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Dave Barham reviews the new and improved Brocock Concept XR, a pre-charged multi-shot air rifle, in .22 calibre
I recently reviewed the Brocock Ranger XR, with which I was mightily impressed, and as a result I was keen to get my hands on the new Concept XR. It’s basically a Ranger for grown-ups, with a larger cylinder capacity, longer barrel and higher shot count.
BARREL AND POWERLike all Brocock rifles, there is a Lothar Walthar barrel underneath the thin diameter shroud, which is threaded at the end in the standard 1/2in UNF to take a moderator.
There’s a three-stage power dial situated just above the grip, which allows you to switch between high, medium and low power. Of course, this is mainly for those who purchase the rifle in one of the FAC versions, but it can pay dividends for us 12 ft.lbs., UK shooters, too, giving the option to shoot on medium or low power in situations where you’re not looking at hitting targets 30 yards out – in your back garden, for example, or maybe shooting rats in an enclosed barn.
SHOOTABILITYThe Concept XR is lightweight and packed full of features, including the ever-popular AK-style adjustable pistol grip stock. There is also a folding stock option for an extra £50.
With the push of a lever you can extend and reduce the length of the butt to give you the perfect fit. I found that the full extension was too much for me, even though I’m a big bloke, and it was nice to be able set the butt to exactly where I wanted it.
I really like the ‘oversized’ drop handle on the sidelever. It’s 50mm long and makes grabbing it and cocking the rifle really easy whilst remaining in your shooting position. The safety switch is a manual one, so you need to reset it physically, but it’s situated inside the trigger guard right in front of your finger and is really easy to use.
Speaking of the trigger, it’s a gently curved blade which is actually quite wide at around 8mm, and I found it really comfortable. Of course, it is two-stage and is infinitely adjustable from ‘too light’ to ‘as safe as you like’. Filling is easy thanks to the port situated underneath a rotating metal shroud on the end of the air cylinder, which also houses the fill gauge on the very end.
There are ample Picatinny rail mounts on top for your scope, plus one underneath on the foregrip for a bipod. I must mention that the top Picatinny is split, but there’s plenty of room for two-piece mounts, and the magazine sits flush with the top of the rail when inserted – so no problems there. You can also buy a dual side rail Picatinny for £55.
LOVELY MAGAZINEWhen it comes to loading the 10-shot magazine, I have to admit that these round, multi-shot mags from Brocock/Daystate are some of the best I have ever used. They’re so easy to load with a positive click and lock each time you want to drop a pellet in, and they slot into position in the rifle quickly, thanks to the machined recess slide bar – simple but extremely effective.
NEW HAMMERSThe big difference between the XR model compared to previous incarnations is the new hammer system. This Concept is fitted with a hammer that has a few advantages over the old slingshot system.
First of all, the new hammer makes the rifle much easier to cock. The old rifles often needed quite a bit of force, but the new hammer and spring arrangement makes for easier cocking - even on guns shooting 40 ft.lbs.
The new system also complements the Huma-Air regulator, with its constant delivery pressure it doesn’t need a highly sprung hammer system.
Then there’s the advantage of the entire action being quieter, because the hammer is not hitting the valve with such force the firing cycle is noticeably quieter.
Brocock also claims that shot counts are around 10 per cent up, depending on calibre and power with this new system.
There is a slight trade-off with a slower lock time, but given the advantages it definitely seems a worthwhile compromise.
TESTING TIMEMy first introduction to the Concept XR was actually at the Daystate/Brocock HQ. I popped over there to have lunch with Tony Belas, and whilst inside the factory I managed to grab an hour on their pretty extensive indoor testing range – which really allowed me to get to grips with the rifle.
When I got back home it was dark, so I had to wait until the following morning to put the Concept XR through its paces on my back garden range. Pellet after pellet flew down the barrel into all manner of targets and spinners – I had a whale of a time. I know some folks bang on about rifle weight all the time, but shooting such a (relatively) lightweight rifle for a couple of hours away from a bench, the reduced weight really is noticeable, well for me it is anyway – maybe because I’m starting to get old now!
I really like the pistol grip/stock configuration. It suits my style of shooting perfectly and I’m sure it’s going to be a big hit with hunters in the UK. Even with a huge 6-24 x 50 King Cobra MTC scope mounted on top, the point of balance sits perfectly in front of the trigger guard, nicely centred around the Picatinny rail – which makes a fantastic palm rest!
I’m going to take this little gem out on a rat hunt soon, probably with a Pulsar thermal scope on top. The one I have here is .22, so it’s perfect for the job – I shall report back ….
TECH SPECSModel: Concept XRManufacturer: BrocockType: Pre-charged, multi-shotModels: 12, 18, 30 and 40 ft.lbs.Max Fill Pressure: 200 barCylinder Capacity: 150ccStock Material: Black syntheticStock type: Ambidextrous with adjustable length buttCocking: SideleverTrigger: Two-stage adjustableCalibres: .177, .22 and .25 (FAC)Safety: Manual, in trigger guardOverall Length: 838mm maxBarrel Length: 520mmMagazine Capacity: Ten shotsWeight: From 6.4lbs (2.9kg)Shot Capacity: .22 130, .177 100Variation (10 shots): 6 fpsWebsite: www.brocock.co.uk PRICE: £1049.99
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