Benjamin Marauder PCP .177-caliber air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Marauder
Benjamin Marauder

I’m starting a long report about an air rifle that comes up in conversation all the time — the Benjamin Marauder. I use it as a standard for comparison to most other air rifles in its class; though, to be honest, there are no other air rifles that are in its class. They may have some of the same features, but no other air rifle on the market has everything that the Marauder has.

It’s very significant that the Marauder occupies the top position on the Pyramyd Air search page for precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles when you sort for the most popular models. Even though it costs more than the Benjamin Discovery, which was created to be the entry-level gun for those coming into PCPs for the first time, the Marauder out-sells the less expensive airgun. And with all that it has to offer, the Marauder is still a blistering bargain…not only among PCPs, but among the larger category of fine air riflesin general.

This is not my first report on the Marauder, or, as the insider jargonists have named it, the M-Rod. Way back in 2009, I did a 5-part report on this .177 rifle as it was first launched. Back then, the airgun community was just starting to get used to the idea that Crosman could build precharged airguns instead of buying them from other manufacturers and slapping their name on it. The Benjamin Discovery that the slangsters have shortened to Disco was their first attempt at building a PCP here in the United States, and they were so careful with the launch that they hit a home run the first time at bat. But the Marauder was the rifle they really wanted to build. And, with it, they knocked the ball out of the park!

When the Discovery was in development, Crosman engineers knew shooters were going to want a match-type trigger, a baffled barrel and superior accuracy. I argued that we first needed to get our production feet wet with a simpler design that had fewer technical challenges to build. As things evolved over time, we were both right. Building the Discovery first gave Crosman’s East Bloomfield plant the time it needed to ramp up a precharged pneumatic assembly line and to learn all the sensitive issues involved with building PCPs. But the customers really did want all the bells and whistles on their guns; so when the Marauder came out, the company was praised for finally getting it right.

As it turns out, there are actually two distinctly different motivations for buying these rifles. The Discovery is what you buy when you want to save every last penny and still get into precharged airgunning with a brand new airgun, while the Marauder is the one that’s bought for all its features. Sometimes, these are two entirely different customers; and other times, they’re the same customer but at different times in their airgunning journeys. Whatever the psychology, each model compliments the other one, and neither would be as successful by itself.

I’ve always believed that a company needs high-performance models to encourage timid buyers to purchase their more mundane products. That’s why the automobile industry pours millions of dollars into NASCAR — so that mom and dad can feel special while driving their ordinary wheels to soccer practice and to work. Remember this — most Range Rovers never leave the pavement — despite the fact that they can.

But Crosman has taken this marketing strategy one important extra step. They’ve built a high-performance PCP and held the cost to a fraction of what others charge for airguns of lesser capability. It’s like Ferrari is making a sports car that retails for under $30,000. The dinosaurs will claim that it can’t be done, yet here’s the Benjamin Marauder, proving it can.

This rifle deserves a second report because we keep bumping into it as we look at other airguns. It’s often held as the standard against which other air rifles are compared. So, it’s time to look at the rifle in its own light to see if all the hype is deserved.

As an interesting side note, I have not shot this rifle since June 2009, and it’s still holding air. I’m mentioning that because a lot of people talk about how these PCPs don’t hold their charge.

I also tested a .25-caliber Marauder air rifle, and that coincided with my illness and hopitalization. My good friend Mac had to step in and finish that test for me in 2010.

One last footnote before I talk about the gun. There’s a new synthetic Marauder coming out, and I’m going to get one to test for you. This is going to be a very thorough look at the M-Rod family.

The rifle
The Marauder is a PCP repeater that comes in .177, .22 and .25 calibers. The .177 that I’m testing now holds 10 shots in the rotary clip. The .22-caliber rifle has the same number, but the big .25 caliber drops to 8 pellets.

The barrel is shrouded so successfully that the Marauder is held up as the standard for what a quiet PCP should be. Of course, you can make it even quieter with certain aftermarket modifications. But as it comes from the box, it’s quieter than 90 percent of the comparable PCPs on the market. The shroud gives the appearance of a bull barrel, which is pleasing to most shooters. But the real 20-inch barrel is located deep inside the shroud.

The stock is beech with a conventional shape. It’s thick through most dimensions. The fact that it encloses the rear of the reservoir tube means that it’s a trifle thick through the forearm. It really isn’t that wide; but it looks like it is, and that’s the impression most people have of the rifle — that it’s larger than it really is. In fact, it weighs only a trifle over 7 lbs., depending on the wood weight, and is actually a fairly lightweight air rifle.

The pistol grip is contoured nicely for right-hand and left-hand shooters, alike, with a hint of a palm swell on either side. The cheekpiece rises high enough to naturally bring your eye up to the eyepiece of the scope. The bolt handle located on the right is perhaps the one thing lefties will find objectionable.

The rifle is finished with a matte finish overall. The metal parts are a pleasing dark gray, and the wood has a satin sheen. It looks like it was designed for hunters by hunters, and the presence of detachable sling swivel studs is proof of that.

No sights come on the rifle because the shooter is expected to mount a scope. The 11mm scope base on the receiver stands above the barrel, so there will be good clearance for a large objective lens; but the circular clip protrudes above the top of the receiver, forcing you to use rings that raise it high enough to clear. You almost have to use a 2-piece mount, although it would be possible to use a cantilevered 1-piece mount that reaches over the clip. I’m telling you that you need to think about the scope and mount more carefully than with some other rifles.

Benjamin Marauder clip
The spring-loaded clip sticks up above the top of the receiver, meaning the scope mounts need to provide clearance.

The rifle is filled through a male Foster quick-disconnect nipple that has a 2-micron filter inside to stop dirt from entering the reservoir. This type of fitting is nearly universal these days, and it’s one of the pleasing features that all Crosman-made PCPs share.

Adjustable trigger
The Marauder’s trigger is adjustable in ways the triggers on guns costing twice as much cannot equal. You control the first-stage and second-stage lengths, the weight of the let-off and even the position of the trigger blade when it’s at rest. The trigger releases with a light and crisp second stage that’s worthy of the title match trigger. I’ll discuss the trigger more in a future report.

Adjustable power
The user can adjust the rifle’s power, within limits. But this is not a simple adjustment that acts just on the hammer spring, alone. Both the hammer-spring tension, or preload, and the hammer-stroke length are adjustable. You control both how hard the hammer strikes the valve stem and also how far it can push it. This gives you fine control over the rifle’s power output, but it’s a procedure that requires the use of a chronograph and balancing between the spring tension and the hammer-stroke travel. I’ll have more to say about this in a future report.

Adjustable fill pressure
I know of no other PCP that has the ability to adjust the maximum fill pressure of the gun. You’re actually controlling the volume of air that can flow through the valve when the hammer’s struck. This has to be done in conjunction with the power adjustment to be fully effective. If not done correctly, you could have a situation where the fill pressure restricts the possible top power the rifle can generate, rather than the hammer stroke and spring tension. I’ll talk more about this in a future report.

Accuracy
Marauders have a well-deserved reputation for accuracy. We’ll test that, of course; and in the years since the rifle was tested last, a number of good pellets have become available. This should be an interesting update for all of us.

77 thoughts on “Benjamin Marauder PCP .177-caliber air rifle: Part 1

  1. BB you mentioned almost everything except for the single shot trays that are available for the guns. I have one on my .177 and .25 cal. But my Marauder pistol has the rotary magazine.
    When you use the single shot tray you don’t have to worry about the scope mount height.

    And you know the 1720T pistol is from the same design as the Marauders and it is in the .177 cal. with the Walther Lothar barrel.

    Oh and I know you are a busy person with all the tests and blogs. But how did you not shoot it since 2009 ?
    And as far as leaks go. I have 2 Disco’s. A .177 and a .22 cal. I (can’t) get them to leak. They have been excellent.
    The 1720T is great also along with my .25 M-Rod. No problems.

    But my .177 tends to be the problem child of the bunch. Along with the P-Rod (Marauder pistol). They both had a slow leak. That was driving me crazy. And what bothered me the most was how good the other guns were. Found the gauge leaking on both guns. The M-Rod where it screwed into the adapter. And the P-Rod were the gage screwed into the gage port.
    Pretty easy fix on both guns. Depressurized the guns with the degassing tool that comes with the guns.
    Then took the gage off (make sure all pressure is out of the gun before you take the gage off). Cleaned the threads off with some Acetone on the Gage and were it screws into. Put a drop of blue Loctite on the threads and reassembled and let set over night before I filled it the next day. And also don’t over tighten because the gage to me looks like it is made from some sort of cast aluminum with chrome plating. And that will probably mess the threads up. And the blue Loctite does come apart easy if you ever need to take things apart.

    I guess the warranty would cover that. But I just couldn’t justify sending it back to Crosman and waiting for it to get fixed and getting shipped back to me.


    • Gunfun1,

      OT….

      From yesterday…. I do mostly cp helis. My first rc aircraft was a Blade 400 rtf when they first came out. Lots of crashes until I spent a lot of time on RealFlight. Now I have and fly everything from a Blade mCPx to a T-rex 600CFe. Well acquainted with Hobby King. Platinum Customer…. LOL! I didn’t recommend HK to Kevin because there is a lot of confusion there for a new guy to sort through. It can be pretty baffling when starting out! I’ll have to give Grayson a try.

      /Dave


      • Yep I like the collective pitch heli’s also. My first electric I got though when I was trying out the electric copters was a Blade Scout CX. Still have it today. Had it about 3 1/2 yrs. now. The one I just recently got is the Blade mCP X V2. I can fly it around good but still not brave enough to 3D it. Hopefully it will make it around as long as the Scout. Will see.

        But as far as planes go I have one of the Grayson hobbies EPP 3D Sukhoi flat foamies. And 2 that I scratch built from that type of design. They are actually pretty stable planes if you slow down the travel of the control surfaces. And they will fly pretty slow. But probably still to much for somebody learning I suppose.

        And yep I love my flight simulator. I have to watch myself though when I start doing it. I end up spending way way to much time on it if you know what I mean. I start flying and I cant stop. But that is definitely a good way to learn.

        And glad to know that there is other people in the R/C hobbies out there.


      • Did you check out the Grayson site ?
        If you get a chance go to RCPowers.com and check out the R/C Jets. They have some cool videos and they are related sites. That’s what I have been into now.
        I like anything to do with flying on the stall,hovering and vertical take off and landing.


    • Me, on the other hand, can’t find where my Disco .22 is leaking… BB told me to put some silicone and filled it in… it improved a little, but still leaks…


  2. I have yet to get a Maurader. It was on my short list before I got the S410E. I still want one although it has dropped a couple of places on the list. I’m still get one, but I’ll want to by this one “new” if only to support American industry. I also have a Discovery in .22 that I bought used and put a tko shroud on to quiet it down. I still like it and pull it out from time to time. Crosman has always made good stuff!

    /Dave


  3. Careful!
    I’ve been holding off selling the daughter to arab slave traders to buy this gun…..don’t push me over the edge!


  4. BB, I have a friend that has three Marauders, a .177, .22, and .25. He really likes them, except for the stocks. He has done a lot of thinning out of the stocks to make them a little more comfortable. The stock is my main complaint against the Marauder too. The pull seems too long and the distance from the pistol grip to the trigger seems to long. I hope the synthetic stock has better ergonomics.

    In a lot of ways, I would prefer a Disco to a Marauder. The Disco is a single shot, much lighter, and works on a 2000 psi fill. A Disco with a barrel shroud and a better trigger would be good seller in my opinion.

    David Enoch


    • Dave,

      my first PCP was the Disco. I, too, put a TKO shroud on the barrel so I could shoot it inside without disturbing wife and bird. TKO also sells a very simple kit to make the trigger adjutable. You can buy the parts yourself at the local hardware store (plenty of instructions on the Yellow) or be lazy as I was and support Mike at TKO. My trigger turned out to be everything I wanted with his kit. I havested a number of squirrels in the backyard before the hawks and foxes moved in to take over that task.

      I also own two Marauders’ – .177 and .22. Great products for the price!

      Fred DPRoNJ


      • I love single shots, and slim lightweight rifles. When I have a magazine fed gun I tend to just shoot until it’s empty. I will shoot a magazine of pellets in the same time I may shoot a single shot once. And, I enjoy that single shot more than the magazine of let I shot down line.

        The Disco is easy to quieten down. I haven’t messed with a gun with a modded trigger so I don’t know how good the trigger gets.

        David Enoch


    • I’m likely never to buy a PCP, unless the .22LR shortage is eternal, but I like your idea about what the Disco needs — it was almost there and it seems like they missed a chance at a mid-level model. I hate the stock on the Marauder, just by looking at it, and could care less about “follow-up” shots with an air rifle! Maybe the synthetic stock will be made like a rifle stock.


      • Here it is 14 months later…Seems like we’re bordering on eternal just about now with respect to the 22LR ammo BG! When large stores like Cabellas around here get a batch, its gone in 1 or 2 hours even with a 100 round limit / customer. But if noise and safety are not a concern, there’s no comparing what a 22LR hp round does to a squirrel vs. a 22 pellet going 950 fps. For my application, those have become concerns in the last few years so now I enter the world of PCPs.


    • I own a .25 and .22 Mrod and agree with your friend. The Mrod is heavy and feels bulky, like a 2×4, in my hands. @ 5′ 11″ and 250lbs, not exactly on the small size. ;) The fore-grip is thick, along with the grip area. Also, the cheek riser does not make a good weld for me and medium rings. lop is a bit short for my arms, as well. It does look like crosman has addressed most of these issues with the new syn stock version. It lost about a pound, has adjustable riser, trigger has been moved back, and fore-stock has been recessed. Last I saw, it was about $100 more than the current wood version, though.


  5. I think the Marauders pistol and rifle are my dream guns. I wish I could buy them so bad, I’d be willing to give many of them up for the Marauder family of PCP’s.

    I always tought the rifle looked too big and seemed heavy until I was able to handle (fondle) one in person. What an awesome rifle. Nice to hold, easy to aim and a very close to perfect weight for me.
    I found it to be a much better rifle in person than in pictures.

    J-F


    • Big and Heavy?

      Compared to my HK-91 and Browning A-Bolt II Varmint model (both .308Win/7.62NATO)… the Marauder is downright svelte… (besides a full beaver-tail stock, the A-Bolt II also has the BOSS barrel system, and the stock is an epoxied laminate; I think it actually outweighs the HK-91 with 20rd magazine)


      • I said I tought it looked big and heavy. From the pics I was seeing it seemed that way to me.
        Remember that no store carries them up here and that no one I know can buy one here.

        I was able to handle one while on vacation in Maine last year (as well as the Talon, Condor, the greatest one of all… the P-rod and the 1701P which I ended up ordering when I got back home).
        I was really surprise at how light it actually was!

        J-F



    • It’s mentionned in the report:
      “The stock is beech with a conventional shape.”
      It’s in the 3rd paragraph of the rifle description.

      J-F


  6. B.B.
    How long will the air cylinder of the Marauder last, and is it replaceable?

    Weichrauch make their air cylinders out of stainless steel, so they should be less corrosive sensitive. Weihrauch says:

    “You must not use the air cylinder longer than 10 years. After 10 years from the manufacturing date the air cylinder must not be used any further, must be emptied and sent back to the manufacturer for checking against extra charge. … check the date inscribed on the rifle’s air cylinder. An air cylinder that is leaking, damaged or more than 10 years old cannot be used or even filled. It must be emptied immediately”
    Here is the Weihrauch link to read more:

    http://www.weihrauch-sport.de/seiten/englisch/weitschussluftgewehre/e_info_pressluftzylinder.html

    During IWA 2013 i spoke with FX air rifles (Sweden), and they said that their aluminum air cylinders were corrosion resistant since they had the same surface treatment both inside and outside of the cylinders. Their air cylinders should be safe to use much longer than 10 years, the FX guy said. The FX cylinders have still production stamps. Some of the FX cylinders are easy to change, but some of them are fixed to the gun.

    Air cylinders belonging to Air Arms 400 and 500, Falcon, Sam Yang, Eun Jin, Evanix (and many more) are also fixed to the gun. It seem that the Discovery and the Marauder also belong in this group.

    Another manufacturer told me that air cylinders that have a volume of 400 cc or less, do not need any testing after 10 years according to the law. (Most air gun cylinders are 400 cc or less.).

    I think that even a very small air cylinder should be tested or replaced if they are old. Air cylinders are not cheap, and might cost you as much as 50 % of the air gun. An air cylinder with 200 bar / 2900 psi might be very dangerous if it explodes when you are using the air gun.

    What is your take on this, B.B.?

    Eddie


    • Eddie,

      My take is — don’t worry about the life of the cylinder. They don’t wear out.

      The regulations that govern air cylinders were written for scuba tanks that cycle from 3000 down to virtually zero. Airguns don’t do that, nor do airgunners take their scuba tanks down to zero, either.

      So an air reservoir in an airgun doesn’t get but a fraction of the work hardening that a dive cylinder gets.

      The manufacturers put warnings like that in their literature for liability protection reasons.

      I don’t worry about it.

      B.B.


      • I agree with BB on this one. Don’t worry about the cylinder. I have been airgunning for the last 15 years and active on the forum and I have not read one account where a PCP cylinder failed due to corrosion.

        David Enoch


        • I agree, but I do think handpumpers should visually inspect their cylinders at least every few years for signs of water and/or corrosion. A lot depends on your local humidity levels, but it is possible for pumpers to introduce water that can induce corrosion.

          If the visual inspection looks good, then I agree completely that the life of the cylinder is virtually indefinite.

          Alan in MI


          • Alan,

            I will see if I can find the test Dennis Quackenbush and I did years ago that demonstrated that water gets blown out of a reservoir as a PCP is shot. The gun can’t retain the water, as it all goes out the valve.

            I’ll look and see if I can find that for you.

            B.B.


            • Now THAT claim even I’d have trouble with (considering how many times I’ve frozen the carpet while draining my under-powered shop compressor [I have artist air-brushes that can almost kill a 1.5HP 4gallon compressor]). If one has achieved actual condensation in a tank, it’s going to lay on the lowest surface, and I doubt the tanks have outlets at the bottom. Maybe one should do a few dry-fires with the muzzle pointing up (or down, for AirForce) to drain the condensation.


              • Wulfraed,

                Okay, put your thinking cap on. When you shoot the rifle what is the attitude of the tank? That’s how it works, and it certainly does work that way. I’ve tested it and the gun pumped out all the water.

                B.B.


            • B.B.

              I agree that all or most of the water is pumped out when shooting. But what happens if you pump up the air cylinder, and then leave the air gun for a while? I have a lot of PCPs and all their air cylinders are full of air, so the air gun is ready for target shooting. I have actually not shot some of the PCPs for two – three years. My concern is that the humidity over time might cause some corrosion in the valves and air cylinders.

              Eddie


              • Eddie,

                Well, if it bothers you, then I guess you need to act accordingly. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable with what you are doing.

                B.B.


      • What about the AirForce tanks? Those DO have an inspection date stamp on them.

        Though I’ll concede that, given the little usage mine are getting, I’ll likely go past the 5year certification period…


        • Wulfraed,

          Yes, they do have an inspection date, because they start out as buddy bottles. And do you know how many have been re-tested? None! Because there isn’t a test standard for them, as far as I know.

          B.B.


  7. B.B.,

    My Maurauder is EXTREMELY impressive in its incredible accuracy and its wonderful trigger. I consider it to be very quiet, although the couple mods I will eventually perform on it will have shooting much more quietly.

    I do have two, well, two-and-a-half bones to pick with my Marauder, however.

    It’s been a few months since I weighed it on my regularly calibrated postal scale, and I foolishly forgot to write down the results, but I recall the action, without a scope, weighed just a hair over five pounds, and the stock weighed just a hair over three pounds. After I put the rifle together and weighed it again, it came to just over eight pounds, almost a full pound more than advertised. With the modest scope and rings I have mounted on it, my Maruader weighs nine pounds, seven ounces.

    My half bone to pick has to do with the stock wood. Perhaps the 7.12 pounds was true when Crosman used actual beech for the Marauder. My stock, according to my Master cabinet maker brother-in-law, is unmistakeably “lauan” (also called shorea) a virtually grainless tropical (usually Philippine) wood typically used as a cheap filler layer in plywood and as a surface wood on low-cost interior doors. Take a look at the following picture to recognize the wood that came with your Marauder: http://www.boulterplywood.com/photogallery/wood%20names/LAUAN.jpg

    Additionally, the three magazines I have for my Marauder, each purchased new (but not costing enough to be worth the shipping cost plus my trouble to send them back) have never, ever worked properly, despite my carefully following the instructions. So I purchased a single-shot tray.

    Since I gave up on the Marauder magazines, I have noticed online communities dedicated to the Marauder often include extensive forums for trying to make the magazines work with internal modifications and new parts. There are also numerous online videos that address the Marauder magazine problem. I had thought that my having three out of three go/be bad signaled it was my fault, but no, many others regularly have more than half not work and the working ones fail after a couple months. Apparently one issue is that the spring is too weak and too fragile for the task.

    Therefore, I assert that the Marauder is a single-shot rifle. It is a very, very good single-shot rifle that is probably worth the price, given the expense of most other PCPs, but my advice to those of you who have yet to buy one to think of it as a single-shot. If you must have a repeater, my advice is look elsewhere.

    For what it’s worth, in our e-mails and on the phone Crosman refused to admit to any issues regarding the magazine or address my observation regarding the buttstock wood.

    Michael


    • Update: On its website description of the Marauder, the stock wood is no longer identified as beech. It is not identified at all. (But it IS Luaun, I assure you.)

      Also, apparently they have finally addressed the magazine issues, for the description states, “The Marauder is also a Multi-Shot rifle with the NEW 10 shot auto indexing clip” [all-caps emphasis mine].

      Maybe the “new . . . clip” is indeed a significant improvement.

      Michael



      • Mine was bought in early 2011… So far as I recall, all my magazines work.

        Heck, the Marauder, in one year, probably saw as much usage as my ~1983 Daisy US Shooting Team 953 variant.


      • I too have four magazines, and have had zero problems despite my attempt to break one. I bought the three extras the same time I bought the rifle several years ago.

        I agree that the stock is most likely lauan. The grain is very light and unimpressive. The finish is also nothing to write home about. I am not fond of the lazer cut checkering. Especially on the forearm, it has the shape of a crushed slug. The stock does not feel good in my hands or on my eyes. In spite of all this bellyaching, it is easily one of my favorite guns.

        Add to the weight my rifle an enormous scope, long sunshade, big sidewheel, and bipod. It is a big fat pig indeed.


    • I heard early on about problems with the Marauder’s magazine. Wayne denied it, but comments about it remain. It would be interesting to see the report address this.

      Matt61


    • It’s been a few months since I weighed it on my regularly calibrated postal scale

      Do I want to ask what you regularly ship?

      My KITCHEN scale doesn’t go high enough to weight a Marauder!

      /MY/ “postal scale” (AnD PV0200) maxes out at a mere 7 ounces (200g at 0.1g resolution). My /detail/ scale (AWS Gemini Pro 20) maxes out at 20g with 0.001g resolution… 10 32gr Eun Jin .22 pellets will overload this one [OTOH: if you've got a 101carat diamond, you don't care that this scale only goes up to 100ct])


      • My postal scale goes up to 50 pounds. I regularly ship small vintage tube guitar amplifiers and vintage guitars, but also small vintage amp and guitar parts. I try to calibrate the scale (using balance weights from a number of old balances I’ve found at garage sales) once a week, because my wife does a lot of shipping as well. Typically I find no adjustment is necessary.

        Michael


        • My wife just reminded me that the scale goes up to 23 kg, so my little calculator tells me in Imperial/U.S. measurements it goes up to 50 pounds, 11.3 ounces.

          Michael


  8. I’ve got six or seven Marauder mags–all .22 caliber–and they’re been nothing but flawless. I do see online tutorials on modifying the mags to take longer pellets so shooters can use JSB Predators. My Marauder is probably the most accurate rifle of any kind (including firearms) that I own out to about 50 yards.


  9. Derrick,

    That is excellent luck, given much of what I’ve read. There seem to be plenty of Marauder owners who have had two or even three mags with both working great all the time. But for one person to have six or seven that have worked flawlessly, well, that’s impressive good fortune, it seems to me. Maybe I should have you buy a few, open them up, make sure they work, and then have you sell them to me! Maybe I could somehow sneak onto that good fortune train! :^)

    My Marauder is in .177, and mine have batted 0 for 3. I’ve found a LOT of webpages and forum threads on mechanical failure, either right out of the package or after just a small amount of use. Youtube has a rather long tutorial someone did on how to repair a mag with the common broken spring problem.

    I tried to replace the apparently too weak spring in one of my three by following the video tutorial, but as many have noted, the hard part is getting the whole thing back together with the new spring in the proper position. I spent an hour and a half on it and then gave up. I have a lot of patience with that sort of thing, but I lack the fine motor skills (I wear size XXXL gloves) to do it quickly or with routine success. A watch repairman could probably do it in five minutes the first time and two minutes each subsequent time.

    But unless you’re handy doing fine work . . .

    Michael


    • Michael
      With your mag failure rate, depending on failure mode, I might wonder if my gun were causing the mags to fail, rather than them going bad on their own. Just a thought.
      john


      • John,

        For two of the failures, you might be correct, as one failed to index fully after I loaded it and put it into the rifle. The other worked three or four times and then would no longer load properly.

        For the third one, it would not load right out of the packaging, so my rifle was not the issue there.

        Michael


  10. I have 4 magazines for my Marauder pistol. And I bought this gun around 2yrs. ago. I haven’t had any problems with mine either. But I will have to say that they could of made things a little better in certain areas of the magazines.

    I myself though still like the single shot trays better. Even when I hunt with the guns. I guess I grew up with the single shot bolt actions when I was a kid and use to doing it that way. And they say the single shot tray will tend to help with accuracy.


  11. My first marauder bought in 2010 was fine. The present one bought in 2012, however, has had some parts replaced including the pressure gauge and port gauge assembly after it developed leaks twice. For now its holding air.


  12. Great! I love this gun and could read about it forever without getting bored just as I can with most classic guns. By the way, I just had a look at the Chris Kyle’s posthumous book about the 10 guns that made America. Looks good. I will pick it up. One question I have about the Marauder is how smoothly the bolt-action works. It is now currently my joy to run my military surplus rifles with snap caps. They are all wonderful, but nothing quite matches the Enfield No. 4. How does the Marauder action hold up?

    I see the mad sniper got to you guys as much as me. I think that B.B.’s reaction falls into the Jackie Chan category which appeared in his remake of The Karate Kid. He says (after wiping a gang of obnoxious teenagers): “When fighting an angry, blind man, it is best to stay out of the way.” Or, alternatively, you could adopt the James Bond approach where he says, “Let’s have a little fun with Mr. Goldfinger.” I found that when I pressed the sniper with informed questions in a non-threatening way, he began to lose steam. The funniest was when I asked him what kind of action he used for his 22-250 and he replied, “That bullet travels at 4400 fps.” (!)

    While all this was going on, I couldn’t help thinking of B.B., pacing behind Edith at church to ask her out on a first date, and Edith knowing she had found the one for her. Now switch to this complete madman living in his house with a wife and kid and spouting nonsense 24 hours a day. When she opens her cupboards, the nonsense must spill out and cover her. When she raises the toilet seat it must spring out. It gets better. The occasion of this social gathering was a bridal shower for a couple about to be married, and it turns out that they are both in marriage counseling before the ceremony. The story is that this couple has broken up several times in part because the guy cannot keep a job, but he hung tough leaving expensive presents on the woman’s doorstep and refusing to be displaced. Now the theory is that once they’re married, he will get her knocked up as fast as possible and be tied to her forever and ever. There may be more than one person around the bend before this is through.

