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BSA SuperSport SE

BSA SuperSport SE

Break-barrel, spring piston power, still accounts for a large slice of airgun sales; but whilst many rifles with this traditional specification may be at the cheaper end of the market, the simplicity and user-friendly nature of the design still takes some beating. I obviously get to test all manner of airguns across the board, yet I still derive an incredible amount of satisfaction from spending time with a break-barrel. It’s that simple action that relaxes you from the off, and still reminds me of my first rifle, and those early days of discovery in this fantastic sport of ours.

BSA have been a household name where spring-powered airguns are concerned for many decades, and their current range of guns still include several traditional models, aimed at both beginners and enthusiasts alike. On test here is one of the current favourites in this genre; the Supersport SE, and it’s a smart little performer, with plenty to offer.

Looker

The Supersport was a success from the outset, and as such, this compact little power pack has enjoyed a regular place in BSA’s line-up over the years, in one guise or another. First impressions of this latest incarnation are favourable, and it must be the best looking version to date. So, what do we get for the money? Well their usual, break-barrel lock-up design, 2-stage adjustable trigger, that stylish chequered beech stock, fibre optic open sights, and a manual safety catch.

Far more thought seems to go into the average airgun these days, and BSA’s design team have done themselves proud with the woodwork, for the Supersport’s timber is extremely attractive to say the least. Plenty of grain shows through the light-coloured lacquer, and that means that the natural beauty of the beech used, can be appreciated. Laser-cut chequering is neatly done, and covers both the grip and forend, adding style and function. But take a close look at the pistol grip, and the thumb shelf is a really nice touch. Add in that graceful tapered forend, and solid recoil pad, and it all comes together well.

As a technicality, there is a slight, right hand defined cheek piece, but to all intents and purposes, this is an ambidextrous sporter; so, all things to all people! OK, that comb is admittedly a bit vague, but par for the course on this style and grade of gun. Finish-wise, this model has a good quality feel to it, and the level of machining is well up to scratch. The chemical blueing is a little dull when compared to some rivals however.

Glassware?

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The Supersport SE comes with open sights as standard, and that means the classic BSA profile, given they are straight from the mould of old. A modern twist comes with the inclusion of fibre optic elements- red for the front post, and green used for the rear, which is adjusted by a finger wheel, so setting them up is simple. I’m a big fan of open sights for novice shooters; so, if this Supersport is bought as a first gun, I would persevere with those sights a while and learn the basics. But if the point comes when a scope is deemed necessary, this model features dovetail rails that run to the very end of the cylinder. There’s also an arrestor hole machined into the top of the receiver, so the effects of recoil can be effectively tamed.

In use?

Pick up the Supersport SE, and you just know you could shoot it for an extended period. At 6.6lbs, we are talking highly manageable, and with that full length 18.5” barrel, there’s plenty of leverage to bring into play when cocking the action. The stroke is easy to complete, and with that distinctive BSA configuration around the breech, with the exposed barrel end, and chunky detent, everything feels reassuringly sturdy.

Action-wise, my .22 version on test felt super quick, and whilst it did kick significantly, felt more like a gas-ram set-up. A smooth snap on release, with no spring resonance. There’s a manual safety catch, fitted, for those that wish to use one, and an anti-bear trap mechanism, which cleverly prevents discharge until the barrel is locked back up at the breech. A bi-product of this is that the action can therefore not be de-cocked, (holding the barrel down under pressure, pulling the trigger, and gently allowing the barrel back up) but it means safety is paramount.

Triggers in this price sector can be a big disadvantage and crude, so the Supersport SE gets the thumbs up for an acceptable arrangement. The blade is synthetic, but well-shaped. Yes, it could be broader and slightly longer, and there is some creep, but overall, it didn’t spoil the shooting experience.

Performance

Over the chronograph, the Supersport SE proved extremely consistent, with a variety of pellets, and a total velocity spread of just 6 fps over a 10-shot string, using Kaiser pellets, just about says it all! My best groups on test averaged ½” centre-to-centre using RWS Superfields over 25yards, whilst the Kaisers printed 3/4inch to inch groups. So, as is so often the case with airguns in general, take the time to test with a variety of pellets, and it may well pay dividends. If I did my bit, the rifle rewarded my efforts, with a pleasing level of accuracy, and with that smooth cocking cycle and appealing shot characteristics, it was difficult not to warm to this model.

Overall then, I was impressed. For the Supersport SE proved a good solid performer, making it ideal as a starter rifle or general purpose/ hunting tool. There’s a quality feel, and at the current asking price of £233, it still compares extremely well against many of its rivals.

  • BSA SuperSport SE - image {image:count}

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  • BSA SuperSport SE - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • BSA SuperSport SE - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • BSA SuperSport SE - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • BSA SuperSport SE - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • BSA SuperSport SE - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

gun
features

  • Model : BSA Supersport SE
  • Type: Break-barrel sporter
  • Calibre: .22 on test/.177 available
  • Weight: 6.6lbs
  • Overall length: 42”
  • Barrel: 18.5”
  • Stock: Ambidextrous beech sporter
  • Power source: Spring piston
  • Trigger: 2-stage adjustable
  • Velocity: Using Kaiser pellets: - (10 shot string) High 579fps Low 573 Ave 576 Spread 6fps
  • Energy: 10.8ft/lbs on test
  • Price: £233
  • Contact: BSA Guns www.bsaguns.co.uk

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