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Thread: BSA Hunter

  1. #1

    BSA Hunter

    Hi all,

    first post, be nice. I have something of a passion for old BSA rifles - i 'spose they are what i grew up with. However, knowledge of these old rifles is a little lacking in these parts. I am looking for advice on a BSA hunter-series rifle (with full length extractor) in essentially original condition. Sorry i don't have photos and am waiting on a serial (i'll have to buy the thing before i get photos). It is simply labelled BSA - no model name. It is a 243, and has a 24" full sporter-weight barrel, unported. Stock has a straight fore-end - no schnabel. Has white spacers. I'm figuring it will be about '56. The thing that has me puzzled is that i thought by the time they were chambering the 243, all their stocks had schnabels and they were all ported. However, there were such a profusion of models i find it difficult to work out which model exactly it is (i suspect with BSA rifles, some don't fit neatly into any recognised model description). From the description, is anyone able to give me advice as to which model they think it might be? Anyone know when they started chambering the 243?


  2. #2
    I am sure Brit hunter will be all over this one

  3. #3
    Sounds like a Viscount .................................. Hmmm looking in knibbs book the .243 was introduced in the Hunter in 1957 then switched to the Viscount, being a medium action length, The Hunters were usually marked "Hunter" on the left action wall. The Viscount after they renamed the whole centre fire range the "Royal Line" were not so marked. Prefix of the serial number will be either 11A or 11B.

    They were offered with a European, schnable tip, or Export stocks. Sounds like you have the export which was aimed at the US market. Fuller fore stock and a vented recoil pad fitted. The European models with the schnable tip have a solid ribbed rubber butt plate. The BESA recoil reducer was a option and it seems patented in 1957.

    BTW the trigger on the Hunter/Viscout is adjustable and can be adjusted so it's a single stage or two stage pull. It's also adjustable for length of travel and sear engagement on the earlier one before the accountants cheapened the trigger mech that is when some of the adjustments were done away with.

    Scope mounts of course are of the Parker-Hale type and of 19mm or 19.5mm width depending on where you read and who does the measuring.

    Hope that helps.

  4. #4
    Thanks Brithunter. Yep, i had found some images of rifles for the US market, and it is a match. Seems this one was something of an oddity to have ended up in Australia - i think i have only seen the featherweight-type rifles from this time, with schnabel and BESA brake. I'll have to have a chat to some of my Kiwi mates about the rifle - see if they were more common there. The BSA hunter/royal series rifles really have a cult following on the other side of the Tasman. Never really seem to have established themselves in Australia. I have bought the rifle, and will post photos and details with time. I am pretty chuffed with my new acquisition - i wasn't a huge fan of the BESA brake.

  5. #5
    Just curious - has anyone rebarrelled a hunter/royal? Do you know what thread the barrels are?

  6. #6
    Sorry not off the top of my head. I did have two books with the deatails in. The NRA Gunsmithing guide and Bolt Actions rifles by Dehaas. The Police deemed both too dangerous and took them into custody last April ............................................. No I kid you not.

    BSA seemed to use the same thread and pitch on their centerfire rifles only the length of the tenon altering and the undercut. I used a CF2 barrel on my 1st Pattern Monarch which needed the tenon and counterbore for the bolt altered to fit.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Brithunter View Post
    Sorry not off the top of my head. I did have two books with the deatails in. The NRA Gunsmithing guide and Bolt Actions rifles by Dehaas. The Police deemed both too dangerous and took them into custody last April ............................................. No I kid you not.
    That is very disturbing. Do they have a legal right to do that? Terrorism laws?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by brenneke View Post
    That is very disturbing. Do they have a legal right to do that? Terrorism laws?
    It seems they can do what they like when they like unless you happen to have pots of money then it's different of course. It's a long story which upsets certain members here on SD. Unless it's been removed the whole saga was covered in legal issues dating back from April 2011.

  9. #9
    I understand you police have enormous powers with regards to issuing of permits. We had a recently relocated British copper recently get into a bit of trouble in court down here for thinking the same would hold in Australia. He tried to prevent a chap acquiring a 338 Lapua Magnum for long range varmint shooting on his property. He had absolutely no legal basis for his behaviour - he just made a unilateral decision! Put quite a few noses out of joint here, and thankfully the decision was overturned by the judge. But all juristrictions have their peculiarities with repect to firearms laws.

    I should also point out the varmints in question were camels! And his property was larger than some european nations!

    Brithunter, do you have a viscount? If so, what is the maximum cartridge length you can fit in your magazine? I notice a couple of x57 cartridges are listed, and i am considering rebarreling my new purchase to a 8x57 or 9.3x57 if i can get a 3" COL.

  10. #10
    Sorry nope a Viscount is missing from my collection. I never got around to acquiring one sadly. My 7x57 Mauser in BSA is a CF2 the last model they made. It seems they chambered 389 CF2's in 7x57 according the Knibbs book..

    Not sure what list your on about. I have a rifle chambered for 7.92mm (8x57 Mauser) but it's a Parker-Hale 1200 Super. My 9.3x57 is a Husqvarna model 46 of 1935 vintage.

    Now if your serious about re-barrelling into a medium bore cartridge then have you considered the .358 Winchester?

    The performance is very similar to the 9.3x57 Mauser but possibly bullet selection and availability will be easier in .358". You could aslo use .38 Spl bullets for light practice loads as do some owners of .35 Whelen rifles and .35 rem and .358 Winchester.

    Just a thought.

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