My new BSA CF2 6.5x55


May 4, 2012, 06:31 PM
Birmingham Small Arms CF2 in 6.5x55

She's in good functioning condition just needs some TLC to get her back to the glory days of Empire. :P

The ejector is a little weak spitting out cartridges (not empty cases), is that normal? I'm used to the fixed ejector on Mausers throwing them out a few feet. Otherwise, other questions are, is the diamond on the grip cap supposed to be white? Mine's black. Also, there are some handling marks and dings here and there, a little chip on the rosewood fore-end cap on the right side. The bolt cycles very smoothly and feeds fine. Rifle is very well balanced for an 8lb gun! Trigger.. wow.. amazing! So light it's incredible, better than my Savage Accu-Trigger. The safety is positive and easy to use. Magazine release functions too.

There's a lot of grease in this gun and some dirt and grime. I'm not sure about the history of this gun, whether it was used and stored away or what. But the mag plate has lots of grease as well as the mag well. Bore is excellent!

Pictures (please tell me about the roll marks)

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May 4, 2012, 08:05 PM
I clicked on this thread because of the 6.5x55. 'Never heard of Birmingham Small Arms. Looks nice.

May 4, 2012, 08:07 PM
BSA was a firearms manufacture in the Gun Quarter of Birmingham, England in the West Midlands.

They manufactured the Lee Enfield No.1 Mk III, No.4 MkI and II battle rifles of Empire.

Float Pilot
May 4, 2012, 10:20 PM
Wow.... I always liked BSA made rifles and never saw one in 6.5x55mm... That rifle should clean up real nice with some TLC. It has the look of a JP Sauer action. I was looking for an overall photo, But I got the idea.
Did you find a model number anyplace on the rifle? It looks like a CF2 which they started to make around 1972 and I think they continued up until the late 1980s.
Most of those other marks are the required British proof marks.
I wonder what the rifling twist rate is?????

BSA started making guns in 1861 or 62 I think. They also made motorcycles, Bicycles, machine parts, tools and some other items.

I used to have a British made Matchless and Norton motorcycle. I think both were really made under BSA ownership. A lot of the parts sure were the same.

May 4, 2012, 11:05 PM
It's a 1982 BSA CF2 model.

Twist is standard 1 in 8.5'' or something like that. 4 groove.

It's going to be a lot of work, but she handles very nicely for her weight (haha!) and will be a joy to shoot when she is restored.

May 4, 2012, 11:57 PM
No way!! I inherited a BSA CF2 in 300 win mag, very hard to find any information on. I love the Swede, I think you scored.

May 5, 2012, 12:44 AM
I think it's a score in terms of potential to be restored. Right now I am figuring out how to get it back to the way it should look.

Probably going to get the bottom metal anodized or my local gunsmith can use the Gun-Kote Gun Blue Polish to try and match it to the remaining bluing. Do you guys find it strange that the bottom metal is scratched up but the magazine plate is fine? Either one of the two parts have been swapped, but I still find it weird that the bottom metal is the only part on the gun to exhibit wear.

Also, anybody know how to take down the bolt for cleaning?

And how does one steam out the dents and dings? Strip the finish off, damp cloth, steam the dents up? And then just beat the raised grain down with a wooden dowel or some sort? I don't want to sand it. Once raised, just add BLO coats hand rubbed, then finish off with paste wax?

May 5, 2012, 12:48 AM
It might be because the mag-plate is possibly blued steel. Just a thought.

May 5, 2012, 01:09 AM
I think the bottom metal is an aluminum alloy. I tried a magnet there and it wouldn't stick. Any idea what the costs are to re-anodize the bottom metal?

May 5, 2012, 01:42 AM
I was going to say, try a magnet, lol. I have no clue, to be honest with you. Someone might know more than I on that subject.

Float Pilot
May 5, 2012, 02:11 AM
Gently strip the old finish, Steam the wood with an old steam iron and damp cloth.
Old finish will seep out of the wood pores, use denatured alcohol to wipe it away.

As for making the grain (fibers) smooth back down, Try to find a large piece of split beef bone. Or better yet a few pieces in various sizes and shapes. In the old days they called it Boning the stock. Some boiled linseed oil on the wood and then comb it smooth with the piece of bone. I like to add Japan Dry to my linseed oil and set it next to the heater or in the sun.

May 5, 2012, 02:51 PM
I had one gunsmith tell me that the firing pin is bent in these things, and the bolt is a pain to dis / reassemble. Sounds odd.

One question I have is, are the barrels a standard thread or a Whitworth (?) thread? I think the throat in mine may be worn out, I'd considered having a smith screw on a new barrel.

May 5, 2012, 04:00 PM
Float, what does Japan Dry do?

May 5, 2012, 04:34 PM
Congratulations! That's going to be a real looker and an absolute classic. Matching ebony grip cap insert and forend cap is correct. Looks like it was a hooded front sight? Finding an original may be tough. You could try one from a Marlin 336 to see if it will fit and look okay. As to the ejector, if it's throwing empties, I would be happy with it. Please post up when you start beautifying! And congratulations again.

May 5, 2012, 04:54 PM
Starting to work on it right now :) It's going to be a lot of work but fun. I love restoring stuff!

May 5, 2012, 09:05 PM
I bought some Simple Green and man this stuff really cuts the grease and cleans the parts really nicely. Oil them up after and they look much shinier.

I just worked on the small parts like the Weaver bases, rear sight base, action screws, magazine well to test the product and see how much work lays ahead. Doesn't seem too bad for the metal, just need to be patient.

May 6, 2012, 05:29 PM
I never thought to use Simple Green (which I can never help but refer to as Soylent Green) on wood. Great idea. Post pics when you make some headway - that's going to be a beauty of a rifle.

May 6, 2012, 08:15 PM
I haven't used it on the stock, but it says not to use SG on unfinished wood. I'm going to strip the stock and highlight the grain with Alkanet Root Oil, and then BLO, and then paste wax.

Anybody know where I can find the Williams guide rear sight slide and blade?

May 7, 2012, 03:59 PM
FYI for those that own a BSA CF2. I was at my local gunsmith and he showed me how to take the bolt down. It's not too difficult.

1) Turn the bolt shroud clockwise so it sits on the top of the bolt body, not in the notches. Do not over turn it or else you'll get stuck, just enough so it sits out of the 'cocked' groove. This will align the holes in the bolt shroud to the holes in the cocking piece of the firing pin assembly.

2) Insert a thin punch through both holes and pull up and unscrew the assembly from the bolt body. Remove punch and bolt shroud will separate from firing pin assembly.

3) Cocking indicator can be taken out of bolt shroud, careful as it is spring loaded.

4) To remove firing pin from from spring/assembly, compress the firing pin spring, and slide the firing pin off. It is secured by a notch that allows it to slide into a mating surface on the spring guide. If you are familiar with the Swiss K31 rifles, it is the same concept.

5) Completely disassembled bolt. Reverse these steps to reassemble.

Hope that helps!

May 8, 2012, 09:16 AM
dak0ta, if you do take down your bolt could you document it with photos & post them here? That's be great to go with your description.

P.S. Mine has all the same markings & proofs as yours, however it's also stamped Ithaca. Possibly they were an importer?

May 8, 2012, 11:44 AM
Ithaca did import. Check out de Haas book on google books. He documents the history of BSA rifles in a few pages! Very good reading.

I will try to get pics.

May 8, 2012, 02:16 PM
Progress thus far: all the metal has been degreased and removed of gunk and pine needles to the best of my abilities. I didn't want to mess with the trigger assembly so I got out as much as I could in there.

Bottom metal is at the smith being KG Gunkote'd to match the bluing. He told me it's a Zinc Alloy or 'white metal'. No worries about chipping when I get it back, as it's GK is good enough for the SEALS, it will serve me fine for my purposes. Plus it's a thin finish so it won't mess with the tolerances.

I have the Alkanet root powder and I'm going to make up some oil today. Anybody know what's a good recipe for this?

Next got to strip the stock, iron out the dents, and then oil her up.

This is way too much fun.

May 8, 2012, 03:04 PM
How about a picture of the entire rifle? It always frustrates me when on gunbroker people take a thousand close up shots of different parts of a rifle and then never actually show the entire thing.

May 8, 2012, 03:12 PM
This ain't gunbroker.

I'll post some full photos when the rifle is completed.

Just made up some Alkanet root oil, it looks pretty rich. Going to let it sit in the sun for a week or two.

*Edit - smith juts called and the bottom is all done! took only 1 day!

May 10, 2012, 01:53 AM
Today I stripped the stock down, ironed out the dents as much as possible, and just burnished the wood to a subtle sheen.

May 10, 2012, 09:27 AM
Here's one for ya. Mine has the same holes for the sling swivel, it's a huge thread compard to modern stuff. The sling on it however is all busted up so I'd like to put a current style swivel head on it, but they don't make them in that thread pitch. If you come across anything let us know.

May 10, 2012, 11:46 AM
Try to the UK John Knibbs sight. They got some spare BSA parts.

May 11, 2012, 02:10 AM
Tonight I put on the first coat of Alkanet root oil. Just enough for it to sit and absorb, then rubbed it in and then wiped excess off. She's dried off now. Coat 2 tomorrow. The oil really enhances the grain and also blends the scratches and blemishes. Does Red oil work on other woods besides walnut like birch and beech? Also the burnishing of wood gives a really nice sheen that reflects.

Before and After (so far)

May 19, 2012, 05:27 PM
After 7 coats of mixed BLO/alkanet root oil. Got that English red walnut colour I wanted.

May 19, 2012, 08:33 PM
That stock is looking GOOD!

May 19, 2012, 09:32 PM
Thanks! I think so too!

May 19, 2012, 10:01 PM
Now, the toes in the picture are a different story.........

May 19, 2012, 10:08 PM
Haha I know I know... I usually make an effort to keep myself out of the picture :P

May 20, 2012, 03:21 PM
Do you guys think a nice coat of paste wax will finish the job?

May 20, 2012, 09:23 PM
How long has it been since the last coat of finish was applied?

May 20, 2012, 09:57 PM
The picture was taken 5 minutes after the coat was on.

May 20, 2012, 10:03 PM
I would wait at least 48 hours after the last coat of finish before applying any wax.

May 20, 2012, 10:51 PM
Okay so it's been over 24 hours now. Do I need to wet sand the surface lightly before putting the wax on? Or anything else?

May 20, 2012, 11:08 PM
Do you have shiny and dull spots or is everything pretty even?

Got any really, really fine steel wool? If so, it will work if you need to even out and dull up......

May 20, 2012, 11:34 PM
There are 2 small spots that seem to remain a little dull, which is on the right side in front of the bolt handle. The other spot is on the left side on the top of the rosewood tip. I tried to work the BLO/red oil in but I thinks that's the best I'm going to get it.

Maybe I'll do a gentle light steel wool treatment and then proceed onwards.

May 20, 2012, 11:48 PM
Dull the entire thing with steel wool, clean and wax. Then post pictures......

May 22, 2012, 04:10 PM
I'm very happy with the stock, I didn't sand so the recoil pad mated up well with the wood.

It looks way better than it used to, and it's a nice oil finish (7 coats BLO/Alkanet Root) with a coat of paste wax on top. It's smooth. It still shows some of the character marks of its age through the scratches, dings etc., but I like that aspect too.

I put on a leather sling which is from Spain (Corzo). I think it matches the tone quite well. Swivels are Blackhawk 1'' Lok-Down swivels made in USA.

Metalwork should be added shortly, and I have sourced out Williams guide sights to complete the look.

Nobody really cares or reads this thread anyways so I'm probably only talking to viking499 anyways :D

Anyways obligatory photos before and after:



May 22, 2012, 06:15 PM
You can talk all you want. You should be proud at what you did and are doing. It looks great so far! I enjoy stuff like this. Fixing, fitting, refinishing, etc. I just get to do as much as I would like to.

Next we need pics of the overall finished product when ready.......

May 23, 2012, 01:30 AM
Nice, I love classic rifles, and I adore the 6.5x55, far and away my favorite deer hunting caliber, also amongst my favorites at the range. Zilch for recoil, mild manners and absolutely deadly on everything I have ever shot with it.

May 23, 2012, 09:59 AM
Looks great but.. how does it shoot!

Float Pilot
May 24, 2012, 12:47 AM
I just got back from Europe...So have been off any computers....
Very nice job.....!!! Bravo

May 24, 2012, 01:10 AM
I think it will shoot well because the bore is very good, the trigger is a few ounces, and the cartridge is inherently accurate. I'm putting a 3-9x40 leopold vx2 vintage on it. Just waiting for sights and bottom metal.

May 24, 2012, 08:40 AM
See, you are taking to more than just me.......there are 4 of us..:rolleyes:

May 24, 2012, 11:02 AM
I wish I could describe the smoothness of the bolt. The bolt guide rib is the main factor, and it's smoother than a Rem 700. It's similar to the older Sakos from the 60s like the Finnbear. I think these old guns are real sleeper deals that have good bores and mechanics that show that they were carried much more than shot. Just some stock refinishing and cleaning of the metalwork to bring it back to glory. Plus the quality and craftsmanship is unparalleled. It has an integral front recoil lug similar to a Mauser, and that takes much more time to machine.

