In the literature that comes with the BSA .25 cal Lone Star is a note that says, with typical British understatement: “Professional Hunting Rifle.”
And it truly is a professional hunting rifle, a big, hairy, powerful hunting rifle. Stretching 41.5 inches from end to end and weighing 7.8 lbs, the .25 Lone Star is capable of generating 35 to 40 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle and delivering a lot of that energy downrange while maintaining commendable accuracy.
It’s one of the few sporting precharged air rifles that is available these days with iron sights. I can picture an English gamekeeper carrying one of these as he goes about his normal duties. When he encounters a pest animal, pah-BOOM!, and it’s lights out.
At the rear of the Lone Star is a soft rubber butt pad emblazoned with the BSA “3-rifle” symbol. Moving forward, the right hand hardwood stock has a high comb and pronounced cheek piece. Moving forward again, the pistol grip is checkered on either side, and the end piece is stamped with the BSA logo. At the top of the pistol grip, just under the end of the receiver, there is a concave indentation for resting your thumb while shooting. The black metal trigger guard has the initials “BSA” on the bottom surface, and it houses and adjustable two-stage trigger.
Ahead of the trigger guard, the forestock is checkered on either side. At the end of the forestock there is a knob that we’ll get back to in just a bit. Above the knob is the air reservoir with a threaded end cap. Above the air reservoir is the barrel with a blade front sight mounted near the muzzle. The muzzle brake has a screw-off ring that allows a silencer to be fitted where legal. Moving back along the barrel, you’ll find the receiver which has scope grooves fore and aft of the breech. On the forward part of the breech, the rear sight is mounted. On the right side of the breech, toward the rear, are a push button for releasing the bolt and, below that, a lever type safety (forward for fire, back for safe).
That’s it. To get the Lone Star ready for shooting, unscrew the end cap on the air reservoir, fit the filler probe to your SCUBA tank or pump, and charge the Lone Star up to a maximum of 232 bar. Make sure that your SCUBA yoke or high pressure pump has a pressure gauge, because there is no gauge on the Lone Star to tell you “when’s enough.”
To load the Lone Star, press down the “probe release catch” on the right side of the receiver; the bolt will spring backward, opening the breech. Place a pellet in the breech and push the bolt forward until it clicks. The Lone Star is now loaded.
You can walk around with the Lone Star, click off the safety, and squeeze the trigger, and nothing will happen. Why? Because you haven’t cocked the action. To do that, grab the cocking knob at the end of the forestock and press it back toward the pistol grip until it clicks. Anytime you want, you can de-cock the Lone Star by pushing in the cocking knob, pulling the trigger, and slowly releasing the cocking knob.
Next time, we’ll shoot the Lone Star.
Til then, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott