I don't remember exactly when the original BSA R10 was introduced, but I'm going to guess maybe five or six years ago. At the time, I was interested in buying one, but got distracted by some of life's challenges, and forgot about it.
Maybe six months later, or so, it again came to my attention, so I started looking into it, by doing some online research, and what I found wasn't very encouraging. Based on feedback from owners, it seemed that there were some on going QC issues, as well as magazines that were very unreliable. I decided to pass.
Then, about a month ago I decided to look into the gun again. The new version, called the R10 MK 2, has been around now for several years. After watching, and reading numerous reviews I decided to add one, in .22, to my airsenal.
Let me preface my take on the gun with these comments. When I buy a new gun, I shoot it just as it comes from the dealer. The only adjustments, I may make, are to the trigger. Sometimes they're great, and other times not so much. The one on this gun definitely needs adjusting. Other than that, the guns are in factory stock form. I don't tweak or tune anything about them.
The reason is, that I want folks who are searching the web for info, about a particular gun, and happen to land on my site, to see how a factory new gun performs out of the box. At least how the one I bought performed out of the box. I don't do anything to valves, or spring adjustments. I shoot the gun at the factory settings, and see how it goes.
Now to the good stuff. First impressions of the gun are very good. It is as nice looking as I hoped it would be. The walnut stock is executed well, with a bit of color and nice grain.
The first thing that I did, was to clean the bore. I know a lot of guys don't bother, but I have yet to receive a new gun that didn't need it. Most of the time, they are shipped with some type of preservative/antirust oil in the bore, and it needs to come out before pellet shooting starts.
Next up, I mounted a scope. I decided, for now, to go with a Bushnell 3200 Elite, 7-21x40mm with mildot reticle, that isn't earning its keep at the moment. The price is certainly right, as in, I've had the scope for years, might as well use it. I may go with something else later, but this will get me started.
While researching the guns online, there were a couple of comments along the way, that stuck in my mind. One was, that if you fill the gun to the advertised 232 BAR, you will get valve lock. The second was that, with the .177 R10 that was being tested at the time, a shot string of 45, with an extreme spread of 50 fps was the norm for his gun.
The R10 is advertised as a regulated PCP. I don't have a ton of experience with regulated guns, I only have three, an HW100 in .22, a Cricket rifle in .22, and a Cricket rifle in .25, but 50 fps seems a bit high for a regulated gun. My regulated .22's have extreme spreads in the single digits, and the .25 is in the mid teens.
At this point, I'm curious to see what this rifle will do. It has a 200cc bottle. Since it had been mentioned that a 232 BAR fill could lead to valve lock, I figured that I would sneak up on that pressure by only filling to 220 BAR to start.
Sure enough, the first shot over the chrono registered 473 fps. Obviously not at valve lock, but getting real close. I fired a couple of mags worth (20 shots) into the trap, to reduce the pressure in the bottle, and headed for my tank. This time, I filled to 210 BAR.
The first shot out of the mag went 862 fps. That's more like it. I decided, that instead of shooting the string in one long sequence of shots, that I would shoot 10, the number of pellets the mag holds, get the high, and low shots for the string, record the extreme spread, average velocity, and reset the chrono for the next 10 shot string.
The first 10 shots went like this.
High: 872 fps
Low: 862 fps
Avg: 867 fps
ES: 10 fps
The second 10 shots went like this.
High: 880 fps
Low: 868 fps
Avg: 874 fps
ES: 12 fps
The third 10 shots went like this.
High: 898 fps
Low: 883 fps
Avg: 890 fps
ES: 15 fps
The last 5 shots went like this.
High: 883 fps
Low: 862 fps
Avg: 872 fps
ES: 21 fps
There are only 5 shots in the last string because at shot 36, the velocity dropped off of the end of the table. Shot 36 was 829 fps. So a 210 BAR fill gives me 35 good shots.
The full 35 shot string looks like this.
High: 898 fps
Low: 862 fps
Avg: 880 fps
ES: 36 fps
FPE: 27.5 foot pounds
The 36 fps extreme spread seems a bit high for a regulated gun, but what do I know. The fact that I can't get close to the recommended 232 BAR fill pressure, along with the apparently high extreme spread, suggests to me, that this particular rifle would benefit from some tuning attention. The fact that others are getting similar, or worse extreme spreads, makes me think that it might just be a characteristic of the regulator used in these guns, or they aren't being adjusted properly from the factory.
One of the things that I do like, is the fact that the sequential shot to shot velocities are very low. For example, shot 2 was only 4 fps faster than shot 1, the same for shot 2 to 3, and shot 3 to 4 had zero spread. In many cases there was only a 2 fps spread, or in many cases no difference at all. The greatest spread across the entire string, was between shot 34 and 35, where the spread was 8 fps. My unregulated guns with the same kind of sequential shot to shot consistency, are very accurate.
My next comments are based on the fact that I'm a hunter, not a Benchrest shooter, nor am I into Field Target, or any of the other target shooting disciplines. I hunt varmints, in the form of ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and jackrabbits, as well as small game such as cottontail rabbits, and tree squirrels.
As a hunter, I don't get too wrapped around the axel over a number like an extreme spread of 36 fps. Regulated, or unregulated. I have a bunch of unregulated PCP's that have similar extreme spreads that shoot lights out. Below are a few examples, and I have taken game with all of them, at one time or another, out to around 100 yards.
AA 410 ERBSL. Five shots in the ten ring at 30 yards, and five shots in the head at 50 yards.
My point here is, I kill a lot of critters every year with guns that are not regulated. A lot of the critters are at distances that some people think are out there at .22lr ranges.
When you start playing around with a chronograph, and chasing various numbers, don't let it suck the fun out of hunting and shooting the guns that you have used for years, very successfully. This is supposed to be about having fun. I know guys that get into the numbers game, to the point that they are no longer having fun shooting their guns. They obsess over an extreme spread of 15 fps, because they think it should be 5, and maybe they should send the gun out for a tune, and, and, and. Life's too short. Let's hunt.
None of the regulated guns that I bought, did I buy because they are regulated. I bought them because I liked the looks, the caliber, the action type, their reputation for accuracy, or a dozen other reasons. My point is, I would have purchased them even if they weren't regulated. Just like I did with all of my other unregulated guns. To be honest, when I'm in the field, on the hunt, or pretty much anytime, I can't tell the difference between a regulated or unregulated gun. I'm too busy trying to keep up with what the wind is doing.
The National Forest has about two feet of snow on the ground, so it's going to be awhile before I get to shoot this gun on paper. Unless I decide to drive down to some BLM land at a lower elevation. I'll just have to see how things go.
When I do get a chance to shoot it, I'm going to try some of these BSA Wolverine pellets in it. They are just rebadged JSB's. I bought a bunch of them, many years ago, when JSB Branded 16 grain pellets dried up for awhile.
I think this rifle's going to be a keeper. I still need to do some accuracy testing with a few different pellets, but with BSA's hammer forged barrels having the reputation for accuracy that they do, I'm expecting it to do quite well. Overall, at this point, I really like the gun. As a quick side note, the magazine functioned flawlessly. Nary a hiccup.
Check back occasionally, there will be more info coming.
Until then, thanks for reading.