CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to one of our Airgun titles today CLICK HERE

Tour: Meeting the future of BSA Guns

PUBLISHED: 13:43 26 June 2018

The latest design software allows rapid development of new designs

The latest design software allows rapid development of new designs

Archant

The editor meets the future of BSA guns

Like many people, I was deeply saddened to hear that there will be no shooting events at all when the Commonwealth Games are held in Birmingham in 2022. The reason given was that shooting is only done by old men, and is therefore not inclusive enough for modern society. Of course, they’re wrong because shooting is enjoyed by young and old, men and women. With that thought in my mind, I was happy to visit Birmingham, to meet the young people who work at Birmingham Small Arms and to find out how this great British company is investing in the future.

I was met in the design office by a friendly face that I know well – Stephen Greenacre. He became one of BSA’s key design and development engineers at just 25 years of age, and now forms a significant part of the team. His background is in the aerospace industry and he played a large part in the design and development of BSA’s impressive Defiant bullpup. In the same office, Ollie and Chelsea are enjoying apprentice positions, whilst a fourth member, Lewis, was at college on the day I visited. All are in their twenties.

Believe it or not this is 3D printed stock!Believe it or not this is 3D printed stock!

Investment

This represents a huge investment by the company, in the long-term future, and a route for these people to develop their skills in a city once famous for gun-making. As high-volume production jobs move to the Far East, Britain’s future lies in our specialist skills and in doing the things that other countries can’t. This requires investment and commitment for the long term, and it’s no coincidence that many of the best pre-charged pneumatic rifles are made in England. The Chinese might be able to make very inexpensive break-barrel springers, but the best sporting air rifles still come from the UK.

Alongside the computers and 3D printers, I noted many rough prototypes of guns that had been built to test ideas; for example, a very early version of the Defiant that had a bolt action, rather than a side lever. Sure, they were a long way from the finished item, but they’d done their work in a test rig, and in the shooting tunnels at the rear of the factory either to prove the idea, or to show the direction that should be taken.

For me, it was the ideal response to the contention that shooting is only for the old. Meeting the young designers proved to me that the sport does indeed have a long and innovative future ahead, and I congratulate BSA for playing their part in making it happen.

An early prototype of the Defiant was still  in the officeAn early prototype of the Defiant was still in the office

Visit the BSA Guns website here.

More from News

Yesterday, 15:13

“I love the late autumn and winter squirrel hunts because the squirrels are so much easier to find up in the trees.”

Read more
Yesterday, 14:54

The editor gets to grips with the follow-up test of the Webley En4cer

Read more
Yesterday, 14:10

The editor reflects on Daystate’s four decades of airgun development

Read more
Yesterday, 12:55

The editor has a blast with a magnum break-barrel

Read more
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Is this innovative and compact rifle the ultimate ratter?

Read more
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

How flexible is this new fleece from Ridgeline? Phill Price explains

Read more
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Phil Hardman takes us back to the basic facts of a hunter’s life

Read more
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Phill Price gets first look at an exciting new rifle from Italy

Read more
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The editor tries some new boots just in time, as the bad weather arrives

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Phill Price tries a very special 1911 from SIG

Read more

Subscribe today

Follow Our Titles

Airgun World
Air Gunner

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Latest expert advice