BSA R10 MK2 precharged repeater: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSA R10 Mk2
BSA’s Mark 2 repeater has a rubber-covered beechwood stock.

This report covers:

  • Dog Ugly
  • Beauty is as beauty does
  • Why does BB have one?
  • Description
  • Wrapped stock
  • Shrouded barrel
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Fill
  • Regulator
  • Magazine
  • Sights
  • Summary

Today is something I have never done. I’m reporting on an airgun I bought new and waited until it was no longer available — the BSA R10 Mark 2. I waited because there weren’t enough of these rifles to go around and I didn’t want anyone who missed out to be disappointed. But the BSA R10 SE that took it’s place is pretty similar, so this should constitute a test of that rifle, as well.

Dog Ugly

I read a report from 2012 that said many airgunners thought the BSA R10 Mk2 was the “sexiest airgun in the world.” Well, beauty must have been in the eye of that beholder because I have always thought that R10s were dog-ugly since they first came out in 2010. But I also noticed that I was in the minority in that regard and that R10s had plenty of supporters. So I kept my mouth shut. After all, if an airgun does what the owner wants and he likes it, who am I to rain on his parade? But if you ask me this air rifle looks like a one-eyed bulldog with a drooling problem. In my opinion the emperor is walking around naked!

Beauty is as beauty does

Then it dawned on me — why is this brand-new, never-been-fired PCP just standing around in my gun room occupying space? After all I paid for it — even if it wasn’t that much. Why isn’t it earning its keep?

Why does BB have one?

Given my opinion of the rifle’s looks, why do I own a brand-new one? Well, a few years ago the R10 was upgraded from the Mark 2 to the BSA R10 SE that’s currently being sold. There were just a handful of Mark 2s left in stock and the price was lowered to a ridiculous level. It would have been stupid to pass up the deal. So I bought it.

Description

The rifle is 43 inches long and has an 18-inch barrel. The outer shroud is much longer than the rifled barrel, providing room for plenty of baffles. The butt pad is grippy rubber and adjusts up and down. The pull is just under 14-inches, but if the trigger blade is moved that changes a little.

Wrapped stock

The entire stock of the rifle I’m testing is covered with a soft grippy rubber compound that makes the rifle hold firmly without slipping. The R10 Mk2 came in two flavors — one with a walnut stock and the one with this “wrapped” stock. Wrapped in this case means a beechwood stock coated with rubber. I guess they didn’t sell as well as the walnut rifles and a few were left over at the end of the run.

My test rifle is a .177, but they also came in .22. There is a 10-shot spring-loaded rotary magazine that feeds the bolt action mechanism and from the reviews I have read the rifle is very accurate. Of course you and I will be the judges of that.

It seems the walnut R10s are the ones people think are beautiful and from the comments I read they are focused on the wood — not on the looks of the rifle. Okay, so the one-eyed bulldog with the slobber on his paws has a diamond collar.

BSA R10 Mk2 walnut
The walnut stock was probably why people think the R10 looks good.

Shrouded barrel

The barrel is fully shrouded which is nice because this is supposed to be a 21 foot-pound rifle in .177. It would crack if the muzzle were exposed, but it’s not. The muzzle is buried deep inside a baffled shroud. Even so, the rifle is not quiet. It barks with authority. Yes, I now have fired it a few times. Couldn’t resist. However, there are 1/2-inch X 20 threads at the end of the shroud, so an airgun silencer can be screwed on. I just happen to have one, so I’ll test it that way.

BSA R10 Mk2 threaded shroud
Unscrew the muzzle cap to reveal threads for an airgun silencer.

The shrouded barrel is free-floated from the receiver forward. The barrel inside is attached to the shroud, which strengthens it. The main concern and reason for free-floating a PCP barrel is to remove any contact with the reservoir, so when the reservoir flexes as the pressure inside drops the barrel is not affected. That has been accomplished.

Now, there was also a 12 foot-pound version of this same rifle. That’s the one I wish I had been able to buy, but when there are just a few left you take what’s available. This one is supposed to get up to 21 foot pounds with the right pellets, so it’s a firecracker. And, if the pellets go supersonic, it won’t be possible to completely silence the rifle.

Adjustable trigger

The two-stage trigger is adjustable and right now stage two has a lot of creep, so I will spend some time on that for sure. The second stage pull weight can be adjusted. The sear contact is also adjustable and getting that right should eliminate a lot of the stage two creep. The position of the trigger blade also adjusts forward and back and swivels side to side. Unfortunately this is 2010 technology and the stock has to come off to gain access to all the adjustments. And, to get the stock off you first have to unscrew the air tank.

BSA R10 Mk2 trigger
Not only is the trigger adjustable (when the stock is off), the trigger blade has a lot of room for movement.

The safety is manual, thank goodness! It’s located on the left side of the receiver, so the rifle favors right-handed shooters over lefties, but the cheekpiece on the butt is raised on both sides.

Fill

Being a BSA, this rifle fills to 232 bar, which is 3,365 psi. The fill also requires a proprietary BSA fill probe that fits into a hole next to the pressure gauge on the bottom of the forearm.

BSA R10 Mk2 gauge fill port
The fill port for the BSA probe is just above the built-in pressure gauge.

Regulator

The Mark2 R10 comes with a regulator that seems to be controversial among owners. Some report very consistent shots while others don’t. According to one person, he says BSA informed him the reg. spec was to keep all shots within 40 f.p.s. But a balanced valve could keep them within half of that. Naturally I will give you all the data to see what the test rifle does.

Magazine

This R10 uses a spring-loaded rotary magazine that holds 10 pellets. This magazine is held in the receiver by both the bolt passing through a pellet chamber and by a sliding magazine release. The mag fits into the left side of the receiver. The top of the receiver is flat, rather than having the magazine sticking out above it, which means a one-piece scope mount is possible. But the design of the magazine and receiver rule out loading single-shot for all but the most determined shooters.

BSA R10 Mk2 mag in rifle
The circular magazine fits in the left side of the receiver. It does not rise above the top of the receiver.

BSA R10 Mk2 magazine
The rotary magazine is enclosed in a shell.

Sights

Naturally there are no sights on this PCP. But a long and flat 11mm scope rail makes mounting a telescopic sight easy. From what I read about the R10, it deserves a good scope for the test.

Summary

Okay, we have a new/old PCP repeater to test. The trigger needs lots of adjustment and I should shoot heavier pellets to keep them subsonic and quiet. The reports say the accuracy is stunning but I will reserve judgement until we see some groups. I hope it is accurate, though, because I don’t have a tackdriving .177 PCP repeater in my arsenal.

From everything I have read and also what people have told me the R10 is quite accurate. I really hope it is, but I am cutting the rifle no slack. We shall see!

41 thoughts on “BSA R10 MK2 precharged repeater: Part 1

  1. B.B.,

    This is a form follows function gun based on the technology it was built upon at the time. Something like the Air Force airguns which also do not please everybody’s eyes. Maybe it would have looked sexier if it used a tube instead of a tank as a reservoir, which would have allowed the narrower profile. As it is, it does look like a pregnant guppy, not svelte at all but then again so does any Crosman 160 look alike that has been converted to use HPA.

    Siraniko


  2. B.B.

    You mention that this is 10 year old technology. For somebody who thinks the “Darkside” is really dark, what technological improvements have been made in those 10 years?

    -Y


  3. B.B.
    Hi, as the owner of a mk2, I can say I like the look of the rifle.
    Just wanted to let you know that the stock can be removed without removing the reservoir (well mine can). In fact trigger adjustment is quite an easy task, as with the reservoir in place; obviously it can be test fired with the stock off and the stock is only secured by one bolt. Have fun with it.
    Mick


  4. BB,

    Looking good. Looking forwards to seeing what it can do. I see the new version is right only (comb/cheek), so that was a move in the wrong direction, in my opinion. The stock reminds me of my Red Wolf in some of it’s lines.

    Oh,.. I think? I saw a single shot magazine/single pellet holder when looking earlier on the PA site.

    Chris


  5. BB,

    Dog Ugly?! LOL! I do understand where some of that “repugnance” comes from. Firstly, how high the receiver block sticks up above the stock. BSA apparently wanted an uninterrupted scope rail, so they were forced to raise the top of the block above the magazine. This also raised the barrel / shroud, creating a big gap between the shroud and the tank.

    Speaking of tank, the front part of that stock looks like some long nosed critter sucking on a bottle.

    Spray on truck bed liner coated beech stock? I would have preferred a nice synthetic stock, but this is much cheaper.

    As Chris pointed out, they did come up with a nifty single shot tray.

    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/BSA_Single_Shot_Adapter_177_Cal_Fits_R_10_Scorpion_Ultra/3910

    No, I cannot say it is b’ugly, but it is not anywhere near the prettiest one I have seen either.



  6. BB,

    Curious to see how the R10 does.

    As always, I would have preferred you test a .22 (my favorite caliber LOL!) but if pickings were slim you grab what is available. Guess that I consider .177 the best for springers and SSPs where PCPs are more suited for .22 and larger calibers.

    IMHO, “bottle reservoirs” don’t look good/right on a conventionally stocked rifle. My FX Royale 500 is like that, kinda ugly (in spite of a nicely figured walnut stock) but man, can she ever cook! There doesn’t seem to be a way to make the bottle look like it is supposed to be there but I sure appreciate the increased shot-count between fills.

    Think what looks good depends on what we are used to, the bottle on my Impact looks perfectly normal.

    Cheers!
    Hank


  7. Might be a good candidate for HFT but I wonder how resting the bottle on a bipod might affect accuracy? I thought about purchasing a nicer PCP for HFT but figured that I’d have to spend $1400 to $1600 for the rifle and an 80 cu.ft. carbon fiber tank to keep it filled. I’ve always wanted a Diana 54 anyway. Just retired and didn’t want to spend that kind of money in these uncertain times.

    Brent


  8. Speaking of the Diana 54, here are some groups I shot at 35 yards off a bipod. The pellets from top to bottom are AA 8.4 4.52mm, JSB 10.3 4.52 mm and Barracuda Match 10.65 4.52 mm.


  9. Here are AA. 10.3 4.52mm’s. I had the target clipped to a spinner frame and It would occasionally move the target when the pellet went through the cardboard and hit the spinner behind it. The top circled group is 5 shots 3/8 “ ctc. and the bottom is 8-10 shots 7/16” ctc.

    Brent




      • Bill,

        Group to the left in first picture is AA 8.44 4.52mm. I’ve heard 7.67’s can be good but JSB doesn’t put them in their sampler pack??? (Not about to buy 500 to find out) So far it’s the heavy pellets, AA 10.3’s and Barracuda Match 10.65.

        Brent


  10. BB-

    I think you would be hard pressed to apply ‘Beauty’ to the general run of PCPs. I spent a few minutes perusing PA’s offerings. No matter what the price point, they definitely need to be appreciated on the basis of being functional. I think they are the Studebaker of air guns. And I mean a Lark and not an Avanti!


  11. BB, The stock has a curvy, sculpted look to it. All the space inside is wood. But if the stock was hydro formed out of sheet aluminum on a million dollar machine, and the halves welded together Like a Yamaha Deltabox frame, the bottle could go away.
    The other day I set up an empty JSB tin of Exact Diabolos duct taped to a 3/8’s plywood backer, a paced 38 yds, I called for the last ‘o’ in Diabolo.
    And the Prod delivered my ‘o’ perfectly with the one shot. Right through the backer into 4×4 fence post. I put it away for the rest of the day after that, with a smile.
    Rob


    • 1stblue,

      I am no high pressure vessel expert by any stretch, but I think the high pressure tubes and tanks get their strength from the cylindrical/domed shape. I do not believe a hollow stock would suffice as a high pressure vessel. Not to mention the carbon fiber wrapped versions of bottles.

      Chris


      • Chris, me either, but I would hazard a guess that the material the vessel is made of is very important, as is the way it is formed.You put enough material where it’s needed, why couldn’t a HPA tank be made to any shape? I submit it is the cost vs. the potential units sold. An off the shelf tank can be outsourced by a company like BSA, they don’t even need to make them, just pick the one they can get from a catalog.
        But I would check with an engineer first. My welding teacher would make us take our weldements outside with a hammer and beat them silly. The point was to see how/if a welded joint fails. I would blow an experimental shape up to see how it fails, but I don’t have a compressor that powerful!
        Rob


  12. B.B.,

    I almost always consider two things, form and function. In some cases, like air rifles, I love form but I love function more. Function is not only accuracy, but how the rifle shoulders and feels when using it.
    That said, I do love to just look at some rifles, knives, automobiles, air craft … even if their function is not so good.

    I think of you often, my friend.

    ~ken



      • B.B.,

        Now you’re talking about personality. Some one-eyed bulldogs are just lovable.

        I see that today begins December. I hope you have a holiday filled with love and sweet memories.

        I feel a tinge of sadness, but I don’t want that to over shadow the love and laughter.

        I know a fellow only a bit younger that you and me who has been shooting sub 1″ groups at 100 yards with his Red Wolf. I am envious.

        ~ken


  13. Siraniko, Doc Holiday
    Oil Talk …………
    Time for me to eat crow. Did some deeper research and apparently ATF is a derivative of petroleum, as in oil. However it is more like Mineral Oil. The thing you can take for constipation or rub on a babies skin. Not so much something you want to use to fight friction, most of the time, but it is an oil distillate.
    Now I know way more than I need to know about its properties and how it works with wet clutch plate engagement and Chevron is sending me pop-ups to purchase it.
    Bob M

    I don’t care for big bottles on airguns. Hide them inside a full auto machine gun if you have to but I think that if you need that much air you can swap out extra tubes and keep the rifle esthetics from suffering too much.
    OK, I will make an exception for very large big bore hunters.
    Bob M


    • Bob M,

      “OK, I will make an exception for very large big bore hunters.”

      Bob, I’m 6′ 2″ but only weigh 165 Lbs so i guess my Big Bores can’t have have Big Tanks since I’m just tall and not very large. LOL!
      Actually none in my rack of DAQ Big Bores have disproportionate air tubes. Dennis Quackenbusch would never build a “…oversized, overweight, disproportioned, awkward rifles. Their essence is of a modern, center fire hunting rifle.” In the man’s own words. They don’t get much more than The Shot and then perhaps a few more for the coup de grâce (/ˌko͞o də ˈɡräs/ the final shot or blow that finishes the job) if i don’t do my job; then they require a top off from a smallish 4,500 PSI tank in the backpack or the bigger cylinder/air intensifier back at camp.

      shootski


      • Shootski
        I don’t own a big bore, just figured they use a lot more air to fire say, a 50 cal pellet / slug.

        I’m not too happy with the looks of my Hatsan Barrage but I figured a larger tank would come in handy with a semi auto. But, I don’t plan on using it as a rapid fire plinker so I may pass it on.
        Just ordered a SAM and I am going to try to fit it into a RAI stock. If it’s a no-go, I may get a Hatsan Invader to replace it but I would really like an SAA … Semi-Auto Armada !
        It should have been a semi in the first place although there are many PB bolt action black sniper rifles out there even if most are painted tan camo.

        I was 140 lbs. (6′) for over 40 years eating anything I wanted. Then one day, close to 60, my Burrito and Macho Nacho lunches sent me to almost 200 lbs. Got rid of that fast and settled in at 175 with the addition of a dewlap after the fat faded away from my neck. Not good timing with old age, it’s here to stay. ;(


  14. I just recently sold the exact rifle. When you do accuracy tests mess around with smaller head sizes. Mine loved L Lot CPH pellets which, thru the pelletgage, ran about 4.49-4.50 head size. The newer M lot CPH pellets run about 4.53-4.54 head size and did not shoot as well. I know another FT shooter with this same rifle that swears by the 4.50 Brracuda Match pellets. I shot my best group ever with my R10 Mk2 with CPH (L lot) pellets. It was a perfect day with no wind and perfect lighting to be able to see the pellets hit the target at 52 yards. I watched my first 5 pellets go thru the same hole and the 6th pellet touched the hole. I stopped at the 6th shot so not to screw up a perfect group. Blew my mind and was never a able to repeat again.


Leave a Reply