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airsporter number one


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#1 dhpdean

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:24 PM

Hi everyone i am new to this forum although i have been shoting airguns for over thirtyfive years.
The reason for my post is that today is that i have just dusted off my BSA Airsporter MK1 that i have had for many
many years with a view to restoring it for my son.
The serial number was always interesting and i thought it was ten tousand and one so we went
on the forum to see if we could date it .
The number is G 10001 which from the info on here makes it the very first production airsporter made.
Is this of any interest to anyone?
I always find these things very interesting myself when such things come to light so thought i would share.
All the best Dean

Edited by dhpdean, 11 January 2011 - 08:39 PM.


#2 The Green Man

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:33 PM

Oooooohhhhhh...... the suspense! awink.gif

#3 The Green Man

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:53 AM

For anyone thinking I was taking the mick smile.gif dhpdean edited his post after my reply.

Anyhow, welcome aboard and enjoy your Airsporter, I wish I still had my RB2, just to look at more than anything! biggrin.gif

#4 shinny

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 07:52 PM

Hi, and welcome to the forum.
Airsporter number 1. WOW! am I jealous, or what?

atb, Shinny.

#5 dhpdean

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:21 PM

I spoke to mark knibbs today, son of john from airgun spares and he confirmed it is number one and left the factory in march 1948.
so i am very pleased. i cant believe i have had it all these years and never looked onto it.
Dean

#6 AirArmsDavid

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 03:55 PM

smile.gif

If you need any help with the restoration, PM me for a phone number as I'm nearing the end of my year long restoration of a pre-Airsporter CLUB shown here as I bought it.......

Attached File  CIMG0746.JPG   50.32KB   48 downloads

I've already re-furbed the beech stock using bleaching and and old 'staining' technique using potassium permanganate.......
http://picturetrail....deshow/22879334

As the metalwork had been re-blued the original photo etching was gone. I tried reproducing this with a rotational laser which worked out pretty well but the cut wasn't deep enough to make the lettering silver, as it would have been originally, and once oiled for protection it looked duller that seen here.......
http://picturetrail....deshow/22896339

Having said that the laser etching would perhaps have the patina of a 60 year old rifle, but my thought is that if I am returning it to 'as new' condition I want silver lettering. So I've managed to find someone who can reproduce the original photo etching in the same way BSA would have and as we speak he has some scrap blued tube on which to do some tests of the CLUB lettering which I painstakingly recreated in a digital format pixel by pixel from photos of a good original, as seen in the link above.

So, fingers crossed, that should be the final piece of work before it can all go back together!

smile.gif

#7 AirArmsDavid

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 04:24 PM

smile.gif

I was just pondering what yours might be worth, and suddenly thought you may actually reduce the value by restoring it! ohmy.gif

So I just phoned the chap who I bought my CLUB off, Roger, who has every model Airsporter (bar ED prefix I seem to recall) in his collection and his immediate reaction was....
DON'T TOUCH IT !!!!

He reckons to a collector it could be worth 1000-2000 in its present condition but by doing any restoration work you could reduce that value to a few hundred. Different maybe if you asked someone like John Knibbs to restore it but the cost of that restoration could be many hundreds itself.

Roger also added he has a nice Mk1 Airsporter which you could buy for 150 and keep No.1 as it is while you decide whether to sell it or have it professionally restored. If it were me, I'd take it into John Knibbs and ask him for some advice face to face.

PM me for Roger's phone number if you'd like to speak to him.

JUST DON'T TOUCH YOUR ONE !!!!!!!!!!

ohmy.gif ohmy.gif ohmy.gif ohmy.gif ohmy.gif



#8 raygun

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 09:57 PM

Excellent advice from Air Arms David.

If any restoration is contemplated it should be by the collector who would buy it. Buying the rifle should also give you the right to restore or not.

ATB
Ray.

#9 AirArmsDavid

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 10:20 PM

Having now spoken at length to Dean, he's given me permission to contact Peter Martineau at BSA to see if they would be interested in acquiring it for their own collection of 'Number Ones'. I emailed Peter earlier on.

smile.gif



#10 flatrajectory

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 09:12 PM

Very interesting.
My pal has Airsporter no. 10025, which according to j.knibbs BSA book, was the first Airsporter sent to dealer for sale. Earlier ser.no.`s were supposedly prototypes and pre production model`s.
Can any one shed more light on this.??


pete.

#11 dhpdean

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 07:21 PM

Hi there . No 26 was the first to leave the factory and my number one left a month later, It is featured in this months airgun shooter magazine.
The theory is BSA used to hold the first 25 for development reasons. I would like to hear from your friend as as far as i,m aware no really low numbers are known and mine has a foresight like no other airsporter so it would be interesting to see i his is the same.
The golden century book states No 26 was the first to leave as does BSA record so your friend NO 25 is very intreresting.
Best regards Dean

#12 flatrajectory

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 08:11 PM

Dean,
I will e-mail him to see if he would like to contact you. The rifle in question is in full working order but is cosmetically a bit rough. I think it was left outside in a damp shed or some where like that.

pete.

#13 eaj

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 06:48 PM

Hello Dean I am a friend of flatrajectory (perhaps the only one!)I have Airsporter no 10025 it is in .177 I also have an early club.The front sight on the club I would say is BSA standard ie with the grooves milled to take a hood.10025 has a front sight very like my early Lincoln/BSA brake barrel and underlever standard/lite patterns. I can paste photo's if helpful.

