Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The BSF 55, a one night stand

BSF S 55 Deluxe

Long ago and far away a Wischo 60 / 70 caught my eye in an Air Rifle Headquarters’ catalog. It was given playmate status with a two page centerfold spread. I looked at it longingly for hours, not quite the way I stared at the red swim suit Farrah Fawcett poster, but I still wanted it bad.

Last made in 1986 and once acquired by HW, the BSF's morphed into an R10 eventually..

Unfortunately wants and needs don’t always come to fruition for a young teenager and I would neither date Farrah nor own the Wischo.

Fast forward to 2010 and I find myself at an airgun shop that time forgot, and while I don’t spy a Wischo S 60, I do see a BSF 55 which is a kissing cousin. (Wischo was not a manufacturer, similar to Beeman) It hangs on the wall covered in dust, I would guess unnoticed by the average shopper that wants the latest Gamo, but Volvo is different. There is even a new in the box 55, but Derrick38 is packing it up for Frank B.
The trigger shoe is foreshadowing that the trigger is not so sweet, click on this and the other pics for a better view

I nonchalantly check out the hang tag and see that this 98% example is marked at $155.00. Now that may match the Blue Book value, but in the real world it usually doesn’t work that way.

Tom Gaylord gave these rifles the designation “The Four Horsemen”: the HW 35, Diana 45, BSF 55 and the FWB 124. Picking up any of them in near new condition for well under $200.00 means there is no need to fear losing any money.

Accurate, but hard to shoot without breaking in the trigger with 30,000 pellets first. HW will also improve the sights.

I have a blast at the shop as you may imagine and leave with the 55 under my arm. Once home, I find myself underwhelmed with the rifle. I have to admit it is very similar to when I picked up the Playboy Farrah that posed for in the 90’s. The memory exceeds reality.

While it was a contender for the Crown in the 1970’s it is nothing special now. The shot cycle is jumpy and the trigger is no match for the Rekord and needs 1000’s of shots to smooth it out. It is hotter than the FWB 124 I owned and hits the mid 800’s easily with Silver Bears, but that’s about it.

I like small cuts like this, the R7 and HW50 are the same

It would make a great collectors piece, but it is not the daily driver I am looking for.


I list it for sale the very next day and make a quick $100.00.


  1. Volvo,

    Thanks for the heads up on the new article. Fun read as always.

    Seems the BSF 55 is one of those classics that hasn't withstood the test of time. I seem to remember the BSF 55N that BB picked up from that estate. He did several articles on it including the four horseman for shotgun news.

    Your take on the trigger alone dampens my enthusiasm for owning one.

    Have you been back to that honey hole to pick up anymore nos?


  2. Volvo,
    I like the notification also.

    The point you are missing about vintage is that you haven't drunk the Kool-Aid. There are a lot of really well made antique, horse-drawn implements available, but not many people farm with them.

    I've noticed the same thing about nostalgia -- nothing is ever quite as good as you remember, although Cheryl Tiegs (?) comes close, minus my youthful exuberance. When I watch old movies from the 70's, I'm usually amazed at how plain the actresses are.

  3. Volvo,

    "...they will morphy it into an R10 eventually..."

    You must've had Paul Morphy on your mind, one of the greatest chess geniuses ever (US and world champ in the 1850's - defeated Capablanca and all comers except for Howard Staunton who ran away from him. Ummm... wait a minute, no, this is about an airgun for crying out loud!


  4. Kevin,
    Glad the notification feature worked. If anyone else wants put on the list, just let me know. My airgun budget is still rather restricted, so I have not made it back to the shop yet. As soon as I can get a fist full of extra dollars I will go back however.

    BG Farmer,
    I think you hit the nail on the head; nostalgia can sometimes cloud common sense. As fondly as I recall my 1971 Olds Cutlass S, the 4 wheel drum brakes and bias ply tires just weren’t that sweet. The 350 rocket engine sounded wonderful, but it drank gas like it was .35 cents a gallon.

    Yes, I still need your editing.

  5. Volvo Says:
    July 3, 2010 at 7:43 pm
    The Top Ten Reasons Men Prefer Guns Over

    #10. You can trade an old 45 for a new 22.
    #9. You can keep one gun at home and have another for when you’re on the road.
    #8. If you admire a friend’s gun and tell him so, he’ll probably let you try it out a few times.
    #7. Your primary gun doesn’t mind if you keep another gun for a backup.
    #6. Your gun will stay with you even if you run out of ammo!
    #5. A gun doesn’t take up a lot of closet space.
    #4. Guns function normally every day of the month.
    #3. A gun doesn’t ask , ‘Do these new grips make me look fat?’
    #2. A gun doesn’t mind if you go to sleep after you use it.

    And the number one reason a gun is favored over a woman….


    Happy 4th….

  6. Volvo

    I finally figured out why I am drawn to your blog. It is because you are the one person that is more eager than me to use the big REJECT stamp in red ink.

    Now that I have the pleasantries out of the way, I must say that this blog was just a bit predictable.

    1.Volvo finds a vintage desirable rifle in nearly new condition.

    2.Volvo purchases said rifle for a steal.

    3.Volvo turns his nose up at the aforementioned rifle due to impossibly high standards set by the Swedish or some other such horsecrap.

    4.Volvo sells said rifle for a tidy profit with little effort.

    Your top 10 list was hilarious, and demonstrates that you must be married to the most patient and understanding woman on the continent.

    BTW if you ever become impatient with that R7, please drop me a line before you offer it up to those savages on the yellow.

    Happy 4th to you and the missus.

  7. Slinging,

    You make a valid point.

    Someone on the yellow said it was not fair to compare a classic to the modern alternative, they summarized my reviews by saying “he doesn’t like old guns”.

    Valid points and fairness? Well I say damn the torpedoes, I‘ll call them like I see’em.

    However the one issue you bring up and the yellow guy hints at that is concerning, is being predictably. Ouch. ouch. (Watch “The Middle” and you will understand the second ouch. Brick kills me.)

    I will have to ponder that for awhile.
    Meantime, check this out; I want it just for the box.

  8. Volvo

    I didn't mean to imply that your blog or writing was predictable, just your propensity to find these little gems, and toss them away with disdain.

    It is my observation that many people will get ego mixed up with the cost of their purchases and give reasons about imaginary benefits of he gun and why they were so brilliant to pick up their piece of crap, no matter what a piece of crap it is. I can count on you not to blow smoke up my butt.

    I will be anxiously awaiting your blog trashing the Discovery. I am dying to know the nature of the bee in your bonnet. Expect some debate on the topic.

    You seem to have a fondness for plain brown cardboard boxes. I have a wide variety for sale if you are interested.

  9. Slinging,

    Discovery review, ask and you shall receive.
    Just keep in mind, it won’t be Volvo. I mean pretty.

  10. God bless the short sighted, biased(?) purchaser who flicks on these treasures so that others have the opportunity to enjoy.
    The 55 could very well still be gathering dust in the backwater so a Big Thank you volvo

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