Tom Gaylord in the US says: "Bayerische Sportwaffen Fabrik (Bavarian Sporting Weapons Manufacturer) or BSF, as it was known, operated for several decades, both before and after World War II. They were based in Erlangen, Germany, a suburb of Nuremberg. The guns they made were approximately equivalent in quality to Dianas, though in some respects like power they were ahead for a few years. It was BSF that first broke the 800 f.p.s. barrier with their model S55/S60/S70 breakbarrel. I group those models because they were all the same except for their stocks...
They remained at the forefront of the airgun horsepower races throughout the late 1970s and into the early ’80s until the Beeman R1 buried the field. Then, in the late 1980s, they quietly left the market."
Robert Beeman's Blue Book of Airguns says:
Previous manufacturer located in Erlangen, Germany. Previously imported by Kendell International located in Paris, KY, and by Beeman Precision Arms under the Wischo label.
B.S.F. (Bayerische Sportwaffenfabrik) is the base brand for airguns marked B.S.F., Bavaria, and Wischo. B.S.F. was founded in 1935 and produced a few airguns before the pressures of WWII took over. Production began again in 1948 and put an emphasis on solid, simple construction. The Model S54 remains as a classic of solid, elegant construction for a sporter air rifle. B.S.F.'s own production was generally sold under the Bavaria label. The Wischo Company of Erlangen, one of Europe's leading gun distributors, distributed large numbers, especially to Beeman Precision Airguns in the USA, under the Wischo label. The collapse of their British agent, Norman May & Co, in 1980 resulted in the dismissal of most of the 130 workers. The Schütt family sold the business to Herbert Gayer, who refined the production considerably. However, this was not enough to prevent further decline of the company. It was then purchased by the Hermann Weihrauch Company in nearby Mellrichstadt in the late 1980s. By incorporating some HW design and cosmetic features and parts, a surprisingly good line of upper economy level airguns was developed to supplement the top-of-the-line, regular HW models. Weihrauch manufactures versions of B.S.F. models for Marksman (Marksman Models 28, 40, 55, 56, 58, 59, 70, 71, 72, and 75)."
This information was posted on the American Vintage Airguns forum but was unsigned so BEWARE!:]
" Bayerische Sportswaffen Fabriken (BSF) of Erlangen, Germany founded in
> 1935 but only prototypes produced until after WW2 owned by the Schutt
> family until 1983 when bought by Herr Gayer. (The German exporter was
> Wilsker and Co and hence many were sold in the US, as Wischo particularly
> be Beeman who was pioneering adult airguns from mid 1970's)
> A considerable variety of models produced from the BSF Junior (smaller
> than a HW 25 !!) up to the underlever S54 series (Big !!)
> Many of their models, however, were not imported into UK.
> The BSF S60 was their top sporting rifle for many years, featured in WHB
> Smith's Gas, Spring and Air Guns of the World (1st Edition, Stackpole
> Books 1957)
> Length 43", Weight 6 ¾ LBS, barrel length 19" available in .177 and .22.
> Adjustable rear sight for W&E hooded foresight bead on post profile. Plain
> stock with chequering at pistol grip and finger groove on forend early
> models were walnut later beech (can be encountered with N suffix viz S60N,
> N being German word Nussbaum = Walnut)
> Now BSF's are very oversprung (warning approx 150 LBS tension behind the
> spring retaining bolt if fitted with a new Export mainspring) so be
> careful if you decide to strip. Also there is a trick in the 'keyhole'
> fitting of the scope ramp that allows it all to come apart so don't try to
> force it with a hammer.
> The early models imported into UK exceeded the 12 Ft lbs limit and a
> smaller spring was fitted into the .22 although the 'Export' spring was
> available from some enthusiasts (if you knew where to look)
> It had a long held reputation for very high power ( cf its contemporaries
> prior to the FWB and HW80) A good example should be close to 12 Ft/Lbs
> The design of the rifle with such a potent spring is intentional and when
> properly tuned had a very quick lock time and very little vibration, as
> with all springers, hold the gun lightly and let it do the shooting. a
> tight grip will result in poor accuracy.
> They were imported into UK by Norman May &Co of Bridlington (of Normay
> HW35 Vixen fame) who also imported pellets at the time from Bildstein,
> Mommer and Co. of Stolberg/Rhineland Germany ( Bimoco !!!)
> The collapse of Normay in 1981 was the beginning of the death knell for
> BSF whose products had remained constant for a while whilst competitors
> like Feinwerkbau and Weihrauch were setting the UK on fire with the
> 124/127 'Sport' and HW 80 from late 1979 to early 1980's .. Up to today.
> The S60 was superseded by the model 55 Bavaria, which is the most famous,
> and numerous of the BSF break barrel models and also the first Carbine air
> rifle well ahead of its time.( 16" barrel and 6 Lbs in weight)
> The B55 early models (i.e. from mid 1960's up to very late 1970's had a
> rear sight adjustable for Elevation only, adopting the S70 rear sight after
> The BSF S70 appeared in the early 1970's which was a mixture of the longer
> barrel and adjustable rear sight of the S60 (although a new design
> rearsight using the B55 sight body with a windage drum added) with a stock
> copied from the B55DL although in beech not Walnut
> The S54 underlever dates from 1950's and is encountered with 4 stock
> variations, Standard, Nussbaumschaft, Bayern and Match.
> The S20 pistol was imported into UK in two variations S20 Export and S20
> Match Export ( with a walnut grip with thumbshelf plus a better rear sight
> adjustable for W&E) and was most powerful pistol at about 5 ft/lbs prior
> to the BSA Scorpion's introduction in 1973.
> After Normay had collapsed, BSF's were not imported into UK again until
> 1983 by Highgate Optical who introduced the BSF S80, which had a barrel
> weight, fitted and had a radical stock design with a very pronounced deep
> forend specifically for the then new sport of FT. This is still used today
> in custom stock designs.
> This agency did not last long and was taken over by Mirador of London who
> developed a collaboration with Herr Gayer, the new owner of BSF and 'Venom
> Conversions' duo of Dave Pope and Ivan Hancock who were working out of
> 'Trapshot' gun shop of Lye prior to the formation of Venom Arms and
> obtaining their first premises at 'Gun Barrel works'.
> The Venom Bavaria B55 was available in .22 only and had a modified scope
> ramp, two stage trigger and barrel weight fitted with a Tyrolean walnut
> stock.( Synthetic breech seals were fitted to improve consistency)
> BSF folded finally in 1985 and Weihrauch bought the parts and
> machinery...interesting if you look at the HW 85 ( it's a BSF 55 with a
> record trigger !! and a very underrated gun)."
Kev's BSF collection part 2
With thanks to Kev