by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
BSF S54 target rifle.
A history of airguns
This report covers:
- The test
- RWS Hobby
- Resting on the sandbag
- Artillery hold off hand extended
- Adjusted the rear sight
- Falcon pellets
- Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
- JSB Exact RS domes
- H&N Finale Match High Speed target pellet
- Something extra
Today we look at the accuracy of the BSF S54 Match rifle. Now, while this rifle is called a Match rifle and did come with a large aperture sight, it’s not a serious match rifle and never was. Sometimes I have guys ask me questions like, “Could it be used in a match?” and I have to answer, “Yes” but they don’t let me finish by saying, “… but it will never win!” You see, some guys are so enraptured by the design of the S54 Match (and that huge rear aperture!) that they want it to be a real match rifle. Other guys own one and don’t want to spend the money for something different. The bottom line is — The BSF S54 Match rifle is not for formal competition! I think you will see that today.
I shot from 10 meters and used both the artillery hold and a sandbag rest. I will tell you which I did for each target.
The rear sight doesn’t adjust easily, plus the adjustments are coarse, so I only adjusted once and then stopped. I will tell you as we go.
I shot 5-shot groups for the most part. Because this is an underlever and also a taploader it takes a long time to get ready for each shot. I told myself if a pellet seemed to show promise I would shoot a 10-shot group, and that happened one time. Let’s get started.
I had tested the rifle in 2015, so I looked at those targets as a starting point. That test suggested two pellets that were good, so I selected one of them — the RWS Hobby. I shot this first target using the artillery hold with my off hand back by the triggerguard. Five pellets went into 0.673-inches at 10 meters — hardly a good group!
This first group of 5 RWS Hobbys was shot at 10 meters using the artillery hold, with the off hand back by the triggerguard. The group measures 0.673-inches between centers.
Okay, that wasn’t as good as I had hoped. Maybe the rifle wants to rest on the bag, so I tried that next. Same Hobby pellet was shot.
Resting on the sandbag
This time 5 Hobbys went into 0.702-inches at 10 meters They are close to the same place, but a little lower. From the looks of this group, resting on the sandbag is not the way to go.
Resting the rifle on the sandbag doesn’t seem to be right, either. Five Hobbys are in 0.702-inches between centers at 10 meters.
Artillery hold off hand extended
Still shooting Hobby pellets I tried another version of the artillery hold for the third group. My off hand is out by the rear of the cocking slot. This time the group was a little smaller, with 5 shots going into 0.539-inches at 10 meters. It’s still not a good group, though it is the best group of Hobbys so far. This is how I will shoot the rest of the test, unless I tell you otherwise.
When I held my off hand under the rear of the cocking slot things tightened just a little. Five Hobbys are in 0.539-inches at 10 meters.
In 2015 I put five Hobbys into a 0.408-inch group at 10 meters. Today I’m struggling to group them in a tenth of an inch larger. I know I’m human, but this is more than I expected. However — I had a total retina detachment in my sighting eye since that first group. I have also had my natural lenses removed from both eyes during cataract surgery, and what’s in there now are man-made lenses. Maybe I’m doing the best I can. Or maybe this was just not my day. More groups might tell us.
Adjusted the rear sight
The first three groups were a little low, so I elevated the rear sight leaf. It goes up in steps and I added just one step this time.
The next group was shot with Falcon domed pellets from Air Arms. I shot with the artillery hold with my off hand at the back of the cocking slot. These 5 pellets went high above the bull, and in line with the center. Five pellets went into 0.71-inches at 10 meters. The group is vertical and not very good.
Five Falcon pellets went into 0.71-inches at 10 meters.
Well, raising the rear sight didn’t seem to help. So I put it back to where it was.
Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
I was really looking forward to trying Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets in the rifle, because in the velocity test they only had a spread of 6 f.p.s. I felt sure they would be accurate. But they weren’t. Five went into 0.792-inches at 10 meters — the largest group to this point in the test and ultimately the largest in the entire test. They also shot considerably lower, as you can see. But faster projectiles nearly always shoot lower than slower ones, due to the lack of recoil influence. They are out the barrel before the muzzle has a chance to rise. And I am still shooting with the artillery hold.
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets went into 0.792-inches at 10 meters. This is the largest group of the test.