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Thread: Help with a BSA Standard No 2 and who could service this?

  1. #1
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    Help with a BSA Standard No 2 and who could service this?

    I am a new member but have received some magnificent guidance from the site's members, which has provided invaluable information for someone who is rediscovering his teenage interest in air rifles. I therefore thought it worth starting a new thread about the BSA Standard No2 (.22), which might be of interest to others and outsiders who might find this site from an internet search, as I did.

    I bought a reconditioned BSA Standard from John Knibbs in 1998, which was also re-blued. I discovered, at that time, it could achieve 3/4in groupings, or better, from a cushion rest at 20-25yrds. Alas, it only did some 8ft/lbs and I have used it little since then but am glad to have it as a collector's piece, with its long history. I especially like the foresight bead - which makes hitting a target much easier.

    Anyway, from my earlier thread here, on the Webley Mk3, I learnt about the loading tap test, where one cocks the rifle and then opens the loading tap. Gradually releasing the cocking lever, there should then be some resistance and, towards the end of the return of the underlever to its uncocked,flat position, if the loading tap is opened, there should be a 'whoosh'. If so, there will be tight seals.

    There was no 'whoosh', however, and I could feel a slight escape of air from that general area around the loading tap. I now believe it needs attention but who has the expertise to attend to this, I wonder? I am in West Sussex but could send it for some expert attention (for which I would pay a fee). Can anyone assist? I fear an ordinary gunsmith will not have this degree of expertise and it needs some expertise, perhaps from another collector.

    I am informed that this rifle should do about 11ft/lbs+ and I would like to obtain that type of power from it, if that is possible, with original materials where feasible.

    A further question: what are the best pellets to use for this rifle, I wonder, given the cessation of Eley Wasp?

    Meanwhile, I am rather keen to obtain some old Eley Wasps. Anyone any idea where to find them? There is nothing on *bay.

    Any help and advice would be much appreciated.

    Rgds
    Andrew.
    Last edited by andrewM; 11-01-2017 at 12:24 AM.

  2. #2
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    Airgun Tuners

    I placed a similar query here but in the General section and am likewise looking for a good tuner - springer tunes - so not too different a request .

  3. #3
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    Tuner/repairer

    Thanks, Jimny. If you find anything on the general section, please let me know. I half expected to be deluged with possibilities but, so far, no suggestions. I wonder whether it is worth one of the enthusiasts here offering to look after those such as us (even were he only to specialise on certain makes and models); it could make a good part time business and the reputation would quickly spread amongst readers. There must be plenty of folk like us looking for a competent repairer. I am contacting a repairer, recommended by a local gunsmith and will advise, if favourable, in the next day or two.

    Rgds
    Andrew

  4. #4
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    I expected a few replies to you but as none have appeared (yet) you may have to make do with my thoughts. ... Apologies in advance. I have fiddled / meddled and generally cleaned up a fair few Standards in the past. They are very easy to work on but you do need to watch out for a strong mainspring at times. This is not an issue per se if you are careful on stripping the rifle but can give difficulty on reassembly unless you have a means of holding the action or end block captive while you compress the mainspring and start the end block threads going. Have you found the strip instructions on the Idiots Guide? Have a look if not, thread 112.
    Regarding the tap ... If there is wear on the tap or indeed the hole in the action that the tap rotates in there is not a lot you can do without attracting expense. You may find a new tap from one of the spares suppliers (I have not checked) and it might well fix your problems but be prepared to maybe adjust the fit as I think most are supplied a tad oversize. And be careful to get the pellet bay in the tap exactly in line with the bore. Get it wrong and the pellet will 'clip' as it passes from tap to bore, losing power. In the past I have tried all sorts of remedies to cure leaky taps on all sorts of rifles and have not yet found an easy, cheap, reliable way of doing it. For an Airsporter I once resorted to making a new tap from the shank of a steel bolt. It worked but took a long time (my first attempt failed as I got the alignment out by a fraction of a mm). I believe it is possible to get a tap plated but do not know the cost.
    You say the power is currently 8ft lbs. That is not too bad. Yes, I have heard of the Standard going up to 11 or above but I have never shot one at that level. I wonder if it becomes harsh? If the mainspring is very old then it could be weak and a slight increase over 8 may come from a new spring .. if I remember correctly you can fit an Airsporter spring.
    Regarding the original Wasps... not very common. They do appear on 'the site' now and then and also at various auction houses on-line etc. But I have never bothered to search for them as I find most .22 pellets are OK in the Standard, although there are differences in power between them. I think Knibbs do a 5.6mm version of Marksman pellets if you want to give them a go. Do I remember the new Wasps being available in 5.6 and 5.5mm?
    Wishing you luck ..
    Cheers, Phil

