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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, heavy weight, outlandish claims or other design flaws. They went back to the drawing board and have really improved with their second attempt at a .357. 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 unveiling its .357 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 “looks awkward, heavy, complicated and unpractical". After shooting the Bulldog... all those thoughts based on looks alone were completely false.

The Basic Anatomy of the Bulldog

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 target unlike other bullpup designs.



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



The Bulldog comes with one 5 shot magazine which 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 ball, a bit tricky as 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 weighs a deceptive 7.7 lbs. Deceptive as it is so well balanced due to the bullpup design that it doesn't feel heavy at all. And the 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 shooters 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.

Shots per Fill, Power & Accuracy of the Bulldog

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 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 before things really drop off. We preferred to top off after each magazine (easily done with a 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.



Accessorize your Bulldog

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 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.



Benjamin also offers a very nice package that includes a bipod, sling, 4-16x56mm Centerpoint scope, high rings and a nice Benjamin bag. This package comes in either the traditional black or in Real Tree camo. The included Centerpoint scope is a beast, and one of the best scopes we have seen paired with a rifle from the factory. The clicks on the adjustment knobs are smooth and tactile making elevation and windage changes a breeze. It also features a side parallax which is really nice when shooting from prone or a rest. It allows you to keep your eye up to the optic while focusing, keeping your cheek weld and sight picture steady.



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 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.
Bullpup Pros & Cons The idea behind the bullpup configuration is an overall shorter length of gun without necessarily shortening the actual barrel. This makes for a lighter weapon and easier maneuverability, which is highly desirable for hunting. So though the overall length is 36", the rifled barrel is a whopping 28" long! That's 8" longer than the popular Benjamin Marauder and 5" longer than the recently released Hatsan Carnivore. Though the gun looks heavy, it’s actually very light at just 7.7 lbs.

Common cons of a bullpup don't apply: no hot shells ejecting in your a face if you're a lefty since it's an airgun, and speaking of lefties, you can ask to have the cocking bolt moved to the left side of the gun when you order, so that's not a problem. You will find that you need to have your sights sitting up pretty high in order to get better eye relief (common with all bullpup style rifles). If you want to put a red dot on your Bulldog, make sure you get one that is elevated at least an inch (like the Walther PS22)

How Quiet Is It? The Bulldog features what Crosman calls the Benjamin SoundTrap(TM), a trapezoid shaped shroud designed for big bore sound suppression. That sounds nice but don’t think this will be as quiet as your shrouded Marauder. It does reduce the rapport that an unshrouded Big Bore creates, but in our opinion is still quite loud. Running it on a decibel meter registered it at 93 decibels, meaning your ears might ring a bit (if you're firing more than one or two shots you should wear ear protection). The Bulldog is perfectly suited for hunting on small parcels where noise and limited range are factors, but not for backyard use (due to both loudness and power).

Accuracy & Power Accuracy on this rifle is fairly adequate but it's more of a sledgehammer than a scalpel. Groups of about 1.5 to 2 inches were common at 50 yards when we used either the H&N Grizzly or Benjamin Noslers. This being a hunting rifle for medium to larger game you should feel confident taking shots on the vitals within 75 yards but after that, you should be selective in the choice of target.





With a full 3,000 psi fill you should expect around 10 shots. And depending on the ammo you select, expect foot pound energy to be in the 150-180 range. Remember this is not a plinker and really should be treated like a firearm.

Gear Up! The Bulldog features over 31” of picatinny rail so you can customize to your heart’s content. The options are limitless, bipods, scopes, iron sights, red dots, night vision… the list goes on. And because the Bulldog itself is only 7.7 lbs with even weight displacement, you can add many options without the gun becoming to heavy to wield properly.

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