It was another warm dry day in Northern Arizona, much appreciated
by a Californian that had found himself dropped in the frozen
northern climes of Minnesota! I worked my way through a constantly
changing landscape that transitioned from piles of jagged rock
interspersed with clumps of desert grasses into rolling hills covered
in native cedars. This has become one of my favorite rabbit hunting
locations, especially in those years when the cyclic rabbit
populations are up. I’d been taking both jacks and cottontails on this
vast track ranchland for a long time, and have had days when you
couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a rabbit and other where I’d
get a couple of shots if lucky. There was a lot to see here besides
rabbits, I’ve kicked up mule deer and elk grazing, with antelope in
the lower regions.
The gun I was carrying on this outing was the Brocock Specialist, a
rifle that is a tad over 34” LOA, with a 12 ¾” barrel, and weighing in at
5lb it is a very compact little multishot pcp rifle, that generate a bit
over 20 fpe and approximately 24 shots per fill. The gun feeds from
an alloy 6 shot rotary magazine, which is very reliable having now
digested several hundred rounds with nary a misfire in the bunch. I
believe the Specialist is the lightest weight full power rifle I’ve ever
shot, and it’s intrinsically very accurate. The fact that the cutaway
stock with a functional and ergonomic pistol grip allows for a fast
mount and rock steady hold, makes it that much easier to realize the
accuracy potential in the field. My gun is in .22 and quite likes the
JSB Exacts, though it fairly projectile tolerant and digest several
brands of pellets. The only two things Ill criticize on this gun are 1)
even with the diminutive shroud it’s loud, and 2) there is not a
pressure gauge. However, the shroud is threaded and it can be
quieted significantly when there is a need to do so, and the gun is
so compact and light that giving up some of the bells and whistles
is acceptable…..The gun gives up nothing in performance.
Stepping up to the top of one of those rock jumbles, before starting
up the cedar covered hill, I spotted a big jackrabbit at 70 yards.
Resting on one of the sun heated rock. I brought the crosshairs of
the little Hawke 3-9x40 AIM scope up to a point about 3” over the
rabbits back in line with the shoulder, and from my stable rest
squeezed off the shot. The big desert hare sprang straight up in the
air, ran 15 yards, and rolled over. In terrain like this I have no
problem taking a lung shot, because even if the rabbit bolts under
an adrenaline surge, he’s not hard to find on the barren shale and
sand floor. Walking up I found that the 15.9 grain pellet had taken
the jack broadside, double lunged him, and was resting just under
the skin on the offside. I consider this respectable performance on a
rabbit weighing in at about 9lb and at a long (for a mid-power airgun
in standard caliber) range.
I spent the balance of this beautiful day hiking this airgunners
paradise, taking a couple more rabbits and passing on many more,
watching the birds and big game, photographing the cactus flowers,
and wishing I didn’t have to climb on a plane back to the snow-belt
the next morning.
The Brocock Specialist
Rabbits In the Northern
Arizona High Desert!
These rocks can make for a rough climb, and I like to wear
boots with good ankle support when moving over them. Higher
boots aren't a bad idea as rattlers are not uncommon, but I
keep my eyes open and opt for comfort!
This jackrabbit heard me, even though I tried to be quiet, and
started to move away. At about 70 yards it stopped and turned
Not his best decision, at that momentary pause I lined up the
shot and let it fly.
And added a bunny to the bag. I paunched and hocked him, then
hung it in the shade for a later pickup.
Many a cool sight to be seen; cactus flowers in bloom (you've gotta
love the color bursting out of the desert pastels), and big game
|Many things to make me happy on this day: I love the desert and here I was hiking the canyon country
landscape of Northern Arizona, I love a small compact rifle and this little Brocock is the definition of the
type, and I love rabbit hunting and I'd seen many before even stepping out of my truck!