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An immediate and irrational hankering for a BSA Ultra SE "tactical" in .25..

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by cloverleaf, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    So, as those of you've who've browsed the sales section recently might have noticed, I'm currently selling a Scorpion SE "tactical".

    As much as I'd take an Air Arms 400 series over any of BSA's equivalent offerings, I'm not immune to the few nicities the BSAs offer in comparison to the AA guns - namely the nice fat, threaded free-floating barrel, solid, resilient and practical synthetic stock and high operating pressure.

    What's always put me off the unregged BSA PCP range is the creepy, pseudo-two-stage trigger, unreliable mag system and iffy quality of build and finish. In addition I don't like the way everything seems to bind / drag on the cocking stroke (I suspect we have the acetal bolt sleeve and striker body to thank for this).

    I've toyed with the idea of hanging on to the Scorpion (especially having shot some great groups with it recently) but I don't think it has enough to offer to draw me away from the equivalent AA guns, which IMO are far more rounded rifles. That said, the Ultra is is perhaps sufficiently different to "justify" - being significantly shorter than any of AAs offerings and again being offered with a decent synthetic stock. A game-changer as far as I'm concerned is that now BSA apparently offer a lot of their actions in true-LH, too :)

    As many know I'm a dyed-in-the-wool .177 man, however having previously owned .177 mag fed BSA guns I'm in no hurry to repeat the experience on account of their sloppy chambers which allow the pellets to skew across the mag and cause jams / feeding issues. I really don't like .22 very much, but quite fancy a .25 to tinker with and see what all the fuss is about..

    Also, while I'm generally a big fan of the "smaller, faster" mentality when it comes to projectiles, I've noticed that H&N FTT in .25 are very light for their size at around (a measured) 19.4gn. Scaled down to these would weigh around 13.2gn in .22 (the actual ones are are 14.66gn) and 6.9gn in .177 (the actual ones are 8.64gn).

    This means they'd potentially be good for ratting - lots of frontal area while still being able to maintain a fairly acceptable velocity - at their measured mass these pellets would be travelling at around 520ft/s at 11.65ftlb - not a whole lot less (around 10%) than a 15.9gn AA Field at 575ft/s for a similar muzzle energy... yet with a far more blunt shape and around 30% more frontal area.

    Of course their terrible BC (around 0.012 according to H&N) would make them abysmal over range, but of course that's not what this exercise would be about.


    So.. do I want to take the plunge and buy a new rifle I'm not sure about on a self-indulgent whim? Last time I did that it didn't turn out too well :eek:

    Also if I did take this route it would no doubt be hard to recover my costs, should I not warm to it - a LH .25 Ultra is hardly going to be top of everyone's christmas list.. an alternative I suppose would be to build up a LH Ultra based on the Scorpion I already have - requiring a new breech block, mag, barrel, bolt.. might be worth pricing it up I suppose.

    Just thinking out loud really.. what do the good folks of AGF reckon?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
    The Robin likes this.
  2. BiggaJ

    BiggaJ Donator

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    Clover, I have not shot the. 25 version of the Ultra SE but I did buy my dad a very well kept 6 month old. 22 and I have to say this was done after spending several hours at various RFD's local to Manchester sampling all manner of guns at a similar price point. My dad and I are different builds but the only gun that we both agreed on that fit us well and weighed virtually nothing and is so pointable was the Ultra SE.

    We did want the. 177 but when one came up for sale on here some months ago he went to collect it albeit in. 22 Favour.

    Was it a good move, certainly.

    All depends if you keep or like selling guns, if keep then go for it. You will struggle to make your money back on most guns but I think the Ultra SE have a good following and prices remain pretty good all round in my opinion. Again if keeping you can spend a little tinkering with it, fit a reg, a shroud and larger capacity cylinder. All things to research.

    If I had a few hundred burning a hole in my pocket I would go for it.

    Please keep us posted.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  3. Stevie Darling

    Stevie Darling Sexual tyrannosaurus

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    Why not mate, it's only money!

    great compact little ratter:)
     
  4. bigtoe

    bigtoe Donator

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    I built my own .25, Scorpion SE action and barrel, R10 reg housing with reg removed, 200cc tank, R10 stock. Now I could fit a 12inch Ultra .25barrel also to make it even smaller.

    Utterly stunning gun, tuned action, hundreds of shots especially when used with a 280cc tank, well over 200 with a 200CC tank, nearer 300.

    Mike, just build the gun you really want ;) That .25 R10 hybrid i have is light weight, superb handling, deadly to 35yards and is pump fill friendly (with the mods I did) from 190bar down.

    ;)
     
  5. M5AFX

    M5AFX Donator

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    I think if it was me Mike ,i might just keep the scorpion,work on the trigger ie do your magic and polish it and fine tune ,
    Then looking at your scorpion maybe have Carl make a Carbon full back venting shroud for it ,i think he only charges £50 for them
    He also does the ally one like mine,the quality it 2nd to none and very effective.

    this would have the effect of a shorter barrel than having a silencer and make it i would guess about 40 inches in total length
    as my ultra has an r10 barrel at 15.25 inches like the scorpion ,so some 4 inches shorter than it is now ( im supposing the length of the scorpion is about 44 with that silencer on )

    i only mention this as it seems a very cost effective way for you to basically have an ultra
    of course you could put an ultra barrel on it and have it another 3 inches shorter at say 37-38 inches in total length

    Anyway was just thinking of cost effective options for a shorter scorpion,i know its not in .25 but would save around 300 of your finest quids.

    just thinking here

    Gordon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  6. terry1001

    terry1001 Major Poster

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    I'm just going out to the shed to dust off the 2 bricks I put aside when you were having Daystate issues.
     
  7. bunnyblatter

    bunnyblatter Pro Poster

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    Give me a ring if you don't get on with it mate. I'm a leftie and would be interested in it at used gun prices :D
     
  8. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Cheers guys - thanks for your thoughts :)

    To be fair if I'm buying it's usually for the long haul.. I've owned my 2002 S410 since new! That said if something doesn't cut the mustard then it's out the door..

    I'd certainly be looking at it as a bit of a project rifle - as implied in my original post there are certain bits of the BSA that are unable to maintain the standards to which I've become accustomed :D

    A reg could be a possibility (although I think it has the potential to be very efficient operating at high pressure in the larger calibre) and the cylinder would probably be left alone as compactness is one of the things that draws me to the Ultra. While I'm usually about well-rounded guns, this one will all be about extremes.


    Ta- sadly money seems to be in pretty short supply at the moment!


    Yeah, that was the way I was thinking of going to an extent - the Ultra looking like as good-a-starting point as any :)


    Thanks - tbh the calibre would be one of the big draws, though. I've priced up the bits for converting the Scorpion to LH, .25 Ultra spec, and it comes to around £300 retail / about 60% of the cost of a new gun. So I think the Scorpion will be going to make way..

    As for the trigger - sadly it wouldn't be as easy as that, due to its relatively crude design. I'm wondering if a proper, true-two-stage unit could be made and fitted en-block..


    Thanks Terry - I'm touched that you remembered by plight and are ready to act in my best interests :D


    Will do - always good to have a fallback plan should I not get on with it!



    So, a few more non-developments. In trying to price up the bits on Knibbs' site, I see a .25 LH bolt isn't available - I hope this doesn't mean that they don't do this combination on a new gun. I've also remembered how much I like the Olive synthetic stocks, but also how easily the finish seems to wear off them..

    In terms of mods I'm wondering if the striker and bolt sleeve could be re-manufactured in brass to reduce friction during cocking.. as well as potential mods to the trigger setup to make it less crude.

    Time will tell - might have gone off the idea by the end of the weekend :D
     
  9. Oat

    Oat Very Active

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    I have a .22 Ultra SE. What i like most is it's compact size, it is so easy to walk with, very pointy, easy to use in buildings and in a hide and it's accuracy is great. Also the SE does not suffer jams - broadly speaking i can't fault the rifle.

    I may be looking for a .177 in the new year and have a scorpion or an AA S410 in mind - the only reason the .177 won't be an ultra is shot count.

    I've never shot a .25 but i would imagine it to be a superb ratting gun, and probably good for ferals in buildings too - but i think i would still go for .22 for these tasks.

    Thumbs up for the BSA Ultra SE :up:
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  10. bunnyblatter

    bunnyblatter Pro Poster

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    I think it would be a luxury gun if you know what I mean. You just fancy one so why not go for it.
    I had a scorpion SE in .25 and it was a great gun. If I had a rat permission I would of certainly kept it.

    Go for it mate, I'm sure you'll enjoy tinkering with it if nothing else
     
  11. Akita177

    Akita177 Sharpen the pikes

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    He must be fully recoverd from the Weirauch incidents.
     
  12. katluke

    katluke Donator

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    Tony (Bigtoe) do you have any photos of this little .25 gun you have built ? Sounds a very interesting build,curious to see how it looks,thanks for your reply .
     
