When I’m not writing this blog for www.airgunsofarizona.com, I occasionally have other writing assignments in the airgun field. For the past several years, for example, I have written the “airguns update” for the SHOT Show Daily newspaper that is handed out each day at the SHOT Show.
Now, there is too much going on at the SHOT Show to print each day’s edition of the newspaper fresh from scratch. That would be the road to madness. As a result, a considerable chunk of the SHOT Show Daily is pre-printed well ahead of the show. The article that I write about what’s new in the field of airguns is part of that preprinted material.
So here’s what happens: sometime in August (usually) my editor at the SHOT Show Daily will contact me and given me a deadline for my airgun article. The deadline is typically sometime in October. So I begin contacting all the airgun manufacturers and distributors who will be exhibiting at the SHOT Show and I tell them that I need the pertinent information about whatever new products they will be exhibiting at the SHOT Show by a date that is usually a week before the day I have to turn in my story to my editor.
As a result, I usually know about a lot – but not all – of the cool new airgun stuff that will be unveiled at the SHOT Show. I have to keep all of this information is strictest confidence until it is officially released at the show. I have also learned over the years that many of the new products that are announced at SHOT Show will not be commercially available until later – sometimes much later – in the year.
So I was talking with one of the nice marketing people at Crosman about some products that were announced at the SHOT Show 2012 when she asked, “Have you ever seen a Benjamin Rogue?” I had to admit that I had not and didn’t think anything more about it until three weeks later one arrived at my door.
Until the Rogue showed up, the largest bore airgun I had ever shot was a .25 caliber. Quarterbore, as it is sometimes called, is a nice fat caliber that serves very well for hunting small game, varminting, and pest control, but the pellets might weigh, say, 19 to 25 grains. The Rogue, though, is a .357 caliber precharged pneumatic air rifles that launches “bullets” that might weigh as much as 170 grains. You don’t have to be Einstein to figure out that if the Rogue could launch these pellets faster than I could throw them, it would be fairly easy to generate energy at the muzzle that would be in excess of a .22 rimfire cartridge. That’s a lot of power for an airgun. I didn’t think that the pellet trap I ordinarily use would be capable of stopping pellets from the Rogue.
Further, I figured any airgun capable of generating that kind of power was likely to be pretty loud. So immediately I had a problem: I needed to find a place where I could shoot the Rogue safely and where it wouldn’t disturb neighbors. I mentioned this to the folks at Crosman, and one of them suggested I bring the Rogue with me when I covered the Northeast Regional Field Target Championship. I did, and the first time that I got to shoot the Rogue was in the company of Ed Schultz, who is the head honcho for engineering at Crosman.
The Benjamin Rogue is a big, hairy-chested, powerful precharged pneumatic air rifle. It weighs 9.5 pounds before you mount a scope or bipod, stretches four feet long, and is a six-shot repeater. At the extreme aft end of the Rogue is an AR15 style buttstock that can be expanded or collapsed after squeezing a release lever. Forward of that is the receiver, which has a liquid crystal display on one side and three buttons for making various control selections. The Rogue is electronically controlled, including a digital pressure display and an electronic valve that precisely meters the amount of air that is used for each shot. The shooter can choose from two power settings and various bullet weights to custom-tailor the performance of the Rogue to their preference.
Crosman has recently simplified the software that controls the Rogue. “We realized the no one wants to shoot a big bore airgun on low power,” Schultz says, “so we eliminated that option.”
Below the left side of the receiver is an AR-style pistol grip and forward of that is the trigger and trigger guard, above which is a push-button safety. Ahead of the trigger guard, you’ll find the forestock, part of which is covered with a tan polymer guard that is textured for gripping. Beyond that, the rest of the forestock is black and has a Picatinny rail for attaching accessories.
Moving forward again, the air tube, finished in tan, has a screw-off cap at the end. Undo it, and there is a male foster fitting for filling the air reservoir. Above the air tube is the barrel, which is shrouded and has baffles to quiet the report. Moving rearward along the barrel, the receiver has a 3/8 inch dovetail for mounting a scope. In the middle of the receiver is the breech which has a slot large enough for accepting a 6-shot rotary magazine.
On the right side of the panel, you’ll find a removable panel, the bolt, and a small bolt activation lever. That’s it.
Next time, we’ll take a look at what’s it is like to shoot the Rogue.
Til then, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott