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Air Gun Home Forum Index » Antique, Collector and Novelty Airguns » bsf s60 and s20
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bsf s60 and s20 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:39 pm Reply with quote
lauchlin
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Joined: 21 Feb 2007
Posts: 183
Location: Vancouver Island BC



Bayerische Sportswaffen Fabriken (BSF) of Erlangen, Germany founded in 1935 but only prototypes produced until after WW2 owned by the Schutt family until 1983 when bought by Herr Gayer. (The German exporter was Wilsker and Co and hence many were sold in the US, as Wischo particularly be Beeman who was pioneering adult airguns from mid 1970’s)

A considerable variety of models produced from the BSF Junior (smaller than a HW 25 !!) up to the underlever S54 series (Big !!)

Many of their models, however, were not imported into UK.

The BSF S60 was their top sporting rifle for many years, featured in WHB Smith’s Gas, Spring and Air Guns of the World (1st Edition, Stackpole Books 1957)

Length 43”, Weight 6 ¾ LBS, barrel length 19” available in .177 and .22. Adjustable rearsight for W&E hooded foresight bead on post profile. Plain stock with chequering at pistol grip and finger groove on forend early models were walnut later beech (can be encountered with N suffix viz S60N, N being German word Nussbaum = Walnut)

Now BSF’s are very oversprung (warning approx 150 LBS tension behind the spring retaining bolt if fitted with a new Export mainspring) so be careful if you decide to strip. Also there is a trick in the ‘keyhole’ fitting of the scope ramp that allows it all to come apart so don’t try to force it with a hammer.

The early models imported into UK exceeded the 12 Ft lbs limit and a smaller spring was fitted into the .22 although the ‘Export’ spring was available from some enthusiasts (if you knew where to look)

It had a long held reputation for very high power ( cf its contempories prior to the FWB and HW80) A good example should be close to 12 Ft/Lbs

The design of the rifle with such a potent spring is intentional and when properly tuned had a very quick lock time and very little vibration, as with all springers, hold the gun lightly and let it do the shooting… a tight grip will result in poor accuracy.

They were imported into UK by Norman May &Co of Bridlington (of Normay HW35 Vixen fame) who also imported pellets at the time from Bildstein, Mommer and Co. of Stolberg/Rhineland Germany ( Bimoco !!!)

The collapse of Normay in 1981 was the beginning of the death knell for BSF whose products had remained constant for a while whilst competitors like Feinwerkbau and Weihrauch were setting the UK on fire with the 124/127 ‘Sport’ and HW 80 from late 1979 to early 1980’s …. Up to today.

The S60 was superceded by the model 55 Bavaria, which is the most famous, and numerous of the BSF break barrel models and also the first Carbine air rifle well ahead of its time.( 16” barrel and 6 Lbs in weight)

The B55 early models (i.e. from mid 1960’s up to very late 1970’s had a rearsight adjustable for Elevation only, adopting the S70 rearsight after that)

The BSF S70 appeared in the early 1970’s which was a mixture of the longer barrel and adjustable rearsight of the S60 (although a new design rearsight using the B55 sight body with a windage drum added) with a stock copied from the B55DL although in beech not Walnut

The S54 underlever dates from 1950’s and is encountered with 4 stock variations, Standard, Nussbaumschaft, Bayern and Match.

The S20 pistol was imported into UK in two variations S20 Export and S20 Match Export ( with a walnut grip with thumbshelf plus a better rearsight adjustable for W&E) and was most powerful pistol at about 5 ft/lbs prior to the BSA Scorpion’s introduction in 1973.

After Normay had collapsed, BSF’s were not imported into UK again until 1983 by Highgate Optical who introduced the BSF S80, which had a barrel weight, fitted and had a radical stock design with a very pronounced deep forend specifically for the then new sport of FT. This is still used today in custom stock designs.

This agency did not last long and was taken over by Mirador of London who developed a collaboration with Herr Gayer, the new owner of BSF and ‘Venom Conversions’ duo of Dave Pope and Ivan Hancock who were working out of ‘Trapshot’ gunshop of Lye prior to the formation of Venom Arms and obtaining their first premises at ‘Gun Barrel works’.

The Venom Bavaria B55 was available in .22 only and had a modified scope ramp, two stage trigger and barrel weight fitted with a Tyrolean walnut stock.( Synthetic breech seals were fitted to improve consistency)

BSF folded finally in 1985 and Weihrauch bought the parts and machinery…..interesting if you look at the HW 85 ( it’s a BSF 55 with a record trigger !! and a very under rated gun)

Well, I think that will do for now as a ‘potted history’…………….
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bsf s60 and s20 
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