McCulloch BP-1 Saw Spotted In PET

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Alert PET reader John Greco in Old Forge, Pa. spotted the almost-forgotten McCulloch BP-1 chain saw in the photo on p. 48 of the PET November PowerGuide issue and sent a note thanking us for running it. Greco, who sold McCulloch for Eastern States Distributors and as a factory rep back in the day, noted that the saw had a second “balancing piston” below the main piston that greatly reduced vibration.

The photo came from the big box of old Chain Saw Age (forerunner to PET) archives, which includes some classic material. The photo has a “MCulloch Corp. Public Relations Dept.” stamp on it, and a hand-written note from I believe former CSA editor Ken Morrison: “Rarest of all—Mac BP-1—a saw ahead of its time in ’62. Was pulled off the market—now extremely rare. Had a balance piston below regular piston, which made it smooth and added ram effect to fuel transfer charge.” Greco’s note agreed, calling the saw “quite an innovation, but a little too much for the industry at the time.” Ironically, the 1962 PR copy also on the back of the photo mentions none of this, but instead promotes the saw’s “portability” and usefulness for outdoorsmen.

Speaking of outdoorsmen, I love the gear the two guys in the photo have: from their old-school hats and checkered shirts to the lack of gloves when handling chain saws and firewood, the military-style Enfield carbine and long-barrel pump shotgun leaning against the wood pile a couple of feet from the saw tip (always smart)—and to top it off, though it was mostly cropped from the version that ran in November—a Chevy Corvair in the background. There’s nothing like a Corvair and a McCulloch BP-1 when you’re going hunting, fishing and firewood collecting. And don’t forget to leave your gloves at home!