Benjamin’s Rogue ePCP — a new way of making airguns: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Last week, we announced that Pyramyd Air’s facebook page would have a Big Shot of the Week photo contest. The winner (decided by Pyramyd Air) would receive a $50 Pyramyd Air gift card. The first winner is Kevan Evans, who submitted a photo of his daughter with her target, which she shot with Kevan’s Benjamin Discovery.

Just 8 years old, and already an accomplished shot. She pumped 16 shots out of the Disco, and put 6 in the same hole! Congratulations to Kevan and his daughter.

I have waited a long time for this day to arrive. Now, I get to tell you the story of the genesis of the new Benjamin Rogue big bore air rifle,and also to test it for you.


Large and in charge. The Benjamin Rogue electronic PCP big bore is a new horizon in airgunning.

How it all began
I was at the 2008 Roanoke Airgun Expo when one of my blog readers, Lloyd Sykes, came to my table and asked if I would like to see an experiment he had been working on. Lloyd had been experimenting with a new type of big bore airgun valve, and he had some performance data that recorded his results.

Quite frankly, I get approached like this all the time from people who have invented better mousetraps, and most of them are so impractical as to be absurd. But, I’ve learned that among these unconventional ideas every so often there comes a real gem of value. From what Lloyd shared that day, this could have been one of them.

I didn’t believe it!
But I didn’t believe him. Not entirely. His data showed he was getting as many as 20 powerful shots from the same amount of air that in other big bore guns produces from two to five valid shots. He swore me to secrecy (and I have since been more formally sworn by others) and then showed me his design, which was electronically actuated and computer-controlled. I’ve seen a lot of airgun designs in my time, but nothing like this.

Yet, I still doubted the numbers he presented. They read like the wishful writings of a firearm writer covering big bore airguns without ever having seen one.

Lloyd offered to film himself testing the gun, allowing me to see the immediate results on the chronograph after each shot. He also had other test instrumentation in the video that allowed me to follow things, such as the pressure before each shot, the pressure remaining in the gun and on-screen graphics of the pressure used for each shot. I agreed to watch his video, and within two weeks I watched those same performance numbers appear on screen as they happened. Then, I believed, and I knew something had to be done with this invention.

After seeing his video, I told Lloyd that his invention deserved to be developed into an airgun. We’d wargamed the possibilities while still at the Roanoke show, and there were not a lot of them. He could develop the gun himself, which would mean spending a lot of money to complete the development of a usable gun, and then a ton more money to publicize it. I told him I thought that was the worst way to go because it would drain him financially, plus he didn’t have the credentials to take a product like this to market once it’s developed. You don’t just waltz into Dick’s Sporting Goods and ask for a place on their shelves. It takes a trusted relationship before any large retail outlet is willing to talk to you about a new product, and that goes for any product. The world does not beat a path to your door!

Another option was the possibility of licensing the invention to someone else. The problem is that you often get a knife in the back when you go that route. I’ve had shivs stuck in my spine several times when I tried to sell my ideas. It’s one of the reasons I’m so careful about who I’ll work with.

A third option is to find a manufacturer who will buy your idea and develop it. While that sounds like a great way to get rich, there are problems there, as well. First, there aren’t many airgun manufacturers these days who know much of anything about airguns. What we DO have are companies with large marketing and sales departments and good relations with factories in China, Korea and Turkey, where the engineering will be done. However, in those countries, there’s no understanding of the vision of the new product, so a wonderful idea completely evaporates through technical missteps before any of it hits the ground.

But there are a couple companies who engineer their own products here in the U.S. Having worked several years before with Crosman on my own idea that became the Benjamin Discovery, I knew they were the best company for this project. If they agreed to do it, they would understand how to do it right. Contrary to what we all think, the world of the shooting sports isn’t that aware of the airgun scene. Telling them there’s a new kind of airgun will fall on deaf ears unless you have a plan to follow through and make believers of them. That’s what Crosman said they would do.

The Rogue
This new big bore airgun could have been any of several different things, but when the dust settled the decision was to make the first one a .357 caliber repeating rifle. Believe it or not, the decision to go with .357 caliber was challenged by the existence of several successful 9mm big bores. In fact, in today’s market, the big bore airgun calibers that are best-known are .30, 9mm and .458. Why on earth would Crosman want to make a rifle that is not 9mm, which is .355-.356 caliber, and instead make theirs a .357? Before you ask, I’ll explain why one-thousandth of an inch does matter.

They went the way they did for one reason — the wide and varied availability of lead bullets in .357 caliber. If you do the research, you’ll discover that there are precious few lead 9mm bullets on the market, and the few that exist are in power-robbing weights of 125 grains and below. But in .357 caliber, there are hundreds of different commercial lead bullets ranging from 80 grains to 250 grains. Just one bullet company — Western Bullet Co., which sells to big bore airgunners, has 15 designs to choose from. And that’s just one company.

Pyramyd Air sells 9mm bullets, but they’re really oversized and will work as well in a .357 caliber airgun. I’ll also test some of them, because they’re among the lightest bullets I can get in this caliber and perfect for high-velocity plinking (with a Rogue?). By choosing .357 caliber, Crosman has opened the world of lead bullets for the Rogue owner.

The test rifle in my possession weighs 10 lbs., 6 ozs., with nothing on it, however it does have two Picatinny accessory rails and another adapter for the front sling swivel stud. A scope (there are no open sights, nor are there provisions for them) will add to that. It has a variable length, due to the adjustable stock, that ranges between 45-1/2 inches and 49-1/4 inches in length. That makes it a big rifle. The length-of-pull adjusts from 11-5/8 inches to 15-1/2 inches, so the pull should adapt to over 95 percent of all adults. However, you’ll have to get used to some muzzle-heaviness, because with the length of the barrel, the barrel shroud and the reservoir, the weight bias is definitely toward the front.


Fully collapsed, the stock is quite short.


Fully extended, the Rogue stock is a long one. You can adjust it with the rifle on your shoulder.

The Rogue comes with quick-disconnect sling swivel studs, and I’ll absolutely make use of them. It also comes with Picatinny rails at the sides and underneath the reservoir, and I plan to attach a bipod to allow the rifle to be laid down on the ground when I’m not shooting it.

The Rogue is controlled by electronics. I know what you’re thinking because I wondered the same thing. What happens when the batteries run down? Well, I think the Crosman engineers made a good decision here. Instead of a rechargable battery, they built the gun to run on two AA cells that can be purchased almost anywhere. If you use the recommended lithium cells, you’ll get about 10,000 shots before they need replacing. And, a spare set of lithium batteries has an incredibly long shelf life (at least 10 years).


Here’s where the batteries live.


The Rogue lets you know what’s happening at all times. The buttons allow you to tell it what to do.

A shroud?
A big bore airgun with a shroud? Are you kidding?

No, it’s true. The Rogue has a shroud, and from listening to it while firing the rifle at the recent airgun show in Malvern, Arkansas, it works very well. In fact, Lloyd Sikes reports in his blog over on the Crosman website that his wife thought the rifle was pretty quiet when she shot it. Of course, she’s been listening to all of Lloyd’s tests in the garage for the past four years, so compared to all that racket I’m sure this is a pussycat. Don’t think for a moment that the gun is silent. The muzzle blast is just knocked back to the point that you don’t have to wear hearing protection when shooting — even indoors, as they found out at the underground NRA rifle range a few weeks ago.


Put a shroud around a .357 caliber barrel and you get a big one!

I think the shroud was the right thing to do. So many shooters who are getting into big bore airguns these days have little or no firearms experience, and many report surprise that an airgun can be loud. The shroud is not to make the Rogue better for your backyard, because it really isn’t made for that. But for user perception and to ease newcomers into the world of high-powered airguns, it’s a good thing.

I’m going to end here, because there’s so much to show you that this blog would stretch on too long to get all the general information out in a single report. Now you know a little of the history and a little more about the rifle. In the next report, I plan to show more of the features, many of which are unique, plus I’ll expand on the rifle’s potential for performance.

But here’s a teaser. This is an airgun that can be a .357 rifle today and tomorrow you can tell it to be a .410 shotgun. Same gun with a few different parts and software changes. Computer control allows for that kind of flexibility and even more. Please spend the weekend dreaming up new universes for us to occupy, and I’ll try to explain how the Rogue fits into each of them.

98 thoughts on “Benjamin’s Rogue ePCP — a new way of making airguns: Part 1

  1. PA Blog Index for April 2011

    1. NASA’s moon-mission airgun (april fools)
    4. BSA Scorpion PCP air rifle: Part 2
    5. The great accuracy test: Part 1
    6. Gamo Whisper CFR: Part 2
    7. Leapers UTG 30mm Quick-Detach scope rings
    8. How quiet can you be?
    11. Gamo Whisper CFR: Part 3
    12. BSA Supersport .25 cal.: Part 1
    13. Buying airguns at a gun show
    14. Walther PPQ/P99 Q CO2 pistol: Part 1
    15. Feinwerkbau 150: Part 1
    18. 2011 Malvern airgun show
    19. My eyes are too bad to use open sights
    20. The great accuracy test: Part 2
    21. The great accuracy test: Part 3
    22. BSA Scorpion PCP air rifle: Part 3
    25. The new Walther Lever Action CO2 rifle: Part 1
    26. Walther PPQ/P99 Q CO2 pistol: Part 2
    27. Beeman P1/HW 45 air pistol: Part 1
    28. Walther PPQ/P99 Q CO2 pistol: Part 3
    29. Benjamin’s Rogue ePCP — a new way of making airguns: Part 1


    • Wulfared,

      The Looph was drawn by a woman at Pyramyd Air who wasn’t familiar with the Rogue. She was given a verbal description to go by, but nothing to look at. It is an amazing coincidence that the two rifles look so much alike.

      B.B.



    • Joe,

      Twenty-two is a stretch, given the size of this action, but I would think that .410 is certainly possible.

      B.B.


  2. Wow! We’re finally beginning the blog on the rifle that can will change air rifles forever. You’ve got our complete 100% attention!

    It has got to be an interesting rifle that will stack bullet on top of bullet, right!

    I wonder how many usable shots it would get in .25 and .50 caliber?

    Will we be “chipping” the action like the folks are chipping their cars?

    How about dialing the power up and down depending on the shooter”s needs at the time?

    Who will make the first aftermarket shroud that makes it sound like a Marauder?

    Gotta take daughter to school more to follow.

    Bruce



    • Bruce,

      I’ll explain how the power is adjusted in a future report. This rifle is able to balance the air used to the weight of the bullet being shot, so it’s more sophisticated than just dialing the power up and down.

      B.B.


  3. I am really fascinated to learn more about the technological developments that went into this rifle. That would be a very interesting series of blogs, but would probably give away Lloyd’s trade secrets so I won’t hold my breath, I’ll just look forward to your next installments of the performance.

    But there is something nagging at me…I’m just going to come out and say it. This gun scares me. I’m afraid that this is the beginning of the end of airgunnings anonymity. I know there are other highly powered air rifles out there, but they are niche products. Now we have a mass produced, large caliber, highly powerful air rifle which is sold right along side a Red Ryder. This is going to get the attention of those who advocate gun control, and not in a good way. A few years from now we’ll have another thing in common with the UK and Canada…hello fpe restrictions.


    • Fused,

      Let’s not for get the massive price difference. That alone will stop these from being sold “right along side” any of the “mainstream” airguns people consider for kids. No parent will be buying one of these for their kids. And as for the power and capability, much more power (and convenience) can be had for less money with powder burners.

      I don’t foresee any such issue from this gun. If the Gamo boar hunt nonsense with sub-$200 airguns hasn’t done it, this sure won’t – especially since those are airguns that some parents have already bought for their kids.

      Alan in MI


    • Fused,

      Your fears have been expressed before by others many times. And there is nothing that I can say to assuage them.

      All I can say is that airguns more powerful than this have existed for the past 200 years and are being made by others today. The power isn’t what is new here. What’s new is how the gun helps conserve the air as it operates. And the shroud and a couple other things, as well.

      Powerful airgun have been with us a long time and they will continue to be made, whether Crosman makes them or not.

      B.B.


  4. This a really heart warming tale of ingenuity and enterprise at work.
    It is an honour to be on the same forum as you two fella’s.
    Well done Lloyd and BB.Guys like you keep the world moving forward.
    Thank you.
    UKDave.


  5. Although this ,for me is not a gun I would buy. I ‘m just not interested in a cyber breezer, I see where Fused is coming from though, and there is a grain of truth in what he fears. No, a kid is not going to buy this and do something stupid. More likely it will be Joe trailer park with no knowledge of airguns, who can’t shoot firearms where he lives ,and wants something besides the Wally world Gamo that he buddy has, that will do the stupid thing with it. That will maybe make for more restrictions, and the fact that 90% of the shooters in this country who won’t join the NRA. No matter what your political bent is , they have the political clout,and resources to keep stuff like this from being restricted, and the concept that is the Rogue ruined.


    • Robert,

      I agree completely with your comments about joining the NRA. The anti-gun crowd fears the NRA, and although they have been portrayed as a bunch of redneck lunatics, they are actually run by the coolest minds in America. I’m proud to be a member, and so is Edith. I wish every shooter would join them. Then the anti-gun community wouldn’t have a chance.

      B.B.


    • I’ve thought long and hard about joining the NRA, and decided not to. I’m obviously not anti-gun, but I don’t like their political tactics (as a US Senate staff member I was from time to time on the receiving end) and their invocation of Second Amendment rights in response to a lot of reasonable proposals. I’l stick with USA Shooting. If I had confidence that the NRA primarily supported shooting sport and marksmanship, it would be different. The impression that they give is that the HQ organization exists to support the legislative action arm. It wasn’t always this way.


      • Pete, you’re right. I don’t think the NRA supports shooting primarily from the perspective of “sport and marksmanship”, or, in terms of its being a hobby. It’s a serious political issue, and to the best of my knowledge there is no other organization that defends the 2nd amendment (which has nothing to do with supporting hobbies). The ACLU misnames itself – it should be the ACLUFTLWAW (American Civil Liberties Union For The Liberties We Agree With), and they are mum on the 2nd amendment.

        About those ‘reasonable proposals’ that they are against, not sure specifically what you’re referring to specifically but remember that a primary purpose of the 2nd amendment was ‘power to the people’ – not letting the firepower gap between the government and the people grow so large that tyranny cannot be effectively resisted by civilians.


        • If there are other organizations that support gun rights we never hear from them or read about them in the newspaper or see them on TV. So far the NRA is the only one that is taking a stand for gun rights. I do get annoyed at the avalanche of junk mail I get from them but still they’re doing a good job of what must be done and they can’t do it for free. Don’t get me wrong, because I am not anti-government, but if the anti-gunner’s get their way, only criminals and the government will have guns and we all know first hand that many times they are one in the same. Illinois has been governed by them for years. I think we might hold the record for governors making license plates.
          -Chuck


          • Chuck,

            Two other organizations that protect our gun rights are Gun Owners of America (http://gunowners.org) and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (http://jpfo.org). They’re not as old as the NRA, so they’re not as big. Perhaps one of these organizations will appeal to you.

            Edith



            • You miss my point. I am interested in sport shooting and competition. I don’t agree with the arguments of many of the “pro-gun” lobby, just as I don’t agree with those of the “anti-gun lobby” on other questions.

              I don’t see every limit placed on gun ownership as an attempt to ban gun ownership. A good example is the high capacity magazine argument; another is the “cop killer” bullet ban.

              The JPFO group looks classically right-wing nutty to me, and also Orthodox. I’m not in sympathy with the black hat orthodox, nor the right. I’ll stay with USAS.


              • Well, it doesn’t matter to me which organization any one like the best just so we’re all pro gun. Hopefully that’ll be enough to get the job done in the right way.
                -Chuck


              • I would like to make a couple of observations . First, the penetration of police bullet proof body armor is dependent on the bullets velocity, not just what it’s made of. That makes the “reasonable” restriction of banning “cop killer” bullets ,a ban on virtually ALL centerfire hunting ammo. To say otherwise shows a complete ignorance of ballistics that is shared by probably other US senate staff members. This is why the NRA takes the stance that it does on that issue.
                On large magazine capacities. The reason the maniac that attacked Senator Gifford had an advantage with his large magazine equipped Glock , was that HE WAS THE ONLY BAD ONE WITH A GUN THERE. How would you like to be the poor soul who was one round short in a tactical situation where another similar wingnut had an magazine advantage? You obviously have NEVER BEEN in a fight for your life have you? The last shot fired usually wins the fight. Even if you make them illegal ,there are millions of large capacity magazines out there that will be used by bad folks to do bad things.
                Last point on the Jews for guns (JPFO). In Switzerland every man keeps a fully automatic military weapon at his or her home, with ammo and large magazines. There were NO Swiss Jews that were herded onto railroad cars to be slaughtered in concentration camps in WW2. The nazi gun control laws of 1938 which were used to out-law guns in Germany ,were full of “reasonable ” controls. They vested the power of unelected, appointed judges and their courts to decide the types of weapons and fitness of the owners, that were allowed to be possesed. Those laws morphed into a situation of none for nobody. I guess those “nutty right wing” types that run the JPFO may have a point? Seeing as how millions of their race and religion were slaughtered by those “reasonable ” folks . Reasonable gun control is gradual gun control. That is why the NRA is so fanatical about fighting it . Any gun legislation hindering law abiding citizens is UN-REASONABLE ,period! There is no such thing as “reasonable restrictions ” on our second amendment rights,regard Robert.


                • A polite appreciation for all points of view, even on controversial topics, is one of the things that drew me to this blog many years ago.
                  Lloyd


                • Robert,
                  Good points, and if you’re going to limit one clip’s size you might as well outlaw having more than one clip in your possession while you’re at. Have these idiots never heard of reload?
                  -Chuck


                  • I’m not sure if I was impolite in my reply but that wasn’t my intention. Chuck , what it really boils down to is that there is no reason for any limits on gun ownership for law abiding citizens. What is at stake here is trust. Me trusting my government, and them trusting in me ,which they seem not to, on the gun issue. The seemingly innocuous suggestion of limits on magazine capacity, don’t have a valid reason . If it does, please tell me how? No large magazines could also mean no guns that could accept a magazine . If you challenge the proposals ,they will say it is for the general safety of society. Shooters who would placate them are kidding themselves.


                    • Robert,
                      No No No! I didn’t think you were being impolite. Please forgive me! I was agreeing with you completely. I have a bad habit of saying “you” and “your” when I really mean “they”. I have got to cut that out. It’s easily misunderstood. I think it’s a family ingrained way of referencing the collective group or else a midwestern one. I don’t know why I use that that way. At any rate, I was not singling you out. I should have said, tongue-in-cheek, multiple clips might as well be made illegal if large clips are going to be outlawed because it doesn’t take that long to reload a smaller clip.
                      -Chuck


  6. B.B. won’t be answering any blog questions till later this afternoon. He’s in surgery right now getting his tiny hernia repaired (laparoscopically). He’ll be home later this afternoon.

    Edith


    • More of the usual restrictions like “don’t lift anything heavier than a SMALL coffee cup”?

      I have had some post surgery restrictions that made no sense. Fear of lawyers?

      twotalon


      • twotalon,

        None of those silly rules. His surgeon has already told him 2 weeks of nothing too heavy and then ramp up gradually from there.

        Edith


  7. While I don’t have a real “use” for a rifle like this, it will make for a fascinating collector’s item! Be the first one on your block to own the future, I think. For that reason, I’ll put it on my mental wish list and add my name to the waiting list.

    Fused, while you raise some valid points and I think in years to come we will read about some imbecile or thug using this rifle illegally, I think the price, weight and size will work against it becoming a tool of choice for the morally corrupt or intellectually challenged. Heck, why spend this much money for what appears to be a bolt action rifle when you can get an AK 47 for what I suspect will be less money as well?

    Fred PRoNJ



    • Fred,

      It has long been my desire to watch a movie in which the criminal attempts to use a technology like this, only to be foiled by its complexity.

      Imagine holding up a liquor store with a flintlock Kentucky rifle!

      B.B.



      • pete,
        I agree with you on your power comment and I’ve heard that “you might as well buy a rimfire” comment many times but on the plus side, for me, there are many things about air guns that makes them more appealing than firearms. I’d rather take a 3,000fps air rifle into the hunt that a firearm, when they become available (I might have to get someone else to cock it, though). And actually, I have already spent more for an air rifle with less power than I have for any of my firearms so that barrier is broken and when the right new air rifle/pistol comes along I’ll probably do it again. I’m hooked.
        -Chuck


        • Power isn’t my thing. I hate to think how many rimfire guns I could have for the cost of my match air guns. Of course, a free pistol or free rifle costs a bundle too.


          • pete,
            I know, they’re like kids and dogs – they don’t cost all that much to bring home but once they get there look out!!!
            -Chuck


  8. Very, very nice. Perhaps the future of powerful airguns. The price will keep most of the rif raff away.
    Just like cold weather does!

    Mike


  9. Daystate has airguns that have electronically controlled valves, is this some how different then those?

    I know they do not have any big bores but the concept is the same…much greater efficiency and shot count.


    • Jason,

      That is what I cannot go into. You’ll just have to trust me that this valve is quite different than the Daystate Mark III or Mark IV.

      Daystate rifles get a remarkable number of shots from their electronic firing system, plus they are very quiet because the air is not under great pressure as it exits the muzzle. The Rogue valve does pretty much the same thing, only perhaps at greater precision. But I cannot prove that and I also cannot describe how the valve works.

      B.B.


  10. BB, I enjoyed shooting the Rogue at the Arkansas show. It was one of my highlights this year. I hope a Rogue eventually finds a way onto my gun rack. After you get through testing it, just tell Crosman you have a friend that wants to borrow it for a few years :) I hope Crosman eventually open’s the programming up so advanced airgunners can play with the settings.

    David Enoch


    • David,

      Crosman is counting the minutes until I return the Rogue to them. They have several other gun writers who want to test it, as well.

      I would also like one in my closet, but like everyone else, that will take a lot of saving for.

      B.B.


  11. BB -

    Great report this morning. I can’t say that I’m surprised that you had a hand in this project. I hope you get some financial benefit for all of the consulting that you do for this industry.

    Most folks seem to see the Rogue as a pure hunting gun, but I tend to see it appealing to the tinkerer shooter quite a bit. You know the type… always trying to refine their casting/reloading technique… practicing for hours with no payoff but the joy of accomplishment. I’ve sent many pounds of lead downrange shooting single shot rifles like your Ballard over a bench on a hundred yard range. On most nice days, there were quite a few of us. No competition. No hunting. Just a bunch of guys enjoying the day by doing what they like to do best. In that regard, I could see myself owning a Rogue. It looks like a hobby piece that could keep me entertained for a very long time.

    Kind Regards,
    - Jim in KS


    • Jim in KS,
      You just touched on something I’ve been looking for – what to do with used pellets. I have a growing stack of lead bars I’ve molded from used pellets that I’ve dug out of my traps, walls, ceiling, leg, etc. I was going to use them for making fishing jigs, but now, I have another use – .357 pellets for my Rouge. The Walleye will have to wait their turn.
      -Chuck


    • I think that the Rogue may be popular with shooters as opposed to hunters. I think most big bore hunters want more power than the Rogue currently puts out. But, shooters, on the other hand are more concerned about consistent shots and having more shots before they have to refill. The Rogue may even be quiet enough to shoot in some backyards if you have a suitable backstop.

      I have been thinking about getting my first big bore this year. What I want is accuracy, shot count, able to cast my own bullets or round ball, and being quiet. I don’t plan to kill anything with it. Although the Rogue is more expensive and heavier than I like, it may be the closest I have found to what I am looking for.

      David Enoch


      • Another aspect BB mentioned, that’s a plus for shooters, is the ability to shoot without ear protection. But I also think this could eliminate or at least greatly reduce all the complaints about trigger creep and stacking and crisp release, etc. This is a biiig selling point.
        -Chuck


  12. I’m curious to see about sabot rounds. Say, a .270 in a discarding sabot for a potentially better B.C. And flatter trajectory. Would the barrel stabilize it? Fun to ponder, more fun to experiment!




    • twotalon,

      Just curious – is it the bog bore nature that makes it worthless to you, or the e-valve technology?

      I too have no use for this either as I don’t need a big bore, but I am interesting in what this could do in the future. A .22 or .25 e-valve Marauder that could get 60 or more consistent high fpe shots out of a full fill would be compelling.

      I don’t see much extension into .177 as so many shots are already available there, even in unregulated guns.

      Alan in MI


      • Well….
        It’s big.
        It’s heavy.
        It’s ugly.
        It’s illegal for hunting ANY game species in my state. Even for species that airguns are allowed for, silencers are NOT. Call it a “shroud” if you want, but it is what it is.
        It’s Crosman. I have already been the victim of their “maybe” barrels. Oversize bore that nothing fits, but Crosman insists is “within specs”.

        twotalon


  13. BB,
    I need some clarification. This article makes the Rogue sound like it is not 9mm yet, the inscription on the right side of the receiver says .357 Cal (9mm), leading the uninformed, such as me, to believe this is, indeed, a 9mm rifle as if .357 cal is really 9mm. It seems to me that saying .357 cal(9mm) implies any 9mm bullet or pellet would work, oversized or not. Yet, I get the impression this is not true unless the 9mm is oversized.
    -Chuck


    • Chuck,

      The 9mm bullet is undersized, not oversized. Yes they will fit and they will fire, but they won’t be accurate. On the other hand, the broad availability of .357 bullets so overshadows those few available in 9m as to make them insignificant.

      So why did Crosman mark the receiver as 9mm? Because many shooters simply don’t know the difference, and there is already an acceptance of 9mm in the big bores. That’s what I was saying in this report.

      It’s similar to saying that you can operate your new Ferrari on 87 octane gasoline (for a while), but don’t expect it to perform. Buy the premium, and forget the cost.

      B.B.


      • BB

        I used to do valet parking. One of my jobs was at Emory Hospital. For awhile we had the owner of a Ferrari repair shop coming in daily to visit someone. After about a week of seeing him everyday, I asked him which Ferrari model he owned. He said, with all sincerity, “Oh, I don’t own any [Ferraris]. They just cost too much. I have a family.” My respect increased for him ten fold, yet I found it very sad for some reason.


        • SL,

          I was also a valet parker at Plateau Seven in San Jose. Ferrari and Lamborghini were about the only two neat cars I never drove. I once drove a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing. And Pontiac GTOs came in every weekend. I love them! I developed a disgust for Corvettes because fully half of them had racing clutches with Muncie gearboxes and were hard to shift.

          B.B.


      • BB,
        I was referring to where you said in the article that PA sold 9mm that would work in the Rogue because they were over-sized.

        All in all, I think this rifle is a paradigm shifter. I would expect to see a growing use of electronics in air guns of all kinds as well as in more big bore rifles. Maybe others have implemented the use of electronics before but the Rogue is going to be turning more heads.
        -Chuck


        • Chuck,

          I interpreted what BB wrote to mean that PA’s 9pm bullets were oversized, thus would fit the .357 fairly well.

          Alan in MI


          • Alan,
            Yes that’s the way I interpreted it also. The point I was trying to make is the inscription .357(9mm) is clearly stamped on the side of the Rogue receiver. I thought that was confusing since only oversized 9mm will be a satisfactory ammo for the Rogue and not just any 9mm. And I realize 9mm is too small to be desirable for the .357 Rogue except for some oversized 9mm PA sells. How you get an oversized 9mm and still call it 9mm is another question not necessary to answer right now. I suppose it’s like .177 that’s not really .177 but gets oversized and undersized for some strange reason.

            To help make my point, in one place BB said, “Why on earth would Crosman want to make a rifle that is not 9mm, which is .355-.356 caliber, and instead make theirs a .357?” Then I see .357(9mm) stamped on the side of the Rogue receiver. Which is it .357 or 9mm. And it’s been clearly stated in the aforementioned quote that they’re not the same. Hence confusion.

            I don’t want to get carried away with this question because it is probably not that important but I just wanted to get my point across.

            -Chuck


            • Chuck and Alan,

              Crosman has decided to remove the 9mm markings from the receiver of the production gun.

              B.B.


              • BB,
                Thank you for that and thank Crosman. I think it’s a wise move to protect us newbies from our ignorance.
                -Chuck


  14. I love the contest winning photo, and I wish we had a name for the pretty young lady who shot so well. It’s another Crystal Ackley or another Russian female sniper who will not have to go through such terrible things but can develop her shooting talents in a fun supportive environment. This should be our definitive airgun poster. It condenses everything good about this sport.

    James M. McPherson, reigning Civil War historian, has advanced the contingency theory of history with regard to the war. There was no single reason that the North or South should have won. The reason that things worked out as they did was because of circumstances coming together at a particular time and place, and so it is with the Rogue. Great job Lloyd, B.B. and Crosman for bringing this product together. I’m reminded of the great Indian mathematician Ramanujan, working in obscurity and sending some of his work to great mathematicians at Oxford who were blown away by it. And there are some elements of business espionage here like the way I think it was employees at Ruger went through garbage at Smith and Wesson and found discarded .44 magnum casings that they used to scoop Smith and Wesson on the development of this cartridge. It went something like that.

    As to the rifle, it looks to me like the M14 EBR, which is to say very cool and tactical. My big question is why Crosman invested all of this effort in a big bore caliber which must be a small fraction of the market which mostly uses .177 and .22. My guess is that the air regulation that is the basis of the Rogue makes a much greater difference for a big bore. Is that right? And someone remind me just what is the appeal of big bore airguns since the large caliber negates a lot of the advantages, like quiet backyard shooting, that are commonly cited for airguns. My guess is that it is a hunting rifle for novelty, short range, and low-cost. I love the digital displays saying when to refill. That is really my speed. :-) As for batteries, my new top choice of a red dot sight is the current line of Aimpoint sights. I believe that a single double or triple A battery will last for 8 years with the light constantly on! Just phenomenal. So I battery technology is such (or will be soon) that it will pose no barrier to the Rogue. I’m intrigued with the computer that controls everything. Lloyd are you a computer programmer in addition to the other skills required to build a gun?

    Wulfraed, thanks for the advice about acetone. The darn thing does feel welded. I’m thinking now of how to salvage as much as possible.

    B.B., tell me more about your love affair with the Mosin. Well, it is a crude gun isn’t it? But accurate. Is that the appeal? A big part of the appeal for me is how the gun is saturated in history. The design goes back to the end of the blackpowder era and the time of the czars and the gun I’m thinking of has probably seen action on the Eastern Front. Mac must have strong feelings about the rifle to get two of them. Any observations of his that you can pass on would be appreciated.

    Duskwight, I’ve heard the same explanation of the Mosin’s short length of pull: that it was designed for use with heavy winter clothing. But what about the Russian summers when it gets incredibly hot from what I’ve heard. The memoir of one German soldier I’ve read said, “This country is unlivable even in autumn.” :-) On the subject of size, Simo Haya mentions that he preferred the Mosin to a scoped Husqvarna rifle because of his size; he was on the shorter side. Is there a reason one would prefer an exceptionally long rifle because you’re short? Maybe it had to do with the length of pull specifically. Doesn’t make much sense to me otherwise.

    Thanks for all the advice about checking the bore and muzzle and throat erosion but I will have to make the decision from a distance since this will be done by mail order. So, all hinges on the reputation of the company, the James River Armory. Now this is interesting since I heard about these folks from a transient poster on the blog. This is another instance of what I’ve found true in life, especially as I get older: you never know how a word might change things for a particular person in ways that you could never imagine. Really, the possibilities are just seething all around us.

    Mike, right you are about the Lee-Enfield series. My second choice. I would say that undoubtedly it is a better battle rifle. But I use my rifles for target shooting, and I doubt that a Lee-Enfield could keep up with a Mosin sniper for accuracy. My mind is racing ahead. I could get a Huber Concepts drop-in match trigger for the Mosin and then reload Sierra Match King 150 gr. bullets in the high-quality Prvi Partizan brass. I’d say the odds then are that you are more likely to get sub-MOA than not.

    Matt61


    • Matt,

      Summer here is just 3 months :) One can bear this little inconvenience. And usual summer T is 25-26C, not like last years, I think it’s something messy with the climate.

      duskwight


      • Matt

        Looks like the young lady is named Linet. She certainly is cute. (no creepy vibes here) And look at her shooting! Quite the talent. I wonder if Kevan cut the stock down on the Disco, or if she just managed a way around the longer length of pull.

        I like the choice of target material. An empty case of beer! Kevan can spend the $50 on targets.


    • Matt,

      I can’t really explain what about the Mosin Nagant attracts me. Yes it is simple enough to be called crude, but wait until you see it shoot. The 1903 Springfield has nothing on a Mosin in the accuracy department.

      When I disassemble the bolt into its, what, three or four main parts, I marvel at the rugged simplicity. No wonder it was made by the millions and used the world around.

      B.B.


    • Matt,
      No, I am not a programmer, but have had opportunities to do programming for various manufacturing mini-projects over the years in my day-job. My initial exposure was with Fortran and punch cards, which certainly dates me. The development platform I used for this project is programmed with a version of Basic, which is fun and fairly easy. The challenge of completing complex operations with limited processor capability was interesting.
      Lloyd


  15. To me this is like electronic fuel injection in cars.
    It’s scary for some and carburetors are still around and will still be for a loooong time but it’s nice to have the option and being able to do things that weren’t possible and find tune your gun with a laptop hooked to it and have the gun YOU want not the gun most people want and the tuning will be exactly where you want it with a few clicks of the mouse no need to take the action out of the stock, give a screw a few turns put it back in the stock shoot a few rounds take it out of the stock again turning another screw… you hook it up, tell the valve what to do and voilà, custom tune.
    It’ll open a whole new market of airgun tuners, they’ll just send you a custom tune they made for you by email, you hook it up, download it on the rifle and your done.

    When a few are sold and they bring other calibers and price gets down and come out with the EPIC on other rifles and maybe someday on pistols it’ll be the most user friendly PCP out there, all thanks to Lloyd, Tom and Crosman.

    I could see something like this fitted to a Challenger…
    I have no use for a big bore either and the shroud makes it illegal to own in Canada anyways but put this system in a .177 or .22 rifle with a 500fps tune on it and get 150 shoots, it would be so much easier then designing some new valve or putting bleed holes like they are doing right now, just put the 500fps in the programming and your done, you can call your Crosman dealer have him unlock the full tune for you when you’re ready to have it registered.

    The possibilities are endless to me and I hope it all goes well and it becomes available to more and more airguns and airgun enthusiasts.

    J-F


  16. For all of you non-facebook friends, here is another facebook special from Crosman :

    NRA “Virtual” Show Special: All Benjamin Trail NP XL rifles are 25% OFF+FREE SHIPPING *TODAY ONLY*, use coupon code NRA2011FRI

    Good shopping.

    J-F


  17. Wonder if the Rogue could/should be offered in other calibers? With such a large bore the breech would already be offset from the air reservoir. If the Rogue were offered in other calibers then most of the basic parts would come down in costs due to volume.


  18. I’d say this will be good for air rifles in the same way that the invention of scoped inline MLers was good for muzzleloaders. I.e., on the surface could be wildly successful with large numbers of new adopters, but essentially antithetical to the traditional nature of the pursuit. I probably wouldn’t do it myself, but I would support a big bore MLing air rifle being used in a primitive hunting season; I wouldn’t be a proponent of allowing the Rogue or any other big bore repeater that option.


  19. Hey everyone,
    Today was my day off from work and BBs blog caught me by surprise when I woke up early as usual. Then Edith mentioned that Tom was having a repair done at the hospital (last one for a long time, let’s hope!), which I hope went well.

    So I’ve just been lurking and listening to the comments and opinions and facts and perceptions and ideas. There has always been a sharp bunch of folks on this blog, and some of you have hit some bulls eyes today. TT, even your bare knuckled honesty is appreciated…. I’m used to it by now, LOL. But you do make some valid points that are shared by many.

    Hopefully BB can address a lot of the comments from you guys and then I’ll chime in only if needed/asked. I’ve already given my impressions on the Crosman site, so it’s time for other points of view to flow freely, for better or worse.

    Thanks everyone,
    Lloyd


  20. Heard from Frank B. a short while ago. He is in the heart of the devastation that was caused by all the tornado’s back east. He didn’t get hit but his power is out and doesn’t expect it to be repaired for a least a week. His description made it sound like ground zero.

    He wished everyone well and wanted to assure everyone that he will make out fine since he’s prepared for these types of situations.

    kevin


  21. The Rogue is revolutionary no question. Big bore with great shot count, quiet compared to the rest and affordable compared to most.

    Big bores never appealed to me since they seem more suited to large game hunting and require a lot of air. The higher shot count from the Rogue is appealing. I just don’t know what I’d do with this gun. I have .22 caliber pcp’s that are adequate for the little bit of hunting/pesting I do with an airgun.

    I’m in the minority as an airgunner though. Most of my time is spent with mid powered springers. The majority of airgunners seem captivated by power and size of lead that they can sling. For these reasons I think the Rogue will be enough of a hit to spawn additional electronic guns. As airgunners, we’re living in a very interesting time.

    kevin


    • Yes Kevin, I’m with you. Most of my airgun shooting is with Diana 52′s, an FWB 124, some old Benjamin and Sheridan pumpers. To each his own. But, that said, I am interested in what else is out there. You never know what you may want in the future.

      Mike


      • Kevin

        Thanks for the update on Frank B. It is a great relief to hear he is ok and relatively unscathed. People don’t get much nicer than Frank B.

        I will also say a prayer for JT in AL. Let us all hope he and his are uninjured.

        As is usual, I agree with everything you said about the Rogue. I won’t be getting one because I have no real need for it, and can’t think of any good excuses for buying it. I do think they were very wise and considerate of their customers by selecting the caliber they did. Very thoughtful. It looks like at least at Crosman some airgun manufacturers know a little something about airgunners.

        If I hunted, it would be a no brainer. I would put an order in right now.

        My excitement is stirred by the potential for the future. I think it is a near certainty that I will buy some version of an EPIC design in the near future (I hope)

        I also agree with you about the mid and low powered springers. Almost all my shooting is at targets, at short to intermediate ranges, about 40 yards max. No need to drag out an 11 pound gun for that. In addition, if plinking soda cans, I want the can to jump up and fall over. At 950fps the pellets rip right through without budging the can. Very frustrating. Filling them with water helps, but you can only do that once. And I like the easy cocking effort.

