Posts Tagged ‘big bore’

The Rogue pushes into your shoulder and wants to lift the muzzle when the shot is triggered. I recommend shooting off a bipod.

To get the Benjamin Rogue ready for shooting, you first have to install batteries to power the electronics that control this air rifle. Lay the Rogue on its left side and remove the right side cover screws with a .0625 allen wrench. Install two AA batteries (the folks at Crosman recommend lithium batteries for long life) and replace the cover. Remove the cover on the foster fitting at the end of the air reservoir and charge the Rogue to 3,000 psi with a SCUBA tank or high pressure pump. The display on the left side of the receiver will tell you how much pressure is in the air tube.

The Rogue magazine holds six .357 caliber bullets.

Load the Rogue clip with six .357 bullets and slide it into the breech from the left-hand side until it clicks. Slide the bolt forward and down. This will push a bullet from the magazine into the barrel. Now, note this: the Rogue is designed with an extra position on the bolt. It has to be moved back about a quarter of an inch into the READY TO FIRE position before the electronic action can fire. To allow hunters to be able to walk around with the Rogue charged and loaded, there is a bolt activation lever just below the bolt that, when in the DISABLED position, prevents the bolt from inadvertently moving back into the READY TO FIRE position. The bolt activation lever enables and disables the bolt, and the push-button safety near the trigger enables and disables the trigger.

So, to fire the Rogue, flip the bolt activation lever to ACTIVE, pull the bolt back to READY TO FIRE, push the safety off, take the slack out of the first stage of the trigger, and squeeze the second stage.

A 145 grain Nosler Benjamin eXTREME Bullet next to a 7.9 grain Crosman Premier Pellet.

What happens next is really quite astonishing – the Rogue kicks. Ed Schultz says it has roughly the recoil of a 28-gauge automatic shotgun. (I’ve never shot a 28-gauge shotgun, but I’ll take his word for it.) The recoil is not punishing by any means, it doesn’t slam into your shoulder, but the Rogue definitely pushes back against you, and the muzzle tries to lift. When I first shot the Rogue at Crosman, I was using cushions for a rest, and it didn’t work very well. In fact, given the weight of the Rogue, and its propensity to recoil and lift, I consider that a bipod, which can be readily attached to the Picatinny rail under the forearm, is an essential accessory for this air rifle. A bipod makes the Rogue much easier to shoot well.

The report of the Rogue is about as loud as a subsonic .22 rimfire, but – thanks to the shrouded barrel – not nearly as loud as it might be. (The loudest precharged air rifle I ever shot was a Sumatra .22, which I thought sounded like a 12-gauge shotgun. I hated it.) The Rogue, considering the power it generates, is very modest in the sound it makes, but still it is not the air rifle for shooting in a suburban backyard . . . unless, of course, you have an urgent need to kill a coyote (even then, BE SURE to check with local authorities to make sure that shooting an airgun is legal where you are.).

I put six 145-grain Nosler bullets through the chronograph. Here are the velocities in order (fps): 783.2, 754.6, 750.9, 749.0, 741.3, and 739.1. (After six shots — a magazine-load — the air pressure drops to about 2,000 psi and the reservoir needs to be refilled.) That works out to 752.18 fps average and – drumroll please – 182.2 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. That is one pot-load of power, roughly 50% more than a .22 rimfire. That’s about 10 times the power of most air rifles sold in the United States, power enough for hunting coyotes and hogs. That’s also enough power that you want to be extremely careful in choosing your backstop for target shooting with the Rogue.

Five shots at 50 yards with the Rogue.

Shooting the Rogue off its bipod at 50 yards, I put five Nosler bullets into a group that measured 1.4 inches from edge to edge.  A number of bullets are available for the Rogue, including a 95 gr. hollow point, a 170 gr. flat nose, a 159 gr. round nose, and a 127 gr. flat nose.

The power with which it hits is impressive. I’m told that when Crosman brought out the Rogue at the Northeast Regional Field Target Championship in 2011, they put a target on a cinderblock at 50 yards, and the Rogue punched a hole in the cinderblock.

Bottom line: I think a lot of hunters and pest control professionals will find the Rogue an interesting and useful tool.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

The Benjamin Rogue is a big, powerful .357 caliber precharged pneumatic air rifle.

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.

This display and these three buttons serve as the control center for the Rogue.

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