Benjamin Rogue ePCP: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


The new Rogue is simpler, more tractable.

Today is my first report on taking the Benjamin Rogue .357-caliber big bore rifle to the range. Instead of just running it over the chronograph, I thought I would first get used to how it shoots. I’d talked to Ed Schultz of Crosman about the main changes, and he told me they had simplified the programs. Instead of 9 possible choices (low, medium and high power…plus light, medium and heavy bullets), they abbreviated it to just medium and high power and light and heavy bullet weights.

Ed said the gun would give more shots on these settings because the valving had been trying to do too much before. So that was what I was looking for at the range — a gun with tractable power and simpler options.

Crosman sent some Nosler Ballistic Tips with the rifle, and I knew they were designed specifically for it and that’s where I began.


Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets are made for the Rogue.

Ed told me to consider the 145-grain Noslers to be the starting point for the heavy bullets — and bullets weighing 135-grains and less as light — so I programmed the rifle for heavy bullets and medium power. Of course, you can program the gun any way you like, but these are the guidelines. Because there was such a furor from the field about the magazine feeding, I decided to use it, exclusively. It holds 6 bullets, and I wanted to see if there were 6 good shots with this medium power setting and heavy bullet weight setting. The distance was 50 yards, and I took three shots to zero the scope, which is a new CenterPoint 4-16×40 that I’ll mention later.

The trigger is quite a bit lighter and crisper than the trigger I tested last time. I have to say that this one is a positive winner, as it releases the same every time. The first shot went before I was ready, but the crosshairs were on target and the bullet went where I intended.


After sight-in, I rapped off two quick magazines of Nosler Ballistic Tips.


Six Nosler Ballistic Tips made this 2.5-inch group at 50 yards. That was as many as the gun wanted to shoot at this power level, and notice how well-centered they are.

The readout said the pressure had dropped from 3,000 psi to 2,150 psi, so I refilled the gun to shoot again. The next time, I programmed the rifle to shoot the same 145-grain bullet on high power. As before, I loaded 6 bullets into the magazine.


The first 5 bullets went into 2.378 inches at 50 yards. The sixth shot was lower, as you can see. So 5 shots is the magic number on high power with heavy bullets. After 6 shots on high power, the pressure remaining was 1,350 psi, so the gun uses a lot more air at this setting.

Ed told me that Crosman rated the gun on high power to get 3 good shots, with very close velocity. Shots 4 and 5 will also be close, but not as close as the first 3. I discovered that when I shot this target.

Magazine feed
The Nosler bullets feds through the magazine easily and without hesitation. They’re perfect for the rifle.

Next, I tried some 158-grain semi-wadcutter cast bullets. These were the bullets shooters had difficulty with in the old magazine. The new magazine fed them flawlessly, however, they stopped when the front driving band encountered the rifling in the breech. At that point, they were not fully seated in the barrel. So I had to force the bolt forward to get it closed, and you probably recall that the bolt controls the electronic firing system; so until it’s closed and in the right position, the gun will not fire.


These semi-wadcutters had a body that was too long for the Rogue’s breech. They were difficult to load, though they functioned in the magazine flawlessly.

I shot the one bullet that was so difficult to feed and decided not to try any more of them. In consultation with Crosman, I discovered that they actually cut a chamber in the back portion of the barrel, and these semi-wadcutters now feed perfectly. We believe that I was shooting as-cast bullets that are just slightly out of round and jammed up in the chamber. I’ll size all future bullets to 0.358 inches before I go to the range. No more as-cast bullets for me.

My only other bullet was a second semi-wadcutter whose body was so similar to the first bullet that I didn’t try them in the rifle. I had brought some round-nosed bullets in my range box, but when I broke into the package I discovered they were .308 and not .357.

Well, I got what I had come for, which was a good first look at the new Rogue in action. It has a much better trigger than the one I tested earlier, and it seems to be very stable for a magazine full of shots, so that’s how I will gauge my shooting in future sessions. I’ll bring some properly sized .357 bullets next time, and I’ll break out the chronograph to see how things stack up.

CenterPoint scope
Just one final word about the scope on the test rifle. Crosman sent a new 4-16×40 AO CenterPoint Optics scope with the Rogue, and this was the first chance I had to try it out. It zeroed quickly and was bright enough, though it was sunny at the range and relative brightness was difficult to estimate. The scope was very clear and has an illuminated reticle and adjustable objective for parallax correction. I did look at the reticle in my office and see that it reflects well off the wire crosshairs, but it was unnecessary on this bright day.

One final word about the adjustable stock. This one REALLY adjusts — as in — I can make the pull too long for me, and I like a long pull. So, I think the Rogue will fit almost any adult, regardless of their reach.

49 Responses to “Benjamin Rogue ePCP: Part 2”

  • duskwight Says:

    Just some eye candy: http://forum.guns.ru/forums/icons/forum_pictures/006560/6560514.jpg HW-85, styled after sniper Mosin.

    • Frank B Says:

      Wow Duskwight! That is ingenious……and pretty much the coolest thing I have seen in months!

      • duskwight Says:

        Frank,

        The guy is somewhat obsessed with shiper Mosin, his every creation is even higher level of perfection. Well, I must admit that sniper Mosin looks really sharp too and it’s a real “immortal thing”.

        duskwight

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      duskwight,

      What a gorgeous conversion that is! A person with skills like that should never lack for work.

      B.B.

    • Matt61 Says:

      That is a dead ringer for the real thing. I’m slowly warming up to my trigger job and gunsmith check. But I’m having so much fun dry firing that I’m not in a rush.

      Matt61

  • derekb Says:

    Are these groups appropriate for a large-bore airgun? Is this performance in line, better than, worse than, other big-bore options?

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      derekb,

      You know, I asked the same question, and I’m testing the gun! So, if I don’t know…!

      The truth is, these are fairly nice groups for a big bore. I can do better with my Quackenbush 458, but not as good with my Quackenbush 308. And the Asian big bores don’t do as well, generally.

      Here is the thing that differentiates all these guns. I was able to shoot these groups on a single fill of air and from the one magazine that was loaded. With my Quackenbush 458 I have to elevate the gun for the second shot and then refill the gun twice for five shots, or I have to refill after every shot to better the groups. That’s the difference. Less fiddling here.

      B.B.

      • Matt61 Says:

        Wondered the same thing myself. Pcps are accurate, so why the reduction from the usual standard? It must be the heavier caliber and the different velocity between each shot. But shouldn’t that cause only vertical stringing?

        Matt61

  • Bob from Oz Says:

    G’day BB
    What can you humanely shoot with rifles like this?
    Cheers Bob

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Bob,

      Good question! I think game up to and including coyotes (a 35-lb. dog-like critter) or feral dogs up to 60 lbs. would be fair game out as far as you could be certain of holding a three-inch group.

      If I were in Germany, perhaps I would try for a roe deer (providing it was legal to do, which I don’t think it is). But the problem with the roe deer is most shots are too far for this rifle.

      Undoubtedly it will kill a standard American whitetail deer, which goes 100-130 lbs. in most places, but I think that is stretching the sportsmanship too far. Unlike some “hunters,” I do not feel that larger game that is considered a pest (like your kangaroos, perhaps?) is fair game simply because they are pests. Even with rats I believe we need to be humane or don’t shoot at all.

      B.B.

      • Desertdweller Says:

        I’m glad to read you are concerned about the effects of air guns on animals, even vermin. Nothing deserves a slow, miserable death, no matter how disgusting they may seem to us humans.

        Do you think the Rogue would be suitable for hunting javelinas? I would see groups of these things running on the desert and often wondered what would be a proper air rifle for taking them. In New Mexico they are hunted with small-bore centerfire rifles and bow and arrow.

        Last night I watched a TV program about vampire bats. What wonderful prey they would make, especially inside a cave.

        Les

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Les,

          Yes, I think the Rogue would be ideal for Javalinas. They’re just the right size!

          BTW, do you ever hear them called Weber pigs? That’s because they are just the right size for a Weber grill.

          B.B.

          • Desertdweller Says:

            Yep. That’s what we called them in New Mexico.

            I’ve heard the meat is good in tamales. I’ve never tried it….or, maybe I have and didn’t know it!

            Les

  • etamme Says:

    Seems like crosman has significantly pulled in the claimed number of shots on the rogue. It seems to be… pretty near the same shot count as the Sam Yang Recluse which I just chronied the other day at the range. 6 good medium power shots, 3 ‘good’ high power with 2 potential extra shots. I will acquiesce that my chrony numbers are with lighter bullets.

    see my results recluse here: http://oi45.tinypic.com/1zv496s.jpg

    I am not in any way trying to “hate” on the rogue, I am just … observing that crosman seems to be ‘relaunching’ this product with an attempt to reset the expectations to a more realistic shot count etc. since the original launch was … barraged with rants on the lack of meeting claimed performance.

    Also, it is worth noting that the Recluse does seem to achieve similar results while costing half as much. Granted – it is not ‘programmable’, nor is it a multi shot. So it is not an apples to apples comparison, just …food for thought.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      etamme,

      I think the difference between the Rogue and the Recluse is the consistent velocity the Rogue is able to maintain between its shots. That does pay off downrange with tighter groups.

      B.B.

    • Chuck Says:

      etamme,
      I looked for the distance to target with your comment and target picture but didn’t see it. Was it at 50yds? That’s some pretty good shooting for 50 yds with any gun.
      -Chuck

      • etamme Says:

        Hey Chuck,

        Sorry I forgot to include the range info. I was shooting stock open sights off a bi-pod at 35 yards. The gun was not sighted, so I just aimed at the same spot every time for each group and made no corrections.

        The bullets I shot were cast for me for a friend and sized to .358, which is apparently what most Recluse like, vs the smaller diameter 9mm (.356).

        The Rogue is interesting, but it is clear to me that the Sam Yang Recluse is no slouch. :)

        -Eric

  • BG_Farmer Says:

    BB,
    I know you are a fan of this one, but I just hear the same song second verse. Any chance Crosman could reveal the twist rate this time — it is almost certainly incorrect given those groups with the optimal bullet and recommended settings? Are the bullets key-holing or did the paper get torn? It is basically academic with 2.5″ groups at 50 yards!

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      BG_Farmer,

      First, I am not a fan of the Rogue. I helped develop it, but that does not make me a fan.

      Second, this first outing was just a shakedown. Let’s give the rifle a chance before we start condemning its “shortcomings” that haven’t even been identified yet. These two groups are the easiest two groups I ever shot with any big bore, so I have to give the gun credit for that. To get groups of equal size with other big bores has always taken several attempts and multiple days at the range.

      There is still so much to test on this Rogue that I think the results are far from complete, yet.

      B.B.

      • BG_Farmer Says:

        BB,
        I didn’t mean anything insulting by the “fan” comment; actually I was trying to soften my criticism. If that performance is typical of or even good for big bores, then they must just be a cult thing, because I can’t see any use for them aside from novelty, but maybe testing further will reveal some better characteristics, and I can’t see why they won’t shoot accurately with the right setup. I would try the lighter bullets — didn’t you have some promising results with 95grain HP’s last time, and ettame’s 91 grain results look excellent out of the Recluse? 3K PSI is a serious limitation!

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          BG_Farmer,

          Okay, I have give this a lot of consideration and here is what I think. I had a very nice M1 Carbine out at the range on the same day as the Rogue, and it was no more accurate at 50 yards. In fact, any time I see a Carbine shoot that well, I consider it to be a special gun, because most of them I have seen aren’t that good. I have read articles that claimed better accuracy for a Carbine, but when I was the witness, the best ones shot about the same as the Rogue in this test.

          And let’s add the fact that both the SKS and AKMs are the same or less accurate, as well.

          Now the Rogue won’t reach out to the same distance as the AKs, SKSs or even the Carbines. But within its limits it does pretty good. At least that’s what I think.

          B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Another question was sent to the wrong address. This is from Brian,

    HI. i have an old haenel pop gun which still works. unable to find any reference to this model probably as it is just toy.
    it has “1.10.31.E” underneath the wooden stock, looks like date but dont know and a large “X” on barrel near the name. have you any reference to this?

    best wishes brian

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Brian,

      I think you are right about the date stamp on your Haenel. Another clue is if it says Made in Germany, instead of Made in East Germany somewhere on the gun, then it was made before WWII.

      You call it a “pop gun.” That is a specific term that denotes a toy noisemaker, rather than a pellet or BB gun. Did you really mean that, or was that just a slip of the tongue?

      I ask because the X on the barrel may connote that it is rifled or smoothbore. I would guess smoothbore.

      Beyond that, I am out of ideas.

      B.B.

      • brian Says:

        hi, it looks very old and probably pre war, i thought the number i listed was a date as it has stops between. its what we called a spud gun or cork gun when we were kids. bore about 1/2 inch. really a toy but well made.

  • David Enoch Says:

    It looks like the Rogue is similar in performance to a 6″ 38 special revolver.

    David Enoch

  • kevin Says:

    B.B.,

    How can we distinguish between the Generation I Rogue and the Generation II Rogue? Externally they look identical. Is there a serial no. that can be relied upon for this transition?

    kevin

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Kevin,

      Other than the electronic readout I don’t know of a way to tell.

      I will ask Crosman.

      B.B.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Kevin,

      Crosman responded with this:

      Serial numbers 412120680 and later are “new” revised software and tuning. “412..” is April of 2012.

      B.B.

      • kevin Says:

        B.B.,

        Thank you.

        Hope you’ll find time to shoot those 95 gr hollowpoints in this second generation rogue that did so well in the first generation.

        kevin

  • twotalon Says:

    Off of today’s topic….

    So how many things can I do wrong ?
    Shooting 24 yds, wind light and variable speed from the right. Arrow points to aim point.

    Rested, but out of narural position which would have been a bit to the left of aim point. Not enough wind to blow the shots that far to the left. Predominantly L-R wobble on target. Kept pulling the shots.
    http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z244/twotalon/002.jpg

    Today, 40 yds at milk jug top. Wind 0-light from left.
    Wobble was predominantly L-R, but was in a natural position for P.O.A. Not pulling many shots at all. Most shots hitting slightly low as they should at 40. One that you don’t see was the only clear miss…..I bumped the barrel near the cocking handle on the inside of the window frame of my van before taking the shot. Coincidence ? Maybe….it’s a break barrel.
    http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z244/twotalon/005-1.jpg

    So ask yourself what you might be doing wrong when you have problems. One problem is enough, but multiple problems ??????

    twotalon

    • Fred DPRoNj Says:

      TT,

      I’ll see your arrow mishaps and raise with – signed up for the wrong team last night at the .22 target competition. Then I fired two of ten rounds at the WRONG target in the 25 yard Bullseye competition. The guy whose target I hit thought the two hits were his (they were outside the bull and he typically gets all 10 rounds in the 8 or better ring) and was totally dispondent that he did so “bad”. I claimed credit and the Range Officer agreed to discount the two shots. What hurt more is that they were on target just not in the black but I couldn’t count them in my score, instead getting two misses. Finally, with .22 long rifle fun time, I shot at what I thought were scoring parts of the target only to learn that, you guessed it, no points awarded for being in the black on that target. You had to hit the white part of the target!

      Not one of my better days there.

      Fred DPRoNJ

      • twotalon Says:

        I was shooting with a club one time and put one on the wrong target. The scoring official would not throw it out. Shots on a target (or missing the right target) counted only on the target they hit or missed. That gets the other guy kinda upset.

        twotalon

      • Matt61 Says:

        Sounds like one of my range days.

        Matt61

  • Matt61 Says:

    Crystal Ackely step aside and make way for Tara Conner. She’s the host of a show called Kaboom where they blow things up. She’s also a former Miss Kentucky and Miss USA. The latter is different from Miss America in that they don’t worry about judging intelligence or character or anything like that; looks are all that matter.

    Recently, she shot a shaving cream can with an airgun. I was interested to see that the cream came out of the can forcefully and made quite a mess. But it was not an explosion in the sense of combustion. The hole from the shot just released the pressure. I believe these pressurized cans can explode so the conditions must not have been right. There is a scene in the second Batman film where Catwoman puts a shaving cream can in a microwave and makes it explode. Shooting the shaving cream can reminds me of a mythbusters show where they fired a centerfire bullet into a car’s gas tank and it did not explode as you might expect from the movies. I would have guessed that the heat in the bullet would have reached the threshold of ignition for the gasoline, but maybe the bullet was traveling too quickly.

    In other news, two great 10 shot groups by me from the B30! :-) As Tommy Lee Jones says in Space Cowboys, “There’s always got to be a winner and this time it’s me.” When the shooting goes well, sometimes you wonder how it is even possible to miss, but the reasons for that usually become clear soon enough…

    Matt61

    • Fred DPRoNj Says:

      Regarding blowing up gas tanks with bullets, doesn’t happen due to an overrich atmosphere or what we (former) fire protection engineers used to call ‘above the upper explosion limit of fume concentration’ – not enough oxygen to support combustion. Now an empty or almost empty tank with an opening to the atmosphere, that would be quite dangerous.

      Fred DPRoNJ

    • Wulfraed Says:

      Consider that foaming shave cream likely is a case of the propellant gas dissolved into the liquid. When the pressure is reduced (hole in canister), the dissolved gas comes out of solution expanding into bubbles creating the foam. The viscosity of the foam/liquid probably limits the rate of expansion.

      This is similar to opening a bottle of soda water — you get a rush of bubbles in the liquid, but not an “explosion”.

      In contrast, pure compressed gases have no restraint, and dump as fast as the opening can support (which may be fast enough to tear the opening wider).

    • Chuck Says:

      matt,
      Somewhere I learned that it is not the gasoline liquid that explodes but it is the vapors. A hot bullet in the liquid gasoline in the tank does nothing, but if the bullet is hot enough it might ignite vapors escaping from a tank if it passes through the vapors.
      -Chuck

      • Wulfraed Says:

        That applies to pretty much all flammable liquids — they have to vaporize to ignite…

        Back in the 70s my grandfather used to claim to have welded patches on leaky fuel tanks — as long as they were full of fuel…

        Of course, most common liquid fuels have relatively low vapor pressures so the space above them is quite ready to ignite.

        In contrast, an SR-71 on the ground leaks fuel like a seagull with diarrhea — in flight the metal surfaces heat up from air resistance so much that they expand and seal the tanks… And the fuel formulation is so resistant to burning that it is used a a coolant — pumping it over hot spots before injection into the jet engines (which helps preheat the fuel).

  • Sameer Says:

    Hi i bought a hatsan mod 135 yesterday. when i first shot the gun it gave a loud bang for 2 shots , thereafter i cleaned the barrel by pushing earbuds through the barrel with a plastic airsoft unjamming rod until it was clean. when i shoot the gun i stll get a little bit of smoke but no bang. Should I shoot the gun as it is or should i take it somewhere to be cleaned and relubed rather?

    regards
    Sameer

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Sameer,

      You had two detonations, which are not uncommon in powerful spring rifles these days. We expect that from most rifles when they are new. Cleaning the barrel with Q-tips has no affect on future explosions, but it also doesn’t hurt.

      Your gun is fine. Just shoot it and it will calm down as the shots increase.

      B.B.

      • Sameer Says:

        Thanks for the reply, The reason im asking is because i contacted an airgun tuner near to where i stay and he said i should bring the gun in when i described to him the same things i mentioned to you . also the o-ring by the breech has a slight dent in it, is this anything to worry about?

        thanks

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Sameer,

          Probably not. When the gun fires air gets behind the breech seal and presses it against the air transfer port. If your rifle seems to function okay it’s probably nothing to worry about.

          B.B.

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