Nice to see a fellow hunter, Peter Evans, has been ‘Struck by Lightning’’ and has put new life into its workings. Many hunters at the time thought it was small and did not like the quite large silencer sitting on the muzzle end, but in my book, I thought it was a nice compact rifle with a perfect size silencer, which was handy when breaking the
short barrel, and a sound shooting rifle with the inherent accuracy from the BSA barrel.
At the time, I was covering a hill farm owned by a disabled lady who lived alone. I was there day and night, to help her with security and livestock. In between I would be scanning the nearby barns for rats, and the open fields for rabbits to fill the pot, and also thinning out the local crows and magpies .
In the process of accuracy, my trigger adjustment was near to 3lbs, which felt about right for safety when hunting , plus the tune-up eliminated the worst enemy – a creepy trigger discharging accidentally in the field is a no no.
The rifle was producing 11.2 ft.lbs. using RWS Superdomes 14.5gn, set at a 25-yard zero, topped with a Nikko3-9 x 40 30/30 scope. I accounted for many rats in the outbuildings and barns, one or two in the farmyard, and many rabbits and corvids. I thought the BSA Lightning was a cracking hunting rifle, plus I could carry it all day and night because it was quite light, even with scope and mounts fitted.
This rifle had a great trait that many did not know about; if you wished, you could quite easily replace its spring for a gas strut, now around £65. I tried one out and it was very good, a little more powerful and the shot taken seemed slightly harder-hitting on target/cans. Stripping the rifle for a service or DIY is quite straight forward and makes it easy to maintain.
In my .177 BSA Lightning, I was using Eley Wasp pellets, which can be tight in some other barrels, but they deliver 11.8 ft. lbs., producing 842 fps. My second choice was Milbro Caledonian producing 809 fps. A great little hunting rifle.
Plenty of readers share Pete Evans’ appreciation of the BSA Lightning.