BSA Meteor Mark I: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSA Meteor
BSA Meteor Mark I.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4 
Part 5
Part 6

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Scope not good!
  • Sight-in
  • RWS Hobbys
  • The state of the tune
  • RWS Superpoints
  • Results

Today I shoot the BSA Meteor Mark I with its factory scope. This is a 2-power scopes that I doubt was ever filled with nitrogen, so the optics are less than sparking. They are at the toy level, at best.

The test

I’m shooting at 10 meters, using the two pellets that were the most accurate in the last test. The rifle is rested directly on a sandbag, because it demonstrated that was okay in the last test. Last time I shot at 10-meter air pistol targets, but this scope magnifies two times, so now I’m using 10-meter air rifle targets.

Scope not good!

I cannot see much through this scope. The bulls appear as black dots and I have to center the reticle on the outside of the bull, rather than on the center. What I’m saying is I hold the rifle so the lines appear to bisect the bull at the outside edge. This is not precise aiming!

Sight-in

The scope was simple to mount. The bases are fixed on both the scope and the rifle, so all that had to be done was slide the clamps in place and tighten the thumbscrews. That took about one minute. In the end, though, the reticle is not completely vertical and the way this scope is constructed there is no way to correct it. So I held the rifle on a cant to align the reticle every time. That is not ideal, especially when the scope is so hard to see through.

Shot one was on paper to the right of the bull and slightly high. I adjusted the reticle and discovered something interesting. This scope has two distinctly different kinds of clicks. There are fine clicks and there are coarse heavy clicks. I think the fine clicks don’t do anything and the heavy clicks are the real ones. There are two or three fine clicks between every heavy click. It’s strange to say the least. It took me three more shots to get where I wanted and then I was sighted-in. You will see that it’s not perfect, but with this scope it’s about as good as I can do.

RWS Hobbys

The first group was shot with RWS Hobbys. I put 10 pellets into 0.685-inches with 9 of them landing in 0.443-inches. Shot number 4 is the one that strayed to the right, and, given how hard this scope is to aim, I can’t tell whether it was a wild shot or just an aiming error.

BSA Meteor Hobby target
Ten RWS Hobby pellets went into 0.685-inches at 10 meters, with 9 of them landing in 0.443-inches.

The state of the tune

I will mention that the rifle is starting to buzz just a little. I think the Tune in a Tube is either settling in or wearing off. I’ll keep an eye on it and let you know because I will be shooting this rifle some more.

RWS Superpoints

The next pellet I fired was also the last one for today’s test. RWS Superpoints appeared to be the most potentially accurate pellets in the last test with open sights, and I hoped that with the scope they would shine. Let’s see what they did.

At 10 meters 10 pellets landed in a group that measures 0.817-inches between centers. But there is another flyer that happened somewhereiin the middle of the strong. Nine of the pellets are in a group that measures 0.586-inches between centers.

BSA Meteor Supewrpoint target
At 10 meters 10 RWS Superpoint pellets landed in 0.817-inches with 9 in 0.586-inches.

Results

I’m not satisfied with today’s results. I think this rifle has more accuracy to show and the scope and open sights are both conspiring against it. That means there will be another test. Next time I will mount a real scope and I will back up to 25 yards for the test.

I like the Meteor Mark I except for the open sights that do not adjust for windage. I would never leave a scope on an air rifle like this, so whether it does better or not in the next test, I’m probably not going to keep it. I will sell it, but I paid top dollar and it may take some time to move. All things consideredn my Diana model 27 moves back into the top spot. BSA missed it by a sight!

118 thoughts on “BSA Meteor Mark I: Part 7


  1. BB,

    I,m here! It is not easy though. My computer died. I am on my kindle.

    That is a shame about this Meteor. It just shows that not all of the old ones were great ones, despite our memories.



    • RR
      Bummer about your computer.

      And I’m one step closer to getting that pcp I mentioned to you on last weekend’s blog. It’s ordered. I might as well say what it is. I was talking to Vana2 and Buldawg about it.

      It’s a Maximus in .22 caliber. And yes I have plans to change it around. It won’t look like a Maximus when I’m done. Stocks comming off and it’s getting a 1720T trigger guard rip assembly on it. ( No more mediocre Disco trigger)
      And then I’m putting on one of the 1399 Crosman butt stocks for now then I will get one of Dave’s from RAI AR butt stock adapters and butt stock. Then putting one of my Hawke half mildot sidewinder scopes on it with the Stoeger bi-pod legs mounted from the scope like have been doing for a while.

      I’ll post some pictures when I get it done. And I guess I should do some shots in factory configuration to see if the true fully adjustable 2 stage trigger grip assembly from the 1720T helps accuracy wise. Can’t wait to get it. 🙂




      • CD1,

        LOL! OK. You may seriously consider changing the barrel while you are at it.

        I saw a Discovery set up like that at the Hickory show last year.

        Before you tear that thing apart, I strongly suggest you give it a good bit of range time as it is. I think you and your girls will end up liking it as it is.


        • RR
          No I got to get that Discovery trigger off of it.

          I had one of my first Discovery’s and Marauders set up that way. It makes for a nice shooting gun. You do remember the gen1 .25 caliber Marauder I had with that double air resivoir that Lloyd made up for me don’t you? It was set up that way with no stock.


          • GF1,

            There are some simple mods to that trigger that help, but I know you like the Mattelomatic style and I also know you like to tinker. Have fun and let me know what you come up with.


            • RR
              Remember I have that 1377 I put the Discovery barrel and steel breech on. Along with the Discovery trigger and I cut the Discovery stock in half and milled out the front half and drilled out the two mounting holes to make the pump handle.

              Well I also added the two set screws to the back of the Discovery trigger. (one of Buldawgs mods) Then I lightened up the spring. That did help the trigger. But still nothing like the 2 stage trigger the Marauder or 1720T has.

              So yes I like the tactical look or as you say the Mattelomatic style. So yes it will get the 11720T trigger grip assembly and the 1399 stock and eventually one of Dave’s adapters for the AR butt stock’s.

              But I will for sure let you know how it shoots. Yes I will be stretching it out to a 100 yards too. The .22 caliber Talon SS is almost just almost as good as my .25 Mrod out that far. So I got faith in the .22 Discovery for now unless it proves me wrong. But you know I’m going to try. 😉


              • GF1,

                Yes, I know you are going to tinker with it. I also know you are going to try and stretch the range out there. I was only half kidding when I mentioned changing the barrel. From all of the reviews I have seen, the Maximus is a 50 yard rifle. There will not be much of a Maximus left when you are through with it.

                If you become dissatisfied with the results and can still restore it to original, let me know.


                • RR
                  Remember when I mentioned on last weekend’s blog that I was getting a new pcp gun. Then I mentioned it could probably be converted to a big bore.

                  Well I haven’t searched yet to see if there is a .30 caliber and up breech and barrel available for it yet. But I do know there is a .25 caliber breech and 18-7/8″ long barrel available through Baker airguns.

                  Just have to see how it goes with the .22 caliber barrel. And you say it’s a 50 yard gun. Well here’s a reminder. People say a FWB 300 is a 10 meter gun. And you know the results I was getting at 50 yards with that one I modded up I got from you. So saying that we will just have to wait and see what the .22 barrel will do with the Maximus.



                    • RR
                      I can live with 1″ at 50 yards out of the Maximus. And even with a better trigger I don’t think it will group out at a 100 yards as good as my .25 Mrod. That’s a long distance for that 15 grain pellet to get easily blown off course.

                      But on the other hand I have been surprised before. I hope the .22 Maximus surprises me. 🙂


                  • GF1,

                    I would be surprised if the valve (was/could) be (set up/modified) to do .30 cal. Is that not going to require a much bigger dump of air? Plus, just how many good shots do you expect to get? Does it have hammer and striker adjustments? I know the hammer spring can be lightened as Vana2 did.


                    • Chris U
                      If I was to convert the Maximus to .30 caliber I would expect maybe 10 good shots. Maybe. And I bet they will only be at about 650 fps if I’m lucky.

                      But I think it could be done with just a different striker spring and probably a heavier hammer/striker. Probably one made out of brass. And the transfer port orifice thru hole diameter would need to be a bigger diameter. Something like that ice maker tubbing mod Buldawg talks about. Valve wise I think it could be left alone.

                      Now to get up to 750 fps or more out of that .30 caliber. Yes some valve work would need done I’m sure.



      • GF1,

        Sounds interesting. Can’t wait to see the final build. As a side, I saw where Rowan came out with a magazine that can be put on a single shot. Bracket mounts to dovetail and magazine mounts to brackets. Looks like it auto rotates like a M-rod mag. Just thought I would mention it.



          • GF1,

            No worse than the M-rod mag. sticks above the breech. It was one of a few new products since last I was there. Plus, with something like a 56mm obj. lens,…. you are going to be in the med. – high anyways. Just thought that I would bring it up for general reference,… not that you need it.


            • Chris U
              I think the Hawke scopes I have are only 44 mm. And I don’t think I would go with a mag anyway. You know how I like my single shot guns. 🙂

              But nice to know about them and what kind of scope height that it will accept with that mag your talking about.




          • Gunfun1,

            Your custom will weigh a bit less than the Armada, will be much better looking than the Armada, but it will have a similar buttstock, trigger, and optics mounts, if I read correctly. (If not, my apologies for sloppy reading — I’m doing 400-500 pages of it a day just now.)

            It WILL have a conveniently lower fill requirement, which is a significant benefit, but the Armada is quiet and accurate. After it is all said and done, will cost much less than the Armada?

            Michael


            • Michael
              Back when the Discovery’s came out I turned it into the gun like I have plans for with the Maximus.

              It makes for a very lightweight gun to carry and shoot. And as you say the 2000 psi is a benefit. And as far as the noise is concerned for me where I’m at now it’s not a concern. I can shoot firearms where I live. But if a person was to live in a place where mufflers are legal. There’s always the TKO muzzle brake to tame the noise.

              Matter of fact TKO makes the slip on one that’s attached with setscrews. And also makes the one that has 1/2″-20 threads that will fit the Maximus .22 caliber hunter model. It already has a adapter attached to the front of the barrel with that thread size. The regular Maximus comes with a conventional front and rear sight.

              You should go to the Crosman website. They have several models of the Maximus available. They have a special right now and final cost is a $156 and free shipping. So that’s why I jumped at getting one. The way I see it for 150 bucks and it turns out to be a hundred yard shooter I saved bunch’s of money compared to the Armada.




                  • Gunfun1,

                    I see that the Euro .177 version is tuned for less power (12 fpe) and more shots per fill. That is EXACTLY what I am looking for because I don’t hunt (no dog jokes, please). I shoot paper and plink. Lightweight, easily made quiet, easy fill, many shots per fill.

                    But trigger and accuracy are the potential challenges. Triggers can be tuned, but is it accurate?

                    Michael


                    • Michael
                      I know two people that have the standard model Maximus in .177 caliber. Buldawg is one. And I have seen the groups he shot. Very good from what I seen. He likes the gun. His has one of the screw on TKO brakes. He said it is very quiet with and very loud without. And Vana2 is the other person that has one and he likes his too.

                      Them two are probably what made me decide to get one. Both of theirs are in .177 caliber as I just mentioned. So I went on the PA website and read the (verified buyers) reviews because I wanted to see what people thought of the .22 caliber model. Pretty much every review was positive about the guns in both calibers. And what I noticed is most mentioned they had good luck with two of my most favorite pellets in both calibers. The JSB 10.34’s in .177 caliber and the JSB 15.89’s in .22 caliber. So that gave me some hope too.

                      I believe if you want a for sure accurate gun at 50 yards and in the Maximus will be great. Heck I think I can get it out to a hundred on a calm day with the .22 caliber model and the 15.89’s.

                      And then the euro model is a little slower. The Maximus might like that too. But I don’t think you can go wrong for that price. That’s why I got one.




  2. B.B.,

    How do you plan to fit another scope on this rifle? The mounting is proprietary. There are no evidence of scope rails shown in the previous articles. Are you going to ask Otho to make an adapter?

    Siraniko


    • Siraniko,

      While this rifle has no traditional scope rails like we find on other rifles, there are two plates dovetailed into the spring tube that serve the same function as scope rails. I need to use two-piece rings and clamp onto those plates. I just need to find a scope that will let me position the rings where they are needed.

      B.B.


  3. Speaking of easy cocking great ones…
    Any near term plans to pull the Terrus back out and tinker with it?

    I spent Saturday of last weekend stripping down and lubricating that Diana 34 I got at the Texas Airgun Show.
    Modified a large pipe clamp for a spring compressor.
    That was a pretty satisfying experience, being able to get all the way down and back together. Used the Air Venturi moly paste and it is soooo much smoother now.




  4. You mentioned the tube in a tube may be settling in, or wearing off.

    If it’s settling in, can more be added to stop the buzz?

    How many shots have been put through it since the lube tune?



      • B.B.,

        Please do keep us updated on the longevity of the Tune in a Tube treatment. I still plan to buy some, but how much I get and whether or not I get some conventional black tar to boot has suddenly become an open question for me. I plan to clean and lube a few springers over my upcoming Christmas vacation and am slowly getting things in place so come December I can hit the workbench running, so to speak.

        Michael


  5. Thank you, that makes for some good data for the tune in a tube.

    Considering a normal lube tune with the mechanics taken out last much longer, do you think this could be because of the chemical makeup/viscosity of the tune in a tube?
    Or the method in which it was applied.

    I am just trying to get a feel if the tune/tube is an actual long term solution, or just a stop-gap measure.

    Thanks.


  6. The problem you are going to have at 25 yards (and I thoroughly reccomend putting better optics on and giving it a go) is that neither of those pellets will hold out ballistically, both destabilise past 15 to 20 metres in my experience, so maybe mix that part of the test with one of the larger headed Diablo’s from JSB or H&N, you may well find better results out at the further reaches despite coming in worse at 5m, the two things don’t necessarily follow


  7. Thank you, veterans.

    I go for inexpensive rifles, but this one is pushing it.

    Gunfun1, that makes sense and is more fun to use mildots for holdover. That’s what pros use from what I read. My mildots are pretty much for decoration. But the big problem for me with long distances is not the sight picture but seeing the bullet strike. With airguns it’s okay. But a 30 caliber centerfire rifle jerks so much off target and raises such a cloud of dust that I cannot see the impact. Some shooting sessions have come to a halt for this reason.

    Sirinako, I believe you about the advantages of the fixed air reservoir over the replaceable ones. I would agree that is likely the case with the current technology. And the principle of the fixed mechanism is what has led me to sidelever spring guns over the more common breakbarrels. But a carbon fiber tank is still a much bigger load than small reservoirs. Just as they have improved barrel and caliber swapping technologies on firearms, I can see them refining the replaceable air reservoirs to make them worthwhile.

    Matt61


    • Matt61
      Your are for sure right about the impact with a hotter shooting firearm round.

      And here comes that country boy thing again. I’ll say it this way. “I love a rainy day”. 🙂



        • Matt61
          I started to ask what you meant by hard on the gun. Then I realized you must of meant having the gun out in the rain.

          I don’t mean shoot while it’s raining I meant shoot after it rains. And living as a Midwest country boy. I love shooting after it snows too. I’m betting you would love shooting out in a big open field after a nice 6 or so inch snow. Well other than braving the cold. If I remember right I think you mentioned you live in California. But I have used the snow many times on firearms and air guns to check my hold overs.


  8. And sorry but something is missing and I don’t know why it was not said sooner.

    Thanks for all our service men and women throughout time that have served in the forces.

    God bless all the Vetrans and their families.


  9. BB

    Looking for more on Tune In A Tube. I have said it helps my Diana 34 but how long will it last? Can I increase the dose? Will it hurt to try? Is it useful in gas/air spring guns, single or multi pumps? You probably want some of these answers too. Time is your constraint. Anybody out there with input?

    Decksniper


    • Decksniper,

      Unless mistaken, Tune-in-a-Tube is (only) for the main powerful spring in springers. Applied,… to dampen the vibrations from the spring upon firing. Of course, any metal to metal contact (of spring and surrounding parts) would be helped as well. No other type of gun has big springs like this.



      • GF 1-
        Wanted to ask question about valve on a Discovery. I have just less than 15,000 rounds thru it and I am not getting the performance out it like in the past. I put new o-rings and seals in(they needed it) a little while back. Do you think I might need to rebuild the valve?
        Bruce


  10. When all is said and done “Tune in a tube” is an aerosol of lubricant, it tunes nothing whatsoever, it may damp out some vibrations caused by Ill fitting guides and bent springs, but by the nature of the viscosity required for its application method and its need to spread out, it would be logical that its strengths in the damping effect would be temporary.
    In a dry airgun, this may be a permanent fix, in one with a bent spring, not so much.
    These are lovely little rifles and if a keeper its well worth an initial mechanical strip down and check for service items that are out of true. Meteors don’t tend to be particularly twangy, more thwacky than anything (note all the technical terms), quite a short stroke and when fully cocked there’s very little spring that is free from either the guide or the piston.
    Popping a piece of electrical shrink fit tubing over the guide and heating it on and coated in a smear of Moly takes up a little slack and damps things more permanently, but my guess is a kink about a third of the way up the spring….especially if the spring is aftermarket (and I suspect this one is) and a coil or two longer than stock.


  11. michaelr, in response to your comment about the future of the 45 ACP, I would like to believe what you said, but my information is different. Currently, I believe that Special Forces soldiers can use whatever they want. However, Larry Vickers and Kyle Lamb, both veterans of Delta Force, prefer the 9mm. Besides, Vickers helped redesign the AR with a piston into the model that is currently used by Special Forces, so he either reflects a lot of opinion of firearms in the Special Forces or has influence on it, probably both. I thought that the Marines were still issued the Beretta 92. It was only the MARSOC Raiders that were issued an expensive custom 1911 produced in a multi-million dollar contract with Colt. However, MARSOC has now adopted the Glock 19 in response to operator demands. Their 1911’s are still around, but I don’t think they are going to see much action.

    As for the performance of 9mm, I’m not at all sure that the U.S. is going to continue to abide by the Hague Convention that forbids expanding ammo. I thought I read somewhere that as part of the contract for the new military handgun, they were exploring new kinds of ammunition not allowed by the Hague. In any case, the evidence for the 9mm is not just from action shooters. Apparently the FBI has performed extensive tests which convinced them to go with the 9mm. I am sure that they have access to the finest ballistic gel testing equipment as well as plenty of real world experience. Even if expanding ammo were excluded, it seems like a heavier bullet weight of 147 gr. coupled with new bullet design can solve the problem of overpenetration. New bullet design and different loads may be finally tipping the scales towards the 9mm. For myself, I must say that I continue to marvel at the low price of 9mm.

    Matt61


  12. My copy of firearms news arrived yesterday. It has a fine article re the air venturi air bolt, written by Tom Gaylord. Not only is it worth reading, but I am saving my copy for future reference. This magazine also has a short article re triple braided wire springs, their history, and why they are better than single wire springs, for fire arms. I hope that BB will do a blog re these springs, and if they can be used to improve springers.———Ed


  13. Michael,

    Name is a word play from a bilingual speaker. Roughly translated it comes out as broken mechanic. Always was fascinated ever since I read about the Society of Creative Anachronism 30 years ago during my teens. Unfortunately or Fortunately I was located on the other side of the world. If I was over there then I would probably have joined.

    Siraniko



    • Ed,

      Yea,… I was hoping B.B. would weigh in on potential usage in springers. From what I gathered,… there is music wire and rocket wire. Both can have the alloys manipulated. From the way it was touted,… I would say that there would be a potential for airguns springers. One thing that was odd was that they said that wire(s) would act somewhat independently,.. allowing movement. The flat wound spring was interesting as well as it allowed for a lot of spring in minimal space. Maybe a good springer air pistol application?

      At any rate,…. thanks for the insight,…. B.B. too,…. as he started the conversation by doing the article.


  14. I’m new to this blog, so I apologize if this is not the right place to ask Tom this question.
    Does anyone make an underlever nitro piston air rifle? I have done a few break barrel spring piston conversions, and, mostly, been happier with the change, so I was wondering if an underlever gun could be converted also, or purchased new?
    The biggest problem I’ve run into is getting enough travel to cock the trigger. Sometimes that’s just tiny fractions of an inch.


    • Cyberfish,

      Hello from the Florida Panhandle! There is at least one gas spring underlever in the Pyramid inventory, the Hatsan 155. B. B. reviewed the metal spring version back in 2012, and you can find it by searching for the model by name in the Blog’s provided search field. I’m wondering if the cocking effort is any less with the Vortex gas spring because B. B. reported that the metal spring version has a 64 lb. cocking effort. That’s pretty stout.

      Have a good week!

      Walt



      • Thanks, Walt.
        The conversions I did using Crosman gas pistons all seemed to cock in the 30 – 40 lb. range, depending on the barrel length. In most cases, I lost some FPS. but got better groups by small margins. My tests weren’t very scientific, just shot over a chrony inside my 30′ garage range, with a few different weight pellets. I liked getting rid of the twang, to the quieter thump.



  15. Chris— I wonder if these “super springs” could give us R7 (hw 30 ) or even R 1 performance out of shorter compression chambers. Just imagine shorter, lighter more compact springers. —Ed


  16. Ed —- I do not know. I am thinking swept volume,… which you would not want to reduce (“shorter”). But, if you could pack the same power spring into less space,…. then the piston could be pulled back further,.. thereby creating more swept volume,…. which I understand to be a good thing. Gunfun has already shown that springs can be chopped and not loose any gun fps,…. in some cases. And,… while that smooth’s out spring vibration, the swept volume is not increased. What is too much/unnecessary swept volume? Why just not shorten pistons to allow more room in (front) to increase chamber volume? What, how, why, when, where? 😉

    There is many things to consider. Many and most above my knowledge. I do hope B.B. comments and even does an article on them. I would be very surprised if Vortek does not already have a good knowledge base on this topic already.


    • Chris U
      If Vortek has knowledge of the wound springs I wonder why they don’t have them available already.

      I would think that the wound spring would be more fragile. Yes there are multiple wires like a cable. But I would bet the way a spring gun uses for the most part maxim compression and abrupt release when fired I’m thinking the wound spring won’t hold up to spring gun use.


      • GF1,

        Knowledge and use is 2 different things. Plus, I would think that some special equipment might be needed that they might not have. I will bet they have explored it though. They are used on buffer tubes and appear to be used on semi-auto pistol “slide” springs,…. sorry, I don’t know the proper term for that on a semi-auto. Either way,… that is pretty severe operating conditions. Like I said,… I do not know. I just find it interesting.


        • Chris U
          I’m betting them wound type springs are used more in a place where the spring doesn’t compress much. And it’s a smooth compression and relaxation of the spring. More like a old oil filled shock. I think it’s used more for stabilization to keep something centers in its travel.

          When its compressed for its use it is in the middle of its total compression and relaxed state. The spring probably hardly even gets cycled very far in either direction.



  17. Okay everybody.

    The multiple strand springs are not as long-lasting as single strand springs. They are stronger, but break down faster because of their thinners wire.

    We were always changing them in our 20mm cannons.

    Flat springs do the same thing.

    Sometimes just because it’s new does not mean it’s better.

    B.B.


Leave a Reply