Previous Post – The Brocock Specialist – A diminutive tackdriver – Part I
To get the .22 caliber Brocock Specialist ready to shoot, unscrew the cap at the end of the reservoir and charge the reservoir up to 200 BAR from a SCUBA tank or high pressure pump. At this point, you will immediately notice one of the things that is missing from the Specialist: there is no on-board pressure gauge. As a result, you will have to use the gauge on the pump or the tank to determine when the reservoir has been filled. In addition, you will need to be aware of how many shots you have sent down range to stay within the shot curve.
Pull the bolt back and lock it in the open position. You can now remove the magazine by simply pulling it out of its slot. Push 6 .22 caliber pellets into the magazine (the side with the center bump faces toward the shooter). It’s super easy: just push the pellets in far enough so that the head of the pellet goes past the black o-ring that encircles the magazine. There is no twisting of a top plate to wind up a spring within the magazine. The cocking mechanism in the gun indexes the magazine, so there are no moving parts in the magazine. As a result, the magazines for the Specialist ought to be very reliable. When you’re done loading the magazine, slide it back into its slot in the receiver.
Lift the bolt out of its locked open position, push it forward, and lock it in the closed position. This pushes a pellet out of the magazine and into the barrel. Take aim, squeeze the trigger. At 15.4 oz., the first stage goes out of the trigger. At 3 lb. 2.7 oz., the shot goes down range with a POP. While the report is not as loud as some of the Korean airguns that I have shot, it is definitely much louder than many of today’s shrouded-barrel PCP air rifles. I guestimate that the report is roughly equivalent to a Benjamin 392 at eight pumps. This is not an air rifle that I would recommend for stealthy shooting in your backyard.
Did you notice what was missing from the sequence I described in the paragraph above? At no point, did I say, “switch off the safety.” That’s because there is no safety. You can render the gun safe by not cocking it after your last shot or by locking the bolt in the open position, but once you have moved the bolt forward and a pellet is in the barrel, there is no way to lock the action and prevent it from firing. There two keys to keeping the gun safe: (A) keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot and (B) keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction until you are ready to shoot.
The Brocock Specialist launches 14.3 grain .22 Crosman Premier pellets at an average velocity of around 785 feet per second, which works out to about 19.5 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
And the accuracy? Well that’s an interesting story. When I unpacked the Brocock Specialist, I found included with it a target shot by Kip at www.airgunsofarizona. It said “JSB 15.89 gr., 5 shots, 18 yards.” In the center of the target was a single ragged hole that measured just half an inch from edge to edge. That works out to .28 inch center-to-center. Not too shabby, I thought.
So I charged up the specialist, pulled out my WorkMate, popped a couple of cushions on top of it, and banged off at shot at 13 yards. The Specialist appeared to be holding its zero from when Kip had sighted it in. I moved the target to 32 yards and banged off three groups with the same pellet that Kip had used, the JSB .22 15.89 gr. The best I could do were five-shot groups that measured .75 inch from edge to edge. That’s not a bad showing, but not as good as I had hoped for.
I was about ready to give up when I got that little internal nudge that says: “charge up the gun again and give a try with some Crosman Premiers.” So I did. My second group measured just .5 inch edge-to-edge at 32 yards, the same size as the group Kip had shot at 18 yards. I’ll take that kind of accuracy any day.
The bottom line: the Brocock Specialist is a light, easy to handle air rifle that is wickedly accurate. It’s a bit loud for shooting in close proximity to neighbors, but it ought to be just what the doctor ordered for a day afield.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott