This is the outfit that built your rifle.
Here's a little History of BSA.
BSA was founded in 1861 in the Gun Quarter, Birmingham
by fourteen gunsmiths of the Birmingham
Small Arms Trade Association, who had together supplied arms to the British government during the Crimean War
. The company branched out as the gun trade declined; in the 1870s they manufactured the Otto Dicycle
, in the 1880s the company began to manufacture bicycles
and in 1903 the company's first experimental motorcycle
was constructed. Their first prototype automobile was produced in 1907 and the next year the company sold 150 automobiles. By 1909 they were offering a number of motorcycles for sale and in 1910 BSA purchased the British Daimler
Company for its automobile engines.
World War One
During World War I
, the company returned to arms manufacture and greatly expanded its operations. BSA produced rifles
, Lewis guns
, motorcycles and other vehicles for the war effort.
1935 magazine advert for the BSA range of motorcycles and 3-wheeler cars
In 1920, it bought some of the assets of the Aircraft Manufacturing Company (Airco)
, which had built many important aircraft during the war but had become bankrupt
due to the falloff in orders once hostilities ceased. BSA did not go into aviation; the chief designer Geoffrey de Havilland of Airco founded the de Havilland
As well as the Daimler car range, BSA re-entered the car market under their own name in 1921 with a V-twin engined light car followed by four-cylinder models up to 1926 when the name was temporarily dropped. In 1929 a new range of 3 and 4 wheel cars appeared and production of these continued until 1936.
In the 1930s the board of directors authorised expenditure on bringing their arms-making equipment back to use - it had been stored at company expense since the end of the Great War in the belief that BSA might again be called upon to perform its patriotic duty.
In 1931 the Lanchester Motor Company
was acquired and production of their cars transferred to Daimler's Coventry works.
World War Two
By World War II
, BSA had 67 factories and was well positioned to meet the demand for guns
. BSA operations were also dispersed to other companies under licence. During the war it produced over a million Lee-Enfield
sub machine guns and half a million Browning machine guns
. Wartime demands included motorcycle production. 126,000 BSA M20
motorcycles were supplied to the armed forces, from 1937 (and later until 1950) plus military bicycles including the folding paratrooper bicycle. At the same time, the Daimler concern was producing armoured cars.
Sir Bernard Docker
was chairman of BSA until 1951 with James Leek CBE Managing Director from 1939, after which Jack Sangster
became Managing Director. Post-war, BSA continued to expand the range of metal goods it produced. The BSA Group bought Triumph Motorcycles
in 1951, making them the largest producer of motorcycles in the world. The cycle and motor cycle interests of Ariel
and New Hudson
were also acquired. Most of these had belonged to Sangster.
In 1960 Daimler
was sold off to Jaguar
The BSA bicycle division, BSA Cycles Ltd., was sold to Raleigh
in 1956. Bicycles bearing the BSA name are currently manufactured and distributed within India by TI Cycles of India
The production of guns bearing the BSA name continued beyond the 1957 sale of the bicycle division, but in 1986 BSA Guns was liquidated, the assets bought and renamed BSA Guns (UK) Ltd
. The company continues to make air rifles and shotguns, and are still based in Small Heath
This is the action your rifle was built from and yes it probably is a factory rifle, BSA was using surplus actions and building rifles on them.
This is a P-17 Eddystone action and if you look at the 4th pix down you'll see your safety. The dog leg bolt was changed to a straight bolt and the Ears for the rear sight ground off and either new bottom metal used or the old bottom metal straightened. This was a commen way to customize the surplus actions, both the P-14 and the P-17.
Hope that helps a little.