The BSA air rifle
The BSA air rifle
The BSA Air Rifle (Sixth Batch) No. 15971
With thanks to Lakey.
Here is a B.S.A Air Rifle, from the sixth batch of B.S.A Air Rifles made. The serial number of 15971, indicates that the rifles was manufactured during the period May to July 1907, and these rifles were then dispatched during the period May 1907 to Oct 1908.
The rifle is a 'Standard' or 'Ordinary'length gun at 43.25", and was one of two lengths of gun that BSA were manufacturing at the time.The rifle weighed 6lb 14oz with the straight hand stock, and all guns manufactured at that time were made in No.1 Bore (.177) only.
You can see that this rifle has a trigger with ridges to aid grip sut into the leading adge of the trigger blade, this was dropped on later rifles as a cost cutting measure.
This rifle is a bit of an anomaly, as it was manufactured during the period when the B.S.A Air Rifle (Improved Model B) was being manufactured, so by rights this gun should have the Improved Model B legend on the cylinder, however it still has the older, very bold legend of the BSA Air Rifle (Improved Model) which reads
BSA AIR RIFLE
made by THE BIRMINGHAM SMALL ARMS COMPANY LIMITED
Even though the serial number of the first Imp Model B, was 14230 (Feb 1907), a few rifles were produced much later than
that with early cylinder markings. John Knibbs in his book "B.S.A and Lincoln Jeffries Air Rifles (1982) describes the situation thus....
"The first rifles of this new type (Imp B's) to leave the factory were No's 14253 & 14271, both of which were dispatched on the 18th February. Soon after this date, some rifles were assembled using old cylinders bearing the description "The BSA Air Rifle", but these rifles were assembled with all the (Improved Model B) characteristics. Some examples of standard or ordinary pattern rifles in the 15,000 series of serial numbers,were not marked with the new improved cylinder inscription"
This shows the breech plug plate marked P-Pat, even though the patent for this improved method of fixing the breech plug was in fact granted in 1906, therefore here is another example of BSA using up old and obsolete parts before issuing new improved components.
This rifle had a 'straight hand' stock, which was a close copy of shotgun stocks of the period. it was the cheaper of the two stock options that BSA offered on their air rifles. the other option was the 'pistol hand stock'.
As you can see a metal butt plate was fitted to these early pre-WW1 air rifles, and the rifle also had the early pattern bayonet cocking lever fitted, without the slightly later levers with the strengthening fillets.
All the best
The BSA Air Rifle (Sixth Batch) No. 15871
With thanks to Gary (Grayling) for these excellent pics and text:
This BSA is very similar in all respects to a BSA 6th Batch serial number 15971 featured in an article by Lakey elsewhere on this forum. This example compares directly in every way to Lakeys apart from having the pistol grip stock fitted which was the other option offered by BSA at that time. My example being exactly 100 rifles earlier in the production run.
This rifle is a joy to shoot and is very smooth in use, the only problem initially being the trigger which was very stiff, the target pictured (25yds) is before the trigger was adjusted and the groups certainly tightened up in later use after loosening the adjustment screw and rectifying this small fault. The rifle performed well out to 35 yards, although the bulbous top to the foresight certainly made accuracy harder at longer ranges.
The BSA air rifle (Second batch), No. 4303
A few photos of a gun Steve (Improved) brought to our bell meeting last night, will try to get better photos as was late when I took these. Some good finish remaining in places on this mid second batch (March / April 1906), first pattern tap rifle. I think the foresight is Mod D, and the stock comb has been knocked,as has the tap arm, but he got it for a very fair price so is not complaining!
I think you will agree, a nice find!
The BSA Air Rifle (First Batch) No. 1957
With thanks to a collector friend for permission to take these pics of this stunning first batch BSA, with the stamp of Pape of Newcastle on its trigger block. It has a lovely straight-handed stock with chequering that goes right up to the trigger block.
It was made between September and December 1905 and despatched in the same quarter.
The BSA air rifle (Second batch), No. 3951
With thanks to a collector friend for letting me photograph this fine example.
According to John Knibbs, it was made between Feb-Mar 1906 and left the factory between Feb '06 and Aug '07. This batch included the first cast improved trigger guard with small diameter rear locating peg - which is present on the rifle pictured here.