BSA AIRGUNS. PISTOLS AND CARBINS
In a little over a hundred years the airguns BSA has grown from a small union of gunsmiths to become one of the most important industrial groups of Britain.
BSA is characterized by its constant investigation in search of its guns quality, by its absolute creativity, and by its clean, handmade and totally supervised work.
BSA pistols and carbins during the World War II controlled 67 factories, employing 28.000 people and using 25.000 machines.
The history of the BSA carbines began more than a century ago, in the year 1869, when the king William III worried by threats of invasion, criticized the practice of obtaining military weapons from Holland. His complaints were heard by Sir Richard Newdegate, an MP for Warwick shire, who immediately spoke with his Birmingham constituents, who were shotgun and hunting lovers. They carried out a series of laws for foreign importations of guns.
This new way of negotiation with the weapon manufacturers continued during 50 years. During the Crimean War fourteen of craftsmen formalized their position together as The Birmingham Small Arms Trade Association. It was the group which on June 7th, 1861 decided to form a public company known as The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited.
This company adopted as emblem three crossed rifles, which has since become world-known as the Piled Arms trademark.
The guns company BSA, whose emblem are three crossed rifles, was born since the complaints of the King William III who was worried by threats of invasion.
It was bought a land with more than 10,000 square meters in Small Hath, at that time just outside the Birmingham boundary. Two years later the factory was working.
In 1866 the company could record a profit of £7,000 and in a few year later, helped by the turbulent policy of the time, The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited became in the bigger European private manufacture of guns. One order from the Prussian government, then at war with Austria, of 40 millions of cartridge cases motivated the company. The corporation directors decided to acquire a munitions factory and changed the name of the Birmingham Small Arms and Metal Company Limited. The early prosperity of the company lasted not very much. As consequence of the wars ended up, so the demand of guns fell, the private arms trade was the first one in turn affected negatively.
This name was used until 1897, when the munitions manufacture was abandoned and the company regained its original name.
Before, the end of the 70's, the Small Heath factory had closed for a year and the future looked dark.
A small contract enabled works to be opened again, however, in 1880 fate took a hand in the shape of an inventor, a Sir E.C.F. Otto, who had designed a strange type of bicycle that had two large wheels on either side of the rider. The directors of the gun company were so impressed that they decided to begin to produce this strange invent.
This adventure in the transport field was followed by the production of more conventional bicycles and tricycles, but a sudden increase in the demand for rifles at the end of the 80s caused the directors to drop cycle work. During the Boer War the company supplied thousand of rifles to the British forces.
In the First World War the BSA factories were aimed totally to munitions work. BSA supplied service rifles, machine guns, military motorcycles, and the first folding bicycles. Later, during the 30s the BSA gun production was limited confined to comparatively small quantities of sporting weapons.
Apart from the company’s own in Birmingham, Coventry, Redditch, Sheffield and the Durham Company, many other smaller factories were used in the guns production. The Small Heath administration alone, consisted of the companies BSA Cycles Ltd and BSA Guns Ltd, reached to control 67 factories, employing 28,000 people and using 25,000 machines. This company produced more than half the small arms supplied to the Britain’s forces during the war. The BSA production during the war consisted of almost a half million of machine guns Browing with which RAF Spiritfires and Hurricanes won the Battle of Britain; 1,250,000 service rifles, 400,000 Sten guns, machine guns, cannons, anti-tank rifles, and gun carriages, ten million shell fuses, over three and half million magazines, and 750,000 anti-aircraft rockets.
The factories of several companies were bombed by the enemies and looked seriously damage. In the Small Heath more than 50 employers dead as consequence of the attacks. More machine and tools were destroyed or damaged by the enemy bombings at this works than in the entire Coventry blitz.
Although nowadays the company doesn’t continues making more military arms, the carbines company BSA goes on manufacturing air rifles, hunting rifles and sporting guns, exporting almost 600 models of different arms to the rest of the world.
For many years BSA has been making gun barrels of the highest quality. Today the company enjoys of an enviable reputation among its competitors and supplies barrels to other guns makers.
