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Definitive Guide to Benjamin Bulldog

Crosman initially entered the big bore market with the ill-fated Benjamin Rogue, failing possibly due to the expensive price tag, overly complicated electronics, heavyweight, outlandish claims, or other design flaws. They went back to the drawing board and have really improved with their second attempt. The result is the Benjamin Bulldog, a modern bullpup design that is a remarkably light gun that has power and accuracy. Whether you think it's ugly or not, is secondary to how it performs. And in our opinion, this dog can hunt.
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Detailed Review

Benjamin air rifles and the big-bore airgun world are not strangers. The Benjamin Rogue was touted as the most powerful, technologically advanced airgun on the market at the time. Featuring an onboard computer used to control valving and shot pressures, it brought airgunning into the 21st century and made big promises along the way. Unfortunately, due to undisclosed reasons, the Rogue was dropped from the Benjamin line in 2013, and certainly, the Rogue didn't live up to the promises. However, Crosman vowed that they would return to the big bore airgun market.

Crosman has finally made good on that promise releasing its Benjamin Bulldog, a futuristic-looking bullpup design that really seems to fill the unfulfilled promises left by the Rouge. Our initial impression of the Bulldog was that it "looks awkward, heavy, complicated and unpractical". After shooting the Bulldog... all those thoughts based on looks alone were completely false.

The Bulldog comes in 2 different calibers, a .357 and .457 option. The rifle designs are very close, with just small differences. The .357 comes with an upper 26" Picatinny rail and a 5.50" long Picatinny accessory rail. It also includes a 5 round rotary indexing clip, an ambidextrous stock, and a rubber recoil pad. While the differences aren't stand out, they are noticeable between the two options.

The .457 offers a longer tube to give the larger caliber more power which comes a the expense of how many shots the rifle will have at full power. Being around 450 FPE, the size of the tank allows for all 3 shots from its gravity-fed tray to be at lethal power. Another main difference between the two is that the .457 doesn't include the 5.50" under-barrel rail but it does come with a threaded M18 muzzle end cap.

The action of the Bulldog appears to essentially be based on the tried and true Marauder action and as such functions very well. You'll find the cocking lever to be smooth and easy to operate and the magazine to function just as well. Though the bolt is set back by your cheek, with some practice you'll still be able to cock the gun without having to take your eye off the target, unlike other bullpup designs.

The bullpup configuration results in an overall shorter length of the gun without shortening the actual barrel. This makes for a lighter gun (7.7 lbs at .357 and 8.7 at .457) and easier maneuverability, which is highly desirable for hunting. The overall lengths are 36" for .357 and 36.3" for .457. The rifled barrels are a whopping 28" for .357 and 28.5" in the .457 caliber. That's just over 8" longer than the popular Benjamin Marauder and 5" longer than the recently released Hatsan .357 Carnivore.

The .357 Bulldog comes with one 5 shot magazine, while the .457 has a 3 shot gravity-fed tray. The magazine fits flush with the stock, a nice feature so it doesn't obstruct your sightlines even if using iron sights. One thing to note is that the magazine is designed for longer projectiles such as the Nosler bullets, this can make loading smaller projectiles, like JSB pellets or round balls, a bit tricky. They tend to fit looser in the magazine and can fall out while loading. But not a bad trade-off compared to other big bore magazines which limit to shorter pellets. Upon firing your last shot the mag blocks the bolt so you know it's time to reload.

The trigger of the Bulldog is probably the biggest highlight of the gun. Typically we are very critical of bullpup triggers. Due to the use of a trigger operating rod running from the trigger back to the sear bullpups typically have a very sloppy trigger. The Bulldog is an exception to this rule, the first stage is long, but very light and the second stage breaks very cleanly. You almost only have to think about this rifle going off to get the trigger to break. Also note that the safety is manual, which is nice for quick second shots when needed during a hunt. The safety is located in front of the trigger, not everyone's favorite position, but we don't mind (though the safety itself is surprisingly plastic).

The Bulldog is deceptively light in either caliber. Deceptive as it is, it is also well-balanced. Due to the bullpup design, it doesn't feel heavy at all. And the .357 caliber Bulldog is completely decked out with Picatinny rails (top and bottom) so you can really customize your gun.

Pros & Cons of the Bullpup Design

Shooting the Bulldog is somewhat of a polarizing affair, you either love it or hate it. The bullpup design places the action at the back of the rifle, closer to the shooter's face. This design allows for a longer barrel but still keeps the overall length of the gun manageable. However, this also means giving up some ergonomics as the action lever to cycle the rifle is no longer in its traditional spot.

Having the action in the back of the gun requires the shooter to relearn the mechanics of operating the rifle and does have a bit of a learning curve to get used to. One thing to keep in mind is that left-handed shooters will want to ask Airgun Depot to switch the bolt to the left-hand side. Just make sure you call our call center when ordering if you're a lefty. If you fail to have it moved, lefties will find it very awkward as the cocking lever cannot be operated without breaking your cheek weld and sight picture. You would have to move your face away from the rifle in order to operate the lever.

Crosman has created their Benjamin SoundTrap, a trapezoid shaped shroud designed for big bore sound suppression. While I'm sure this greatly reduces the rapport of the Bulldog compared to it being unshrouded, the gun is still quite loud. Understandable for a gun pushing this much air, but important to note that this is not backyard friendly.

Performance & Accuracy

Accuracy on this rifle is fairly adequate but it's more of a sledgehammer than a scalpel. Groups of about 1.5 inches are attainable if you're using the right ammo. The Benjamin Noslers worked extremely well for us as well as the H&N Grizzly. Another reviewer had trouble with the Grizzlies but we found in our production rifle that they performed exceptionally and really flattened out well. As expected the round ball ran a bit more wild. We also had troubles with the Air Venturi round nose. All our testing was done at 50 yards.

Crosman claims the .357 Bulldog can achieve 200 ft lbs of power, the best our full production Bulldog could reach was right around 180 ft lbs. Certainly our high altitude doesn't help, but the Noslers didn't reach the 800 fps that is advertised.

The Bulldog has a 3,000 psi fill pressure (207 bar). You should expect to get 10 shots out of the tank on the .357 before things really drop off. The big difference between the .357 and .457 is the tube. The .357 fills to 340cc while the .457 gets just around 440cc. While the .357 will produce more shots per fill, the .457 will produce more power, right around 450 FPE. The .457 uses that extra air from the larger tube to produce more power instead of more shots, usually getting off 3 shots at lethal power.

We preferred to top off after each magazine (easily done with an Air Venturi Carbon Fiber Buddy Bottle if you're in the field) The standard Foster male fill nipple is located underneath the gun behind the trigger. Be careful with the plastic cover as we feel this would easily be lost. It's one of the few cheaper design aspects of an otherwise well-made gun.


There are no sights that come with the Bulldog, but with 26" of Picatinny rail on top you can accessorize in a variety of ways, even something as straightforward as picking up a set of iron sights, we suggest some iron sights from NC Star. The .357 also comes with an under-barrel rail so you can go all out on your attachments.

The Bulldog is a perfect gun to hunt with, and why limit yourself to just daylight hours when you can also hunt at night! With this in mind, Airgun Depot has put together an exclusive kit called the Benjamin Bulldog Nightdog Combo. This combo includes a bi-pod, Hawke Sport HD 4-16x50 scope, and a BSA Long Distance Laser Designator. What's a laser designator you ask? Basically it's a great (and far cheaper) alternative to more costly night vision scopes. It throws out to 250 yards a soft green light that will illuminate your target (and match what you see in your scope) all activated by a pressure switch. Because it's green your target won't react.

The Bulldog comes with a pair of sling swivel studs, so make sure to pick up a Benjamin sling, especially if you outfit a few accessories as the initial 7.7 lbs (8.7 for .457) can quickly exceed 10 lbs with those accessories on top. It won't feel heavy when shouldering do to the balanced weight, but you still will want to have a sling for long hunts.

The Bulldog will chew up traditional airgun targets. But you still need to put in some range time to familiarize yourself before setting out on a hunt. Airgun Depot has a line of big bore targets that will stand up to the 175+ ft lbs of power that will be hitting it.

It's important to stress that this gun is very powerful and must be treated with respect. Don't be lulled into thinking you can shoot this casually like any other airgun (though you shouldn't be doing that either!). We suggest using a gun lock to ensure that safety is always a priority. Join in on the conversation and leave your thoughts and impressions of the Benjamin Bulldog. And don't forget to share this page with others that you know would be interested in the in depth review we've put together on this gun.