When I spoke with Nigel Silcock, owner of Brocock Airguns, to find out how his company had scrambled back from the edge of oblivion after the British government banned their cartridge guns, he was forthright about their objectives: “We knew we had to come up with an action, a reservoir, and plan to produce a whole family of successful airguns.”
If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense: if a company can create one really good basic action as a base for their airguns, they can then fiddle barrel lengths, reservoir sizes, and valving to produce a wide range of air rifles and air pistols. And that appears to be exactly what Brocock has done and done very successfully.
The Contour is a compact air rifle that ought to put a grin on a lot of airgunners faces. When I first pulled it out of the box from Airguns of Arizona, I thought: “Whoa! I know a lot of hunters who would love to take this beauty out in the field.”
Starting at the back, a soft rubber buttpad that is adjustable vertically is mounted on the skeletonized thumbhole wood stock. Moving forward, a cheek “piece” sits over a large cut out in the buttstock. Ahead of that is the thumbhole, which also has a spot for resting your thumb on the rear of the receiver if you prefer that position while shooting.
The pistol grip has checkering on each side, and “Brocock” is emblazoned on the bottom of the pistol grip. The trigger guard is comprised of wood, and inside the trigger guard is a metal trigger which is wide, slightly curved, and is apparently made out of a single chunk of metal. Moving forward again, you find a single Allen head bolt which secure the action into the stock.
Ahead of that is the forestock, which is checkered on either side. Beyond that, the air reservoir protrudes from the forestock. A threaded metal cap on the end of the reservoir protects a male foster fitting which is used to charge the reservoir from a SCUBA tank or high pressure hand pump.
Above the reservoir is the .22 cal barrel which can be fitted with a silencer where legal. Moving back, you’ll find the receiver, which has an opening in the middle for the breech and dovetails for scope mounting. At the rear righthand side of the receiver is a lever that, when pushed down, allows the bolt to spring backward and open the breech. At the extreme back end of the receiver is a knurled knob which is the aft end of the bolt.
Now, here’s where I get to tell on myself again. When I first shot the Contour, I didn’t read the manual. I just charged it up, pushed the lever that opens the breech, slipped in a pellet, and tried to shoot . . . but the gun just wouldn’t go off! Maybe it has a safety, I thought.
I ran to the basement, pulled out the manual and read. The Contour has NO safety, it clearly said. Then I realized that I had not cocked the action by pulling the knurled knob back until it clicks. I did that, and it shot just fine. In fact, my trigger gauge told me that 10.9 ounces of pressure takes the first stage out of the trigger, and at 2 pounds 4 ounces, the shot goes off.
With a 2900 psi fill, the Contour will deliver 21 shots with JSB 15. gr. pellets. High velocity is 678 fps, low 641, average 661, which is about 15.5 fp of energy at the muzzle. Shooting at 13 yards in my side yard, with Crosman .22 Premiers and a four power Hawke scope, I found that I could shoot the exact spot that I wanted. First I blew out the center of the target, then I concentrated on precision sniping the small fragments of bulls eye left around the center. This is the kind of accuracy that I really enjoy and that would give me confidence in making accurate, humane shoots for pest control.
And if you want to load your Contour and put it on safe for travel in the field, just press the bolt release lever, but this time, do NOT pull the bolt back to cock the action. Now, load a pellet, and close the breech again. Now you’re set up to carry the Contour, loaded, but not cocked. When you want to make a shot, press the bolt release lever, pull the bolt back to cock the action, then close the bolt again. You’re good to go, quickly and easily, and with no fumbling for a pellet.
I think Brocock has another clear winner with the Contour, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott