Bulldogs have a storied history even if they do look like they lost a game of chicken with
a parked mail truck. According to Wikipedia, they're “a muscular, hefty dog with a
wrinkled face and a distinctive pushed-in nose.” That’s a much kinder way of describing
that unfortunate postal vehicle accident, but I digress. Bulldogs were also associated with Winston
Churchill’s heroic posturing back in the big war. Described by BBC, “to many, the
Bulldog is a national icon, symbolising pluck and determination.” You know it’s a
legit British quote because they spelled “symbolising” with an “s”.
A while back, I got my hands on a
Benjamin Bulldog and its fraternal twin, the Benjamin Pioneer Airbow. While the Airbow is
a nifty tool for hunting applications and
perforating trees with arrows, the Bulldog has many practical applications too. While, like
the Airbow, its looks are non-traditional, it’s got everything you’d expect in a
big bore air rifle, even if it shares that flattened nose with our iconic English canine.
Let’s take a closer look.
First, I should note that what you see in the photos here are from the
Benjamin Big Game Hunter Pack configuration. That includes the rifle with a special camo
finish, a bipod, a 4-16x scope, a box of Nosler .357 Ballistic Tip eXtreme bullets, and
even a nifty carrying case. You can also buy the base rifle without all that if you want to choose
your own accessories. I should also note that the model shown here is
the spiffier Realtree Xtra with camo finish. If you want to save $50 give or take, you can
get it in basic black too.
The Benjamin Bulldog is a .357 caliber PCP (pre-charged pneumatic) air rifle. If you’re
new to the airgun thing, PCP means that the rifle has an onboard air tank that packs enough pre-compressed
air to fire multiple shots. You don’t have to “charge it” with air for each
shot, however, just as with any other rifle, you need to cock it to reset the action. While we’re
talking about that, we ought to mention that the Bulldog is a Bullpup design, meaning much of
the action is placed far back in the stock. To cock the Bulldog, just swing the cocking lever
out from the side of the buttstock. It’s ambidextrous, so you can easily move it to the
The Bullpup design puts the action, including the cocking lever and magazine far back on the
stock. That helps keep overall length to 36 inches.
While we’re talking about attributes related to its short and handy Bullpup configuration,
the five-shot rotary magazine rides in the upper part of the buttstock, just four inches from
the buttpad. Since all the moving parts are in the stern that means you can have a full-length
accessory rail all the way down the top of the rifle. The rail on the Bulldog starts right in
front of your nose and continues about 26 inches until it ends just short of the muzzle. There’s
plenty of room for a traditional scope, forward-mounted scout scope, lights, lasers, or electric
chainsaws if you like. Up front, there’s a five-inch rail segment on the bottom. That’s
the perfect location for the included bipod in the Big Game Hunter Pack. The Bulldog also has
sling swivel attachment points fore and aft.
The Big Game Hunter Pack includes a very nice bipod.
Speaking of that full-length stock, it not only covers the shrouded barrel but the tubular air
cylinder too. The 340 cc reservoir holds 3,000 pounds per square inch of lead slug-flinging
air and you’ll get about ten good shots before needing to top off your air supply. On the
right side of the stock, just forward of the cocking lever, is an easy-to-read manometer (pressure
gauge) so you can keep track of your status when in the field or recharging. The fill port is
just below that, under the buttstock. It’s a Foster connection covered by a plastic snap-on
door so it doesn’t catch on stuff while in use.