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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.

Familiar stock

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.

Technical Specifications
Manufacturer BSA Guns Ltd
Model Supersport
Action Break barrel, spring powered
Stock Beech sporter
Sights Open sights, also cylinder grooved for scope fitting
Weight 6.5lbs un-scoped
Overall Length 41.75 inches
Barrel Length 18.5 inches
Trigger 2-stage, adjustable
Safety Manual, re-settable
Silencer None
Power 11.8ft lbs
Calibre .22 on test, .177 available
Price £199

All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates

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User Comments
  • do bsa still supply the supersport in .25 calibre?,as i need a little rat gun,thanks chaps.

    Comment by: james aldridge     Posted on: 08 Oct 2009 at 04:17 AM

  • crackin gun,mine is 11 years old stil same spring and has acounted for numerous pests, also very robust and excelent value for money would recomend one to any one lookin for a full power breake barrel at an affordable cost

    Comment by: craig isaac     Posted on: 22 Feb 2010 at 03:21 AM

  • One of our other writers - Mark Camoccio - has recently been reaquainted with the latest Supersport, and he too was surprised at how this rifle will still deliver the goods. Watch out for his review which will be added to this website soon.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 22 Feb 2010 at 10:32 AM

  • Just bought .177 super sport. Its very accuarate and seem powerfull. Just wondering if its capable of killing rabbits/pigeons??

    Comment by: sacha     Posted on: 01 Mar 2010 at 06:03 PM

  • The Supersport makes a good hunting rifle, but make sure that you take head shots only, and make sure you are close enough to comfortably hit what you are aiming at. You can work this out by shooting a five shot group at a target board and trying to get all five pellets into approximately a 1" circle (just put about 10 circles on an A4 card or sheet of paper by drawing around a £1 coin).

    Start at about 15yds from the target. When you get a 1" group, walk back 5 yds and repeat. Carry on doing this until you get to a distance from the target where you have difficulty getting all five pellets into the circle. The last distance where you had no difficulty getting a 1" group is the maximum distance that you should hunt - until your accuracy begins to improve with practice.Good luck.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 02 Mar 2010 at 02:32 AM

  • jst want 2 no how do i sort my bsa ultra multishot out coz wat ave done is loaded it twice n now there stuck and i cnt get my mag out aswell please can u tell me how i can sort it out thanks kyle

    Comment by: kyle     Posted on: 04 Aug 2010 at 07:34 PM

  • aup how can i sort my bsa ultra multishot out coz my friend has loaded it twice n now my slugs r stuck and i cnt get my mag out aswell so can u tell mi how i can do it please thanks kyle

    Comment by: kyle     Posted on: 04 Aug 2010 at 07:38 PM

  • ive got a .25, its the canines reproductive equiptment. if you hit it, it stays hit.period.range is a little short compared to a .22,but if youre lamping,or green laning,.25 is the way to go!. absolutly destroys beercans full of water,.. unlike a .22 which just makes holes. shockin bit of kit!!!!

    Comment by: rastus     Posted on: 13 Sep 2010 at 12:11 AM

  • i have a .22 supersport with a hawke scope, is very accurate and powerful, is easy to kill rabbit instantly

    Comment by: josh     Posted on: 09 Jul 2012 at 12:51 PM

  • In the specifications at the end of your review you give the power rating of the as 11.88 ftpound. This is the published power rating of the Meteor, for which a muzzle velocity of "maximum 600" ft/sec is claimed but the Supersport is supposed to be a more powerful gun for which 730 ft/sec is claimed (figures from the official BSA website) and for which a permit would be required in the UK. One would expect a power rating in the 20-24 joule bracket whereas the rating you give is approximately 16 joule.

    Is the gun you review a powered-down example? and if so don't you think you should state this? or is there some other explanation for the considerable difference in muzzle velocity between two 16 joule guns by the same maker and with the same barrel length?

    Comment by: Kendrick Pereira     Posted on: 10 Jan 2013 at 05:30 AM

  • Oh! and incidentally, have you reviewed the Meteor?

