BSA Improved Model D (1908), A funny one!
BSA Improved Model D (1908), A funny one!.
I saw this at Birmingham today, someone was looking at it as I walked past and I thought to myself "blimey, that's rusty!". Anyhow, I was back at the same place a while later looking at other stuff, and asked for a look. As I had thought the gun was deeply corroded in areas, but with tantalising glimpses of bright original finish. I noticed at once the unmolested general appearance, and an air test showed perfect piston sealing.It had all the appearance of a very lightly used gun sadly neglected. The price asked was more than I thought it was worth, so I left...An hour later I was back, something was niggling me, so I had a really close look...the cocking arm latch was super stiff, new feeling, there was zero side play in the cocking lever, and other little things made me make an offer which was accepted, probably far more than I would normally pay, but I wanted this for a shooter, not a looker.
21960 is externally finish wise in a sorry state, despite hours of wire wool, she will never be a beauty queen;
general appearance all over;
Bad pitting near muzzle;
More pitting,but look at the screws!;
On stripping...well what a result!...the internals are the least worn I have ever encountered, a bright bore, unmarked piston, genuine almost unmarked spring set, even the bluing on the spring guide and spring seat area is like new and the chamber is mint, this gun could hardly have been used before being abandoned somewhere damp.
Piston washer set;
Spring seat area;
The result, close your eyes and it is a super smooth, tight gun shooting RWS hobby pellets at 740 fps, and Calidonions at 700 (the only two I had to hand)...accuracy is one hole at 6 yards, I can't wait to get it in the garden.
Some reference numbers re: the springs etc. which may be of interest;
4.773" long X 21 coils, wire gauge is flatwound 0.155" x 0.085", preload is 2.375"!! (but easy to assemble as the springs are "softer" than round wire ones.
I have a dilemma, I have never seen another gun in such good shooting order, but it looks pretty awful..However I have decided to leave as is rather than re-finish to keep it "honest".The chequering is sharp and nice too!
Original post by Eddie
Eddie you've inspired me to take this Light Pattern apart and see what it's like inside. Like your IMD, this younger rifle also appears to have been very little used before being put somewhere damp. The screw heads suggest the rifle has probably not been taken apart often, if at all.
The piston is not quite as pristine as on your IMD but is very clean with only signs of light use. Not evident in the pics are some 'front to back' wear marks that show the rifle has at least been cocked and fired a few times!
The spring is an original BSA one, with the piled arms marking at both ends.
I haven't had a chance to put it through its paces yet but it seems to be very smooth shooting based on the test shots I fired after reassembly.
One end of the spring:
The other end: