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Ammo BSA Scorpion SE: Part 1

BSA Scorpion SE: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is a guest blog from Tyler Patner, a Pyramyd AIR customer sales and service representative and enthusiastic field target shooter. He’s going to tell us about a BSA PCP pellet rifle. This is a complete report with the description, velocities and test targets, so I am breaking it into two sections.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me.

Over to you, Tyler.

by Tyler Patner

This report covers:

• Changes from BSA
• Let’s shoot

BSA Scorpion SE beech stock
BSA Scorpion with beech stock.

Before getting to the review, I want to preface this by saying that I’m a BSA fan boy (self-proclaimed, of course). When I found out that BSA was officially making their return to the U.S. market, I was ecstatic. And no gun was more present in my mind than the BSA Scorpion SE. I already had the BSA R-10 in my arsenal and had owned an Ultra as well as a SuperTEN (predecessor to the R10). The one gun I had yet to own of the BSA PCP line was the Scorpion SE. With the new look to the stock and the various glowing reviews from the UK sub-12-foot-pound crowd, I was chomping at the bit for the Scorpion SE.

Traditionally, I’m a .177 and .22 pellet shooter. I’ve never owned a .25; and, quite frankly, I had little desire for one. It’s nothing against the caliber, I just don’t have too much use for it, as most of my hunting and long-distance shooting can be easily accomplished with a .22. But as most folks will tell you, it never hurts bringing more gun than you need. If there was one thing I knew going into this review, it was that the accuracy should be nothing short of stellar. BSA barrels are widely known and highly regarded for their amazing consistency and accuracy. Many worldwide field target and benchrest shooters choose their barrels for that exact reason. So, expectations were very high; but to my surprise, my expectations could not have possibly been set this high.

Changes from BSA
The introduction of the SE (which stands for Special Edition, even though all of the current models are “SE” models) saw a few new features brought to the BSA line that many had yet to experience. The addition of a pressure gauge that reads in bar was a welcome feature I was very happy to see. The R-10 was the first BSA gun to employ it, and BSA has since added it to their entire PCP range.

BSA Scorpion SE beech stock pressure gauge
BSA Scorpion SE pressure gauge reads in bar.

The Scorpion SE also uses BSA’s new self-indexing magazines. Prior to these mags, BSA went through two other styles that used an indexing pin within the breech. This is a common method of indexing a magazine but comes with its own set of problems. A common complaint was that the indexing pin would actually break, leaving the gun unusable. BSA has solved this issue by creating a magazine that seamlessly rotates under spring tension once the bolt is retracted from the magazine.

I’ve used these magazines in both old-style BSA rifles and the new-style guns. To this day, I’ve never had a hangup with the new-style mags. Loading the magazines does take a certain technique, but it’s very easy to figure out and do quickly. I simply hold the drum of the magazine with my left hand and load pellets with the right, rotating with my thumb and index finger.

The drums are color-coded blue and red for .177 and .22, respectively. Each holds 10 pellets. The .25 is slightly different, with cutouts to allow for the larger spacing the bigger quarter-inch bore pellets need. It’s black and holds only 8 shots. I’d like to see BSA not leave any portion of the pellet exposed in the magazine.  If I were to drop the magazine in the dirt or mud, it’s possible for debris to find its way into the internals of the mag and potentially jam it.

BSA Scorpion SE beech stock mag indexed
My thumb and index finger hold the magazine drum against spring tension.

BSA Scorpion SE beech stock mag not indexed
Here I show the drum not indexed. It takes only a little finger pressure for this control.

BSA Scorpion SE beech stock mag side view
The mag drum is open on the side to allow the big .25-caliber pellets to fit.

The final change was the stock. The new stocks are being made by Minelli in Italy. For standard beech, the one I had was very impressive. It had great character and a very comfortable shape. The stock also had a very interesting reverse stippling in some areas. I’m not really sure if reverse stippling is the correct term for it, but that’s the best I could come up with! It’s almost as if Minelli removed a layer or two of wood and left things rough on the surface to give you more positive feedback when held. This definitely made an impact, as the areas of the stock where this was present were very tacky and really solid in my hand. The forearm is not too wide, and the relatively light overall weight of around 7 lbs. makes this gun an excellent choice for those walking the woods.

