Fabled beauty: Classic BSA springers from the 1990s are thin on the ground, with some now very rare – like the near-mythical Stutzen Rb2, says Jonathan Young
BSA started a revamp of its airgun line at the end of the 1980s, and soon a new pellet-loading system was introduced to its fixed-barrel underlever guns. The tap-loading Airsporter and previous Airsporter Stutzen were given the new Rb2 rolling breech. The original Stutzen was unique and emulated the short-barrel carbine in a full-length stock styled like some Continental hunting firearms.
Instead of the traditional flick-up tap plug with external lever, a pellet breech block with its own special seal could now be rolled open from right to left. Cocking the gun eased the tension, allowing the breech to open freely, and a pellet could then be slid directly into the barrel.
The new Stutzen Rb2 was available in .177, .22 and, for the first time, in the .25 calibre. Previous features survived such as a buffered scope rail and optional open sights. These consisted of an Airsporter foresight assembly with a little American-made Williams alloy rear sight.
The trademark Airsporter trigger block with its unmistakable swept forward styling and swept back trigger guard were kept, but with a new sliding safety mechanism built into it. Today, with a cult following, Stutzen Rb2s are very difficult to find, with the rarest being the elusive .25. Is this the most beautiful airgun ever made?