Airsporter Mk 1

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Airsporter Mk 1

Postby zooma » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:34 am

I have an Airsporter mk 1 that is very unusual as it has scope grooves cut into the cylinder - mk 1 Airsporter's did not have any scope grooves fitted!

This makes it not only a very unusual mk 1, but a very practical one too as it can be used with a scope.

Given the age of the rifle, the blue finish is now gone  and has been replaced by a nice brown patina that also extends inside the cylinder grooves supporting the theory that this is a rare example that had these grooves factory cut !

Maybe it is unique and the only one ever made this way? The BBS collectors forum has not thrown up any other examples in the discussion thread - and that has plenty of BSA buffs with great collective knowledge to call upon.

Now the dilema is - should I restore it with a new coat of blue (and loose the patina proof of the factory cut scope rails) - or just leave it as it is - and probably not use it !
Last edited by zooma on Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby pmh » Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:41 pm

The best solution would be to have one of each  :lol:

If it were mine I'd keep it as it is.

BSA have done a very nice series of good looking quality rifles over the years, but I did think their springer quality feel of a little when they brought out the Supersport, but I think they have again improved since this.

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Postby zunmik » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:10 pm

Sounds good, and a rare beastie, i would leave it as it is, but its your rifle
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Re: Airsporter Mk 1

Postby zooma » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:26 pm

This rifle is now for sale for £175 with a period BSA scope but it can also be bought together with my even better condition Airsporter Mk 2 for £300 for the pair.

Both are .22 and both shoot well with good power.

http://bobsairguns.com/index.php?option ... Itemid=122

http://bobsairguns.com/index.php?option ... Itemid=123
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Re: Airsporter Mk 1

Postby zooma » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:51 pm

As mentioned in the sales thread, I have decided to keep my Mk 1 Airsporter and fully restore it after all.

It is a nice unusual rifle so I think I would rather get it back as close to original mint condition as possible, fit a nice small lightweight scope and enjoy giving it a shoot now and again to keep it fresh.
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Re: Airsporter Mk 1

Postby zooma » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:22 am

My Mk 1 Airsporter is now with Graham who is taking it apart so we can throw away the Ox mainspring and get the metalwork across to Colin Malloy for a nice new dark coat of blue.

The alloy parts will be Dura-coated and the stock will be given a nice oiled finish after a little restoration work has been completed and then I need to find a suitable butt-plug to cover the large hole that gives access to the bolt that retains the mechanism to the stock. My rifle does not have one of these covers but some signs of screw threads in the stock suggest that the original may have been a screw-in part.

Any new parts that are needed will be added along with a new standard mainspring so the rifle shoots sweetly and not like the over-powered example it is now. With Graham's careful eye and his fastidious attention to detail this should be one very special Mk1 Airsporter when it is completed.

I have noticed that almost every old classic air rifle that I have bought over the last few years has had an over-strength Ox spring inside it, and on every occasion the rifle has felt better and shot better when it was removed and replaced with one of the correct type!

Why so many previous owners of classic air rifles were persuaded to fit overpowered mainsprings remains a mystery as it causes excessive wear and tear on all parts of the rifle. It can also make the rifle rough to shoot and in the case of older rifles with simple trigger mechanism's - a much harder trigger pull.
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Re: Airsporter Mk 1

Postby RobinC » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:46 am

Sorry to jump in, but its reminded me that I have a .22 BSA Airsporter bought second hand in 1972 that I had almost forgotten about, tucked away in my security.
Its my only non target rifle, used very rarely , probably only two or three times in the last 40 years. Its in nice original condition blue, and the alloy tail is almost complete original black finish, there are no scope dovetails. I had refinished the stock shortly after I bought it with many coats of beeswax, I remember it taking a lifetime.

Its serial number GB4080 do any of the experts know what mark it is and when it hails from?
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Re: Airsporter Mk 1

Postby RobinC » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:55 am

zooma wrote:I have noticed that almost every old classic air rifle that I have bought over the last few years has had an over-strength Ox spring inside it, and on every occasion the rifle has felt better and shot better when it was removed and replaced with one of the correct type!

Why so many previous owners of classic air rifles were persuaded to fit overpowered mainsprings remains a mystery as it causes excessive wear and tear on all parts of the rifle. It can also make the rifle rough to shoot and in the case of older rifles with simple trigger mechanism's - a much harder trigger pull.


They even do it with old match air rifles (and pistols) which I find particulary sad, there does seem to be a power and high velocity cult about, and it mirrors the move in many clubs away from precision match target shooting and towards plinking and cowboy pastimes.
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Re: Airsporter Mk 1

Postby zooma » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:07 pm

Hi Robin,

I think if your Airsporter has no scope grooves then it will probably be a Mk1 like mine.

Although mine does have scope grooves cut into it this is very rare and if a Mk 1 is seen with scope grooves then they are usually installed by a retro-machining operation that had been done privately by somebody with the knowledge and the machinery to do it.

Mk 2 Airsporters onwards always had scope grooves of one type or another and that is why I can be fairly certain that yours is also a Mk 1 and my guess is that it will not have a rubber butt plate either?
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Re: Airsporter Mk 1

Postby RobinC » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:43 pm

zooma wrote:Mk 2 Airsporters onwards always had scope grooves of one type or another and that is why I can be fairly certain that yours is also a Mk 1 and my guess is that it will not have a rubber butt plate either?


Definately no scope dovetails and also no buttplate just the wood end cross grooved, the stock looks to be one piece, I can't see any joins, and there is no BSA logo stamped into the stock sides. Just double checked, I'd put money on it being a one piece stock. So when does that date from?
Its in really nice original condition with good blueing, just the stock is non original finish in beeswax, but it does look very nice, a good condition quality sporting rifle. Just got it out and wiped it over with a fine coat of break free, ready to sit there for another 30 years!
You guys keep reminding me of things I have locked away that I'd forgotten about!
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