Secrets of loading the Benjamin Marauder magazine

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

Benjamin Marauder
Benjamin Marauder

Benjamin Marauder magazine

Marauder magazine

I’m writing this report for blog reader Michael and for all those who have trouble loading their Benjamin Marauder magazines. Also, Matt61 wrote that he’s read of numerous problems with this mag, and he hopes that I’ll show how it works.

Folks — the only problem with the Marauder magazine is that it isn’t straightforward, and the instructions how to load it are not clear. Loading involves a couple techniques that aren’t obvious or explained; but once you learn them, the magazine is easy to load.

Michael asked if Crosman had changed the mag. The answer is yes, but I bet 99 percent of airgunners have never seen the first magazine they made. The first Marauder magazine inserted into the left side of the rifle’s receiver instead of the right side. It was the mirror image of the magazine they use today. It worked perfectly, but it didn’t permit a scope with a large side-adjusting parallax wheel. So, Crosman switched the sides the mag works on very early in the life of the Marauder; and since then, it has inserted from the right side.

Benjamin Marauder old style magazine
The first Marauders had magazines that were installed from the left side of the receiver, like this one.

What I am about to show you works for all Marauder rifles, Marauder pistols and for the Rogue rifles. The magazine has a clear plastic cover that’s rotated to fill the magazine. This is where all the confusion comes from. The magazine cover has to be lifted over a small plastic bump on the body of the magazine in order to rotate freely.

Benjamin Marauder magazine shelf
Insert the tip of a finger into this notch under the clear magazine cover and lift up slightly while pushing the cover clockwise.

Then, the cover is pushed clockwise to clear the bump. Once the bump has been cleared, the cover can be rotated approximately 300 degrees — to a spot where the oval loading hole in the cover almost aligns with the first pellet hole in the magazine body. But the oval loading hole and the pellet hole do not yet align. You cannot put a pellet into the hole yet.

Benjamin Marauder magazine cover past bump
The cover was lifted and pushed past the bump on the magazine body. It rests against the bump under spring tension.

Benjamin Marauder magazine cover rotated almost all the way
The cover is rotated as far as it will go without help. Notice it is stopped by the bump. I have to hold it here, because it is under spring tension.

Benjamin Marauder magazine cover rotated almost all the way top view
Here is a top view of the cover in the same position. It is impossible to put a pellet into the magazine through the oval hole in the cover when it’s in this position.

This is where the Crosman instructions end, and it is the secret to loading the Marauder magazine because the cover has to be rotated a few more degrees clockwise. The bump is in the way, so the cover must be lifted again to clear the bump. The cover will now rotate about another quarter-inch until it comes to a stop on its own, and the first pellet hole will be aligned perfectly.

Benjamin Marauder magazine cover lifted and rotated past bump
Here the cover was lifted and pushed past the bump until it stopped. Now the pellet hole is wide open to receive the first pellet. Remember to place your finger on the underside of the magazine, to prevent the pellet from slipping through the hole.

That hole goes through the magazine body and is used for all 10 pellets because the bolt probe pushes all pellets out of the magazine and into the barrel. You must put the tip of your finger under the back of the hole (the barrel side of the magazine) when you drop in the first pellet.

Benjamin Marauder magazine first pellet loaded with finger in place
The first pellet is in the magazine and held there by my finger over the bottom of the hole.

Now, rotate the cover back counter-clockwise past the bump, and the magazine will be tensioned. You can release your finger from the bottom of the hole because the pellet you loaded will hold the magazine in place. The magazine cover can now be rotated back (counterclockwise) to align the oval hole with each of the remaining 9 pellet slots. Most pellets will just drop in on their own when the holes line up…but sometimes it may be necessary to push in a pellet because the skirt is too wide. A ballpoint pen helps with this.

Benjamin Marauder magazine cover rotated past bump to hold the magazine in place
By rotating the magazine cover back past the bump, the mag is held under tension by the first pellet. Loading the remainder of the magazine is now a matter of rotating the cover and aligning the loading hole with each pellet hole.

Benjamin Marauder magazine cover rotated back to the bump
The cover is no longer under tension and can be rotated back to the bump, inserting pellets as you go.

When the cover is all the way back to the bump again, lift it slightly and return the cover to the starting point with a click.

Removing and inserting the magazine
A second question I got was how to load the magazine into the receiver and remove it again. Some people feel their rifles are very tight and this task is difficult.

Benjamin Marauder removing magazine
Remove the magazine from the rifle by first cocking the bolt, then pushing on the left side of the magazine.

The secret here is how tight the magazine fits the receiver. It does pop in, but the fit is very tight. To remove it, push it out from the left side with your thumb. DO NOT try to pull it out, as that doesn’t work.

