The Brocock Bantam is available with the Soft Touch stock shown here or in a Beech wood version.
Sometimes compromise is a good thing. While it never seems to happen in politics, fortunately for us it functions to good effect in the airgun world.
The Brocock Bantam is a semi-bullpup rifle. There’s the compromise, and in this case, everybody certainly wins. A true bullpup design sticks the action way back in the buttstock area to shorten the rifle to a compact overall length. That sounds great, but it comes at a price. One challenge is that the magazine area is right in your face. Another problem is that it’s tough to design a high-quality trigger system. The trigger remains forward in the usual position but must connect to the action way, way back in the stock. That requires long and complicated linkages. A light and crisp break? Not usually.
As a semi-bullpup, the receiver is moved back, but just a bit. It's a great compromise.
With the Brocock Bantam semi-bullpup configuration, the action is moved back to a point just behind the trigger and well forward of the buttstock. It works. The rifle remains compact with an overall length of only 34 inches (36 with the optional silencer), and the trigger remains light and crisp. The magazine is also about five inches in front of your nose, so it’s accessible.
The Brocock Bantam is an evolutionary stepchild of the Brocock Compatto series. Compatto shooters wanted more power and more shots per fill. Those two changes pointed to the addition of a carbon fiber air bottle up front to replace the integral reservoir. Adding all that air capacity had a bit of a ripple effect as a new fill port was required along with movement of the pressure gauge. One thing led to another, and the stock had to be tweaked and reconfigured to fit these “minor” changes. The Bantam was born. So, it shares a heritage with the Compatto but brings plenty of new features to the table.
The Bantam features a shrouded Lothar Walther barrel to help reduce noise. You can order the Bantam in that base configuration or with the addition of a carbon fiber silencer attached. That’s the version shown here. The Bantam is available in .177, .22, and .25 calibers. Since bigger is better, we elected to test out the .25 caliber model. Because boom.
The pressure gauge is located right near the fill port. Note the forward-mounted scope rail to account for the semi-bullpup action placement.
As hinted by the photos and the massive air reservoir, the Bantam is a pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) rifle, so you’ll want an external air source. We’ve been using it with an Omega Air Cylinders 75 cubic foot tank that holds 4,500 psi, so we’ve not had a problem keeping the Bantam chock full of air. The 480cc air bottle is located under the barrel and integrated with the fore-end. The fore-end does extend almost halfway along the bottom of the reservoir and is naturally placed for your support hand. I didn’t find a need for the stock to extend any farther forward.
The Bantam accepts either the 10-pellet magazine or a single shot tray.
The Bantam has an interesting filling system. The rifle uses a Foster connection, which usually presents an ugly protrusion from most air rifles. On the Bantam, it’s an “innie” as the fill port is recessed within the stock just forward of the trigger. If you’re thinking through logistics at this point, that shouldn’t work as you need to operate the catch on the fill hose female Foster connection to attach and detach it. That’s hard to do when everything is buried in a hole. Brocock includes an extension collar for the fill hose connection that elegantly solves the problem. The result is a rifle with no fill port sticking out and a nice smooth stock surface. There’s also a magnetic cap that covers the port when not in use. Nifty and elegant.