Benjamin Marauder, .25 caliber – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


It’s powerful. It’s accurate. It’s quiet, and it performs just like a PCP costing twice the price. The Benjamin Marauder in .25 caliber is an American-made marvel!

You know that dream where you remember at the end of the semester that you signed up for a course that you forgot to attend, and the final exam is today? And you just walked out the front door without your keys and the door locked behind you? And you’re in your underwear? And you live on Main Street? Well, something similar really happened to me!

Two years ago, I spent some time in the hospital, and the best-laid plans….Actually, my buddy, Mac, drove out from Maryland and spent a week testing airguns and taking pictures to help Edith and me keep the blog going. When he left, Mac left me with a pile of targets and photos that I continued to use to write blogs for two weeks after I was finally discharged but still not back on my feet.

Mac did test the .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder for accuracy and left me with the test targets, but in the post-hospital confusion I threw them out! Then, when I recovered enough to finish the report and discovered I’d disposed of the targets, I looked for the .25-caliber Marauder so I could finish the test. But couldn’t find it. I figured Edith might have returned it while I was out of action.

However, last week I was packaging some guns to return and found the .25-caliber Marauder standing just where Mac had left it. So, today, I am doing the accuracy test of the gun that was last reported nearly two years ago.

Actually, the rifle and you readers do benefit from my mistake, because there are now two great .25-caliber pellets available. When Mac tested it, there was only one — the .25-caliber Benjamin dome that I’m so tempted to call a Premier. It weighs 27.8 grains, and Mac got an average velocity of 797 f.p.s. with a tight spread from 791 to 802 f.p.s. That’s an average muzzle energy of 38.94 foot pounds.

The other pellet wasn’t available when Mac tested the rifle. But I discovered during the test of the TalonP pistol that the .25-caliber JSB Exact King is another superior .25-caliber pellet. Weighing 25.4 grains, it should be a trifle faster than the Benjamin dome but produce slightly less energy.

Long time, no shoot!
When I set about to test the Marauder for today’s report, I was reminded how long it’s been since I shot one. There was a guy at the recent LASSO shoot who was shooting a .177 Marauder, and I remember being surprised by how quiet it was. But his rifle was the only one keeping up with my Talon SS on the smallbore range! And he was shooting out to 75 yards! So I admit there was a lot of anticipation at getting to shoot a Benjamin Marauder once again.

So, here’s a quick impression of the rifle before we get to the accuracy report. The Marauder is a big gun. I’d forgotten how large the stock feels. It isn’t heavy, but it fills your hands. The trigger is one of the best on the market, but the trigger in the rifle I tested has not been adjusted. It’s exactly as the factory sent it. The first stage was surprisingly heavy, but stage two was light and very crisp. Once I figured out where stage two was, I found the trigger very crisp and responsive; and of course, it would be no trouble to dial off some of the first-stage pull weight.

The rifle was set to operate on a 3.000 psi fill from the factory. I say that because the Marauder will function with any fill pressure from 2,000 to 3,000 psi — it’s adjustable by the owner. But the .25 screams to be set up for the full 3,000 psi. That’s because this big .25 is a real thumper that uses a lot of air for each shot. I got three good 8-shot magazines from each fill, but after that the pellets started falling lower on the target. So, 24 shots to a fill.

Scope
I mounted two-piece medium-height rings on the rifle, and that was when I discovered that the receiver of the Marauder is not very high. Usually, the receiver on a precharged rifle is much higher than the barrel, but the Marauder is different. The barrel is shrouded for quiet shooting, which makes it fatter, and the low receiver means mounting a scope takes some thought. You can’t just slap on a scope with a 50mm objective lens, because it will hit the shroud. So, I used an old Bushnell 6-18x44AO Trophy that I used to use in field target competition. It provided plenty of magnification and a very clear image.

If I wanted to use a scope with a larger objective, I could have used high mounts, of course. But the medium mounts were much better for natural eye placement.