To insert the magazine, make sure the flat part of the magazine bottom is aligned with the bottom of the breech cutout. Of course, the single-shot adapter must be removed from the gun before you try to load a magazine. The mag slides into the receiver almost all the way, and when you push it in the final quarter-inch, it audibly clicks into position.

Benjamin Marauder magazine inserted all but the final bit
Slide the magazine in from the right side of the receiver. When it stops, push a little more and it’ll click in place.

Summary
These instructions will seem simple once you’ve mastered them. But until that time, the Marauder magazine seems to fight you at every turn.

Once you’ve correctly loaded the Marauder magazine, you’ll find that it’s trouble-free and very reliable.

Below is a a short video I made that recaps what I described in this blog. Remember to turn on your speakers.

38 Responses to “Secrets of loading the Benjamin Marauder magazine”

  • Gunfun1 Says:

    Crosman should incorporate this to their instruction manual. And the video was very informing also.

  • RidgeRunner Says:

    Whatever happened to the Airgun Academy? This would be a great class subject.

  • MIke Says:

    Very well done BB. I don’t have a Marauder but you never know!

    Mike

  • Fred DPRoNJ Says:

    BB,

    you certainly covered all the required steps here! “Even a Caveman could do it” (sorry) now. I will add that some magazines are indeed tight fits when inserting into the breech of the Marauder compared to others. Chalk it up to manufacturing tolerances for mass production. As BB says, be sure the magazine is flat and perfectly perpendicular to the breech cutout to minimize resistance when inserting.

    Fred DPRoNJ

  • Willmore Says:

    I don’t even own one of these and I found this helpful!

  • Edith Gaylord Says:

    I’ve seen the magazine on Tom’s desk and tried to figure it out. I never went past a certain point as I was afraid I’d break it. After all, it was plastic.

    So, when Tom demonstrated it to me, I had that big “Aha!” moment that many of you are having right now.

    I wonder how many people have opted to get rid of their Marauders or just been downright disgusted with the gun simply because they couldn’t figure out how to correctly load the mag?

    The people who lay down all those bucks for the M-rod have figured out all the intricacies of filling PCP guns…yet, they’re mystified by the mag.

    Manufacturers should think about this before inventing something. Shouldn’t it be incredibly easy to load a mag? It should never require an instructional blog or video. It should be a simple, intuitive process.

    Edith

    • twotalon Says:

      Edith…

      A single shot tray fixes that, ….. except for getting your fingers in there to drop in a pellet the right direction.

      Did the cats help ? I have one that would have constantly been in the way. He likes to be helpful, and also runs off with small parts.

      twotalon

    • Victor Says:

      Edith,

      You hit the nail squarely on its round head! I’ve had to go back to the manual almost each time I’ve used my Marauder. I almost always instinctively load the magazine incorrectly.

      Victor

    • Matt61 Says:

      With all the magazines that have been invented and work well, how could Crosman come up with a new idea that was so flawed?

      Matt61

      • GenghisJan Says:

        I think it’s a reach to say that the Marauder magazine is flawed. You can add me to the list of mrod owners who has never had a problem putting thousands of rounds through six different mrod magazines.

        Great article and nice video. But I went back to the Crosman supplied sheet on how to load the mag., and I think it describes the procedure very clearly. Crosman also has a video to complement the paper docs.

        Other airgun magazine designs have advantages and disadvantages relative to the mrod’s. E.g., magazines like Air Arms’ that don’t use spring pressure might be gentler on the ammo. But it’s a little tougher to tell how many shots are remaining, and a little easier to shoot past zero remaining.

        -Jan

    • Richard Says:

      Another thing to add to the Aha! moments…
      There’s a peep sight on the clear plastic that helps you align for dropping the pellets in…
      Didn’t notice that at all while loading the clip (according to Crosman) / mag myself, but it’s clear as day in your video.

      Thanks for this!

  • Michael Says:

    B.B.,

    THANK YOU!!!!

    Your explanation is simple, detailed, complete (unlike Crosman’s), and deliberate. (I recall a few months ago writing here that you are a natural teacher, and yet again you have demonstrated that talent of yours.)

    Everything makes much more sense now.

    At this point my problem is that I lack a working magazine to implement your instructions. In doing it incorrectly so many times, my three magazines have given up the ghost. I almost feel (OK, actually really do feel) that Crosman owes me three new magazines because of their poorly written manual!

    Given that when I contacted Crosman with my frustration with the magazine, rather than help me, they blew me off, I doubt they’ll be any more customer-friendly, despite my having a basement full of their products, new and vintage.

    Well, I just purchased a bunch of airgun stuff, so I guess I’ll have to wait a few months before I feel I can order a few new Marauder mags.

    B.B., thanks again so very, very much,

    Michael

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Michael,

      I was worried that you knew all of this and that this report might insult you. But I wrote it, anyway, for dozens of other people who I know are having the exact same problems with the mag. As Edith said, it has its “A-Ha” moment built in. I couldn’t work it, either, until Ed Schultz at Crosman talked me through it the first time over the phone.

      Thanks for the feedback.

      B.B.

      • Michael Says:

        B.B.,

        I’m not insulted at all! In fact, my reaction is tremendous gratitude, along with being a bit flattered and honored. Almost every weekday morning for the past three or four years I have sat in front of the computer and had my two cups of coffee as I read your latest blog and choose one old one to reread. I’d estimate that 95% of what I know about airguns came to me from you and my fellow readers of the blog.

        One of the best things about your blog, I should add, is the great extent to which you respond to the questions and interests of we readers. Often you decide to do an entry or even lengthy series of them based on a question of one or more of your readers. This, in turn, makes us feel all the more welcome to offer more observations and questions. You also welcome us to submit appropriate guest blod entries. This is a wonderful exchange of knowledge and experience for which I am quite grateful. How many times has Wulfraed posted a lengthy reply that had me reaching for my dictionary or asking my colleagues in the Physics Department for further explanation!

        If I may be presumptuous, I sense that you and the others here have, as I do, a lifelong thirst for knowledge and understanding of many subjects, perhaps even ALL subjects. A curious nature is, I think, the essence of being human. Be perpetually curious, and you’ll never be bored. One of my own stock jokes as a college professor is to respond to a student who says that he or she is bored by saying, “Bored? You are BORED? I think the last time I was bored was a Sunday afternoon in 1973.”

        Back to this subject. I always have been very high on the Marauder for its excellent trigger, quiet report (which is very easy for “mod” types, er, “Mods”? to make mouse burp quiet), and spectacular accuracy. And I do like the single-pellet load tray, too.

        But now I’m outright excited about my Marauder again. I can’t wait to get my hands on a new magazine or two and be able to use it as a repeater.

        I also am excited that we are approaching, I hope, the debut of the assisted-pumping Benjamin hand pump. Crosman has had it as a “coming soon” item on their site for at least a month now, and summertime is the perfect time to release such an anticipated product. I like my Hill pump very much for its ruggedness, but it has figured into my fitness routine a bit more than I expected going in.

        Besides, having two hand pumps is MUCH better than having merely one. It spreads the wear around. Sometimes I shoot my R7, sometimes my Bronco, sometimes my FWB 127, sometimes my HW50S. Yes, variety is the spice of life, but I’d like all of them to outlive me, so by rotating them in my plinking and paper-punching, I feel I am increasing the life of each.

        At least that is the excuse I use to my wife for having so many fine air rifles! (My wife is far too smart to fall for that, but because she loves me, she pretends to buy that argument.)

        B.B., once again, thank you for this information and for all of the other insight as well,

        Michael

  • /Dave Says:

    I would have never figured it out…. My clips are just spin and load, rotating the cylinder either direction works. A half of a space rotation keeps the pellets in place instead of letting the last one fall out while carrying it. I’d have thought that Crosman would’ve borrowed a variation of this… But, I guess it’s simple enough and works once you’ve figured it out.

    /Dave

    • /Dave Says:

      AA clips… I don’t know what my phone did with that part…

      • Michael Says:

        /Dave,

        The KEY is that your clips are AA. That means the actual internal cylinder is metal, right? The Benji is all plastic. Also, in the Benji Mag there is a spring which places a small amount of tension on the clear plastic top. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the AA mags have no such spring, which allows for rotating either way. Is that true or not true?

        Am I to understand that you are able to use your AA mags in a Marauder?

        Michael

        • /Dave Says:

          Michael,

          The cylinder is metal and there isn’t such a spring as far as I know. Never took one apart, but it doesn’t feel like there’s any spring. There is some sort of ball-detent that lets you index the cylinder in either direction as you are loading. The plastic cover stays stationary. I don’t have a Marauder to try them in but just from the pictures, I don’t think it would work…

          /Dave

    • Wulfraed Says:

      A properly loaded Marauder magazine will NOT let a pellet fall out.

      When rotating the lid, one rotates the inner (toothed) part of the magazine (as I recall, it rotates on the opening). Once the first pellet is inserted and the cover rotated back one position, the toothed part of the magazine is trying to rotate with the cover — but that now wedges the first pellet against a stop on the outer rim of the magazine. Instead, one is not stretching (compressing?) a “watch spring” (I believe) in the core of the magazine.

