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GUNS Magazine March 2012 Digital Edition - Page 24

STORY: Dave Anderson if BSA were purchasing receivers in the white from Brno. The only proof marks to be found are those of the Birmingham Proof House. The 24" barrel has six grooves, with a 1:14" right-hand twist. I’ve read these barrels were cut rifled and handt’s hard to believe now, but there was once a thriving lapped. Certainly this barrel appears to be very smooth, as it cleans easily gunmaking industry in Britain. Of course those and with little copper fouling. The wonderful custom firearms from famous names such as barrel shank is large in diameter, and its breech end is counterbored to fit the Purdey or Holland & Holland are still in production. I’m head of the bolt, and slotted for the thinking of companies offering sporting firearms people extractor. like me could afford. One such company was Birmingham The stock is nicely shaped out of what I think is walnut, without much Small Arms (BSA). figure, but straight grained and hard. Shortly after WWII ended, BSA mainspring to shorten lock time, in The checkering is by hand at 20 LPI. shipped a prototype bolt-action conjunction with a crisp, clean trigger Diamonds are flat-topped rather than sporting rifle to US representative Jack break. An extension of the sear serves sharp. Not fancy by custom standards, Warwick, who asked for input from as the bolt stop. but it is quite good for a production rifle enthusiasts. Based on their input, Integral dovetails in the receiver rifle. BSA made a number of changes. The accept Parker-Hale clamp-on scope There’s a nicely shaped cheekpiece first production model was shipped in rings. I tried using CZ rings but they with just a hint of a Monte Carlo drop 1954. are made for a narrower dovetail. The from cheekpiece to heel, probably at At the time, the .222 Rem cartridge rotating safety locks the firing pin the request of American enthusiasts was tremendously popular. It infected by the California made sense to make the first stock virus. I can just models on a short action, imagine the reaction offered in either .22 Hornet of conservative British or .222 Rem. Later, medium stockmakers of the era. and long actions were added. They probably said, The rifle shown here was “Here’s your blasted made in 1955. The action Monte Carlo,” while is short, just 7-1/8" long, making it as unobtrusive but is not particularly small as possible. or light. The receiver ring Weight of the empty measures 1.350" in diameter, rifle is 6 pounds, 11 the size falling in between ounces. With rings the Mauser small and large and a Leupold M8 ring actions. Apparently the 6X scope, the weight idea was a short action, but is 7-1/2 pounds. The with a receiver strong and metal polishing and rigid enough to support a bluing are exceptionally varmint-weight barrel. The This BSA Hunter .222 Rem was made in 1955. It has features some of the younger nice, the fit of barreled receiver is flat-bottomed with generation of shooters consider recent developments, such as integral receiver action to stock is very scope-ring bases, and an excellent 3-lever trigger mechanism. Checkering is 20 good and overall it a thick integral recoil lug. The operating design is lpi with flat-topped diamonds. Hinged floorplate is steel but the triggerguard is has a high standard of based on the Mauser 98, with alloy. Its finish hasn’t held up as well as on the rest of the rifle. workmanship. The rifle two forward locking lugs, balances and handles non-rotating claw extractor, staggered and bolt when turned to its rearward beautifully. The feeding, chambering, 4-round capacity double-column position. extraction and ejection are an absolute magazine, fixed ejector and controlledFans of Brno/CZ rifles will see a joy. round feeding. The bolt face is slotted strong resemblance to Brno/CZ rifles With the slow rifling twist, heavy for the ejector below the top/left lug, of the same era, such as the ZKM-465, bullets are out, although in .222 I prefer and the locking lugs are solid. though they will spot several differences lighter bullets anyway. I shot it with The trigger mechanism is a well- as well, such as trigger mechanism, bolt reloads using W-W brass, Hodgdon designed and well-made 3-lever stop, magazine and scope-ring dovetail H-335 powder and Hornady 40-grain system. It lets the designers use a strong dimensions. It wouldn’t surprise me V-Max bullets. Groups average 1 MOA, Britain used to have a thriving trade in gun making, but no more. Good Guns Gone I 24 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • M A R C H 2 0 1 2

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