You know I try my best not to discriminate on this channel, and I simply review what is new out and comes to hand. Sometimes it feels like Glock have realised this and bring a new one out every other week, to the great joy of most and the complete frustration of others. It often seems like the big names in pcp’s do the same, by tarting up existing rifles and calling them limited editions....
And of course half way round the world, the factories in China have their production staff working overtime, some of it really good and some not so good..... Then quite discreetly BSA bring out the BSA R10 regulated.
The moment I picked this up I got that patriotic warm feeling inside mixed with that familiarity of being home, and the sense of joy when I go to the gun cabinet for my personal BSA R10 Mk2 FAC which they will need to pry from the death grip of my corpse for me to give it up. BSA inspite of being taken over by Spanish company Gamo are still able to maintain that traditional English quality build feel of a bygone time and yet discretely hiding 21st century adaptations.
I must say right from the start, I use and test lots of Airguns, from ultra low budget to the really silly expensive ones, but there are only a limited few that have me instantly feeling this way about a Rifle, so, yes you are probably starting to think I like this gun...Yes, you would be right, BUT! Don’t forget these initial feelings, put it on a pedestal so to speak, and it’s easier to fall off and not meet those expectations than it is to stay up there, so this has potentially got its work cut out.
Let’s get the price bit out the way first... this basically comes in at a shilling off £1000 U.K. and if you where around before 1972 you will know what I mean...me? Well I heard my parents use the term...wink! Now £1000 isn’t an insignificant amount of money, but this is where relativity comes into play, because you could pick up a pcp for £500, so is this twice as good? Then again you could pay £2000 plus, so is it only half as good as that?
Let’s start with the usual walk around shall we.
It is 125cm long which is 49.2” Has a 38.1cm or 15 inch barrel and weighs 3.66 kgs. The first thing to point out is the beautiful manelli walnut thumbhole stock, it is a quality finished item as you would expect from Minnelli from the blending of colours at the front, through the beautifully grippy stippling infront of the curved entry to the trigger guard housing. Then onto the thicker grip, and even though this is a thumb hole design, they have maintained an ambidextrous stock with the ability to shoot thumbs up or down, if you are left or right handed. Moving back to the butt end, we find the black adjustable rubberised cheek piece, and whilst there will always be the lovers and haters of this mix of black and wood on one gun, it does lend itself to a very comfortable rest. The rear has a multi adjustable butt piece, again to help find that sweet spot of comfort. The stock also comes with quality swivels pre fitted, which again is a really nice touch. At this point I must state my only gripe with my R10, the gauge and filler port on the underside of the forestock. On its own, it isn’t a problem, but....when they are forward thinking enough to fit swivel studs, you would have thought they would also have thought about people who are going to use this stud to fit a bipod......because if you fit a fairly standard bipod, then the filler port is pretty much blocked off and you will need to remove the bipod every time you want to fill the gun.. not ideal, and of course there is a work around, which in my case simply involved a little patience and a grinder.
And before anyone out their starts, that’s grinder with an “e”!
Out from the front of the stock is the bottle, which as Lyon can see is considerably larger than the old one, and don’t forget this is an FAC version, so shot count is not high, but on the new version is 340 in .22 and 280 in .177, which is surely enough for a days shooting. As is usual with BSA the bottle is filled to a max 232 bar and is also stated on the clear gauge. This 10th anniversary edition also comes with a shrouded barrel, and if your not happy with that, it also comes complete with the option and the kit to return it to a non shrouded item.. I feel a dB test coming.... So shroud On gave 88 dB and shroud removed gave 92 dB...I did try it with a high quality non BSA silencer and it didn’t get as quiet as using the BSA shroud in place. So the choice is yours really.
It uses the familiar BSA Gamo colour coded magazines, you get 2 of these with the gun,and I’ve used these loads and loads of times and never had any issue at all, they are...pardon the pun...Bullet proof and simplicity itself. I love simple reliable magazines. 10 rounds in here and it slots so discretely into the breach and is locked into place with the retaining slide and has a white dot to show you when you are on your last shot. Loading this is a simple turn and drop in, once a pellet has dropped into place it stops it from rotating back, turn slightly again and drop in the next one and so on.
The safety is both simple, sure footed and clearly marked and can be pushed forward with your thumb when ready to fire. The bolt is very traditional and has been painted black on this one, as opposed to the bright polished finish to the Mk2. Personally I prefer the polished metal look, but that is just my opinion.
The 2 stage adjustable trigger is a dream, and the distance from grip to finger fits me perfectly, and my “distal phalange” so to speak is perfectly suited to this adjustable trigger blade.
You know I’d been using this a while and couldn’t understand why this wasn’t called the R10 Mk2 TH Regulated, but then I realised that someone in a marketing company somewhere has been paid a lot of money to come up with the idea R-10th for the 10th anniversary of this BSA....
Time to talk power now then.. so it’s chrono time.
I did actually weigh the pellets this time and get my chrono checked against a calibrated one, and whilst mine was reading very very slightly higher FPS, it was consistent, so, 8.4 grain weighed JSB’s gave a spread of only 4 FPS, and an average of 781 FPS which is 11.38 Ft/lbs or 15.43 joules, so pretty impressive on the regulator side and about what you would expect from a sub 12 Ft/lb U.K. spec gun. Companies do like to leave a little leaway to protect you from the old bill.
Target work then... here was where this could go horribly wrong, because my Mk2 is one of the most accurate guns I possess. Now that is a relief, nice results and consistent with it too. Great fun, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And considering that was the morning after a very good night if you know what I mean, then I’m really pleased. Just to make it more..real world so to speak, I was so confident I was prepared to put money on it, again out at 40 metres.
And the result tells me that this is very capable for pest control...no problems.
Ok, so conclusion time...
Have they improved on the old one? Yes, they have, it has the larger bottle for greater shot count. An improved stock, that removable shroud option and of course that regulator. it even comes in a pretty good quality hard case. At the same time they have taken nothing away from it, keeping all the things that work perfectly, like the magazine, trigger and action. Ok so there is that niggle around the bipod fitting, but that is easily remedied. I love the walnut stock, but I could probably be tempted to go for the black pepper finish.
So at £1000 U.K. retail, is it twice as good as say a £500 pcp? Personally With it’s quality feel I would say yes. And more than that, I would say it is as good if not better that a lot of the £2000 ones. When I first picked this up I was excited and also a little concerned, concerned that they hadn’t taken a superb gun and removed its soul, but they haven’t it really is a wonderful gun, and I still have that patriotic feel I’m pleased to say. Thank you BSA and well done guys. I’ve really enjoyed this one
See the YouTube review here: