BSA Airsporter Mk 1

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BSA Airsporter Mk 1

Postby zooma » Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:58 pm

Some of you may know that I have had a Mk1 Airsporter for some time that was basically in one piece and working well enough but it had a small problem that stopped me from restoring it.

The problem was that this Mk1 Airsporter had scope grooves cut into it, and the chances are that this was done in the factory - possibly making it unique.

The patina that had replaced the original blue over the years also extended into the sight grooves giving some credibility to the originality of these grooves and so I was reluctant to cover this evidence even with a coat of Collin Malloy's best blue/black as once this had been done the evidence of originality would be lost forever.

Anyway it eventually became apparent to me that I had never met anybody that had the same interest in whether or not this unique piece of history was that important - or even of any great interest - so I decided that I would enjoy the gun more if it was restored and so the decision was made to get on and do it as I would end up with a beautiful looking piece of history that would also be a lot more practical than any other Mk 1 Airsporter as I would be able to fit a scope to it - quite a nice feature to have as I get older!!
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Re: BSA Airsporter Mk 1

Postby zooma » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:19 pm

The decision was made to have the metalwork and the action restored to the highest possible standard with the knowledge that the attention to detail that it would receive could see it completed to a higher standard than when it was made in the BSA factory all those years ago.

However this was to be a "sympathetic" restoration and so the dreadful Ox spring that provided the power would be thrown far away and replaced with one more fitting for use in an old lady to reduce the strain on these aged components and to give a more authentic performance.

The stock was one of the original three piece laminated types that had some very interesting pieces of wood used in its construction and so the wood was to be sanded and given a coat of Danish oil before being finished with Briwax. A small chip that had been knocked out at the end of the stock (these early models had no rubber butt pieces to protect them from accidental bumps) would give me another chance to try a little marquetry as I "let-in" a small chip of walnut to fill the gap.

I "let-in" this small pointed piece of wood and secured it with good old fashioned 24 hour Araldite, and also used this same mix on a couple of small splits both to fill them and to try to prevent them from getting any bigger.

The end grooves were re-established with a hack-saw blade and everything was sanded down to a nice smooth finish but some of the little dings and dents were deliberately left visible and were not steamed out so as to retain some of the character of the rifle's previous working life.

The end result is very pleasing and I look forward to getting the restored metalwork fitted back inside it in due course - but this will be a rather longer process that has quite a few problems to resolve as it is not quite so simple as just taking everything apart and giving the relevant parts to Colin to polish and blue!
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Re: BSA Airsporter Mk 1

Postby Tank » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:52 pm

Yes.......

Bit of a challenge this one. In fact, the last time I had to use my Stud Extractors I was fixing the cylinder head on a 1275GT Mini :shock:
Anyway, the rear block had endured the usual "sandpaper" modification:

Image

Stud extractor in a good long bar:

Image

Yes, 'tis true. I used a Blowtorch on the Breech to get it free. This was not easy, trying to get it all apart without damaging or destroying anything.

Image

The dreaded Ox spring. I usually just throw them in the bin but I made a point of giving this one back to Bob. Sadly, it was in vain, he couldn't find a use for it either!

Image
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Re: BSA Airsporter Mk 1

Postby zooma » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:08 pm

Ha - I gave the Ox spring to John - let's see who he gives it to :snooty:
Last edited by zooma on Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BSA Airsporter Mk 1

Postby Tank » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:16 pm

zooma wrote:Ha - I gave the Ox spring to John - let see who he gives it to :snooty:



Double HA! right back at you. I would bet he will use it on his shed door to keep it shut in the wind!
:D
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Re: BSA Airsporter Mk 1

Postby zooma » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:48 pm

I can't think of a better use for it :clap:

It's certainly better than spoiling another air gun with it! :naughty:
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Re: BSA Airsporter Mk 1

Postby johnbaz » Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:39 pm

Hi all


I've bought guns with Ox springs in loads of times- every one of them shot horribly!!

My latest was a HW80 in .177cal! It was truly painful to shoot! The vibration was so bad that it felt like I was getting an electric shock in my hand :cry:

Rather than throw it, I thought i'd cut the preload off (which was almost two inches!) I warmed the last coil and smacked it down hard on to my vice flattening it to the next coil, I then ground it flat and deburred it..
I fitted it back in to the gun and was amazed at the transformation!!

It's now very pleasant to shoot!!


Zooma- Did you get the mk1 reblued??



Cheers, John :P
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Re: BSA Airsporter Mk 1

Postby zooma » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:57 pm

Hi John - good point !

This thread has been all about my Mk 1 Airsporter but it has not been updated for some time as we have not really made any new progress recently as we are waiting for the alloy trigger block part to come back from paint coating but I will fill in some of the gaps to bring things up to date.

After Graham had failed to set light to it or melt it with his flame thrower (the rifle had been well glued together) it was fully stripped and the steel parts were sent across to be polished and then given a new coat of blue.

The metal parts came back from Colin looking really good a few days before Christmas and so it is almost ready for reassembly.

The second reply to this thread detailed my restoration of the stock (still sat beside me looking pretty on my desk as I type this little ditty) and so I think we are only waiting for the polished alloy part to come back with a nice new black coating and it can be re-assembled with a new standard BSA mainspring and any other new parts that may be needed.

I am really looking forward to getting it back together again and taking it back to the club to shoot it. Johns Mk 2 received similar treatment and it looks really nice - I am hoping mine will turn out to be just as nice.
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Re: BSA Airsporter Mk 1

Postby Tank » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:02 pm

Well here you go, your wish has come true! :D

The polished receiver is now the correct colour and back together:

Image

Here we go, start off with all the bits. Actually there is one missing. It is the tiny screw that holds the front sight blade in. I had to drill it out for dismantling. Thing is, if you leave things like this in place the salts get down in the small cavities and seep out forever. It is always best to get it into as many bits as possible.

Image

The slot in the front sight for the blade shown here:

Image

Re-Assembly was neither simple or straightforward. Here you see I have sprouted another pair of hands.

Image

Actually they belonged to John. What started out as a simple assembly ran on for three hours. It is always the way. You need to take extreme precautions to ensure you do not now mark any of the beautifully refinished components with a bit of Hammer Rash. The new BSA spring was a bit of a Pig too, this is one of the few spring rifles for which a spring compressor is useless without some very creative jigging.
Finally, the result we were looking for. All back together and looking really good:

Image
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Re: BSA Airsporter Mk 1

Postby Dazza1971 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:04 pm

Just doing my dads old Airsporter mk1 gb12861 & I'm having a hell of a job getting the trigger block off. I've tried cleaning it as best I can, soaking in wd40 then heating it with a hot air gun but it still won't shift. I even tried heating it then cooling just the trigger block but still no luck. Have you got any other suggestions? Also what's the best way to hold it in a vice and is it definitely anti clockwise to get it off?

I noticed there are 3 positions on the trigger for the trigger spring, don't suppose you know what the difference is between them?

Thanks
Darren ;0)
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