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BSA Scorpion SE

Compact, but still with a real sting...

as Mark Camoccio finds out when he tests the improved BSA Scorpion SE

Today’s industry is far more adaptable and quicker to embrace change than those in the past; but in the current climate, as economic conditions see the screw being tightened on many an operation, business in general needs to stay sharp, if it is to survive.

From where I’m sitting, the household name that is BSA appears to be doing just that with their latest Scorpion SE model, which is a super slick piece of design work, showing that they really mean business.

Eye Catching

The Scorpion SE is a full power bolt action, multi- shot PCP, complete with two stage trigger, self regulating valve, quick fill adaptor, integral pressure gauge, and fully floating barrel. The delightful sporter stock completes the rather impressive spec list, placing this rifle, on paper at least, firmly in the ‘highly desirable’ bracket. So let’s take a closer look at those features, and see whether this model delivers its full potential.

‘Eye-grabbing woodwork’, best describes the sporting stock which compliments this Scorpion’s action, and any assessment of the Scorpion SE has to start here. Where standard models are concerned, factory production stocks really don’t get much better than this in my book, and with a superb configuration coupled with that ultra trendy signature styling, this design scores in every department.

The pleasingly high, well defined cheek piece gives perfect eye/scope alignment, whilst the slightly raked, 90 degree drop down pistol grip, looks and feels the part. This stock, beautifully machined by Minelli in Italy, is admittedly ambidextrous, and rarely is that route trodden without some compromise along the way. Indeed the minor detail sacrificed here, is the lack of a dedicated palm swell. That apart, the finely stippled panels (laser cut into both the grip and fore-end), and subtle thumb shelf,all help to aid control, as well as enhance aesthetic appeal.

Discipline

The fore-end, complete with that bold, ‘R10 style’ flared ridge running the diagonal, just feels right in the aim, with the finely tapered tip particularly comfortable from the kneeling position. Other discipline shots, such as the standing position, are well catered for, given the depth of the boxy section just forward of the trigger guard, so the leading arm is well supported target style.

In short, form combines with function, and BSA deserve much credit for a mouthwatering design that’s near perfect, given this rifle’s remit.

The stock fitted here to my test rifle, is the thickly varnished, but no less attractive, beech version; yet a trendy black synthetic Tactical model is available, and another fine piece of design work it is too. For the connoisseurs among us, a walnut option is also available (same configuration as the beech), yet given the quality of my test model in beech, I’d think long and hard before justifying the extra outlay.

Compact

The Scorpion SE comes fitted with BSA’s own barrel, and the configuration sees it totally free floating, and capped off with a ported muzzle diffuser. With no silencer in place, this Scorpion is nicely compact; yet a silencer can be screwed on, in place of the diffuser, which I would recommend, given the significant muzzle report. My ideal rifle spec would always include a genuine floating barrel such as this, free from any brackets or ‘o’ rings. This allows the barrel harmonics to come into play, and the cylinder the freedom to expand and contract as necessary. Of course theory is all well and good, and undoubtedly many rifles work perfectly well with brackets and such like in place; yet the Scorpion’s set-up just looks right to me.

To be honest, metal finish is not something that modern BSA’s are renowned for, and this Scorpion comes with rather lack lustre blueing applied to the barrel and cylinder, and a matt blacking to the breech block which is slightly prone to wear around the mag housing. That said, the overall impression is still one of a well thought out and reasonably well machined tool.

As a multi-shot, the Scorpion can boast a 10 shot rotary magazine, and back up shots are available just as fast as that bolt can be cycled. BSA’s revised magazine is incorporated into the SE, and it’s a far more robust design than previous efforts. Pellets are passed through a precise metal front plate, which allows easier access, and mags are colour coded, blue for .177, red for .22 calibre. A figure also shows on the body of the mag to indicate the number of shots left, which is always a good feature.

Loading is simple, with the rotary mag revolved to allow a pellet to be chambered in turn, until the mag is full. With that super stylish, hand filling stainless Bolas bolt fully withdrawn, and the magazine retaining catch open, the mag can be pushed home, into the right hand side of the action. At this point, push the bolt home, and pull the retaining catch (just forward of the breech block) backwards to lock everything in place.