  5. #5
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    Repairs and Tunes

    Hi well all interesting and adds to the pool of knowledge . Yes modern Wasps are being made in the bigger size .
    I did have my own thread on this subject in General - well more to repair an old Cadet . Its the lack of expertise by Me on my thread and possibly the OP on this thread that makes us ask is there not somebody here who could undertake all the necessary ? - for money

  6. #6
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    bsa standard pellet choice and some other bits

    i don't think it is worth chasing after old eley wasps,they are hard to find and usually expensive.i have used hobby,superdome but my standard likes the humble milbro select.my webley mk3 also liked the milbros,not just the accuracy but also a much smoother shot cycle.as to power i would have thought 9 or 10flb would be reasonable to expect (no idea what my standard does) so your 8flb is not far off.they are easy to work on as has been suggested,might be worth a look inside to see what you've got.hope that helps,if not i'm sure someone will pitch in.i agree with you regarding sights i also think the trigger is good,my one is anyway. atb

  7. #7
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    BSA Standard/pellets/Webley Mk3

    Many thanks to the respondents here. A few points I have picked up:

    1a) Re pellets, I bought my first tin in many years and almost had a seizure to find the price was 12.50 for Superdomes. My first tin, in 1972, was 28p (Marksman - I still have the old tin). I suppose this is par for the course. Yesterday, I tried some old Hobbys (flat heads) and these were pulverised by my Webley Mk3 - no outer or inner skirts left when firing on a flat steel target holder. So, I shall probably try to obtain some more and presume they will also do well for a BSA Standard.
    b) Given the demise of Eley Wasp, I am surprised a German company has not entered the market to fill the vacuum as they could produce a .22 replacement (5.6mm?). I wonder if the Americans produce anything in .22, given they still use imperial measurements.
    c) I was told from the gunsmith, today, that Milbros have just packed in - which provides more reason for a German company to clean up in the market place.

    2 Many thanks, Phil, for that helpful insight on stripping the BSA Standard. I have filed it in Word and am waiting to speak to the recommended repairer my gunsmith suggested. If he is up for it, I will furnish him with this information.

    3 Someone, here, could make a tidy sum repairing collectors' guns. It might be worth a new thread suggesting this, for the help of members. Would anyone like to start this hare running?!

    4 Generally, joining this site was a colossal help. The information from fellow collectors is vast. I must visit a fare of some sort, where like minded people attend. If anyone knows of anything in the SE, please advise.

    Rgds
    Andrew.

  8. #8
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    I am lucky enough to own a few standards, and on the whole, they are a largely bomb proof design. They were made using exceptionally good quality steel, which means that bad wear is unusual.
    The loading tap is also quite an efficient fitment that is usually pretty airtight. The loading tap on a BSA standard is secured with two screws, which hold the keyhole shaped block in place. These two screws need to be tight. There is a spring loaded plunger pushing against that plate, and if it is not absolutely tight, the tap can leak.
    I wouldnt get too hung up on the tap test - with the whoosh as you describe it. Far better to make sure that you have a well lubricated leather washer in place, and a good spring (or springs, as some guns have two smaller springs in place of the one single mainspring.)
    Sometimes a really good barrel clean, can both improve velocity and accuracy combined. I have occasionally discovered scored compression chambers, which can affect power, and also the main leather washer can be a bit dry, which will also have a negative affect on velocity.

    BSA standards started off, with the main leather washer, and small inner washer held in place by a single flat headed screw and brass dished washer ( the large head of the screw fitting flush into the front of the dished washer), however after about 1930, the washer was held in place using a round nut, which screwed directly onto the front of the main piston shaft. These pistons were heavier and longer, and consequently a bit more power was possible.
    BSA designed these guns to have the leather piston washer regularly lubricated with a few drops of oil, every few hundred shots, so I guess limited dieseling was factored into their operation. Check out Danny Garvins fabulous vintage BSA website for more info.

    Regards

    Lakey

  9. #9
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    Thanks Lakey

    Thank you for that interesting message, Lakey. That was most useful information, which I have filed. I looked at the Garvin website - http://www.network54.com/Index/105071 - which is also useful.

    Regards
    Andrew.

  10. #10
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    Pax Guns in Highgate London may still have some Defiant Pellets left.
    These are modern pellets made to fit the old guns and work well.

    If you lurk around gunshops and Clubs you will find chaps who can service/fix these guns.
    I am lucky to have a couple of friends met like this who sort mine.

    Sounds as if yours isn't actually broken and from my experience with these old guns we really should not expect great things in power or accuracy.

    Nice to own and good ones are an investment.

  11. #11
    edbear2 is offline Cut 'n shut Beezer airgun Geezer
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    Don't stress too much about the static pressure test on the tap, I have a 1911 45 inch Sporting (basically the same as a Standard) which lets the cocking arm go forward against the tap quite quickly.......but makes 11.6 foot pounds

    They take a good while to settle down after a re-seal, up to 1000 shots or more I have found unless you really faff with sanding the seal to get a light sliding fit dry...then it expands when oiled but seems to take less running in.

    Pellet choice can be a tradeoff between power / accuracy and smoothness of shooting...do not use anything that makes the gun feel harsh or slammy IMHO, no matter if making power.

    H+N FTT in 5.54 head size work really well and gives super long range (40-80 yards) accuracy even better than original Wasps in extensive tests I have done (In my 2 guns anyway)...But (original) Wasps are super out to 45 yards.

    The sportings make the most power of any 45 inch gun due to longer stroke, Standards in good order can make 11 but most are mid 10's I have found. Spring choice makes a big difference and yours might just need a new unit / experiment...Just because a certain person has rebuilt it does not mean it has the most efficient unit, it will be whatever was in stock / to hand

    Don't overthink these, you can have the back off and all the internals out in 5 mins, or a spring change in less than that.

    If mine I would pull apart, check security of seal retaining the screw, try piston fit by dropping down cylinder, a full power fit will be the slightest pressure push to move it...if stiffer it needs more shooting in, and if stiffer there is more power to come so leave the fitted sping, just relube and get some lead through it and re-test after a min of 500 shots, it may well have gone up.

    If seal looks good and piston moves easily, and you are desperate for more power then maybe try a replacement spring and see.

    Tap wise, check end cover screws are snug, I have lost count of the guns I have seen where these are a tad loose but the indent plunger and it's spring fitted into the drilling in the tap itself normally (not always if not original) will keep the tap seated. Leaks are really really really rare...trust me.

    One last thing I suppose as the tap seems to concern you, remove the cover plate and pull out the tap, check the numbers stamped on the end of the tap and compare to numbers stamped under barrel (sometimes up near cocking pivot) as taps are matched to each gun so this will confirm if original unit.


    Clean out tap recess (and take the oppertunity to do a barrel clean now as well)...and if fussy you could cover the tapered part of the tap with marker pen and replace, rotate a few times in the same arc as when loading the gun whilst maintaining pressure, then pull out and inspect, this will show high spots as shiny metal through the black in the case of a foreign object or ''picking up'' which can be stoned down.

    BUT...These are hand lapped taps that operate on the principle (some say inspired by originally) of the domestic / commercial tapered gas tap, which obviously needs to be a perfectly secure fit, and are the best design (if done properly) of any of the tap loaders out there and light years ahead quality and function wise of the parallel later ones which were introduced due to cost restraints.

    Don't be scared of the thing, it's a glorified bike pump, have a play and you will get far more out of it than getting someone else to do these very basic tasks.

    ATB, Ed

  12. #12
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    Some information on Loading Taps and Lubricants

    Thank you, Ed and Gingernut, for your helpful guidance.

    I am most envious, Ed, of your 1911 Standard - and its power. I would love to see it and, indeed, fire it. What sort of accuracy does it deliver?

    I visited the expert, suggested by the gunsmith today. He made some interesting comments:

    1 Lubricant: He said there was no need to introduce Weboil or any equivalent these days, into the air chamber, as all oils create dieseling to some degree or another. He gave me a small tube of 100% pure silicone oil (core-rc.com), actually used for the car racing business (and expensive at 15 for 60mls). Some three to five drops were to be introduced after every tin of pellets.

    2 Tap Loader solution if leaking: he said a new tap would be expensive to buy and fit. A better alternative, he said, which will work as well, is to dismantle the tap, place tissue in the centre hole, and spray on an aerosol external chain lube, then restore the tap to its position. This lube sticks to the surface - as it would to a chain saw, and will seal the gaps 100%. As an afterthought, however, it then occurred to me that it might also seal off a section of the air from the chamber if the tap-loader rubs against the exit hole from the air chamber. I might call him next week to seek further advice on that.

    3 He also mentioned that it was good practice to fire the rifle with the tap loader in the upright position as it helped to mould the piston seal to the end of the chamber.

    So, no doubt, a controversial approach and I thought it worth introducing this as a new thread on this site, so others can benefit and/or debate the merits of this advice.

    Meanwhile, I would prefer to have my BSA Standard inspected by an expert but, like others, I still need to find one!

    Regards
    Andrew.

  13. #13
    edbear2 is offline Cut 'n shut Beezer airgun Geezer
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    [QUOTE=andrewM;7167774]Thank you, Ed and Gingernut, for your helpful guidance.

    I am most envious, Ed, of your 1911 Standard - and its power. I would love to see it and, indeed, fire it. What sort of accuracy does it deliver?

    I visited the expert, suggested by the gunsmith today. He made some interesting comments:

    1 Lubricant: He said there was no need to introduce Weboil or any equivalent these days, into the air chamber, as all oils create dieseling to some degree or another. He gave me a small tube of 100% pure silicone oil (core-rc.com), actually used for the car racing business (and expensive at 15 for 60mls). Some three to five drops were to be introduced after every tin of pellets.

    2 Tap Loader solution if leaking: he said a new tap would be expensive to buy and fit. A better alternative, he said, which will work as well, is to dismantle the tap, place tissue in the centre hole, and spray on an aerosol external chain lube, then restore the tap to its position. This lube sticks to the surface - as it would to a chain saw, and will seal the gaps 100%. As an afterthought, however, it then occurred to me that it might also seal off a section of the air from the chamber if the tap-loader rubs against the exit hole from the air chamber. I might call him next week to seek further advice on that.

    3 He also mentioned that it was good practice to fire the rifle with the tap loader in the upright position as it helped to mould the piston seal to the end of the chamber.

    So, no doubt, a controversial approach and I thought it worth introducing this as a new thread on this site, so others can benefit and/or debate the merits of this advice.

    Meanwhile, I would prefer to have my BSA Standard inspected by an expert but, like others, I still need to find one!

    Regards
    Andrew.[/QUOTE

    Andrew

    re. the above
    1...Do not use silicon oil anywhere where it will leach onto parts and cause metal to metal contact, as it will if put into the chamber...just google silicon oil metal to metal, it is a plastic lubricant and exactly the WRONG stuff to use! (and I have been in F1 racing and aviation at the pointy end since the mid 90's so am well up on exotic lubes).

    2...Total rubbish...and may even be uneeded if you follow my earlier advice you may not need to do this if you have checked the originality / fit as described.

    3...I have heard of this back in the early days of ptfe washer replacements, but not for leather....You are not moulding the end of the washer, you are concerned with the sliding fit / air seal I would say not slamming the piston into the cylinder end (which is what will happen if you DO have a leaky tap...This will wreck the washer screw...believe me I have repaired enough over the years.

    All the above IMHO, as I have said your gun may be fine and just need 1/2 and a fiddle to establish the problem...Have you tried various pellets to establish the 8 pound output as various types can make over 1 pound difference, happy to send you a few original Wasps and FTT's to get a benchmark as normally these are the ones that perform the best through the chrono.

    ATB, ED

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    A timely intervention edbear2

    Thank you, Ed, for this valuable intervention. I have posted it on the other thread, too, so readers can benefit from your insights. It is as well that I raised the advice I received from the gunsmith here first and did not act on it.

    I have checked the screws to the plate alongside the loading tap and they are tight.

    I cleaned the barrel with a .22 cleaning rod sometime ago (with the loading tap up).

    Yes, I have tried various pellets and still have some old Eley Wasps. It read 479 ft/sec today.

    My practical abilities and lack of tools are such that I will not strip the weapon although I could open the loading tap, as that is quite simple.

    Thank you for your advice - much appreciated.
    A

  15. #15
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    As Edbear indicates there are experts and people who think they are experts.

    I suggest that you follow the advice given by Edbear Lakey and Phil Russel on this thread rather than
    trying the alarming procedures suggested in your Post 12!

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