beech stocks of today. The taploading Airsporter Stutzen was made from 1985 to 1992, making it the final version of the Airsporter to have a tap. After that, the Gamo rotary breech was used on all BSA Stutzens. The wood is stained an even dark brown color, and the pistol grip is checkered. The forearm ends in a darker wood schnabel, which is German for beak or bill, and goes hand-in-hand with the stutzen style. The cheekpiece is nicely formed and stands apart from the butt, unlike the Gamo stocks that would follow. They all appear to have been melted, as their cheekpieces are blended into the butt with little transition. The comb has a classic Monte Carlo profile.
There are quick-detachable sling swivel studs on the stock, front and rear. But I must say that a sling on an underlever rifle can easily get in the way during cocking.
The metal parts are all an even dark black with a medium polish. It’s midway between a hunter matte and the deep shine of a TX200.
This rifle is .177 caliber; and although they were also made in .22 caliber, I suspect there are many more in this caliber, owing to the times and where they were made. The rifle is loaded through the tap, which must be manually opened after cocking. Don’t open it before cocking or the piston will create a partial vacuum when it withdraws. The tap is an extension of the air transfer port and must be aligned with the transfer port and bore (in its closed position) for air to flow though.
This is how far down and back the lever comes.
The rifle weighs 8 lbs. on the nose. The 2-stage trigger is crisp right now, but I see one and possibly 2 screws that might allow some adjustment. There’s very little information about these guns on the internet, but I did read that an owner had tried to adjust his trigger with little result. Both screws are headless Allen screws, so they aren’t there to secure anything.
I’ve shot the rifle a few times and can tell you the trigger is crisp, and the firing cycle is smooth and quick. Cocking is a bit on the stiff side, but not as bad as I remember. I think the Gamo Stutzen’s cocking linkage was rougher than this one.
There are open sights front and rear and not a fiberoptic tube to be seen! It’ll be fun to shoot. The rear sight adjusts in both directions, plus it sits at the front of an 11mm scope base. BSA scope bases on rifles of this time are the largest ever produced and actually approach 14mm wide, so care must be taken when choosing mounts. I don’t know if I will scope the rifle or not at this time — I just want to test it for you.
The rear sight is mounted on an inclined plane for elevation and a dovetail for sideways adjustment.
The front sight is a post that sits on a ramp. It’s very square and matches the rear sight notch well. A removable sheet metal hood covers the post.
I originally did the trade deal for this air rifle because it was a good one. But after examining the rifle more closely and after learning that it’s actually the Airsporter I have been searching for, I’m very glad I got it. I don’t know if I’ll keep it or sell it after testing, but at least I will have had the opportunity to closely examine an Airsporter after all these years. This will be a fun test!
85 thoughts on “BSA Airsporter Stutzen: Part 1”
That thing is absolutely gorgeous! I’m in love What a cocking stroke! can it do 8 fpe? Kinda reminds me of one of my hunting buddies’ Nylon 66 I need me one of these in the field to take some rodents.If you do decide to let it go,Let Me Know! It’s not like I could afford it but, you know.
If you want that thing, I recommend you do not wait. It is well worth selling / trading others for. If you get it and don’t like it, just let me know. 😉
If it puts out the kind of power that Diana does, the only thing that might not work for me would be the weight.I’m working on that as well as stamina right now.I’m so sore today I may have to curl up on the couch for the day. Did about 5 miles on the bike yesterday but that little bit of splashing in the pool really wore me out, after that I still had the last 3 miles left, uphill and as always, about a 10-15 mph headwind.My ribs are still too tender to use proper technique but I’ll start working on that soon.I’m sure I would have to liquidate every gun I own just to come close to having the funds necessary to get this gun so once again I’ll have to find another “handyman special”, If anyone knows of such a gun Please let me know.
Don’t curl up on the couch. Hit the work out hard again today and the following days. After tomorrow you’ll be less sore every day. That’s the best way to condition muscles fast.
Nope Had to go to the hospital again,Got so lost I couldn’t even make it outta the house.Guessin’ I overdone it.I pulled out some paperwork to start tackling & got overwhelmed.We’ll see what the Doc says in a couple days.
