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BSA Lightning SE - some advise please

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by lewy2202, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. lewy2202

    lewy2202 Engaging Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I have a really good looking BSA springer: lightning SE, walnut stock, bluing is perfect. Also not that heavy so could be a nice hinting gun.
    Mechanically wise - rubbish :/
    previous owner dry fired it so I guess that internals need looking at - replacing, it kicks like mule but have no power. there is slight play on the barrel pin and silencer needs touching up - looks like rifle was dropped.
    Shoots all over the place (i guess it is down to the barrel movement and consistency)

    My Question are:

    I would like to get new spring etc.... but was thinking to tune the gun and was wondering what would be the recommended spring/whole kit and what would be the best place to buy it?
    Is it safe to heat up the barrel - moderator is glued on and bit of the pig to take it off?

    Thanks

    atb

    L
     
  2. secretagentmole

    secretagentmole Low down, dirty and quiet...

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    Sell it and buy an HW99?
     
  3. lewy2202

    lewy2202 Engaging Member

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    Fancy a little project really, also in this condition it may be worth can of warms - if I'm lucky:/ I was thinking to get HW95, purely because of the weight, hows 99 compares to 95?

    Cheers

    L
     
  4. 177

    177 Donator

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    Start by addressing the full list of issues that you are aware of (more might surface as you progress) and then balance that against whether you have the ability to rectify them yourself.


    That's not meant to sound cheeky - it's OK taking on a project as long as you have the means to do so otherwise you may well invest a ton of resources and still end up with problems.


    Breech jaws can be a pain to deal with if they are bent out and/or misaligned. It's a trick to get them back into true without causing external damage. You may find that pivot bolts and whatnot are not sufficient on their own. Often when the breech jaws have been overstressed they stretch slightly - metal does that when it bends. This means that even if you use a new breech bolt to nip up any slack you may still have a misaligned breech seal which can cause inconsistency and power loss.


    All I'm saying is have a careful think before you go sailing off over deep waters.


    I'd forget about tuning the internals or even seriously testing where you sit regarding power and consistency until the other issues are addressed. Then and only then can you try and benchmark what's happening inside. Until everything fits together as it should the rest is academic.


    I've walked away from a couple of gungs over the years and, rather than pass on a problem (I would never sell a gun that had issues) I have stripped them out and sold those parts that were OK and binned those that weren't. Parting a gun out like this is one way to offset any investment you may have in it, allowing you to start afresh.


    Yoy may win this, you may not. Most guns are recoverable - it often comes down to how much time and effort you are willing to invest and whether it is going to be worthwhile. Usually the biggest issue people face is either the lack of knowledge and skills, or the lack of tooling if parts have to be 'persuaded' back into an OK state.


    Tough to answer and advise without hands on time with the gun.


    Good luck !
     
  5. oliver13

    oliver13 Donator

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    It's worth checking the barrel to see if the bore widens in the middle before the muzzle choke, there appear to be some defective units out there.
    Push a pellet through with a loading rod & see if it suddenly loosens up about 4" down.

    You won't need to heat up the barrel too much to loosen the glue, 100 deg C or less I reckon.

    There seem to be a lot of tuning kits for Lightnings, I can't recommend any but I'd just say when you've got the piston out, check the inside of the loading slot for burrs or you'll never get the new piston seal in undamaged.Do it carefully, on mine they were sharp like two 4" long serrated straight razors...
     
  6. rynner

    rynner Busy Member

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    hi,i bought a used lightning a few weeks ago that was down on power,after reading a few threads on here and other sites i kinda new what to expect when stripping it down,as expected the spring was in 4 pieces[it worked fine].you can get spring,grease and seals for £30 as a kit,there easy to strip,just be careful and put tape around the trigger mechanism to stop the pins falling out
     
  7. lewy2202

    lewy2202 Engaging Member

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    Thanks for the advise guys! :)

    I Fully agree...... I would not even try to sell this rifle as it is and pretend that all is sweet, the gun is not fit for purpose so this would be putting someone in danger really.
    I have seen heavy kicking guns in the past but this one is well beyond anything which I have a pleasure to shoot! :/ I'm not joking, if you would hold it incorrectly and you would not be aware of the kick there is a big chance that scope would brake your nose!
    I did not spend any money to get it - it came as bonus with something else which I was buying so i'm happy to spend a few quid on it. I will start with stripping it down and will look at internals - I guess it needs loads of work but also I'm not in rush so a: can take the time needed b: can wait for parts. I will investigate the barrel as well.

    I know that there were quality issues with those guns, but I thought that only Spanish made were affected and this one is UK made?

    i would not bother with it but it is a great looking gun:) and if I can get it work as it looks than I would be very happy:)

    the only reason why I'm asking about tuning kits is because of the V-mach kit which i fitted to my HW97kt - it transform the gun and made it 10 times better. I guess I will have to buy few bits for the BSA so if I'm investing, I will invest in something which will make it better.

    Thanks a lot!

    L
     
  8. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    If you want to tart it up for the sake of it go ahead; however I can guarantee that it will be an exercies in turd-polishing :p

    Despite apparently being a neglected example (which may explain the poor performance to an extent) you have to realise that these are grossly inferior in pretty much every way to the Weihrauch you're used to.

    There's only so much that fettling can achieve. Even if you fit a tuning kit, polish everything and set it up properly, there's only so far you can go with such a compromised design. The recoil will still be sharp and unrefined (non-ideal bore & stroke), the trigger will still be squiffy (crude and basic design), there will still be slop in the barrel (woefully inadiquate barrel pin rather than a bolt), the accuracy will still most likely be p**s poor.. in addition if you want access to the piston you'll have the pleasure of knocking seven shades of Censored out of the "Maxi Grip" scope rail to get it off the gun..

    Unlike many others who find themselves saddled with these guns, you're in the fortunate position that it doesn't owe you any money - I'd punt it on for spares or repair and put the money towards a decent alternative. I suspect that you'll only end up disappointed and out of pocket if you start spending money on it ;)

    Oh, as for the British / Spanish debate - the British ones were always crap; the Spanish ones are worse :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  9. lewy2202

    lewy2202 Engaging Member

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    Afternoon Mr. Cloverleaf!

    I can feel that you don't have a good experience with BSA lightning:/ Possibly you are spot on about all the possible things which can go wrong but........ I'm still going to try.
    It cant be that bad as people using them and as with everything there are good and bad comments. By end of the day stripping it and asking for advise wont cost me anything so it would be a waste to give up straight away.

    on the bright side..... it looks like BSA lightning expert just surfaced on the forum so I will be in touch Mr. Cloverleaf:)

    Atb

    L
     
  10. oliver13

    oliver13 Donator

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    It does take a certain mindset to go to work on these guns when a Weihrauch just does it out of the box, bloody minded probably...
     
  11. rynner

    rynner Busy Member

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    my lightning, after new spring,piston seal and breach seal stands me in at less than £100,i enjoyed the tinkering, making a compresser ,filing,polishing etc,its working ok,a LOT smoother than a new [500 pellet]webley v max with about the same power,accuracys fine,it fits me well,half the fun has been sorting it out,best of luck with yours,atb adam
     
  12. lewy2202

    lewy2202 Engaging Member

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    Hi Adam, Where did you ordered all the bits? I take 100 is all in - including the gun?

    Cheers

    Atb

    L
     
  13. 177

    177 Donator

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    Try Chambers or John Knibbs for air rifle spares.

    I might have worded it differently but cloverleaf pretty much nailed it.

    I've only ever worked on one Lightning.

    It was very much improved by the time I was finished but the work involved was inordinate and the faff factor was off the scale.

    I've been asked to work on others, but once was enough.

    It's a shame they don't shoot as well as some of them look.
     
  14. rynner

    rynner Busy Member

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    redbeck £30 and fast delivery but others sell all the componants seperate,protek etc,on my barrel it says bsa guns uk ltd england and the serial number starts with an S but when i look up the serial number it says its a bsa/gamo,ive sent an email to bsa but no response,i would like to know.As 177 says they do look nice,i bought mine following the oft given advice that its better to buy a decent secondhand gun than a brand new chinese type gun but after reading posts about the bsa some think it falls into the latter type of gun,i think i will be looking out for a hw needing a bit of work next,good luck.adam
     
  15. lewy2202

    lewy2202 Engaging Member

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    evening!

    cheers guys, I don't need more convincing and ok, I give up. There is actually not a single writeup about successful restoration (plenty on hw's, Tx's etc....) but can't find any thing about lightning. There are happy owners out there but I guess they were either lucky or they have no friends because they are still in a workshop trying to make it work!

    right, who needs parts - may be broken but still a parts:) Stock will be sold and half donated to the forum.

    any decent hw95k for sale - I'm after one:)

    thanks

    atb

    L
     
  16. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    A very sensible decision, IMO - you'll be much better off with a '95 :)
     

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