Phill Price is surprised by a new optic from BSA
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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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.