Gun test: Brocock Commander Hi-Lite
- Credit: Archant
The Editor stands to attention with the new and improved Brocock Commander PCP
Whilst I was at the Northern Shooting Show with my family, I popped along to the Daystate/Brocock stand for a chat with main man, Tony Belas. We chewed the cud for a few minutes whilst he was showing me the new MTC SWAT Atom scope, and then he told me about the latest breed of Brocock rifles which feature a new hammer system. With that in mind, I swiftly asked if I could have a play with one for a few weeks to see what, if any, differences I could spot. Without further ado, I had a brand new Brocock Commander .177 winging its way to the office.
The big difference between this model compared to previous incarnations is the new hammer system. This next generation Brocock is fitted with a hammer that has a few advantages over the slingshot system used until now.
First off, the new hammer makes the rifle far easier to cock. The old rifles often needed quite a bit of effort, but the new hammer and spring arrangement makes for easier cocking - even on guns shooting 55 ft.lbs.
The new system also complements the Huma-Air regulator; with its constant delivery pressure, the system requirements are simpler, and does not need a highly sprung hammer system.
Then there's the added advantage of the entire action being quieter. The hammer is not hitting the valve with such force, so the firing cycle is noticeably quieter.
Last but not least, the new system provides better efficiency. Brocock claim that shot counts are around 10 per cent up, depending on calibre and muzzle energy.
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There is a slight trade-off with a slower lock time, but given the advantages it definitely seems a worthwhile compromise.
Barrel and muzzle energy!
There is a Lothar Walthar barrel underneath the impressive shroud, which also has a ported muzzle brake at the end. This seems to me more of a thread protector than anything else, and can be removed if you want to add a moderator. I would prefer a 'Reflex' type, to keep down the rifle's overall length.
As far as the Huma regulator goes, this is a marriage made in heaven with the new hammer system. There's a power dial situated just above the trigger, which allows you to switch between high, medium and low power. Of course, this is mainly for those who purchase the rifle in one of the high-power FAC versions, but it can pay dividends for us 12 ft.lbs, UK shooters, too.
It's nice to have the option to shoot on medium or low power in situations where you're not looking at hitting targets 30 yards out - in your back garden for example.
This rifle suits my style of shooting perfectly. It's lightweight, and is packed full of features. There are Picatinny rail mounts on top for your scope, plus one underneath on the foregrip for a bipod.
There's a nifty hidey-hole inside the body of the pistol grip, which can be used for carrying spare magazines or even a small amount of cleaning kit and Allen keys.
However, what I really like about this rifle is the adjustable stock. With the push of a switch you can extend and reduce the length of the butt to give you the perfect fit. I found that the full extension was too much for me, even though I'm a big fella, and it was really nice to be able set the butt to exactly where I wanted it.
The safety switch is a manual one, so you need to reset it physically, but it's situated inside the trigger guard right in front of your finger and is a doddle to use. Speaking of the trigger, it's a slightly curved blade, one of the closest to straight that I have used and I found it really comfortable. Of course, the trigger is two-stage, and is infinitely adjustable from 'too light' to 'super safe'.
I've already mentioned how the new hammer system makes cocking the rifle easier, but I want to reiterate that fact. It hardly takes any effort to pull the bolt back, which really surprised me.
Filling is easy thanks to the port situated just in front of the trigger guard on the underside of the foregrip. Simply pull the magnetic port cap away, push the quick-connect fill adapter in and you're ready to charge the rifle.
You'll notice there are two gauges on the side of the stock. The upper is the grey-faced Huma, which displays regulator pressure, whilst the lower one tells you the reservoir pressure.
When it comes to loading the 10-shot magazine, I have to admit that these round, multi-shot mag's from Brocock are some of the best I've ever used.
They're so easy to load with a positive click and lock each time you want to drop a pellet in, and they slot into position in the rifle quickly, thanks to the machined recess slide bar - simple but extremely effective.
There's not a lot more to say about it really, other than this is a seriously well thought out rifle. It's insanely accurate, very user friendly and an absolute joy to shoot.
I had plenty of time to get acquainted with the Commander, working from home and grabbing a couple of hours here and there on my back garden range. I'll be honest, at times I had to force myself to put the damn thing away so I could get on and do some work - it's such a lovely rifle to shoot and I really found it hard to put down.
My good friend, Roger Cooling, popped over on a few occasions and he too fell in love with it, spending nearly as many hours as me completely obliterating paper targets on the pellet catcher.
As luck would have it, we've both just picked up a new 800-acre permission just 15 miles from my house, so we thought it would be a good test to take the Commander on a field trip just to see what it could do out in the open!
We'd already set the date, and were at the mercy of the weather, but with it having been scorching hot and sunny for over a week we didn't think anything of it, until shoot-day approached and the forecast went to pot. Neither of us could get out of our respective houses until 6pm, but that didn't really matter because it had been pouring down for a good five hours when we finally arrived at the farm! As luck would have it, we had a two-hour window from 7pm to 9pm, when the rain stopped.
We split up and went in different directions, as we have been doing over the past few weeks, and while I saw two rabbits upon arrival at my shooting position, that was it for me - they never came back out.
Roger, on the other hand, was shooting from some long grass down a corridor with paddocks to his left and a field of barley to the right. The rabbits there often pop out from the field over to the paddock, especially late evening. However, on this occasion it was the roadway behind him that produced the action.
We gave it an hour in our respective spots and nothing was showing, so we met back at the car and had a quick cuppa. Roger asked if we could swap rifles for the next hour, and I had no problem with that - I've seen him shooting in my back garden - and he was confident in his ability with the rifle.
Half an hour later, the heavens opened and as I dashed back to the car, calling it a night, I saw Roger walking back with his prize - he'd only gone and bagged a rabbit with the Commander! Top lad.
I'm itching to get back out now, to settle the score and bag myself a rabbit or two - and I know I have just the rifle to help me do that!
- Huma regulator
- Pre-charged from a dive cylinder or high pressure pump
- Three power settings of low, medium and high
- Removable self-indexing 10-shot rotary magazine or single feed
- Black synthetic stock with Ceratoke option
- Picatinny scope mounting
- Threaded muzzle
- Two-stage trigger
- Resettable safety catch
- Available up to 46 ft.lbs. muzzle energy
Model: Commander Hi Lite
Type: Pre-charged, multi-shot
Models: 12, 18, 30, 46 and 55 ft.lbs.
Max fill pressure: 200 bar
Bottle capacity: 480cc
Stock material: Black synthetic
Stock type: Ambidextrous with adjustable length butt
Trigger: Two-stage adjustable
Calibres: .177, .22 and .25 (FAC)
Safety: Manual, in trigger guard
Overall length: 915mm max
Barrel length: 431mm
Magazine capacity: Ten shots
Weight: From 7lbs (3.1kg)
Shot capacity: .22, 520, .177, 350
Variation (10 shots): 5 fps
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