BSA Guns Ltd Supersport
Pete Wadeson tests one of BSA’s most established and well-known springers – the Supersport
At BSA the Supersport is now one of the oldest surviving members of the original springers that many shooters were weaned on. In the past it is has been presented in different guises – carbine, full length and deluxe versions – but now it is only available as a full-length rifle with a new stock design.
The Supersport of old I remember had a very plain stock, no chequering or stippling and a rather shallow cheekpiece that was useful as the rifle always sported open sights as well as the facility to fit a scope, so on original models the stock design at the butt section was very much a compromise.
On looking over (and handling) the new woodwork on the Supersport, my first impression is of a rifle that has now lost its very basic bare bones appearance.
So, this new look Supersport boasts a full-length, traditional beech wood sporter stock and with a relatively low but clearly discernable right hand cheekpiece that gives way to the ventilated rubber butt pad. The forend is quite lengthy yet slim and sports two panels of well-cut chequering along either side with a further pair of panels at the grip. The neck still has quite a shallow rake making it easy to hold and now much more ‘adult’ in handling, style and practicality for most shooters tastes.
Cocking and Firing
Due to the previously mentioned lengthy tube, the Supersport draws open easily for cocking to lock securely up in the open position. Thumb a pellet directly into the breech and the BSA’s in-house manufactured barrel ‘swings’ forward to easily return back to the original position, locking up just as solidly. With the full-length rifle in my hand I decided to fire a string of pellets ‘open sighted’ and this is where any shooter would appreciate why the Supersport became such a popular rifle.
I must also mention that although classed as a full-length rifle, at 41.5-inches from butt to muzzle it’s nowhere near as lengthy as some others, and is one of the most manageable due to its reasonably light weight – around 7lbs with a medium sized scope in place.
The open sight layout consists of a foresight having a slim post with a rounded top bead profile. The fully adjustable rear sight unit has a ‘V’ or ‘U’ shape notch – both give quick and easy to use sight pictures. Adjustment is by knurled edge thumbwheels that move positively to each station. This is not like the fine adjustment of a micrometer but precise enough for me to set an 18yd zero - a sensible and usable open sight shooting range for a spring powered air rifle. The rifle tested was in .22 calibre and set up like this produced ragged 1 ¼” groups and the ‘irons’ didn’t obscure the target to any great degree. In other words if you so preferred you could hunt with this rifle straight from the box at close range and, with a very practiced eye, possibly even further.
I must mention that although the actual cocking and firing cycle was smooth the first thing upon shooting that surprised me was the very manageable recoil, only marred by the quite harsh muzzle report. I put this down initially to dieseling, and the report did diminish the more pellets I put through the 18.5-inch tube.
The Supersport wasn’t pellet fussy and with a BSA 3 – 9 X 40IR Essential scope fitted into the deep cut dovetails, the board groupings of the .22 calibre test rifle tightened up to sub 1-inch at 25yds. For any springer in this price bracket you can’t really ask more than that.
The trigger is the same 2-stage adjustable unit as fitted to the Lightning, with a manual re-settable safety lever on the right of the action. The trigger blade is nicely curved and feels very solid on the pad of the forefinger. This helps you gain a relatively good level of control leading to a much more predictable let off. This translates over to shot release, being crisp and clean, just like the overall feel of the rifle.
Other features remain the same, the typical BSA ‘rolling wave’ trigger guard protects the blade from wandering fingers and the manual trigger safety lever is placed for easy operation on the right side of the action cylinder. To ensure foolproof operation the directions, are etched onto the action block with an arrow indicating forward to the letter ‘F’ for Fire and to a capital ‘S’ at the rear for Safe.
Though the BSA Supersport is only approximately 7lbs with scope and 41-inches in overall length, it’s an air rifle that punches pellets out right up to the legal limit – even though only nudging in the shoulder on firing. Accuracy potential is there for those with good rifle control, and as for balance and handling, any hunter would find these spot on – and great value for money too.
|Manufacturer||BSA Guns Ltd|
|Action||Break barrel, spring powered|
|Sights||Open sights, also cylinder grooved for scope fitting|
|Overall Length||41.75 inches|
|Barrel Length||18.5 inches|
|Calibre||.22 on test, .177 available|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates