Ithaca BSA Mercury .177

Ithaca BSA Mercury .177

Joined: November 26th, 2012, 8:23 am

May 10th, 2017, 5:56 pm #1

Is the $60 range in the ballpark as a fair purchase price for one of these? I've been offered an Ithaca marked BSA Mercury for $60, appears to function and fire, Cosmetics are 95%-98%, and it has the original sights. I prefer co2 and pumpers so rarely deal with springers and I can't find much info on this rifle online. Thanks
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Joined: November 6th, 2005, 9:05 pm

May 11th, 2017, 9:36 pm #2

Ithaca was a US distributor for BSA many years ago, if you do a search without Ithaca you should find much more info on the old springer.
The Mercury was one of BSA's lower end models but is still collectable today, nice old rifles and in that condition would be well worth your investment.

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Joined: November 26th, 2012, 8:23 am

May 12th, 2017, 8:40 am #3

I've been considering a break barrel as a keeper for a while now. I grew up on co2 and multi pump guns, mostly Crosman and Daisy, in the '70's & '80's but no one in my junior blue collar social circle back then had any real interest in, or real access to springers.

The few that were stocked in our local farming town hardware stores we considered over priced, over weight, and overly bulky and figured the ones in the catalogs and magazines where the same.

Also for reasons I don't recall, we referred to all break barrels as "target rifles" whether they were configured that way or not, and in our early adolescent minds, target rifles had no place in the acres of orchards, deserts, fields, and other rural areas we roamed in.

I have somewhere around 100+ co2 and pumpers, most pre 1990, and I've had several springers over the last few years, mostly lower end to mid-range newer stuff, along with a few early '80's German and English Beeman's.

Most are still a bit bulky though IMO and end up as trading stock. I did have a Beeman C1 for several months that I liked, but it ended up getting traded off. Now I'm looking for one or two of the smaller, older break barrel rifles and this Mercury fits the bill pretty well.

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Joined: May 27th, 2005, 1:40 am

May 12th, 2017, 10:31 am #4

Is the $60 range in the ballpark as a fair purchase price for one of these? I've been offered an Ithaca marked BSA Mercury for $60, appears to function and fire, Cosmetics are 95%-98%, and it has the original sights. I prefer co2 and pumpers so rarely deal with springers and I can't find much info on this rifle online. Thanks
I think you will like the old Beezer, especially at that price.

I also grew up in a country-ish setting with only pump-up rifles, with no access to high-end springers. My reaction as an adult was quite a bit different though, I've been snapping up those guns I missed as a kid with a vengeance, for over 30 years now!

Veering off-topic, a springer you might really like is the venerable Diana model 27. Excellent trigger, superb open sights on later examples, very pleasant to shoot, and with a useful amount of power; but light and with a slim, easily-carried action and stock that will rival your pneumatics.
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Joined: November 26th, 2012, 8:23 am

May 18th, 2017, 8:50 pm #5

my brother had texted me from the gun shop that had it. Based on the WB serial # it's a MK2 variation.

Pros-Overall it's as described, The finish (factory paint) IMO is probably in the 96%-98% range, and the wood condition & finish is 98%-99%. The bore is good, and it cocks easily and shoots hard. The size/bulk and weight aren't bad.

Cons-The breech seal is dry rotted so I've only fired a few shots. The sights are factory, but the rear one is missing the elevation adjustment knob and spring, and the right forearm screw has ben replaced with a button head Allen screw.

I'll try to get some pics, but every time I go to get the camera lately someone else seems to be using it.
Where's the best place to find a breech seal, and are how hard are the sight parts to find, I've tried Numrich and JG already. Or what would be a good springer rated scope and mounts. I'd want one that's decent quality, fairly easy to find, inexpensive, and approx. to the period of the rifle (1974-1978 I believe).

I'll keep an eye out for a 27 also.
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Joined: May 27th, 2005, 1:40 am

May 19th, 2017, 4:54 pm #6

John Knibbs or Chambers in the UK are probably better bets for BSA parts.

If the breech seal is an O-ring--sorry I don't remember exactly--you could just measure it and order up some replacements online, or even find locally. Make your best guess at the size and get a variety slightly bigger and smaller...they are so cheap, you'll probably end up paying more for postage than the rings (I've actually done that).

I am a total scope dope, someone else will have to help ya there! I'm more of a peep sight guy, though IIRC the rail spacing on BSA's is so wide that finding one to fit can be a problem.
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Joined: November 20th, 2012, 10:52 pm

May 20th, 2017, 12:55 pm #7

my brother had texted me from the gun shop that had it. Based on the WB serial # it's a MK2 variation.

Pros-Overall it's as described, The finish (factory paint) IMO is probably in the 96%-98% range, and the wood condition & finish is 98%-99%. The bore is good, and it cocks easily and shoots hard. The size/bulk and weight aren't bad.

Cons-The breech seal is dry rotted so I've only fired a few shots. The sights are factory, but the rear one is missing the elevation adjustment knob and spring, and the right forearm screw has ben replaced with a button head Allen screw.

I'll try to get some pics, but every time I go to get the camera lately someone else seems to be using it.
Where's the best place to find a breech seal, and are how hard are the sight parts to find, I've tried Numrich and JG already. Or what would be a good springer rated scope and mounts. I'd want one that's decent quality, fairly easy to find, inexpensive, and approx. to the period of the rifle (1974-1978 I believe).

I'll keep an eye out for a 27 also.
This guy sells seal/buffer sets for the mercury and meteor:
https://www.customairseals.com/product/ ... nd-o-ring/
I have not tried the seals, so I can not attest to the quality.

A issue that often comes up with old mercurys and airsporters is swelling of the synthetic piston head, that can cause the piston to stick to the chamber walls and reduce power. Oversized O-rings will do the same.
This is described well over at the uk airgunbbs forum.

Knibbs has a replacement piston head, seals and buffers, and is a good source for all things vintage BSA. I gues TR Robb might have piston heads, seals and buffers as well.

The breech seal in these old BSA's can be substituted with a HW seal, I like Maccaris seal, as it is oversize and can be fit to the gun. shimming original seals that are too low is also a possibility, I use dental floss.
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Joined: November 26th, 2012, 8:23 am

May 23rd, 2017, 7:40 pm #8

substituted? Since I'm still trying to decide whether I'm going to bother with keeping any springers at all, I'm hoping to find a breech seal from somewhere stateside I can order that'll get here in a few days.

The rifle is shooting hard enough for now and I just want to spend an afternoon with it to decide if I like it or not. If I decide I like it well enough to keep, I'll get into the internals after that.





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Joined: November 20th, 2012, 10:52 pm

May 23rd, 2017, 9:56 pm #9

All normal break barrel HW seals fit. Hw30-50-80-85-90-95-98. The modern BSA replacements are sometimes a bit uneven and seal badly, so the HW seal is a better solution.
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Joined: November 26th, 2012, 8:23 am

May 24th, 2017, 12:15 am #10

I need to order a couple other things from them anyway.
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