I always had something for the full length wood stocks. And I always liked the easier carrying carbines.
And many times I almost hit the buy button for this gun.
But you kept doing the reviews about the TX200 mrkIII. And I never got either gun. And maybe this just might be the gun I will get at the Texas show if you really are ready to sell it by then and I make it. And its even a tap loader like the Hakim military trainer.
And do you think if I had the Airsporter Stutzen and showed up at a field target meet. Would it have a chance? Well if I could get a scope on it.
Other than the collector factor, this BSA will have it all over the Hakim. Just from the photos that BB has posted, I for one can see that this is a top shelf air rifle. If you are thinking you want this thing, you had better get on it. I have his email address and I am not going to wait for it to be put on the table at a show. 😉
I’m just not sure about this BSA over the Diana. We don’t know the power level or accuracy yet. The 870fps that Diana advertises should be perfect. Not to mention, although it’s not a vintage gun, the Diana sure is beautiful and it looks extremely well built (as are most Diana’s). Let’s see how the testing goes on this one before deciding anything for GF1.
It will be a whole lot easier to get your hands on one of the Dianas than one of these. It has been quite some time since one of these were made.
About my BSA. I had to do a little bit of “machine work” to the compression chamber because of the gouging that was made from repeated cocking without lubrication. I used a hand drill and a sanding bit. I installed a new leather seal. That was pretty much it. There are new seals and springs available and a few parts such as sights, tap parts, etc. available also. Restoring one of these things is well worth it.
I know its all worth it in the end. But that’s one of the things about older things and restoring them. And I don’t mean just guns. Seems like you could run into a problem and then you have to do machine work or even make something. And I’m sure I could.
But I guess in my case is do I want to take the chance of getting something that could cost to get fixed. I guess it helps to get something from somebody you know and that would take the worry out of it. So for me I would have to weigh out the costs of something old verses new.
That’s like the gun BB is reviewing today. After he gets done testing it then we will know what shape it is in. And then on the other hand the Diana 430 is brand new. So of course if the right deal came up on one of the vintage guns I will probably be all over it.
As near as I can tell, the 430 has a similar action as the TX200 and HW97, which is probably the most efficient of the under levers. The compression chamber itself is pulled back from the barrel to load the pellet and then pushed forward to seal it. So there you have at least three modern top shelf air rifles to drool about.
I know decisions. To bad we just can’t get them all. And I’m happy with the guns I have now. So I will have to see how things go. But the Stutzens are definitely cool guns. I can see myself owning one at some point in time I hope.
Oh, I adore this kind of rifle. The most elegant and true form, that requires both skill and a sense of style from the stockmaker and a good taste from the owner. In my opinion that the best form of stock for a springer, as it distributes weight along a very long base and adds to rifle’s inertia.
However I’ve seen and shot another BSA Stutzen, with CFX-like loading breech. Perhaps a later model?
Yep, you are right. BSA made three types of Stutzen. The first one has the loading tap, and is the model which is described in this blog. The second version has a pop-up breech, much like a Weihrauch HW 57, and is problably made by GAMO. The third BSA Stutzen is pretty much a CFX in a different stock.
The pop up was a Gamo also.
That is the rotary breech I mentioned in this report.
By the way, from what I remember about that very gun, was a rather unusual rifling pattern that surprised me. Looked somewhat similar to ratchet, drawn through the barrel, with slanted teeth, only one edge per groove. Never seen anything like that on airgun before.
How is your airgun build coming along?
Actually, the first prototype was built and tested more than a year ago 🙂 I wrote about it here.
However it is heavy and cumbersome and hard to operate and moderately powerful – despite shooting like PCP in terms of accuracy and recoil. I had to take a break, due to moving to another place, but now I’m planning on building more refined and simpler version, right now it is in pencil sketches.
Is this BSA has a rotating tap , the Gamo CFX has rotating breach, Gamo Stutzen has pop/flip up tap/breach..
Reminds me of my Air Arms ProSport with its nifty hidden under-lever cocking system. You wouldn’t believe the time I spend when I take it to the range (to noodle around at long range pellet launching) explaining loading/cocking and especially why it makes hardly any noise. They tend to think it even more nifty ’cause it only goes “doink” when it goes. Tell them it’s “suppressed” and not only will they line up to shoot it but they’ll come away thinking it’s pure James Bond. Of course it’s also a lot less to let them shoot .177 pellets than those darn premium .308 Federals out of the Ruger RSI carbine with the Mannlicher full stock, you know the one with the strong resemblance to today’s BSA Airsporter and the Diana 430 Stutzen.
Some question is, with the airguns weight both coming in at about 8 pounds each, how come that’s about a full pound (and then some) heavier than the Ruger RSI?
(And yes, the RSI do kick some. Although I explicitly warned a rather petite female friend of mine about that, she insisted on cycling 6 rounds through it and only commented that it kind of hurt her eyes. “?,” I said. She sez, “Only because it pops my eyeballs out of my head every time I pull the trigger and it kind of smarts some when they snap back in.”)
I guess you could say this is my BSA’s grandson. Now, would I be correct in my assumption that the standard Airsporter had the cocking lever under the barrel instead of under the action?
I remember the 2010 show quite well. That was when I met Mac. He tried to talk me into buying that brand new Diana 75. I did end up buying my Izzy.
The lever of all Airsporters is where this one is. They just have shorter forearms.
A beautiful rifle! I can see why you’ve been wanting one! (or maybe I just have a thing for older guns…)
Interesting that you had such a bad experience with the Gamo Stutzen. I have one in .22 made in the early 2000s, and it happens to be one of the most accurate spring rifles I have shot! It is, however, very difficult to cock, not due to its power, but because of the lever arrangement that is very different from the BSA and so short it has an extension tube that slides to retract into the stock. Mine is equipped with a 3-9X40AO scope.
Although I love the looks and feel of the Stutzen rifles or carbines, the extra wood makes them heavy. Yet, I think due to the rigidity of the barrel, it is surprisingly accurate.
I like the old BSA Stutzen. That’s a nice pickup. I am not a fan of the tap loader even though they are neat. I like the rotating breech much better. I think the tap loader robs a lot of power from a springer. Someone asked about using the Stutzen for FT. I think they will find the Stutzen is pretty low powered and also that the tap loader can mess up the skirts of pellets which will affect accuracy if you are not really careful. If you want a BSA Underlever for FT the Superstar would be a better choice.
David I’m with you on the pop up breach giving away some fps as engineering point of view but not by comparison to pop up or rotating. The Gamo stutzen pop up breach riffle was rated at 930/950 fps. I think its safe to say one has to research the particular make and model if one has to have a certain fpe or fps..
I had a Gamo CFX. That rotating breech was a power robber also. It is a long way from the end of the compression chamber to the end of the barrel.
Just curious out the three : rotating breach, rotating tap, pop (flip) up breach. Which robs the most energy? I’m not trying to discount any one of the designs, because all were used on fixed barrel spring guns which aid to accuracy. Don’t want anyone new to airguns to discount this type of guns this design was not made for fps race.
chris in ct & et al,
Does it really matter if it robs power as long as you get the ft.lb/fps you need for what your using the gun for?
I would say the rotating breech, however in all three designs the type of breech was taken into account when they were designed. Underlever air rifles are usually not powerhouses. They are typically designed for increased accuracy over break barrels. Most of these will shoot the average weight pellet in the 800’s. My 1906 BSA will shoot in the low 600’s, but it was designed for 10 yard competition shooting. I expect this BSA will probably shoot in the 700’s.
I wish it was a 12 fpe gun but I see it hitting closer to 8-10 and similar to my QB-36 in weight and power output,that’s where the similarities would end. Should be effective out to 40-60 yards if accurate enough,which my QB-36 is not yet. Right now I’ve got more time than money and could use the experience and rehabilitative qualities of the rebuild on it much more than figuring out what to do with money I don’t have. My brain is a mess right now, later.
Those Stutzens are cool. I held and shot a Gamo Stutzen last year and was impressed with the whole gun, the bluing and wood finish was high end like it was made in UK.
My HW 50 has medium brown stain with the right side of stock showing light grain less grain on left. But still nice and makes me threat it like one of a kink. Bluing is very nice with just one spot on top of barrel looks like a slight oil stain but only if you look for it in the sun, otherwise cant notice it. No noticeable barrel droop.. I have about 100 pellets through it and its spot on accurate, Im using AA diabolo 8.4 and will put some Beeman barracudas today to see if point of aim is same im just a plinker for now. And it shot smooth right out the box no twang or buzz..but I will look into getting a cocking slide thingee so the articulated cocking lever don’t gouge the bottom spring tube..
Don’t overlook the cpl’s while you’re pellet testing your newer HW50. They were the best pellet in the two newer HW50’s I’ve shot (including Erik the viking’s).
Thanks I will for sure . I love PA’s deal put 4 tins in your cart and pay for 3 tins.
Just to clarify, I’m recommending the cpl’s sold in the cardboard box not the crosman premiers in the tins.
I’m glad you mentioned that.. Because they are from a different die mold.
chris in ct,
Keep in mind that B.B.(I think it was him) stated some months ago that Crosman was discontinuing the boxed pellets although he didn’t say when. I loaded up on them for that reason.
SlingingLead posted a link the other day about that gouging with the 50. They say that it is now installed from the factory. I havent even took the stock off of mine yet to see. I just dont want to take it a part.
And it sounds like you got a nice one too. And I though I would let you know the pellet my 50 likes.
And I tryed several different brands of pellets through it and the JSB 10.34 have by far been the best in my gun. And it seems to want to kick if I shoot the 8 grn. pellets. With the 10.34’s its a smooth shooter. Again this my gun. Your gun might like something different. But let me know if try any other brands or type of pellets.
Thanks for the info on JSB, ill get then when PA get them in stock. There is so much I need to stock up on like piston seals, breach seals springs ammo etc. not to mentions new guns I must have a TX200 a LGV master an the new FWB sporter…
I’m like that to about having back up things for repairs or maintenance. And the list of guns to get seems to always keep getting bigger doesn’t it. And the guns you mentioned are on my want list also. But I’m for sure happy that I got my HW50s.
And I forgot if you said before. But are you going to scope it? Or shoot it open sight?
I will shoot it with open sights for now . It gets expensive to get good glass.
I wish my eyes were still good enough to open sight shoot. I use to enjoy that when I was younger.
I would strongly suggest that you remove your stock and check for the insert in the cocking lever. There are only three screws (2 trigger guard screws, 1 in the bottom of the forstock) I know you are mechanically inclined, this would be a no brainer for you.
My HW50S always cocked very smoothly. When I finally took the stock off, I found that it had galled two grooves into the bottom of the receiver that are so deep that they look like scope mounting dovetails.
Do it. Do it today. It is a very small amount of effort for the piece of mind you get in return.
The problem with me is if I take the stock off the tinkerer in me would try to take over. I would be wanting to take the trigger apart or something.
But you are right. I do need to take the stock off to see. But if it ain’t there then I know I will be at least getting the insert that’s for sure.
I absolutely love the look of this gun. Diana is still selling one. The 430 Stutzen. I have come close to buying it a couple of times this past year just for the style.
That’s the gun I posted the link to above. I think they are cool guns.
I meant to add that I think the Diana is prettier than this one. I love it. The advertised fps in .177 is perfect for accuracy IMO. 870 FPS.
I meant to add that your model is the prettiest and most desirable of the BSA Stutzens.
If I am not mistaken, the other BSA Stutzens are really Gamos.
RR & David,
The only guns that BSA in England makes are PCPs. I have an email from the head of BSA in England that says BSA springers and gas-spring guns are made in Spain by Gamo. The UK plant makes only PCPs.
I guess it shouldn’t matter to me but that does bother me for some reason. Just jaded against Gamo I guess although I have a Gamo Silent Cat that is a darn good gun. A couple others in the early days weren’t. Sometimes it’s true. You get what you pay for.
I just looked at Gamo guns (no Stutzen) but I saw the Hunter Extreme. It shows a FPS of 1,650. Is that a record of some kind?
No, it’s a lie. No spring gun gets that kind of velocity without a chemical explosion.
I thought something didn’t smell right. Why do they continue to throw fuel on the fire? Some kind of death wish?
I own a Gamo Hunter Hurricane 1250 .177(made in England) which is the early model bought in 2005 and a Gamo Hunter Extreme in .25 cal . I only shoot Kodiaks 10.65 Silver Arrow 11.57 or eunjins 16 anything lighter cracks like a 22 lr. and risk breakin seal and spring. But I did see a video on YOUTUBE a subject of the travel of air it max just under 1700fps and the young man did manage to shoot some projectile past 1600 fps
chris in ct,
I suppose that’s possible. But like B.B. said, there has to be some kind of detonation going on with the air pressure to do it. Frankly, it’s starting to sound dangerous. I don’t know if the action or barrel will handle it. Somebody may get hurt.
BB, Wow this is great! I have studied this type of gun for awhile now and am eager to see how accurate this one is. Last week I began the purchase of the Diana 430 Stutzen in 22 cal. And hope to receive it in Oct. Have you or anyone had some experience with the Diana 430 ?
I have no experience with the Diana 430, but I used to own a Diana 46, which looks a lot like it. That rifle was fully as accurate as a TX200. Inly the triggers and firing behavior set them apart.
Your starting to get my attention with the accuracy. Can you remember how bad the trigger and shot cycle were?
The shot cycle and trigger were average for a Diana, which is not in the TX 200 class.
Glad you posted about that I was wondering also.
I’m looking forward to the performance report. I have a Diana 46 Stutzen, the predecessor to the current 430. It’s a darn nice, accurate and well balanced. I had often thought about picking up a Gamo Stutzen, but had seen reports on its cocking being less than easy to live with. Let me know if you want mine on loan for a Stutzen shoot off.
What a nice offer! Thanks, but I will let the Stutzen stand on its own.
The Diana 46 is also a wonderful rifle that I found rivals the TX 200 for accuracy.
I have a Diana 46 , the rifle not the Stutzen version. Mine is in .22 cal with a TO-1 trigger, late 90’s build.The reason I do not have a TX is because the 46 shoots so well . As an aside ,I hunt squirrels with the 46 despite what some consider to be anemic power. I get around 670 ft/sec velocity with CP’s which it likes best (from the box), which is what my MSP Benji and Sheridan guns will do. Interesting that BSA went to Williams for the open sight and did not use their usual version?
That’s a gorgeous Airsporter BB, and a proper British classic, from before the tie up with Gamo, it always made better power in 22 calibre and was always more popular in the larger pellet size here in the UK.
I’ve owned three Airsporters and tuned them all, the 22 will make 10 ft/lb of energy before it gets harsh and the 177 will make low 9’s, however it is a relatively simple and well trodden path to modify the piston slightly to get a longer stroke and a comfortable 11.5 in the 22, in fact they respond beautifully to a tune.
It’s telling that it’s sister rifle, the break barrel Mercury, sharing, the same piston, guides, spring, trigger and transfer port/compression tube size was always about 10% more powerful, and had the edge on accuracy, if not elegance, showing the inefficiancy of the tap loading system.
Most scope mounts will fit with little problem, however the dovetails are both shallow and rather forwards, BSA actually produced a one piece scope mount with an offset to counter this, though with most larger modern optics you can slide the scope back enough anyway.
That rifle is probably the best springer in your collection, the early BSA’s shouldered fantastically, take your TX200, and that Airsporter, remove all sighting systems and put a few eggs out at 25 yards, then just point and shoot within a second or two, shotgun style…….I think you will be surprised (the Diana 23/25/27 are good for this too…..and for the same reasons….short range, small field, open sight pest control, and that “pointability” is part of the pleasant nature of those guns too)
As an aside, try to get a stock of “proper” .22 pellets, ie, 5.56mm, Protek Supplies here in the UK (Bognor Regis) specialises in old stock pellets, the Airsporter and the shabby imitators you own will appreciate then greatly as the snugger fit while retaining a thin skirt will seal much better, tap loaders do not give their ammunition the best start in life, blowing the pellet accross a joint before it can settle into the rifling.
