A very unusual, modified vintage BSA.

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A very unusual, modified vintage BSA.

Postby Leonardj » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:08 am

I had the opportunity to examine this particularly interesting old BSA over the weekend. Permission was obtained from the owner to post the following pictures of the gun in an effort to perhaps glean some information with regard to who may have built it, or if there are any others like it out there. The gun was claimed by the previous owner to be a BSA factory prototype, but through correspondence with Mark Knibbs, this claim it would seem, is incorrect.

The gun is a BSA Standard, mated to a very unusual trigger mechanism that can be set manually, or automatically. The sliding bar in front of the trigger block sets the trigger. As the end of the cocking stroke is reached, the intermediate cocking link contacts the sliding bar, and pushes it rearward, setting the trigger. The trigger can also be set, independent of the cocking stroke by simply pushing in the sliding bar, perhaps for practicing trigger control without actually firing the gun.

The trigger uses a hammer-strike mechanism to trip the sear, thus the trigger pull remains the same whether in "dry fire" mode, or if it is used with the gun properly cocked, and firing a pellet. The trigger feels like a match grade unit - smooth, predictable, and breaks like glass. The small button that passes through the receiver (trigger block) is a safety.

The base of the rear aperture sight is integral to the receiver/trigger block, which was meticulously machined from a single piece of steel. The elevation/windage portion of the sight is a commercial unit, which I believe could possibly be made by Parker-Hale. The windage adjusting screw has a Torx head, so is obviously a later repair or replacement to the sight. The front sight is not a typical BSA sight, but looks to have been modified (raised) to work with the rear aperture unit.

The large hex-head bolt allows the rifle to quickly and easily be taken down.

Any information on the gun would be most appreciated.

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Re: A very unusual, modified vintage BSA.

Postby Leonardj » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:09 am

And the pic of the front sight.

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Re: A very unusual, modified vintage BSA.

Postby Certus » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:19 am

Hi Leonard,

Thanks for posting the great pictures of this beautifully modified BSA which would have been a credit to whoever was responsible for its production.

I have never read about a similar production/ prototype rifle, but have seen some rifles which have been modified privately by highly skilled engineers which would have made great products if they had ever entered production.

Regards

Brian
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Re: A very unusual, modified vintage BSA.

Postby pmh » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:01 pm

Excellent post, as usual.

Interesting rifle, and there is a clear reference to France in one of the pictures, is this with reference to a patent?

The Bolt in front of the trigger guards looks an awful lot newer than the others. Have you checked the thread sizes?

It certainly seems to hint at being an enthusiasts upgrade project.

Still, a very unique and collectable item.

Kind regards,



Phil
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Re: A very unusual, modified vintage BSA.

Postby Leonardj » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:23 pm

pmh wrote:.... there is a clear reference to France in one of the pictures, is this with reference to a patent?

The Bolt in front of the trigger guards looks an awful lot newer than the others. Have you checked the thread sizes?

The reference to France is part of the original electro-etched model and patent information that was applied by BSA to their guns at the time. With the electro-etch being in such excellent condition, the builder started out with a very nice, clean specimen for his build.

Yes, the main take-down bolt does look to be newer than the remainder of the gun - the original was perhaps lost over the course of time?
No idea on the thread sizes(s) - the owner wasn't keen on allowing anyone to take anything apart.
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Re: A very unusual, modified vintage BSA.

Postby cinedux » Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:11 am

I think Dr Cook(USA)in 1912 came up with the idea that a LJ-style rifle fitted with a servo trigger would enable the maker to put a VERY stiff spring in the gun.??????
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