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Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7

Mark Camoccio compares two budget break-barrel rifles that are ideal for the junior user – the Slavia 634 Lux and the BSA Meteor

The airgun market currently abounds with spring-powered airguns; with the humble break-barrel as popular as ever. It should come as no surprise, since the sheer simplicity of this age old design still has immense appeal.

Indeed, there’s surely no greater pleasure to be had than sitting down with a tin of pellets and an accurate break-barrel rifle, whiling away a few hours; and with this type of gun still accounting for a large slice of airgun sales, it’s little wonder that new models regularly surface. A word of caution here though. The current crop really is a mixed bag. OK; arguably, there’s never been such a choice before, but a fair number of the real bargain basement, entry level models can be instantly disregarded for being crude in the extreme.

With the astonishing rise of cheap imported goods, Chinese made air rifles now flood in by the container load each week. Some may carry incredibly low price tags, but the harsh reality is that I’ve yet to shoot one that could hold a decent group.

OK, they cater for low budgets, but believe me - the sheer lack of accuracy potential is just off-putting to the novice, and if finances are tight, then wait a little longer until the budget can stretch to something more worthwhile.

Having started an outdoor airgun club myself, a couple of years back, I regularly get asked to advise on rifle choice, and the two rifles on test here represent two examples of solidly made products offered to the newcomer, around the bare-minimum asking price of £150. There’s little out there these days, other than fun guns, worth looking at for less money, so let’s see how these two compare, and what they have to offer any prospective purchaser.

A British classic versus a full power East European

The BSA Meteor should need no introduction, being something of a national institution. Originally introduced in 1955, various versions have come and gone, but the basic configuration has remained remarkably similar.

We’re now on the Mk7 version, and frankly, the little Meteor has never looked so good! The classic BSA action is treated to a rather more detailed stock this time round, although let’s not get carried away - this rifle has always been about giving juniors a reliable package with which to start enjoying our sport.

Pitched against this latest version of a best-selling icon, is the Slavia 634 Lux, marketed by Edgar Brothers. This is a relative newcomer to the scene, but in my opinion has an awful lot to offer. Both rifles are similarly priced, yet the Slavia admittedly generates significantly more energy – around 11ft/lbs, as opposed to the Meteor’s 8.5ft/lbs. A bit of a mismatch? I don’t think so. Power really isn’t everything, and if these rifles are selected for juniors, with informal target practise at 30yds highly likely, then energy becomes an irrelevance, quite frankly.

Build comparison

The most striking visual difference between these two springers is their woodwork. As previously stated, BSA have certainly gone to town on this latest Meteor, fitting it out with an attractive beech stock, but extending the forend so that it almost wraps around the breech block. Extensive panels of chequering are applied to the sides of the pistol grip and forend, adding detail and aiding grip; although the shallow patterns suggest they’re pressed rather than cut. A standard sporter shape is on offer, with a gently defined cheek-piece, raked pistol-grip, and a chunky looking, ventilated rubber butt pad - all sealed off in an attractive thick lacquer.

The Slavia 634 offers real contrast here, with an unusual, yet appealing, semi-match stock. A deep tapered forend leaves the breech block exposed, but carries deep, full-length finger grooves, which are a real bonus in the aim. Add to this more of a drop down grip, and a deep box section forward of the trigger, and the handling starts to impress. The Slavia would have this section sewn up against the Meteor, but for the complete lack of cheek-piece, and that woefully frugal hard plastic excuse for a butt pad. Whilst there may not be much kick to contend with, the comfort of soft rubber is a pleasure us sad individuals take for granted. The smooth plastic strip slides around the shoulder too, so it’s irritating which ever way you look at it.

Action wise, the BSA takes a fairly straight forward approach, although one point of interest is the barrel recess around the breech. This sees the barrel itself sit into a groove as it locks up, thereby helping to keep everything solid and central when the breech is closed. Bear in mind that a sloppy breech lock-up can be the Achilles heel of any break-barrel design, and these sort of features make sense.

CZ, the Czechoslavakian manufacturer behind the Slavia, are world renowned for the quality of their barrels among other things, and the model 634 shows attention to detail where it matters most. An adjustment screw sits at the breech, with an all important secondary locking screw, to keep everything perfectly tensioned. This means that if any wear was to have an affect, the jaws can be adjusted to compensate. As if this wasn’t enough, the breech is fitted with a barrel lock which has to be released via the front catch. It’s a superbly machined set-up, bar the triangular shaped catch itself, which, being plastic, rather lets the side down.  The catch is merely pulled forwards allowing the barrel to be cocked in the normal way - locking again automatically, as the barrel is returned.

Sight options

Both these rifles come complete with traditional iron sights - a rarity these days, but most fitting, since these rifles make ideal junior starters. OK, most rifles have a scope slapped on within minutes of saying goodbye to the box, yet spending some time with open sights can be a rewarding experience, and an invaluable lesson in basic marksmanship for newcomers.

To this end, the Meteor slightly outscores its rival, since fibre optics come as standard. If you’ve never looked down these sights, it’s an eye-opener. The principle is a good one. Small fibre optic rods make up both sides of the rear notch, and also the foresight blade. Their fluorescent nature means that a bright sight picture is maintained, making use of minimal ambient light.

The Slavia, goes for traditional open sights, but having said that, they are metal, robust, and in keeping with the rest of this rifle, precisely engineered.

One area where the Meteor outscores concerns the scope rails. Whereas BSA cut deep rails into the Meteor cylinder, the dovetails on the Slavia are woefully shallow. I finally found some mounts that would connect satisfactorily, but there’s no excuse for not cutting them deeper.

Trigger wise, the Slavia claws back some points, and whilst creep is evident, the final let off was predictable, if still a little too heavy. The Meteor unit was, to be honest fairly poor, being both stiff and creepy. To be fair though, in this price bracket, triggers are an area where manufacturers regularly cut corners, to keep costs down, so what we have here is fairly par for the course.

Range testing

My first port of call was the chronograph, and after firing a series of clearing shots to settle the actions, a ten shot string was recorded with each. Using Daystate pellets, the BSA kept variation to a highly respectable 13fps, whilst the Slavia was close behind on 17fps.

On the range, the differences began to show though. Cocking the Meteor felt smooth and slick, with some crisp, reassuring noises from the action. The effort required was very manageable, yet the action was fairly twangy on firing. By comparison, the Slavia 634 required minimal effort to cock, and the action was surprisingly well mannered on firing.

Over the 25yd range, whilst the Meteor was respectable, with groups of around an inch, the Slavia was exceptional - regularly tearing ragged holes of four shots, only for me to pull the last - to form half inch clusters. The Slavia reminds me of the classic, and sadly missed, Feinwerkbau Sport 124. Its lightweight action really deserves a better trigger, but a tune-up may suffice. Then source a decent butt pad, and from then on, the only way is up!

The Meteor is a no-nonsense work horse, designed as a quality junior entry level, and with a civilized package, ticks the right boxes. With well over a million Meteors of one version or another have sold over the years - it’s certainly played a significant part in encouraging new recruits into our fold.

In short, both these rifles are solid performers that will still be going strong many years from now. Both would be ideal as junior rifles, whilst the Slavia would even be suitable for a novice, looking for an intro into hunting or HFT.

Technical Specifications
Model BSA Meteor MK7 | Slavia 634 Lux
Manufacturer BSA /Gamo | CZ
Country of Origin Spain | Czechoslovakia
Type Break barrel sporter | Break barrel sporter
Calibre .177 on test (.22 avail) | .177 on test (.22 avail)
Weight 5.7lbs | 6lbs
Overall Length 43.5inch | 42.25inch
Barrel Length 18.25inch | 17.5inch
Stock Beech sporter | Beech semi target sporter
Power Source Spring-piston | Spring-piston
Velocity High 693fps | High 774fps
Low 680 | Low 757
Ave 688 | Ave 770
Vari 13fps | Vari 17fps
Energy 8.9ft/lbs | 11.1ft/lbs
Price £162 | £148

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

Distributer information
User Comments
  • You have one big mistake in your review: The S634 is NOT from Czechoslovakia, because Czechoslovakia is torn apart since 1993. The main factory is in Uherský Brod, Czech republic and some rifles come from a factory in Slovakia. I own a S634 too and beside the weak dovetail it is a very good rifle.
    P.S.: Sorry for bad english, I'm from Slovakia.

    Comment by: Kevin M.     Posted on: 30 Aug 2009 at 12:12 AM

  • Thanks for pointing that out Kevin. By the way, your English is fine!

    Comment by: pat farey     Posted on: 30 Aug 2009 at 02:20 AM

  • I have a favor to ask. What is the price of the Slavia 634, if I buy it in Prague? (In euros)
    I was unable to find this info on the net, maybe you have the answer.
    Have a nice day, every day!
    Yours,
    Andor Schedel

    Comment by: Andor Schedel     Posted on: 05 Nov 2009 at 11:50 AM

  • Hi Andor, I'm sorry, we can only get UK prices, but as the exchange rates
    favour the euro at the moment, I would think that it would be much cheaper in Prague than in the UK. Best of luck.

