Benjamin Marauder .25 caliber: Part 2

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

Benjamin Marauder .177 caliber: Part 1
Part 2
Secrets of loading the Benjamin Marauder magazine
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Fixing a Marauder magazine
Part 7
Benjamin Marauder .25 caliber: Part 1

Benjamin Marauder
Benjamin Marauder

Today, I’ll test the .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder for velocity and also get the shot count. From past tests done by my friend Mac, we know this rifle should be in the 38-40 foot-pound region, but today is the day the rifle gets documented by me. No tuning has been done to this rifle to the best of my knowledge; so, although it’s 3 years old, it’s also straight from the box.

H&N Baracuda
The rifle was filled to 3,000 psi and the first pellet tried was the .25 caliber H&N Baracuda. This domed pellet weighs 31 grains; and in the test rifle, it averages 778 f.p.s. That’s good for an average 41.68 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. The total velocity variation in an 8-shot string was 774 to 782 f.p.s. That’s just 8 f.p.s.

Benjamin domes
The next pellet I tested was the 27.8-grain Benjamin dome. This pellet averaged 805 f.p.s. with a low of 802 and a high of 808 f.p.s. That’s just 6 f.p.s. for the total spread. The average muzzle energy for this pellet was 40.01 foot-pounds. The Benjamin dome has been one of the most accurate .25-caliber pellets around since it first came out, so it’ll be interesting to see what it can do in the test rifle. I always think of this pellet as the .25-caliber Crosman Premier, though the company doesn’t brand it that way.

JSB Exact King
Next, I tested the 25.4-grain JSB Exact King. This is another fine domed pellet that has been one of the most accurate .25-caliber pellets since it was introduced a few years ago. It’s also light enough to travel faster than most of them.

These pellets averaged 831 f.p.s. in the test rifle, for an average muzzle energy of 38.96 foot-pounds. The spread went from a low of 829 to a high of 835 f.p.s. That’s another one that’s just 6 f.p.s.!

Predator Polymag
The last pellet I tested was the 26-grain Predator Polymag — a high-tech hollowpoint pellet that has a cone-shaped plastic nose for improved aerodynamics. This pellet averaged 814 f.p.s. in the test rifle and delivered an average 38.26 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. We’ll see how accurate it is in the next test. I have no experience with the Predator in .25 caliber. The spread went from 808 f.0.s. to 820 f.p.s., for a total of 12 f.p.s.

Shot count
I got just two 8-shot magazines from a charge before the velocity started dropping. By dropping, I mean the velocity was falling straight off with each shot. I could stretch the total to 3 mags, which is 24 shots, if I wasn’t trying to shoot groups at 50 yards. The velocity spread would triple with the final 8 shots, which would take 6 f.p.s to 18 f.p.s. and 12 f.p.s. to 36 f.p.s. As long as you keep your range to 35 yards or less, those final 8 shots should work fine.

Discharge sound
Here’s the part of the report many of you have been waiting to read. The test .25-caliber rifle is noticeably louder than the .177 Marauder, but it’s still not loud. I tested them side by side. The .177 Marauder is just so quiet that everything else sounds louder in comparison. And now that I’ve dialed back its velocity to 965 f.p.s., it’s probably quieter than it was when it was pushing out pellets at over 1,000 f.p.s. The .25 has more of a crack to its discharge, but the sound it makes is still quieter than all magnum spring rifles I’ve tested. So, it’s quiet too — just not as quiet as the .177.

Trigger
I said I wasn’t going to mention the trigger again; but when I compared the trigger on the .177 Marauder to the one on the .25, the difference was noticeable. The .25 has a first stage that’s too short and a stage 2 that’s too long. There’s some creep in the second stage, so I do need to address that. I may not mention it again, but I’m doing so now to let you know there’s a difference between a factory trigger, which the .25 has, and one that has been adjusted.

My personal feelings
I don’t often mention how I feel about airguns, but I think I have to here. I do not care for .25-caliber airguns. I’ve found them inaccurate; wasteful of air; requiring expensive pellets; and, in general, I find they’re not able to keep up with a good .22. The TalonP pistol was an exception to that except for the cost of the pellets, but it was the exception that proved the rule.

