Benjamin Marauder PCP .177-caliber air rifle: Part 2

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

Part 1

Benjamin Marauder
Benjamin Marauder

This is a look back at an air rifle that has become iconic throughout the world — the Benjamin Marauder. The last time I looked at this rifle, I did it in my conventional way. This time I’m doing it different because I know more about the rifle.

My goal this time is to tune the Marauder exactly as I want it to shoot. I think there will be a great benefit for those who want to learn about PCPs to watch this as it develops. Today, I’ll test the rifle for velocity in the conventional way, except I won’t do a shot count — not today.

In the next report, I’ll test the rifle for accuracy at 25 yards, only I’ll stack the deck by selecting the pellets that I believe will be the most accurate. The accuracy test will tell me which one(s) to select. After that, I’ll test that one pellet for velocity and for the total shot count I can get.

Then, I’ll decide what I want that pellet to do. If it’s a heavyweight, I’ll try for moderate velocity in the 850 f.p.s. range and then try to get the greatest number of shots from it. If it’s a medium or lightweight pellet, I’ll probably dial the velocity back to about 900 f.p.s. and try for the best shot count.

I’ll also be interested in the fill pressure. If I can get 25 good shots with 2,500 psi air, I won’t care that 3,000 psi air gives me 31 good shots with the same pellet. But if 3,000 psi gives me 38 good shots compared to 25 good shots with 2,500 psi, then, yes, I’m going to set the gun up to fill to 3,000 psi.

As I do all of this experimentation, I’m going to document it so those who have questions about the Marauder can see how it works. You tell people today that an air rifle has adjustable velocity, and they expect to see a rheostat on the side of the stock; but the Marauder isn’t like that. It’s a thinking man’s airgun. You set it and forget it. You don’t keep fiddling with the controls until it’s a jumbled mess. We’re going to spend the time to learn how to do it right.

But wait…there’s more! Not only does the Marauder allow you to adjust the velocity of the pellet, it also lets you adjust the maximum fill pressure of the air reservoir. When you hear that, you probably wonder why anyone would bother with a fill pressure other than the maximum — which in the case of the Marauder is 3,000 psi. Here’s why they do it. Some owners may use hand pumps that they find difficult to use above 2,500 psi. Other owners may use scuba tanks, but they live 40 miles from the dive shop and want to be able to use their rifle for a longer time than conventional wisdom permits. For these owners, adjusting the maximum fill pressure to 2,500 psi makes perfect sense. They understand that they’ll get fewer shots at maximum velocity when the fill pressure is lower — just as you understand that you can’t go as far on a gallon of gas as you can when the tank is full, but you can go just as fast.

When you’re adjusting the velocity and the maximum fill pressure, you have to find a balance point between the two. That’s what’s confused many people. The Marauder is the first air rifle in the world to allow both the fill pressure and the velocity to be adjusted. It’s like they’ve given you your very own NASCAR engine, and it’s up to you to tune it for the race track you’re going to drive on.

One pellet is all I want
I don’t care to discover 27 different pellets for this rifle. I only want the single best one. I don’t care how much it costs — only how accurate it is and how effective (power and shot count) I can make it. So, that’ll take some time to locate and some more time to set up the gun to use that single pellet most effectively.

That’s what I intend doing. The first step is to test the rifle for velocity now. I plan to test the following pellets:

Crosman Premier 10.5-grain (Premier heavy)
Crosman Premier 7.9-grain (Premier lite)
JSB Exact Heavy (10.34 grain)
JSB Exact RS
RWS Superdome
Beeman Kodiak

I may not have included your favorite .177 pellet on my list, but allow me to explain my thinking. First, all of these pellets are domes. I know the domed pellet to be the most accurate pellet shape on the market. And each of the pellets I selected to test are known by me to be very accurate.

I selected the Beeman Kodiak, but I’ve found that the Beeman Kodiak Match, H&N Barauda and H&N Baracuda Match are all the same pellet, as far as performance goes. I use them interchangeably, so I only have to test one to know how all four perform.

There may be other pellets that are better in the Marauder; but starting from zero, these pellets are the ones I would choose. Let’s see how they do.

Crosman Premier heavy
Crosman Premier heavies averaged 943 f.p.s. with a spread that went from 941 to 945 f.p.s. That’s right — only 4 f.p.s. separated the fastest and slowest shots! At the average velocity, this pellet makes 20.74 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Crosman Premier lite
Crosman Premier lites averaged 1,015 f.p.s. The low was 1,012 f.p.s. The high was 1,018 f.p.s., so 7 f.p.s. was the total velocity spread. At the average velocity, this pellet produces 18.08 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

JSB Exact Heavy
JSB Exact Heavy pellets averaged 936 f.p.s. The low was 932 f.p.s. and the high was 940 f.p.s. The total spread is 8 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this pellet produces 20.12 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

