The BSA Superstar Air Rifle

By Charles Meyer

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The rifle has been imported from the UK since '91 by Air RIfle Specialists (per Gun Digest) and then RWS. The current importer of BSA Air rifles is Precision Sales (412-562-5055).

In my quest for an air rifle, I was looking for a well built and accurate air rifle capable of higher velocities than a Haenel 311 (435 fps) that was still easy to cock and had a good trigger. I also wanted a good value, which is not the same thing as cheap.

After recieving recommendations from Tom Gaylord (Airgun Letter) on the BSA Superstar air rifle as being a "superlative" air rifle with a trigger that would rival the Rekord trigger of Weihrauch (Beeman) for smoothness, I purchased one from Airgun Express (515-623-3098) for $250.00. These were the last ones imported by RWS and Airgun Express is selling them at less than wholesale (though no RWS warranty).

The barrel, reciever, cocking lever, and trigger guard are deep blued steel & highly polished. The trigger and front/rear sight spacer blocks look anodized matt finish aluminum. The from and rear sight bodies appear to be painted cast metal (aluminum?) and are adequate, though not cast or painted perfectly. The rear sight knobs, reciever plug, and cocking lever lock are molded black plastic. The plastic is reasonably finished and looks sturdy enough where used.

The stock is a walnut stained European beech with a checkered grip and raised Monte-Carlo cheekpiece. The stock is adult sized and includes a nicely designed rubber recoil pad. The checkering is cut but upon close inspection it is not quite perfect. However, the stock finish is perfectly smooth and uniformly stained.

The trigger is listed as an adjustable two stage with 3 lbs of pull. The trigger is everything I would expect, with a very cleanly breaking second stage at about 3 lbs.

The supplied open sights are functional. The front sight is a black bead combined with a small V rear sight. In my minimal tests target aquisition has not been a problem.

The rifle comes with a dovetail scope mount that is clamped down on two rubber strips buried under the mount that damp some of the rifle's recoil. This is a very nice addition. I do not know if it is as effective as the Beeman Dampa scope mount, but is is built into the rifle and does not cost an extra $99. We will see if this eliminates the need for a scope stop.

One interresting characteristic of the barrel is that the rifling ends 1.5 inches before the end of the barrel. The last 1.5" of the barrel and counter-bored to about .2 inches diameter. It is pretty unlikely that you could damage crown of the rifling with this arrangement (short of careless cleaning with a cleaning rod).

To load the rifle you do the following:

  1. turn safety on
  2. cock the rifle using the under barrel lever.
  3. rotate the loading block 90 degrees open and slide a pellet down the slide into the chamber
  4. rotate the loading block closed
  5. turn the safety off
  6. fire

The rifle must be cocked before loading a pellet. The loading block will not open otherwise. If you force it open you can damage the main seal.

BSA does not recommend oiling the compression chamber, as it will dilute the Moly paste lubicating the seal. The do recommend lubricating the cocking linkage every 500 pellets.

The rifle comes with about 200 domed pellets, a squeeze bottle of oil, and a 2 page manual. Surprisingly, the two page manual is well written. It shows a breakdown of the air rifle's parts and gives instructions on spring and seal replacement.

I have only performed minimal tests on the rifle, but it ballances well and snuggles up to my cheek nicely. The stock is well proportioned and fits my 5'10" frame perfectly. There is more recoil than a .22 rimfire, but it is quite managable. So far it puts the pellets where I aim, but testing its true accuracy potential I will need to mount a scope and test it at 25 yards.

So far I am quite pleased with the rifle and consider it a good value for and high quality adult sized magnum air rifle. The nice trigger and ease of cocking are a real plus.

BSA SuperStar Specs

SuperStar Carbine

Model SuperStar
Manufacturer BSA Guns
Birmingham UK
Caliber .177
Type Spring Piston
Cocking Method Underlever
Cocking Effort: 28 lbs.
Velocity 1000 fps.
Energy 16 ft. lb.
Weight 8 lbs.
Overall Length 42.5"
Barrel 18.5"
Rifling 12 Groove
Sights None
Stock Beech
Safety Manual
Trigger 2 stage adjustable


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