Pros: MADE IN AMERICA (NY state). Excellent technology and build.
Cons: Over $1000 for an air rifle?
Even though .177 caliber BB/pellets have done extremely well on the mainstream market, people who need to hunt pest animals prefer .22 caliber pellets. It’s very simple why - .22 pellets have a major advantage over their smaller counterparts: downrange energy delivery. .177 caliber pellets range between 8 and 10 grains and will deliver about 20 foot pounds of energy to the target when fired from a rifle with a muzzle velocity of 1000 feet per second. A .22 caliber pellet, ranging between 14 and 10 grains, @1000fps, will deliver about 40 foot pounds of energy to the target. This makes them far superior for engaging a large mammal with thick skin at a 30 meter distance.
But what happens when you need to attack something tougher and a .22 caliber firearm isn’t feasible?
Well, that’s exactly what the Benjamin Rogue .357 caliber Pre charged Pneumatic Rifle is for! With pellets that are the size of actual bullets, the Rogue is designed as a hunting rifle for people who live in places with very strict firearm laws, but relaxed laws on air guns.
I was able to empty two tanks of CO2 using Benjamin Pursuit pellets which have a pellet weight of 127 grains. A pellet fired from this beast will deliver a whopping 300 foot pounds of energy @1000fps! More than enough to kill a wolf threatening a farmer’s farm. Compare this to a real .22 caliber bullet such as the CCI .22 Varmint Ammunition: 36 grain and only delivers 135 foot pounds @ 1260fps.
The key difference between this rifle and a .22 rimfire rifle is that a .22 is a firearm and requires special firearm provisions such as maintenance. In some areas it is illegal to fire firearms – especially for noise ordinance issues (i.e. Long Island, NY). The Rogue is designed to be extremely quiet considering how much power it produces. It is shockingly quiet in fact – much quieter than the GAMO Hunters and GAMO Whisper series rifles I’ve used.
The speed of sound ranges between 1050 and 1100 fps at sea level. Pellets exceeding the sound barrier emit a loud crack. Because these pellets don't, they act more like subsonic ammo fired from a suppressed pistol. Trajectory is flat and the pellets don't tumble.
When you spend over $1000 for a rifle (especially a pellet rifle), you expect the best quality available on the market. This is more of an investment than the average high powered pellet rifle. This gun is designed with the highest quality metal and polymers I’ve ever felt on a sub-military grade smallarm. The polymers keep the overall weight relatively low at just under 10 pounds.
For shooters with different arm lengths, the gun even includes an adjustable shoulder stock similar to what you’d get from Armalite on an AR-15.
The gun isn’t semi-automatic - it is bolt action. You have a choice between hand loading ammunition or using the 6 shot rotary magazine. Extra magazines can be purchased for $30 a piece.
Crosman packages this gun with an awesome scope: a CenterPoint Power Class with 3-12x zoom and a 44mm objective diameter. With the amount of power this gun puts out, not only is the gun/scope mating accurate, it is very precise. It’s even easy to sight in thanks to the on-the-fly adjustable mil-dot reticle.
This gun offers a new “electronic energy control” unit which basically regulates the amount of power coming from the scuba tank. There is a simple push pad control that allows you to visually change the muzzle energy between “low”, “medium” and “high”. “Low” power already delivers enough energy to take down hogs under 200 pounds. That’s pretty damned impressive power for an “airgun”. Badgers, raccoons, possums, rats prairie dogs and even coyotes don’t stand a chance.
As I’ve stated before: pre charged pneumatic guns can be expensive unless you have a nearby location that offers charging services. This PCP system is 3000psi and can’t be reliably charged by a hand pump (like the Air Force Talon) and requires a multistage PCP charger. The Scuba adapter is available for $135 from Crosman. My location is at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Recoil is relatively low. What I love most of all is that it doesn’t violently jump like spring rifles when fired. It has recoil like a .22, but that’s not bad at all, even for a younger shooter used to firing .22 rimfires. Crosman even includes a high quality metal bipod to help you setup at a windowsill or on even ground. When the bipod is used, proper shooting form almost cancels out recoil entirely. Had a full semi automatic system been designed, this would be the small game hunting rifle from hell!
A gun this awesome would have been an even easier sell if they’d designed it behind the Chey Tac Intervention or even the Barrett .50 Cal. It looks great, but many people will probably go for something cheaper. In its defense, there’s no other rifle on the market that does what this one does. I think it’s fantastic and I appreciate the design intelligence that went into it. There are two safetys included: one to disable the bolt and a crossblock trigger safety to keep shooting safe.
The gun requires 2 AA batteries for its firing computer and I’d have liked it more if it were easier to unscrew the small screws when opening it is necessary. Since it’s only an LED indicator, it doesn’t use much energy and replacement of batteries won’t be necessary for at least 1000 shots. There are two problems though: it isn’t waterproof – only water resistant and #2 it does fog up in certain weather conditions.
There are other choices if you want a big bore PCP hunting rifle.
South Korean made Sam Yang Rifles offers the Recluse in .50 caliber for just $700. You can tune it to push pellets at 800 feet per second - which delivers 478 foot pounds to the target. more than enough to take down larger game, but not nearly as cool as the Rogue. .50 cal pellets are also more expensive and imported parts are too.
If you don’t mind spending the $1200 - $1500, this is the air rifle you’ll want to have!