I wanna tell you a story.
A few years ago when I got back into airgunning I joined a few forums on the matter.
You know how it is.... you say hello once you are approved and then tell every one what you shoot with etc.
For those of you who don't know I'm a big fan of .25 and happen to use a BSA Challenger in said calibre.
Back comes a reply " I got one of those .25 Challengers as well " A bit of PM chit chat ensued which ended up in me buying the rifle from the guy.
Turns out his fathers mate knew a bloke that worked for Bsa . Anyway have you heard the Johnny Cash song about the car? This rifle was a parts bin special.
What I had was genuine Challenger cylinder piston and trigger block with the Maxigrip rail, fitted with a full length .25 barrel and mated to a black Mercury magnum/Cobra Strike stock. It was as dry as a bone so I intended to give it a rebuild...... that was the Sunday. On the Monday my Dad died. So it was all forgot for a good while.
Things got back to normal and I rebuilt the rifle. Testing revealed massive barrel droop. The breech was so tight it wouldn't take any pellet and there wasn't enough clearance between the breech and the cylinder so it was munching up breech seals. Off to the back of the gun cabinet it went for a couple of years.
Wibbly wobbly time passing thing you see in the movies.
Present day.....And I actually have a bit of time off.
Out of the cabinet she comes and I take the rifle down.
On comparing the barrel with another .25 one I have the problem appeared to be not enough clearance of the barrel latch axis pin. So I increased the depth of the recess in the underside of the barrel carefully with a half round needle file to decrease the droop.
I also ground off about 10 thou from the breech end of the barrel giving a clearance of 15 thou so as not to wreck the breech seal and reamed the breech slightly so it accepts Rhinos and Marksman No3's.
It all goes back together tomorrow so watch this space.
Hope it works OK when you're rebuilt it
I heard a theory that BSA May have been using up old .243 live round rifle barrels as there are a few that are exceptionally tight in .25 bore, whether this is true I don't know
Hi Edd, I love reading about the BSA Challenger. One Christmas day, 29 years ago to be exact my farther gave me a .177 BSA Meteor, couple of month after that my parents purchased a .22 Mercury from a car boot sale, held in a village a couple of miles up the road from where I now live. My farther passed away a few years afterwards. I'm not sure why but my mother took me in to "town" and as a surprise purchased me a new rifle for my fourteenth birthday. It was from a shop called Arther Bale and sons, which has since move to new premises outside of Cardiff city centre.
The rifle was a brand new .22 BSA Challenger and came with a tin of .22 Pylarms. Growing up we didn't have much money, so the rifle was to stay with me for many years. I can still remember that I didn't have to aim with the rifle, just point and shoot, I must have shot many many many 1000's of pellets through the rifle over the years and it felt like an extension of my own arm. It must have been my second year of university when I finally decided to sell the rifle and save for a new BSA Super star with the rotating breech, the rifle never fitted me and shortly after that I purchased my first shotgun and then firearm, the Super star being sold to a young chap in Andover through an advert placed in Air Gunner if I recall correctly. To this day, I regret selling my Challenger. I have never shot more accurately than I did with that rifle.
It's not about hunting foxes, it's about the foxes RIGHT to be hunted
John Hunter zero.
Everyone I know that have sold their Challengers regret it
Everyone I know that have sold their Suzuki Swift GTI's regret it.......I kept mine luckily
They all seem to have problems with tight breech ends, a lad on here (Blackrider) had a .25 Superstar, his was terribly tight, I believe Tony at SFS reamed the breech out slightly and made the rifle much more tolerable! (nowt worst than a tight fit!! Oooer missus!! )...
Happy new year all!!
Slightly off-post as usual but the reference to the Johnny Cash song reminded me of a power hacksaw I bought about 30 years ago. It wasn't a parts bin special but the opposite. It had been built at work by a chap with just one spec in mind - every part had to be small enough to smuggle out in his snapbag.
All the very best for the New Year, Mick
When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns .
When I did my apprenticeship , The foreman brought a flask every day, But never drank from it !!!!!
Years later I met him after he retired, He said he took a pint of parrafin
home very day to heat his house ?
He used greenhouse heaters, must have smelled a bit . Ged.
Got it all back together yesterday but I didn't have time to test.
I've just been out the back garden and ran a few Rhinos through and after a little dieseling she started to settle. The Rhinos were now a slightly loose fit after opening out the breech so I switched to Marksman No3's which fitted perfectly. She shot these well. So if the weathers good I'll take it to Furnace Mill for a proper zero and shakedown.