Air Arms TX200 Mk III air rifle: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


Air Arms TX200 Mark III air rifle is impressive in its optional walnut stock.

I’ve reviewed this rifle before, but it’s been a long time and many of you are asking about it again, plus I’m going to look at the Benjamin MAV 77 later this year, and I promised a comparison with this rifle. So, for those reasons, I decided that it’s time to look at the Air Arms TX200 Mark III, again.

Some of you may know that Bill Sanders, the managing director of Air Arms, passed away recently. Bill was very uncharacteristically enthusiastic about all the guns he made. I say that because most principals in this industry are not shooters, nor do they own the guns they make. But Bill did, and he also knew how to use them. Maybe that’s why, in the more than 20 years the TX has been around, the quality has only gone up.

History
The TX200 came about in the late 1980s as an improvement on the design of the HW77, which was considered the best spring rifle around at the time. The first model was simply called the TX200. But after several years, Air Arms added a ratcheting catch to hold the sliding compression chamber from slamming closed during loading. That rifle was called the Mark II. I bought one and competed with it in field target for a couple of years, until I switched over to a PCP. My rifle was tuned first by Jim Maccari and then by Ken Reeves so I could write about each of the tunes. In truth, the TX was pretty smooth right out of the box, but the Reeves tune did make it just a bit smoother.

When the TX200 Mark III came out, I bought one to test for The Airgun Letter. I found that rifle to be just as smooth as the Reeves-tuned Mark II, plus it had a shrouded 9-inch barrel, which made it very quiet, to boot. I didn’t need two perfect guns, and the Mark II was sold. I still have the Mark III, which is the gun I’m testing for you here.

I recently had the opportunity to shoot a brand-new Mark III, and I see that the performance and looks of the gun are unchanged, except for better checkering on the new model. Instead of diamonds, they now have a fish-scale pattern that usually comes only on very costly guns.

Hump-backed look for high-tech design
When Beeman Precision Airguns started selling TX200 air rifles in the U.S., the first thing I noticed was that the rifle had a definite hump-backed profile. Why? Remember I said the barrel is 9 inches long? Guess what? All the science you have been reading about on this blog really works. And Air Arms applied it to its maximum in the TX200.

They put the center of the barrel in the center of the compression chamber, so the air transfer port aligns with the bore. That gives the most efficient airflow, but it also means the barrel, which is a smaller diameter than the spring tube, has to be mounted lower than the top of the spring tube. Hence, the hump-backed profile. Study the first photo, and you’ll see what I mean. Look at the place where the barrel connects to the spring tube. On most other guns, they’re level.

A 9-inch barrel prevents friction from slowing the pellet after it’s accelerated to maximum velocity. A spring-piston gun develops maximum velocity in the first 6-9 inches of barrel. After that, the pellet is just coasting. The baffled shroud that houses the short barrel is much longer and gives the appearance of a bull barrel, hence the barrel length is often listed as longer than it really is.

Air Arms has used everything that’s known about spring-piston guns to wring the maximum performance from a relatively short stroke and small piston bore. They do it without fanfare, but anyone who works on spring guns knows what they’ve done.

The rifle
The TX200 Mark III is an underlever spring-piston rifle that has a sliding compression chamber. The chamber slides back, giving access to the rear of the barrel for loading. Then it slides forward again, once the anti-beartrap latch is held down. The old Mark II has many stops in the ratchet, causing it to click loudly when cocked. Shooters objected to that noise. The Mark III has just three notches and is much quieter.

All metal parts, except the trigger and safety button, are highly polished and deeply blued, resulting in one of the finest finishes in the airgun world. The standard stock is beech, but the wood is shaped very sharply for either a right- or left-handed shooters. No compromise here. Fish-scale checkering roughens both grip panels and the forearm. The optional walnut stock is a good choice because it subtracts weight from the gun as well as adding interest. Blog reader Jerry got a walnut stock on his TX, and it looks very similar to the rifle pictured above.


The stock is sharply profiled with crisp edges and a classic shape. The standard beech stock is shown.


The long lever, located behind the silver sliding compression chamber, is the beartrap release. After cocking, this lever is held down to close the sliding chamber, as the cocking lever returns to the stored position.

The trigger
The TX trigger is not just an improved Rekord, it’s a new design that offers greater flexibility when adjusting, so you can get the pull weight and release down to a finer, lighter value than with a standard Rekord.


The TX trigger closely resembles the Rekord, but it’s simpler and more adjustable. The larger parts are machined.

Years ago when Ivan Hancock was still building airguns, I bought one of his Mach II trigger, which are handmade copies of the TX trigger to replace the Rekord unit in my Beeman R1. That trigger cost half as much as the entire rifle, but it was very finely adjustable. The current trigger in my TX200 is the standard one that comes with the rifle, yet it’s just as fine. When I report on its performance, I think you’ll be surprised.

Several “truths” negated
The success of the TX200 reminds me of a friend who built engines for Formula Vee racing. Those cars look like Formula 1 racers, but they’re much slower. However, this builder’s engines were always in demand because they out-performed the others. Everybody was always looking for his “secret.” The secret, of course, was that there was no secret! What he did was pay scrupulous attention to detail when building his engines. All parts were balanced to the last gram, and all tolerances and torque specifications were followed. The engines were what racers refer to as blueprinted, and that, alone, gave them their edge.

Well, you may think of a TX200 as an air rifle that’s been blueprinted. The piston isn’t wide and the stroke isn’t long, yet the rifle develops remarkable velocity. The trigger appears dirt-simple, yet it can out-perform so-called “target” triggers in much more expensive guns. The mainspring isn’t under much pre-tension, yet the rifle doesn’t buzz when it shoots. Everything is just right.

Rolls Royce is the standard by which all cars are compared, and the TX200 is the standard for spring-piston air rifles. Even when the Whiscombe was being made, I used to say that the TX200 was its equal for accuracy.

It’s heavy!
Yes, this air rifle is heavy. Especially the model with the beech stock. But for its purpose, which is field target first and hunting second, the weight is ideal because it promotes stability.

It’s hard to cock!
It will seem hard to cock a TX if you’re used to a smaller rifle like a Diana 27. But compared to the current magnums, the TX cocks easily. How it feels depends on your experience. I’ll publish the cocking effort of mine in Part 2.

Accuracy
It has been several years since I shot my TX, so this is a chance to get behind the trigger, again. I expect to find a pellet that will give around 1/4- to 1/3-inch 10-shot groups at 25 yards. That’s a tall order for any spring gun, but we shall see!

64 thoughts on “Air Arms TX200 Mk III air rifle: Part 1

  1. B.B.,
    I’m glad you’re taking a fresh look at this legendary rifle. I am one of those who eagerly awaits your review of, and comparison with, the Benjamin MAV 77. Thanks!
    Victor


  2. B.B.,
    Thank you this report, I’ll be reading all parts with much interest. I bought one from PA to use in FT a few months ago. I wouldn’t say it’s been a problem child, but we have not been getting along very well lately. Breech seals seem to be it’s major malfunction. The incredible firing cycle went down hill quickly. Thankfully, they are super easy to work on. The second issue it has is a bit of creep in the second stage. Please do a trigger tear down so I may have the guts to take the group out and polish it up!
    -hm


    • Hank,

      The last thing in the world I would do is disassemble this trigger. But I will show you how to lubricate it.

      B.B.


  3. Dat shor is a purdy air gun!

    You do realize that you make it extremely difficult to settle on which air rifle I will add to my collection this year?


    • RR,

      I saw Jerry’s TX last Saturday and it was a pretty as the picture at the top of this post. TX 200s are one gun whose quality has improved over the years.

      But wait until I have reviewed the whole rifle before making any decisions. Some people criticize the cocking effort, though I find it to be easy. Others criticize the weight, though I find it to be stable. So I want you to see the gun through my eyes, but with your selection criteria.

      B.B.


      • Well, I am not likely going to be buying any springer this year, although I will keep this one on the wish list. My short list for this year is one of these three:

        Edge
        Talon SS
        and now that you have straightened me out
        Marauder

        Of course I will be lucky if I manage any this year. I will have to sell a few other toys before I can get a new one.


        • RR<

          You’re in good company. I am holding off on all firearms and air guns, to save up for one special gun. I may get it this year, but it will drain the treasury.

          And Duskwight is working on his one gun, as well. Heck — I think most of us have something on the edge of the horizon at all times.

          B.B.


          • If my memory serves me correctly, you just picked up one from Dennis. Plus, you get to play with new ones just about everyday. Or do you consider that work. You have it real bad, dude.


            • R%R,

              Yes, I did, but that purchase was calculated. I get to test his latest .308 design, plus mine is still salable, so I can sell one and keep the other. I don’t lose anything.

              And yes, I do have the best job in the world!

              B.B.


              • Living in a location that helps that job can’t be denigrated…

                If I should “inherit” my parents’ house (my father’s talking of moving to smaller apartment next year — and has mentioned selling the place to me for ~$60000 on the condition I make the payments to both nieces), I could set up a 10m range in the basement.