Accuracy
Okay. What will she do? Quite a lot, actually. This big quarter-inch bore is accurate! At 25 yards, it managed an 8-shot group that measures just 0.287 inches between the centers that are farthest apart. That was with the Benjamin domes. Why 8 shots and not 10? Because that’s the magazine’s capacity in this caliber. I actually shot a couple such groups, and they were all pretty much the same, much to my surprise. This big Marauder wants to lay them into the same hole, shot after shot.


Eight Benjamin domed pellets made this nice 0.287-inch group at 25 yards.

Next, I tried the JSB Exact King pellet. It’s a little lighter than the Benjamin dome, but also has a wider skirt — and I could feel the pellet entering the breech every time the bolt was pushed home. This time, I went to the trouble of loading a partial magazine to get the full 10 rounds in the target.


Ten JSB Exact Kings made this 0.751-inch group at 25 yards. It’s both larger and also not round, so this pellet may not be right for this rifle.

From just this evidence, I would have to say the JSB pellet isn’t right for the Marauder; but because I took such a long break in the report, I’m not going to let it end here. I want to mount a better scope on the rifle and try it again. And I want to adjust the trigger next time. I think the Marauder has more to show us.

One more thing
The pellets for this big .25 cost as much or more than .22 long rifle ammo. That’s correct — they run $20 to 25 for 500. So why shoot an air rifle? First, because it’s more accurate than the average .22 rimfire shooting budget ammo. Second, because this rifle has a better trigger than all but the more expensive target rimfires. Third, although this air rifle produces pretty close to 40 foot-pounds at the muzzle, it’s still shooting diabolo pellets that are safer at distance than a .22 bullet. Fourth, because unless you spend $400 and more, you aren’t going to get a .22 rimfire that’s this quiet.

Scale is why you shoot a Marauder. You can drop woodchucks at 50 yards and not bother the cattle in the next pasture. Make no mistake, the .177 and to a lesser extent the .22 Marauder are both well-suited to plinking and general shooting. The .25 is not, unless you don’t mind the additional cost of the pellets. The .25 is a hunting airgun, plain and simple. But it’s a hunting airgun that can hit the target without weighing 12 lbs. or requiring 50 lbs. of effort to cock.

61 thoughts on “Benjamin Marauder, .25 caliber – Part 3

  1. The .25 cal marauder is a sleeper. I don’t own one but have shot erik the vikings a lot and have talked about it on this blog many times.

    It’s an airhog even with the hd installed. IMHO the green mountain barrel sets this gun light years ahead of all other marauders including the prod. Sorry Crosman and apologies to BB.

    Yes, the stock feels like a 2 x4 in your hands. Not hard to address if you have an orbital and dremel or a few bucks for the many aftermarket stocks. This is a gun that at the least deserves some work on the factory stock and would greatly benefit from an aftermarket stock.

    The air consumption and cost of ammo IMHO don’t allow this airgun to be put in the catagory of a plinker but for a hunter at this price point I’d challenge you to find a better value. I’ve shot guns in .25 caliber that cost 3-5 times as much and although they had better shot counts, better wood/ergonomics and better bluing they couldn’t outshoot Erik’s .25 cal marauder.

    kevin


    • kevin, you’re not helping either :). I expect I would learn to live with the stock. The .25 Marauder just seems to be the buy of the decade.

      Ken


      • You can modify a crosman challenger stock to fit. Look it up on the yellow forum.
        And Ken, do you moderate here or something? You are always posting. Just curios. Not a problem though. Not to be rude or anything.


        • Colt,

          Ken recently went through some extensive surgery and is currently recovering. So he has time to read the blog, since he cannot operate like normal yet.

          But he doesn’t comment more than anyone else. We have others who comment a lot more than he does. You just need to watch this blog for a few months to see it.

          B.B.


          • Thank you, B.B. I appreciate your kindness. I am certainly not 100%, but I am back at work (with restrictions). I will drop by for sure. I appreciate what colt about information on modifying the Marauder stock. I hope he will offer more of his knowledge, even when it is just pointing to another source of information.

            Thanks,
            Ken


            • I understand. I did not intend to be rude or anything. I hope you get better soon to 110% better.
              The Challenger stock is wonderful. I use a challenger as my competition rifle. It can shoot golf balls at 50 yards no problem. You just have to watch for fps spikes that you don’t see at 32.8ft (10m) But you an see st 50yds.As the challenger is not regulated.
              Thanks for the kind words:) I hope you get better soon:)


              • Colt, I didn’t think you were being rude. You had a question and you asked it. I wasn’t the only one who answered, but I know that B.B. and Edith just wanted to help clarify the situation. So please, feel free to respond something I write any time. I value feedback and about the only thing other than assault that bothers me is to be completely ignored (which usually leads to me doing something rational or not).

                Best to you, my friend.
                Ken


        • Colt, thanks for the info about the stock. And, no, I do not moderate. I don’t think I have posted all that much recently. However, if I have something I want to say I will post. No offense taken. Your question is as legitimate as any I might ask of someone.

          B.B. and Edith are gracious hosts who have only one major rule, that we be civil toward one another. I try to bring my thoughts back to airguns but I don’t always succeed.

          Best to you, Colt.
          Ken


        • Colt,

          B.B. & I moderate the blog. Everyone else is here because they like airguns or need info about them. We encourage comments/questions. Ken is a vital part of our blog community, and I can’t imagine what it’ll be like when he has to go back to work full time and not participate as much.

          Edith


          • Thank you, Edith. I do enjoy reading what B.B. and everyone else has to say here. I do believe Colt just noticed some of my posts and perhaps didn’t notice some of the other more regular knowledge sharers.

            I am feeling better and better gradually. Gives me a lot of hope that this is working out.

            Ken


        • Colt the people here are so great we very rarely need moderation or admin work, we self mod the comments section. If you ever slip Edith will tell you and if Edith tells you to watch it… you better watch it!
          We’re just a bunch of nice people here, one the (if not THE) nicest place online to hang.
          Hang around I can pretty much garantee you’ll like it.

          J-F


  2. B.B., you have done nothing to quail my obsession with this air rifle. Because there are two very accurate pellets for it and because I do want to hunt with it I just flat want it. But I understand that I would also like a .22 or even a .177 for shooting til the sun goes down (and beyond). Aside from the Discovery, it is the closest to affordable and everything suggests it is just GOOD. And you aren’t the only one to find it to be so.

    Recovery seems to be going well. Finished with the massive dose of antibiotics. Did well at work today, got a little worn out during the local candidates presentations of themselves (although they only had five minutes each) this evening.

    Ken


  3. WOW these are impressive groups! What did you say yesterday about accuracy and repeaters? I think it puts it in myth busted category, for this rifle anyways.
    I feel like we’re missing out on some great guns because of the shrouds. Getting this kind of accuracy at 25yards with a stock rifle that costs under 500$ is quite awesome to me.
    The .177 or .22 would be enough for me but this is like a dream gun.
    I bet Crosman could make a Marauder carbine to fit in size and price between the M-Rod and P-Rod, put a synthetic stock on it to keep it light and keep the price down and I’m sure it would sell. I know I’d get all 3 if I could.

    J-F


  4. I like the.25 cal. I have a pistol made in Argentina calledthe Shark in .25 and it was awesome in power.I also have the Marauder and I love it for the money and what it does is equal to the far more expensive Euro and Korean.I now have aother reason to like .25 cal” With my arthritus it’s easier to pick up and the pellets”.But the Marauder can’t be beat at tye cost and it is really as accurate as todays repoprt states.



    • Derrick,

      You are so right about the cheek weld. The shape of the stock makes your face go low on the sight line, but the eyepiece is slightly too high.

      A Straighter stock with less drop would correct this.

      I am thinking about mounting the 4.5-14 Hawke, because it has a 42 mm objective that isn’t too big for the gun.

      B.B.