    Comment by: Pa     Posted on: 06 Nov 2009 at 02:34 AM

  • Hi Andor, the price in Prague would be from 140 to 150 Euros, depending on what shop you choose. Prices went slightly higher this year :(

    Comment by: Davcoun     Posted on: 31 Jan 2010 at 09:31 PM

  • all the info suggests the new mk7 is a full power gun (11.5ft/lbs) your figures suggest different any idea why?
    thanks --- chris

    ( which do you choose meteor mk 7 or supersport for part time target part time hunting??)

    Comment by: chris     Posted on: 11 May 2010 at 11:54 AM

  • Regarding the power figures for the Meteor, 8.9ft/lbs is the calculation we came to when we tested the Mk.7, so that's what we published.

    Regarding hunting, I would always choose the Supersport over the Meteor. The only time they are comparable (for hunting) is at ranges under 20yds.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 11 May 2010 at 03:13 PM

  • how do you shipping to Vietnam?

    Comment by: Nghia Trung     Posted on: 10 Sep 2010 at 12:11 PM

  • The GunMart website is a gun and accessory review service. We do not sell any guns or accessories.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 23 Sep 2010 at 01:33 AM

  • I see that my "colleague" from Slovakia pointed out that there is no Czechoslovakia anymore. I own two S 634 manufactured in different years - one manufactured in TOP quality in the Czech rep. and one manufactured in Slovakia that would remind me of some chinese springer.. That is also the main reason why the manufacturing of S634 is moving back to CZ, keeping only some assembly jobs in Slovakia. The only negative words I can say about this rifle is a plastic butt pad and no cheek piece. Oh yeah and one thing - CZ Uhersky Brod came up wih ad idea of making the stock syntethic (plastic) for !higher! price than wooden version in 2011 grin))) Btw to junior or starting shooters I would recommend secondhand Slavia 631 - made for more than 30 years and still in production with no change - longer barrel, more accurate on shorter ranges than S 634, cheaper, less recoil, about 170m/s in .177.

    Please excuse my English, Iam from the Czech Republic grin

    Comment by: Mirek     Posted on: 27 Nov 2010 at 02:06 PM

  • Thanks for your comments Mirak - your English is better than my ?esky

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 27 Nov 2010 at 06:02 PM

  • CHRONOGRAPHED A BRAND NEW EX BSA FACTORY SUPPLIED MK7 METEOR .22Cal. THIS MONTH. IT WAS ON U.K. LEGAL POWER LIMIT.

    EXCELLENT PRODUCT IN BOTH DESIGN AND FUNCTION.
    IT"S A DELUXE VERSION OF BSA SUPERSPORT REALLY.

    Dave.
    U.K.

    Comment by: DAVID WINSTONE     Posted on: 17 Jun 2011 at 09:40 AM

  • I had the chance to have a look at the Slavis yesterday and I have to say very imprressed, one joining the collection afore to long I think.

    Comment by: Dave Payne     Posted on: 18 Jun 2011 at 09:20 PM

  • HI, I´ve bought Slavia 634 several months ago. Never again. Trigger is disaster. And sound as well. grin) Loud as hell.

    Comment by: Steve     Posted on: 18 Dec 2011 at 09:16 PM

  • i am just about to buy a bsa mk 7 and if it is as good as thay say i will put a comment on here and give my honest opinion on its proformance as it will be my son using it i will ask his opinion and publish it my self at the miuite have an smk 19 and will compare it with that . i look forward to giving the results in about 3 weeks thanks fore reading . tim daddybear cullen xx fb i can give info on how to maintain power in your gun with little effort if you want to know my name is my fb address xx

    Comment by: tim     Posted on: 23 Dec 2011 at 08:04 PM

  • I had a similar Slavia previously, almost the same but lower speed. I now have the Meteor Mk7, great with the higher power for using heavy bullets but for precision and quality of the sights the Meteor feels very "made in china", especially the included fiber optic sights is biggest joke ever. Slavia is more impressive, feels solid, well built.

    Comment by: th3d     Posted on: 08 Jan 2012 at 02:46 AM

  • i remember now, my slavia was 631 Lux. I gave it to my godson some years ago. Very good gun, no china feeling, wish i could say the same about hte Meteor mk7...

    Comment by: th3d     Posted on: 08 Jan 2012 at 02:52 AM

  • I see there is still "Czechoslovakia" as a Country of Origin in Technical specifications.

    There is no Czechoslovakia anymore, we have split into two separated countries in 1993 (it was possible to cross the border freely even before we both joined EU, but still 2 countries).

    The manufacturer, ?Z, is company from the western part, Czech Republic, and all of the air guns are manufactured in Slovakia, eastern part of former Czechoslovakia. Don't trust the "Made in Czech Republic" sign on your rifle - if it was made in 2009 and later, it is definitely from Slovakia. So I thing that in Technical specifications there should be "Czech Republic and Slovakia" rather than "Czechoslovakia" smile

    Comment by: eMko     Posted on: 31 Aug 2012 at 09:31 AM

  • Hi everyone,

    The country of origin in the article has now been updated.

    Comment by: Gun Mart     Posted on: 03 Sep 2012 at 11:21 AM

  • I posted this on the review of the BSA Supersport in response to a post by Pat Farey. I do not know whether Pat Farey speaks officially for the magazine or not. I repeat my comments here because some of them do relate to this review.

    "I recognise the figures you [i.e. Pat Farey] 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 02:27 AM

  • Hi Kendrick

    The figures quoted in this article are actual results from chrono tests done by Mark Camoccio (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: 19 Jan 2013 at 03:01 AM

  • Thank you, but can you (i.e. Mark Cammoccio) tell us the weight of the pellet YOU used to make the tests you have reported on, please?

    Comment by: Kendrick Pereira     Posted on: 28 Jan 2013 at 12:39 AM

  • Mark,

    Thank you for the excellent review of the Slavia 634.

    My off-hand accuracy is much better with iron sights (diopter) than with a scope so the shallow dovetails won't pose a problem. I have an intense dislike for fibre optic sights, so that is another plus for the 634. You answered all my questions. Well done and thanks again.

    Ralland (Ron) Fortier
    Traverse City, Michigan

    Comment by: Ralland J. Fortier     Posted on: 25 Oct 2013 at 02:07 AM

  • I received my Slavia 634 with a synthetic stock several days ago and so far am very pleased with it.
    .
    My eyes no longer accommodates open sights so I fitted the rifle with a Williams 5D aperture which works well with the factory front sight. It was not necessary the remove the rear sight.The rifle is quite accurate and not particularly hold sensitive. Initially there was a fair amount of spring vibration and the trigger, though quite light, had a definite catch in it. After firing several hundred pellets the trigger is much smoother and the vibration greatly reduced. The rifle as received appears to be well lubricated.

    Again my compliments on your review, the Slavia 634, except for the stock, is as you described it.

    Ralland (Ron) Fortier
    Traverse City, Michigan

    Comment by: Ralland J. Fortier     Posted on: 05 Nov 2013 at 01:19 AM

  • I'm glad you've been pleased with the Slavia and I'm sure Mark will be pleased that you liked the review.

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 05 Nov 2013 at 07:26 AM

  • Several weeks ago I mounted a Center Point 3-9X scope on my Slavia 634. The scope was part of a Crosman Vantage package deal. I had removed the scope from the Crosman because it wouldn't hold zero because of the recoil. I dropped some tread lock on the scope rails, mounted the scope on the 634 and let the tread lock harden over night. After several hundred rounds the scope bases haven't moved and the scope is still holding zero.

    Ron Fortier
    Traverse City, Michigan

    Comment by: Ralland J. Fortier     Posted on: 19 Dec 2013 at 03:06 AM

  • Hi Ron,

    I used this method many years ago and it certainly seemed to work. It may not be a permanent fix though, so maybe a one-piece mount is the amswer long term.

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 20 Dec 2013 at 07:36 AM

  • Hi Troll,

    You're right the fix isn't permanent. The scope has set back about a half inch after a couple 100 pellets. I happened to notice the movement when the 634 started to shoot a bit high. The more I shoot the 634 the more I like it.

    Regards,

    Ron

    Comment by: Ralland J. Fortier     Posted on: 12 Jan 2014 at 01:10 AM

  • I used the bottom half of a single, old 11mm scope mount as a stop to keep the scope on my 634 from moving. Placing it behind the rear ring of the scope it is not obtrusive and works great.

    Comment by: Ralland J. Fortier (Ron)     Posted on: 25 Apr 2014 at 12:09 AM

  • While my 634 shot well I finally got tired of the "Twang". Today I removed the stock and found the main spring to be devoid of any lubricant. I coated the spring with Maccari Black Tar using a small Teflon stirring stick to apply the tar through the cocking lever slot. I used enough tar to completely fill the slot, then pushed the tar into the spring until the slot was clear. The results were rewarding. The 634 no longer "Twangs" is very smooth, with no discernible torque and no dieseling.

    Ron Fortier
    Traverse City, Michigan

    Comment by: Ralland J. Fortier (Ron)     Posted on: 13 Oct 2014 at 10:48 PM

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Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
Slavia 634 Lux vs the BSA Meteor Mark 7
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