Gun test: Brocock Ranger XR hunting air rifle

Dave Barham shooting the Brocock Ranger XR air rifle

It's an absolute pleasure to shoot - Credit: Archant

Dave Barham tests the exciting new hunting air rifle from Brocock - the Brocock Ranger XR, reviewed.

As soon as I heard about this rifle I knew it was going to be one that I had to get my hands on. It’s not often you come across such a compact, lightweight hunting rifle, especially one that folds up small enough to put into a small rucksack!

Dave Barham with a small black rucksack on his back that is housing the Brocock Ranger XR air rifle

The Brocock fits into this rucksack! It's super compact when folded... - Credit: Archant

The Brocock Ranger XR air rifle IS legal, ok?
There have been a lot of ‘armchair experts’ spreading misinformation that this particular rifle isn’t legal. Well, for a start do you really think that a company as big as Brocock would produce a rifle that wasn’t UK legal? Here is an excerpt from a statement issued by Brocock on the matter;

“Brocock confirms that the Brocock Ranger XR conforms with the UK Firearms Act 1968 in that it is an air weapon and is exempt from defining gun length as specified under Section 5 (1) (aba).

Brocock further defines the Brocock Ranger XR as an Air Rifle, which does not exceed a muzzle energy of 12 foot pounds and is therefore not classified as especially dangerous and is exempt from the need for a Section 1 licence under the Firearms Act 1968.”

So there you go, it is in fact a legal airgun, even if the barrel is only 255mm long!

Dave Barham holding the folded Brocock Ranger XR air rifle

It's tiny! - Credit: Archant

Brocock Ranger XR - overview
The Ranger XR is a full-power, UK-legal sub 12 ft.lbs. air rifle, yet thanks to an ingenious folding stock and removable silencer, I managed to get it to pack down to just 450mm, including the scope protrusion. It actually measures around 350mm minus the scope, but even with the scope fitted it’s plenty small enough to fit into my small laptop rucksack! The pocket on the front of the rucksack, usually reserved for pens and a mouse, served well as a home for the mag’ and silencer too!

The first thought that grabs you when you pick it up is its weight – it’s as light as a feather, well nearly! Weighing in at just 5.5lbs it’s one of the lightest hunting rifles on the market and is sure to find favour with serious hunters.

Close up of the folding stock on a Brocock Ranger XR air rifle

Lift and push to fold the stock - Credit: Archant

Brocock Ranger XR - folding stock
To collapse the stock you simply grab hold of it near the joint and lift the butt of the stock upwards to release the mechanism. You can then fold the stock to the left so that it butts up against the main body of the rifle. To open it all out again, simply push the stock to the right until the locking mechanism goes ‘click’ and locks it all into place. 

You can extend or reduce the length of pull by depressing the small lever housed inside the skeleton butt section, then slide the butt in or out to your desired length. This truly is a ‘one size fits all’ rifle, with a wide range of adjustment for all body sizes. You can extend or reduce the length of pull on the Ranger XR from 350mm to 430mm. 
The butt cap itself is made from a rubberised material, with horizontal grooves cut into it for added support.

Close up of power adjustment on a Brocock Ranger XR air rifle

You can adjust the power too! - Credit: Archant

Brocock Ranger XR - regulator
As you would expect, a rifle of this quality requires the very best regulator, and just like their other PCP rifles, Brocock has installed a HUMA unit which is linked to a floating hammer system. There is also a variable power dial on the right-hand-side of the action, which allows you dial the power down – handy for shooting at close quarters in your back garden, or within the confines of a small barn.

Close up of self-indexing magazine on a Brocock Ranger XR air rifle

Brocock's new self-indexing mag's are great - Credit: Archant

Brocock Ranger XR - sidelever and mags
If you like your sidelevers, then you’re going to love this one. It has been ergonomically designed and uses a relatively short stroke with minimal effort to cock the rifle. It features a machined aluminium drop-down handle, which sits really well between your thumb and forefinger when cocking. I particularly like the way they have drilled it out to reduce weight and also add some grip for use in wet weather.

Brocock’s new self-indexing mag’s are also superb, you get 11 shots in .22 and 13-shots in .177. They’re the ‘flip-up’ cover version and are extremely easy to load.

Incidentally, you get around 40 shots per fill in .22 and around 35 from the .177 model. The rifle also comes supplied with a single-shot tray.

Close up of fill port and fill gauge on the Brocock Ranger XR air rifle

The shroud at the end houses the fill gauge and fill port - Credit: Archant

Brocock Ranger XR - filling
The air cylinder sits directly underneath the barrel and can be filled to 200 bar. It utilises Brocock’s quick-fill probe, and the fill port is cleverly housed underneath a rotating shroud at the end of the cylinder, which also houses the fill gauge. It’s really nice to see that Brocock hasn’t scrimped on this, and it is in fact made from a solid alloy material and it rotates really smoothly.

Close up of trigger and manual safety on a Brocock Ranger XR air rifle

I like the manual safety lever - Credit: Archant

Brocock Ranger XR - trigger and safety
The Ranger XR features Brocock’s classic 2-stage adjustable trigger unit, plus a manual safety ‘switch’, which is housed inside the trigger guard immediately in front of the gently curved, flat trigger blade. As far as pull weight goes, it’s less than a pound, according to my scales. The rifle sent to me for test had a reasonably long first stage set, which is just how I like it, and that comes to a definable abrupt halt as it reaches the second stage, which then takes very little effort to pull. It’s clean, crisp and very easy to get used to – as you would expect from a Brocock unit.

Close up of multiple mounting rails on the Brocock Ranger XR air rifle

Loads of rails! - Credit: Archant

Brocock Ranger XR - rails
This rifle has more rail options than British Rail! It can be supplied with either a 11/12mm dovetail or Picatinny scope rail, and there are a further two Picatinny rails on either side of the fore end of the action to house lamps or lasers. There’s also a Picatinny underneath to attach a bipod.

Dave Barham shooting the Brocock Ranger XR air rifle supported on an oil drum in a test and review

Definitely one of the most verstaile hunting rifles on the market! - Credit: Archant

Brocock Ranger XR - practical test
This was another one of those rifles that I really struggled to put down. In fact, during my first session I pumped a full tin of QYS Streamlined Heavies through the Brocock Ranger XR! I then took it round to my mate Roger’s backyard target range, and we spend a good couple of hours taking turns on the spinners and knockdowns, as well as having a friendly competition on the papers, which I won ….

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I’m hoping to get out this week on one of my perms, before I reluctantly have to send this rifle back. It came fitted with an MTC 12x50 SWAT Prismatic scope, which not only helps to keep the weight down, but is also perfect for hunting situations. I think this little combo is going to be great on the rabbits, and if my target practice sessions are anything to go by, I think the rabbits are in for a shock!

So on to price. Yes, it’s a little bit on the pricey side for such a small rifle, but you’re paying for exceptional quality and performance – never forget that. If you’re a hunter, like me, then you’re going to love this little gem, I guarantee it. 

Close up of lever used to shorten and lengthen the stock on a Brocock Ranger XR air rifle

You can extend or shorten the length of pull with this lever - Credit: Archant

Ranger XR
Manufacturer: Brocock
Type: Pre-charged, multi-shot
Cylinder Capacity: 480cc
Max Fill Pressure: 200 bar
Stock Material: Black synthetic
Stock Type: Ambidextrous
Cocking: Sidelever
Trigger: Two-stage, adjustable
Calibres: .177 and .22
Safety: Manual
Overall Length: 600mm to 680mm (23.6in to 26.7in)
Barrel Length: 255mm (10in)
Magazine Capacity: 11 (.22) 13 (.177)
Weight: 5.5lbs (2.5kg)
Shot Capacity: 40 (.22), 35 (.177)
Variation (10 shots): 7fps
Average Energy: 11.4 ft.lbs.
PRICE: From £1,244