    I was mostly entertained by the sniper but there is a person in the collection who is more disturbing. He is a veteran of Iraq with a bronze star for valor and reportedly a nice guy. Trouble is he suffers PTSD. As he himself says, “My elevator doesn’t go to the top floor.” He also carries a gun everywhere. One doesn’t want to deny a decorated veteran the right to own a gun but this is asking for trouble just like the tragic affair with Chris Kyle. For example, there was a recent party where the mad sniper got into an alpha male exchange with the veteran and slapped his face (playfully more or less)! It was only because the veteran was uncharacteristically drunk that violence did not ensue. As he says, when things get violent, he loses all control of himself and will punch, kick, bite until he’s physically pulled off. Great. And what will that produce with a gun? I think it is best to follow the advice of Masai warriors in Africa who were watching a tourist trying in vain to throw one of their spears. They were commenting pretty freely in their own language, not aware that they were being recorded and that their comments would be translated and posted on a YouTube video for all to see. They said: “He must be tired.” “He is not a Masai.” And then finally, “Stay far away from him.”

    BG_Farmer, I was just kidding about Kentucky. My family is from there from a long time ago. Besides even if the worst were true, you would redeem the whole place in the words of Abraham: If there be even one good man… :-)

    Okay, I’ve converted to hoarding. California is on the verge of passing a law to require background checks for the purchase of ammunition. What this will mean for online sales where I get all my specialty ammo is not spelled out, but I shudder to think. I’m a convert.

    Matt61


    • Great! I love this gun and could read about it forever without getting bored just as I can with most classic guns. By the way, I just had a look at the Chris Kyle’s posthumous book about the 10 guns that made America. Looks good. I will pick it up. One question I have about the Marauder is how smoothly the bolt-action works. It is now currently my joy to run my military surplus rifles with snap caps. They are all wonderful, but nothing quite matches the Enfield No. 4. How does the Marauder action hold up?

      Well… Using the single shot tray, all you have is basically a straight-line feed. Unless the tray is high, the pellet should be free to shift as the bolt is closed.

      But the magazines rely upon spring tension wedging the next pellet against a stop — so pellet shape might contribute to feeding forces, along with how well the stop aligns with the bore. Regardless of alignment, you have the pellet squeezed between the stop and the spring carrier.

      But in an emergency — you CAN cycle the action while laying on your back…


    • Not enough of an insider to understand a lot of this, but I enjoyed it anyway…

      I’m looking for advice (and tired of reading!) on how I should “charge” this thing…
      I know it’s complicated, but I want a simple answer…
      Pump it up to 3000? Run it up to a lower number?
      Shoot it down to?

      My initiation of the rifle was to ~3000psi. It shot wildly for about 30 pellets (Crosman Competition Wadcutters). (Some of that was getting the scope zeroed.) I switched to Premium Hollow Points and it magically started putting pellets thru the same whole (whooopie, it was only 10m).

      I’m at 50 or 60 shots (I got excited and lost count of how many times I refilled the clip/magazine(?). It is still above 2000psi on the gauge. I think I’ll keep shooting…

      Please don’t tell me to buy better pellets. If I can’t shoot this thing cheaper than a real .22, I’m gonna get rid of it and spend the money on real .22 ammo (if I can find it). (My M-Rod (had to throw that in) is .177.)

      So far, I love this thing!

      Summarizing what my questions are (after babbling on for too long):
      What should I charge it to?
      What should I shoot it down to?
      (This is for shooting at 10m in my backyard.)

      TIA.



        • Uh-Oh…
          The Newbie To Air Guns is going to be a Blog Topic…
          That scares me.

          Yes, I really do have the patience of Job.
          And, to top it all off, I am really enjoying the thought of becoming an Air Gunner…
          While I’m waiting for your answers, I’ll just keep reading your Good Stuff, pumping it up, and sending ‘em downrange. (I’m probably taking this thing to the Range tomorrow morning to see how it does out beyond 10m. Like one of your other Readers said, “It gets boring after a while…” Probably have to break out the Taco Sauce packages and Banana Stickers… (try putting a whole thru the O in Dole…))

          I figured out how to make my break barrel work, but hated the fact that I was forced to use technique that made it hard for me to fire my “real” rifles. (If I so much as put cheek pressure on the stock, the shots would turn wild… and forget about holding the forearm!)

          This M-Rod is DIFFERENT in a good way… Trigger Control, Waiting on the sight picture to be right, etc, etc, etc. The only things it doesn’t have… recoil and a LOUD BANG.


      • Without a chronometer, determining the end-points may be difficult. And then there is the matter of how much of a velocity spread you consider acceptable.

        I suspect all the formatting will be lost, but here is the table from mine. I’ve never touched the adjustments, this is as it came from the factory. Each row is a 10-shot (one magazine) sample.

        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

        I consider the working range for mine, in this setting, to be 2700PSI down to 2200PSI. Note how the first 10 shots took 20PSI each; the next 10 also took 20PSI each. But the 10 shots from 2600 to 2500 only took 10PSI each, and had the narrowest velocity spread. The fourth magazine took 12.5PSI per shot, fifth 10 ran 17.5PSI, and the last magazine was back up to 20PSI per shot.

        Note the large spread for the first and last magazines. (Don’t be mislead, the overall spread from 2700 down to 2200 is still 22fps — min 862, max 884 , even though within each magazine the spread is 11fps)

        A different pellet may give different results.


        • Thanks for this… Looks like you take 40 shots between fills.

          I decided to play around with some other pellets to relieve some approaching boredom… the only other one that shot accurately enough to warrant consideration besides the Premiere HPs that I’ve been using with great success (They are available at Wally World and because I live in a small town that has this, Big5 and a few guns shops this was good news.) is the Beeman Kodiak-HP (10.34 grains).

          Based on Tom’s results, I’ve ordered 3 boxes of CPLs and decided I’d try a free box of CPHs (In case I decide I’d like to try and kill some rascally rabbits.) from Pyramyd Air.

