Few things can get an outfitter and outdoor television host out of the woods in the middle of hunting season. For Fred Eichler, a chance to tour Crosman’s world headquarters is one of them. The host of Predator Nation, operates a full-time outfitting business in Colorado, Full Draw Outfitters, where they have clients currently pursuing pronghorn antelope and elk. “I love the hunting and the best part is meeting the people behind the companies we work with,” said Eichler.
Predator hunting provides a means of extending his hunting pursuits beyond the regular big game seasons. Fred has successfully hunted coyote and feral hogs with the Benjamin Marauder .25 caliber air rifle and the Benjamin Rogue .357 rifle. “Benjamin airguns are more than capable on game of this size – they are deadly,” explained Eichler. ”And boy are they quiet. A guy can drop two to three thousand on firearm suppressor, fill out all the paperwork then wait a year for approval, or they can just buy a Benjamin.”
Fred’s tour included visits with the vice presidents of sales and of marketing, both of whom spoke about the significance of shooting as a passion among those who work at Crosman. He was given a tour of the war room where the walls were lined with design drafts and performance specifications for many new products that will be announced at the upcoming SHOT Show. Engineers and industrial designers provided insight on the design process, including a peek into the Crosman Morgue. “There’s a 300 year old airgun in there!” an excited Eichler proclaimed after taking a look inside the room where innovations and designs from years’ past are kept, alongside some designs that are waiting for the technology to catch up.
After learning the Crosman Challenger is a favorite among sporter class competition champions, he spent time visitng about Crosman’s Shooting Services. This department helps over one million kids annually learn about shooting through the use of airguns.
Fred and his editor, Sean Hagan, spent the afternoon in the manufacturing plant. Here they were able to see just how much goes into an airgun as products were built from the ground up. “I had no idea how complex these airguns were, that they have twice the number of parts than a firearm,” he remarked after seeing the building process in action. “Consider that a firearm’s power is contained in a cartridge and an airgun’s power source is tank and valve or pump and piston. It’s incredible!”
Before Fred hit the assembly line to build a Benjamin Marauder, he was presented with stock custom engraved with the Predator Nation logo on side and “Built In America” on the other. He was also made aware that this rifle would be the last to be built of the first generation of Marauders, a gun praised for its power, precision and value. Production of the next generation Marauder begins next week.
The day concluded with time on the range as Fred took shots at several 35 and 50 yard targets.