failing that, some of the RWS pellets fit OKish, though none of the longer skirted modern designs, pre 1980’s BSA’s hate JSB Exacts, you’ll be lucky to see 7 ft/lb, and a stock, decent condition 177 ‘sporter should see around 8.5 ft/lb
One thing is certain, pretty much any pellet you own isn’t going to do it justice, tap loaders appreciate a very thin skirt, the system doesn’t give the pellet a happy start in life, Protek Supplies over here in the UK seem to have the market cornered in old stock British pellets, he’d probably send a few tins, some age related ammo for those pale imitators the Falke and possibly the Hakims would probably cheer up their performance too
Hello BB and Fellow Airgun Buffs
This BSA Stutzen sure is a looker. With a quality of workmanship offered only on todays best air guns, I can’t help but yearn for the Good ole days at times. I’ve always admired a well thought out design with each part of the gun flowing smoothly from one part to the next. To me the design of this rifle puts it in a league all its own. To my way of thinking concerning beauty vs performance; if this BSA is able to make a soda pop can dance with each shot at 50 meters, I would consider it to be a winner. On another note, If memory still serves me, I believe the Diana 430 Stutzen has a cocking lever similar to the TX200, or HW77/97. This BSA cocks more like an Air Arms Pro Sport. I have been known to be wrong once or twice, so I would not take offence at being corrected.
I have been away from any wifi connection for a fort night, so I hope I haven’t missed too many of your gun range tales. Next to BB’s daily offerings, I really enjoy reading your exploits at the range. Have you thought of offering them to an on or off line shooting magazine for publication? Your humorous tales, and anecdotes are priceless.
We are all pulling for your compete recovery. The fact these events happen so fast, yet seemingly take forever to recover, does tend to try ones patience. Sticking to an exercise regime drawn up by a qualified therapist who is familiar with your history should give you your best chance at a full recovery.
Just a little note before I retire for the evening. Tap loader air rifles can be dry fired. By rotating the tap to the load position, you close off the barrel. When you fire it, this provides back pressure to prevent the piston from slamming into the end of the compression chamber and causing damage. This information was in the owners manual for the early BSA target rifles.
That is a nice feature. I guess you could dry fire it and practice your hold if you wanted.
Fun new words for me, stutzen and shnabel, lol sounds like a law office… Love the genealogy you provided, really gives insight to what the gun is. And it is nice, that’s for sure. Can’t wait to see how it does in further testing. I’ve also been interested in fixed barreled spring guns and to all the members that provided info on breech designs, thank you.
Thank you for the compliment on my Shotgun News article, but I had to remove it, because you posted a link to a competitor’s website.
Apologies for repeating myself, the server came back as an error on the first attempt, it’s not advancing years honest
I can’t wait til you start shooting this thing!It really looks like a lot of fun to shoot and cock over your knee until something gets sore.
Hi, I have a BSA Stutzen that had been tuned by its previous owner who saddly passed away. Its the smoothest shooting and cocking springer in my collection. It took a while experimenting with various pellets but i finally found one that would bring it down to 12 foot pound
Welcome to the blog.
You have a wonderful airgun. Are you aware that there are more parts to this report? See them here.
I have been given a BSA Airsporter stutzen I am not familiar with this air rifle at all and would like to find out more info and possibly acquire a owners manual. If anyone out there has any info I would appreciate it.
Welcome to the blog.
Getting a manual for the rifle will be a challenge, as the Airsporter is no longer made. So I would look at the airgun classified ads.
Thanks for the help. I will keep looking for information. I will also post pictures.
Not sure how to post pictures to the site. I would like to know how to clean the Airsporter Stutzen. Not sure if I should use a cleaning rod because of the loading tap and not sure what solvent if any to use for cleaning. I don’t want to ruin anything on this rifle.
I don’t have any tap loaders but I use a pull through on my fixed barrel guns.
There’s no posting pictures directly to the site but plenty of people use photobucket as an intermediary and post a link.
Don’t ask me how?
As for solvent, I use Goo-gone soaked in a patch.