Hello All, After a short break, I’m back at it! The beginning of this month was the squirrel season opener up in my norther neck of the woods, and I laid down my fishing rods (especially tenkara) and started hunting again. Over the summer I was in South Africa, and then a couple prairie dog shoots, but mostly I worked and had a couple overseas trips, fished, and spent time with my family. But I am booked out with hunting from now until SHOT Show!
With the opening of squirrel season, I had the chance to get out with the Brocock guns, shooting both the Compatto and the Bantam. As a matter of fact I was just out on an overnight squirrel hunting trip that I’m writing up for my monthly article in Airgunner magazine. BTW: in case you didn’t know it, this magazine can be found at Barnes & Nobels now, give it a perusal if you haven’t seen it before. I had an adventure, and being caught in a thunderstorm in my camping hammock added spice.
What I want to write about here though, is the Brocock Bantam, this gun took forever to reach me, but it got to go out hunting as soon as I laid my hands on it. This is a bottle up front version of the Compatto, still one of my favorite small game guns. It is otherwise much the same gun as the Compatto, though it does offer a much higher shot count. The Bantam was hitting 31 fpe and I got about 28 fpe with my Compatto, and somewhat counter-intuitively the Compatto is a couple ounces heavier.
I was out for two days of hunting and plinking, and had plenty of air, never having to make the 40 minute hike back out to my vehicle for a recharge. Man this rifle is accurate, I set a cup up at 40 yards and took 6 shots, which fell into a bigger hole that was four pellets and a smaller hole that took two of the JSB Exact Jumbos the rifle seems to eat up! The two holes were an 1/8th of an inch apart, and I was shooting from a sitting position off the Primos Magnum Pole Cat sticks I’ve been using since last season.
In the field the gun was a fine example of a high capacity gun that retains compact dimensions. It was easy to move about with through the thick early fall foliage, shootable from every position, my only negative comment was that this is a loaner gun and doesn’t have a sling mounted. For longer hikes in and out of the campsite, I carried the rifle mounted in a carrier that is integrated into my pack, with the rifle strapped down. This made it easy to carry, but didn’t allow for a fast dismount, so I missed a couple opportunities along the trail.
However, the effectiveness as a hunting rifle was right where you wanted it to be. I’ve been both head shooting and body shooting squirrels with this rifle, and the tack driving accuracy, power, and over all shootability make it a very effective hunting gun. I think my preference is still the Compatto, just because I’m a fan of the ultra-compact dimensions. I do have to admit though, that the high shot count of the Bantam was great for this outing. But even saying it is in the same league puts it in rarefied air in my view. I’ll keep using both of these rifles through the season and give you a detailed comparison once I’ve had time to be as familiar with the Bantam as I am with the Compatto.
Now that I am back at it, I’ll work to catch-up on the questions and comments that have been coming in. Thanks for staying plugged in, I’ll make every effort to update you on hunts and new guns/gear as they happen. In the meanwhile …. keep on hunting and I’ll be back with you all soon!