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.

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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!