This is my first post so hello to my fellow airgun collectors and shooters.

Regards

Eric

#14 dhpdean

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:19 PM

Hi there Eric there must be some confusion over yor serial number all airsporters were .22 until 1959 all .177 until then were bsa clubs, and had a short cylinder. For it to be a 1948 airsporter it the serial no would be G100025, does it start with a G? the fore sight on mine is the same as a cadet major
ie a bead sight dove tailed into the barrel. If yours is a .177 this would make it very interesting as it would be a prototype. As the first airsportere to leave the factory is G10026 this would ring true , they know mine left a month later than number 26. If you could contact me direct that woul be great. I will pm you my number. Also does the serial No go lenghtways across the trigger block or across? I have just done a feature on mine in airgun shooter magazine
All the best Dean


#15 eaj

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:57 PM

hi again I think I have attatched a photo of the serial number! E10025 the patent details are very faint.
Its one of those daft things looking at it for the photos i noticed the cal is .177 could have sworn it was a .22.
Regards
Eric

Attached Files



#16 dhpdean

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 10:16 PM

Hi Eric confusion over E10025 is a Bsa club and not an airsporter all E numbers are Bsa clubs 1948 It does however make your club number 25 so very early indeed and that is why it is .177 as all airsporters were .22. if you measure the cylinder from trhe center of the loading tap to the end of the cylinder an airsporter is ten inches and the early clubs are somewhat shorter. If you look up BSA date codes you will see E is Club 1948 to 1950
and G is airsporter 1948 to 54.
I didn't doubt you had airsporter number 25 untill you said it was .177 but as i said still a nice find as such an early number.
All the best Dean

#17 mad mike

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 11:35 AM

Hi Dean & welcome to the forum...I think confusian can occur because some people automatically view anything "Airsporter shape" as an Airsporter...not knowing they produced a "Club" (slightly smaller) version...especially if the electro etching has faded..like some people's memory ..over 50+ years..i've known people calling a Cadet Major a Cadet for years until told it's the bigger "brother" of the family..!

Nice find...don't believe everything the.."experts" tell you...even they can be wide of the mark sometimes.. rolleyes.gif

#18 dhpdean

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 06:33 PM

Hi Mike you are right a certain expert has accused my rifle as being a fake since its feature in airgun shooter mag. He states

" No clubs or airsporters where ever made with anything other than a ramped foresigh tand never a blade and also they never had the serial No stamped
leanghtways so my rifle is a fake"
Now i have seen pictures of Erics early clubit is identical to mine, it would seem that the first 25 of each model where quite different.
This is a very well known self proclaimed expert and he wants his statement published which is fine as now we have proof otherwise.
Just because none of us has seen something before does not mean it doesn't exist.
Dean

#19 dogsbody

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 08:20 PM

Eric,
You might be interested to know that in the Golden Century by John Knibbs, p.107, he states that the first Club Air Rifle was despatched on 4th August 1948, its serial number was E.10025.
atb
dogsbody


#20 dhpdean

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 09:05 PM

Yes Eric's rifle features in the book as does mine but it would seem the author has probably never seen such early numbers in the flesh.
Dean

#21 mad mike

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 03:30 PM

QUOTE(dhpdean @ Sun Mar 20 2011, 18:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Mike you are right a certain expert has accused my rifle as being a fake since its feature in airgun shooter mag. He states

" No clubs or airsporters where ever made with anything other than a ramped foresigh tand never a blade and also they never had the serial No stamped
leanghtways so my rifle is a fake"
Now i have seen pictures of Erics early clubit is identical to mine, it would seem that the first 25 of each model where quite different.
This is a very well known self proclaimed expert and he wants his statement published which is fine as now we have proof otherwise.
Just because none of us has seen something before does not mean it doesn't exist.
Dean


I don't take the ...."comics" any more Dean....there's plenty of mistakes in monthly periodical's & books published on the subject too..don't take too much notice of a...self proclaimed expert...i'm a self proclaimed sexpert..but my Mrs. wouldn't agree... rofl2.gif

#22 baron

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 07:59 PM

Hi Dean

I own quite a few Mk 1 Airsporters and a Club

Although all mine have ramped fore-sights, I have no doubts that a number of preproduction models or even early production rifles may well have had fore-sights similar or identical to the Cadet Major and Pre-war BSA's.

It seems quite logical and i am surprised that 'an expert' would think that yours is a fake .

It also is very probable that these few rifles found their way out of the factory gates - why not?

I found your article interesting and have no doubt that your air rifle is a genuine Mk 1 Airsporter. Enjoy it!

ATB
Baron

Edited by baron, 27 March 2011 - 08:02 PM.


#23 dhpdean

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:45 AM

This certain expert knows my the first rifles left the factory as he has the records to show the dates and they state that mine left the factory
in october 1948.
Dean

#24 mad mike

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 02:30 PM

Anymore updates Dean....has any humble pie been administered.. smile.gif

#25 dhpdean

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 02:43 PM

Hi there. The latest update is that the letter from the expert has been published in this months airgun shooter! which no doubt the expert?
will be relishing. Next month my reply goes in complete with pictures by kind permission of Eric of his club which by the experts own statement
was the very first to leave the factory, But as he has never seen the said rifle he doesn't know it has the same sight as mine and serial No orientation thus by proving him wrong.
Watch this space.
Dean

#26 theo232036

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:06 PM

now wheres my sporter.... I have two!




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