More BSA History

BSA has such a rich history that it's hard to cover it all in just one place. In business for just over one hundred years, BSA is proud to supply the hunting, sport and optical communities with the finest scopes on the market today. Its story is actually part of Britain's history and begins as early as 1689 at William and Mary's court.

1689 - The Beginning

King William III wasn't happy that they were getting their weapons from Holland. As a result, they ended up making a trial order of five of the leading Birmingham smiths. They liked what they received, and continued using the British gun makers. This way of doing business and of buying guns from gun makers continued for over 150 years. When the Crimean War occurred, 14 of these master gunsmiths joined together and became the Birmingham Small Arms Trade Association. Then, on June 7th, 1861, they became the Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited.

The 1800s

They decided to use as their emblem a picture of three crossed rifles. This has, of course, become world known as the Piled Arms trademark. They bought a 25 acre site at Small Heath and started their factory. By the year 1866, they had a profit of £7,000 and it soon became the biggest private arms manufacturer in Europe! They eventually changed their name to be the Birmingham Small Arms and Metal Company Limited, which is what they called themselves until 1897, when the company went back to its first title! In the 1870s, the company had a difficult time making a living, but in 1880 an amazing thing occurred. Mr. E.C.F. Otto introduced a bicycle to the company and they started producing them! By the end of the 80's, however, as they saw an increased demand for rifles, they reverted back to this field.

World War I

During WWI, the BSA factories turned over almost completely to munitions work. Troops were supplied with service rifles, machine guns, and even the world's first folding bicycle! The organization as a whole, using shadow factories and many dispersal units, produced more than half of the small arms that were supplied to Britain's forced during the war!

Modern Times

In more modern times, BSA Optics formed in 1996. They produce today a huge range of optics, riflescopes, binoculars, sporting scopes, lasers and more. They are best known for their quality rifle scopes that they produce at great prices.