Brocock Sniper XR Test Review .22 Caliber
XR Sniper FAC Hilite Synth
Feb 8, 2020
Supplied by Airguns of Arizona
Powerful and accurate with heavy pellets
Comfortable to shoot
A little loud without the 0dB silencer
Really nothing else!
VALUE FOR MONEY
The Brocock Sniper XR is the latest version of the Brocock line incorporating – as it does – a sidelever cocking action. It’s currently selling at one Cent short of $1,400. So this is not a cheap air rifle.
However, it is a very good one.
Performance is excellent, consistency is outstanding and its fit and finish is top quality. Yet there’s something more to this air rifle. The experience of handling and firing it is of a very high order.
It’s difficult to express this in words. However, there’s a clue to this in a comment made by HAM Tester Doug Rogers. Doug has tested many types of high end PCPs. So his expectations are finely tuned towards $1,000+ air rifles.
While discussing the Brocock Sniper XR, Doug said “Steve, you know I really can’t find anything I don’t like about this gun. I don’t think that’s ever happened before.”
That’s an indication of the high level of overall performance, quality, design, feel and shootability delivered by the Sniper XR. It’s also an indication of excellent value for money.
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SPEED AND ACCURACY
The Brocock Sniper XR is a powerful .22 caliber air rifle! In fact, this is the “Magnum” version of the Sniper XR with a higher power level than the regular, plain “XR”.
It’s clear from the test results that this model is definitely intended for use with heavy, domed lead pellets. As ever more powerful .22 caliber PCPs are introduced, HAM has added 25.39 Grain JSB Jumbo Monster pellets to our standard test suite for such models.
As you can see, the Jumbo Monsters proved to be the most accurate pellet in the Brocock Sniper XR. They were closely followed by the next heaviest pellet, the 21.14 Grain Baracuda Match.
As well as being the most accurate, these heavy pellets also provided the most power. Shooting the Jumbo Monsters, the Brocock Sniper XR tested by HAM reached a maximum Muzzle Energy of 43.03 Ft/lbs. That’s a very good power level for any .22 caliber air rifle.
Although highest Muzzle Velocity is not of interest to the target market (excuse the pun!) for this air rifle, we can see the results in the table below.
Typically for PCP air rifles, light pellets gave the highest FPS but the lowest Muzzle Energy, together with (generally) less good accuracy. We also see that the most accurate pellets – the Jumbo Monsters – shot at a Muzzle Velocity of 873.56 FPS. That’s right in the “sweet spot” of FPS for best accuracy as found in the Big HAM Accuracy Test and more endorsement for the conclusions reached there.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Gamo Raptor Platinum 9.7 Grain||1164.83 FPS||29.23 Ft/Lbs||Good.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 10.03 Grain||1144.35 FPS||29.17 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|RWS Hobby 11.9 Grain||1075.04 FPS||30.54 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|Crosman Premier HP 14.3 Grain||1032.14 FPS||33.83 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|JSB Jumbo Exact 14.35 Grain||1024.71 FPS||33.46 Ft/Lbs||Wow, terrible. What happened?|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 14.66 Grain||1024.71 FPS||34.18 Ft/Lbs||Good.|
|H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain||924.39 FPS||40.12 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|JSB Jumbo Monster 25.39 Grain||873.56 FPS||43.03 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Best tested.|
Here’s the 10-shot group shot by Stephen Archer with the Brocock Sniper XR at 25 Yards. He’s very pleased with that!
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
Trigger pull weight for the Brocock Sniper XR tested by HAM averaged 3 Lbs 2 Oz. This was with the factory trigger setting and obviously could be adjusted.
This pull weight indicates that the Sniper XL is intended by the manufacturer mainly as a hunting air rifle. It’s perfect for that use, although somewhat heavy for target shooting.
On pulling the trigger, the first stage is light but distinctly-felt. Then there’s absolutely no doubt when you’ve reached the second stage! There’s a distinct “wall” that let’s you know precisely that the gun is ready to fire.
A little more effort and the trigger breaks sharply and predictably. There’s no creep, doubt or fuss, just a clean release that removes any hint of surprise. Very nice!
The manual safety has a push-across paddle inside the trigger guard, just ahead of the trigger blade itself. It’s easy to use and positive in application.
The new sidelever cocking action is also a delight to use! The side lever itself is well positioned and delightfully weighted.
The cocking effort was just around 9 Lbs. It felt light and easy, helped – no doubt – by the oversize cocking lever handle. This has tactical looks and tactile feeling – it’s an efficient and enjoyable way to cock the air rifle. Very nice!
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
As with most high-end air rifles, the manufacturer makes relatively few claims for this air rifle.
According to Brocock, the regular Brocock Sniper XR has a specified Muzzle Energy of up to 30 Ft/Lbs. The “Magnum” version tested here has a claimed power of up to 46 Ft/Lbs, combined with a claim of 50 consistent shots.
The gun tested by HAM delivered a maximum recorded Muzzle Energy of 43 Ft/Lbs in HAM testing. As the power was climbing fast with heavier pellets, it’s clear that this Magnum could, indeed, achieve the manufacturer’s claim with even heavier pellets.
As is shown in the chart below, the Brocock Sniper XR Magnum tested by HAM delivered 55 – 60 consistent shots per fill of the HPA tank. So here the test gun definitely recorded a performance beyond the claims.
The Brocock Sniper XR tested by HAM offered excellent consistency. Standard Deviation – the measure of shot-to-shot consistency in a string – averaged just 3.15 FPS across the HAM test pellets. It actually fell to as low as 1.0 FPS for the H&N Baraduda Match 21.14 Grain pellets. That’s really outstanding!
The graph above shows the consistency when the Sniper XR Magnum was shot down from a full tank. There’s 55 – 60 consistent shots at around 1010 – 1020 FPS using Daystate Kaiser 14.66 Grain pellets. That’s a steady 33 – 34 Ft/Lbs of Muzzle Energy.
The Huma regulated action clearly takes a lot of the credit for such consistency of performance.
Trigger pull weight was also extremely consistent. It varied by less than +/- 2 Ounces in HAM testing. That’s effectively completely uniform trigger performance. We certainly cannot tell any difference in such small variations of pull weight.
The HAM Team considered the noise level of the Brocock Sniper XL to be fairly low. It’s not the quietest we’ve tested but it’s definitely backyard friendly with it’s fully-shrouded barrel.
However we also installed the 0dB airgun silencer that was supplied with the test gun. Installation was a simple matter of unscrewing an end nut from the barrel and screwing the silencer into place.
The result was a very significant further reduction in the report of the gun. The noise level was cut back to a quiet “phut”. No reduction in accuracy was observed when the odB device was added. Indeed, the 25 Yard target shown above was shot with the silencer installed.
The only downside is that it did bring the overall length of the Brocock Sniper XR to 44.25 Inches. That made it a long air rifle, in spite of the semi-bullpup configuration.
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
For this test, we mounted a MTC Viper Pro 3-18 x 50 AO scope to the Brocock XR Sniper using UTG Pro rings.
This scope balanced well on the gun and gave a high quality image for our testing. Obviously no-one will mount a cheap riflescope on a premium air rifle like the Sniper XR Magnum, nor will they skimp on rings. The HAM Team didn’t either…
The Picatinny rails clamped to the top of the breech provide the Brocock Sniper XR with plenty of real estate to mount a scope. These rails can also be removed if required, revealing a set of regular airgun dovetail rails underneath. This provides another mounting option for short eye relief or low-mounted scopes.
By the way, that’s a Leapers UTG TBNR bipod mounted to the short Picatinny rail under the stock. That also worked well and is another high quality product that can be recommended for use with the Sniper XL. If shooting from a bench or prone, the bipod provides a very stable shooting platform for the air rifle.
Ah, this is where the Brocock Sniper XR is at its best!
The balance and handling of this air rifle was felt to be outstanding by the HAM testers. Obviously the adjustable cheek piece and buttpad play their part, however the architecture of the design means that it “just feels right” to shoot. In this respect, it’s among the best air rifles ever tested by HAM.
True, this is not a light airgun. With the MTC Viper Pro scope and odB silencer installed, the all-up weight grossed 10 Lbs 8 Oz. But it certainly did NOT feel that heavy!
The semi-bullpup design clearly works well in creating such comfortable and pleasant handling. The overall handling feel is nowhere like the rather “blocky”, cramped feel of some conventional bullpups.
It feels more like a conventional “full length” air rifle. Yet the saving of a crucial couple of inches in receiver position due to the semi-bullpup configuration clearly has a huge effect on the overall balance and feel when shooting.
The 10-shot rotary magazine works well and predictably, as always with Brocock and Daystate air rifles. The HAM Team also particularly liked the single shot tray. This was easy to use, providing a convenient, high wall on the “non-loading” side.
The single shot tray can also be installed from either side. This unusual feature was particularly appreciated by Doug Rogers, who is a left-hander.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
The HAM Team liked the appearance of the Brocock Sniper XR air rifle. Sure, that’s a subjective decision. However we feel the Brocock Sniper XR is a harmonious-looking, practical air rifle with a sophisticated, yet simple look.
We like the side-by-side positioning of the bottle and regulator gauges. This makes it extremely quick and easy to see the exact HPA fill situation of the XR Magnum at any time.
The finish of all metal parts is outstanding – as you would expect from Brocock.
The synthetic stock is beautifully molded and textured also.
BUYING AND OWNING
The Brocock Sniper XL is available in the USA from Airguns of Arizona and Precision Airgun Distribution dealers. It is supplied complete with one magazine and a single shot tray. There’s also an excellent instruction manual (although not specific to this individual model).
The special, long-shank female quick disconnect supplied has a screw thread at the other end. So – if you don’t already own a Brocock or Daystate air rifle already, you’ll need to purchase an adapter to connect it to a regular HPA hose female quick disconnect…
The reason for the special quick disconnect is seen with the male fill nozzle buried fairly deeply in the underside of the stock. It’s covered in use by a very neat cover that’s held in place by magnets. That’s the cover sitting on the left of the stock in our photograph below.
The warranty for Brocock air rifles is 3 years. This is supported in the USA by Airguns of Arizona’s repair facility in Phoenix for US customers.
10 YARD TEST TARGETS
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