I’m rooting for this .25 Marauder, though, because I know many readers prefer .25 caliber for hunting. I have to note that during chronograph testing the pellet trap was rocking the table it sits on because the impact of the pellets was so great. So, if this Marauder turns out to be a tack-driver, it may change my opinion of the quarter-inch bore just a little.

40 thoughts on “Benjamin Marauder .25 caliber: Part 2

  1. BB
    I think you will be surprised with the accuracy of the .25 cal. Marauder when you test it.

    Try the .25 yrd. test. But maybe the 50 yrd. test will show what you need to see.
    But just for the heck of it try it out farther. Like at least 100 yrds.


  2. I don’t get how some people complain about the Marauder. I’m no expert but I don’t recall seeing many rifles that offer such tight spread which much mean that’s it’s well engineered and so many feature and we’re also hoping accuracy that matches the other calibers… at such a low price!!! It’s no olympic rifle but I’d proud to say I own one.

    I have a totally off topic question for you BB. You say this rifle has been at your house for 3 years now, you have your own airguns and you have some to test but just how many do you have at home on average?

    I have a bit over 40 airguns at the moment.

    How about you, the other members/reader of this BLOG?

    J-F


    • A couple dozen. I only shoot 9 of them, some more than others and depends on the time of the year.
      6 German, one CZ, and two USA.

      twotalon


    • I have a couple of each. Except co2. Only one of those… I was thinking that’s too many since I can only shoot one at a time, but I do like the variety!

      /Dave



      • Really? I was expecting more than that. You’re good! Getting as much guns as you are and attending so many airgun shows I’m not sure I’d be able to control myself and would hoard much more.

        I was also expecting a little more precision from the other members than “a couple dozen” (somewhere between 24 and 120 ;-) ) and “a few of each” LOL what that’s pretty vague.

        J-F


        • J-F,

          Most of the airguns at my house belong to me, but some belong to my grandchildren,and one belongs to my wife.

          My personal collection:

          1 CO2 blowback action bb pistol.
          1 SSP pellet pistol.
          4 traditional bb guns.
          3 MPP pellet rifles.
          6 Springer pellet rifles.
          Total 15 operable.

          Plus 2 inoperable:
          1 CO2 blowback action bb pistol.
          1 Springer pellet rifle.

          My wife:
          1 CO2 bb/pellet pistol.

          My grandchildren:
          5 assorted bb guns and MPP rifles. Not all here at any given time.

          I’m attending a gun show and a Friends of the NRA Banquet next weekend. I hope to find at the gun show another classic bb gun to restore. The Model 25 Daisy I bought last year was a real fun, educational project to rebuild. It is now my hardest-hitting, most accurate bb gun. I was very impressed when I first saw one in action in 1960, and now have my own 1960 Model 25.

          My new model P17 has now fired 400 trouble-free shots.

          Les


  3. B.B.

    What are you using for a pellet trap with the .25 caliber Marauder? Down the road I am thinking of adding a PCP to my collection but since I don’t at present hunt it will more likely be either in .177 or .22 caliber. For now though my shooting has greatly improved over the last several weeks thanks to suggestions and tips you made I don’t think I am ready.


    • David,

      I’m using my homemade duct seal pellet trap that I have used for many years. It has had the duct seal replaced 3 times and once I shot through the steel plate in the back. But I load it up with several thousand pellets before shooting a powerful rifle like this one at it.

      I also have the other trap that reader Jim Contos gave me. It is also duct seal, but has stronger steel plates, plus a plastic junction box that is nearly indestructible. That one is good for up to 80 foot-pounds.

      B.B.


  4. If all you are doing is punching holes in paper, yes the .25 pellets are expensive to shoot and they use geegobs of air. But when you want energy on target, they are the way to go. Sixteen shots should cover an afternoon of tree rat hunting. If not, give me a call and I’ll be right out!



  5. 5 springers, 4 multipumps, 3 co2s, an old Daisy #25 BB gun, 1 Single-stroke pneumatic (P17). I shoot in my garage and do most of my shooting at 10Ms. The Crosman 1077 and 1377 carbine gets shot 90% of the time.


    • Your collection sounds a lot like mine, both in numbers and composition.

      I shoot in my basement and at the city gun range. Only bb guns and low-power pellet guns in the basement.

      How do you like your P17?

      Les


  6. P17. I like it. Hard to cock. I use a piece of foam rubber over the edge of my work bench to force the pistol closed. The one and last time I was pinched made me have to find a better way, works well. Hard for fat fingers to load the pellet. I mostly go by feel as my fingers are in the way to see. I do like the pistol though, esp at 40-50 bucks. I don’t shoot BBs, too much glass. 2-3 cars, Tv, aquarium, 2 windows, glass in the back door. I just read your above post. I have my childhood Daisy 880, from about 1972. I just love that old gun, was shooting it last night. Only drawback is I have to pump it 10 times. It has never been taken apart. I don’t have my childhood #25, I probably gave it away when I got my “real” gun, the 880. I did get a #25 at a garage sale, for free. All of my play shirts as a kid had a circular oil stain on the front, that is where I held the “tube” to pull back the spring to fill it with BBs. Funny now looking back how hard that was, pulling back the spring. Lady at the Dime Store finally made me keep my #25 outside, with my dog. Why I couldn’t take my gun and dog inside to buy more BBs, I will never know. lol


    • Yeah. I like my 880′s, too. I rebuilt one of them, it was my first airgun rebuild project, and gave me confidence to tear my Model 25 apart. The Model 25 was a whole different ballgame, full of mysteries to solve. First challenge was just to figure out how it was supposed to work (I was warned by the seller that it was a “wall hanger” only). When I got it back together, I wasn’t sure it would work until I actually tried it. Just about everything was replaced except for the stock and shot tube, spring and spring holder. Basically, I tore everything apart and replaced everything that looked worn. Had to make two spring compressors to two different designs (the first one wouldn’t work).

      The total cost of the restoration was equal to the price of two new Model 25′s. But I didn’t want a new Model 25, and if I had bought one (or two) I would not have learned anything.

      Have you ever had a Daisy 856? I have one of those and like it better than the 880′s. It was supposed to be a simplified, cheaper 880, but the changes made it more user-friendly. The later ones were pellet-only, so there is no bb port for pellets to fall into. The pump lever is the fore-stock, so it won’t wear a blister on your finger like the 880 will.

      Too bad the Dime Store lady didn’t embrace Open Carry.

      Les


  7. BB
    Maybe you can do a simple penetration test of the pellets you said above.

    I will do that every once in a while with my air guns just to see how they are shooting. I have done this with a chrony so I knew the fps and how far it was penetrating. (I only chrony at about 2ft. away always, I don’t worry about how much the fps gets slower at the different ranges of distance).

    I will take two 2×4′s and cut them 12″ long then take on in front of the other then duct tape them together. Sometimes I put them at 25 yrds. then also sometimes at 50 yrds.

    I think you will be surprised at what the .25 cal. Marauder will do when you shoot at the 2×4′s.
    It also gives you a idea of what kind of lead the pellet is made of.
    And its simple to measure the depth of the pellet. I stick a small diameter screwdriver in the hole and mark it with my thumb then use my scale and write the measurement down of the depth along with fps and such.

    Didn’t know if you were considering such a test or not. Maybe will be interesting what you see.


    • GF1,

      In wasn’t planning a test like this. I know that both a .177 and .22 Condor will shoot through one 2 vt 4 and half of the next one. I would expect this rifle to nearly make it through one board.

      B.B.


      • BB
        My 25 Marauder will go through about 1 and a 1/2 (2×4′s) at 50 yrds. with the tune I have on it now.
        950 fps. with the 31 grn. Barracudas.


  8. Sounds like a good rifle but it also sounds like my custom disco is everything the marauder is and maybe a bit more. That is, when I get the parts I need to fix it. I managed to tune it to match the marauder in power and close to shots, quiet it down, it now has sling studs, and adjustable power that goes well beyond the power band of the marauder. So I suppose I’d be better off financially keeping my disco.



      • I normally use plain old crosman pointed hunting pellets. But I found when I gave my disco dialed all rthe way up it hits my pellet trap so hard that the pellet shatters instead of flattens so I can figure it’s hitting somewhere around 1150 fps. I used a Gamo Raptor just so I might have something left to see. It also shattered on my backstop so I know I have some lethal punching power. (My backstop is an old cast iron pan in a wood frame with a duct tape curtain and target in front of the curtain. My own design.) Because I’m not getting a sonic boom I know I’m below the speed of sound yet. I’m firing .22 cal pellets. I don’t have a chrony so I look at the speed a stock discovery fires at, then add what the specs say each power modification says it adds and total it up. I find my estimates are usually close. I can also dial this gun down to around 450 fps. I figured that out by firing it, recovering the pellet and comparing it to other pellets fired at a known speed. The pellet flattens out close to what a 450fps pellet flattens out of another gun so I can make a good guess on my lower power band. But whatever my upper power band is I know this gun will kill pests I need to get rid of and nobody will know what I did. If I compare what I built to what I see being tested here I can pretty much figure out I have set up my disco to match a marauder which really isn’t hard to do. All I need to do is get as much air as possible behind the pellet and push it as hard as I can for 24 inches, then bleed off all the air I can into a baffle system at the muzzle which is what the Marauder does. I do that by adding a larger air valve, extended probe to get that pellet seated in the barrel just a bit farther, and a power adjuster with a stronger spring behind the hammer to open that bigger air valve just a little wider and longer. To help regulate air just a bit better and stop valve bounce I put a slightly heavier longer spring in the high flow air valve to keep the valve from bouncing and wasting air. So I also get a fairly good shot count. I see around 20-25 decent shots depending on where I have my power set. If I set it at my lowest setting I get considerably more.

        When Crosman made the disco they left all kinds of room to improve it and the parts are out there to do it. It’s really not that hard to do.


        • John
          What brand air valve did you use ? Maybe I want one of those for my Disco.

          And I guess mod (or power) stacking is a way of estimating your fps. I know some people do that when they build car engines. Of course with different results until they finally dyno their engines and really see whats happening.

          And just like car engines you really don’t know for sure the end results until you have the hard numbers in front of you to compare one engine to another.

          But as far as guns go that really doesn’t matter what power it is shooting at if you are happy with your results.


          • I got a boss max flow valve from http://www.airgunbna.com which is also where I get all my crosman repair parts etc. I got a power adjuster from mountain air airguns, and an extended probe bolt from mellon air. I stretched the hammer spring a tiny bit to make it just a little longer so it hits just a bit harder and did the same thing to the spring in the boss max flow valve to make the valve close without bouncing. To make it quiet I used a stage 5 TKO muzzle device 6.5″ which worked great. This thing is whisper quiet. Then I added sling swivels from Pyramyd air and sling from Pyramyd as well. There’s really not much more I can do to put any more power in this gun. It’s basically a Marauder in Disco skin now. I have as much air behind that pellet as I can get.

            I found you have to be very careful when installing the max flow valve. You only have 1 o ring instead of 2 that you get on the stock valve. The opening the air pressure gauge goes in tends to slice that o ring. When you are getting close to passing the end of that hole you have to work very slow and careful pressing on the o ring with a screwdriver to get it past that opening. I’m also packing RTV sealant around the edges of the valve since I have all kinds of leaking issues. Everything else goes back together like clockwork once that valve is in place and secure. Just watch all the O rings while they are passing that one opening or you have to pull it all apart and start over.


            • John
              I checked out that valve and looks like the quality should be good.
              But why the RTV. I have built quite a few engines for drag racing and I try not to use RTV on the engines. Its messy and hard to clean up if you take apart for reassembly.

              From what we do at work we are not supposed to double seal air or hydraulic seals or o-rings. We use silicone like the (Hill Pump Lubricant). That’s of course when we repair or replace o-rings and seals. We also make sure the surface’s are clean and have no nick’s anywhere.

              As far as threaded assembly’s go that’s another story.
              We use Teflon paste or we have a 2 part type epoxy that’s black and drys semi-hard and can still be taken apart with wrenches. I believe it is used in aviation repair and assembly also. Cant remember what it is called right now. I haven’t seen anything sold over the counter that resembles it though. And it looks to be similar to what the latest Crosman, Benjamin PCP guns have by the male Foster fill connector.

              Maybe that may help some with your Disco leak. Just thought I would let you know.


              • I’ve been having leaking issues with my gun since I got it. That’s where my power modding all started. I figured since it was leaking I might as well start putting some fortitude in the gun. So when I went in to replace seals I popped in a new high volume air valve too. But it always leaked. Now I heard somewhere that pcp airguns are supposed to hold their air forever so I have been fighting the leak for 3 years now. I’m tired of fighting the leak so I found a way to pack in some silicone sealant around the o rings. It was always a tiny leak that you can hear in a quiet place making wet bubbly sounds in whatever lubricant or other trick I used to try to put it together with. So this time I figure the fix will be permanent with a nice seal all the way around that valve and every other opening there is in that area. There will not be a leak this next time I put the gun together. Of course repair parts will have to wait now since I just paid my bills and discovered that there isn’t enough to go around this month since I have an AR15 that I am collecting parts to build. So my gun will be in pieces for another month. I know RTV is messy and hard to clean up. I’ve been using it for years on a variety of machines including the oil quench tank when I worked at a heat treater. If the stuff can seal an access panel at the bottom of a 5500 gallon oil filled quench tank it should be able to gold 2000 psi of air in a tiny tube.


                • John
                  True with the 5500 gal. tank if its not pressurised.

                  But high compressed air and hydraulics work different.
                  Doesn’t matter if the tube is big or small 2000 psi is 2000 psi. You just don’t have as much volume with the smaller tube. It will still leak if it can find a way past the seal or fitting.


                  • This is a last ditch effort. If this doesn’t work the gun gets stripped and parted out as scrap. I’ve tried everything else. So this works or the gun gets scrapped. There are no more options here. I’d like to see the gun actually work as it is supposed to work for once in it’s life. If not I guess I’m done with the brand. Three years is entirely too long to be messing around with a gun trying to fix it. So if this doesn’t work then I have to conclude that Crosman isn’t putting quality into their guns and go elsewhere with my business.


  9. BB if you get the chance you should get your hands on a KalibrGun .25 Cricket. I’ve owned 2 .25 Mrods that are great shooters for popping paintballs at 50yds all day long but hated packing a tank with me for my long ground squirrel hunts. With my Cricket I get 60+ regulated shots all at mid 950s (51fpe), super quiet and oh man is it accurate, we’re talking asprin accurate at 75yds all day.


  10. FWIW, not sure this .25 cal marauder is shooting hot enough to stabilize those heavy pellets at longer ranges.

    Erik turned his tension screw all the way in and adjusted his valve metering screw so that the jsb exact kings were shooting around 900fps. That’s when the accuracy showed up. He only gets about 12 good shots but only needs about 10 good shots for hunting. The benjamin domes and jsb kings shot best in his gun.

    It’s unfortunate that B.B. can’t tamper with a gun on loan.

    kevin


  11. BB: Good stuff, just ordered mine in .22. I had a case of 25cal mania, but it has passed after reading your advise. I may put a 12″x25cal in the talon SS just to see what happens. What kind of power and velocity will that do with the standard tank? It does 800fps w/16gr JSB’s now.


    • Mr. Birdo,

      I’m afraid I’m not following what you are saying here. You are getting a .25 caliber 12-inch barrel for a Talon SS and you are asking me what velocity you’ll get? If you get 800 f.p.s. with a 16-grain pellet, I would think you would get about 600 f.p.s. with a 25-grain pellet. But I have never tested it, so that’s just a guess.

      B.B.


  12. Hello B.B.
    First time posting but have been reading the blog for a long time. Thank you for bringing more enjoyment and accuracy to air rifles.
    ?1. Do you plan a part 3 to the .25 M-rod?
    ?2. How soon will you test the synthetic stock M-rod?
    I would like to purchase my first pcp and I’m vacillating between the.177 and .25. I am waiting on your expert and very helpful reviews.


    • Templar,

      Yes there will be a Part 3 as soon as the wind dies down so I can shoot at the range.

      Crosman hasn’t released the synthetic Marauder yet. I’m on the list to get one as soon as they do. I want to test it, too.

      Welcome to the blog!

      B.B.


  13. I just recently purchased the MRod .25 this being my first PCP, I have read in a lot of reviews that it comes set to a fill pressure of 2500 but in the owner’s manual I cannot find where the factory setting is stated. I don’t think I want to change the fill or velocities at this time but will eventually tune it for optimum hunting power, however I don’t want to damage the gun in any way by overfill or misuse. any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


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