  13. Gunfun

    Gunfun Engaging Member

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    I like full power, light weight and compact PCP,s, even if you can only find 6 yards to shot over indoors it means you can practice your off hand, kneeling and sitting shots if you have a very good moderator and quiet target/backstop. Because it is light means you can practice for much longer. When I've hunted with one the fact you can hold the pistol grip one handed with out worrying about the muzzle snagging on the ground makes it a pleasure to use.
    Regarding calibre, I enjoy .22 for the extra knock down thump, so .25 should be much better in that regard.
    I'd look to see how the stock fits you, with a .25 you get a very flat PBR from 7 to 23 yards if you can get the scope low enough. If you need high mounts it will take away some of the close range PBR fun.
    Fitted with a low mag, small objective, lightweight scope, it would be good.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  14. BiggaJ

    BiggaJ Donator

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    You can add a longer cylinder without extending beyond the length of the barrel so it still retains its pointable positives.

    I genuinely feel it is one of the few guns that comes close to be perfect for its chosen task I.e. that of close quarters hunting
     
  15. ratharvester

    ratharvester Donator

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    Damn Bry always beats me to the best guns lol, go for it Mike buy it and then sell it to Bry and when he gets bored I'll have it of him :D
     
  16. Ouch!

    Ouch! Donator

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    I'd like a .177 Scorpion SE with a nice walnut stock and possibly a regulator for a bit of HFT.

    Nice!
     
  17. The Robin

    The Robin Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Bry is bang on here, I bought the scorpion SE .25 off him to have a play with, it was superb with h&n ftt but it was a luxury gun as such because it did not get used as much as it did. I did hunt with it on the rabbits and it was really good but you have to be bang on with your aim points. After owning it for a bit I sold it on but glad I did own it because it just put a smile on my face everytime I used it.

    Mike go for it and enjoy
     
  18. the dog

    the dog Petrol engines do NOT like diesel

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    Cloverleaf..... PM sent. :)
     
  19. Patrick

    Patrick Donator

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    Well Cloverleaf as you're probably aware I own 2 Scorpians,one in each calibre and both perform extremely well certainly from an accuracy point of view.I also purchased a new AA s400(.177) a few months back and that performs equally well but it's no more accurate than the Scorpians.Finish wise it's definitely a bit better finished than the Scorpians in as much that the metalwork is more highly polished before being blacked and the trigger does offer more adjustment but the bolt action onthe Scorpians is definitely superior so I suppose it's a case of roundabouts and swings.All three rifles are single shot so obviously there's no mag problems but having said that I've just purchased a new BSA UltraMax SE(.22) and I've had no problems with the latest magazine it's worked perfectly so far.The only thing I did find was that RWS Superfields didn't suit the magazine,they could be difficult to insert into the magazine.All other pellets such as JSB,H&N FTT and Crossman Premier work fine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
  20. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Thanks guys :)

    Unfortunately having made enquiries this week I've been told that BSA don't do any left-handed guns in .25.. to be fair props to them for doing LH at all (they're far more accommodating to us now than they have been in the past) and I can appreciate that LH .25 rifles aren't going to sell like hot cakes, but I'm still somewhat disappointed.

    The sticking point appears to be the loading bolts, which differ both by calibre and orientation. .177 and .22 are available in both RH and LH formats, while the .25 is only available in RH format. The only difference between RH and LH versions is the orientation of the threaded hole for the loading bolt "pin" - it would hardly be rocket science to produce a LH .25 variant; I guess the reason they don't is simply due to low demand.


    I've considered potential ways around this problem:

    - I could buy a LH .22 Ultra and covert it to .25 (barrel, mag, custom loading bolt and a few other bits), although this would be reasonably expensive and it would still have the original calibre marked on the breech block.

    - I could buy a RH .25 Ultra and convert it to LH (breech block, bolt sleeve, custom loading bolt) however this again would cost a few quid and I'd end up with a plain breech block devoid of serial / model name / calibre etc

    - I'd also considered building one entirely from parts or converting an existing rifle, however both of these are prohibitively expensive.


    Finally I did think about buying an Ultra in .177 or .22 and keeping it that way, however this wouldn't really give me anything different to what I have at the moment.


    I can't say as I'm not disappointed as I was quite looking forward to tinkering with an Ultra (I've always had a bit of a soft spot for them) and exploring the performance of .25.. Sorry to say that after all the initial excitement it looks like I'll be keeping my money in my pocket :rolleyes:
     

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