      • I was thinking about cutting the stock and making vertically adjustable pillars for the cheek piece. Even another inch or so of height in the comb would be helpful. I’ve seen some really nice modifications to the factory stock that don’t look too far beyond my meager ability.



        • Yeah, Crosman brought just such a thing to the 2010 FT Nationals: a standard Marauder stock with an adjustable cheekpiece. It was chopped and drilled for adjustable pillars just as you describe, Derrick. The thought of it showing up in the retail lineup is very tantalizing: I would probably need to buy it off the shelf, as I can only dream of abilities as “meager” as yours!

          -Jan


          • Jan,
            I’m humbled that you’d even think to say something like that. Thank you. It’s really just dog-headed determination coupled with mild insanity, willingness to dive right in, make mistakes, ask the right people for help, and do some trick photography. There’s nothing quite like getting in way over your head. It’s sort of liberating. Though the Belgian beer does help, too.


            • Oh, those wonderful Belgians. Now you’ll have me staring wistfully out the window all afternoon, daydreaming of Moinette…


  5. Kevin, Robert, Ken and everyone,

    Mac is scheduled to arrive today. We’re going to the Malvern airgun show together and Mac is going to help me test guns for a few weeks.

    On Friday, if everything goes as planned, I will have a very special blog for you guys!

    B.B.


  6. BB, I think there were several guns at LASSO that kept up with your SS. There was a Daystate Air Wolf MCT, a Daystate Huntsman Classic, a BSA Sportsman, more than one Marauder, and my 20 cal USFT Hunter. None but the Daystate MCT had as much power as your SS with the 24″ barrel but accuracy wise I think they kept up pretty well.

    The 25 cal Marauder may be in a class by itself when it comes to power, accuracy, multi-shot, and quietness, and cost.

    David Enoch


    • David,

      Yeah, I thought about that after I wrote it. I wasn’t at the smallbore range all the time, and whenever I was there Greg was giving lessons in how to shoot with my SS. I did see that .177 Marauder go head-to-head with him, but that was about all I saw.

      So I bow to your observations.

      B.B.


    • David, I think you are part of the conspiracy to make me buy a .25 caliber Marauder. Just kidding, of course, but when you say the Marauder is in a class by itself I want one all the more.

      Thanks,
      Ken



  7. Every .25 Marauder is definitely different!!!
    Mine loves the JSB Kings first, then the Benjis and Kodiak/Barracudas secondly.
    If you want to test the .25 mrod at long range, the Kings might come out on top.
    I use Kings out to 80~100 yards, and they really dont wander much at all.
    Many have said that the Hornady #3 Buckshot shoots good out of the .25 mrod.
    Not the case in mine.
    But, I can load two buckshots and get snake eyes within say 20 yards, making the mrod into a wonderful short range gopher killer.
    Sadly though, Hornady stopped making the #3 buckshot a couple of years ago.



    • Davee1,you answered the comment I was going to post.I was rather shocked at the relatively poor showing from the Kings (comparatively)…..as they are my new go-to in .25,both in my Condor & my DAQs.Really good pellet IMHO.


      • Frank B, not sure why the Kings take second seat in B.B.’s test.
        I’ve found that the Kings are number one in my .25 Walther Falcon Hunter too.
        I’ve read where many folks have said that the Kings are the best in their .25 gunz.
        Maybe the barrel just needs to season a little more.


  8. I recently acquired a used .22 Mrod and finally got to the range Sunday (when I also discovered the Remington .22LR’s golden bullet weren’t worth the price of the cardboard box they came in) and found that the Crosman Premiers outshot the JSB Exacts and the Falcons. What a great rifle for the money. It deserves a better scope than I have on it (the Leapers Bug Buster) but that’s not the point of this comment.

    I was just turned on to a lesson in history that occurred in this country in 1946. It’s something I never heard about, never studied in school, has never been brought up by the NRA or 2nd Amendment defenders to my knowledge or since I became interested in firearms. So, how many of you have heard of The Battle of Athens? Google it for those that don’t know what it is. I think your jaw will drop when you read it. That’s all I’m going to say for now.