                But going outside would be a no-no (even with the open/unused park behind the back yard). Smoothbore BB guns are exempt, but everything else is classed as a “firearm” in this state — so even that pentagon-F Umarex Walther CP99 would be “firearm in city limits” bait; let’s not mention the Condor with high power tank, or the “silenced” Marauder*

                * I really am tempted to write the attorney general; last fall he ruled that if the Fed/BATF accepts a transfer fee for a silencer, that makes said silence “licensed” and hence legal in the state. But leaves shrouded barrels in limbo — the Fed doesn’t consider airguns “firearms” but the state does… So does the fact that the Fed doesn’t require a transfer fee on a shrouded barrel airgun make it “licensed” for Michigan?


                • Wulfraed,
                  I’ve read the MI law many times, and while agree on the “fuzziness” of shrouds, I don’t see the limits on rifled barreled airguns as onerous as you may think. It does make them all illegal for anyone under 18, and effectively treats all rifled airguns under 30″ in length exactly the same as handguns, but it seems to be pretty benign on guns longer than that.

                  I have found that what really matters is the local laws – those are what determine what you can and can’t do with a pellet gun that you legally own (be it over or under the 30″ criteria). Where I am, I have no legal issues target shooting into a pellet trap in my backyard, and I can even eliminate pests with the airgun – in fact the way the law is written, doing so with a pellet gun could be interpreted as the preferred method as it requires that it be done “in the most humane way practical.”

                  I would be interested in anything you learn, because even though I am comfortable with my choices here, there are times it does feel like MI is not very friendly to us.

                  Alan in MI


                • Wulfraed,

                  I’ll also offer up a resource you can consult with, if Edith allows the post to stay (do feel free to delete if you must, as I understand the potential conflict).

                  There is a high end airgun dealer in MI that is worth talking to, especially since PA won’t even sell a shrouded airgun like the Marauder to MI residents. They are in Dryden MI, and they do sell shrouded airguns to MI residents – Precision Airguns and Supplies (you can look them up on the web, but I won’t put the link here in deference to PA).

                  Jim Stanis (the owner) can provide much information if you contact him.

                  Alan in MI


                  • Well, I’ve already got the Marauder (I was still in the PRCa at the time and decided to try a more normal looking .177 PCP opposite the .22 Condor).

                    Just not certain I want to be a guinea pig while renting a ‘townhouse” in Kentwood with what is left of my severance pay… In about two months I have to start investigating if there are any extensions to unemployment active, and how to apply (at least my initial unemployment is coming from CA, and is still 26 weeks, since MI dropped theirs to what, 21 weeks?)

                    Heh… I think I have one air-gun that could be used for the local fox squirrels… The RWS m54. It’s the only hunting grade air-gun I have with open sights (even if I can’t see them that well). The squiddles are between 7 and 12 yards from my basement window (especially when sunflower seeds have been scattered), and anything with a scope would need major shimming to adjust the sight line intercept. The ones that visit the back deck might be so close the muzzle would get splattered.


        • Ridgerunner,

          Very good list. All are very accurate.

          Edge for 10m comp (Challenger another great alternative).

          Marauder would be my first choice for plinking (.177) and hunting (.22).

          Talon SS for plinking and hunting with the multiple barrel options. Air and CO2 capability.

          If they’re still making Marauders like they were when I got mine a couple years ago I’d give it more priority. It also has dual fuel like the Talon and is much quieter in .22. The Talon will be more expensive to convert from one “gas” to the other. The Talon bottle for air and CO2 are different, plus you need an adapter for the CO2 bottle to fit to the gun. When I got mine they were separate items. I never looked into CO2 for the Marauder but it uses the same factory installed tank for both. I don’t know how you get CO2 into the Marauder, though.

          -Chuck


  4. B.B.

    I would probably have one of these, but I have a 97K already and I know what kind of weight I would be looking at. I find that I don’t shoot the 97K much because of it.

    twotalon


    • TT,

      So please help me tell others about that weight. I don’t find it objectionable, but you do. Why? And how can I communicate it better?

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        It’s just too much to handle for me. To give you a comparison…
        I don’t care for hunting with my Wesson Rifle because of the weight. The T/C Renegade (plain version) is much easier to live with.

        Weight and balance make a big difference to me.

        twotalon


        • TT,

          Okay, the key is hunting. And you obviously range far when you hunt. So you find the TX too heavy to lug around.

          That’s good to know.

          B.B.


          • B.B.

            I guess that’s another way of looking at it. But it is very hard to hold on a target if the rifle is just too much. Too light of a rifle can be a problem too. Not very steady for the opposite reason. There is a certain weight and balance range that I can live with better.

            twotalon


  5. One of my favorite springers in my collection. Put a loose pellet on top of the gun and shoot it. The pellet doesn’t fall off or even move. Between the MKIII and my R9, my favorites. Thanks for revisiting this one. If you can afford only one gun, this would be the one.

    It is heavy but I think that contributes to it’s stability. Put the best scope you can afford on it and you won’t go wrong.


  6. kevin…

    We were talking about pellets being somehow different, and I just thought of something….
    Back to the .177 R9…

    Last year I was going through a bunch of different pellets with it. An interesting thing about a different fit, maybe…
    The AA 4.51 and 4.52 pellets were worlds apart. I could not tell any difference in fit, but the 4.51 shotgunned while the 4.52 just chewed out a ragged hole. There was a distinct difference over the chrono too. The 4.51 shot slower and with a lot larger velocity spread than the 4.52. The rifle is not forgiving about the difference between these two pellets.
    But what about yesterday? The 4.51 FTT were noticeably tighter fitting than the 4.50, but the rifle does not see much difference between the two.

    Again, the rifle makes it’s own rules.

    twotalon


    • twotalon,

      The dark mystery of airgun pellets just seems to deepen and expand the longer I shoot them.

      Differences in pellet lots can be significant.

      Skirt sizes and head sizes are the known variables but even these seem to differ from lot to lot (die to die?).

      When you introduce other nuances like different lubes on your pellets vs no lube, and seating pellets vs. just pushing them in flush with your finger pellet testing can be unending. For those that need a reason to shoot this is a good one.

      I’ve had accuracy improve many times in multiple springers when I seat pellets deeply (hear the click) if the pellets are pure lead with thin skirts (like many of the JSB types).

      kevin


  7. Great to see you revisiting the TX. i have two of these, a Mk1 and and Mk3 hunter carbine (same power plant) and a B40 for good measure! I remain impressed with the smoothness of the firing cycle. I do wish though that Air Arms would bring out a model with open sights, even though I know it was intended as a mid powered (12-16fpe) field gun. The ratchet catch is something else I would be happy to see redesigned. While I appreciate Air Arms concern for safety I would still not rely o the catch and always hold the eunderlever when loading. Having to operate the catch when returning the cocking lever to its zero position is fiddly and slow down operation. I’ll look forward to forthcoming episodes, especially when you get to comparing this with the Benjamin MAV 77.


    • Oliver,

      Being brought up on a tuned HW 77, I hold the underlever as well. But there are a lot of shooters who don’t. I cringe when I see them reach in with the pellet while not restraining the lever.

      B.B.


  8. Oh, for goodness sake. Just when I thought this might be the first English rifle to add to my collection, Crosman is going to muddy the waters with it’s MAV-77. Too many difficult decisions to ponder.

    Fred DPRoNJ



      • Is this rifle heavy? I had not noticed, it feels so good in my hands I could shoot it all day without tiring. I use mine for field target hunter class with the Bushnell 4-12×40 the model that has the DOA 600 range finding reticule for hold over. My rifle has a 13.4 in. barrel like the PA spec. sheet lists,the carbine model has 9 in.
        Loren


        • I forgot to mention,besides the TX I have Beeman R1, R7, RWS 54 FWB 124 and the only one that has ever met the advertised fps is the TX. It runs around 940 with JSB 8.4 and 830 with A/A 10.2 gr. The rifle loves both of these pellets, it will put pellet after pellet on the center of a 3/4 in. painted swinger at 25 yds. To do this and for hunter field target I use a Stoney Point portable bi-pod. My TX is not at all sensitive about what use for a rest, just make sure it’s soft so you don’t harm that beautiful wood. Now about field target hunter class, it certainly is not easy to range find with the reQuired 12 power or less scope. But it is possible with practice.
          Loren


          • I need to correct my figures above for the the average fps on the 8.44 gr exacts fps should read 904, cpl’s make 940.
            Loren



    • Beazer,
      I don’t think you can go wrong with either the TX-200 or the Bronco. May I suggest the peep sights on the Bronco?
      Victor


      • Beazer,

        If you go with the Bronco and the peep sight (Mendoza? ) be sure you also order the front sight plate kit ($8) from PA to raise it. Otherwise you will experience too much barrel droop for the peep to compensate. The problem is the peep sight bottoms out too soon on the stock so the plates make up for that. You probably already know this from earlier blog reports so I’m just reminding you.
        -Chuck


  9. Beazer… you have to get the Bronco. Got mine a couple weeks ago, solely based on B.B.’s review and recommendation on here. Great shooter for an inexpensive gun.

    And of course, the TX goes without saying.


  10. Just an information note. Last night for the first time since surgery I picked up an air rifle and began firing away. Fatigue limited me to around 20 shots, but the numb cheek didn’t bother me at all. Apparently the cheek weld sensors work more deeply than on the skin surface.

    Also, shortly before surgery I had an eye exam for my shooting eye. The scrip was about what I expected: serious astagmatism + some presbyopic effects. The eye doc measured me, gun at my shoulder to get the distance right, then varied spherical and astigmatism while mounting her regular test card on the end of the muzzle. Finally, she fine tuned me looking only at the front sight.

    Then I took an old and obsolete pair of Rx reading glasses and put the lens in on the RHS. Works like a charm!! It’s so nice to see a front sight sharply again!

    This PM I have to see a radiologist. I don’t expect to use his services, however.

    pete


    • Pete,

      Good for you! You did the same thing I did when my eyes had deteriorated from dehydration. Maybe they will also come back in time, too.

      Good to be shooting again, huh?

      B.B.


    • That’s quite an eye doctor to work on your gun this way. During my apocryphal high school shooting career, the coach recommended that when getting a prescription for my glasses, that the “correction” should be placed above where it normally would be to compensate for the way the head is tilted slightly down on the stock. Don’t know if there was anything to that, but it wouldn’t have fixed my problems at the time for sure.

      Matt61


    • It’s great to be shooting again, even limited to what I can do — which will improve over the next 2 weeks I am assured and reassured. As to the eye problems, BB, there is so much wrong with my right eye that I am fortunate to be able to use it for aiming at all. Start with the cataract and continue to the wrinkled retina, and go down hill from there.

      Did see the radiologist. News semi-good. I can get by with only one week of cyber-knife treatment instead of the usual 7 weeks, and have the same near-zero chance of recurrence and much, much lower side effects lasting a much shorter time. I had hoped to dodge the photon bullets entirely. May still make that choice.


    • Wow, Pete. Although I am saddened about the issues you must deal with, I am heartened that your eye doctor was able (and willing) to offer some assistance for shooting. I hope things will continue to improve for you.

      Ken


    • Pete,
      Isn’t it great to shoot again. Like you, I was able to muster a limited set of shoots, but it was sweet.
      Take care of yourself and get better.
      Victor


  11. That was quite the event on yesterday’s blog that sounds like everything a shooting event should be. How I would love to go to work on the shooting range that was shown. Greg was quite the lucky guy to have our favorite black-hatted shooter helping him out. Could hardly pay for that kind of treatment. I hope you told him about Floyd Patterson’s trick of hitting a thrown bb with a bb under the instruction of Lucky McDaniel. That is almost inconceivable to me. How does someone box 72 two minute rounds a week which is over 10 a day–and still have time for airgunning?

    CowBoyStarDad, yes, I can see how the small caliber rifles appealed to soldiers for carrying. But from what I’ve read, the opinions changed dramatically once the shooting started, and they wanted the biggest most powerful guns they could lay their hands on. In reviews of WWII weapons, the BAR was a big favorite even though it was 15 pounds and fired 30-06 on full auto.

    DaveUK, you’re a brave soul to drive a taxi. I’ve always thought that job was a step beyond waiting tables in terms of the obnoxious and potentially dangerous people you are likely to run into. A family friend worked as a taxi driver when he was getting started in Hawaii. He said on occasion, huge guys would take long taxi drives, then at the destination, would flash him a smile and a knowing wink and check that there was “no charge.” Or other taxi drivers would work him over for invading their turf.

    But right you are about the value of the straight punch against untrained brawlers. That is exactly what Jack Dempsey says. The untrained person will try to summon energy by throwing a looping overhand punch. Throwing a truly straight punch with power is actually a somewhat unnatural movement and takes training and that is even more true of the properly thrown hook with the elbow out and body rotation. The looping swing is inbetween “pure” straight and round punches and, as Jack says, is easily defeated by the conventional straight punch. In that sense, it is like Karate which relies more heavily on straight punches. After losing the second time to Gene Tunney, Jack fought in exhibition fights and polished off 100 challengers with ease just with technique. But I would keep the chin down if not the entire head when throwing punches.

    Matt61


    • Matt61,
      You’re right, the straight punch is the correct form. It’s quick, and has a better chance of slipping past the defense. But other punches have their place to. You get more power from a round-house punch, but it takes longer, is easier to block, and if you miss, you’re likely to have committed too much to it.
      I’ve seen boxers do very well, when throwing straight punches. The very same boxers will do poorly when they resort to throwing the wilder, more powerful, punches. When you’re fighting against the best, you need to stick to the best.
      Victor


      • I’m going to malign my brother… When he gets angry he tend to swing round-house…

        With the result that he once broke his hand hitting my knee (he’d chased me through the house, until I finally dropped onto my bed and pulled up my knees for defense)…

        And he spent a decade or so with a metal pin in his leg… He’s missed a home-brew heavy-bag (it hadn’t swung back from his previous punch) when his 230lb body continued to rotate — but his foot didn’t… lower leg fractures.

        Strangely, I’ve never developed such a fighting style (well… I must admit that my experience has been that aggressors get in a good punch and suddenly turn helpful out of surprise that I’m taken out that fast). But even without reading the old “green book” on Wing Chun, my punches have always been rather straight.

        And after a few SCA lectures at RPG conventions, I’m unlikely to “swing” a broadsword either. SCA fighters seem to found that the sword hand should move essentially straight from a shoulder “ready”/guard position to the targe — with the sword /pivoting/ from point to rear to point to front. The /elbow/ goes round-house from out to the side to ahead, but the hand itself goes straight.


        • I should maybe comment that Wing Chun favors using an attack /as/ a parry…

          A straight punch coming up inside an opponents attach diverts that opponent to the outside and uses some of the attack to direct one’s punch into the opponent


  12. B.B.

    I call it simple – The Rifle. Guess it’s the closest thing to perfection among mass-produced “simple” springers. And it’s made using every possibility to make it better backed by experience. I don’t own one, as having one for me would mean to remove its beautiful wood and making a stock to fit me. I feel its pull way too short for me but won’t dare to mar its appearance with some extenders etc.

    duskwight



    • Pete Z,
      That acoustical sight is very cool, thanks for the link.
      Did you notice the shooter used two differ ant hand positions?


  13. You mentioned the Walnut stock being lighter than the Beech stock. What would the difference be?
    PA gives 9.3 pounds for both stocks.

    Thanks, Frank


    • Frank,

      This is always a tough question to answer, because wood weight is based on moisture content and density, but I would say the walnut stock takes a half-pound off the weight of the gun. That’s just a guess, and it will change from gun to gun. I’m comparing my beech-stocked rifle to Jerry’s walnut-stocked rifle.

      B.B.


  14. My impression is that owning a TX-200 is better than owning a Marauder. The TX-200 just sounds like a fantastic rifle, and especially for being a springer. When we talk about making cost an issue, this is a best-case scenario for just getting it, because you really get your moneys worth. In other words, rather than buy several “lessor” guns, the TX-200 needs no justification.


    • Victor,

      funny enough I just finished shooting my Marauder. I wish I had a TX 200 to compare it to because the Marauder is such a phenomenal rifle. It’s wonderfully accurate (more accurate than me or than I’m capable of), has a great trigger that I think is the equal of my Rekord triggers (HW50 and R-9), is whisper quiet and I love the “ping” sound of the piston hitting the air release valve. Don’t sell that Marauder short until you can shoot the two side by side. For the money – some $200 less than the TX200, it’s just a great rifle. I know, you have to spend another $1 to $200 on a pump and/or SCUBA tank but even so, one needs to compare the two.

      I hope to do that by the end of this year.

      Fred DPRoNJ


      • Fred DPRoNJ,
        My experience with the Marauder is exactly as you describe. A very fine rifle indeed. But we hear so much about the TX-200, and yet even B.B. says that he effectively abandoned his TX-200 for a PCP, for Field Target. Reading all the great things that others have to say, those two rifles (TX-200 and Marauder) make for a great comparison. On the one hand, the TX-200 sounds like a must own gun (the best of it’s kind, possibly/arguably), but since PCP’s are considered better, which do you buy if you could only buy one? Sure, maybe there are better, more expensive PCP’s than the Marauder, but it’s the Marauder that kicks-butt at it’s particular price-point. I don’t think it’s an easy choice.
        Victor


        • Here’s a comparison:

          Tx200 / Marauder
          Velocity
          930 ft/sec (.177), 755 ft/sec (.22) / 1100 ft/sec (.177), 1000 ft/sec (.22), 900 ft/sec (.25)
          Starting from
          $599.99 / $469.97
          Warranty Terms
          1-year limited warranty / 1-year limited warranty
          Loudness
          3-Medium / 2-Low-Medium
          Weight
          9.3 lbs / 7.12 lbs
          Barrel Length
          13.19″ / 20.00″
          Overall Length
          41.34″ / 42.50″
          Capacity
          1 round(s) / 10 round(s)
          Barrel
          Rifled / Rifled
          Front Sights
          None / None
          Rear Sights
          None / None
          Scopeable
          11mm dovetail / 11mm dovetail
          Trigger adj.
          Not shown / Two-stage adjustable
          Apprx. Trigger Pull
          Unknown / 1.50 lbs
          Buttpad
          Ventilated rubber / Ventilated rubber
          Action
          Underlever / Bolt-action
          Power Plant
          Spring-piston / PCP and CO2
          Safety
          Automatic /Manual
          Repeater
          Single-shot / Repeater
          Max Shots Per Fill
          N/A / 80
          Suggested for
          Small game hunting & target practice / Small game hunting & plinking
          Fixed/adj. power
          N/A / Multiple settings

          So the Marauder is faster, cheaper, quieter, lighter, longer, and a repeater. The TX200 is a beauty to behold and a collectable icon in the springer category. Can we say the epitome of production spring piston air rifles? The Marauder, like any other alluring woman, comes high maintenence – air source and adapters.

          -Chuck


          • Chuck,
            That’s a great summary! Thanks!
            However, I still have to wonder, how do they compare in terms of shootability (or whatever the proper term is)? I’m talking about the experience. As it turns out, for me at least, I prefer heavier. I found this to be true with archery as well. Something tells me that the TX-200 feels good to shoot, and has fine characteristics. The Marauder definitely shoots nice, and being lighter, adding a large scope doesn’t hurt. Mine wears a Leapers 4-16×56 with side-wheel. I definitely will simply have to buy a TX-200, but I wonder what others feel about them, if they’ve been lucky enough to have shot both of them.

            In high school, I loved shooting my Anschutz 1413 freestyle rifle so much, that a girlfriend actually got jealous! She complained that I’d spend more cheek-to-cheek time with my rifle than with her. Yes, my Anschutz out lasted her. Guys who love to shoot like me do in fact have a sort of intimate relationships with their favorite rifles. As I’ve said many times, my rifles were like an extension of my body. They provided a way to measure the synergy between my mind and body. They weren’t just some external tool. This is also why I see shooting as being like playing a fine instrument. There’s a lot more going on there that meets the eye.

            Something tells me that I’d have a very close relationship with my TX-200, when I get one. At present, the only under-lever that I own is a Gamo CF-X. I love that rifle! But I don’t think I can put it in the same class as a TX-200. Unfortunately, with my health problems, I’ve not been able to really get into shooting much for a long while. A few days ago, I shot about 40 shots. Despite a lot of pain, it was still a good experience. I do know, from my training and experience, that it’s not a good idea to shoot too much when injured because it can increase the chances of picking up bad habits. You’re not at your best, so you’re more “accepting” of things you normally wouldn’t be.

            Thanks again,
            Victor


          • Chuck,

            The TX200 has a 2-stage adj. trigger. We had a software issue on PA a couple years ago, and it automatically erased all the trigger types. I fixed the TX200 Mk III & the HC.

            Edith


          • I am considering purchasing a .25 cal Marauder for varmint control. I checked the prices on air tanks and refuse to pay almost twice the price of the Marauder for an air tank. I have checked on the hand air pumps and like the theory of the FX 4 stage pump because it is supposedly easier to pump when reaching 3,000 to 3,200 psi pressures. This is important to me since I weigh 165 lbs. Also, the FX pumps, both 3 & 4 stage, have a 5-year warranty. Your thoughts/recommendations and experience comments would be appreciated.


            • Jim,
              I probably won’t be much help because I shunned the pump. There others on this blog who use a hand pump, so I’ll let them handle this question for you, but I went straight to an 80cubic foot aluminum scuba tank. I had no desire to pump xxx times per fill. I felt it would discourage me from shooting. I spent $160 for the tank new and bought an adapter and hose for about $78. Air fills cost about $5 and seem to last a few hundred shots. I have a scuba shop within 15 miles of my house.

              I get many 2000psi fills out of a 3200psi tank for my Marauder and Challenger. Sometimes the shop puts 3500psi in it when I tell them it’s only for paintball. I wish I could be more specific on my numbers but everytime I try to count I lose track of where I left off.

              -Chuck


            • Jim,

              If you get a hand pump, cleanliness is the most important thing. I had an Axsor pump that worked well for 11 years, then a new air gunner baled the pump in the field with the pump standing on the ground. In one second the dirt was blown up and onto the pump shaft, where it destroyed the pump’s seals.

              At the LASSO match last Saturday, someone used Eric’s $3,000 compressor and bled it on the ground without a ground cloth. He could have destroyed the compressor that way.

              So keep the pump clean and do not wipe off the black lubricant that’s on the pump shaft, nor should you put any lube on the shaft.

              B.B.


  15. Dangit. The blog I have been waiting for, a full multi part blog on my favorite rifle, and I miss commenting on the day it was published. Such is my life. I have much on my plate right now, and have not been following the blog as closely as I should.

    When I first took delivery of my Tex, I couldn’t find the right pellet. This made me hot, sweaty and anxious. Then I found that it really liked the CPL quite a bit. I have since grown to like this rifle over the some 30 rifles I own at this point. The craftsmanship is unmatched even among my HW rifles, which I own quite a few of. The checkering is both stamped and laser etched. It is absolutely gorgeous and creates more grip than just about any gun I have handled. Everyone I have showed it to, has been in awe of its beauty. And I own the “boring” beech version, the wood glows.

    Did I mention it is accurate? Awe yeah, it is accurate. This gun completely changed my expectations of an air rifle, spring powered or PCP.

    The one caveat I will admit to is that the cocking stroke takes a firm stroke, or the safety will not set.

    2 + X = 3

    finally a math question that I can answer!


  16. B.B. thanks for the reply. At 165 lbs. (in good health), can I operate the pump with psi’s up to 3,000 – 3,200? Whenever I have asked this question before, I get an answer from the person that is saying “yes” usually weighs 200+lbs. I have been unable to find any charts/numbers on how many lbs of pressure it takes on a down stroke on the pump to operate it, especially once you reach say, 2,500 – 3,200 psi. I have seen various video’s on the correct way to operate the pump but nothing on how much force I have to overcome.
    Jim


    • Jim,

      You are on the borderline for using a hand pump. But hand pumps have gotten better over the years.

      When I tested them in the 1990s I found that a 140-pound person could not go all the way to 3,000 psi, but could get to around 2,700 psi But a 200-pound person could get to 3,000 fairly easily. However, I have seen people with weak wrists who cannot do the same work as a healthy person of the same weight.

      The Hill pump is pretty standard today, and it’s the one I use, now that my Axsor ande FX pumps have both died. I weigh exactly 200 pounds and the pump seems no harder than it was when I weighed 270. Years ago FX made a pump that was easier, but it didn’t hold up.

      I have high hopes for the new bitterly pump from Crosman, because it uses the same linkage that the Benjamin pump-assist rifle used years ago — and that worked very well.

      I think the answer for you is yes, you can pump your guns.

      B.B.


  17. Jim,
    To fill the Marauder you only need to pump to 2,500psi unless you mess around with the pressure adjustments, which isn’t an easy thing to do. Out of the box it’s set to 2,500.
    -Chuck


    • On a “burn down” test (and it’s the only one I’ve profiled) my .177 Marauder seemed to fit the range 2700-2200 (I’m sure the web display will ruin the cut&paste from my spreadsheet)

      Benjamin Marauder .177 factory settings Start End Spread
      H&N Barracuda Match 10.7 853.1 17.21 3000 2800 25.8
      H&N Barracuda Match 10.7 865.9 17.72 2800 2600 21.4
      H&N Barracuda Match 10.7 872.9 18.02 2600 2500 10.6
      H&N Barracuda Match 10.7 878.4 18.25 2500 2375 11.6
      H&N Barracuda Match 10.7 874.0 18.06 2375 2200 11.7
      H&N Barracuda Match 10.7 857.8 17.40 2200 2000 21.3
      Working range appears to be 2700psi to 2200psi

      It was at 2800 at shot 2-1 (chronograph 10-shot strings, started at 3000), shot 2-4 through 6-3 (~40 shots) gave

      Minimum 861.93
      Maximum 883.96
      Mean 873.50
      Spread 22.03
      St. Dev. 5.34

      If I recall statistics, that would indicate that 95% of shots in that pressure range would fall between 862.8 and 884.2

      From 2600 to 2500PSI was 10 shots — 10PSI per shot average, two missed readings. Low 867.9, high 878.4.
      2500 to 2375PSI was the next 10 shots — 12.5PSI each average. Low 872.4, high 883.9
      The next 10 shots went at 17.5PSI each. Last 10 ate 20PSI each (with a nearly linear drop in velocity from 868 to 847). (So did the first 20 — which had a low of 843, high of 868, but jumpy when graphed)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


4 + = 13

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>