This post was written by Dr. Jim & Mary Clary.
At the 2013 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, we met Mr. Lou Riley, CEO of Gamo and had the opportunity to talk about the BSA’s line of scopes. I told Lou that over the past years, the BSA scope had not enjoyed the most positive reputation. He told us that he was aware of that when he took over as CEO and decided to change things.
He went to the factory personally, and studied the specifications of the BSA scopes and learned how to assemble and disassemble them himself. He then instructed the engineers of the changes that needed to be made in order to bring the scopes up to a higher standard. Lou Riley was determined to raise the quality of the BSA line of scopes to be comparable to Burris, Sightron and Leopold, as well as other competitors on the market.
During our conversation, we told Lou that we had been looking for a pistol scope to use on our CVA Optima pistol. He suggested the BSA Edge and told us that if it did not hold up to the Optima’s recoil, he wanted us to contact him personally with the results. That was an offer that we could not refuse.
The Edge arrived in early February, it was obviously (from the outside) not the “typical BSA” scope that we had seen in the past. It had a solid one-piece aluminum tube, multi-coated optics and a very nice adjustable eyepiece for changing the magnification. Looking through the scope in our back yard, it was clear with absolutely no distortion under varying light and weather conditions. We were anxious to get to the range.
We used Weaver Quad Lock rings to mount the scope, torqued down with the Wheeler Engineering F.A.T. wrench to insure that they would not come loose from the recoil. In early March, the weather warmed up and Jim was off to the Zia Rifle and Pistol Club range outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
I loaded up tubes of Alliant Black MZ for the range. Five tubes of 90 grains by volume, five tubes with 95 grains and ten tubes with 100 grains. The latter, I had only fired a couple of times as the recoil was awful and bruised my hand. In fact, in our article on the CVA pistol, we recommended using only 80-90 grains for hunting. Other writers have been more conservative, recommending just 70-80 grains. As such, my 95 and 100 grain loads would be a brutal test for the scope and its internal components.
A laser bore sighter was used to zero the scope in for 25 yards. I used the Caldwell Tack Driver bag as a front rest and an Edgewood rear bag to stabilize the pistol grip.
I fired the 90 grain loads first, making no adjustments for windage or elevation. We wanted to see if the initial adjustments held, which they did. I then fired the 95 grain loads using the same procedure, still the windage and elevation adjustments held.
As I cleaned the pistol for the final round of shooting, providing a much needed rest for my wrist and hand, I wondered if any modestly priced scope could stand up to the recoil of a four pound muzzle loading pistol at “max load”. I have seen scopes whose internal mechanisms were damaged by recoil and they generally become trash. I did not want that to happen with this scope; but, we had to find out if the Edge could handle the recoil under maximum loads.
The following procedure was used in testing the 100 grain loads. After firing the first rounds (Trial #1) with the windage and elevations zeroed for 25 yards, the adjustments were changed for each of the following trials, as illustrated in the table below:
The elevation/windage adjustment knobs worked flawlessly and their settings held with each successive trial. For good measure, we varied the magnification between 2x and 7x during the tests with no problem. After twenty rounds (5@90 gn, 5@95gn & 10@100gn), the duplex reticle was still centered in the tube and all optics were clear.
Jim was the only casualty from the tests. His wrist is still sore; however, the swelling in his left hand is gradually going down. His old bones are not nearly as tough as the Edge pistol scope.
Magnification: 2 – 7x
Fast Focus Eyepiece
Fully Multi-coated Optics
Haze Filters Included
Objective Lens diameter: 32 mm
Field of View @ 100 yards: 60 – 16 feet
Optimum Eye Relief: 12 – 20 inches
Parallax Setting: Fixed 50 yards
Click Adjustment Elevation/Windage: 1/4 MOA
Adjustment Range: 45 – 45
Weight: 7.5 ounces
Waterproof, Fogproof and Shockproof
Tube: 1 inch diameter one piece aluminum
Black Matte Finish
This BSA Edge scope is Not the BSA scope you thought it was. It is a solid, well built piece of equipment, that should stand up to the toughest hunting and/or shooting conditions. We recommend it without hesitation or reservation.