May 24, 2012, 10:56 PM
Agreed, mine has an exceptionally smooth bolt as well. Only smoother bolt I've had is a Sako 75. I'm just afraid that my throat is shot out, and if so, can it be re-barreled.

Float Pilot
May 25, 2012, 11:30 AM
It will be interesting to see your shooting report. Remember that the 6.5x55mm cartridge was made to have a very long COL and they all have lots of free bore in the barrel throats to accommodate that design.

May 25, 2012, 06:01 PM
True, I've experienced that in the Swedish Mausers. You have to almost seat the bullet very loosely to accommodate for the long throats.

May 26, 2012, 11:21 PM
I disassembled my bolt today and you were right, it was easy. It was nice to clean it all out. Firing pin was nice & straight.

My stock is slightly different, too, with some white trim inserts. I'm pretty sure it's a mid-70s model, imported by Ithica.

May 26, 2012, 11:37 PM
Do you have pics GJgo?

May 27, 2012, 02:13 AM
What kind of accuracy are you getting out of your rifle?

May 28, 2012, 10:22 AM
Here's a pic I snapped with my phone, I can get more detail if anyone needs it. But not as much as the OP. haha

May 28, 2012, 01:46 PM
Is yours a CF2 as well?

May 28, 2012, 05:09 PM
Yes, in 300 win mag.

May 28, 2012, 06:02 PM
That looks great!

May 28, 2012, 09:13 PM
It looks different from mine due to the different checkering and white spacers. But perhaps mine was meant for the Scandinavian market where as yours was meant for the American market?

May 28, 2012, 11:00 PM
I'd buy that. Here's a link to more info I found (

May 29, 2012, 12:38 AM
I can't believe how well your stock came out without sanding! Looks great.

On ammo, I am going with the Hornady 140 Spire Point SP and 35 grs Varget, which gets @ 2500 fps at roughly 44,000 CUP, which is well within safety tolerances for the Swedish Mauser. It's a nice loooooooong ogive, an COL of 3.030", just shy of the lands and only a grain heavier than the 1938 designated round that replaced the original 160 gr RN - also available from Hornady.

May 29, 2012, 09:33 AM
All I did was strip it, bone the wood to lay the grain flat and give it a sheen/hardness, tack cloth, finish with BLO/alkanet 7 times with 600 grit wet sanding to fill in the scratches and dents a little, 1 coat paste wax buffed.

June 6, 2012, 06:24 PM
She's all done!

June 6, 2012, 10:12 PM
I love it when a story has a happy ending. You have a nice rifle there and you put in some great effort.

I used to race a on a BSA in the 70's. Chase would be a better description as we all had to chase Chuck "Feets" Minert thought it was all good fun his BSA four stroke would up and run away from everyone in the 500 expert class and he didn't even wear gloves or long sleeves. He was also larger and older than all the young guys he would beat up every weekend.

My '43 BSA

June 6, 2012, 10:39 PM
Wow. You did a great job on that stock. It looks rejuvenated. Great looking rifle in a superb caliber. Enjoy.

June 6, 2012, 11:08 PM
Thanks guys! I love the caliber, accurate and low recoil. Easy to shoot, and the gun is a nice handling rifle.

June 6, 2012, 11:28 PM
Dakota, that looks awesome. Great job on the refinish. You will love that gun. Just something about putting your time and effort into something like that.

Now, we need some pics on how well she shoots.

June 7, 2012, 05:07 AM
That turned out gorgeous (not that it was a mess to start with)! And fine photography as well. I've always wanted a 6.5x55 rifle, just never seemed to find the right one. Congrats.

June 7, 2012, 04:03 PM
Couple questions for you guys.

1) The front sight blade is a little loose on the right side of the dovetail, enough that I can push it through and out of the slot. Can I put some JB weld paste to lock the sight in? And will it hold under recoil?

2) The plunger ejector works, but is a little weak. Do you guys know how to take it out in case there is junk still clogging the spring up? On the left locking lug, there is a small hole with a roll pin in there. Do I take that out and the plunger and spring will come off the bolt face?

June 8, 2012, 12:41 AM
Well I just ended up JB Welding the front sight into the dovetail. It seems to have worked, will see tomorrow.

June 8, 2012, 05:29 AM
I have figured out over the years that JB Weld can fix most things.

June 8, 2012, 06:43 AM
Congrats on a great job.
You'll enjoy this rifle, in my favorite 'big' caliber.
Looking forward for a range report.


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