        I’m actually enjoying the hell out of the Red Ryder I bought recently because of the metal lever and $22 price tag. Can’t miss a can at 30 feet. Medicine bottles are a wee bit more of a challenge. 650 shot capacity and the action of cocking the lever always seems to load a BB. It is alot of fun. Still wish it had a compass and a sundial though.


        • Slinging lead,
          I was reading through your comment about target shooting for, I guess you’d call it for “fun”. You can’t beat airguns for that. I know a lot of folks who are hunters and their guns only come out during hunting season. Some of them want to shoot, but they don’t want to go to the range and have to drop $50 for ammo at one sitting.

          When I had the rogue last week, I have to say that it was fun to put the thing on low power and shoot a bunch of long range shots with a big bullet. And not have to wear hearing protection or get my shoulder beat up! People just don’t do that with their hunting rifles. Yes, I know it sounds kinda silly to talk about cheap, fun, shooting with a $1,500 gun, but the PB folks often have a lot more money tied up in their guns than airgun folks do.

          My point is (I think) that the Rogue adds a dimension to shooting that previously just wasn’t available. Those cans you are shooting at could be pieces of 2×4 or steel silhouettes, and they’d be dancing! Like the fun we had as kids shooting 22 rimfire.

          Lloyd


          • Lloyd

            My TX200 with big scope and 1piece rings goes about 11 pounds. The Marauder with even bigger scope and sidewheel is just a little lighter than TX. This is the metaphorical 11 pound gun I was talking about, not your creation. I could stand to be clearer in my written communications.

            I don’t underestimate the fun that could be plinking (plunking?) with the Rogue. I also don’t underestimate the size of the holes I would make in my fence when I missed. ;-) I bet those targets really go flying.

            Is Crosman going to make a girls’ version called the Rouge?

            Best regards Lloyd,

            SL



          • I am required to submit a justification for gun purchases to my wife, in triplicate, and usually a month before the purchase is concluded. The same is true for software and/or computer peripherals.


            • Pete,
              So I guess that includes a Return on Investment analysis or payback justification? Can you post one of those for the rest of us to use as reference when the time comes?
              Lloyd


  22. Many thanks for the update on BB. Am saying a word that these small adjustments are coming along as well as (or, better than) those somewhat larger ones, of months ago – a good people/good things type of desire.

    As for Benjamin’s Rogue ePCP; mechanicals have always been personally easier to deal with. Actually being able to see a problem in action has generally beat the heck out of searching for electronic calibration equipment in the field. For that reason alone this new-fangled, projectile-thrower might, could be a tad intimidating. That hasn’t stopped me from throwing a hat into the waiting list barrel, though.

    Looking forward to the challenge, if for nothing else than to prove that old dogs can learn new tricks. Keep those reports a’coming, as this old cur can still see and hear a fair bit.

    Far as the misuse worries are concerned: Air guns are a hobby. The best any of us can do is to teach the children we have come to know, both young and old. There’ll always be some idiot, who will abuse an opportunity. Seems sleep should come easier to those who have made the best of their sphere of influence.

    Best to all,
    Perk




  23. Dang it, BB. I can’t even lurk in piece without you giving me something new to drool over….. :) Hope your “little” surgery works out well!

    /Dave


  24. The Crosman Facebook promotion keeps getting better.
    It’s still 25% off but on even more stuff now but you gotta hurry…

    Final day of the NRA convention in Pittsburgh tomorrow, so here are the deals for our “virtual” show special, ends Sunday night: use coupon code NRA2011 to get 25% off the Marlin Cowboy, Benjamin 392, Benjamin 397, Benjamin Trail NP Hardwood/All Weather, Benjamin Trail NP XL 725/1100/1500, Benjamin Marauder .22 and Benjamin Marauder Pistol!

    Enjoy and happy shopping.

    If I could I would get myself the Marauder family, the rifle AND the pistol.

    J-F


  25. Just skimming this thread, reacting to a comment by Robert arguing the Swiss case in defence of the 2nd amendment.

    I am a great admirer of Swiss armed neutrality, the practice of which which is probably closer to what the 2nd amendment indented than current realities. I equally admire the Swiss defiance under General Guisan during WW2, but I have to challenge Roberts understanding of history. Part of the reason that Switzerland remained uninvaded was that they had (then) about 500,000 militia troops. Another was that they pragmatically continued to supply the Nazis with precision engineering products, allow rail traffic to Fascist Italy etc. A nasty little part of that compromise is the story of the Jews turned back at the border and the fate of Swiss Jews in Germany.

    My point is that its an ugly world and a militia army alone is not secure protection.

    http://history-switzerland.geschichte-schweiz.ch/holocaust-jewish-refugees-switzerland.html


  26. Is this gun discontinued?I haven’t heard about it in a long time FredPRONJ was right that the price
    and not being able to charge it with a hand pump and of course the cost I think will or has doomed it.


    • NNJMIke,

      I don’t think the Rogue is discontinued in the formal sense. But I also don’t think it is in Crosman’s marketing plans, either. Will it go away? Yes, unless the company does something new that they haven’t done yet.

      As for the hand pump comment, no big bore is practical with a hand pump, so the Rogue is no different than any other big bore in that respect.

      As for the perice, I think you’re right. It was priced out of the market.

      B.B.


  27. Where can this be bought, Evanix has their tactical that seems to be in the same ball park, but the Rouge tends to have preferred options ‘WHERE CAN I BUY THIS?


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