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One of the most signifi cant ad- vancements in airgun technology is the Benjamin Rogue, an electronic pre- charged pneumatic, chambered for .357.


Offered in .177 and .22 calibers, the Crosman Optimus features an ambidextrous, hardwood stock. The customer can choose between fi ber optic sights or a CenterPoint 4x32 scope.


With up to 30 ft-lbs of muzzle energy and velocities of 800 fps, the Ben- jamin Trail is an advertised 70 percent quieter than traditional break bar- rels, with no loss of velocity if left cocked in preparation for a quick shot.


vancements in airgun technology is the Benjamin Rogue, an electronic, pre-charged pneumatic, chambered for .357. Suitable for hunting deer and wild hogs at close range, it is a multi- shot repeater with a microproces- sor-controlled valve that allows the hunter to extend the accuracy (and lethality) out to an advertised 100 yards. The eVALVE furnishes elec- tronically driven power for as many as 20 shots per fi ll. Muzzle veloc- ity ranges from 700 to 1,000 fps with knockdown power from 100 fpe (foot pounds of energy) to 250 fpe, which means it is possible to ethically take game at longer ranges. With a single air reservoir, the Rogue fi lls to 3,000 psi. Pressure and shot data is available on the Rogue’s built-in LCD screen. The hunter can accurately assess the remaining charge in the air chamber to determine how many shots are left before the gun needs to be refi lled. Benjamin has three new .357 bul-


lets designed for the Rogue. The Ben- jamin eXTREME Bullet by Nosler features Nosler’s famous Ballistic Tip technology. Weighing in at 145 grains, it is the type of versatile bullet


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we expect from Nosler. Other options include the 90-grain Pursuit Hol- low Point and the 175-grain Pursuit Round Nose.


Optics And Illumination For pest control and varmint hunt-


ing, the nature of the hunt calls for precise shot placement. Since many varmints are active after dark, a weapon-mounted fl ashlight and a la- ser can make the difference. Even at close range, a scope makes


the air rifl e deadly accurate; but not every scope should be paired with an air rifl e. At the distances that most airgun targets are engaged, 4-power scopes are optimum; but variable scopes have their place. A few optics manufacturers build


precision scopes calibrated for air rifl es. Pat Mundy of Leupold suggests the airgunner consider the quality of the scope, as well as its intended use because the recoil of an airgun can damage optics. “Spring piston guns deliver a dual forced recoil — fore and aft. And that tends to pop lesser scope’s lenses out of their seats the opposite direction in which they were intended


The SOCOM Extreme is offered in .177, .22 and .25 calibers.


to resist recoil,” Mundy explained. One of the most valuable accesso-


ries is a light. Attached to the barrel or mounted atop a rifl escope, a light- weight LED torch can light up a tar- get at the touch of a switch. A laser enhances the ability to put a pellet on target in low light conditions. Air rifl es make little noise. With


the exception of the big bores, the lightweight projectile doesn’t carry enough momentum to be dangerous beyond 600 yards. A fi ring range and backstop can be built in a basement or in the garage without putting the family at risk. Out in the country or on the edge


of city limits, an air rifl e can be used to dispatch unwanted varmints like rats, ground squirrels, rattlesnakes, skunks, raccoons and starlings without alarming the neighbors. And the day has come when coyotes, hogs and deer can be dispatched with air- powered projectiles. With all the choices in the mar-


ketplace you could call this an air power arms race. The consumer, with more choices than ever, is the clear winner. *


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