The BSA Ultra UK Specification Air Carbine.

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Silent Earth

A True Doomsday Prepper
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The BSA Ultra UK Specification Air Carbine.
Copyright 2011 NR
I decided to undertake a review of my small range on weapons, all of which had shortcomings in one form or another, Skill requirements, delicacy of device, suitability for role etc. in the US the choice is simple IE choose and buy a gun that meets your own needs, but in the UK we have unjust and unreasonable laws prohibiting the public from easily owning fire arms. So we have to compromise.
One thing we are allowed to have is Air Rifles and because necessity is the mother of invention British air rifle makers have developed over the years air rifles that are generally of a much higher quality than found in many other nations.
So we have quality on our side that’s one point, we also have accuracy because most if not all European air rifle makers use top quality barrels in their guns. A good barrel can help overcome other shortfalls in a guns overall usability.
So what about the power system, Spring or PCP (pre-charged pneumatic). There are some fabulous spring guns to have that are beautiful works of art in wood and metal, perfect for a day field target shooting or vermin hunting. Normally they are beautifully made from fine woods and top quality material but this brings up the problem for survivalists of WEIGHT. The average air gunner does not face the possible prospect of having to bug out for days or weeks on end wearing a rucksack and carrying a rifle but survivalists do.
Weight is an issue which is a minus point in general for spring powered guns. Length is another negative given that even a decent springer carbine is reaching to 37 to 39 inches some rifles are over 44 inches long.
Then we must look at (for a lot of people) the need for rapidly fired second, third and possibly fourth shots, there are few springer’s that can easily achieve multi shot capability with even more weight and bulk.
So for me this meant PCP air rifles must be given consideration, they can they meet my requirements while remaining affordable and SELF CONTAINED (I cannot run to a gun shop to refill it)
So my requirements were thus
Carbine length IE Less than 34 inches overall
Light weight IE under 6lbs
Easy to recharge at home, IE Fillable from either a diver bottle (poor choice as dive bottles also need refilling) or from a hand operated HP air pump
Multi shot capability option if the owner feels the need for that requirement
Synthetic all weather stock
British made (for spares and repairs)
Commonality between models (for spares and repairs)
Capability of being able to mount top quality fire arms grade accessories if required via a Weaver or Picatinny rail.
Affordable
Full power to the maximum legal limit
After much research, trial and failure it came down to the Air Arms S400 TDR, the FX Verminator or the BSA ULTRA.
The Air Arms take down rifle was deemed too fiddly and used wood in its furniture, the Verminator was nearly £900 and made in Sweden. This left me with the BSA Ultra.
So the project began with deciding which ultra to buy, I chose .22 over .177 calibre because some targets survivalists may have to shoot are bigger and require the greater transfer of kinetic energy rather than the higher speed and penetration of the lighter 177. Post-apocalyptic we really have no solid idea of what we may have to face with only an air rifle to hand, so the bigger 'Whack' of the 22 won it for me, but choice of calibre is a personal choice (or group issue if shared logistics are involved)
Next it had to be the Ultra TACTICAL model with the fully synthetic all weather stock, that’s a no brainer as far as I was concerned.
Weight and length were already decided as the Ultra is the shortest and lightest full power air carbine available in the UK. And for those who like a multi shot option you can buy an Ultra for a £100 more as a 10 shot rotary magazine fed weapon. The synthetic stock easily accepts drilling for the fitting of weaver or picatinny rails.
This led me onto the guns air capacity as the weapon is tiny in all proportions including the air tank. A bog standard Ultra in 22 will give you around 35 to 40 shots at full power. Not bad for a tiny carbine in a survival carbine, But I thought it could be better.
So I did more research and discovered that BSA also made another air rifle, fully synthetic stock, etc called the HORNET, its a bit bigger and longer than the ULTRA so it was rejected in my original assessment but it has ONE advantage over the ULTRA that it was fitted with a device called a REGULATOR, this device controls precisely the amount of air used with each shot. A major advantage as the HORNER could muster I believe around 200 shots on one fill, a huge leap over the 40 of the ULTRA.
At this time fate leant a hand when I heard about a guy with the nick name TENCH who frequents the BSA OG forum, he to put it mildly is a mechanical genius as well as a gun nut. He saw the potential of the ULTRA and had owned a HORNET, and an AA S400 and realised he could do better. So over a period of years he has designed and manufactured an after market regulator that fits both the BSA Scorpion AND the ULTRA, When Tench has done his work you are left with a rifle that is still under 33 inches, but instead of 40 full power shots you now get 80/90 out of a single charge, and because the gun is now regulated the power curve is almost level with all shots following the same trajectory. So for £260 for the rifle and £120 for Tench to custom tune and fit a regulator you end up with a gun that shoots easily as well as the ones that cost twice as much.
Tench’s design even improved over the original BS design as his regulators control mechanism lives on the low pressure side not the HP side like the original which means the issue of seat erosion in the regulator is no more ( according to Tench, I just nodded in agreement).
So for £380 plus a pump that will recharge most PCP air rifles I now have a survival carbine that has synthetic furniture, ultra light weight, ultra compact, and is set up to fire 16 grain 22 pellets at 11.98 ft pounds, and because I watched Tench at work I became utterly familiar with the working of the internals of this gun which is always a major plus. For me the BSA is the choice.
In an ideal world my BOB would include a 9MM Carbine like those made by Ruger, Colt, H&K etc, but when reality bites as it does in the UK I think a modified TENCH BSA ULTRA Tactical carbine is as good as we can get, and it is affordable.
If you fancy a larger PCP air weapon the Scorpion is a great choice and it can be TENCH modified as well, but again it costs more. However if you want a springer of similar quality and with the same tactical stock BSA also make the BSA XL Tactical http://www.bsaguns.co.uk/sgun_XL_tactical.php
 

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