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  1. #1
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    Sep 2008
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    Default Majestic Featherweight De Luxe

    Just thought I would show you this one, it's a 59 vintage Featherweight De Luxe, an original lightweight rifle without scope it weighs 6 1/4lbs. BSA went to town on the weight reduction even hollowing the butt stock out and the fore end under the barrel is hollowed out:-




    You can see the scalloped out left side wall and the reduced size rear bridge. The reciever sight is a Parker-Hale 6EH it's a late alloy one I brought new from John Knibbs.


    You cannot see it here but the bolt knob is also hollowed out.


    Then even scalloped out the cheekpiece to reduce a bit more weight.

    The barrel is 22" long and is slim in profile with no swell to hold the rear sight which is found on Non Featherweight models. The trigger guard and floorplate is alloy on these again to reduce the weight. The customers demanded a lightweight rifle then a lot of them complained that the recoil was too much so BSA developed the BESA recoil reducer which is two holes and seven slots machined into the muzzle below the fore sight. I will post a thread about the later Featherweight with this feature.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2008
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    Default I Likey...

    Did BSA make the receiver on these guns as well? I was just wondering if the actions were outsourced. The rifle is sure pretty and I'll bet it carries nicely. Andy

  3. #3
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    Sep 2008
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    Default

    As far as I am aware BSA made everything on the rifle except the iron sights which are Williams. The actions were made in three lengths then later a seperate Magnum action was introduced. With the introduction of the later 2nd Pattern Monarch the actions were only offered in two lengths.

    The rifle does carry very nicely thank you and it shoots quite well too.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Thanks for posting the pics,that is a georgeous rifle.The BSA sporters are considered classics in this country,and very sought after,even to just use the action to re-barrel.It is a shame that the British rifle manufacturers died out because they did make some decent stuff.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2008
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    Default

    Hi caerlonie,

    I believe BSA were helped out production by the Government along with greed by the assest strippers. BSA owned a lot of real estate in prime pocations for re-development add to that the fact they made guns so were a prime target to get out of the way.

    But it was not only gunmakers targeted like this Triumph Mortorcycles were closed down with help from the very top so Meriden could be re-developed. Of course getting the site very cheap after pulling the plug on them just made more profit for certain folks with influence at the highest levels but back to BSA.

    The real problems began in the 1960's with those at the helm skimming off everything they could and living the life of Hollywood or royality and BSA footed the BIll. This of course was Lord and Lady Docker Lady Hmmmmm if I got this right she was a tart who caught and married a Lord and then together they spent and spent and spent paying for nothing themselves and living the hgh life in Monte Carlo. Even their car a Daimler had the fornt wings 24 carat Gold Plated :eek:. As BSA Owned Daimler it was claimed it was for advertising Yeah right :.

    Due to their spending things such as R&D at BSA had put on hold or scrapped as they couldn't afford it.

    The Motorcycle division was losing money and in fact the whole BSA empire was being propped up by it's smallest division the Gunmaking side. By this time the Goverment had not awarded BSA any arms contracts for a decade or more and this is how BSA which was a Military arms maker got into the civilian line first with air weapons then the sporting field just to survive. The same government was glad of their help during WW1 and even more so in WW2 then dropped them like a hot potatoe.

    I have yet to take any photos of he BSA equipped Majestic Featherweight but will do so soon along with some of the 1st Pattern Monarch hopefully the weather will brighten up so i can do so but it's too dark and overcast for decent photos right now.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2009
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    Laramie, WY area.
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    Default Unappreciated classic.

    The BSA's were largely unappreciated in the US at the time they were being made- I have only once seen one in the field; I ran into a hunter from NY up on the Ungava Penninsula who had a BSA from the early production and it was trim and just superb quality. I have always looked for one since but never had the opportunity to buy one- they just didn't sell that many at the time. Herter's sold a version of the BSA actions later but they had a reputation for being rough and I wondered if they were actual rejects from the BSA production line-safe but flawed in terms of fit/finish. i'd love to see more pictures.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2008
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    Default

    Hmmme the Herters U9 was designed by BSA for Herters then adapted to become the CF2 BSA rifles. The actions were made by BSA to their normal standards but only partly finished polished then delivered the Herters for final finishing. Unfortunatly Herters just put barrels on them and dipped them in the bluing tanks without doing the final finishing hence their rough finish. The BSA CF2 is very slick in operation and beautifully blacked with a deep high gloss blacking, one cannot call it blue as it's much darker that that , my thougths are that BSA did not choose their importer/distributer in the US very well and this hindered their sales badly. To my mind they should have set up a satelite factory in Birmingham Alabama to serve the US market :D .

    More pictures? Ok this is my first ever rifle that i brought a BSA CF2 Stutzen (fullstock) in .270 winchester:-




    Yes that is a double sett trigger on the Stutzen.

    This is the normal CF2, this one in 7x57 and one of only 389 made in that chambering:-




    I need to take some better photos of these some time .

  8. #8
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    Default

    Heres a image of the recoil-reducing slots on the lightweight model.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2008
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    Default

    With the range adaptor no less. Apart from in Knibb's book that is only the second one I have seen and I have one of those. If the rain holds off I hope to be able to get some photos of my Featherweight with the BESA tomorrow. I also need to photograph the newly acquired Parker-Hale 1200 Super Clip, it's a late 1987 one, with rounded fore end instead of the angular "California style" of the earlier ones and I need to photgraph that Monarch 1st pattern that I got some time back.

  10. #10
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    New Zealand
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    Default

    That rifle above is for sale at a dealer about 50 miles from me,but I think he wants a bit much for it,think the stock has a slight crack in it also.

  11. #11
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    Oct 2008
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    Default In Re BSA

    Thanks for the BSA pix and to all for the ensuing information. The original model of this design was first imported into the U.S. in the latter nineteen fifties. It featured the long Mauser extractor which also differentiated it from subsequent models such as the Majestic model shown. I have a brochure on these original models. As noted they were in three action lengths. I have one each of these nice rifles encompassing the two longer lengths: 243 Win, "257 Roberts and 30-06. I also formerly owned a 30-06 Majestic, which featured the short extractor. I regret selling it.
    I recall reading somewhere that these actions (at least including the Majestic if not later) featured a forged receiver and bolt. Noteworthy also is the integral dovetail scope mounts which, although shared by a few other rifles of the era, were still a relatively rare and desirable feature.
    The Besa Recoil Reducer appeared perhaps a year or two after model introduction. It was features on the lightweight model which also had a nice schnabel style stock. My 243 has it, although it really is clearly superfluous in that chambering. I believe that the Besa was not normally offered on the standard weight rifle, but may have been an available option. The standard weight also had a conventional stock of the era.

    The general commentary regarding Herter's variant of these Majestic and later models comports with my understanding. I think that they never had the first (long extractor) model which production ended at least be 1960 if not before. I have seen only a few of the Herter's rifles and was generally unimpressed by their finish. but believe that they were functionally competent.
    The sad scenario describing corporate looting I had not heard in relation to BSA. I do know that the nineteen sixties and seventies were difficult times for many firearms manufacturers without any such internal problems.
    I also have seen few BSA rifles and especially of the first model in which I have been particularly interested. I have purchased the few I have directly encountered. Perhaps their scarcity has been lucky for me since, relatively unknown and unappreciated, I have not had to invest very much in any of them! Fortunately also, two of the three wear the original dovetail Parker Hale scope mounts. (I'd post some pix ofmy rifles except for the fact that as I write this I am sitting some ten time zones away from home in Western Ukraine.)

    My overall assessment is that these were particularly fine rifles and represented something of a highpoint in BSA sporting rifle production.
    My take.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2008
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    188

    Default

    Ahhh iskra if you scroll done the list of threads you will find one on the .222 Rem chambered BSA Hunter which of course has BSA's version of the Mauser full length extractor. In fact I was shooting it this afternoon :D. My one is of 1956 vintage, the model being introduced in 1953, in the September 1954 Parker-Hale price list there was only the .222 and .22 Hornet listed at £26 10/- (26 Pounds 10 Shillings).. In 1954 these were the only two chamberings offered. The bigger calibres were introduced later.

    Interestingly the Model E was still listed in .303 calibre at £18 10/-.

    My .270 Win Majestic here was made in 1959 my 1st Pattern Monarchs are from the mid 1960's.

    The BESA was developed in 1956-57.

    The first of the larger calibres was 7x57 Mauser introduced in 1955 followed by .308 Winchester in March 1956 followed by the .243 Winchester. This information came from John Knibbs book:-

    The Golden Century

    John used the BSA dispatch records to compile his book. If your really interested in exactly when the BSA's were first exported tot eh US you should contact John Knibbs as the records will tell this :cool:.

  13. #13
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    Oct 2008
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    1,131

    Default Hi Brithunter

    HelloFriend!
    Thanks for the pointer. My incursions to gunboards are necessarily brief while I am in Ukraine and I didn't notice your prior post. What a fine little rifle you have. This 222 chambering in the U.S. seems more legendary than actual. I doubt many ever crossed to our shores. My comments were largely based on personal experience, my literature and recollections of some old correspondence with a fine gentleman in Alaska who was a knowledgable BSA fan.
    I recall also being pointed to a "Dopebag" article providing brief mention of the 222 chambered BSA model in perhaps a 1955 American Rifleman magazine. But that was the only mention I can recall reading about this caliber offering.
    I had inquired with Mr. Krebbs perhaps a year or two ago by email regarding the availability of his book, but received no reply. Perhaps you are on better terms with him or perhaps I had an old address.
    Thanks for the additional information!
    Best!

  14. #14
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    Sep 2008
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    188

    Default

    Hi There,

    Perhaps if you got his name right he might reply. It's John Knibbs and here is a link to his website:-

    http://www.airgunspares.com/

    I have only spoken to Mr Knibbs on the phone when getting a few bits from him, the last time was on the 16th of October when I got a couple of Williams foresights from him.

  15. #15
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    Oct 2008
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    1,131

    Default Freudian slip?

    Just back on a very fussy web. Thank you Brithunter for calling the name error to my attention. Perhaps an unintentional freudian slip out of frustration! Rather like Churchill's proclaimed 'inadvert' referral to Labor MP Sir Stafford Cripps as "Sir Stifford Craps". And now, moving right along...
    Last edited by iskra; 12-11-2009 at 05:15 AM.

  16. #16
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    Apr 2009
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    Tennessee
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    Default

    Bet that rifle kicks . Ouch .



    Fiveshot

  17. #17
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    Nov 2007
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    Default

    owned for a VERY short time Imperial ....featherweight and MANY monarch. 308'S....all shot just ok....!
    read one time that the receiver had 67 +machining steps making it very work intensive...
    liked the double feed ramps....changed over to featherweights huskquvarna's never looked back but like to have another IMPERIAL...love the looks.
    Last edited by DK PHILLIPS; 11-24-2012 at 08:44 AM.

  18. #18
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    Thumbs up

    BRIT HUNTER i have a pre 1960 Parker Hale Safari Deluxe on FN action IN 308 very accurate........not Santa Barbra later actions snable STOCKS were BY SILE. i had a xxx deluxe old growth walnut blank out of a Kentucky farming area made for it.
    Last edited by DK PHILLIPS; 03-05-2011 at 08:05 PM.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brithunter View Post
    Just thought I would show you this one, it's a 59 vintage Featherweight De Luxe, an original lightweight rifle without scope it weighs 6 1/4lbs. BSA went to town on the weight reduction even hollowing the butt stock out and the fore end under the barrel is hollowed out:-




    You can see the scalloped out left side wall and the reduced size rear bridge. The reciever sight is a Parker-Hale 6EH it's a late alloy one I brought new from John Knibbs.


