BSA R-10 Mk2 Super Carbine
Pete Wadeson tests the ‘chopped’ down version of BSA’s flagship multishot PCP, the R-10 Mk2 Super Carbine and finds it difflcult to part with…
Not too long back I reviewed the BSA R-10 Mk2, and in that favourable piece I mentioned it would “certainly be good to see BSA offer a carbine version of the rifle” and – hey presto! – here it is, the boldly named R-10 Mk2 Super Carbine. As with the standard full-length rifle it can be purchased in the three stock options of Walnut, Black Edition and Woodland. The ‘BT’ version is not only very eye-catching, but the option I’d choose if buying the rifle for myself, so without further ado, here are my views.
Incidentally, the Walnut stock (as of yet) is only available as a right hand only option while the other two are of an ambidextrous design, something I’m sure will appeal not only to south paws as it also makes the rear of the stock feel better in the shoulder. All versions sensibly retain the integral sling swivel studs while the Woodland and Black Edition have a rubber overmould that fully envelopes the dramatic sweeping lines of the beech wood stock beneath.
With that established, the ‘over-moulded’ models now have a relatively high and quite substantially sized ambidextrous cheekpiece fitted with a sliding height adjustable black rubber buttpad. The slim neck has a nicely sized thumb shelf and the pistol grip drops down at the perfect angle giving your hand the ideal base from which to operate the trigger.
The forend is quite chunky and perfectly sized in length to accommodate the shortened action ending in a semi-Schnabel tip as it reaches and slightly goes under the buddy bottle. As is the nature of this type of stock material it has a non-slip ‘grippy’ feel but extra grip aids are still included in the form of three panels with impregnated checkering on either side of the pistol grip and forend.
The Super Carbine uses a removable/fixed 200cc buddy bottle to store the compressed air but for on-rifle fills or ‘top ups’ there’s a neat inlet valve port on the underside of the stock adjacent to an equally neat air pressure gauge. The inlet takes a Quick Fill probe (supplied) and has a recommended fill pressure of 225 bar. This gives 200 plus shots in .177 calibre and 240 plus in the .22 calibre rifle as per test.
Like its big brother, this Super Carbine has the now familiar uninterrupted fl at receiver for scope fitting making this one of the few rifles where you don’t have to struggle to fit almost any optic of choice. Lchose to scope up using a Hawke Sport HD 3-9x50AO Mil-Dot IR in high mounts which during test proved to be a sensible pairing for handling and balance. The rifle comes with BSA’s own VC (Variable Choke) ‘calibre speciflc’ silencer already screwed onto the shortened 12 inch fully fl oating tube. Even with this effective can up-front the Super Carbine lives up to its name as it still only measures 37 inches from butt to muzzle making this a very compact customer.
It goes without saying that the rifle uses BSA’s upgraded 10-shot removable magazine familiar to all PCPs on the BSA roster. These magazines are now colour-coded (denoting the different calibres) with a high-impact polymer inner rotor (exposed part of the rotary drum), which is also numbered and indexes around much more smoothly and positively than the original all-metal version. If not familiar with this magazine, pellets are placed into the empty chambers as the inner ‘carrier’ is rotated anticlockwise until all 10 are filled.
The mechanics that secure the magazine, cock and load the rifle are, as you’d expect, exactly as found on the full length rifle. To cock and load, first slide the large finger friendly serrated edge magazine retaining catch (positioned just forward of the action block on the left) and pull back the generously sized rear mounted cocking bolt. The magazine now easily lifts out of the left hand side of the action block.
In my previous test of the full-length rifle I also praised the semi-match grade trigger, which can be fine-tuned for even the most finicky of trigger tastes including angle of shoe position, length and weight of pull, but adjustments do have to be made with the action out of the stock. It also has an easily accessible and well-placed safety lever positioned above and to the left of the action.
During testing using quality ammo, the rifle soon showed its pedigree as it made ragged one hole clusters at my 30 yards set zero. It was here I was able to assess BSA’s shot count claims and as pellets didn’t drop off the aim point at the target after 250 shots I’d say they’re pretty much on the button, while that strange looking front-mounted air regulator is certainly doing a better job. I say “better” because it’s definitely been tweaked to give an even more impressive shot-to-shot consistency.
Well they do say to be careful what you wish for, because although I mentioned in my previous test of the full length R-10 that I’d like to see a carbine version, they’ve definitely not disappointed; in my opinion it’s a sure-fire winner in every department. The stock perfectly complements the shortened action and sensibly scoped up I feel it’s by far one of the best-handling carbine size multi-shot PCP air rifles currently available.
Highly accurate and with a huge shot count at your disposal, this is a rifle that can fulfil virtually all airgun hunting duties you will encounter. In fact I’m so smitten with this rifle that I’m soon going to part with one of my beloved SuperTens and replace it with what really is a ‘Super Carbine.’
My thanks to T & J. J McAvoy Ltd (01257 426129 www. guns.gb.com) for supplying the rifle on test
|Model||BSA R10 Mk2 Super Carbine (Black Edition)|
|Type||Buddy Bottle fed Multi-Shot PCP|
|Stock||Ambidextrous beech wood sporter with black rubber over-mould|
|Length||37 inches inc. silencer|
|Calibre||.22 on test, .177 and .25 available|
|Trigger||Two-stage, ‘semi-match’ multi-adjustable|
|Price||SRP £780. Spare Magazines: £45|
|Contact||BSA Guns Ltd www.bsaguns.co.uk|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates