A New Big Bore in Town
The Crosman ePCP Rogue .357!
Direct from the SHOT Show!
Crosman has released their first big bore airgun at the 2011 SHOT Show, and it is something
special. With an electronic trigger, electronic and programable shot regulation, a six shot
rotary magazine, and a shrouded barrel, this will be something that many predator hunters
have been waiting for!!!
Monday: I got up early and headed out to Media Day at the Boulder City shooting range. This event is
put on for media and the companies set up at the range to give the attendees a chance to shoot their
guns and try out the other gear weâ€™ll be looking at on the exhibition floor over the next few days.
The first stop I had was at the Crosman tent, Iâ€™ve been talking to them about a new gun for
months now, which I think will have a profound impact on airgun adoption by hunters, and this was the
first opportunity Iâ€™d have to shoot it. The rumors and guess work as to what this gun would be
have been flying around, and it can now be talked about. The gun is in a new series called ePCP and
the model is the .357 Rogue Big Bore rifle. This gun features an electronically controlled regulator,
which can be programmed on the fly to optimize the gun for power or air conservation, and further can
be optimized for the projectile being used. It generates between 100 â€“ 250 fpe. This makes it an
ideal gun for use in hunting everything from predators to hog sized game. The gun fills to an operating
pressure of 3000 psi and yields 3-8 shots per fill depending on settings.
Iâ€™ve been hunting with big bore airguns for several years and have taken a lot of predators, deer,
hogs, exotics, and African game with many different guns. And Iâ€™ve got some favorite in the fairly
small offering of big bore gunsâ€¦. but there are some features Iâ€™ve missed in all these guns, such
as; a reliable mulitshot version, a shrouded barrel, and a regulated gun. The Rogue has all of the
features, and the idea I can go out on a coyote set without having to pack my buddy bottle, and get
several shots with the same point of impact, and be able to do a fast follow up shot if needed â€¦ and
by the way do it relatively quietly â€¦.. well it doesnâ€™t get much better!
The gun has more of a tactical look than other big bores, with a pistol grip and an AR type buttstock.
The buttstock and length of pull is fully adjustable. The gun is pretty big, with an over all length of 48
inches, a 25 inch barrel, and a 30 inch shroud, and a weight of 9.5 lbs.
The e in the ePCP denotes a couple interesting feature of the gun. The left side of the action has a
display that presents the user interface for setting up the rifles firing characteristics. The shooter selects
the weight/type of projectile, the power desire (low, medium, or high used to simplify operation), and
the gun uses a pressure sensor that senses the pressure available, calculates the time the valve requires
to expand the volume of air at that pressure, to drive the bullet at the desired velocity. This means that
the gun will fire to the same POI over a number of shots. It also means that there is no excess air
blowing out the barrel which further decreases the sound level, but Iâ€™ll cover that later.
The trigger is a pleasure, it is set up to break at 1.5 lb, and breaks crisp and clean. It is fully adjustable
two stage, that is one of the better triggers Iâ€™ve used on a big bore airgun. But thatâ€™s the
second part of the â€œeâ€� designation, the trigger is electronic as well and the pull weight is
programmable. While the guys tell me itâ€™s a two stage, the first stage, at least in the gun I was
shooting, was hardly discernable.
Shooting the gun: I shot the gun off the bench using bipod, and found it pretty comfortable to shoot.
There was more interest in this gun by the mainstream media than any airgun Iâ€™ve seen in the past.
I had to muscle my way in amongst mainstream writers and broadcast type to shoot the thing, but
through the course of the day managed to get a fair amount of shooting time in. I found that the gun
offered a good sight alignment with the scvope in medium profile rings. I was knocking the 75 yard
steel plate over a 75 yards with every shot, using the 125 grain Hunter supply bullets and the 145 grain
Nosler polymer tipped bullets. Shooting offhand the gun balances well, and even though it is a large
gun weighing in at 9.5 lb, was not at all unwieldy. I liked the pistol grip, finding it had the ergonomics
and feel of the typical tactical style rifle.
Accuracy: I didnâ€™t have the chance to do any real testing of the gun as we were shooting
knockdown targets on the line. But I can say this, I hit the 4 inch diameter head section of the steel
target five shots in a row without appreciable shift in the POI.
Sound: This was really one of the most impressive aspects of the gun in my opinion, the barrel shroud
does its job. The discharge is slightly louder than a Marauder, but considering the output is a 145 grain
slug moving around 8oo fps, this is pretty impressive. This gun was as quiet as some of my shrouded
Magazine performance; The magazine was a prototype and wasnâ€™t being used on the range. We
were feeding single shot so Iâ€™ll have to save comment until after I get the gun for long term testing
Projectiles: An interesting aspect of this gun is the selection of bullets that has been developed along
side of it. Crosman turned to both the smaller niche bullet makers but also used their clout to bring
Nosler and Hornady onboard to develop bullets for the gun. The bullets we used for shooting at
Media day included the 125 and 178 grain Hunter Supply bullets, and the 140 grain Nosler polymer
tipped bullet fired at three different velocity settings.
With respect to velocity and power, we did not have a chronograph available at the shoot , but I fired
several consecutive shots at various settings and did not note an appreciable shift in the POI. What
impressed me was that two 2â€� planks (4â€� total) that had been nailed together were set up for
me to shoot, and the Nosler polymer tip bullet penetrated with the tip poking through on the offsideâ€¦â
€¦ lots of penetration!
I have had several discussions with Crosman about this gun over the last several months, and believe
their ideas on how to position their first big bore makes a lot of sense. They wanted a gun that was
suitable first and foremost as a predator hunting gun. Something that would allow hunters to reach out
and kill predators in a suburban setting, efficiently and quietly.
Where I think this gun is a game changer is not with air gunners per se, moreover it provides a much
needed tool for mainstream predator hunters. These are guys that are not going to switch over to
airguns as their main passion, but rather to use them as a tool where they donâ€™t have a good
alternative right now.
It is interesting, that any time there is a new gun out there are naysayers predicting it wonâ€™t work
before they (or anybody else) has had a chance to thoroughly evaluate it and generate some empirical
data. And any time there is a larger bore or more powerful gun there are those predicting it will mean
the end of airguns as we know them â€¦.. Draconian regulations are around the bend. To this end Iâ
€™d point to muzzle loaders and say, they are more powerful and it hasnâ€™t happened there, why
should airguns be different. In fact, when you have a legitimate use for a tool, I would argue you are
taking steps to legitimaize itâ€™s availability.
I predict that this gun will be a big seller for Crosman, but not necessarily in traditional airgun circles. It
will be driven by those identifying themselves as hunters rather than air gunners. I also think that itâ
€™s going to get more visibility for airguns than weâ€™ve seen in the past, and help drive changes in
hunting regulations to allow the use of airguns more widely as legitimate hunting tools.
Weâ€™ll have to wait and see, but I canâ€™t wait to get this gun into the field!
The Rogue .357 is a
big gun, but it
comes to the
shoulder well, and
offers a good sight
The fact that Crosman
is working with bullet
performance is a great
|The easy to use user interface is key to making this design work. This is where the shooter
programs the gun.
NOTE IN THIS PROTOTYPE GUN THE PARAMETERS STATED ON THIS
DISPLAY PHOTO ARE INCORRECT:. You don't get 45 low power shots with 100 gr bullets
and a 1510 psi fill ..This caused a lot of concern for one reader.. Sorry if this confusad anyone else,
as stated in the text, the shot count you shoiuld expect is 3-8 shots. (I'll leave this photo up for
The rifle is cocked with the bolt seen in this photo, the second lever is an additional safety that
both mechanically blocks the gun from shooting but also disables the electronics.
The magazine is six
shots and looks like a
Marauder magazine on
steroids. I'll test this as
soon as I get the gun
into the field.
My Two Cents Worth.....
.....as to why the ePCP and Rogue offer a potential solution for hunters (for whom it was
designed) which I have not seen in any rifle to date;
1) very consistent POI over several shots at a high velocity (flat trajectory) setting,
2) that the ePCP controls air in a very efficient manner which not only allows velocity optimization,
but does so at a lower fill pressure,
3) that this efficient use of air further facilitates a reduced sound signature,
4) that there are characteristics of the ePCP air release that can be applied to maintain a higher
velocity even in a shorter barrel,
5) that with a UI permitting on the fly changes it is possible to optimize not only desired
performance for a given bullet, but also different bullets without changing springs or playing with fill
6) it will be delivered in a multi-shot platform (yes, still to be field proven), and
7) this same valve has been demonstrated to have the ability to deliver very high energy levels.