Written on: 04/05/2007 by Cognition (90 reviews written)
Packs a punch
A little front heavy
No open sights
No longer in production
Not long ago I owned a BSA Mercury in .22 - it was pretty good considering that (apparently) it'd been around in the family since the 70's.
I was given this rifle, and it was my first - I'd never had anything like it previously. Since I wasn't exactly into shooting at the time, my Mercury stayed unused for a year or two before I decided to pick it up and have a go in the back garden.
First impressions were good - accuracy was very impressive (although I had nothing to compare it with) and the power seemed alright, considering the rifle was still using the original 30 year old main spring. The rubber seal around the breech had been almost completely worn away, and the cocking action was knackered, leaving the barrel hanging loose when broken. Shooting at some hard wood at the end of the garden, I also found that the pellets would rebound about the same distance back from the target (about 15 metres) and land at my feet.
On the plus side, I remember the Mercury as being quite a quiet rifle - and the beech stock was pretty nice as well. I had mine fitted with a Crosman 4x20 scope (the one that comes as standard with the Ratcatcher), and this made the most out of the accuracy, as there were no open sights. (I must add that if I had another scope at the time, I wouldn't have used the lame Crosman scope).
In the end, I decided to sell this rifle to a friend (user Josso) for £15 to edge my funds up towards getting the new Supersport. I think this was a good move seeing as the main spring had broken and no longer gave any more than about 2 or 3 ft/lbs of power.
An important thing to mention about the Mercury is that, in my case, it made my mind up to stick with BSA - now owning a Supersport in .22 I am extremely pleased with the quality and craftsmanship that BSA put into their rifles.
So to wrap up, I have found that the Mercury is a very good rifle, although some love and care is needed to keep it at its best. If you can find one these days, then I recommend buying this small piece of British history.