BSA Gold Star Review
The Gold Star SE shares the same attractive lines as many other rifles in the BSA pre-charged pneumatic line up. Based on the same platform as other rifles in the range, it features a 12 ft. lbs. regulated action similar to the set up on the BSA R10, but with a BSA Ultra SE type air cylinder. Like its stablemates, the Gold Star SE features BSA’s renowned cold hammer forged barrel, topped off with an air stripper, along with a slick bolt action and a 10-shot cartridge style magazine which can be swapped out for single shot use. Competition shooters demand high quality triggers and the Gold Star SE’s fully adjustable match-grade unit doesn’t disappoint, especially as current models have been refined to break more cleanly. It’s the ambidextrous stock that sets the Gold Star SE apart from other rifles in the range. Available in an eye-catching Red, White and Blue laminate as well as more conventional Black Pepper laminate and walnut, each is superbly finished and features a multi-directional adjustable shoulder pad, which can also be extended to increase pull length, as well as an adjustable cheekpiece and palm rest. Despite all these enhancements, the Gold Star SE is relatively light and compact, measuring just 915mm long, 385mm of which is the barrel, and weighing 3.2 kgs. Thanks to its regulated action, BSA says the Gold Star SE delivers a respectable 75 shots in .177 and 90 in .22 from a 232 bar fill which is achieved by twisting a collar at the end of the air cylinder to reveal a fill port.
Is the BSA Gold Star right for me?
The BSA Gold Star SE is part of a well-established BSA line up and benefits from using many of the components that have been tried and tested over several years. Though designed with HFT and FT competition shooters in mind thanks to the highly adjustable stock, the flexibility of different stock options and multi-shot magazine use means it will perform well in the field as well, especially as the air stripper that comes with the rifle can be removed and a silencer attached to the ½” UNF thread. The combination of its light weight and compact proportions, superb trigger and barrel and regulated action makes it an impressive all-round performer.
Best suited to?
The BSA Gold Star SE is an ideal rifle for HFT/FT competition shooters who get the opportunity to hunt occasionally, especially in the more sombre Black Pepper and Walnut stock options. The combination of BSA’s cold hammer forged barrel, adjustable stock and trigger and the flexibility of a single shot or magazine system means it is ideally suited to both shooting disciplines.
Pros and Cons
Although it does a fantastic job as a crossover rifle sitting between different shooting disciplines, the BSA Gold Star SE is a jack-of-all-trades, albeit a very good one. Out and out competition shooters may feel the need for a rifle that is even more purpose designed for their needs, and hunters may see the stock enhancements as superfluous. However, a huge number of competition shooters also hunt and vice versa. For them, the Gold Star SE is a superb choice, especially if they cannot run to more than one rifle.
Whilst many hunting rifles will serve as HFT/FT competition rifles, few are designed specifically to do both to an extent. Consider the Daystate Griffin and Weihrauch HW 101.
BSA Gold Star SE vs BSA R10 SE vs BSA Ultra SE
If you want a rifle primarily to hunt with, then the R10 SE is a better option thanks to its higher shot count, or the Ultra SE which has a lower shot count but scores by being extremely light and compact. At a pinch both will serve for HFT/FT competitions, the R10 SE especially so given its regulated action. If competition shooting is your thing, you are better off with the Gold Star SE thanks to its adjustable stock features. If you follow both branches of the sport, the Gold Star SE is a more competent hunting rifle than the R10 SE or Ultra SE are competition rifles.