    Fred DPRoNJ


    • Fred,
      Your results are the same as mine regarding .22 pellets in the Marauder. Only I shoot exclusively at 10m. The boxed Premiers are the most accurate, and I was disappointed in the JSB Exact since I heard so much good about them. I have not tried the Falcons.

      Funny thing about .22LR cheapies – maybe not funny haha, but funny strange – when I got my first .22lr I thought I would learn something about shooting with cheap bullets. I bought the cheapest I could find and a lot of them because I was going to shoot a lot. Turns out the only thing I learned was that they weren’t teaching me anything except that they weren’t teaching me anything. I guess there’s value in that.
      -Chuck
      -Chuck


    • Fred,

      Your reminder about The Battle of Athens is timely IMHO.

      “The government, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.” Abraham Lincoln

      I’m so concerned that we’re close to a majority of voters whose only goal and motivation is to ensure that the teat of government that they rely on to suckle doesn’t go away. I believe this November may be our last chance to peacefully change the dangerous course we’re currently on.

      If the people as a whole do not maintain a vigilant watch over matters of government a few people, grasping for power and domination find it easy to undermine all the principles of democracy. Please vote in November.

      kevin


      • Current government:

        There are 100 senators – 51 Democrat, 2 Independent, 47 Republican

        There are 435 members in the House of Representatives – 190 Democrat, 242 Republican (the largest Republican House since 1047-1949)

        That makes 241 democrats and 289 Republicans making up our government (not counting President and Vice President).

        That is 530 legislators.

        Now which of these are the few you are talking about?

        -Chuck


  9. The power level is about the same as a .22 short rimfire. It has the accuracy too. Very impressive. It makes one think about getting into PCP’s!

    BTW, BB said, “Actually, the rifle and you readers do benefit from my mistake, because there are now two great .25-caliber pellets available…..”

    Do you consider these the best .25 pellets? Pyramyd has many different ones for sale.

    Mike


    • Mike,

      In my experience, yes they are. Until they came out, all .25 caliber pellets were mediocre. The exception in some guns is the Kodiak, but I think these two will outshoot it. Maybe I ought to try them, just to be sure.

      As for the rest, I think they are sinker larvae.

      B.B.


  10. BB,

    Welcome to my nightmare!

    I graduated college 40 years ago this spring, and I still have that dream. It is a regular on my mind’s playlist.

    Les


  11. These aren’t allowed to be shipped to michigan unless I want to go through all the headache of buying it like a rgilar center fire rifle. I did however find a loophole. If I buy the thing piece at a time and put it together myself I don’t have to go through the agravation. Of course mine is a bit different with plenty of stainless steel walther barrel, custom carbon fiber shroud and folding combat stock from a real ak47, and quite a few power upgrades. I find I get fewer shots…20… but with around 90-100 fps more than a stock marauder. Since I did build it myself I must wonder if I actually can call it a marauder though. They are quite a nice gun.

    Did anyone here ever see a 25 cal pcp 2240? I use one for clearing my deer stand of squirrels. Effective.


    • Mr. John,

      You know you can’t talk like that without getting out the photographs, right? Let’s see both of them.

      NRS


    • Hi John…..I actually have a DAQ (Quackenbush) .25 breech & barrel on a lower made by Walter Glover,with a 2240 trigger group.It makes a great pistol & carbine! Squirrels definitely don’t like it….as a plus,it will also run on Co2.


  12. Both are freshly built. As soon as I can I will be happy to show you. I have to figurte out how to post a pic. I’m not as computer savy as I am air gun savy. I do build some rather nice pieces. I also have a 2250b that came to me to be freshened up. Not done yet but it’s hitting at 100 fps over stock as well. I just put a beautiful red/ black laminate wood insert and foregrip on it and just fitted a polished aluminum brake on the muzzle while I wait for the stainless steel parts. I’ll get pics of it too when finished along with a pump beast made from a trashed 1377.


  13. Of course. I like his work. I get parts from all over the country. I build these kinds of things. I might not be quackenbush, but I am pretty good.


  14. About a year ago I bought the Marauder .25 with the handpump at Pyramid Air. I love the gun, but the pump broke down after one month. The manufacturer of the pump has sent me two sets of O-rings etc. for replacement. I had it repaired but two weeks later I had the same problem again. I’m thinking about buying a compressor to use with the Marauder. Can anyone advice me about an in-expensive but appropriate compressor I can look for.



      • And is probably not the fastest thing in the world, if it takes ~18 minutes to fill a Marauder (though who runs one down to 0.0 after the first fill?).

        $500 plus $200-300 for a shop compressor (if one doesn’t have one already)… And the statement of 2 CFM can be confusing — my small shop compressor claims 3.3 SCFM @ 90PSI and 4.3 SCFM @ 45PSI. Did that qualify? (If I understand it, 3.3SCFM@90PSI means enough air flows at 90PSI to fill a 3.3CF volume to atmospheric pressure in one minute; not that it will fill a 3.3CF volume to 90PSI in one minute [considering how long it takes to fill the "4 gallon" tank to shut-off pressure])

        At least it /is/ an oil-less (diaphragm) type compressor, if not a silent one (I’d bought it for air-brush work many years ago — when a tank-less Paasche 1/10HP compressor couldn’t manage a VL-3 air-brush at anything above 25PSI; “silent” air-brush compressors are in the $500 range and have a tank only large enough to moderate fluctuations in pressure between strokes of the pump).


    • Nico,

      Did you know that if you use the pump incorrectly, you will have problems? Are you pumping it slowly up & down? Are you pumping for less than 5 mins. at a time & then letting the pump cool down? When you pump, are you pulling the pump all the way to the top, pausing momentarily & then pushing the handle down?

      We’ve seen people quickly pump up & down without the momentary pauses and also without stopping after 5 minutes, and that generates a lot of heat and might cause failure.

      Have you watched Tom’s video on how to properly use a hand pump? If not, here’s the article…the video’s at the end:

      http://www.pyramydair.com/article/Using_a_hand_pump_May_2006/30

      Edith


  15. Bought some .25 caliber pellets for my British made Webley and Scott Stingray last week. The Benjamin pellets worked extremely well with the JSB Exacts a close second. I was so impressed, I finally got around to ordering a Benjamin Marauder in .25 and a hand pump. Been wanting one of these for quite a while now. Thanks for doing a report just for it.

    Thanks for the link Edith. I don’t want to be that guy that destroys his hand pump in a couple of weeks. It’s hard to get people to understand that compressing air creates heat. That heat in turn will deform and destroy the seals if you’re not careful and allow the pump to cool off. I’ve noticed a lot of my friends don’t have a good working knowledge of mechanical things and don’t use tools very often. I know a couple of them would most likely never read the manual and use such a pump with a cavalier attitude. When it breaks, they would blame the pump or it’s design, never their own careless use of it.



    • Sirrsidd,

      this is a VERY Difficult question to answer. The reason is that both rifles are extremely accurate, both have adjustable power levels although the Talon’s is more accessible, the Marauder has a shrouded barrel and is extremely quiet while you would have to go to the Talon SS to obtain the same result, the Marauder has an adjustable trigger while the Talon’s is not and you accept it as it comes from the factory but it is an excellent trigger, none the less. The Marauder has a nice wooden stock and is held as a conventional rifle would be. The Talon is a unique looking rifle, more like a black rifle look and the hold can be uncomfortable. You will need a high scope mount (neither rifle has iron sights). Price point I believe goes to the Marauder – it is cheaper. The Talon can use different barrels and change calibers easily. the Marauder cannot so the Talon can be a .177 one day and a .22 the next. The Talon has an external air tank so you can have multiple tanks while the Marauder doesn’t. The tanks are pricey, however. Both rifles will give you from 35 to 100 plus shots depending on how you tune them for power.

      Which one is the better buy? If you have the money, buy both! However, either one will not disappoint.

      Fred DPRoNJ



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