BSA Scorpion SE beech stock holding rifle
The rifle holds steady in the offhand position. It’s lighter than it looks!

BSA Scorpion SE beech stock forearm
The wood stock is shaped well, and the odd stippling is very grippy.

BSA Scorpion SE beech stock butt
The butt is nicely shaped, and the wood is attractive.

Let’s shoot
I chose to mount a scope that most would think is major overkill for a gun like the Scorpion SE. I went with a Bushnell Elite 8-32X40AO. This is a big scope that adds a lot of weight; but since I was shooting only benched groups, that was fine with me. It was also the only scope available at the time that I was comfortable with. All my good hunting optics were on guns and in use. That said, a gun like the Scorpion SE certainly warrants a nicer scope such as the Bushnell, and the extra magnification really gave me the ability to be as precise as possible when shooting my groups. Before we get to the group shots, though, let’s have a look at some velocity numbers.

I shot eight different pellets for the test but decided to chronograph only three of them. BSA touts their new SE models as having a “self-regulated valve.” There isn’t an actual regulator in the gun, so I wasn’t sure why they would refer to the valve design as self-regulated when that’s normally how PCPs function. With an unregulated gun, you usually get more of a curve when you graph out your velocities, while a regulated gun gives you a very flat string until the gun falls off the reg. While the shot count was relatively low, it was extremely tight — maybe one of the tightest spreads from an unregulated gun I’ve seen. And that wasn’t just from one pellet. Hunters could probably milk 20-25 shots from the relatively small air cylinder on the Scorpion SE.

The first pellet I ran over the chrony was the H&N Field Target Trophy which weighs in at 20.06 grains. [Editor’s note: Depending on how you search for this pellet in Pyramyd Air’s listings, one product name will state that it weighs 20.06 grains, and another will say it’s 19.91 grains. However, on the actual product page, the name and description say it weighs 19.91 grains (which is correct). However, I left the weight at 20.06 grains for this report since all of Tyler’s calculations are based on that number.] Filling the gun to 3000 psi delivered 17 good, consistent shots. We had a high velocity of 819 f.p.s., a low of 792 f.p.s. and an average velocity of 807 f.p.s. The extreme spread was 27 f.p.s., and the standard deviation was 8.4 f.p.s. Again, the low shot count is due to the smaller air cylinder, but it’s much more consistent than most unregulated PCP guns I’ve shot. The Field Target Trophy pellets put out about 28.7 foot-pounds at the muzzle. For a .25-cal. PCP, this is very underpowered, and my only real beef with the gun. More power would sacrifice shot count further, and BSA opted to go for a moderate power level with a higher shot count.

Next up were the 25.4 grain JSB King pellets. These are widely considered the best .25-caliber pellets on the market — and for good reason. They preformed extremely well and also proved to be the most accurate pellet tested, but more on that in part 2. We got 15 good shots on a full 3000 psi fill with a high of 738 f.p.s., a low of 723 and an average of 731 f.p.s. The extreme spread was only 15 f.p.s., and the standard deviation was a mere 2.7 f.p.s. When you see a standard deviation that low, you often find accuracy follows closely behind.

That works out to 30 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle for this pellet. It’s more than enough for small game but very underpowered for that caliber. A 25-grain pellet moving in the low 700s in a gun sighted in at 25 yards has just under 3 inches of drop when stretching out to 50 yards. That’s quite a trajectory curve, and it really shows just how under-used the caliber is in the Scorpion SE platform.

The final pellet I chronographed was the Beeman Kodiak at 31 grains. On a full fill, the gun produced 19 very consistent shots. The high was 672 f.p.s. and a low of 655 f.p.s., which averaged out to 664 f.p.s. We really see how going heavier eventually reaches a point of diminishing returns. I wouldn’t consider the slight bump in muzzle energy to be worth it, as it only topped out at 30.3 foot-pounds. I’d rather run the slightly flatter-shooting JSB Kings and give up the measly 0.2 foot-pounds. But with only a 17 f.p.s. extreme spread and a standard deviation of 5.9 f.p.s., things looked promising for the accuracy testing.

We’ll stop here and return in part 2 with Tyler’s accuracy testing. There are some good groups coming!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

43 thoughts on “BSA Scorpion SE: Part 1”

    • Gunfun
      I just got Email from PA for a Hawke scope that is on sale for save fifty.

      I know you were wanting another Hawke scopes and this looks to be a good deal so I thought I would give you a heads up if you had not seen the sale yet.


      • buldawg
        Thanks for keeping me in mind. That is one of the types of Hawke scopes I use. Here’s the other one.


        But you know what. I did order the one you listed for my HW50S over the weekend. I got it for that 149 dollar price plus 10% off and free shipping and I think it was also 2x’s bullseye bucks. And that is still going on for awhile.

        Did you get your fill probe adapter and magazine yet for your Hatsan?

        • Gunfun
          I got the email this morning and knew you liked Hawke scopes, Glad to hear you got one on the way. I got my Aim Sport 10×40/50mm from Sportsman guide on sale for 72 bucks with free shipping or I would probably have bought the Hawke, I have not had a side wheel adjustable scope before so I may have to give one a try. I have not decided what scope is going on which gun yet, I have a 3×9/40mm Hammers on my 60C and the one I will get Thursday will probably go on my Hatsan. Which still leaves my AR in need of a scope.

          The fill fitting and mag for the Hatsan won’t be here till Saturday, my fault as I should have paid closer attention to BBs review and ordered the fitting when I ordered the gun. Live and learn.

          Got the 60C working with gauge and the crosman pumper valve. I tried several different types of material for the seal on the valve stem, from rubber to the original Black delrin seal that was on the valve and none would seal, I finally cut a round piece of plastic from the red covers that come on motorcycle batteries positive post and trimmed it to fit in the recess of the crosman stem and then had to pressurize it fast with my SCBA tank and it finally sealed.

          I made a mistake when I drilled the hole for the gauge to thread in the fitting I thought the pipe tap I brought with me to had the drill size on it, but it did not and my buddies had a card that showed to use an R drill. We did not have that size so the next smaller size was 21/64 and that is what we used, when I got home the chart in the cover of my tap and die set said to use 5/16. So with the hole being 1/64 larger than what my chart said to use there was not a tight enough fit to seal the gauge. it is now J-B welded in until I can make a new fill fitting with the right size hole for the pipe thread. it is holding 2000 psi without leaking, just hope it doesn’t blow out at least not when I am checking the pressure, I don’t look directly at it , only from the side.


          • buldawg
            If you get a chance someway to look through a Hawke side wheel scope and see how they work I think you will like it.

            And you know you got to becarefull with those HPA fittings. Dangerous stuff if they come undone the wrong way.

            • Gunfun
              I believe my next scope I buy is going to be a Hawke side wheel because I can see the benefit of being able to adjust the range from the side rather than having to reach up to the front of the scope especially when you are targeting a critter that may not stay still long enough for you to get scope adjusted. You have definitely peaked my interest in side wheel scopes. Do you have the large wheel on your or just the small knob, and/or can the large wheel be put on any of the Hawke scopes or do you have to buy it with the wheel.

              I do very much realize the dangers of HPA and that is why I will not look directly at the gauge as it is held in place right now, I will be making another fitting for sure. I also store the gun with the barrel facing where if the gauge did blow out it cannot hit anyone. I have already ordered another piece of 7076 bar stock to make a new one.

              I shot about fifty shots thru it today and had to back the striker spring all the way off to get more than 10 shots before it fell below 1000 psi. The valve is still leaking very slowly because I filled it to 2000 psi two hours ago and it is at 1500 psi now, so it is going to come apart and I am going to put the stock valve back in since I pressed the stem out and turned the seal around and pressed the stem back in it so there is a good surface to seal with until I can find a material that will work with the crosman valve. When it rains it pours, I will be glad when sat get here and I can shoot my Hatsan.


              • buldawg
                I dont know if Hawke makes the big wheel that will fit those two scopes that we talked about. Never really worried about it. I got one scope thats got the big wheel on it and it gives a finer focus adjustment and gives more place to mark your true range. But the small knob works just fine because of how good the Hawke scope does focus. To me anyway.

                And I think when you get that Hatsan rock’n & roll’n you just might relax and get you some good shoot’n in and leave the valve situation sit for a bit.

                Once I get this Hawke scope on my HW50S and get it set I will give the valve another try on the 60. I m still thinking about what Im going to do with it.

                • Gunfun
                  You are right when my fill adapter get here I will not have so much time on my hands to worry about my 60C and will be more concerned getting the Hatsan scoped and sighted for some big turkey hunting.

                  The ones with the big wheels look like they would Get in the way at times, but I did not know so I had to ask. I would be happy with just the knob on the side also. That will definitely be my next scope purchase. I think I will end up putting that 10×40/50mm scope on my AR eventually and get a Hawke for the Hatsan. The 10×40 would be a bit of overkill on the Hatsan and the AR is definitely capable of shooting out to the ranges of that scopes magnification.

                  I cannot wait till the CMP range open here in early 2015 and will be able to sight in at multiple yardages with electronic scoring of POIs. Then I can get it to hit a knats behind at any range.

                  I am just going to put the 60C back together like I had it tuned and wait till I can email the guy in England about the custom valve he makes for the 60 as it will be a back up gun now anyway.


              • buldawg
                I forgot my scope shipped out Monday and the FedEx tracker says it will be here tomorrow.

                Got me some more JSB 10.3 pellets comming also. Was getting kind of low and figured I better grab some while the sell is going on and they are in stock. They seem to be a popular pellet for some reason lately.

                • Gunfun
                  My scope will be here Thursday so I will have it mounted and waiting to sight in when my adapter gets here.

                  I got to order some more pellets also to test in the Hatsan.


                  • buldawg
                    I think you said you wanted to try the 18 grn. JSB’s.I used the JSB 15.8 & the 18 grn. pellets in my FX Monsoon with pretty much the same results. Is that what pellets you got?

                    • Gunfun
                      I just bit the bullet and ordered some pellets, H&N field targets/16.36, H&N barracuda/21.14, JSB match jumbos/18.13 and H&N rabbit magnum/ 24,96. I also ordered a Hawke 2,5×10/44 AO just like yours while they are on sale. It will go on the Hatsan and the 10×40/50mm is for my AR.

                      Got the bug and could not resist, but I forgot to add the coupon for 10% off also so I sent an email and will call first thing in am to get the extra 10% off. every little bit helps, Just got to sell some RC stuff and old car and bike parts that I will never use on ebay to make the extra cash.

                      It all your fault LOL. When you get the PCP fever it don’t let up till you satisfy the need. I know I will be happy with the scope for sure.


  1. Tyler,

    Greatly appreciate your lengthy report that will be 2 parts.

    Never shot an SE but have shot many BSA’s including a .22 caliber lonestar and .22 caliber hornet that are amazingly accurate. I concur with your general assessment of BSA barrels.

    Glad BSA did away with the plunger as an extra step for cocking.

    The BSA’s also have a general reputation of low shot count, tight spread, being LOUD but very accurate.

    I’m interested in your take on the report/noise of your SE. I’m also curious to know why you choose this low shot count, low velocity, .25 caliber gun, with such a “swoopy” tail stock unsuited for a rear bag, for benchrest.


    • The gun was loud. Certainly not backyard friendly, at least not in a residential backyard LOL.

      I didn’t necessarily choose it for BR, not for competition at least, that was just how it got tested. I would actually like a sub 12 FPE .177 in this gun. THAT would be a true gem IMO. Might be a better choice in .22 for a BR gun. That’s assuming the .22 is also in the 26-28 FPE range, and you know what they say about assuming! That said, when I shoot benched, I often sight things in using sand bags in the front and rear, so they are adaptable to any stock style. The MTM predator rest also works well with the thinner and “swoopy” butt stocks.

  2. Thanks Tyler, I have been wanting to hear about some of these new BSA rifles. My 1906 has sucked me into being a “fan boy” also.

    As far as this thing having a rainbow trajectory, that does not really matter so long as it drops into the same spot.

  3. Wow! Plenty of real estate available on that cheekpiece! Nice gun!I like the textured look of the grip panels too. Very deserving of a scope such as the one chosen or one even better,If you want to spend the money.


    • It has served me well with my TX200. I actually use a modified version of that two/three finger hold when I shoot offhand lanes in FT. Can be heck on the wrist though!

  4. Tyler
    Very good review and great pics, that grain in the stock is definitely very rich looking . That scope does look a little out of place on such a short gun, but all those long scopes look like overkill anyway. Can’t wait for #2 of the review.


  5. Tyler,

    Great review! I was hoping for a review of the new Scorpion and here it is! Glad you did the .25 and I’m looking forward to the next part. That “swoopy butt” stock looks a lot like AA’s style. Or maybe AA’s looks like BSA’s ……

    I bought a Leapers scope from you a year or so ago off of the yellow for my S410E. Still using it on that gun. Thanks!


  6. Tyler
    So what are you going to use the .25 for? And why all the way till now no .25 calibers for you? And why did you decide that now was the time for a .25 cal. ?

    Sorry for so many questions but I’m sure you have some interesting reasons. 🙂

    • Gun

      It was a review gun, I was not given a choice on the caliber…had I been given one, I would have chosen the .25 anyway. I have always heard that among BSA barrels, the .25’s were largely considered the best and most consistent. I am sure owners of the Lonestar can attest to that.
      When I got the gun, I had anticipated something more along the lines of the Lonestar, ultra powerful (45+ FPE) and a very low shot count. What I found was the exact opposite. Not that I am complaining, exactly the opposite actually. You will see why I say that in part 2 as the rifle truly out shot my expectations.
      I have never owned a .25 but I have shot plenty. I’ve never had the need for the added power. Squirrels and rabbits really don’t require 45 FPE guns, although hearing the “thwap” of a pellet smacking one moving at those speeds is awesome! The Scorpion SE would actually give me a reason to get the .25 cal. Most of my hunting is out to 35 yards or so, purely backyard distance. 30 FPE (whether in a .22 or .25) is really all I need and even that can be overkill in some cases. The larger surface area of the .25 and bigger wound channel it would create would give me enough of an advantage to go with it over the .22 in a gun like the Scorpion SE.
      Like I said, I have plenty of experience with .25’s but most of my shooting is for Field Target and .177 is the caliber of choice there. But the more and more I try and use my 12 FPE .177 guns to plink at extreme distances (75 yards or more) the more I feel the need for the quarter bore! If only they made the BSA R-10 in .25. That would solve my dilemma for me really quick!

      • Tyler
        I pretty much feel the same about the .177 and .25 cal. guns. I have had my best luck with those two calibers. And the different power levels like you said makes a big difference in the way they shoot if you get the correct weight matched to velocity.

        Like I said Im wating to see those targets. I like to think .25 cal. is a good caliber. But the gun sure looks nice though thats for sure. And I hope BB dont take long to show part 2. 🙂

  7. B.B., off subject, I trying the ATF fluid with stop leak in my co2 pistols. Good news, one of my 2 Daisy 200’s is alive and well. I’ve forgotten how much fun it was and pretty accurate up close. The semi auto action works flawless. I just hope the gun holds up. I’ve tried countless times to find someone to work on them. Thank You so much for writing about the stop leak. Also I’m looking for suggestions on Air Gun books. I’ve got Co2 air rifles and pistols by James House, American Air Rifles by James House, a much older air gun book that I can’t remember the name (Sterling air guns were still being made then) and yesterday I got Airgun Odyssey by Steve Hanson. In Steve’s book, he suggest a book by you on the Beeman R1. Is the book just on the R1 or is there other articles in it? Any other books I should pickup & read? I don’t have the blue book on airguns, didn’t know if it was just values or had articles in it also. I’ve thought about buying Elliott on airguns by Jock Elliott, but it’s higher than the rest. Thanks again, Bradly

    • Bradly,

      The R1 book centers on the R1. There are chapters that apply to other spring guns, but the R1 is the central subject.

      That book is out of print and now commands $100 or more on Ebay. I don’t think it’s worth it.


    • Bradly
      I have no experience with ATF stop leak in an air gun, but I can tell you from 40 years of being an ASE master certified technician that stop leak for use in cars is only a very temporary solution at best. The problems is that the stop leak is designed to cause the seal to soften and swell up to stop the leaks, but what they don’t tell you is that when those seal do soften and swell up they will wear out and be torn by the rotating shafts that they were supposed to be sealing. Like I said I have no experience with it in air guns, but it is a major mistake to use it in a cars trans as the small leak you were trying to stop in three months will now be a gusher because the seal is now softened to the point it is non existent. It may work in your gun for awhile, but I believe that a few months down the road your gun will be right back where you started. By the way I do work on air guns at home now since becoming disabled.


      • Perhaps it can be useful as a troubleshooting tool. If it stops the leak, you know it’s a soft seal that’s bad and not a hard part.

        Anytime the owner of a Daisy CO2-100, 200, or 300 can get their gun working there is great rejoicing. Even if it’s just for a little while.

        • Vince
          I believe it would be the other way around, if the gun works after using the stop leak it is because the seal had dried out and became hard. The stop leak would soften the rubber of the seal up and make it seal again. It may very well last quite awhile because the seal in the air gun does not have a rotating shaft that is constantly Applying heat and friction to the seal surface which is why the stop leak is only a temporary fix in a car. I know from experience of tearing into transmissions that have had stop leak put in them that the seal are more like jelly than rubber when removed.

          I looked into the 100,200 and 300 model daisy’s and the issue with repairing them now is the lack of parts availability.


          • Bad choice of words on my part… by “soft seal” I don’t mean a seal that is still soft, but rather a seal made from a plastic or rubber that is supposed to be pliable. “Soft”… as opposed to “hard” parts made from brass or steel.

            • Vince
              I reread your response and I see what you were saying now, not really bad choice of words as it was late last night and my mind does not always stay up as late as I do. But it will most likely work good in air guns because as I said they are not under the same stress as car seals are.


      • buldawg, while they may be true in an auto trans, There are several on here that have good luck with it in an air gun. And for extended periods at that. I also know that in an engine, it works very well (high mileage motor oil that includes “stop leak”) for many years and the improved, never got worse. The reason I tired on an airgun is B.B.’s personal experience and I had nothing to lose. Bradly

        • Bradly
          As I said I have no experience with it in air guns and the seals in air guns do not rotate or have shafts spinning at up 6000 rpms in them so it may work very well. I just know the formula in stop leak for auto trans is designed to swell seals to help them seal. They may have made a lot of improvements thru the years in the chemical makeup.

          The engine oil for high mileage engines is not the same as for auto trans and is has more zinc and phosphates in it to help coat worn cylinders and ring filling microscopic scratches and grooves to promote better cylinder sealing and reduced friction on first starts when 90% of all the wear in an engine occurs. That is why over the road truckers never shut their truck down unless it will not be driven for over 24 hours because it cost less in fuel consumption and engine wear to let a diesel idle than to start and stop it frequently. They also regularly go 25000 to 30000 miles between oil changes.

          I hope the stop leak works for you for a long time as it probably will because the seals in an air gun are not subjected to the same forces as a transmission.


  8. While on the range, one of the officers told me that putting a scope on my Anschutz was unfair. To this, I say that if you are in a fair fight your tactics suck. Glad I could experience the nice stock on the BSA with what Anschutz describes as their “anatomically perfect stock.” I think they might be right. Everything about that stock seems to be guiding you to the target. I expect fantastic groups from today’s set-up.

    Just returned from Las Vegas. I passed on the temptation to shoot the full-auto MP5 at a local gun store. I have actually shot full-auto before. With an M60 machine gun and an M16A1 in ROTC and then with my airsoft M4. Once you get over the novelty, it’s like shooting away money at a high rate of speed and the sensation of a typewriter. Generally, it was an interesting place, but if someone tells you that they have made it over for family fun, don’t believe them.


    • While working for the Army I fired (free-hand) an M231. 1.5 seconds to dump a 30-round mag… at today’s prices for bulk domestic ammo, that’s over $400 per minute.

      That’s a mighty pricey mistress, there….

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