JSB Exact RS
JSB Exact RS pellets averaged 1,032 f.p.s. The spread went from a low of 1025 f.p.s. to a high of 1039, so a total spread of 14 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this pellet makes 17.34 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

RWS Superdome
Of all the pellets tested, RWS Superdomes were the most difficult to load into the magazine. I had to use a pusher to get almost every pellet into the mag. They averaged 1,014 f.p.s. and went from a low of 1,008 f.p.s. to a high of 1017 f.p.s. Total spread was 9 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this pellet produced 18.95 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Beeman Kodiak
Beeman Kodiaks averaged 957 f.p.s. in the Marauder. The high was 960 f.p.s and the low was 955 f.p.s., so the spread was 5 f.p.s. Kodiaks produced an average 21.66 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

Where are we?
I just dumped that data on you so I could get to this discussion. What do these numbers tell us? They tell me my rifle is set up extra-hot. I have no need for all that speed; so after I find the right pellet, I plan to dial back the power to between 850 and 900 f.p.s. If the best pellet is light, I’ll let it go toward the 900 f.p.s. side of that range. If it’s a heavy one, I will try to get it down to around 850 f.p.s.

Why would I do that? To get additional shots per fill. The way the rifle is now set up, I’m wasting air. Not that too much air blows out with every shot, but I just don’t need these pellets to go so fast, to do what I want them to.

Did you notice?
I was impressed by how tight the shot strings were. Remember, the Marauder doesn’t have a regulator. It’s doing all this with just a well-balanced valve. We’ll want to keep that in mind when it comes time to make adjustments.

The magazine is superior!
There have been a lot of negative comments on the Marauder’s spring-loaded magazine. I can shed some light on that. I’ve watched some new owners who were befuddled by how this magazine works, and they ruined it by forcing it when it didn’t do what they expected it to. My magazines are several years old and with hundreds of shots run through each of them. I’ve never had a single problem. But force them even one time to do what they weren’t designed to do, and you’ll ruin them. This mag is a copy of a successful UK PCP magazine, and that one had the same learning curve problems.

Silent operation
My test Marauder is very quiet! Even operating at the high power level it’s at right now, it’s extremely quiet. I don’t know if it’ll get even quieter when I cut the power, but I do plan on observing and reporting.

More about the stock
The Marauder stock is not as clunky as people say. In fact, the pistol grip is thinner and narrower than most UK PCP stocks. The forearm is wide, but only enough to contain the large reservoir.

The trigger
I’m ambivalent about adjusting the trigger because the one on my rifle is so sweet that I don’t want it to change. It’s exactly where I want it to be. Theoretically, I can always adjust it back, but I’ve seen too many instances where the theory didn’t pan out.

The 2-stage trigger breaks at less than 11 oz. The first stage is 9 of those ounces, so the release is very light and glass-rod crisp. Only the addition of an overtravel stop would make it better.

So far
I knew what the Marauder was like before this test began. That’s why I’m testing it the way I am. I get to learn something new, and people who are interested in the Marauder get to see it in a way they probably haven’t seen anywhere else. I think the Marauder is a classic for all time, but you have to decide that for yourselves.

60 thoughts on “Benjamin Marauder PCP .177-caliber air rifle: Part 2

  1. BB you must post the Blog for the next day before you go to sleep or something. I work 2nd. shift so I get home late at night. Nobody has posted yet. And I try to wait till the next day so some other people can post first. But sometimes I just cant wait. Like this time.
    Everything you stated above hits the Bulls eye right on the mark. That is exactly what the Marauder is all about. (Tuning) and documenting.

    But on of the places that I failed with these types of guns that I own with this style power adjustment. (Marauder in .177 and .25 cal.,1720T Pistol with a stock and a Marauder .22 cal. Pistol with a stock)
    Is I didn’t write down the stock tune for each of these guns. PLEASE document that if you can.

    And my guns are pretty heavily modified that my results will probably never match yours.
    In my opinion of looking at the Marauders is each one kind of has its own personality. So that gives the person that owns the gun a opportunity to make it their own.

    I don’t mean to be throwing out this information to confuse somebody. But I believe that is what makes them unique. There is just to many ways to set them up.
    So it will be interesting to see what your guns result provides for you.

    And just for the record the only gun that uses the magazine on my guns listed above is the Marauder .22 cal. Pistol. all the others are single shot (no problems with the magazines at all for me). And all the guns above hunt, pest control, and target shoot. Oh and of course plinking fun. I luv em.

    And like you said about the NASCAR engine. I drag race at the local track. Have teched cars in at events throughout time. But one thing I know for a fact is that one persons combination on a similar drag car is hard to get the other car to reproduce the same results. From what I tryed on mine then we set my buddies car up the same and wouldn’t reproduce the same results.

    I talked to much again. But again cant wait for your personalized results. :)

    Oh and don’t forget the set screw that you can open or close on the right side of the main tube when you take the stock off.


    • Gunfun1,

      I’ll research to see if I have ever tuned this air rifle. If I haven’t, it is still the way it came from the factory, and I will be sure to document what that is. By that I mean how many turns of each adjusting screw.

      I had planned on doing that as a surprise, because several readers have asked for it, but the surprise is over. I’m doing it (if it matters), so count on it.

      B.B.


  2. Technically, you can adjust some other air rifles fill pressures, etc. My Talon SS presently has a fill pressure of 1800 PSI. At that pressure it will zing 16 grain Eunjins at around 1100 FPS. Right now I have it torn down for some custom work and when it goes back together it will be .22 instead of .177. We will see what it is doing then. I will be very interested in following your blurb on this. Who knows, I might get rich some day and pick up an MRod also. Or maybe I will stumble on one in a yard sale around here and pick up another sweet deal.


    • RR,

      You can’t actually ADJUST a Talon SS fill pressure. You can either choose to use a different place in the power curve, or you can modify the gun’s striker and/or valve to use different pressures. That isn’t the same thing as adjusting the gun, which the Marauder has been designed to do by the factory.

      B.B.


    • RR,

      You can’t ADJUST the Talon SS fill pressure. You can either elect to use a different place on the power curve or you can MODIFY either the striker system or the valve or both to work differently. That is modification. The Marauder was designed by the factory to be user adjustable, which is different.

      B.B.


  3. I don’t understand how you can adjust the fill pressure on the bottle side.
    I have a 4500 psi carbon fiber tank (the small ones that Ninja just came out with: http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Air_Venturi_Carbon_Fiber_Air_Tank_Fill_Station_4500_PSI_90_Cu_In/4708 )
    It’s regulated at 2900 psi. As soon as I start opening the valve the air rushes out to 2900psi, there is no way I could open it and get only 2500 psi out of it. Is it because it’s a smaller air tank with a smaller valve? or am I doing something wrong?

    I can turn the knob freely than it blocks and I have to turn it like I mean it to actually open the valve and it’s reversed to close it, hard at first than it becomes easy as the valve is closed.

    I’m new to the tank thing and have only refilled my airguns twice so I’m still on my first fill of my tank maybe things will ease up after more use?

    J-F



      • Thank you very much.
        And just to be sure we’re on the same page, it’s the fill adjustability on the bottle side that I’m ignorant about.
        I can’t turn the knob on my bottle slowly enough to fill it to only 2500psi.
        When I got my bottle I tried filling it slowly to not heat up the air tube but as soon as it was open it all rushed out up to 2900 psi (the pressure at which the tank valve is rated).

        J-F


        • Off-hand, that sounds like a problem with the tank valve — not the gun.

          From what I’ve read (and even seen in one cheap video), the whole concept relies upon being able to control the tank outlet valve for a slow enough flow to be able to monitor (and shut off) when the pressure reaches the desired point.

          It sounds as if your valve has what I would call “hysteresis”… That is, it doesn’t transition to “flow” until the knob has been turned quite far out, and also doesn’t close until turned quite far in…


  4. Yeah this should be interesting I am new to pcps and was looking at buying the marauder or maybe discovery. SO seeing how you adjust the marauder and the results you get will be real nice to help me learn and maybe make a decision if I want to spend the extra money.


  5. I purchaced a Marauder in .22 some time ago. I wonder if the same results would come in .22. A while after I purchased it, the pistol came out. Yea, I knew that would happen! I should have waited just a little longer, the pistol is what I really needed. The Marauder is a bit heavy for my needs and I would rather have the pistol. Well, I’ll just keep saving. I have to agree about the trigger. It is just perfect as it came from the factory. I have not made any adjustments in the gun since I got it and quite a number of tree-rats have come to the end of their wicked roof tearing end because of it! 8-)


  6. Marauder or MAR77….. Hmmmmm. That begs the question, what do I want to do with it? I have an S410E which will do anything the Marauder will do for me, and I need the AR airgun upper for practice. But, I really want both…..


  7. When I played with my Marauder to adjust speed and air usage, my results were mixed and I discovered one key to adjusting speed. This was even after trying to follow the procedure that Hans Appel posted. I’m not going to comment on what that was but will view with significant interest what you do and how you do it, BB.

    Fred DPRoNJ


    • Fred,

      Hans Apelles spends a lot of time with guns like the Marauder. He and his son, Ray, were the ones that made it a competitive field target gun.

      I will be describing the adjustment process the way Crosman’s Ed Schultz told me.

      B.B.


  8. B.B.,

    I have a request, if I may. Would you ask Crosman if the magazine has been improved over the past year or so? I ask because on their website they write, “The Marauder is also a Multi-Shot rifle with the new 10 shot auto indexing clip.” The phrase “the new” has me wondering if this might be the case. If it is indeed “new and improved,” I would be tempted to purchase a new one in hopes of making my Marauder a repeater as it is so superb in its performance in all other respects: trigger, accuracy, versatility, stealth, etc.

    Also, I must respectfully disagree with your evaluation of the Marauder magazine issue (no wordplay intended). I probably fit your description of the befuddled new owner who ruined his magazine the first time he tried to load it, but I assure you that was not the case with my second and third magazines. For those I read the instructions closely and took pains to strictly follow the instructions. Neither magazine behaved in the manner described in the manual from the very first time I laid hands on them. No, nothing was forced. No, they were not rotated counter-clockwise.

    I apologize for previously not having been precise enough in describing the dysfunctions of my magazines on this blog/forum, so please allow me to clearly explain my experiences with my magazines two and three. (I might have screwed up number one on my own; I honestly just don’t remember.)

    First, after one of my magazine’s clear cover is rotated clockwise and held open under spring tension with my thumb, the hole in the clear cover does not reach the tenth pellet chamber, so it is essentially a nine round magazine.

    Second, this magazine’s pellets often do not align with the magazine’s “exit hole” so that if the magazine were placed in the rifle, the bolt would not be able to push them into the breech. Sometimes they align, sometimes they do not. This magazine has had these issues right from the start.

    Finally, one of my magazines does not allow for loading any chamber except the first to be loaded. The other chambers rotate along with the clear top. This mag is essentially a one round magazine, has been from right out of the package.

    I admit to being befuddled the first time, but I have since spent a couple hours studying the manual, and the magazines themselves. My magazines are definitely not superior. Well, I suppose they are superior to some things, LOL!

    My experience is supported by longtime Marauder owners who online have discussed having a 30 percent to 50 percent magazine failure rate, including some magazines that fail right out of the packaging. They DO have success with SOME of their magazines, so they are not clueless and destroying all of their magazines out of ignorance. Their common experience, along with the 100 percent success rate of so many other Marauder owners, strongly suggests a quality-control issue. Are some of the mags made in the US and others made elsewhere? (Is the A.A. mag made exclusively in the U.K.?)

    Thank you very, very much for revisiting this groundbreaking air rifle,

    Michael


    • Michael,

      THANK YOU for clearing that up! I now understand why you have been having mag problems. You still don’t have the loading procedure quite right.

      For you and for everyone who has difficulty with this procedure, I will do a special report on exactly how to fill this magazine. It is truly a 10-shot mag, so when you told me that yours are 9-shots, I knew what was happening.

      Believe me, I had to learn this, too. I learned during a phone call to Crosman many years ago. Since then I have shown dozens of others how to do it. Now I will attempt to put it into words.

      I’m not as sure about the alignment problem, except that there is one thing you must be careful to do when loading. I’ll add that to my report.

      Thank you!

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        Man, I hope you can figure out what I’m doing wrong and can clear it up for me! After I wrote my post, I tried the one mag of the three I have that sometimes works, and now I can’t get it to do anything, so I have three dead magazines.

        I do understand that it is supposed to be a 10 round magazine, it’s just that I couldn’t get mine to go all the way to the last pellet chamber. Of course now I can’t get them to do anything. Two are frozen, and one spins freely with no tension.

        In my quest to learn how to do it, I also noticed a discrepancy between the official manual and what Paul Capello instructs in his video. The Crosman/Benjamin Marauder air rifle manual instructs the user to stop when the clear top reaches the extent shown in figure 6B, with the “point” of the clear plastic stopping after about 320 degrees or so. This is what I have done — follow the manufacturer’s instructions and diagrams (6A and 6B).

        However, at 4:41 in “Airgun Reporter Episode 23: Benjamin Marauder Air Rifle Part 1,” Paul Capello instructs, “Simply rotate that Lucite window clockwise until it locks in place. Now you’re ready to put the first pellet in.” Rotate it beyond what the manufacturer says by a good 40 degrees or so???

        But that can’t be right, yes? I have read about some Marauder owners snapping the spring inside the magazine, and I assumed they did so by making Paul’s mistake and winding it so tight that the clear cover actually returns all the way to the original nub/catch, a 360 degree rotation.

        Michael


      • Thank you, B.B. My one reservation about the Marauder is the persistent magazine problems, so I’m glad to hear there’s a solution. All, you can rest assured on this one. B.B. cleared up my difficulties reassembling the 1911 by showing me how to insert the slide stop into the cocking link. Now the Marauder will be perfect.

        Matt61


        • Michael,

          Paul was overly simplistic in his directions. There is actually a small secret that makes it all work.

          I promise I’m going to write that special report very soon.

          B.B.


          • B.B.,

            Now you’re going to force me to check out the blog every midnight to see when this will be revealed! A blog cliff-hanger! That’s not fair. ;^) (Clever, though!)

            Along with other readers, I cannot wait.

            Thanks for doing this,

            Michael


      • Let me guess…

        Loading the first pellet before rotating the cover…

        (Mines locked up so I’m not going to experiment at this time. But since the carrier is blocked by wedging a pellet against the outside of the magazine, loading a pellet first is likely to offset the amount of rotation the cover can produce without blocking on “the wrong side”…

        Whereas rotating completely first and loading the first locks the carrier at full spring compression.)


      • I’m having zero problems with the loading of my mags.
        The problems I’m having are loading the mags in the gun.
        I have 4 mags 2 of them fitted perfectly the other two are pretty easy to insert but a PAIN to take out of the breach.

        Anonymously yours


  9. BB I wanted to throw this out there to see if any of the tuning adjustments that you are going to cover includes this or if you have done this already. It helps me so I don’t have to mess with my striker or spring adjustment when I want to raise or lower my power for certain conditions after I already have my tune set.

    I mentioned above about the screw on the side of the main tube under the stock. That opens and closes the air flow to the transfer port. On my .177 Marauder it still has the factory wood stock on it.
    I made a notch in the wood so I can adjust that open or closed with the allen wrench without having to take the stock off.
    It helps out nice. Like sometimes I will shoot in the basement at 10 yrds. So I turn it in and give it less power. (I have the gun tuned with the setscrew half way out). Then if I’m outside shooting and its a windy day I will open it all the way up for a little extra power. Also when I decide to do some longer range practicing.

    Just thought I would mention that. It works for me.


    • Gunfun1,

      That controls the airflow, only. If you don’t also balance the striker power and travel, you are only addressing half of the equation. You can control the power that way, but there is more that can be done.

      B.B.

      B.B.



  10. Oh yes I know. That’s what I meant. I tune my guns on the higher fill pressure with the striker and spring adjustment with the pellet I will use with the chrony.(also I have a heavier spring and other things that help with flow done to the guns; they are by no means stock guns anymore)
    I don’t like to touch them after they are set. That’s why I use the setscrew as a small adjustment without having to mess with my tune.


  11. Look back on the icon? The Marauder still feels like a new gun to me, but I guess it has done its damage and become an instant classic. I never tire of reading about the great guns, and this is one of my favorites.

    Yes, B.B. I have come a long way. I might have mentioned the original Ur moment with airguns. I got my airsoft sniper rifle in the mail. Then for my very first shot of all, I loaded up the rifle, then inserted it back into the carry box angling the barrel so as to deflect the bb off the side of the box and, with great trepidation, pulled the trigger. The first day I got my IZH 61, I sent the $5 clip sailing across the room because I didn’t understand the spring loading. Then there was my first firearm, the Savage 10FP, with the never-to-be-forgotten lunatic gun dealer who would have absconded with it if not for the ATF. I vowed never to get military surplus from a concern that it might have been driven over by a tank somewhere in its history, weakening its structure and causing it to blow up in my face. Now I’ve got all the major WWII rifles. I was determined not to reload because of the same concern about explosion. I vowed never to get used and am enjoying my used SW 686. Where will this end? :-)

    /Dave, I don’t know if I’ve ever used the word “Dad” for B.B. but I probably could have. There are plenty more questions to go. When one is answered, 10 seem to spring in its place.

    I don’t know about a guest blog, since I think you all get plenty of me in the comments. Besides, appearances can be deceiving. My information is all derived from others. Mostly, I can merely point the way to other sources, taking my little cut of information in the course of our discussion. :-)

    As for the Mosin, I have a basic familiarity after much enjoyable dry-firing. But if this rifle was supposed to be Russian peasant proof, the Russian peasants have got me beat. That’s why I had to send it off to a gunsmith for 8 months. When it returns, it will complete my mini-U.N. with the Enfield, M1, and Mauser K98. The old antagonists will be friends at long last. And a propos of my fears of breaking the old rifles, I bet the old gents are probably laughing at how easy they have it now what with getting soaked in Ballistol and taken out very occasionally for a few shots at the local range or in Hawaii. It sure beats the Eastern Front.

    About the IZH 513, I remember B.B. saying it performed extremely well but it’s design was just too quirky to qualify for his top picks. For the EAA corporation, I can say that while their Russian guns are outstanding, their customer service is not. If that is dragging them down, it is long overdue. In my interactions with them, they were a holdover of stereotyped Communism at its worst. It was sort of like my visit to Estonia right after the Iron Curtain was lifted. I was at a travel agency asking how to get to a port to catch a ship to Sweden. The old lady said, “The bus.” I asked where to catch the bus, and she said, “The bus stop.” (!)

    Matt61


  12. BB Pelletier please keep up the post, I am extremely impressed with the Marauder, I own a .25 and it shoots clear across my yard apx 40-50 yards. shooting pellets within previous pellets holes with Benjamin domed .25! It is my first PCP but it will not be my last, I am curious about the .177 and .22. It would be great to also see a .20 cal variant Benjamin Marauder as I love that caliber and have taken many small game with the Sheridan clone .20. Mr. BB Pelletier I would be very interested to see a report on the Gamo Rocket as I have had great success with these pellets. Keep up the posts!


    • Patrick,

      Welcome to the blog!

      Please tell me what you mean by success with the Gamo Rockets. Are they accurate? Or is penetration their only virtue?

      B.B.


      • With Gamo Rocket in .22 using a Gamo Whisper IGT I shot 3 hits in a quarter size grouping from apx 30 yards. In defeating certain material ie wood, thin steel, and acrylic glass 1/8″ thick they are exceptional at being accurate after passing through said material. My favorite rocket is .22 with .177 being second and .25 being third.


    • Patrick S,

      Welcome to the blog!

      I have a question for you, B.B., or anyone who might know. When, or why, does one choose to have an airgun in .25 caliber, versus say .22 caliber?

      Can a .25 caliber version of a gun, that also comes in other smaller calibers, be more accurate than the smaller caliber versions? Or does that happen beyond a certain distance, if at all?

      I know that the extra mass is helpful for longer distance shooting because of momentum and better wind handling. At the same time, I know that lighter pellets are not good in the smaller calibers. But are there times when a lighter .25 caliber pellet is as good, or better than say a heavy .177 or .22 caliber pellet?

      Victor


      • Victor,

        I can tell you one reason some people buy .25 caliber: They think it’s good enough for dispatching larger critters, such as coyotes and hogs. Pyramyd Air gets a number of customer product reviews and customer feedback emails that indicate this.

        Edith


        • Edith,

          I can see the justification for this thinking, since the same gun in .25 caliber will have about twice the kinetic energy as one in .177 caliber.

          But how much less accurate would it be? [Thinking out loud...] If the effective range is defined in terms of accuracy, and the .25 caliber version is not nearly as accurate as the smaller caliber ones, then depending on what you’re trying to hunt, you may have to get pretty close (possibly too close). But I doubt that any Marauder is inaccurate, including the .25 caliber version, so I expect that it will just maintain it’s accuracy over a longer distance. In other words, it may not be as accurate as the .177 and .22 caliber versions within, say, 25 yards, but it won’t lose as much accuracy at a longer distance due to wind. The extra mass will help both in terms of range and wind-bucking because of it’s larger momentum (m*v).

          The .25 caliber version of the Marauder seems to make sense.

          Victor


          • Victor

            I don’t have a .25 cal, so I can’t speak from experience. However I know from reading the forums that some people choose them over the smaller calibers for hunting, as the larger pellets impart far more fpe at the target especially at longer distances. The larger surface area is apparently trumped by the higher mass and momentum regardless of wind.

            The .25 cal is especially popular in the Marauder rifle because the barrels for the big caliber are made by Green Mountain, while the 3 other smallbore caliber barrels are made by Crosman.


            • Slinging Lead,

              I’m sold on the Marauder in .25 caliber. It wasn’t in my short list, but is definitely what I will buy when looking for a hunting air-rifle. I love my Marauder in .22 caliber, but in truth I’m partial to springer’s, and especially under-levers. I just like the fact that springer’s are fully self-contained. I don’t tire from cocking them, even my Gamo Hunter Extreme in .22 caliber. I can shoot it all day.

              Victor


          • Victor,

            Until recently there weren’t any really accurate pellets in .25 caliber. Now there are a couple.

            I will be testing a .25-caliber Marauder later this year.

            B.B.


      • Victor,

        I’d better stay out of this one. I’m a fan of the .22 over the .25 for reasons of accuracy, but I know there are many who like the larger caliber better.

        B.B.


        • B.B.,

          Understood. I’m an accuracy freak myself. Well, some would just say that I’m a freak of nature, but that’s another topic of discussion left for another blog.

          But what I’m sort of wondering about in my replies to Edith and Patrick is, besides more kinetic energy (very important for the hunter, I would imagine), does the extra momentum help with accuracy over a longer range and under less ideal conditions? in other words, for the hunter, is the .25 caliber version really of such greater value that it is hands-down the only way to go?

          It would be interesting to see how much better the .25 caliber is for wind-bucking over a longer distance, starting at maybe 50 yards.

          Victor


          • … Well, maybe the extra cross-section will cancel out some of the benefits of the extra mass in the presence of wind?


      • Victor, .22 is easier to obtain and with most piston rifles it is slightly weaker than .25, However .25 I prefer for killing small game and destroying targets. .25 has a major caveat in that pellets are mostly available online and only one box store within 20 miles has 1 type of .25 pellet. If you are solely hunting I would get .25 if plinking and hunting I would say a .22 is the best option. With .22 you can not go wrong on any platform. .25 spring guns are slightly challenging to shoot accurately however with .22 types they are easier to cock and shoot. With PCP I love .25 and it is exceptionally accurate but PCP’s have a high start up cost. ie air tank, pump, optics etc. I think I would recommend a .22 for you Victor as it has a large amount of pellets and platforms available for it. .25 is more of a special purpose pellet as is the .20 in my opinion.


        • Patrick S,

          Makes sense. See my reply to Edith. I understand the start-up costs and in fact do own a Marauder in .22. It’s an amazing rifle. In fact, it’s so amazing, that I find it boring. But I’m weird that way.

          But I do still wonder if the .25 caliber versions gives you some room for compromise that you can’t get from the smaller calibers, like shooting lighter pellets for higher velocity and still have decent accuracy? It’s not important, just a small curiosity on my part. For example, we all know that PBA pellets are horrible accuracy-wise in smaller calibers. Are they equally as bad, relatively speaking, in .25 caliber (if they make them)?

          Victor


          • Victor, I have fired .25 PBA pellets out of my Hatsan 125 spring rifle and they are fairly accurate but not precise as lead and you have to compensate your aim and shoot low on your target as they shoot high. My favorite PBA is .22. .25 PBA I have not shot out of my Marauder, however the Gamo Rocket performs great in .25 with both Hatsan and the Marauder. However I tend to like heavy for caliber pellets when talking accuracy. PBA is fun to shoot at closer ranges to watch it defeat material. Light pellets I never recommend for serious accuracy, mid weight .25 pellets like 22-27 or heavier 31 pellets are my favorite for accuracy and range. JSB Exact and Benjamin dome are exceptionally accurate in my Marauder .25 and have produced smaller than dime groups at about 30-40 yards. I have shot a squirrel with the .25 Marauder and Hatsan with immediate incapacitation and quick death. However I have taken them with .177 .20 and .22. In my experience with the .25′s diameter being wide it is my favorite for quickly dispatching small varmints, I have not taken a coyote with it, but I would rather use a firearm for predators as it has way more energy.


  13. I have achieved consistent performance with Gamo Rocket pellets especially in larger calibers .22 .25, .177 are also great but I QC them before using them as some are deformed. I have used a .177 Rocket out of a RWS Diana Meisterschutze at 35 yards and shot a aluminum can filled with water in the center after it had passed through acrylic glass!


  14. Hello all. My query is this: Which caliber do you find the most accurate for target shooting? With one exception all of my guns are .177 caliber which seems to me to be perfect for target shooting except in heavy winds of course. My one .22 caliber gun is the Marauder Pistol and that is the only one I am having difficulty with accuracy.
    Kevin, if you are reading this I have done the cleaning of my Marauder P and I will be writing about my results very shortly as you asked.
    G & G



    • G & G

      My favorite caliber for target shooting is .177. The reason for my preference is that .177 pellets are a good deal cheaper than the other calibers, so I can shoot more for the same money. Another reason is that there are far more pellets available in the .177 caliber. So if you have a gun that is pellet picky, there are more choices to suit it. Also .177 pellets are available at more outlets than any of the other calibers, so that you can find them at local retail outlets, rather than buy online only (online is usually the best way to obtain pellets however, if you can wait.) Lastly .177 has the flattest tragectory, so managing holdover at varying distances is less of a concern.

      The unspoken question that you seem to be asking is, “Are my other guns more accurate than my Marauder pistol because they are .177, and my Marauder is .22?” The answer to that question would be “No.” I have a Marauder rifle in .22 and it is my second most accurate gun. So accurate in fact, that as Victor says, it is almost boring. That is why I like reactive targets. They are almost never boring.


      • Slinging Lead

        Thanks for your reply. I too have several guns that I suppose you could classify as practically boring ie. Air Arms S400 MPR & S500, Marauder Rifle, Talon SS to name a few but I still enjoy classic round paper targets the most. Shooting tight groups really thrills me. But I also enjoy reactive targets, just today I was using my Gamo Rocker Target Gallery at 30 yards with the Talon SS ( mostly hits, a few misses).

        But you are right about the Marauder Pistol. I think I will write tomorrow as I mentioned to Kevin about my results with cleaning the gun. In a nutshell, not great, but details tomorrow. I remain frustrated.

        Thanks
        G & G


  15. I like this gun but with the price and difficulty of getting one I will have an easier time making my Discovery do what the Marauder does. Not too hard. I already have a larger air valve in it and an extended probe I put in when my stock probe busted. Slap a power adjuster on the back of it and a TKO muzzle break on it and I might be in the same ball park but art 2000 psi instead of 3000+ psi. I find 2000 psi is easier on my back. Then I need to jazz it up with some stainless steel and I got a sweet little rifle. Not sure it will be quite the same as the Marauder but it’s the best I can do.


  16. I’ve not taken the time to read the pages of comments (yet) but…

    Beeman Kodiak
    Beeman Kodiaks averaged 957 f.p.s. in the Marauder. The high was 960 f.p.s and the low was 955 f.p.s., so the spread was 5 f.p.s. Kodiaks produced an average 21.66 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

    … you failed to state the starting pressure (I’m presuming your normal 10-shot strings for averaging).

    I mention this as, this is the ONE PCP I have for which I HAVE done a pressure/velocity burn-down (I’ve posted the results before, but I’ll repeat them now).

    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

    This IS from a new gun (at the time, though it’s only had a few dozen more pellets through it since then). Each row is a 10-shot (though with a few misreads of the chronograph) average. Obviously, I’m not getting the tight spread yours is giving; mine still has the factory settings. In my neophyte condition, I “determined” that fill to 2700, shoot to 2200, seemed to be a usable range — giving 35 shots with that pellet.

    I checked the built-in gauge at each magazine change, and interpolated pressure between those points. The raw numbers are:

    String Shot FPS Pressure pseudoString pseudoShot Comment
    1 1 847.98 3000 Measured
    1 2 843.08 2980
    1 3 849.59 2960
    1 4 847.74 2940
    1 5 852.04 2920
    1 6 852.04 2900
    1 7 854.38 2880
    1 8 861.44 2860
    1 9 853.96 2840
    1 10 868.86 2820
    2 1 858.63 2800 Measured
    2 2 854.87 2780
    2 3 860.46 2760
    2 4 861.93 2740 1 1
    2 5 865.19 2720 1 2
    2 6 872.05 2700 1 3
    2 7 868.38 2680 1 4
    2 8 #N/A 2660 1 5
    2 9 875.58 2640 1 6
    2 10 876.22 2620 1 7
    3 1 #N/A 2600 1 8 Measured, mis-fire
    3 2 #N/A 2590 1 9 double pellet 632.37
    3 3 871.99 2580 1 10
    3 4 874.44 2570 2 1
    3 5 876.22 2560 2 2
    3 6 871.42 2550 2 3
    3 7 878.44 2540 2 4
    3 8 869.73 2530 2 5
    3 9 873.12 2520 2 6
    3 10 867.89 2510 2 7
    4 1 876.28 2500 2 8 Measured
    4 2 882.09 2488 2 9
    4 3 872.36 2475 2 10
    4 4 883.96 2463 3 1
    4 5 877.29 2450 3 2
    4 6 881.77 2438 3 3
    4 7 872.74 2425 3 4
    4 8 876.85 2413 3 5
    4 9 880.93 2400 3 6
    4 10 877.74 2388 3 7
    5 1 877.49 2375 3 8 Measured
    5 2 872.87 2358 3 9
    5 3 879.91 2340 3 10
    5 4 873.15 2323 4 1
    5 5 875.01 2305 4 2
    5 6 876.15 2288 4 3
    5 7 873.69 2270 4 4
    5 8 873.18 2253 4 5
    5 9 868.23 2235 4 6
    5 10 870.04 2218 4 7
    6 1 868.67 2200 4 8 Measured
    6 2 863.40 2180 4 9
    6 3 863.16 2160 4 10
    6 4 860.46 2140
    6 5 858.63 2120
    6 6 857.77 2100
    6 7 854.99 2080
    6 8 851.98 2060
    6 9 851.38 2040
    6 10 847.33 2020
    2000 Measured

    My cut-off points are ~862fps — there is one where I seem to have cycled the bolt twice getting a slow speed that I attribute to double pellet.


  17. My .177 and .25 cal. Marauder are both pretty equal in accuracy. I will hunt smaller game with my .177 (rabbits, squirrels and pest birds). But the .25 gets used for coons and possum and ground hogs.
    I long range target shoot both guns. Somewhere around 100 yrds. and sometimes 125 yrds. That is long enough range for me. And both guns do equally good at that also.

    I have been using the Superdomes and Air Arms Field Heavys for the .177 with good results.

    And the .25 I try to get the H&N Barracudas. But I also have the Beeman Kodiak Match Extra Heavy pellets. Along with the JSB Match Diabolo Exact King and Benjamin domed pellets. All produce similar results to each other in .25 cal.
    I myself like the knock down power of the .25 cal.

    At first I use to swear by the Gamo Rocket pellets. But they are kind of expensive.(I’m always looking for a cheaper accurate pellet)
    So came the Superdomes next. Well after trying quite a few different types.
    But to me I like the way the Rockets shoot also. I just wish they were a little cheaper. I do still have some left in .177 cal. I found they are a little softer lead and with the little steel ball in the middle they will tear some stuff up when they mushroom after they hit. So yep they are cool pellets.

    As far as .22 cal. goes the Crosman Premier Heavy has been the best for me all around.

    These are the pellets that have worked for me with the higher 3000 psi fill pressure with the Mods and tune that I have adjusted the striker and spring to. The above pellets may not work with somebody elses tune. Don’t know you just got to try and see.

    And I’m sure BBs results will be interesting.


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