      Upon loading, the bolt pushes the pellet into the chamber, against the friction of the toothed inner magazine and the outer stop; the bolt takes the place of the pellet in holding the toothed inner from rotating. Fire, and withdraw the bolt. The inner magazine is now free to rotate, under the spring tension, until the next pellet comes up against the outer stop.

      Many other rotary magazines tend to rely upon a lever in the gun to rotate them — in essence, they are “revolvers” with removable cylinder.

  • G & G Says:

    This shows one of the signs of a true teacher. The ability to take a basic subject and make it interesting. It is one of the many reasons for the success of your blog. Thanks.
    G & G

    • Michael Says:

      G & G,

      Agreed.

      But time and again B.B. also takes a COMPLICATED subject and, by deliberately, methodically, and patiently breaking it down into small, detailed steps, he makes the whole process or concept easy to grasp.

      My Teaching Pedagogy professor, Dr. Loren Grissom (a great teacher himself) once told class, “A skilled teacher can explain Quantum Physics to a five-year-old.” One of us, I remember, asked, “Professor Grissom, what’s Quantum Physics?” I recall with his sharp wit he quickly answered, “I can’t explain it to you. None of you is five.”

      In the words of Michael Corleone, “That’s a true story.”

      Michael

  • G & G Says:

    B.B.
    Since your instructions were so clear and easy to follow today you probably won’t get many questions so I though I might ask you an off topic question. I am sure you are sick of my subject by now but I’ll ask anyway.

    I find myself lusting for the new Condor SS but am still concerned about the loudness. One question will clear it up for me. Is the new Condor SS as loud as the Discovery? My Discovery really does sound like a .22 short so this comparison will tell me all I need to know. Thanks for your patience.

    G & G

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      G&G,

      In my opinion, the Condor SS is louder than the Discovery.

      But don’t fret — there is a good solution coming! I think you can have the gun of your dreams and have it do what you want it to.

      B.B.

  • Michael Says:

    Oh, just an observation: compare the wood and checkering in picture one and picture three!

    Michael

  • Matt61 Says:

    Brilliantly clear. I bet I could do this, and I don’t even have a Marauder magazine. But this sets my mind at ease about one of my favorite rifles.

    It’s good that there is a way to make this work. But the fact that it requires such a fine explanation is still something of an indictment. This makes me wonder about another aspect of engineering with respect to my WWII military rifles. The amount that has been written about them is virtually impossible to estimate. But I would venture to say very little has been written on their respective slings. Aha, a new point for scholarship. While all of the rifles have good points, even great points, the U.S. GI sling is far and away the best. The other ones suck in point of fact. The British sling is very simple with hooks that dig into the sling to attach it after passing through swivels. There’s no easy way to adjust the length, and the sling is way too short. The German sling is a complicated nightmare. I had to look up a YouTube video on how to do it and I greatly empathized with the comment that said, “Thanks for posting this. I had a hell of a time figuring this out.” Even when you get it attached, it interferes with your cheek weld and your hand and arm position the way it goes through the buttstock and sticks out the other side. Another case of the Germans being too smart for themselves. The Russian sling is the best of the non-American slings in that it has no obvious flaws, but I don’t see the value of the “dog collars” which are picturesque but introduce needless complication. And none of the non-American slings can be looped over the off-arm to stabilize you for shooting. This is a real problem and would seem to show that the American army was much more dedicated to marksmanship than anyone else. I have seen Lyudmila Pavlichenko with her sling looped over her arm, so maybe it can be done with the Russian sling, but I don’t know how. And I don’t believe that the dog collars would give you the same stability as the GI sling. So there it is, a further indication that if you haven’t got your M1 Garand, you want to get started. They won’t last forever and this is a rifle like no other. You shoulder the weapon, and it feels like a higher power is taking over. The genius just radiates out from the gun.

    Victor, I would have guessed that the Magnus Effect is less important for pellets because they spin less. But the you’re right that the skirt shape could introduce a whole new set of complications. But field target shooters read the wind so it must be possible. What you call “shaving,” Nancy Tompkins calls “safe-siding” your shots. Makes sense to me.

    Titus, I’ve given myself a pass on the goings-on in Syria fervently hoping we will stay far away from there. But with the civil war and the mad dictator it has all the ingredients for the worst kind of behavior. It’s a similar case to the Bosnian War. I was telling my Mom about one horrible atrocity there and her instinctive response was, “What’s the matter with those people?” That pretty much says it all.

