Out of interest oh fellow forum users and lovers of vintage BSA's who shoots their beautiful old BSA air rifles on a regular basis. I personally always find it sad when such wonderful old kit languishes in various collections, just to be admired but never shot. I know a fair few of the regulars on here take part in Bell Target comps and having shot at a Bell Target (not in comp I hasten to add) I found it surprisingly hard to achieve regular success at 6yds, but nevertheless found it great fun.
Our sons and I get out in the back garden as often as possible with these old rifles and more so in windfall season when our garden is covered in windfall apples. These apples make excellent targets in our 145 ft back garden and often burst when hit which just adds to the fun, sadly it also adds to the mess and later clear up time. Although said sprogs can pick anything from 70/80's Air Arms side levers to modern scoped PCP's they do tend to go for these older rifles the most.
I also try and get out hunting with my 1920 No2 Standard as often as possible, bearing in mind we are normally on pest control duties for landowners with cash crops and the luxury of fun shooting are few and far between. My old BSA has now accounted for 7 Grey Squirrels, 5 Rabbits and 2 Wood Pigeons not bad for a 92 year old rifle and is my favourite way to spend an afternoon, strangely my Standard has been mistaken for a shotgun on several occasions, but is always viewed with interest by all I meet while out shooting it.
I shoot my pre-war BSA's every week at Melbourne Marksmen club, and take great delight in occaisionally whupping the more modern stuff.
I too shot a couple of rabbits with a .22 standard last year. The first quarry I had shot with open sights for decades. I had forgotten how much more difficult it was.
Glad to hear I'm not the only person using these wonderful old BSA's for the odd hunting foray. Yes John you are right, I to had forgotten how difficult it is using open sights for hunting purposes but hunting just doesn't get any better than when I'm using my lovely old .22 Standard I get a real feeling of achievement. I have never exceeded 30yds while hunting but can kill fallen apples in the garden easily out to 45yds using Marksman pellets. I intend to have a go at bell target comps ASAP also as this seems an obvious way to get more fun from using vintage BSA's.
i bought my old .22 standard in 1975 sno s 9716 made in 1919.i payed 10£ for it ,no rearsight no trigger guard,from a junk shop. i bought a basket case .22 from birminham arms fair £40 that was in 1980! took rearsight and trigger guard off had some good spares left over.i am a member of the local air rifle club i shoot indoor at 20 yrds. i have shot many rabbits loads of gray squirrels rooks carion crows over the years with my old bsa this rifle is spot on at 25yds if you can hold steady! i shoot it every week ,i will always keep this lovely old rifle.kind regards to all, thank you all for a great bsa forum . martin
I use all mine in rotation as often as possible, and tend to have a "favourite" that I will use more, before pulling one out that I have not used for a while which then becomes my new "favourite!".
The only hunting I do is to keep the rats from next door at bay, and I have used both .177 and .22 model D's and even once a Milpat with success. Unfortunately they are now very wary, so my open sighted TX200 which I use for bell target wears a little 6x scope between club evenings.
I have had a few pre-charged rifles but really get more enjoyment and satisfaction in using open sighted stuff, I took a .22 standard around furnace mill a few weeks ago, and instead of being miffed about missing a 40 yarder with a £1500 rig, I got a cheer for plating one!
With no exceptions I can recall, other shooters who have seen how these guns shoot, and who have had a go themselves when offered have all been smiling afterwards, and more than one has made a comment along the lines of "loosing their way" or "back to basics".
Many younger guys I have met, including new visitors to our bell club, have never shot an unscoped rifle, and have to be shown how to use open sights, and they invariably are interested in the older guns as well.
To me they are just more rewarding, I sometimes put a few shots through the TX in the garden, and peering through a scope at a tiny group which the gun seems to do, no matter how you hold the thing, is frankly like watching paint dry compared to the effort required with the hold and trigger to get a prewar gun to perform it's best...maybe that's the secret, more effort = more results + more satisfaction for some, others just want a "quick fix".
After reading your posts on here and the AirgunBBS over the years plus seeing photo's of your (eye candy) rejuvenated BSA's, these are sone of the main reasons I get out with mine when I can. Happily our sons love these old rifles as much as me, so hopefully they'll be plinking with them for years, hopefully even their children. Although neither would dream of vintage hunting just yet, maybe in time though. You are also the reason I enjoy ''trying'' some basic home tuning with moderate success, my BSA No2 Standard being my biggest success to date, it now does a very respectable 10.4 ftlbs. Look forawrd to seeing some of your BSA's this coming Sunday Ed.
This message has been edited by Grayling1961 on Jun 27, 2012 5:25 PM
I have five pre-WW1 improved BSA Mod D Air Rifles and three post-WW2 BSAs in my modest collection. I keep good examples of each Mod D pattern ie Ordinary, Light & Junior purely for collecting but have also aquired a couple of slightly less cosmetically perfect examples to shoot regularly. As I only shoot paper targets I fitted a BSA No 8 Aperture Sight and Parker Hale tunnel foresight to one of these and shoot it every week at 20 yds with surprisingly good results. The peep sight certainly helps compensate for my failing eyesight. I shoot the post-WW2 Airsporter & Cadet Major on a less regular basis but find that they cannot match the Mod Ds for accuracy.
I regularly shoot my 1909 Improved Mod D fitted with the No8 sight unsupported on the NSRA 10 metre Air pistol target at 20yds using H&N Finale Match Wadcutter pellets. I always expect to group 10 shots within the 8 ring (40mm /1.75 inch) and quite often put the majority of shots within the 9 ring (30mm / 1 inch). I have only been using the No8 sight for about 6 months and have noted a considerable benefit now that my eyesight is not what it was. I have also fitted a 6 hole Eyepiece to the sight which helps in the varying brightness experienced in outside conditions. One final point, the sight is easily fitted on the straight hand stock but requires cut-outs on the pistol grip stock which I would be reluctant to attempt.
This message has been edited by pylarm on Jun 28, 2012 10:14 AM This message has been edited by pylarm on Jun 28, 2012 10:12 AM
You could always add a bit to a std stock to mount a number 8 sight as here;
BSA used to cut them into the stocks if pistol grip, and notch the stock behind on the stock comb as well to provide clearance for the eyepiece when folded (there is an example in the John Knibbs book near the back). Although this is an original modification, I personally find the second notch especially unattractive, and simply reverse the eyepiece on my gun when the sight is "parked".
I must admit your method of fitting the No 8 sight to a pistol grip BSA Mod D is a distinct improvement on the original factory installation. Fortunately for me all my Mod D's are straight hand grip which makes things a lot easier. I am currently shooting a 1909 standard Mod D which has a nice factory fitted No 12 sight fitted. Although more limited in adjustment than the No 8, it looks far more elegant and performs at least as well. I also like the shed by the way and the Airfix mug is a particularly nice accessory.