Fast Light

Phill Price is sur­prised by a new op­tic from BSA

Airgun World - - Contents -

Phill Price is im­pressed by a three-way op­tion scope from BSA

I’ve long viewed BSA as a very tra­di­tional kind of com­pany, be­ing more of a ‘wal­nut and blued steel’ kind of out­fit, but this new scope is as far from that as you can imag­ine. The name on the box makes clear that this is based on a mil­i­tary-type sight­ing sys­tem that can de­liver the fastest target ac­qui­si­tion in any light con­di­tions. Fur­ther, it of­fers three el­e­ments to aid that task.

SMALL DOT

The main sight is a zero mag­ni­fi­ca­tion 5MOA red dot that has nine lev­els of bright­ness. This is a rel­a­tively small dot that al­lows for pre­cise aim­ing, where a large dot would ob­scure the target. How­ever, at longer ranges it’s too large for pre­cise aim­ing, but that’s just the na­ture of red dots. I was im­pressed at just how bright the dot was be­cause it was still clear on sunny days, not some­thing many red dot scopes can claim.

Windage and el­e­va­tion are ad­justed with con­ven­tional drums, as you’d find on most scopes, al­though they’re much smaller. These are pro­tected with screw-on metal cov­ers which them­selves are at­tached with rub­ber teth­ers that make get­ting them on and off fid­dly, but you’ll never lose them. Be­cause the drums are so small, you need a flat-blade screw­driver to turn them. They move with well-de­fined clicks that are both felt and heard, so ad­just­ments are pre­cise and con­sis­tent.

BUILT-IN LASER

The se­cond aim­ing sys­tem in­cluded is a 5m650nm red laser built in to the lower body. This is con­trolled by the same dial that switches on the red dot and ad­justs its bright­ness. You se­lect either the red dot or the laser; you can­not run them si­mul­ta­ne­ously. This is ad­justed for zero by a small thumb­wheel un­der the body and a screw to the side. As with all aim­ing de­vices, it needs to be ad­justed to co­in­cide with your pel­let’s tra­jec­tory at a spe­cific dis­tance. At close range, I was able to see the laser clearly, even in day­light and I think that the rub­ber bel­lows-style eye cup helped with that. At night, it was vis­i­ble out to ?? YARDS.

“I can tell you I saw no move­ment at all, so my par­al­lax wor­ries were al­layed”

FLASHLIGHT

The third el­e­ment of this scope is a flashlight that fits to the Weaver rail, along the top that’s in­te­gral to the body tube. It’s slim, light and mea­sures un­der 4½” in length, so it has lit­tle ef­fect on the ri­fle’s han­dling. Out­put is 140 lu­mens, which is plenty for rat­ting around the farm­yard or spot­ting feral pi­geons in the rafters. Power is sup­plied by two CR123A bat­ter­ies which are dis­pos­able, so I tried to fit a 18650 rechar­gable. This is the same size as two CR123As nose to tail, but it would not fit in­side the body tube.

COM­PLEX FEA­TURES

To make it a proper gun light, a re­mote tail-cap switch is pro­vided. Sec­tions of self-ad­he­sive Vel­cro are sup­plied, too, so that you can place it on your gun wher­ever suits you best.

As with ev­ery­thing mil­i­tary these days, the scope rail fol­lows the Weaver pat­tern and I’m sure that any­body buying this scope will be fit­ting it to a mil­i­tary-style ri­fle. The side clamp is tight­ened with large thumb wheels that have a slot cut across the face. These ac­cept a 20p coin, if you’d like to pinch them up a bit tighter than you can just by grip­ping the wheels with your fin­ger­tips. De­spite all the com­plex fea­tures, the TW30RDLL weighs just over 500 grammes so is light com­pared to mod­ern ri­fle scopes and also ex­tremely short.

OPTICALLY COR­RECT

The man­ual states that this scope is par­al­lax ad­justed at 100 yards, as is com­mon for firearm op­tics, so I set about test­ing it to see if a could de­tect any er­ror at air­gun ranges. This is done by rest­ing the scope on some­thing solid, with the dot placed on a sta­tion­ary target. You then view the target through the scope whilst mov­ing your head from one ex­treme po­si­tion to the next, care­fully not­ing any ap­par­ent move­ment of the dot rel­a­tive to the target. I can tell you I saw no move­ment at all, so my par­al­lax wor­ries were al­layed. Par­al­lax er­ror is great­est at short range, which is ex­actly where I imag­ine most air­gun­ners would em­ploy this scope, so know­ing it’s optically cor­rect for these dis­tances means a lot.

This is a very long way from the kind of scopes that I’d ex­pect BSA to of­fer, and it’s clear that they’re go­ing after the ever-grow­ing ‘tac­ti­cal’ market. All the fea­tures are neatly in­te­grated into a small, light pack­age, de­signed for quick target ac­qui­si­tion in any con­di­tions, much like the com­bat sights it is based upon. Some­times ‘dif­fer­ent’ can be good. I

www.bsaop­tics.com Model TW30RDLL RRP £149.00

Zero­ing the red dot is much like a con­ven­tional ri­fle scope.

This neat pack­age fea­tures three as­sets to a great shot.

Lamp, red dot and laser all in a stack.

The torch is tiny and light­weight. A rub­ber bel­lows style eye­cup cuts un­wanted light.

The laser has its own zero­ing con­trols.

A re­mote switch makes this a proper gun light.

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