Spice it Up

Phill Price looks at a lim­ited edi­tion of an old favourite

Airgun World - - Contents -

Phill Price with a tough hunt­ing gun - a lim­ited edi­tion BSA Ul­tra SE Cayenne

The Ul­tra SE has been a reg­u­lar item in BSA’s cat­a­logue for a long time and is a well-proven per­former in the field. Its tiny di­men­sions be­lie full-power per­for­mance, backed up by top-class ac­cu­racy to make for a handy pack­age that any hunter could want. How­ever, it’s not a flashy ri­fle, more a solid work­horse built to do a job where it counts. I’ve al­ways en­joyed the com­pact di­men­sions around the farm, see­ing this as a rat gun par-ex­cel­lence, and equally at home in the cramped con­fines of a pi­geon hide.

So imag­ine my sur­prise to see that BSA had de­cided to make a lim­ited edi­tion ver­sion with this stun­ning Cayenne lam­i­nate stock. It was the bold red layer that brought the thought of this hot pep­per to mind and kick-started the whole pack­age idea. Lim­ited edi­tions feel just that bit more spe­cial than the stan­dard item and of­ten of­fer bet­ter value for money than if you’d bought all the com­po­nent parts sep­a­rately.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

Along­side the ri­fle, you get a 3-9 x 50 BSA Op­tics scope, a one-piece mount and a smart, padded gun bag that fits the small ri­fle per­fectly. I also noted that BSA has adapted the CCS (Cus­tomer Con­fig­urable Shroud) from the R10 SE to work on the smaller gun. This sys­tem al­lows you to run with a bare bar­rel that has the si­lencer screwed on the end, or to fit a full-length shroud that blends nicely with the si­lencer. I’m pretty sure that most will fit the shroud and leave it that way, sim­ply be­cause it looks bet­ter. The VC si­lencer has also been adapted; it’s been short­ened so that it looks cor­rectly pro­por­tioned for the Ul­tra. To my ear, it’s a touch louder than the full-length ver­sion, but not too loud by any means. Both the shroud and the si­lencer are fin­ished in a tex­tured an­odised fin­ish to elim­i­nate un­wanted re­flec­tions and to pre­vent cor­ro­sion.

The shroud adds a more sub­stan­tial look and ap­peal to the ri­fle, which al­lied to the fancy stock, trans­forms what was quite a plain ri­fle into some­thing rather spe­cial and truly eye-catch­ing. At just over 8lbs, the Cayenne feels weight­ier than the stan­dard gun. This is partly be­cause lam­i­nate weighs more than wal­nut, partly be­cause of the bar­rel shroud – and also the scope which has a good heft of its own.

EF­FI­CIENCY

Every­thing that made the Ul­tra SE so pop­u­lar is still there, in­clud­ing the ‘Fast Strike’ ham­mer sys­tem that re­duces ac­tion time and in­creases ef­fi­ciency. I find it re­mark­able that such a small ri­fle can pro­duce so many shots per fill. I know the un­usual 232bar fill pres­sure helps, but it’s im­pres­sive all the same. In the belly of the stock there’s a pres­sure gauge that al­lows us to see quickly just how much air is left in the reser­voir, which is a very im­por­tant piece of in­for­ma­tion for any PCP shooter. Al­low­ing the pres­sure to run too low can cause all sorts of prob­lems, so be­ing able to keep an eye on it eas­ily is vi­tal.

The ac­tion is slim and neat, with no un­sightly lumps or bumps to spoil the lines. It car­ries its mag­a­zine low, mean­ing that there’s no cut-out in the scope rail. This makes mount­ing the op­tic of your choice sim­ple and even al­lows the use of one-piece mounts, as seen here, for max­i­mum strength and sup­port. This un­in­ter­rupted rail is a big deal in my book and BSA de­serves plenty of credit for de­sign­ing the ri­fle this way.

QUICK AND SLICK

In­side the ac­tion, the ‘Bo­las’ bolt is at­tached to a thick steel shaft that ap­pears chrome-plated for smooth­ness and wear re­sis­tance. This makes the ac­tion quick and slick, even when the ri­fle has launched a lot of pel­lets. It in­dexes BSA’s lat­est 10-shot mag­a­zine that uses a self-lu­bri­cat­ing syn­thetic ma­te­rial in its ro­tat­ing cylin­der, adding to the smooth­ness of the ac­tion.

The whole lovely pack­age comes in­side a pur­pose-made case that is the per­fect size, adding to the custom feel. It has a se­lec­tion of outer pock­ets to help you carry along pel­lets, your clean­ing cloth and all those other bits and bobs we all need. There are tra­di­tional car­ry­ing han­dles, plus shoul­der straps that let you carry it like a ruck­sack.

BSA made just 200 of th­ese sweet ri­fle sets and they’re out in the shops as I write, so if you fancy one you’d bet­ter get your skates on. As beau­ti­ful as they are, they’re also proper hunt­ing guns and are tough enough to be out in the field rather than be­ing locked into a dis­play case, dou­bling their value in my book. Get ‘em while they’re hot; they’re lovely!

The Cayenne has a touch more heft than the stan­dard ri­fle.

This well-padded case comes as part of the Cayenne pack­age.

Shoul­der straps al­low a ruck­sack carry.

Coloured lam­i­nates make for a strik­ing gun. A short si­lencer screws into the bar­rel shroud.

The continuous rail al­lows the use of a one-piece mount.

While look­ing at the pres­sure gauge you see all the lay­ers in the lam­i­nate stock.

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