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BSA Lightening GRT .25 Review, Comments, and Notes

Forums Springers, Pumpers, C02, & Replicas Springers, Pumpers, C02, & Replicas – Discussion BSA Lightening GRT .25 Review, Comments, and Notes

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    Deleted Account
    Accuracy: +78

    I mentioned in another thread that I had bit the bullet and bought a BSA Lightning GRT in .25 for thumping squirrels this winter.  It will be graced with an SWFA fixed 6x optic I took off of my D48.  The D48's was replaced with a 10x SWFA, it is a bit flatter shooting and can benefit more from the higher power optic.  This BSA is intended for hunting squirrels in flooded timber.  Ranges will be short and principally at high angles.

    The rifle cost me $332.49 with shipping.  I think that is a good price for British engineering. 

    The rifle is less than a meter long.  That's handy in brush and deep woods.  The power plant I ordered was the 24 joule power plant.  That converts to 17.7 FPE.  That is enough juice to cleanly dispatch anything I will be hunting with it and then some.  The trigger pull is a bit stiff from the factory but there is no creep and it breaks like glass.  This is definitely a rifle built to work.  The cocking stroke is very nice, dead silent with no grinding, no rubbing and no discernible difference between the difficulty at the beginning of the stroke and the end of the stroke.  I am 67 and in fair shape.  I cocked and shot the rifle 20 times this afternoon and feel like I could easily have done a hundred in an extended shooting session.  I would say the cocking stroke is a bit heavier than my D36 and considerably less than my D460 and d48.  A quiet and smooth cocking stroke has obvious advantages in a hunting springer.

    Over all the rifle has a very solid, no nonsense feel to it.  It is very point-able and will be a good off hand rifle for woods walking, even with the SWFA added.  It would benefit from the addition of a sling stud on the butt stock and a sling band on the barrel.  I may make that addition later.

    Today I shot it over the chrony.  The rifle has had about thirty pellets through it total.  I have not cleaned the barrel.  It is not "shot in".

    Here are the results of that test:

    That's is not bad.  A bit light on the energy at 21.34 joules (the spec is 24) but that may shoot in over time.  I would expect the power plant to operate a little more efficiently with a lighter pellet.  Most .25 cal springers are built on .22 power plants.  I have some H&N FTTs on order.  They are 20 percent lighter than these JSBs and may well tweak out a bit more energy but I am happy with 16 fpe.  This is a nice medium power rifle.  with a very smooth shot cycle.  I hope it proves to be as accurate as if feels like it might.

    The rifle is easy on the eye:

    The pink card is the chronograph log.

    More will follow.

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    josh3rd
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +6

    Awesome review brother

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    GoldenStateAIRGUNer
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +8

    I'd say it's not bad on energy but for squirrels it's good enough.  If accurate.

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    intenseaty22
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +120

    Very nice in the eye indeed. Congrats. I have looked at this model before in .177? But never pulled the trigger on it. 

    “Watching” looking forward to your accuracy report. 

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    walter3rd
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +2

    Nice looking rifle. Run 500 pellets through her and then she will be run in. Have fun

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    ranedouglas
    Participant
    Member
    Accuracy: +13

    ..   BEAUTIFUL air rifle ..       ive always been attracted to these .25 bsa's with the gas ram…ive seen them as low as $277 at midway clearance..  yours is pretty consistent across the chrony , already….. but those h&n ftt's (20 grain pellets) will likely do a little better – more range, anyway..    the factory published specs for the bsa lightning xl (fac version) proclaim this , which got me involved : ;      

    Lightning XL 

    – .177, .22, or .25 cal., BBC, SP, SS, 1000/730/700 FPS, 10 (British version) or 15 in. rifled steel barrel, blue finish, redesigned ambidextrous beech stock and adj. two-stage trigger, full barrel noise dampener, 37.5 in. OAL, 6.6 lbs. Mfg. 2005-2014.

