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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:56 pm 
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Location: home of the Marshville Festival, Ontario, Canada
This post is a follow up to a post that I made in laughlin's BSA Airsporter Stutzen post over in the Airgun Gallery section:
Suprmatic wrote:
Stephen wrote:
Airsporters, while being the sleekest of air rifles, never usually group better than 2 inches at 20yds off hand and often as much as 3 inches or more.
.......one hole groups.....something an Airsporter can never do, even when benched.

I have owned a number of Airsporters over the years, and I cannot recall having a single one that shot that badly.
IIRC, single ragged hole groups were entirely possible - even with me shooting (benched & scoped, of course).
I still have a few Airsporters kicking around, so perhaps I should pull them out and see if they can meet the challenge.

I pulled out three of my Airsporters - a Mark II, my Stutzen, and my Airsporter "S". All three guns are .177 cal. and the pellets used were H&N Match. My target stand was placed at a measured 20 yards. Since both offhand, and benched groups were alluded to, and the goal here really, was to determine the potential of the gun, the shooting position that I decided upon was seated, with elbows rested on knees. Since none of my Airsporters are scoped, regulation 10M rifle targets were a bit small for my poor old eyes, so I used 10M pistol targets for the larger bull. A few practice targets were shot, so that I could zero the sights for 20 yards (all are normally set for 10 yds), as well as get the feel of the individual guns. Once sighted, I shot 5 targets, each having a 5 shot group. The pics are of the best of each of the 5 targets shot by each gun. (please pardon the slightly blurry pics - time for a new digicam - LOL).

The Airsporter Mk II shot a best of just under 1.0" CTC; the Airsporter Stutzen shot a best of ~ 0.562" CTC.
ImageImage

The Airsporter "S" shot a best of ~ 0.515" CTC. Just for gigles, I thought I would try seeing what it would do at 10 yards, so once I re-sighted it at 10 yds again, I shot a couple of 5 shot groups - this is the best of the two, ~ 0.225" CTC - a single, cloverleafed hole. (Also shot from the seated position, elbows rested on knees).
ImageImage

I see no reason why these rifles would not be capable of single hole groups at longer ranges, aided by scopes, and shot from a rest. In fact, I have little doubt that a skilled marksman could very likely better these targets shooting from the offhand position.

Sorry to contradict you, Stephen, but IMO, these old Airsporters, as well as their tap-loading predecessors, are all superb shooters.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:43 pm 
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I could not agree more nice shooting Len .


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:32 pm 
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Location: Worcester in United Kingdom.
Absolutely stunning Sup.
Ive never ever managed a one holer with a Springer, except for a 3/8 group with a 300SU onetime.
My best ever shooting, for which i was immensely proud (atleast until i saw your shooting here) is a 1/2 inch group i made with my scoped QB78. at 20yds.
To do it, i used the scope on 6x mag and benched it into a small bore rifle rig we use. I practised beforehand and fired 8 clearing shots first, in an attempt to settle the gas. I took great care and rested between shots.
We also had a benched Theoben Rapid 7 do a half inch out to 25 yards, with most shooters making similar off the rig.

Weve never made a genuine one holer at the club with any gun.........im in awe.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:30 pm 
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Location: home of the Marshville Festival, Ontario, Canada
Stephen wrote:
Absolutely stunning Sup.
Ive never ever managed a one holer with a Springer, except for a 3/8 group with a 300SU onetime.
My best ever shooting, for which i was immensely proud (atleast until i saw your shooting here) is a 1/2 inch group i made with my scoped QB78. at 20yds.
To do it, i used the scope on 6x mag and benched it into a small bore rifle rig we use. I practised beforehand and fired 8 clearing shots first, in an attempt to settle the gas. I took great care and rested between shots.
We also had a benched Theoben Rapid 7 do a half inch out to 25 yards, with most shooters making similar off the rig.

Weve never made a genuine one holer at the club with any gun.........im in awe.

Thanks, Stephen.
I don't know if you had seen this post, showing a couple of 50 yard groups with my RWS 850:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=29028

I have shot many a ragged, one holer with my springers - but generally either benched or off my FT bipod. My offhand capabilities are far from what they used to be. My absolute smallest group ever, was shot with my FWB 150, using H&N match pellets, at 10 yards - a single hole measuring something like 0.189" dia. !!!!! I posted a pic of it here, at the time.

One of the craziest groups that I ever shot was with my 8.6 FPE tuned FWB 300S/Elite 4200 8-32x FT rig. You can read all about my exploits with this gun on some of the forums, but long story short, just for giggles, I tried it at 100 yds on a dead calm day, using JSB Exact 4.51 pellets, managed a best group of 1.187" for 5 shots. The worst group was nearing 2". Harry Fuller, in Australia, has recently posted similar (if not better) groups with his tuned FWB 300S.

Our local FT club has some incredibly capable shooters for whom single hole groups are no stranger - inspirational, if not humbling at times to see some of their shots.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:30 am 
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Great shooting Len! By the way...how do you like those Gamo targets? I'm buying them in bulk I like them so much...

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:38 pm 
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Posts: 480
Location: Worcester in United Kingdom.
Wow, youve beaten olympic winning scores!
Thats a 10 yd group which is barely larger than the first pellet hole itself, going in exactly through the same hole and youve even almost managed this with the Airsporter.
Im kind of embarrassed to post my pics!

But heres the figures for the Tuned Airsporter MK2 benched at 20 yds off our standard Bench rig.
JSB Exact 1.35 inches
RWS match 1.2 inch (not incl. one flier)
Eley Wasp (old pellet for comparison) 1.65 inches. (not inc. one flier)

Offhand.
JSB Exact 2.15 inches
RWS match 1.95 inches
Eley Wasp 2.75 inches (not incl. one flier)

Ok i held a sub 2 inch group off hand with the RWS......no dull round of applause required.

Heres my HW50S (reckord trigger) Simmons 4x40 scope.
Tuning includes TR Robb Self lube Nylon spring guide and steel top hat kit from 2002
Bench
JSB .650 inches
RWS match .600 inches
Wasps 1.1 inch (performed very badly with this gun)

Offhand.
JSB 1.2 inches
RWS 1.1 inches (1 flier excluded)
Wasp 1.50 inches

Clearly in my hands off the bench, or otherwise, the 50 is almost halfing the group size of the old Sporter at 20 yds but where i would expect an expedential effect, possibly easily halving the group if the club range could of been 30 yds.
If nothing else, i proved my 20 yard capability for kill zone at 20 yds with both guns except with Wasp pellets and a BSA Airsporter.

Better pellet selection per gun may alter performance of each but test used same pellets for direct comparison.
My plan is get the best club shot to repeat minus the Wasp pellets (i ran out of the stock we have there!)
He holds a few competition wins with match pistols and did a 3rd place at last years Bodmin Woodsman, using a Webley Raider.
I tend to use him as my bench mark!
My 2.75 inch with the Airsporter and Wasps is something of an embarrassment but how i remembered the AirSporter. Maybe they are better with the modern pellet!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:03 pm
Posts: 5330
Location: home of the Marshville Festival, Ontario, Canada
windbag wrote:
Great shooting Len! By the way...how do you like those Gamo targets? I'm buying them in bulk I like them so much...

Thanks Bill.
I find that they do not punch as clean a hole as "regulation" 10M targets, especially with lower powered match guns - but for casual shooting, or just sighting in, they are great.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:01 pm 
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Location: home of the Marshville Festival, Ontario, Canada
Stephen wrote:
Wow, youve beaten olympic winning scores!

Of course, the fact that I had to do so shooting from a benchrest, while the true olympians are doing the same thing (and consistently) shooting offhand, tends to diminish my accomplishment just a bit.... :oops: :lol: :lol: . It took a lot of years for me to shoot a target like that, and I suspect that it will be a while before I see another like it.

(oopps - forgot to mention that I was shooting benched in the post above, but I did note it in the post I did way back when)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:48 pm 
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I thought i would give it a go same distance there is a scope on the gun and i was using crosman wads
Image
Image
Image


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:42 pm 
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Location: home of the Marshville Festival, Ontario, Canada
lauchlin wrote:
I thought i would give it a go same distance there is a scope on the gun and i was using crosman wads

Nice shooting!
Is that the 4x Bushnell airgun scope?
No question, the optics are a big help with aging eyes.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:05 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island BC
Suprmatic wrote:
lauchlin wrote:
I thought i would give it a go same distance there is a scope on the gun and i was using crosman wads

Nice shooting!
Is that the 4x Bushnell airgun scope?
No question, the optics are a big help with aging eyes.

Yes it is a Bushnell cheapy scope i have broken a few over the years that one came on the gun .I will dig out my airsporter mark 2 and give it a go its been years but it does have iron sights ....


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:33 pm 
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My airspoter is not a mark 2 its a mark 5 [ser# en24155 ] it helps when i look at it more than once every 10 years .Any way open sights crosman pellets 20 yards

Image


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:39 pm 
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Location: home of the Marshville Festival, Ontario, Canada
lauchlin wrote:
My airspoter is not a mark 2 its a mark 5 [ser# en24155 ] it helps when i look at it more than once every 10 years .Any way open sights crosman pellets 20 yards

That's some really good shootin' Brent !
Nothing at all wrong with the accuracy potential of that Airsporter either. All five guns tested in this thread are keepers!!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:45 am 
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Hello fellow Airsporter shooters. This topic comes up when you do an Airsporter search on the web. Felt i must join temporarily to clear up this topic where one poster seems to be bashing the gun for its accuracy.
Also anybody particularly interested in Airsporters, or other BSA airguns, please feel free to join the BSA Airgun forum. You can look up Airsporters and other vintage models on the BSA Vintage post, or new pre charge stuff in the general discussion sub section.

Anyhow regarding Airsporters (I worked for BSA in Birmingham between 1981 and 1989) on the MK4 through S versions. This period also incl variants such as S Carbine, Stutzen also Centenary.

Airsporter MK1s which we occasionally serviced were the finest, being made from one piece (although 3 piece in stock)
They were heavier for the thick taper of the barrel. Rear sight non folding. Auto tap.
Unfortunately due to the taper, the foresight was set too low, and these guns forever shoot high, even out to 25 yards (about their maximum accurate range due to no scope grooves) The rifled barrels worked best with Eley Wasp/BSA Pylarm 5.6mm pellets but not very well with European brands. This gun could group into 1" circle at 20yds albeit high to the point of aim.
It was useful to some that the high shooting eventually came onto the point of aim at 33yds-35yds but starting to get beyond the accurate vermin control range IMO.
Airsporter Mk2 was IMO the best model. It was not made in one piece but the barrel was silver soldered into stylish sleeve, forged into the front of the cylinder. It enjoyed the same conical cylinder as the MK1 (much better than the later O ring with buffer design) but also had flip up rearsight and scope grooves.
Without the tapered barrel, the MK2 will shoot to the point of aim at 20yds with the rear sight adjusted flat.
Tuned and using Eley pellets, i have successfully managed groups of 20mm at 18yds.
Later variants all had cylinder/barrel interface which was silver soldered but without the stylish ferrule, where slight witness of the soldering could be seen. Thicker, uglier stocks were also added in a bid to modernize the woodwork and strengthen the design, which was subject to cracking just ahead of the grip in the MK1 and MK2. Indeed its hard to find MK1 and 2s without repaired cracks.
Ive refinished these bulkier stocks in my time, slimming them slightly and darkening the pale wood. A rather pale and un-interesting beech wood being used during the early to mid 80s.
Now the crux for accuracy.
We built these with a new tap design which had perfect alignment in the vertical plain but relied on the hand fitting of shim washers to the get the tap aligned with barrel in the horizontal. We worked to a tolerance (on the drg.) of 0.004 thou but could not guarantee this ofcourse, when each washer was in excess of the 0.004 and while the Taps and bores had similar working tolerances resulting in what we call "accumulative error"
As a result we did our best to perfectly align the taps in order to prevent tiny shavings off the pellets as they passed from tap bore to barrel bore. As a consiquence no 2 Airpsporters from this time were perfectly alike due to this hand fitting, unlike the break barrel Mercury which had the pellet seated directly into the bore.
At this time, test cards (i have some) shot by BSA marksman testers would produce 21mm to 23mm groups from bench rest at the 25yd range and pass sub 1 inch conformity.
BSA Mercury variants would shave 3mm off this group size and the screw bolt of the later Mercury S a further 2mm when used in conjuction with a scope.
Later Airsporter S and Stutzen/Centenary models all used the same barrel/cyl interface and tap design common to all the models.
However with some improvement over the MK3 through MK5 variants.
Less heat was used in the joining of barrel/cyl and taps had new lapping processes. Alignment was pulled inside of 0.004.

Conclusion. I would agree with much of your testing results, expecting a variation dependant on models and a moderate mid view between the critical poster and the positive posters. 20mm groups being expect out to 20yds with old English pellets and a good Airsporter benched.
Hope this helps and provides more accurate information for other collectors.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:10 pm 
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Craig7 wrote:
Hello fellow Airsporter shooters. This topic comes up when you do an Airsporter search on the web. Felt i must join temporarily to clear up this topic where one poster seems to be bashing the gun for its accuracy.
Also anybody particularly interested in Airsporters, or other BSA airguns, please feel free to join the BSA Airgun forum. You can look up Airsporters and other vintage models on the BSA Vintage post, or new pre charge stuff in the general discussion sub section.

Anyhow regarding Airsporters (I worked for BSA in Birmingham between 1981 and 1989) on the MK4 through S versions. This period also incl variants such as S Carbine, Stutzen also Centenary.

Airsporter MK1s which we occasionally serviced were the finest, being made from one piece (although 3 piece in stock)
They were heavier for the thick taper of the barrel. Rear sight non folding. Auto tap.
Unfortunately due to the taper, the foresight was set too low, and these guns forever shoot high, even out to 25 yards (about their maximum accurate range due to no scope grooves) The rifled barrels worked best with Eley Wasp/BSA Pylarm 5.6mm pellets but not very well with European brands. This gun could group into 1" circle at 20yds albeit high to the point of aim.
It was useful to some that the high shooting eventually came onto the point of aim at 33yds-35yds but starting to get beyond the accurate vermin control range IMO.
Airsporter Mk2 was IMO the best model. It was not made in one piece but the barrel was silver soldered into stylish sleeve, forged into the front of the cylinder. It enjoyed the same conical cylinder as the MK1 (much better than the later O ring with buffer design) but also had flip up rearsight and scope grooves.
Without the tapered barrel, the MK2 will shoot to the point of aim at 20yds with the rear sight adjusted flat.
Tuned and using Eley pellets, i have successfully managed groups of 20mm at 18yds.
Later variants all had cylinder/barrel interface which was silver soldered but without the stylish ferrule, where slight witness of the soldering could be seen. Thicker, uglier stocks were also added in a bid to modernize the woodwork and strengthen the design, which was subject to cracking just ahead of the grip in the MK1 and MK2. Indeed its hard to find MK1 and 2s without repaired cracks.
Ive refinished these bulkier stocks in my time, slimming them slightly and darkening the pale wood. A rather pale and un-interesting beech wood being used during the early to mid 80s.
Now the crux for accuracy.
We built these with a new tap design which had perfect alignment in the vertical plain but relied on the hand fitting of shim washers to the get the tap aligned with barrel in the horizontal. We worked to a tolerance (on the drg.) of 0.004 thou but could not guarantee this ofcourse, when each washer was in excess of the 0.004 and while the Taps and bores had similar working tolerances resulting in what we call "accumulative error"
As a result we did our best to perfectly align the taps in order to prevent tiny shavings off the pellets as they passed from tap bore to barrel bore. As a consiquence no 2 Airpsporters from this time were perfectly alike due to this hand fitting, unlike the break barrel Mercury which had the pellet seated directly into the bore.
At this time, test cards (i have some) shot by BSA marksman testers would produce 21mm to 23mm groups from bench rest at the 25yd range and pass sub 1 inch conformity.
BSA Mercury variants would shave 3mm off this group size and the screw bolt of the later Mercury S a further 2mm when used in conjuction with a scope.
Later Airsporter S and Stutzen/Centenary models all used the same barrel/cyl interface and tap design common to all the models.
However with some improvement over the MK3 through MK5 variants.
Less heat was used in the joining of barrel/cyl and taps had new lapping processes. Alignment was pulled inside of 0.004.

Conclusion. I would agree with much of your testing results, expecting a variation dependant on models and a moderate mid view between the critical poster and the positive posters. 20mm groups being expect out to 20yds with old English pellets and a good Airsporter benched.
Hope this helps and provides more accurate information for other collectors.


:lol:

Look at the date on that post....

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Last edited by jgoodz420 on Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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