The BSA air guns are ready to spin the pellet as soon as it goes out from the barrel and to give it a gyroscopic effect to its flight that considerably improves its accuracy, particularly over longer distances.
The barrels of the BSA guns are made with special steel, with which the shotgun is hardened while it is cold swaged to enhance the wearing qualities of the BSA rifling. The barrels are created from a solid bar, in which is done a hole with the special drill machines of the BSA factory. This method of manufacturing ensures the perfect calibre.
After deep hole drilling the barrels, they are taken to a machine that swaged it in cold and where the blank barrel goes among six rotating hammers, each weighing approximately 20lbs (9 kilos). The action of this cold swaging increases the length of the barrel by 15%; work hardens the surface of the rifling and refines the grain structure of the steel of the BSA guns.
Some of the most outstanding BSA carbines are the followings:
It is one of the best carbines of BSA. The BSA carbine Meteor has an adjustable trigger and the security system ABT that locks down barrel during loading, preventing firing until barrel is closed. It has the ultimate in terms of performance, durability and ease of use disposal. It is a very strong and light carbine. It has been made with solid beech wood. The adjustable sights and the slide of 11 mm. are ready for the installation of a telescopic sight.
Its total length is 96 cm. and the barrel measures 38 cm. The BSA carbine Meteor weighs 2.6 Kg. and has a caliber 4.5.
The BSA carbine Meteor has the security system ABT that avoids the arm fires until the barrel is totally closed.
This light carbine BSA has a great force, with a perfect accuracy, and easy to use, and the optional telescopic sight that allows see very distant objectives. It also is ready for accessories dedicated to the illumination.
In addition the carbine Comet includes a wonderful fiber butt that is blows and water-resistant. It has non-slip grip panels.
As well as Meteor, the BSA carbine Comet has the security system ABT.
Its caliber is 4.5 mm. The muzzy velocity is 250 m/s, weighs 2.7 Kg. And measures 108 cm.
The BSA carbine Comet is very light and easy to use. Furthermore it is very safe thanks to the system ABT.
XL Tactical Carbine:
This BSA carbine is ideal for hunters, but it also is for the sporting air guns lovers. It is a weapon with a large useful life, that has as a synthetic butt designed by computer ready to satisfy all the shooters’ necessities and for any season. It insures a great grip avoiding that it slips.
The material with which has been made the gun is polymer and it includes an adjustable trigger.
This light and precise carbine has a silencer of series disposal. Moreover it can include an optional viewfinder that is of the maximum quality and accuracy.
XL Tactical of BSA weighs 3 Kg., measures 95 cm. and its caliber is 5.5 mm.
In spite of its small size, the BSA carbine XLTactical is one of the best products of this trademark and has a high accuracy and a large useful life.
Super Ten MK3 Carbine:
This sportive BSA carbine is characterized by a great precision. Furthermore it is slim and light. It incorporates a power regulator and the trigger is adjustable in ten different phases supplying a great control.
The magazine can keep 10 pellets that are automatically recharged.
The carbine Super Ten MK3 weighs 3.5 Kg. Its total length is 95 cm. and the barrel length is approximately 44 cm. Its caliber is 5.5.
Its precision and its power regulator identify the carbine Super Ten MK3.
It is the perfect BSA carbine for the sporting air gun lovers who prefer the traditional operation and very solid weapons, which are the base of its quality.
Scorpion Carbine does single-shoots. The gun’s locking is very simple and easy to use. The barrel is completely stable and is ready for the annexation of a silencer. Scorpion Carbine is made with beech wood for an unlimited duration.
Scorpion Carbine of BSA is of caliber 5.5, measures a total of 85 cm. (38.1 cm. from the barrel) and weighs 3.06 Kg.
Scorpion Carbine of BSA is one of the more demanded by the traditional guns lovers and had been handmade carefully with the maximum possible detail.
Nowadays the company of carbines and pistols BSA enjoys a great prestige worldwide and it is respected among its competitors. In addition its production grows day by day, as well as the number of the guns that form its catalogue.
It is predicted that the air guns company BSA will have a very promising future because of all this and because of the fact of the constant work and investigation that are carried out by the company BSA.