    Comment by: Kendrick Pereira     Posted on: 10 Jan 2013 at 05:32 AM

  • All our test air rifles, unless stated as FAC models, are UK legal limit models (under 12ft/lbs)

    For UK legal limit models the BSA figures are
    Supersport .177/4.5mm - 1000 ft/sec, 305 m/sec
    Supersport .22/5.5mm - 730 ft/sec, 240 m/sec
    Meteor .177/4.5mm - 825 ft/sec, 271 m/sec
    Meteor .22/5.5mm - 570 ft/sec, 187 m/sec
    Comet .177/4.5mm - 825 ft/sec, 271 m/sec
    Comet .22/5.5mm - 570 ft/sec, 187 m/sec
    Polaris .177/4.5mm - 1000 ft/sec, 328 m/sec
    Polaris .22/5.5mm - 722 ft/sec, 236 m/sec
    Lightning .177/4.5mm - 1000 ft/sec, 328 m/sec
    .22/5.5mm - 730 ft/sec, 240 m/sec

    A review of the BSA Meteor Mk7 can be found by typing 'BSA Meteor' into the search box on this page

    Comment by: pat farey     Posted on: 10 Jan 2013 at 03:45 PM

  • I recognise the figures you give as coming from BSA's advertising but BSA do not state that these are figures for "UK legal limit models" so it does not make sense to proffer them in the context in which you proffer them.

    The Meteor and Comet no doubt meet UK legal requirements for unlicensed guns but I question whether the other three do UNLESS POWERED DOWN to about 16 joule.

    I notice that the Supersport is advertised on an international website as a 24 joule model (.177 calibre) and the figures you quote sit very comfortably with this power rating. My own conjectural calculations - I do not know what pellet mass is envisaged - had the gun necessarily somewhere around this power rating with the .22 and .25 at around 26 and 27 joules with 15.43 and 18.? grain pellets respectively. I got these pellet weights from BSA's website, assumig that they would use their own products throughout but of course there is conjecture in this still (which of their own pellets would they have used?).

    If the expression "legal limit models" means anything at all it means that the makers have powered the piece as strongly as they dare to without risking transgressing the regulations. One expects these models to have ratings somewhere around 11 ft/lb. Less would fail to meet reasonable expectations aroused in prospective customers' minds. Much more would be sailing uncomfortably close to the wind. So is the Meteor reviewed elsewhere in these reviews a "legal linit model" at the reported 8.9 ft/lb? I do not think so. But BSA's advertised figure of 560 fps does sit comfortably with an 11 ft/lb rating. So was even this review gun a powered down example?

    Comment by: Kendrick Pereira     Posted on: 18 Jan 2013 at 02:23 AM

  • Hi Kendrick

    The figures quoted in this article are actual results from chrono tests done by the author on an 'off the shelf' UK legal limit model. This is the case with the vast majority of airgun reviews on this site. We very rarely use manufacturers' figures in tests - except in special circumstances - but when we do we state that fact.

    When we (the magazine) say that an airgun is 'a legal limit model' it just means that it is below or within 12ft/lbs of muzzle energy allowed in UK law for non-licensed air rifles.

    If an air rifle is above the UK legal limit we state that it is an FAC rated airgun.

    I can't vouch for BSA's own figures, I only quoted them in my reply (for all readers benefit) because you raised the point of their official figures. If you want to know more about the pellet weights/brands used to arrive at BSA's own figures, you will have to contact BSA.

    Hope this helps

    Pat

    Comment by: pat farey     Posted on: 18 Jan 2013 at 04:40 PM

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BSA Guns Ltd Supersport
BSA Guns Ltd Supersport
BSA Guns Ltd Supersport
BSA Guns Ltd Supersport
BSA Guns Ltd Supersport
BSA Guns Ltd Supersport
BSA Guns Ltd Supersport
BSA Guns Ltd Supersport
BSA Guns Ltd Supersport
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