    You cannot see it here but the bolt knob is also hollowed out.


    Then even scalloped out the cheekpiece to reduce a bit more weight.

    The barrel is 22" long and is slim in profile with no swell to hold the rear sight which is found on Non Featherweight models. The trigger guard and floorplate is alloy on these again to reduce the weight. The customers demanded a lightweight rifle then a lot of them complained that the recoil was too much so BSA developed the BESA recoil reducer which is two holes and seven slots machined into the muzzle below the fore sight. I will post a thread about the later Featherweight with this feature.
    I am very impressed with this rifle .If I saw one in 7x57 I would buy it up ASAP. A nice .275 Rigby that would be!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Gentleman,
    So nice to hear from some Brits concerning the BSA Majestic Feather Weight. I have always been a fan of British guns from the first time I picked up an Brit game gun sxs. Everything that was not needed for strength was shaved away, it felt so lively, it had 2 1/2 chambers, 12ga and weight under 6lbs. A sporting arm, no 3 1/3" magnums in a 9lb gun. I was in a sporting goods store in North Carolina and looking at used guns and saw this beautiful little .270, schnable fore end 26 line per" checkering. I picked it up and could not believe how light it was 6.25lbs! I shouldered it and it felt like part of me. It was love at first mount. The problem was I knew I couldn't afford it, I looked at the price tag...250.00, this must be a misprint, it has to be 1250.00, which I thought was fair. I made sure everything worked and the more I handled it the more I liked it. I took it up to the counter and he said 250.00 that must be a mistake. He pulled out the Blue Book and said 250.00. I couldn't pay him fast enough. It was a BSA Deluxe Feather weight. That was 15 years ago and I now have around 50 or 60 guns but every deer and elk season I'm out there with my 250.00 BSA. I have Weatherbys, Sako's, Mausers but the BSA is my go to gun, nothing feels like it. Here in the states it's reffered to as a cheap British import. All I can say is they must be reading this out of a book because anyone that know's guns and held one in there hands would know what a jewel they are.
    philinchaos

  21. #21
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    Oct 2008
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    Default

    The early nineteen sixties was a particularly tumultuous period for manufacturers in general. Production costs in the States and Western Europe were shaping a new economic reality. Yet for some rifle makers such as BSA and Schultz & Larsen, the overriding formula for disaster was in marketing. They were never able to insinuate themselves in the mainstream American gun market. For each, that was a great failure particular in respect of the size of the potential market they failed to crack. Lack of any reasonable market-share was more than anything else on this side of the Atlantic their mutual undoing. These were two quite fine rifles. Their firms had nothing to do with each other, but I mention them both here only in the context of similar quality and disastrous marketing. Neither to be found in any quantity today, they tend to still be unappreciated gems.
    My take.

  22. #22
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    Default

    Braxton's Guide
    FORIGN FIREARMS
    COPY RIGHT DEC. 21963
    BY JOHN S HEROLD INC.
    GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT ., USA

    PG. 84 -85 BSA......BERSA

    GOOD info ...
    22 hornet- 222 REM-7 x 57-243 win-257 roberts- 300 savages-308 win- 270- 3006- 458 win cal....
    Majestic featherweight rifle...standard weight, Continental version with American high comb stock, Regent short action, Viscount modle medium action, Imperial long action

    RIFLES-HAND GUNS-SHOTGUNS....740 ILLUSTRATIONS...USA AND OVERSEAS PRICES...58 MAKES FROM 16 COUNTRIES.....a great book

    cover burnt orange....with a husqvarna presentation grade 3000...Browning 22 AUTO, U / O shot gun...a man shooting a shot gun....
    this book has been a great source to me many years ...<>< dk

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