Trip to Virginia
I’ve made some good friends and airgun hunting buddies down in Virginia over the last 8 years, and try to get down every year to hunt with them. This year I was also meeting up with Rossi Moreale and our cameramen to film segments for the American Airgunner, but had arrived a couple days in advance to do a doe hunt, scout the farm, shoot my rifles, and get in some squirrel hunting. Nathan has a beautiful farm in the Shenandoah Valley, and besides having high populations of deer and turkey, is loaded with both fox and gray squirrels. We wanted to get in the stand by 2:00, but decided to go to another area and spend a couple hours squirrel hunting. He went in to get his gun and I broke into my case, only to find we were both using Brocock rifles, and for much the same reason: compact, accurate, powerful, good shot count, and quiet.
Down time during big game hunts is a great opportunity to get out with your small game gun for some rabbit or squirrel hunting. If you take your animal early it gives you something to do while the rest of your party hunts: on this hunt, I arrived earlier than the rest of the group so had a bit of free time, and additionally we all had a down day between the end of deer season and the start of bear season. A nice attribute of both our rifles was that they were quiet, we didn’t run a high risk of scaring off every deer in the vicinity.
The rifles: Brocock Concept delivers those attributes these rifles are known for, accurate, powerful, efficient, reliable and most of all compact. The gun uses the bolt action and cylinder type magazines this product line has employed for several years, which has been proven out in the field. This gun speaks for the tradition of Brocock rifles. The Compatto on the other hand, is the future of the company, and represents the first product out of the merged Brocock/Daystate development teams. This rifle is very accurate, quite powerful, has a bolt action that as silky smooth and easy to cycle, uses a Daystate style magazine (also proven in the field) and it stayed true to the compactness of Brocock, but achieved this through an innovative semi-bullpup design.
Nathan and I took a walk in the woods, both of us using our rifles to nail multiple one shot kills at squirrels 40-60 yards. The JSB Exacts provided both excellent accuracy, but also did a great job with respect to terminal performance. My favorite shot was when Nathan head shot a gray that fell into the river, and I got to watch him go after it, the whole time balance on the edge of disaster a log roll from a cold swim.
The guns handled as well as we could have asked for; to me a great small game gun has to be accurate, it has to be appropriately powerful, it has to be fast and easy to cycle, it has to be ergonomic and comfortable to shoot under field conditions,, but more over it has to be compact and easy to carry. I have three Brocock rifles; the Specialist, the Concept Elite, and the Compatto, and this is my order of preference though all three are fine hunting rifles. I’ve been saying for a while now that if the Compatto is viewed as the benchmark of the combined Brocock/Daystate rifles we can expect in future, airgun hunters have something exciting to look forward to!