by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSA Meteor
BSA Meteor Mark I.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Scope base
  • Breech lockup
  • Spend the money!
  • Velocity
  • Hobbys
  • RWS Superpoint
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Conclusions

I learned a lot from the comments to Part 1 of this report. Apparently a lot of readers are fascinated by the BSA scope that came as an option. I was asked several questions about how it mounts to the rifle, so let’s start today by looking at that.

Scope base

BSA cut two large dovetails into the spring tube. Then they pressed two steel inserts into these dovetails to create two hard mounting points for the scope ‘rings.’ I put quotes about the word rings because they aren’t rings at all. They are built right into the plastic scope body and as such they cannot be moved. Neither can the scope base oj the rifle be moved. So BSA gives you three holes to adjust the scope’s eye relief.

BSA Meteor scope base
Two wide dovetails have been cut into the top of the spring tube, and hard steel inserts have been pressed into each cut. This forms a hard and immobile place for the scope mount to clamp to.

BSA Meteor scope mount
The scope doesn’t have rings. The mount is molded into the plastic body. Three holes allow some movement fore and aft for best eye relief. Pardon all the dust. I brushed the mount before taking the picture, but the plastic attracts and retains dirt.

BSA Meteor scope clamp
Although the scope body is plastic, the clamp has steel inserts where it matters. These clamp onto the plates in the dovetails on top of the spring tube.

Breech lockup

The other point that reader GunFun1 asked was about the breech lockup. Though the Meteor barrel opens without a slap on the muzzle, the breech locks up tight like a bank vault. This is something modern airgun designers need to study, to learn how BSA does it. I’m showing you what the breech looks like, but the secret is in the strength of the detent spring. They didn’t overdo it.

BSA Meteor detent
Nothing special about the breech detent, other than the spring isn’t too strong.

BSA Meteor transfer port
This is where the breech goes when the barrel closes. The shiny steel pin holds the detent (and the barrel) in place.

Spend the money!

One final remark — and this is for an airgun engineer who is currently developing s new breakbarrel. This Meteor has a pivot pin, rather than a bolt that can be tightened. As a result, the breech gets loose with use. This is a common fault of the Meteor. You fix it by crushing the action forks in a vise and hammering the vise to brinnel the forks togethyer tighter. Don’t try this at home unless you are a carrfull worker!

My point is that pivot pins DO NOT WORK on breakbarrels! They always loosen up and accuracy goes out the window. I’m stressing this for the sake of the engineer who has to sell it to a budget oversight review board. Sure, putting a bolt there means greater expense (the bolt costs more, plus the action forks have to be machined to receive it), but SPEND THE MONEY! This is a fatal flaw in some breakbarrels, and yes, I am thinking of some popular models that almost made it but fell short. Their designers haven’t got a clue why that is, but I just told you.

Velocity

Okay, enough talk. Today is velocity day. Let’s see what this baby can do!

Hobbys

This rifle is a .22, so RWS Hobbys weigh 11.9 grains. I expected something in the low 500s and was pleasantly surprised by an average of 615 f.p.s. Reader Dom said to expect 8 foot-pounds, but at this average Hobbys produce 10 foot-pounds on the nose. This rifle is doing very well.

The low was 600 and the high was 624 f.p.s., so a spread of 24 f.p.s. The rifle shoots with a lot of buzz, which I think I will address down the road.

RWS Superpoint

Dom also said RWS Superpoints are a good accurate pellet for a Meteor, so I tested them next. They averaged 547 f.p.s. in my Meteor with a low of 532 and a high of 559 f.p.s. At the average velocity Superpoints averaged 9.57 foot-pounds at the muzzle. The spread was 27 f.p.s.

JSB Exact RS

The last pellet I chronographed was the JSB Exact RS dome. They averaged 565 f.p.s. with a low of 558 and a high of 572. So a total sprtead of 14 f.p.s. At the average velocity RS pellets produced 9.52 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Conclusions

I have a Mark I Meteor in very good firing condition. I don’t care for the buzzing, but the power is where it should be. To my great surprise, it’s more powerful than the Diana model 27 I’m always touting.

The rifle cocks easily, shoots well and has a tight breech lockup. This one may become a permanent part of my collection. It hinges on the accuracy.