          While I was in that approaching boredom phase, I did manage to shoot out the “O” in a Dole banana sticker.

          I took it to the Range this morning… Shot it at 15yds on targets on the Pistol Range (for some unknown reason our Range doesn’t have a backboard up a 25yds). Groups didn’t look quite as good as Tom’s, but some of this was off-hand and rest off of a sand bag. (I also had wind to contend with because I didn’t get up early enough to avoid it.) Probably shot 60 and noticed I was down below 1800psi, so I started Plinking steel at 25yds. This thing actually causes a PING! (That was 20 rounds of fun.) Wasted the last magazine (by this time I was down around 1250psi.) hitting wood at 50 and 100 yards. Someone left a reactive target up at 100, but I was too lazy (and couldn’t see clearly enough thru the scope) to check and see whether I actually hit it. (For giggles, I didn’t “hold over” one first shot at 100… LOL! watching that poor pellet drop down and hit the dirt way out front of the board.) I packed up with about 1000psi in the tank.

          A couple of people walked up to find out what I was shooting.

          This is definitely a gun that I can’t use as an excuse for poor shooting. It’s definitely me when it isn’t hitting dead center.

          ON ANOTHER NOTE: I found a note at Crosman that says that the Marauder is tuned to 2500psi. I’m thinking cool. Then I watch a video at Crosman University and the “professor” promptly pumps his gun up to 3000psi!

          CLEAR AS MUD!

          Oh, and another thing… I took the shroud off off the rifle to run some dry patches thru the barrel. (Didn’t feel like pulling the bolt.) When I put the thing back together, Zero changed, requiring a scope adjustment. Again, for giggles, I disassembled and reassembled the shroud… guess what? Zero changed again! And not back to the original Zero! Interesting that it’s a Tack Driver that can nail in to different holes.

          The Lesson Learned is that I don’t think I’m interested in messing around with thing. I’ll shoot it until it really gives me a reason to believe that it’s the gun, not me.



          • Each time you remove and refit the baffles, you tighten them against the real barrel… and the barrel (muzzle) may shift position… So, different POI.

            It’s the reverse of the Dan Wesson Revolvers, where the assembly “stretched” the barrel. The Marauder is compressing the barrel.


            • Wulfraed, Thanks again. (And I know I should have been saying POI rather than zero.)

              One more question that has been bugging me for a few days (and you could probably answer based on how much knowledge you seem to have about these things):

              Would it be possible to tune the rifle to shoot a specific pellet well? (I’m thinking in terms of the Comp Wadcutter. It did not shoot well at all in my gun, which surprised me. I like the clean cut it makes as it goes thru the target. The rest of the pellets tear the paper up to the point that it’s sometimes hard to tell where it hit.)(And no, even if the answer is yes, I probably won’t do it anytime soon, because I really would rather just shoot the gun.)

              Tom, I’ve been catching up (and enjoying) on a lot of your writing, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy the new blog entry just as much. BTW, I have been babbling on because this is a review of the Marauder and figure I’d give my (newbie) perspective.


              • THAT, I can’t comment upon.

                I haven’t determined the best pellet for any of my air-guns… Consider, my last time at the range, my most precise (as in “repeatable” results) gun was a Browning A-Bolt II Varmint model in .308Win. At 50yards I was able to keep two magazine loads into the size of a fox squirrel.

                My .17HMR was closer to a 3qt sauce pan, and my Marauder and Condor were closer to a 8″ fry-pan.

                If it wouldn’t be counter-productive, I’d set fire to my father’s left-over stuff. I’m supposed to take over the house, but its been a year and they still haven’t emptied the main floor, much less the basement (just long enough to set up a 10m range).


          • So I read “Air pressure in a precharged pneumatic” a couple of days ago…

            Ding…Ding…Ding…Ding…Ding.
            The lights upstairs are flashing now… and the concept started to make sense to me after reading this & that Blog Entry, so…

            I started shooting at the NRA 10m Targets with my M-Rod to see what was happening as the pressure went down from the max of 3000psi… (This is as close to scientific you’ll see me get.)

            -Didn’t particularly care for the first group and it didn’t help that I pushed one shot out to about the 6 ring. (3000-~2700)(A replay of the video would have shown I leaned into the stock a bit…)

            -Mags 2-4 looked fine. (2700-2100)

            -Things started looking ugly at Mag 5. (2100-1900)

            -I adjusted and Mag 6 looked OK again. (1900-1750)

            -Mag 7 bordered on pathetic. (1750-1600)(And there was nothing I could do to adjust…the shots were just wild.)

            Since I knew (I think) velocity would be way down, I decided to see if any of the other pellets I like would shoot OK from Mag 7. Uh, no! Looked like I was shooting a crudy Break Barrel…

            My next exercise session will be to pump the gun up to 2800 (or maybe 2900) and shoot it down to about 2000. ***I think this will be acceptable for me.*** (Which I think was one of the points of Tom’s other Blog Entry.) I may change my mind after I take the rifle out to the range a few more times and try to be accurate out to 50yds.

            Wulfraed, 2 comments: 1. That last reply had me busting up… 2. Your ammo from the test is almost as expensive some of my .22LR Plinking rounds… I refuse to go there.


  13. Oh, one other thing. PA has done me dirty. Based on a blog post, I ordered this flashlight for my brother.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/UTG_Tactical_LED_Flashlight_200_Lumens_5_Functions_Handheld_Lanyard_Batteries/3387

    When he complained that there was no strobe, no SOS, and no adjustable light levels as advertised, I scoffed. But when I went to see him, I found that he was right. I read the directions thoroughly and looked all over the flashlight and none of the advertised functions is present. We wondered if the strobe was supposed to operate by manually working your thumb on the light button. But that makes as much sense as telling you that your semiauto rifle is automatic if you work your trigger finger fast enough. It’s still a fine light, but the misadvertising was very out-of-character for PA and disappointing. What happened here?

    Matt61



    • Matt61,

      I looked at Leapers site. Although this has been discontinued by them, they do state it has 5 functions. I’m guessing you didn’t buy this recently, otherwise you could return it for a refund.

      Edith


    • Your flashlight is supposed to have a lifetime warranty. You could contact the manufacturer and tell the rep that the strobe feature, SOS feature, and adjustable light feature do not work, that it merely turns on and off. Given that it’s discontinued, they’ll simply send you the new closest replacement. Maybe THAT will have those features.

      Michael


  14. I can’t add much. I have a Marauder in .22. Mine has been everything positive that others have said. It’s so quiet that besides a click at the gun, you mostly just hear the pellet hitting the trap. It’s almost boring.

    Victor


  15. I bought the Discovery when I wanted a pcp gun. I’m on a budget being retired. I liked the Discovery because it was so modifiable. Mine was leaky when I got it so I figured on putting a high flow air valve in it and doing a few other mods later. It’s always been a bit leaky but it was seriously accurate when compared to other guns I own. Eventually I gave up on that gun and splurged on an airforce condor. I wanted the Talon SS but Michigan made some law or another that made airguns with shrouded barrels harder to get. So I went with the condor after one of the sales folks at Pyramyd air recommended the condor. I have no regrets. It’s everything I need with the tactical look I wanted. I looked at a friend’s Marauder. It was nice and the repeater magazine was a nice touch, but I’m really more satisfied with my condor. I think I like it better due to the fact it can be any caliber and any barrel length I need for a variety of needs.


  16. I don’t know what kind of problems you guys encountered with your Marauders but the 2 mags that came with my gun were fine and the 2 spare mags I bought were super hard to insert in the breech, I had to dremel them out a bit so they would fit in and get out! It was almost impossible to get out.
    Even with the dremeled out mags I can still see the difference between the first ones and the 2 spare ones I bought.

    P-Rod owner




      • Yes, please do. I bought a Discovery this spring, and I just love it but…

        You see, I can’t leave well enough alone. The year I had my heart surgery, I spent the winter turning a $65 QB 78 and $400 worth of parts into a $350 target rifle. But it is very quiet, very accurate, and very pretty, too. I really don’t want to do that with the Discovery.

        So I fell for the new synthetic Marauder at first sight. If there were a waiting list, I’d already be on it. Please get one and tell us what’s been changed, and maybe I’ll sell my slightly used Discovery here.


  17. I spent about ten minutes on google and found 21 webpages/youtube vids/airgun forum threads dealing with problems with the Marauder (rifle, don’t know about pistol) magazines in .177 and .22 caliber.

    On the Yellow Forums Marauder sub-forum alone I found 8 threads dealing with malfunctioning magazines. On marauderairifle.com I found another 8 threads on mags gone bad/bad out of the package.

    Each thread reads like the comments above. Lots of guys have no problems, other guys have failure rates anywhere from 1 out of 3 to 1 out of 2. My 3 out of 3 might be a record, however, LOL!

    There are also a lot of tips for repairing them, along with a lot of guys who find they work for a couple hundred shots and then poop out.

    For the record, I did not include or look at pages where the subject of modding the mags to accept Predators and Eun Jins was the subject.

    I wonder about the “new” magazines, er, “clips,” though. Maybe the design, materials, and QC have improved substantially. If so, I’d like to know so that my Marauder could become a repeater. ;^)

    Michael


  18. B.B.,

    Now that I think about it, during my search I did see a few threads discussing whether or not the single shot tray provided more accuracy with large skirted, soft lead pellets than did the magazine. CPLs and CPHs probably are unaffected by the mag, but RWS Superdomes and Superpoints might prefer the tray. There might be a myth to bust or confirm in this report.

    Just a thought,

    Michael


  19. In tests using .22 barracuda match pellets, I found that using the single shot tray produced much smaller groups.


  20. Mr. Pelletier<

    Just got my first PCP, a Hammerli Pneuma, .177, after much reading, and have been trying to find info on the various charging options available to PCP shooters; hand pumps, SCUBA and other cylinders, Co2, etc, and what the pros and cons are for each, maybe some general costing info.

    Also, the differences between the gasses, Co2, Nitrogen, air, what the differences are to PCP.

    Does anyone ever use the large (5 ft) commercial cylinders for this??

    Are there any blogs or discussions available to us newbies?? Have not been able to find anything but odds and ends on the net.

    THANK YOU, Sir.


    • LowndesW,

      When I worked for AirForce, I used a large nitrogen cylinder like you describe. It was charged with air. The problem is the big cylinders don’t come with the same fittings as scuba tanks, so you have to make your own, or find them.

      B.B.


  21. Can commercial nitrogen be used?? It would be dry, and makes up 2/3 of air anyway, so it wouldn’t be that much different. I have read that some PCP’s cannot use nitrogen. Is that because of seals or temperature issues??

    Are there any sites or blogs that discuss all the alternatives for charging a PCP, with types of connections??


    • WL Whatley,

      Yes, commercial nitrogen is safe for all PCPs. The makers say it isn’t because when they open the fields to gasses other than air, the crazies rush in and use other commercial pressurized gasses that are easy to obtain but unsafe in airguns — gasses like oxygen. Nitrogen is safe, as you surmise.

      The other reason the makers don’t want people to use other gasses is because they are pressurized to higher pressures that are unsafe in airguns.

      AirForce now allows the use of nitrogen in their guns and I suspect it is a matter of time before more companies follow suit.

      B.B.


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