Probe & Performance

Getting air into the Scorpion SE is simplicity itself, since BSA opt for the push-fit quick fill probe method. Just unscrew the valve dust cap, push the probe adaptor securely into the inlet valve, and charge the main cylinder to the tune of 232bar. I should point out here, that whilst the probe adaptor is by far the quickest filling method, it is always good practise to check that the probe is pushed fully home after a short time of charging, just as a safety precaution. Pressure keeps the air line in place, and an inspection early on should suffice.

The Scorpion SE comes fitted with a half decent trigger unit, and the fully adjustable mechanism feels both respectably light and precise, with maybe just a little too much spring weight on the first stage for my liking. A flatter blade would also be an improvement, yet admittedly, as primarily a hunting rifle, many traditionalists would baulk at such radical moves. As it stands then, this trigger allows the Scorpion to show what it’s capable of

BSA don’t fit a regulator to these models, but utilize what they term as a ‘self-regulating valve’ instead. Over the chronograph, using Daystate Rangemaster Li pellets, my test rifle produced 55 shots within an acceptable 24fps , but a further 20 or so shots were available before velocity died altogether. BSA claim 65 shots from the smaller calibre and around 96 in .22, but in keeping with all unregulated rifles of this type, shot count is dictated by just how tight a velocity spread is deemed acceptable by the user. The requirements of a practise target shot at 30yds will be less demanding than an HFT course of targets for example, where small kills can be positioned out to 45yds.

Where accuracy is concerned, sub half inch clusters at 35yds were the norm, using the same Daystate pellets, proving that this BSA is a formidable performer given some half decent ammo. Handling is excellent given the quality of the woodwork, although if this were my rifle, as previously mentioned, I would source a silencer ASAP. Not only to tame that muzzle crack, but also to add front weight, given the lightness towards the muzzle.

Negatives with this Scorpion SE are confined to the fact that it is still possible to double cock the bolt and load two pellets at once, as it is with many PCP’s on the market; but a deliberate and positive cocking regime should minimize the chance of this happening.

Verdict

All things considered then, in this latest Scorpion SE, BSA have a cracking little contender for the ‘compact hunter’ category, which not only looks and handles superbly, but can perform down range too. Maybe a little pricey compared to some, but a worthy addition to any shortlist. GM

Technical Specifications
Model BSA Scorpion SE
Type: PCP multi-shot bot action sporter
Calibre: .177 on test/ .22 available
Weight: 7.7lbs
Overall Length: 36.5inches
Barrel Length: 18.5inches
Stock: Beech sporter
Trigger: 2-stage adjustable
Fill Pressure: 232bar max
Shot Count: Factory claim 65shots In .177 or 96 shots in .22
Average velocity: 788fps using Daystate Rangemaster Li pellets:
Average spread: 24fps
RRP: £598 guide price

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

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User Comments
  • IM INTERENTING THE MK4 AIR GUN WOLF, I NEED THE US PRICE. I LIVE I PUERTO RICO. THANKS LUIS CINTRON

    Comment by: LUIS CINTRON     Posted on: 05 Oct 2012 at 04:32 PM

  • Hi Luis,

    I'm sorry but we review air rifles, scopes, accessories etc, we do not sell them. Airguns Of Arizona in the United States should be able to help you.

    You could contact Daystate direct, they may have a distributor in your country. Go to www.daystate.com

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 05 Oct 2012 at 04:37 PM

  • Bsa Scorpion SE I WAS TOLD THAT THE FILLING PRESSURE WAS 190 BAR BUT YOU HAVE IT AS 232 WHICH IS RIGHT PLEASE BECAUSE I DONT WANT TO OVER FILL MINE THANKYOU.

    Comment by: Des Roberts     Posted on: 23 May 2013 at 12:20 PM

  • 232 BAR is the maximum pressure you should fill your Scorpion SE to, 190 or 200 BAR will probably be the optimum pressure, ie give you the flattest part of the power curve with less shot to shot variation.

    Give it a go and let us know how you get on.

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 23 May 2013 at 12:30 PM

  • Thankyou For The Quick Reply.

    Comment by: Des Roberts     Posted on: 23 May 2013 at 01:41 PM

  • I bought my Scorpion SE .22 NEW two days ago from my local RFD shop.
    It is a superb piece of weaponery
    I'm transferring my shooting from centre-fire rifle to air rifle target/hunting.
    The vendors say that it doesn't come with a filling adaptor and they will sell me one for £20. It didn't have the instructional CD or any booklet of owner's instructions either. Not even a box of .22 pellets.
    I was told that as I had negotiated hard for the rifle, BSA moderator and the Hawke Sport HD HK3009 scope "that's it." No room left for any extras!
    I feel a bit cheated - am I being unreasonable?

    Comment by: Bazo Macmillan     Posted on: 20 Sep 2013 at 11:57 AM

  • As far as I am aware the rifle should come with the fill adaptor, instructions etc. If I were you I would ring BSA on Monnday and tell them what has happened.

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 20 Sep 2013 at 05:16 PM

  • Hi just bought a bsa scorpion se tactical , what keeps the magazine retainer handle in place?, as mine comes out completely. I have gun in bit's it looks like there is a grub screw missing any ideas.

    Comment by: Mal Ryder     Posted on: 24 Jun 2014 at 09:29 PM

  • “The BSA Scorpion SE is unbelievable with a little help, ”
    Written on: 30/06/2014 by Csaranchai (1 review written)

    I was not getting anywhere with my .22 BSA Scorpion SE until i bought a pro chrony and found on full pressure it was only giving 8 ft lbs and at the sweet 170 bar mark 10 ft lbs..i contemplated sending it away fitting a valve etc spending loads of money. I bought it second hand.......i marked my hand pump and gun with a tiny red arrow at the 170 bar mark and kept it on that ever 20 shots much better, then the power , on removing the stock you can see a little rod from the hammer going to the trigger, with patience i gave the hammer spring some help by adding an elastic band from the rod to the screw base that holds the stock screw. Like magic the chrony velocity gave me spot on 12 ft lbs, there is no point adding another elastic band driving it up to say 14 ft lbs, apart from breaking the law, the gun uses too much air, and there is little or no diference in long distance shots. The 12 ftlbs power is chosen very well for us poking pellets through plywood at 45 yards. Thats shotgun range ! I use a nikko sterling mount master scope. The cross hairs set on 35 yards, the lower dot is 45 yards and the upper dot 10 yards. I am 71 and shake a bit so i need to rest the refle against something. The SE now performs fantasticaly, i have consistant 170 bar for 10 to 20 shots . 12 ft lbs constantly , and pellets often going through the same hole out to 45 yards, so with this little bit of help the SE is a fantastic gun, of course as i did when i first had the gun i was shooting 500 pellets a week and the pressure going from 230 down to 100 bar no wonder i could not get consistency. But as a hunter you are unlikely to fire more than 20 shots between pumping up the resevior, and thats not hours of pumping, just a dozen strokes of the pump and you are spot on 170 bar marked by my litttle red arow. I realy dont think you will get a more accurate gun, except perhaps in .177, but who cares when my BSA scorpion SE is poking holes in a one inch circle at 45 yards, in my view one of the brest investments i have made, my other gun is a 450/400 double rifle , and i love them both equaly. I have a Hills hand pump. I practice between hunting often adjusting a few clicks on the scope whete it gets knocked out of line, and using the chrony to make sure i am not breaking the law, the se kills precisely, having an inferior gun is both wicked and crule causing pain and suffering to birds and animals, my SE gives me a clean and instant perfect kill every time. Happy hunting

    Comment by: Gordon courtney     Posted on: 01 Jul 2014 at 11:17 AM

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BSA Scorpion SE
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BSA Scorpion SE
BSA Scorpion SE
BSA Scorpion SE
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