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BSA XL Tactical first impression

September 14 2007 at 10:11 AM
Rick C  (Login rcashen)

After deciding to send back the Longbow I was looking at the used guns on the A of A site and noticed a demo XL Tactical .177 for about $100 less than new.

Since it was one of the guns I was originally looking at. I decided to snap it up. I had them mount a Center Point 3-9x40 IL Mil dot on it. I received the gun yesterday.

My first impressions are pretty favorable.

The gun is light, cocking is very smooth, trigger is not bad at all (better than expected). Firing behavior is a bit harsh but for a gun of this power/weight about what I would expect. There is some spring twang, we'll see how it feels after a tin or two of pellets. It's grouping very well at 10m, one hole with an occasional flier, the accuracy potential seems very good with this gun.

The stock is awesome, Fits like a glove. Cocking effort is a little easier than I expected. The action seems adjusted perfectly, not to loose or tight.

The Center Point scope is as big a scope as you can fit on this gun. At 13.75 it's almost to big. I have a Trophy 4-12x40 I may swap with the Center Point. We'll see after this weekend.

All in all a pretty nice rig so far. The quality seems much better than the Turkish made Longbow.

One note of concern, A of A sent me a scope, as new, that had been mounted at least twice before and had the ring marks to show for it. When I asked them about it they offered to take it back. I have not decided if I want to keep it or not.

Rick C.

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(Login rod2311)

Nice report.

September 14 2007, 11:10 AM 

What power / velocity does this gun produce?

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Rick C
(Login rcashen)

I was told

September 14 2007, 11:38 AM 

it had been shot with JSB Exacts over a chrono and it was shotting them at 800 FPS or about 12 ft/lbs.

Since the gun is new it should increase a little as the gun breaks in.

12-14 ft/lbs is a nice range for a .177

I will chrono it myself next week and let you know. I'm going to put a tin or two of pellets thru it this weekend.

Rick C.

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(Login guidodg)

the sub 12 ft\lbs version

September 14 2007, 3:23 PM 

is a lot nicer to shoot and kinder to scopes.

I have seen 3 scopes destroyed by a 14 ft\lbs BSA Lightning XLs.

I detuned a friends XL to just over 11 ft\lbs and it is sooo much sweeter to shoot...more accurate, quieter, easier to load.

The Lightning should never have been made in a FAC version I think.

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(Login Isauro)

How is the syn stock holding up?

September 14 2007, 6:11 PM 

I've had my BSA XL Tactical in .22 for a couple of months now. Shoots great. accurate. light. but the synthetic stock is deteriorating quickly in places that I touch a lot, i.e. grip, stock, etc. The top layer of the material is peeling off.

Are you thinking of tuning your gun? I wanted to gas ram mine and get trigger work done on it. Does anyone know if there are good tuners who do standard spring tunes on BSA rifles?

Oh and I also had a problem with appearances on my gun. It did look used slightly with a nick near the scope mount and safety, and nicks on the actual rails where a scope had been mounted. I asked A of A about it and they offered to send me another one. I kept the rifle, because the accuracy was really, really good.

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(Login Wousywabbit)

XL Tactical

September 14 2007, 8:03 PM 


Nice purchase; I felt that the full price was really more than I wanted to spend but am now glad I did, I like the gun very much and find it to fit me like the proverbial glove. Mine is also 17 cal., and I find it to be very accurate, although after shooting the 850 I find myself flinching sometimes when pulling the trigger so I need to focus in when that happens. I find that the thumb indent works great when I make sure I'm aware of exactly how I'm squeezing. I agree with all else you've written with the exception of the twang, compared to other guns I've fired this is much more thunky.

The only thing I would suggest is to keep your eye on the trigger, there have been issues with the sear axis pin coming out of it's mount rendering the gun unusable. I had to send mine back to the dealer to have it repaired. As I stated in an earlier post, the repair appears functional, albeit not exactly a machinist's work of art. Russ Best was very helpful when it happened, helping me to figure out a way to decock it so it wouldn't be compressed when returning it.


I haven't had any issue with the stock at all, in fact it was the main reason, along with being a carbine, that I decided to purchase it. I'm surprised to read of your issue, as synthetics don't seem to have any problems, imho.

Lastly, there will probably come a day when I would consider a gas ram and a trigger tune, as my only real quarry are paper targets, bottle caps, and English sparrows. At this point I haven't seen one at the feeders or in the yard in nearly a month, and have noticed a significant increase in indigenous species. So a smoother shooting XL would only make this gun better.


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(Login hwtyger)

Re: XL Tactical

September 16 2007, 1:28 PM 

My .22 Tactical 12Ftp is a DREAM to shoot, véry little recoil! Bút, I agree, they áre a bit light and short for FAC. Imo:
+ great looks (tactical)
+ light and handy
+ great fun to shoot (for me, very important)
+ NO springtwang, NO cockinglinkplay, VERY well made internally. Cockinglever looks like the sturdiest I've seen so far.
+ very easy to cock
+ integrated silencer/shroud

- ltd scopelength possible
- weird dovetailsize (14mm)
- finish is less (about Gamo quality)
- trigger (heavy and a bit creep)But after the tune it's very nice.
- due to the light weight, very hold sensitive
- those BSA barrels can be very tight to load, especially the .177

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(Login Wousywabbit)

XL Tactical

September 16 2007, 8:45 PM 


I agree with your positives, including your opinion on the 12 ft. lb. limit, however, I have an Accushot scope mount with a Leapers 3-9x32 scope and there has been no problem with it's mounting. In fact, I had purchased a BSA mount and it made no difference. Regarding the finish, it seems to me to be just fine; I have no complaints about it.

I am interested in what you have done to tune your trigger, while I have no issue with mine, I'd like to experience a well tuned springer trigger to see what it's like. The BSA unit is certainly nothing like a Gamo.

The only thing else I'd like to add is the fact that I occasionally have to tighten the stock screws, in fact this morning after finding that it was shooting low, I tightened the screws, and things were more or less back to normal.


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