BSA GRT Lightning XL SE .22

BSA GRT Lightning XL SE

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About this Video:

This rifle is simply beautiful to look at as well as shoot. 

The BSA GRT Lightning XL SE comes in a beautiful ambidextrous hardwood stock. The balance is wonderful.  There are no open sights on the rifle and there’s no bundled optic. I’m very pleased that BSA lets us choose what we’d like to put on the rifle for an optic. I matched a Hawke Airmax EV 4-12×40 AO scope and a set of heavy duty match rings. This scope has an increased field of view which is noticeable when in the field. The Map6 reticle is well suited for airgun use and works perfectly with Hawke’s Chairgun Pro software.

The rifle is powered by BSA’s GRT gas strut vs a traditional metal spring. Cocking is very smooth and the shooting cycle is one of the nicest I’ve felt in a long time. The shot cycle is so smooth and steady, you can often see the pellet in flight.

The rifle is very compact and yet has a fully suppressed, shrouded barrel which makes this gun extremely quiet. I’m able to shoot this on my front yard range without any issues.

The trigger is a decent sporting trigger. The pull weight is right at 2 pounds with a long 2nd stage pull. It is not well suited for bench shooting, but very good for hunting and general target practice.

The BSA GRT Lightning XL SE is a break barrel airgun. To fire you’ll need to cock the rifle each time between shots by pulling down the barrel. Make sure to put the rifle on safe before cocking as it does not have an automatic safety.

Cock the rifle, secure the barrel with your off hand and load the pellet, then close the barrel.

Take aim at your target, release the safety and gently squeeze the trigger. To fire again, simply repeat the process.

The firing cycle of the BSA is simply wonderful. There’s a “thump” and that’s about it. The rifle can be shoot directly off a rest so long you pay close attention to the resting point. You’ll also need to work on having consistent trigger control to overcome the long 2nd stage.

I tested several pellets in the BSA GRT Lightning before settling on the RWS Superpoint Extras and also the RWS Superdomes. Both weigh in at 14.5 grains and produced nearly identical velocity results, averaging 670 FPS and generating 14.46 foot pounds at the muzzle. The Superpoint Extras put in the best close in groups at 10 yards while the Superdomes performed better at longer range.

Here’s a shot group at 20 yards with the Superpoint extras followed by a series of shots on some silhouettes that were spread from 25 yards out to approximately 35 yards. There was a serious cross wind which impacted the groups, but with the Hawke Airmax EV scope and Map6 reticle, adjusting for hitting the silhouettes was easy.

There’s a lot to fall in love with on the BSA GRT Lightning XL SE. I would prefer a shorter 2nd stage on the trigger, but it’s smooth and breaks right at 2 pounds which is ideal for a sporting trigger. I did run into some issues with the stock screws loosening up on me. This issue was easily resolved with some Loctite.

I found it very difficult to put this rifle down. The compact form factor, smooth cocking and shooting cycle, and repeatable accuracy puts it high on my favorite airgun list. It’s very quiet as well which will be a bonus for those that want to get some trigger time in their back yard. I’ve got some pest bird hunting videos in mind for a little later next year and can’t wait to take this rifle out with me. If you’re looking for a great airgun, whether to shoot in your back yard or out hunting in the field, give the BSA GRT some serious consideration. It’s a great airgun.

Man it’s a great time to be an airgunner! 

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