Brocock Bantam Sniper Mini/ Full Review and Cottontail Hunt
Several days ago I received the New Brocock Bantam Sniper Mini version in .22 caliber from Airguns Of Arizona. They outfitted me with this rifle and sponsored a full field review to show just what this little guns capable of in rugged conditions. At first glance of this rifle out of the box was the beautiful laminate stock and the very tactical styling of the components.
Tactical style air rifles and Bull Pups have become very popular for good reason. Tactical airguns give the shooter options for accessories such as bi-pods, shooting lamps, lasers, sling mounting, magazine holders and other useful tools in the field. Bull Pups style air rifles move the breech and barrel into a rearward position to decrease the overall length of the rifle and still provide high performance. The all new Bantam Sniper made by Brocock combines the best of the tactical style and bull pup platforms. This all new Hybrid air rifle is short and light and does not require the long troublesome trigger linkages required in a traditional Bull Pup design. The Brocock Bantam Sniper comes standard with features found on much higher priced rifles. The purpose built breech block is made from high quality aircraft grade alloy and finished to provide to an almost indestructible level. The ballistic nylon synthetic stock has shooter inspired features like a adjustable cheek piece and butt pad with a removable picatinny rail on the forearm. Performance features include a HUMA regulator for match winning shot to shot consistency. The Huma system is adjustable in pressure buy the shooter for tuning purpose. The regulator can be adjusted without removal of the stock or any disassembly of the rifle from a port behind the fill nipple. The Bantam Sniper sports two pressure gauges that show the state of charge from the carbon fiber bottle and the regulator pressure. To Further enhance the Bantams capabilities a six position power adjuster with a large control knob gives the sportsman the flexibility of long range varmint control to short range plinking in seconds with a satisfying click of the knob when needed. This feature is very useful when shooting in a structure sensitive or urban environment. The American market demands have been met with a picatinny scope rail with an included 11 mm option for more traditional shooters and a large diameter barrel shroud system for reduced report. Further noise reduction is possible with the 1/2 UNF threads on the muzzle end. The Bantam Sniper will be equally at home or on the range with accuracy provided by the Lothar-Walther barrel and adjustable trigger unit. The ten shot magazine is cycled by the large tactical style bolt and single shot magazine is included for target work. The Brocock Bantam Sniper “Mini” shares the same firing action, stock and world class performance as the Standard Brocock Bantam Sniper with a few performance enhancing additions. This Mini comes factory equipped with a large tactical bolt handle. This feature provides more surface for grip and subsequently reduces the cocking effort whilst speeding up the loading cycle. Also included is a side Picatinny rail system that provides a rugged platform for the mounting of a light, laser, or other tactical based shooting gear. The Bantam Mini comes with a 2.5 inch shorter shroud and a brake compensator that reduces muzzle flip. The Brocock Bantam Sniper Mini gives away nothing to its bigger brother in terms of performance and accuracy. The Mini is the go-to choice in a small, compact, less-is-more sporting air rifle.
|Max Velocity||950 fps|
|Muzzle Energy||30 ft/lbs|
|Suggested for||Small game hunting|
|Max Shots per Fill||120+|
|Body Type||Semi Bullpup|
|Fixed/adj. power||Multiple settings|
|Shrouded||Yes/ 1/2″ UNF|
Before taking the rifle into the field I cleaned the barrel and looked over the features in more detail. The first thing I looked at was the shroud that houses the 17″ LW barrel.
The shroud is 2.5″ shorter than the standard Bantam and is fitted with a beautifully machined tactical style muzzle brake. Under the Brake is 1/2″ UNF threading that allows mounting of a variety of moderators. With such short barrel length the sound levels are always usually a bit more that that of a longer barrel. The trade off is a compact, nicely balanced gun that’s perfect for quick maneuvers through heavy brush. Moving down the line the Bantam Mini is fitted with a standard Carbon Fiber 480cc bottle that can be filled to 250bar. This amount of air should give the Bantam over 120+ regulated shots at 30fpe. The Bantam Mini is fitted with both regulator and fill pressure gauges.
The regulator is factory set to about 140 bar and gives a nice efficient flat curve helping to bring accuracy to the best performance. These gauges are in a convenient location to easily monitor the health of the rifle. Moving along the Bantam is fitted with a top picatinny rail that allows for secure mounting of a scope, plenty of room forward and back to configure in the best possible position.
The front portion of the rail has some side picatinny rails that allow the shooter to mount lights, lasers or even a camera. A great bit of extra that may come in handy for those late nights on the farm! Next we looked at the power adjuster that comes standard on the Bantam, this has 5 levels of adjustment.
This adjustment acts like a restrictor for the transfer port and may be a good feature for pesting situations where a lower power may be needed such as inside a barn. This is a feature I personally would not use but can appreciate having it as an option. The Bantam Mini is a bolt action and has been fitted with a larger more robust tactical style handle. This larger beautifully machined handle makes cocking the rifle much easier and faster. The bolts action has a very short stroke and for this design is one of the best. Bolt actions are not my favorite but will say they are simple and reliable for field use.
The Bantam came with one self indexing magazine that’s a great design in keeping lateral tension away from the pellet as it enters the breech. This design loads each pellet perfectly straight unlike some other designs. The only drawback is that it’s possible to double load and it has no stop when the magazine is empty. With some use I have found it to give no problems with the several other model Brococks I have used. The trigger on the Bantam is two stage adjustable and found it to be perfect for me out of the box, a fairly stiff first stage that predictably rolls into the 2nd with a nice crisp break.
Just in front of the trigger blade is a paddle style safety that’s simple and very easy to use with my index finger, excellent for hunting and can be taken “off” very quickly. This model Bantam has a beautiful laminate stock that has great texture to the grip and forearm area. The stock is very sturdy and has the feel of being able to take some abuse.
The cheek weld is adjustable up and down to allow the shooter to position it in the best position from proper height to the scope. Underneath the rifle is another picatinny rail that allows mounting of a bipod, I have mounted and Accu-Tac model that fits the gun well.
Just behind the rail is the fill port, it has a nice magnetic dust cap that covers the foster fill.
Behind the foster fill is a small hole in the stock that allows the shooter access to the regulator adjustment. This is a really cool feature that makes fine tuning the Bantam very easy without having to remove the stock from the gun.
Up top I have mounted a MTC Optics Mamba Lite scope that’s a 4-16×42 SF. This is about my favorite scope that MTC offers because it’s so simple and lightweight.
This scope has a good wide field of view at lower magnifications, perfect hunting scope with the capability to work well at even longer ranges. The flip up dust caps are a nice added feature for traveling dusty conditions and to keep the glass free from debris. After looking over all the features and getting familiar with them the Bantam Mini was ready for it’s first debut in the field. The area we would be hunting was as usual very remote and offered the rugged terrain I felt would be best to torture test this badass little gun.
The following day Marley and I loaded up the Jeep that has been away for awhile getting a complete overhaul. The drive would take us several hours on dirt to an area I had not visited since my good friend Claudio and I hunted there several years ago.
This past year had received a good amount of rain so things were still green and the many creeks were full and flowing with water. We arrived at camp in several hours after a very rough ride down what turned into more of a trail than a road.
Marley and I pulled into a beautiful spot to camp that is nestled in between a forest of Ponderosa Pines. The weather was in the low 80’s and very humid with spontaneous monsoons rolling in from the East end of the valley. I wasted no time and unpacked most of my gear to get ready for a hunt that evening. After the long nasty ride I pulled the Bantam out of it’s box and proceeded to make sure that my zero was still on par, this is imperative to do. The worst thing is to head out into the mountains to hunt and realize the guns zero got bumped causing a missed shot or yet worse a wounded animal.
I stapled a target to one of the many large tree stumps and proceeded to check my zero at 30 yards using the JSB 18gr diabolo pellets.
The Bantam shoots very well in the prone position and the Accu-Tac bipod is a critical accessory that works very well on this rifle. The Bantam Mini is very accurate and has a very smooth sound to it’s cycle with much less vibration compared to the longer barrel versions. The short barrel does bring the sound level up but in open areas it’s not to bad.
I sent 10 shots downrange that were centered perfectly in the target at 1 mill high.
At 50 yards the zero is spot on, perfect setup for closer range Cottontail hunting.
Marley and I had a late lunch and soon after headed in a Northern direction from camp into the higher elevations. This area has some dense brush with patches of open areas, great area for hunting Cottontails. As we moved up and down the hills we came up on a large ravine that was about 50 yards across, great area to spot movement.
After spending some time we did spot a good size Cottontail moving up the hill, difficult because they don’t stay still for long when on the move.
After a bit of frustration and one failed shot we moved along headed more South that had some rolling hills and many visible signs of rabbit activity.
I spotted a small Cotttontail out of the corner of my eye and was presented with a clear shot at 25 yards.
Marley was eager to recover our first kill of the trip, it was a small juvenile but still a worthy part of a good meal for us.
The Bantam Mini is a great handling rifle and is obviously home in this type of thick brush areas. Sometimes the longer barrels can become a problem when trying to maneuver, the barrels get hung up and we have to carry them in a much higher position. My preference is to have my rifles as short as possible and this one definitely meets this criteria. Moving along at a slow pace with a few frequent stops to scan the hillsides I spotted another Cottontail’s ears protruding from behind a bush at 40 yards.
With careful aim I made an excellent headshot that sent the rabbit into a flip backwards with Marley quickly making a recovery.
By this time it was getting late into the evening so marley and I bagged our bunnies and headed back to camp. After a few minutes of relaxing I set up our tent and prepared the camp for the night.
That evening was just gorgeous, perfect cool temperature to sit out and watch the stars.
The following morning we woke up at 6:30 and wandered around camp for a few minutes before starting the day.
Today’s plan was to head up the hill to the same area from day before but to work more of the ridgelines. Before setting out from camp I decided to install a moderator to hunt in more of a discreet manner.
Airguns Of Arizona outfitted me with a 0dB moderator that fits the bantam very well and quiets the guns report by near 80%
The moderator does add a few more inches of length but not enough to complain about. After making sure I had everything such as water and snacks for the day we headed up the hill in search for some more rabbits. Today was a bit overcast that thankfully may keep us a bit cooler throughout the morning. As we made way to the top of the hill I soon spotted a good size healthy looking Cottontail at 48 yards.
Made a great shot that sent out a loud THWACK!!! Marley was super excited and made a quick retrieval, happy to have her as the rabbit was way down the hill through some thick brush.
The 0dB moderator worked very well in keeping the noise to a minimum as to not spook other rabbits that may be in the vicinity. We slowly moved along the ridgeline scanning the open areas for movement where I spotted several moving about. I was able to take several more that unfortunately were a bit to brutal to show on camera. By this time it was about 10:30am so we headed back down the hill to try for some shade in the lower elevations.
As we made our way in a big several mile loop back to camp we came across a spring fed creek that had a great amount of water for this time of year.
Marley and I enjoyed the chance to cool down in the water to escape the 85+ degree heat. As we hung out next to the creek a monsoon came in giving us a nice shower to cool us down a bit more. By this time I expected little hunting activity and had planned to spend most of the day back at camp working on several other reviews.
After spending most of the afternoon in camp we set out again around 4:30 to hopefully catch a few more cottontails moving around. The temperature was still a bit hot and the sun was coming down on us pretty hard, Marley and I both were getting pretty beat down by the sun.
Around 5:30 I finally spotted another small rabbit moving about stopping in some dry grass at 30 yards, THWACK!!!
We headed in a large circle walking back and forth where I kept seeing the rabbits scurrying through the brush. These little rabbits are so quick and offer almost no chance for a shot, lucky to have more than two seconds before they move. The MTC Optics Mamba Lite worked very well at lower magnification giving me a nice wide field of view. This type of hunting definitely keeps you on your toes! By this time we headed back in the direction of camp along a small animal trail that led us down a steep hillside.
As we got halfway down the hill I spotted a large Jackrabbit sitting on a hillside at 86 yards away, made the shot that center punched it right in the shoulder sending out a loud bone breaking CRACK!!
Marley and I had a heck of a time recovering the jackrabbit as he managed to make it a few hundred yards before collapsing. Maley and I bagged him up and headed back to camp by about 7:15pm, just in time to pack up and head back home.
My time here was well spent with the Brocock Bantam Mini and will say this was one of my more successful rabbit hunting trips. This area is one of the most difficult places I hunt but with some effort can be very rewarding. The Bantam Mini put in a ton of work for a 30fpe gun and will say it to be the most enjoyable guns out of all the Brococks that I have field used. I love the fact that it’s so short and has such a high shot count, it’s near the perfect small game hunting gun. I really appreciate Airguns Of Arizona sponsoring me to go out and show you guys this review, don’t hesitate to reach out to them and ask questions. Enclosed is my final honest opinion of this rifle as well as the review in video form! Remember, The best Airgun is the one you’re shooting!
- Great shot count
- Picatinny rails
- Easy to tune/adjust
- Great trigger
- Easy to cock
- Easy to use magazine
- Bit loud without moderator
- Can half cock and double load
- No stop for when magazine empty
WANT MORE? Visit the forum at AirgunFlix
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!