Originally Posted by raygun
Well spotted Rich. BSA did increase the length of the Ultra barrel.
Unfortunately the originals are still out there, along with TXHC, Prosports, Fenman's and probably a few others.
On re reading that I think you mean the 'original' Ultras.
I initially thought you meant the 'Originals' ... as in RWS/Dianas. I'm certain the big Dianas ( 48,52 series etc ) had some models with very very short barrels ... and they will tune up to over 20fp.
I've read discussions about the barrel length before and it just disappears up it's own bottom.
I've spent some time reading up on this AT. I never really got into the discussions before as they were often closed and or folk banned. I also don't have a gun that has ever had AT on ... and don't intend to, so it never seemed important to me.
So, having spent some time reading threads on various forums, I'm probably non the wiser and just kept running into half hearted comments and confusion.
Allowing myself to read between some lines one can make a few vague conclusions.
If we go back @ 45 years we are at the place where we in the UK were all shooting springers that were doing about 9fp. Someone raised the point that imported guns shot at concerningly higher power ( HW35 and especially the USA pump up 0.20 guns which would do 15fp plus ). Urban myth ( or otherwise ) has it that the British makers were happy to agree with this as those guns were a threat to British sales. I have a letter from the Home Office where tests were made and examples given ( HW35 ) where the odd shot was of a concerningly high power ( it just about sneaked over 12fp ).
So the UK 12fp limit was born and all the nonsense of owning a firearm, and the consequences, if your gun was 0.1fp over that limit.
A couple of decades later the market is flooded with PCPs that were easier to shoot. Most of these PCPs could quite easily be tweaked up to way above 12fp. A simple knock open valved Bowkett designed Falcon FN19 could be tweaked up to 25fp with a screwdriver and an Allen key, and a spring you could buy for a couple of quid, in the time it takes to warm up a can of soup.
Someone somewhere must have been thinking ... 20 years back we had this 12fp limit slapped on us because a HW35 could do 12.5fp and a cheapo USA pump up could do 15fp ... how on earth are we getting away with guns that can be tweaked up to 25fp this easily ( and some of the PCPs would easily reach 40fp or more )?
Had all this crept below the radar of the Home Office etc ... or was there no drum to bang for the UK makers as they were happily flogging thousands of PCPs to the British public?
At some point the makers seem to have thought we need to do something about this, before a ban, power drop or licensing law comes in and cripples us. At some point this fear seems to have been heightened by some threat from somewhere. That could have just been verbal comments and so no documentation of that threat is available. So the makers need to get something in place to show that they are doing something to stop Joe Public buying PCPs and winding them up to high levels ( I'm probably not talking 13 or 14fp here ... but 25 or 40 or higher ). Get something in place so the threat backs off as the industry is seen to be trying to self regulate. It seems that the 'threat' didn't really materialise ( Bob R commented that the guy moved to another department ). The makers move on with AT in case the threat re appears.
There is the opinion that makers did this to reduce guns being returned within warranty that customers had messed with, which would cost the maker having to put that right ( if it couldn't be proved that the gun had been messed with and warranty voided ). I read a comment that negated this and it sort of made sense.
Fitting the AT will cost the makers extra money. There will probably be a number of guns that will now be returned within warranty, that will cost the makers extra money, that would probably have just been fixed by the owners if the guns were not AT ( ie what happened before AT ). Most people would probably tweak the guns themselves or fit new seals themselves rather than be without the gun for a while and risk posting the gun back and forth to/from the maker. Having repaired/serviced the gun the maker had to fit the AT again. So I don't see any great evidence to suggest that the maker gains re warranty returns by fitting AT.
So that seems all quite reasonable on behalf of the makers. If they are the reasons for AT appearing then no one can really complain if the makers were trying to protect them and the shooters/users from a threat that may have resulted in licensing or worse.
So why haven't they just said this? I'm now in total guess mode ... but maybe they thought that they couldn't be taking these measures as a pre emptive strike if you like to negate the threat ... and then announce to all airgun shooters, and the rest of the world ... " We are under threat guys from a reduction in power or a licensing law etc ... but it should be ok ... we are going to con them and make the threat go away by telling them that it's all ok as we've now fitted AT to the PCPS so no one at home can possibly tweak them over the 12fp limit ( ... by the way ... we all know that is total b0ll0x as anyone with half a brain can get around the AT ... but if we let them know that then they won't accept the AT ploy and will want the power reducing or licensing anyway ) ".
The thing that sticks in people's throats is the fact that, as it stands, it's the airgunner who leaves the shop with his new AT PCP believing that he can't possibly break the law and end up in trouble ... but he can because not all guns are tested and some will creep over and it's the owner who is responsible.
So it would have been nice for the makers to have said that all guns now leave at under 12fp and cannot be tweaked over by the owners, without breaking the AT, and as such, if a gun is found to have crept over 12fp, and the AT intact, the responsibility is with the maker and the gun will be reset back to under 12fp at no cost to the owner.
That seems a step they wouldn't take. Maybe it is the cost of testing every gun? Maybe they wanted to keep it as simple as possible in the eyes of 'the threat'? Maybe saying the above, was admitting that despite AT some guns would still end up over 12fp ... so the problem hadn't been solved ... so the threat doesn't go away. Did we want guns with AT set at the factory at 9fp to make sure non ended up on the street doing over 12fp with a certain pellet or in a certain temperature or when the parts had run in?
All just guesswork having read many threads on AT.