Author Topic: BSA Lightning XL .177  (Read 25135 times)

Offline PeakChick

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BSA Lightning XL .177
« on: August 11, 2007, 02:27:40 AM »
I picked up my BSA Lightning XL from my local Sportsman's Warehouse yesterday. I had been wanting a high quality European .177 rifle in a more compact size than the RWS 36 that I had. I was considering several Weihrauch rifles, the HW50, HW95 and HW97K.......all in .177. I go into Sportsman's Warehouse about weekly for pellets, misc. shooting supplies and they had this BSA in the rack for months. I had peeked at it before, but was a bit put off by the price $429.00, (The two other sites I found online for this rifle in the US list this rifle at $479.00). I made the mistake of asking to handle and shoulder the rifle about a month ago. Wow, very compact, shoulders very well, light in weight, beautiful wood, great metal, deep, even satin bluing. Two weeks ago I went in and asked an old friend that works there to let me take it out back and cycle it and shoot cleaning pellets through it to feel the action and trigger. That was all it took to convince me. It has a very smooth cocking cycle, great trigger, the barrel locks up like the proverbial bank vault. I put money down on it for lay-a-way that day.

I got home with the new rifle yesterday morning, took her out of the box and began prep. I cleaned the barrel thouroughly, the barrel cleaned up quickly, not a lot of crud from the factory. As a point of interest, the BSA barrels are very high quality, hammer forged units. Scope mounting revealed that the BSA "Maxi Grip" rail on the receiver is a 14mm rail, so I could not use the BKL 260 11mm mount I had that I wanted to use, (BKL does offer the 400 series mounts in 14mm). An Accushot 1pc medium mount worked fine on the rail with the clamping plate reversed to allow for the wider width. The scope mounted on it now is a Leapers 3-9 x 32mm AO. I will put a different scope on it in fairly short order, probably a Leapers 3-9 x 40mm AO or a Bushnell Banner 3-12 x 40mm AO. I will probably stick with the Accushot mount, strong and compact, works just fine on this rifle.

I sighted the rifle in on my indoor 10m range. I used BSA Wolverines 8.4 gr FTs, (These are BSA labled JSB exacts). I tried a sampling of different pellets, the BSA, RWS superdomes, CPHP, Gamo Hunter. The rifle prefers the BSA pellet and this pleases me as I am very sold on this pellet for accuracy, quality and performance. The rifle dieseled consistently for the first 75 shots, no detonation, just smoke. Accuracy is very good for a carbine sized rifle, very consistent. Cocking effort is a bit high due to the short barrel on this rifle, and the compact, fairly high powerplant in this gun. I would guess cocking effort at about 35-40lbs, not bad, just not the effortless stroke like my HW30. BSA lists this rifle at 900 fps, 15fpe. AOA shows their testing at 14fpe, so the advertised power is pretty close. I don't have a chrony so no numbers, but perceived power is right up there with any of my higher powered rifles. The trigger is very good, light, short first stage, very crisp second stage at about 2-2.5 lbs. I have not adjusted the trigger yet. This rifle has a "moderator" built in to the barrel, a mechanical baffeled unit. I'm not certain of the effectiveness, the rifle is not loud, but not silent either. The mechanical noise is just a sharp, smooth slap, report is a sharp, quick pop.

This rifle is very compact: 37.5" OAL, 14.5" overall barrel length (the actual barrel on this gun is 10", combined length is the barrel and moderator). Its listed weight on the BSA site is 6.1 lbs unscoped. Scoped as it is now it is 7.5lbs on my bathroom scale.

Pics below show the rifle, the rifle with my HW30 and .177 CFX for size comparison, and a 10m target, 6 shot group with Wolverines, rifle forestock cupped in my left hand on my rest, elbows on the bench, butt unsupported on my shoulder.

She's a keeper!
The current stable, (arsenal, quiver?): BSA Lightning XL .177, BSA Sportsman HV .22, BSA Ultra .177, CZ634 .177, Daystate Harrier X .177, TAU 200 Senior .177, HW 97 .177, HW 50s .177, HW 30 .177, RWS 92 .177, Gamo 126 MC Super, Gamo Big Cat .177, AR2078A, QB78 .177, Quest 1000 .177, Beeman SS650 .177., Beeman P17 .177.
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Offline Big_Bill

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RE: BSA Lightning XL .177
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2007, 04:06:04 AM »


GREAT REVIEW Stephanie !



Thanks for the review of your new baby, "Shooter" !



Now you do have my order button finger twitching. ;-)



Now if it only came in .20 caliber ! Hummmmm

Life Member of The United States of America
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SHOOT SAFE ! - SHOOT WELL ! - SHOOT OFTEN !
Always Use A Spring Compressor ! and Buy the GREAT GRT-III & CBR Triggers, cause they are GRRRREAT !

Offline PeakChick

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RE: BSA Lightning XL .177, PS..
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2007, 04:08:22 AM »
I adjusted the trigger this morning. The adjustment is a true second stage adjustment using a very fine allen grub screw in the forward part of the trigger blade. It didn't affect the light, short first stage and it now has a positive, crisp second stage let off that feels like about 1lb.  :)  :)
The current stable, (arsenal, quiver?): BSA Lightning XL .177, BSA Sportsman HV .22, BSA Ultra .177, CZ634 .177, Daystate Harrier X .177, TAU 200 Senior .177, HW 97 .177, HW 50s .177, HW 30 .177, RWS 92 .177, Gamo 126 MC Super, Gamo Big Cat .177, AR2078A, QB78 .177, Quest 1000 .177, Beeman SS650 .177., Beeman P17 .177.
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Offline Gene_SC

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Re: BSA Lightning XL .177
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2007, 06:01:52 AM »
Great review of the new BSA Carbine Stephanie. She sure stands out amongst your other two babies...:) Very purdy indeed. Sounds like the trigger is big PLUS as well. I would expect the BSA to be closer than most maunfactures that generally report a min of 20% over the actual real time fps. I would imagine she is doing in the mid 800's if not higher. That carbine sure has some nice curves there..:) and the wood is very nice as well.

Gene
THE ONES I SLEEP WITH: BSA Lightning XL, AA TX-200, AA ProSport, BSA Ultra, HW-97K, Crosman NPSS .177, FX Cyclone, HW-30 Nicle Plated, AA-S200, Crosman Marauder, CZ-634, R-9 DG, Webley/Scott UK Tomahawk, Benji Kantana, Benji Marauder, Benji Discovery.....
....

Gene\'s Tunz n Toyz
Springer Tunin

Offline longislandhunter

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Re: BSA Lightning XL .177
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2007, 02:42:11 PM »
Enjoyed your review very much Stephanie.  Best of luck with the rifle, she's sure a beauty....

Jeff
\"If it was easy it wouldn\'t be hunting, it would be shopping.\"

Offline shadow

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Re: BSA Lightning XL .177
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2007, 11:29:18 PM »
Fab review Stephanie :) and that a sweetheart there. Keep us updated on the performence. Ed
I airgun hunt therefore I am... };)  {SHADOWS Tunes & Camo}  airguncamo@yahoo.com

Offline dw33

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RE: BSA Lightning XL .177
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2007, 09:50:48 AM »
Very good write up.  Sounds like a great rifle.  BTW, that CFX looks outstanding too, (I am trying to convince myself to buy the CFX .22).

Offline shadow

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RE: BSA Lightning XL .177
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2007, 12:25:06 PM »
Nice review and real nice hole's in the target Stephanie :) Ed
I airgun hunt therefore I am... };)  {SHADOWS Tunes & Camo}  airguncamo@yahoo.com

Offline PeakChick

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RE: BSA Lightning XL .177
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2007, 02:20:17 PM »
David, I would recommend a CFX, in either caliber, in an instant. I have both a .177 and a .22 CFX. I am amazed at the accuracy of both rifles. They are not at all hold sensitive, powerful and easy to shoot. I am very fond of my CFXs.
The current stable, (arsenal, quiver?): BSA Lightning XL .177, BSA Sportsman HV .22, BSA Ultra .177, CZ634 .177, Daystate Harrier X .177, TAU 200 Senior .177, HW 97 .177, HW 50s .177, HW 30 .177, RWS 92 .177, Gamo 126 MC Super, Gamo Big Cat .177, AR2078A, QB78 .177, Quest 1000 .177, Beeman SS650 .177., Beeman P17 .177.
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RE: BSA Lightning XL .177
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2007, 03:24:25 AM »
Thats a sweet rifle you got there. And an excellent review, The gun fits in with your stable rather well too. Maybe I'm just preduced(with a name like Pennsylvania Pistolero how could I not be ;-) ) but it looks like you could use a couple more pistols in that stable through. Perhaps a 1377 and or a 2240 (Maybe even a Mountain Air 2540) or even a IHZ53M to get you started in the breakbarrel pistols. Worth a thought.


Offline WVscott

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RE: BSA Lightning XL .177
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2007, 04:41:28 PM »
Hi,
Are you still liking the XL after having it for about a month.  I have an interest in this gun and am trying to get some opinions on it.  Would you buy it again?  Have you had it apart yet?  Any velocity figures?  
                 thank, Scott
Regards, Scott

Offline PeakChick

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RE: BSA Lightning XL .177
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2007, 02:11:37 AM »
Scott, I don't have a chrony, so sorry, no velocity figures for you. Do I still like my Lightning? That's easy, yes very much. The rifle is so comfortable to shoulder, quick, very pointable. It is a compact length, but the stock is adult sized, no length of pull issues. The only things I have done to mine were to locktite the stock screws and adjust the trigger. The Machined , threaded cap on the end of the moderator needed locktite too.

The rifle is brilliantly accurate, not hold sensitive. I have taken a number of pest birds with it at ranges from 15-40 yds, effortlessly. As far as power goes, based on my perceived impression, this is a powerful .177 rifle. Power wise it is in the same league as my CFX, my RWS 34. It is listed at 900 fps in .177, and I feel that is not too far off the mark. Mine shoots best with BSA Wolverines, 8.4gr (Relabled JSB Exacts), but is not overly pellet fussy.

The rifle is very well built, great wood, well finished metal. The barrel lock up is delightfully solid. Cocking effort is firm, I'd guess in the 40 lb. range due to the short barrel on a powerful action, but is not an issue for me.
 
The Lighning does have the BSA "Maxi-Grip" scope rail. The rail is 14mm, a BKL 260 11mm mount would not fit, but an Accushot one piece mount worked fine with the clamping plate reversed for a larger opening. BKL does make 14mm one and two piece mounts that are an option too. the action is fairly short so it will not clear a very long scope. I have a 3-9 x 32 AO scope on mine that works well. I think something in the range of a Bushnell Banner or Trophy 4-12 x 40 is about the longest scope that can be mounted on it.

Would I buy it again? Yes, without hesitation.
The current stable, (arsenal, quiver?): BSA Lightning XL .177, BSA Sportsman HV .22, BSA Ultra .177, CZ634 .177, Daystate Harrier X .177, TAU 200 Senior .177, HW 97 .177, HW 50s .177, HW 30 .177, RWS 92 .177, Gamo 126 MC Super, Gamo Big Cat .177, AR2078A, QB78 .177, Quest 1000 .177, Beeman SS650 .177., Beeman P17 .177.
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RE: BSA Lightning XL .177
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2007, 03:14:36 AM »
Stephanie,

Thanks for your review on the Lightning XL, very informative and I'm sorry that I hadn't read it until now.  Must remember to try and go through some of the other areas in the forum from time to time.  It certainly is a beautiful rifle and from the group you posted, it looks as though it shoots fantastic.  Of course, you probably have a little something to do with that.  Looks like it is a great addition to a bunch of great rifles that you have.

I have to wonder exactly how it compares to something like the TX-200 Mk.III as far as accuracy, power, fit, finish, etc.  You probably saw that I am seriously considering that as my next purchase.  Oh well, guess I'll just have to flip a coin, maybe buy both!

Thanks,

Jeff

Offline PeakChick

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RE: BSA Lightning XL .177
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2007, 03:28:18 AM »
Jeff, I'm kinda biased towards my Lightning, but either rifle TX or lightning is a superb choice. Power wise the TX probably has a slight edge, but they are close. Accuracy, hmmm, another tough one, again I say they are both in the same leauge. The TX probably has a slightly higher level of "polish" to the finish, but the BSA is very good. The biggest difference for me is weight, my Lightning is 7.5lbs scoped, a TX200 MkIII is 9.3 lbs bare, the HC is 8.5lb bare. The Lightning is a pure hunter carbine. If I were buying a rifle to tote around in the woods it would be the Lightning, hands down.

I agree, it is a tough choice between the BSA and the TX (either variant). I'm am seriously pondering a TX in the future, but there are a couple of Weihrauch rifles in the running too. If I could afford both, I'd have a Lightning as a hunter and the full size TX for target/FT.
The current stable, (arsenal, quiver?): BSA Lightning XL .177, BSA Sportsman HV .22, BSA Ultra .177, CZ634 .177, Daystate Harrier X .177, TAU 200 Senior .177, HW 97 .177, HW 50s .177, HW 30 .177, RWS 92 .177, Gamo 126 MC Super, Gamo Big Cat .177, AR2078A, QB78 .177, Quest 1000 .177, Beeman SS650 .177., Beeman P17 .177.
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Offline Dutchspringer

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RE: BSA Lightning XL .177
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2009, 02:18:48 AM »
Hey Peak Chick from another Colorado airgunner!
     I think I just figured out the "Peak" part of Peak Chick!  My sister graduated from CC back in 1990, and I am a Littleton native.  Anyhoo, fun reading your reviews!  I had read one the other day on your BSA Sportsman HV, and I saw the pictures you posted.  I too have seen the rifle at Sportsman's Warehouse, but the one you have iappears to be moderated.  Did you buy it that way and if not where did you have the work done?  Can you post a full review of this rifle?  I have looked at this rifle at the same place, as has my buddy, and reviews are somewhat unclear about the gun.  Do you have the clip problems with loading etc., and is it dependable so far etc.? I would appreciate any and all you could tell me about the rifle!
thanks!  Springer out
Crosman 2200 Magnum, Benjamin sheridan 392pa .22, Gamo Hunter 440 .177, Gamo Hunter Elite .177, RWS 48 .22