    Lightning XL image1                                                     ……….. 700 fps in .25 cal in a compact little english break barrel would be a great pesting gun ….  i'm reckoning that bsa was using the 17 grain mosquito pellets , tho….they were kind of like those .25 milbro pellets…kinda looked like eley wasp red cans…   ive had a few in .177 and a few in .22 (springs, tho) – and i found the .177's  to be hold sensitive – even in the lightning xls made in birmingham before gamo bought them ; however the buyers were very content…   now in .22 , they were much better for me..   these older bsa's were actual .22 caliber, not 5.5 mm , and so it helped to get oversized pellets (bsa, napier, ely wasp)…..or , which i would like to recommend you do with the .25 ftt pellets (same as .25 diana ranstt cans, and same as .25 hatsan pellets) – is to size them with a pellet sizer….   the best guy i have ever known to tune the uk patriots and noble patriots taught me to do this with the ftt pellets…   i would use a pellet sizer from lone wolf – he was selling a sizer that had a place for each of the 4 conservative airgun calibers, then you'd pop it with a golf tee.  those skirts are thin and deform easily , but im specially tuned .25 noble patriot, velocity climbed from a smooth constant 800 fps to 830-840 fps just because i made the pellet skirt to fit the bore more tightly….    i would do a can while watching tv or whatever , while waiting at the dr's office…..   it's tedious but it does add some ftlbs and trajectory…    but , now a fella could opt for these alloy .25 h&n pellets  :     Predator GTO .25 Cal, 16.54 Grains, Domed, Lead-Free, 150ct   …    seems your gas ram would be harder at the first of the cocking stroke , like with most gas ram / piston break barrels i have known , but i have never handled a bsa strut (or grt technology)…..    BUT , i did order a bsa supersport magnum on clearance the other day for about $125 shipped..   it really looks good..  i test fired it and boxed it back up for when it ever cools off around here…..and it's in .177 (but i just couldnt stand it – brittish machinery for $125 ?   i caved in.)    after being worried i would just buying a gamo in a tuxedo , i read up and found it reported that although gamo bought bsa in birmingham – gamo left them alone to continue doing their own thing….idk…    o yeah , those .25 cal h&n wadcutters did very well also – they grouped 5 shots in a nickle-sized circle – at 50 yards away , from that power-tuned .25 patriot he made for me (i traded him one of the first turkish patriots that came from over there in 2010 or 2011..   my .25 gamo big cat shoots the 20 grain ftt's at 600 fps, and the 25 gr jsb's around 550 , but same point of impact at 25 yards…..   jsb's seem to really stay aloft….   let us know what you think when you see that a good .25 pop knocks the squirrel back up off the branch and sometimes outta the tree….  and sparrows just hit the ground in pieces – like a .22lr hollowpoint rips em apart..   – paul.  

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    CharlieF
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +12

    Great detailed review. Even better since you are not a “Leg”.

    1st SFG(A)

    5th SFG(A)

    ISA

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    Deleted Account
    Accuracy: +78

    CharlieF

    Great detailed review. Even better since you are not a “Leg”.

    1st SFG(A)

    5th SFG(A)

    ISA

    Sorry to have to let you down.  My son was the one in the 501st family.  I was MI attached to the 25 ID way back in the cold war.  Trained at Devens though so we crawled in some of the same mud.  Deployed to Bolivia with some of you folks in the early 90's but was a "civilian" then.  Nope light infantry here and proud to have walked to work many a time.

     

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    Deleted Account
    Accuracy: +78

    Well, I got the glass on the BSA.  Here is a picture.

    The rifle is not shot in yet.  It has had about 100 pellets through it.  The targets shown were shot while tweaking in the scope mounts but are a pretty good representation of what the rifle is doing at this point.  They were shot at 28 yards, very light breeze less than 5 mph, 80f, 80% humidity, sea level.  One of the groups is JSB Exact Kings (the best group, of three pretty poor groups).

    I shot H&N FTTs today.  The spread sheet is below.  The pellets were pretty badly munged up  in shipping and straightening them out with an old Beeman pelseat only went so far towards making the skirts round again.  I was disappointed in the energy and am beginning to wonder how BSA came up with the 24 joule figure for energy.  I may order a tin of 33 grain JSBs to see if they can improve the efficiency of the power plant.

