Vintage BSA/Lincoln Jeffries accessories
Vintage BSA/Lincoln Jeffries accessories
Vintage BSA pellets/packaging collection
With thanks to Eddie
The rarest and hardest to find accessories for these old guns are probably original cleaning rods, spanners and sight protectors... and any paperwork and related hang tags etc.
Luckily, some do survive, and there are some fantastic examples to be seen on this site which provide very interesting reference for us BSA fans!
It is also possible to still come across contemporary pellet boxes and tins to display with your old guns, or even to see how they shoot with the original period ammunition. The answer to the latter being very well actually, with the dimensional tolerances of even pellets made before the Great War being comparable to modern offerings. Engineering is engineering, and the accuracy of the dies used in those days was up to the standard of the rest of the gun...In fact in those early days the standard of "normal" air rifle ammunition was pretty woeful, most being simple cast hollow slugs of fairly poor quality.This was not an issue with the smooth bore Gem types and similar offerings of the time, as most people accepted poor accuracy and short range as the norm from air guns of the period.
But the new precision built and accurately rifled Lincoln / BSA guns needed quality ammunition to give their full potential, and so, many people and companies turned their attention to providing a higher quality pellet to let these new guns utilise their full potential.
Waisted diabolo shaped pellets (which we are all familiar with now) appeared on the market.These were made by various firms in the West Midlands, Kynock of Birmingham being one of the main suppliers to many firms, who then in turn repackaged them in their own branded boxes and tins. One of this great firms earliest products was the "Witton" pellet, which BSA tested and recommended at an early stage as suitable for use in it's new guns.(Kynock also made the later "Wasp" and "Pylarm" pellets).
BSA also in their early brochures promoted the "Adder" pellet, which was actually made at the Adderley Park rolling mills (bought by BSA back in 1878 to fulfil a huge military cartridge order) and this was considered the "standard" pellet ie. the one that BSA supplied with the guns, and that retailers would be expected to promote.Unfortunately, I do not have an example of an Adder box, but, looking in period BSA brochures, the pack graphics seem to be remarkably similar to the early BSA branded pellets, so I would presume that the marketing department swung into action (BSA were masters of advertising at the time), and recommended that the Adder pellet be branded BSA. The thing is that the later Pylarm pellet was made by Kynock as mentioned earlier, so I don't know why BSA handed over production of their pellets to an outside company, when they had facilitys of their own.It has been mooted that the Pylarm was marketed alongside the BSA own brand...originally as a cheaper, but still high quality alternative...this may have been an example of an own goal, as the BSA brand disappeared over time, whereas the Pylarm continued through to the 1980's!
The Photos of the rare Adder box are thanks to the kind permission of George!....
Lincoln/BSA pellet seating probe
Here are two examples of the scarce BSA-branded pellet seating probe that was needed to push the pellet down
into the narrow hole of the loading taps fitted to the earliest rifles. It also doubles as a spanner for
tightening the trigger adjustment locking nut. With thanks to a collector friend for letting me take these pics.
There seem to be remarkably few of these around - presumably many got separated from the rifles and lost?
BSA "Pylarm" no.2 pellet tin (unopened)
A tin of 500 pellets dating from circa 1930s.
I've tried not to tweak these pics too much so as to preserve the actual colours as closely as possible.
It's in fantastic condition, not light faded and with the original paper sealing tape. A rare find (and very generous gift)!
It differs from the (later?) No.2 pellet tin shown also by Eddie in this section in that it doesn't say "Made in England" in the blue circle around the outside of the lid.
The typeface of some of the writing is different too (though the "S" of "PELLETS" also looks like a reversed "Z"!)
With thanks to John for this pic of a similar tin from the early to mid 1950s:
Pre-WW1 BSA ring fore sight
This interesting front sight turned up on a 1913-14 BSA Standard, serial no. S73844 (the rifle appears to have been nickel plated).
The sight is mentioned in the 1909 Book of the Air Rifle and the 1914 Charles Riggs brochure, which says: "A ring foresight of the proper dimensions practically converts the object into the foresight."
This front sight doesn't seem to have been available after WW1 and perhaps was only made for a relatively short period, perhaps 1909-14? Presumably anyone wanting a ring element after this time would have used one inside a no.19 or no.20 front sight.
I currently know of only one other sight like this one.
Thanks to Paul for these pics of this rarity. He thinks the sight is the smaller diameter ring of the two sizes produced - .100 and .150 of an inch:
BSA bell target no. 84
With thanks to Les for these pics of a rare BSA 'Metal Target no. 84'.
Dating it precisely is difficult. The above ad is from c.1909 in <i>The Book of the BSA Air Rifle</i>. The brass maker's plate refers to the "improved BSA rifle". According to John Knibbs, the first "improved models" came with the batch of rifles made between Oct-Dec 1906 and marked "The B.S.A Air Rifle".
In Feb 1907 the improved model B was brought in and in mid-1908 the improved model D, which continued until late 1913. Both had "improved model [x]" markings.
So it could have been made at any time between late 1906 and 1913.
According to a previous owner, it came from an old Irish shop that closed down: Joseph Durnin & Sons, General Merchants, Inch Island, County Donegal
All pictures below copyright Les Deasy.
BSA bell target no. 83
The above ad is from c.1909 in <i>The Book of the BSA Air Rifle</i>. Note that the illustration shows four concentric rings around the bell hole whereas the real thing has three. For speculation on the age of this target, please see entry for bell target no.84.
With thanks to Paul, the former owner, for these pics:
<u>After light restoration</u>
With thanks to Chris for these pics:
Prewar .22 cal BSA pellet boxes
These two boxes are currently on Ebay:
The seller's blurb for the first box, of Adders, is: "This auction is for a carton of ADDER waisted pellets, a very rare survivor from the early days of airgunning. This is a pre WW1 pellet, which according to John Knibbs was first offered around 1909 in the larger .22 size to coincide with the release of the new BSA Improved Model D Sporting rifle in the larger 45" size and .22 calibre. If you are reading this you probably know this stuff, and just how hard these are to find. There are about 30-40 pellets only missing from the 500 original contents. I cannot be exact as I don't want to empty them all out and count them due to oxidization and dust making a mess, although the pellets are sound and with some napier would transform and stablise, but I have left them untouched. The packet is basically nearly full. Condition is as per photos, really sound for it's 100 + years old age, with just a stain over the ''bore'' word on the packet top and various small marks. The packet has been opened in the past with a scalpel to the back and then sealed with tape, and then opened again...Have a good look at the photos which should show what I mean. Shown with a Wasp tin for scale (not included) the packet is 73mm x 63mm x 30mm in size.
Don't miss these...I looked for years, found these in America, got outbid on them, then a couple of years later did a deal with the owner to finally get them.....Have not personally seen any for sale other than this one since 2008 at least. I am having a collection downsize due to various reasons, so keep checking back in weeks to come for quality early Airgun related items if this is your interest, including a good selection of early pellets tins and boxes and various ephemera, mostly BSA or Webley related."
Edit: this sold for a massive £535.65!
And the second box: "This auction is for a carton orginally containing 500 .22 BSA pellets, there are no pellets the carton is empty. The packet is 73mm x 63mm x 30mm in size and is basically the same carton as the Adder pellets listed seperately except time has moved on, we are now post WW1 and the printing has changed to make them a BSA brand, this pack is shown on BSA flyers and various adverts from 1919-39, so still an early survivor. Condition as photos, but I have taken shots both with and without flash...The without shots do not show the pack as light in colour as it is, and the flash ones are too light!...It is somewhere in between with the white being pretty bright but slightly off white. Pack is 100% complete with no flaps missing, I will post a shot of it open at the back, just the paper top flute where it says ''open this side'' is missing."
BSA prewar(?) cardboard box
With thanks to Peter for the first pics that I'm aware of, of a prewar sales box. I didn't even know for sure they existed! (Contents added later).
Thanks to Lawrie (and Peter) for the following research: