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BSA Scorpion TS

Phill Price gets his hands on the BSA Scorpion TS, the company's latest PCP air rifle, and reckons it’s an absolute bargain

BSA Scorpion TS

BSA Guns has a long and deservedly proud history of making guns right here in the UK, or more specifically in Birmingham. In recent years some of its production was moved overseas, but the good news is that much of it is coming home, which makes me happy. BSA recently told me that the next new pre-charged pneumatic it would offer would be completely manufactured in England, and that is the rifle you see here – the BSA Scorpion TS. What blows my mind is that not only is it a truly British gun, it’s the entry-level, affordable model. Just £569 buys you a fine sporting rifle, made to high standards at a price you’d normally expect from a Chinese-made product.

Think about that. This is a low carbon footprint product, made by English hands in the very middle of our country. I’ll confess, I simply couldn’t see how they could do it. The proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say, so I hurriedly opened the box the courier threw near my front door and was happy to see the kind of product I have come to know and love from BSA.


BSA Scorpion TS – key specifications

Manufacturer: BSA Guns ( 01675 481006
Model: Scorpion TS
Type: Pre-charged pneumatic
Action: Bolt action, magazine-fed multi-shot
Length: 930mm
Weight: 3.2kg
Trigger: Two-stage, adjustable
Fill pressure: 232 bar
Shots per fill: 140 in both .177 and .22
Price: RRP £569


So much for so little

The configuration is the classic barrel-over-reservoir kind, and is all the better for it. My mind then went to how BSA could offer so much for so little, and I was struggling to see the answer. One small thing I noticed was that the bolt handle didn’t wear the polished and anodised finish seen on the posher models, rather it had a textured coating, which seemed completely in keeping with a hard-working field rifle.

Next, I noticed that BSA has employed a synthetic stock that has appeared on several other models, and volume production reduces costs. Clever. Neither of these negatively affect performance, but do allow cost savings.

What cannot be seen is that BSA has re-engineered the structure of the action so that there are fewer parts, which means less metal is required, less machining time is needed and a quicker, more efficient assembly process is used. All this money saved means a more affordable gun for you and me.

I looked in the travel case for the silencer and didn’t find one. It turns out that the BSA Scorpion TS doesn’t come with one – for a very good reason. Many people own silencers already, and the male ½in UNF thread cut onto the barrel will accept any and all of them. If you’re looking to save a few pounds, why would you need to buy another silencer when you own one already? 


The lowest carbon footprint PCP made in England today 

  • Barrel: Made in Birmingham, England
  • Breech block: Made in Birmingham, England
  • Pressure cylinder: Made in Birmingham, England
  • Knock off valve: Made in Birmingham, England
  • Hammer spring: Made in Birmingham, England
  • Transfer port: Made in Birmingham, England
  • Trigger assembly: Made in Birmingham, England
  • Synthetic stock: Made in Dudley, West Midlands
  • Packaging: Made in Birmingham, England


This is where I feel that this is BSA helping those on a budget buy British. I took the VC silencer off my old R-10 MK2 and put it on the Scorpion, a job that took all of 30 seconds, and I can swap it back in just as little time when I need to.

Going against the current trend, it should be noted that this rifle does not have a regulator, and I see nothing wrong with that. Fewer parts means reduced cost, and many of us have hunted with non-regulated guns for decades with no regrets, compromises or worries, so I don’t see the regulator omission in any negative way. 

Look at what it says – Made In England!

Even at this price, the BSA Scorpion TS still has the world-renowned cold hammer-forged barrel. Interestingly, I learned recently that a major German pellet manufacturer uses BSA guns as test vehicles, which says a lot about the respect people have for BSA guns, and perhaps more importantly the barrels.

With the obligatory trip to the chronograph taken care of, this brand-new gun was varying just 7 feet per second (fps) over a 20-shot string, driving BSA’s own .177 Gold Star pellets at 765fps for a muzzle energy of 11.23 ft-lb. If you’re such a good shot that 7fps affects your shot placement, then you’re a much better shooter than me. 

A regulated gun might have a smaller variation, but not much. Now some will bring up the subject of a ‘power curve’ and I’m sure they’re right, but you don’t need to be very bright to learn the sweet spot in your PCP’s power curve/reservoir pressure relationship to get 40 or 50 of your shots spot on – and show me any hunter or HFT competitor who needs more than that. I like simple guns: they suit me.



As mentioned, we’ve seen this stock before on a number of models and I like it. I feel that its design is more about ergonomics and less about looking flashy because it fits me well. The near-vertical pistol grip is a good hand-filling shape that delivers my finger nicely to the trigger blade, which is a real aid to accurate shooting. I also appreciate the slim overall shape, which is just how a sporting rifle should be in my view.

This makes it versatile, being adaptable to almost any situation. As is the case with the vast majority of rifle stocks, the cheekpiece is a little low for scope use, but adding one offering adjustable height is very expensive and would make no sense here. Another simple but clever design is that the trigger guard is an integral part of the stock, eliminating another component without compromising function, and I think it looks good too.

A port-and-probe filling system lives at the front of the air reservoir, which has a standard working pressure of 232 bar

One neat little improvement I noted from older models is that you no longer need to slide a lock forward to release the magazine. The mag is held in by a magnet, eliminating a step in the loading process and making life just that little bit easier. Another improvement over older models is that the numbering on the magazine’s drum is now painted in bright white that even I can see. 

The small yellow dot still appears in the faceplate to indicate that the magazine is empty, but it’s not as easy to see with my bad eyesight. In use, the new mag is the same as the old. You drop in a pellet and then rotate the drum to expose a new chamber, drop in a second pellet and then repeat, which is easy and simple once you’ve done it a couple of times. 

The reservoir is filled with a port-and-probe setup at the front of the gun. A rotating collar vitally keeps any dirt or grit away from the port, providing we do our part and remember to close it after every fill. In front of this we find the pressure gauge, which isn’t everybody’s favourite position, but it need not be a problem if you use it sensibly.

Having the trigger guard built into the synthetic stock saves on the part count, while also offering perfect functionality


Pellet on pellet

As we’d expect, the trigger is two-stage and adjustable, and mine came set at a pleasant weight with just a little creep in the second stage. The test gun was an early production unit and I’ve fed back my findings to the factory. Despite that small criticism, I have to say that it made no difference to the accuracy as it was simply superb. At 25 yards it was almost pellet on pellet, making such neat little holes in the target cards that I couldn’t wish for more, all from an entry-level gun. If you miss a shot with this gun, the problem was you!

As ever, the manual safety is on the wrong side for right-handed shooters, but no big deal to disengage in most situations. I like the fact that it blocks the trigger movement so that you know in an instant when you’ve left it on by accident. As your finger touches the blade, you can feel your error and take appropriate action quickly before your quarry runs away.

The bolt handle wears a textured coating while the safety is on the left, as usual with many BSA rifles

A key indicator that this is a gun designed to be used in the field is shown by one small, but very important feature. It will come with sling swivel studs as standard. No hunter in their right mind carries a rifle in their hands for four hours. We all fit a sling, and having the studs factory-installed is a lovely thing, very telling of how the designers understand their customers’ needs. It can’t cost much to add this feature, and I wish more manufacturers would fit them too. Drilling holes in a new gun isn’t fun, so having them fitted for you is what you want.

In conclusion, the BSA Scorpion TS has all the performance any hunter could want in a great-handling package. It’s tough, durable and designed to take the knocks that all guns suffer in the field and still keep going without spoiling its good looks. I also really appreciate the handling, which is spot on for a modern sporter and all this comes at a truly affordable price. 

If that wasn’t enough, knowing that every part was built right here at home is surely the icing on the cake. This is going to be a big seller for BSA, of that I’m sure. 


Being able to buy a rifle of this quality for such a small amount of money is great, but that gun being made in England too is something else!