    I’m dipping into Chris Kyle’s posthumous book on the history of America in 10 guns. I do believe that I’ve read enough gun magazines and history books that I know almost everything he says. But he is an entertaining writer. He also has the irreplaceable eye of the combat veteran in describing these guns in action, and you always pick up a few things. Did you know that as of 1962, the controller of the Department of Defense declared the M14 inferior to the M1 Garand in every respect? The big mystery to me is how the Defense Department managed to spend over 100 million dollars in producing what was essentially a slightly modified copy of the older rifle. Even more damaging is the quote from John Garand repudiating the short stroke gas system of the M14 although there is no reference for this quote. As another tidbit, Kyle mentions a Rich Sawyer, a Seal Team friend who plays a role in the series Rhino Wars, who was a sniper who favored the M14. Kyle says that he could make amazing shots with that weapon from a helicopter with only the iron sights. Too bad you can’t combine that image with a few poachers. Speaking of which…

    The Western Black Rhino is now officially extinct. (Except for a few in Texas for safekeeping.)

    Matt61

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Matt,

      Let’s talk about bad magazines a moment. You own a Garand, right? You know about M1 Thumb? There is another example of a bad idea that got into production and proliferated. It works, and once you know the tricks it isn’t difficult to manage. So we forget about it, because the rest of the gun is so darned good.

      Then, a couple times a year, we read about new shooters who get their first (and last) M1 Thumbs.

      Corvair cars were supposed to swap ends and slam into telephone poles all by themselves, but it took the skills of professional drivers to replicate what Ralph Nader claimed was all too easy to do for unsuspecting drivers. And NBC News had to rig their Chevys to explode when hit from the side, because, for some reason, they just weren’t doing what the experts said they would on their own.

      If the grenade has a 3-second fuse, don’t hold onto it for 2.5 seconds after the fuse starts burning. That’s the lesson.

      B.B.

  • aljoh Says:

    Good post BB!

    I have two marauders, one is a .22 and the other is a .25. The .22 has a problem with pellets not feeding when the bolt is moved forward. I have 4 magazines for the .22 and have the same problem with all of them. This feeding problem only happens with JSB 18.1 pellets and only happens in holes 8, 9, and 10 in all 4 magazines. Holes 1 through 7 feed fine. I have measured the pellets and they all are the same width. I don’t know what else to try.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    AJ

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      AJ,

      The answer is in the question. Don’t use that pellet. Or don’t load those chambers. Or use the single-shot adaper. Or get additional magazines.

      B.B.

      • Michael Says:

        A.J. and B.B.,

        I especially agree with “Don’t use that pellet.”

        I have learned that probably one out of ten soft-pellets will misfeed, practically sideways, in my M4-177 and MK-177 (although curiously not in my 760). I’d have to get out a dowel rod, thread it into the muzzle, and push the mangled sideways pellet out of the barrel through the breech.

        So, I tried Crosman Premier Lights, a harder lead alloy pellet, and no jams EVER. Fortunately, for these air rifles, they are at least as accurate as the RWS pellets I had previously been using in those guns.

        My advice is to try Crosman Premiers in anything that is jam-prone and see if that helps.

        Michael

        • Richard Says:

          I’m shooting accurately with Premiere Hollow Points.
          Comp. Wadcutters fly all over the place…
          Daisy HPs seem to do OK, but require an adjustment in POA for me (up & left).
          The rest of the Daisy sample pack fly all over the place. Their Premium Flat Heads fly too.

          I’ve got a bunch of other pellets from various manufacturers that I’ll eventually try…
          If you haven’t noticed, I’m a cheapskate…
          Having those Premiere HPs work makes me smile…

          I haven’t really noticed an improvement in accuracy by using the Single Shot Tray. It does slow me down!

    • Alan Says:

      You can take the mags apart and clean up any burs with 600 grit paper, and even polish things up with a Dremel.

      I cleaned up the sharp edges of the center hub part that guides the pellets in my mags and they work flawlessly. I have mags that I have probably filled and shot close to a 1000 times, and they function great. And I have shot JSB 13.4s up to 18.1 in them, and all work great – even the thin skirted 13.4s – but most of what I shoot is the 18.1 grain pellet.

      Alan in MI

  • Feinwerk Says:

    I didn’t have much trouble loading the marauder magazines. I am using Barracuda Match pellets. I found that groups are tighter with the single shot tray in both .22 and .25 caliber so now I rarely use the magazines.

  • Colt Says:

    Very nice writeup/video tutorial.
    Nice work!

  • Keith Says:

    Very good description, which will certainly save some people some frustration. It took me a while to figure out the instructions and become proficient at loading the magazine, but I attributed that to not reading the instructions carefully enough the first time through.

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