Brocock Compatto Semi-Bullpup Rifle
When you look at the Brocock Compatto there is no doubt that you’re looking at an air rifle that’s come out of the Brocock stable. However, there are many differences that separate the Compatto from anything else that is on the market from Brocock. In fact, the Compatto is a completely new rifle and the only things that make it recognisable as a Brocock are the skeleton stock design and the Brocock name on the stock and action.
Brocock was bought by the Diana Group, who also own Daystate, back in 2014. The project of developing and bringing a new PCP rifle to market was handed to Daystate. Daystate were keen to get into the “mid-range” PCP market, but were extremely happy with where the brand was already situated in the market and felt that there was no need to make any changes, but the Compatto gave the Daystate engineers something different to get their teeth into.
So, what’s new? And, what exactly is the Compatto? Is it a carbine or is it a bullpup? The action is positioned back behind the trigger, so technically it’s a bullpup, but it feels like a carbine and has far more features in common with a carbine than the majority of bullpup rifles. The Compatto has a new breech block, a new ballistic polymer skeleton stock, a new all metal ten shot rotary magazine and a new Lothar Walther shrouded barrel. We’re going to look at all these features in more detail, starting with the stock.
The Compatto’s ambidextrous ballistic polymer skeleton stock has a raised comb and an adjustable butt pad. Both these features help considerably with eye and scope alignment. As with all full bullpup rifles the Compatto’s semi-bullpup configuration means that any optic fitted to the rifle will sit higher above the action and the centre of the bore than on a conventional sporter.
The ambidextrous, thumb hole grip has some very nice, comfortable stippling, but because the entire rifle is very slender I found that the very well proportioned grip was a little too thin for my hand. However, the steep angle of the pistol grip was very comfortable when shooting in the prone position and off of a bipod. Moving on to the fore-end, it has the same stippling as on the grip and an integrated Picatinny rail on the under side for the attachment of additional accessories, such as a bipod or sling swivel. With an overall, un-scoped, weight of 3.38 kg there’s probably not a real necessity for a sling, but Brocock have still drilled the bottom of the butt stock for a sling swivel to be fitted.
Inside the Compatto’s all new action is housed the Daystate Slingshot Hammer System. Although it’s a slightly revised version of the slingshot system it is essentially the same as what you will find inside the Daystate Huntsman. Daystate developed this system to eliminate valve bounce, and they did this by removing the spring which stops the hammer repeatedly bouncing back onto the valve and wasting precious air.
On the right and side of the action the Compatto is fitted with a power adjustment dial. This feature is mainly aimed at Daystate’s export market where airgun legislation is much different to here in the UK. The Compatto’s that are sold in the UK are only able to be adjusted down from the legal limit of 12 ft lb, unless the version you have is held on a Firearms certificate, (FAC). If you are looking to purchase a FAC rated Compatto the power will top out at 30 ft lb, or very close. This is a significant increase from 23 ft lb that Brocock rifles would normally top out at.
I can see the appeal that the adjustable power will have with some shooters. With the power set to medium, the Compatto is still sending pellets down range at around 90% of full power, while there is a significant drop to 50%, or just below, once you adjust to the lowest setting. Of course, there is the obvious advantage of more shots per cylinder with the power adjusted down and even with the gun on it’s lowest setting the power should be adequate for shooting small quarry such as rats at close quarters in the confines of farm yards or inside grain stores, but for me, personally, I would sooner shoot on the highest available power and ensure a completely clean kill by adjusting my hold over at closer ranges than alter my power down.
Moving onto the magazine – The completely new magazine is very much styled on a Daystate magazine. It’s an all aluminium construction and has an indexing pore on the front which is activated by the short throw bolt. I have to admit that I’m a huge fan of all metal magazines and this one in particular is an absolute beauty. Loading the magazine is very simple and not fiddly at all because of the nice wide, beveled edged cut away which enables you to drop the pellet into the chamber and then seat it perfectly with just the slightest pressure of you finger.
The Compatto sports an 18″ free floating shrouded Lothar Walther barrel. The barrel is also threaded for an additional moderator, although the shroud acts as an integral full length silencer. If you were to remove the shroud you would see that the muzzle has a baffle that dispels the shot report back down the void between the shroud and the barrel itself; making this and extremely quiet rifle straight out of the box. Below the barrel is the 200 bar air cylinder and this is where I come to the only real gripe I have with the Compatto. To be fair, it’s not a gripe that is specific to this this gun, but many PCP rifles I’ve handled and shot. The pressure gauge is positioned in the end of the cylinder meaning you come very close to staring straight down the business end if you want to check it.
Because of the Compatto’s semi-bullpup design the two-stage adjustable trigger mechanism has been moved just a fraction forward and the trigger pull is incredibly crisp. From the trigger’s resting position to the point that the shot is discharged I was not able to detect any noticeable creep. The resetable safety catch is housed inside the trigger guard and is positioned forward of the blade making it very comfortable and convenient to operate. Although, it did take me a couple of shots to remember which position was safe and which was fire because there’s no “S” or “F” on the rifle or a red dot that can be covered by the safety catch when the gun is set to fire. The red dot fire indicator is actually on the safety catch itself and very early on I did look at it in the same way that you look at a light switch you’ve flicked a couple of times when there’s no light bulb and then thought, “is that on of off now?”
The 14 cm reach forward dovetail rail gives plenty of room to mount a scope on top of this compact package. Daystate supplied me with a rifle that had an MTC Viper Connect SL 3×12-24. This very neat scope has zero eye relief, meaning that your head is very close to the back of the action and therefore the balance point, making it a very steady platform to shoot from a standing, un-rested position. I also found that with this particular rifle and scope configuration it kept a lot of the weight behind the pistol grip and in my shoulder, thus countering the small amount of added weight that I had introduced by mounting a bipod to the picatinny rail on the underside of the forend.
To conclude, the Compatto is an excellent, compact and very well thought out rifle that offers an abundance of excellent features, such as the adjustable power settings and Walther barrel, just to name two. It’s clearly evident that Brocock and Daystate worked extremely hard to develop and produce a completely new gun from the ground up and ensure that it didn’t enter a very competitive area of the PCP market to just make up the numbers. The Compatto’s exceptional build quality delivers a faultless performance, and combined with a beautifully balanced semi-bullpup platform makes it one to definitely look at if you’re in the market for a new PCP.
But, ultimately the Compatto has something built into it that you can’t see and something that you can’t touch. Excitement! The name Brocock instantly transports me back to the late 80’s when we were introduced to their tandem air cartridge system, (TACS), pistols and rifles. I vividly remember the excitement and anticipation of what we were going to see next from them. The Compatto has reignited all of those feelings and I can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon and what we’re going to see in the future.
Visitors to the British Shooting Show 2017 will be able to see and get hands on with the Compatto on the Daystate stand in Airgun City. There will also be the opportunity of winning one of these excellent rifles at the show.