    Shooting the rifle is a new experience.  I have never had an untuned "spring" rifle that I could watch pellets in flight to the target.  With this rifle I can do that.  This is a very, very sweet shooting hunting rifle.  I do hope I can find a pellet it likes.  As the groups show the rifle is currently not ready for squirrel hunting beyond about 20 yards.

    Hopefully it will shoot in.

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    shawnlyndy
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +1

    Shure is a great looking rifle. Be interesting to see what it does with 500 rounds through it.

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    Deleted Account
    Accuracy: +78

    shawnlyndy

    Shure is a great looking rifle. Be interesting to see what it does with 500 rounds through it.

    I'll be keeping this thread as a repository of my experience with the rifle.  I will also document what things I have done to the rifle to get it shooting well enough for me to hunt with it.  My springers can all pass the ten dimes challenge, except this one.  It won't go hunting until it can as well.  I will document how I got it there, in this thread.

    Yes it is a very nice looker.  It constantly whispers, "take me hunting", "see how light and easy I am to point" …

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    Deleted Account
    Accuracy: +78

    Had the BSA GRT out on the bench again today.  Before I took it out I put some 1500 grit diamond paste on a swab and ran that down the barrel a few times.  I followed that with several patches soaked in Diana cylinder oil to clean up things and get rid of the grit.  It looked clean when I took it out to the bench.  I really am enjoying watching those bowling balls go down range.  The rifle is as smooth as most tuned springers right out of the box.  The trigger is a two stage trigger.  There is about 3/16 take up in the first stage and a glass brittle second stage break that is two or three pounds.  Very nice trigger, right out of the box.  The rifle is a hunter.

    I calculated my optimal zero range in Chairgun as 22 yards and shot the following targets:

    All targets are 10 shot groups.  I was shooting the tin of H&N FTTs that I whined about in a different tread yesterday.

    So progress is being made.  It is a 25 yard squirrel rifle at this point.  It has had about 150 shots through it thus far. 

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    Windmill01
    Participant
    Member
    Australia
    Accuracy: +16

    Oldspook nice shooting, look out squirrels. I’m very interested to see if the energy level increases in your Lightening. I’m tossing up wether I’ll buy  a HW50 or the Lightening. The HW50 I recall is in the mid 500 fps. It’s a very nice looking rifle but I’m leaning towards the Lightening. It’s something about it’s chunky looks and the 24 joule powered ram. There is definitely no buz or twang with a gas ram. I’ll keep following your rifles journey. Thanks for posting.

    Gary

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    Deleted Account
    Accuracy: +78

    Well, today I went out with the BSA and shot off the bags for a while.  The rifle now has had about 220 shots through it.  I have emptied one of the tins of H&N FTT.  I've calculated the maximum zero range based upon my requirement that the pellet does not rise more than a half inch above LOS.  It works out to about 22 meters or 24 yards.  That gives me a maximum point on spread of basically 11 yards to 24 yards.  This is important information to a woods hunter because it informs him of the limitations of his kit.  I now know by testing that the rifle will do it's job so long as I do mine and keep my range below 25 yards.

    I also have a rule that I will not hunt gray squirrels at a range farther than my equipment will keep all of it's shots on a US quarter (24 mm diameter group).  I only head shoot squirrels as I have not had good luck with body shots, your mileage may vary.  So using the target I shot today I can calculate the longest shot I can take which meets my self imposed limitations.

    I shot five (5 shot) groups.  The largest was 22 mm at 22 meters.  Since my numbers are metric it is easy to extrapolate that I can keep all my groups on a 24mm diameter spot at 24 meters.  This is a happy coincidence.  I have a rifle that I can carry cocked and on safety all day if necessary.  If I see a squirrel between 10 yards and 25 yards I can simply take the shot by holding point on his beady little eyes and if I have done my job, the kit will do it's job.

    So here is the target:

    Conclusions:

    This rifle is one of the overlooked little gems in the airgun world.  At 15 FPE it delivers plenty of punch to hunt pests and small game out to fifty yards if you can find the pellet it likes and you opt for a .177 or .22 version.  I would not recommend the .25 cal version to anyone who wanted to hunt game at ranges farther than about 40 yards. 

    It is VERY quiet.  Very back yard friendly.  I would not hesitate to shoot this in my back yard even if I had an airgun sensitive neighbor so long as they could not watch me while I was shooting.  The integral silencer does work.

    It is compact and pointable.  This rifle begs to be carried.  I don't like the additional beefyness which we are seeing in AG stocks these days.  It makes them feel more substantial in the hand but it adds weight to a gun that you intended to use to carry.  That said, I suspect the rifle is lighter in a synthetic version and I expect that would be a great option for most practical hunters.

    I have not found the pellet the rifle likes yet.  Although I have seen signs that it can shoot considerably better than it does with the pellets I am currently using (evidence groups 1,2, and 5 from left on the target).  I suspect the next batch I order will shoot somewhat better than these but these are sufficient for break in or even to hunt with given my limitations.

    I would recommend the rifle as quickly as I would recommend the Diana Model 34, and it is a fine rifle as well.  This is most certainly a keeper which will put meat in the freezer and with the right pellet I expect to extend my maximum range to about 40 yards.

    When it makes meat, I will drop that in the Hunting section of the forum.  That should be pretty soon.

    Thanks for your comments.

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    Deleted Account
    Accuracy: +78

     

    The rifle is broken in now.  Today I took it down, lubed it, and put it back together.  I then took it out to the bench and without checking zero shot this group.  The center of the bull on this target is the size of a dime.  The smallest squares are 1 cm (2/5 inch) square.  I wish my eyes were better.  The flier was my fault.  Five shots, 29 yards under a dime, four of them well under .4 inch.

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    Flintstone
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +1

    I wish I say the same Spook. I bought the spring version of the Lightning from the evil bay. Couldn't find one anywhere else except Krale and Krale was a bit more money. I received it day before yesterday. Beautiful stock and really handles well. Unfortunately it was shooting 165 fps consistently through my chronograph. I used my HW35 to check the chrono and it was fine. .5 foot pounds. Amazing. I'm returning it tomorrow. I really wanted it be great because it handles so well and fits just right. A bit up in arms now.

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    Accuracy: +78

    Flintstone

    I wish I say the same Spook. I bought the spring version of the Lightning from the evil bay. Couldn't find one anywhere else except Krale and Krale was a bit more money. I received it day before yesterday. Beautiful stock and really handles well. Unfortunately it was shooting 165 fps consistently through my chronograph. I used my HW35 to check the chrono and it was fine. .5 foot pounds. Amazing. I'm returning it tomorrow. I really wanted it be great because it handles so well and fits just right. A bit up in arms now.

    That is odd.  You might reach an agreement with the seller for a functional replacement?  I have never had bad luck with any BSA product I have owned.  Sorry to hear you got a lemon.

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    Flintstone
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    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +1

    I think it's possible that BSA is dumping refurbs for cheap to whoever will pay for them. The vendor I purchased the rifle from doesn't usually sell airguns. I bought a Supersport Tactical maybe six weeks ago and it didn't work right either. I'm disinclined to try again. The hard cocking effort hurts my arthritic shoulders anyway.

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    Deleted Account
    Accuracy: +78

    I personally would not hesitate to purchase another BSA from any reputable vendor.  In particular the Lightning GRT would be an excellent choice as a general hunter in caliber .22.  You can tell from the group that my .25 shot that the rifle was exceptional "out of the box".  I have done absolutely nothing to the rifle other than lube and tighten screws (and whatever else I mentioned at the top of the thread).  I believe I bought mine on Amazon.  I am very confident it will pass the 10 dimes test now.  Perhaps I can get to that sometime when the weather improves.

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    Yarddog
    Participant
    Member
    United States
    Accuracy: +6

    OP, I might consider one of these in .22, keeping your comments in mind. One real advantage of that caliber is the vast choices of different pellets…

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