The subtitle really says it all. You don’t always need magnum powered PCP or spring guns with big optics to shoot accurately. What if you want to just work on your sight picture, trigger control, and overall technique? What if you wanted to NOT feel like you’ve just been to the gym after having shot a few groups with your Hatsan 135? Lastly, what if you wanted to shoot inside and not even wake the baby?
Ok. Have I got your attention?
Frankly there are a few really good options on the market today that fit this bill, but not many are well under $200. The Air Venturi Bronco Target Pro .177 break barrel airgun is the one that we’ll be taking a look at today.
This ambidextrous break barrel is not much to look at or even hold, but that all changes when you shoot it for the first time. Undoubtedly the stock looks like someone took a 2×4, tried to make a rifle stock and then just quit halfway through. I bet if you were the industrious type, you could take the basic rifle stock and actually customize it fairly nicely. Since I’m always looking for a wire stretcher or a 2×4 stretcher, I think I’ll just stick with the factory stock.
The rest of the rifle should certainly impress you. The rifle is made by Mendoza out of Mexico. They have one of the most unique triggers that I’ve ever used. When I first started shooting I had a Mendoza RM200 .22 cal. I still miss that gun. It was not very powerful, but it would shoot dime groups all day long with little to no effort. The Bronco really reminds me of my old RM200.
Moving on, the cocking force is very light. I can take my pinky wrap it over the muzzle break, and cock the gun will little to no effort. When it comes to velocity, you get about what you’d expect with such a gentle cocking force. I’m getting 575 FPS with the Predator GTO lead free match pellets. That may not please the “more power” folks out there, but if you are looking for consistent accuracy, you’re going to be very happy.
When you cock the rifle it will engage the ambidextrous automatic safety. Whether you are right handed or left handed, working the Bronco should be easy as pie. A simple flick of the thumb and you’ll be ready to pull the trigger.
The sights on the Target Pro Model (I upgraded my original Bronco with the target pro sights), consist of a fairly simple from ramp and a fully adjustable peep sight mounted to the 11mm dovetail at the back of the receiver. This combination means that you’ll have the potential for some really accurate shooting. But you’ll have to do your part to see that potential.
Lining up the sites on a 10 meter target is a real challenge. The hood of the site will just fit into the out edge of the peep sight, and the front ramp will cover the entire diameter of the black part of the 10 meter bullseye. Trying to match the same exact sight picture each and every time can be a lot of fun if you’ve got the right mindset.
What does this little filly like to eat?
The Air Venturi Bronco will shoot many different pellets pretty well. I mentioned the Predator GTO Pellets above, and I’ll get more into that in part 2, but it also shoos JSB, RWS, H&N, and even the Crosman premier lights. They all shoot pretty well in the Bronco.
So we’ve got a handle on the basic aesthetics. We know, based on the muzzle velocity that we’re not going hunting with this particular arigun. We know that it’s not terribly pellet picky. What we don’t know yet is how it actually does in my hands putting lead, or in this case lead free alloy, on paper at 10 yards.
In Part 2 we’ll talk a bit more about the shooting characteristics and then send some pellets down range and see how I do with open sights. Do you have questions and/or comments? Please use the comments section below each article to share your thoughts and experiences. We want to hear from you!