Benjamin Marauder .25 caliber: Part 3

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 .25 caliber: Part 2

Benjamin Marauder
Benjamin Marauder

I told you this report was going to be a different kind of test, and today I’ll prove it. I shot the .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder off a rest at 25 yards, but the purpose was not to learn if the rifle is accurate — I already knew it is. And 25 yards is hardly long enough to show the accuracy potential of this powerful PCP.

No, I told you that I would be searching for the most accurate pellets in this rifle. You see, unlike .177- and .22-caliber guns, the big .25 doesn’t have that many accurate pellets. Going into this test, I only knew of 3 — the H&N Baracuda (also branded as the Beeman Kodiak), the Benjamin dome and the JSB Exact King. Other .25-caliber pellets I’ve tested were not accurate enough to be considered. Today’s test is to establish that the 3 good pellets are still good in this test rifle and to see if there’s another good pellet or 2 out there.

The rifle is now scoped with the UTG 6-24X56 AO scope with illuminated reticle, which I’m also testing for you. I won’t get into that evaluation in this report, but I will use this test to report on that scope. This scope has high rings that come packaged with it.

Testing pellets rapidly
Time is a commodity in short supply around here. It takes a long time to test something, then pictures have to be taken and it takes even more time to write it up. Normally, I shoot 10-shot groups for accuracy, but I told you I was going to do things differently today, and this is where it starts. Instead of shooting 10-shot groups (or 8-shot groups because the .25 Marauder circular magazine only holds 8 pellets), I decided to shoot 4-shot groups. The results of those groups would tell me which pellets were worth testing more closely. But testing more closely won’t be at 25 yards. It will be out at 50 yards.

H&N Baracuda
Since I’d just mounted the scope, I had to sight-in the rifle, and for that I loaded a full magazine with 8 H&N Baracudas. Sight-in took just 2 shots, so the first group for the record was 6 shots instead of 4. As predicted, it was a tight 0.376 inches at 25 yards. Of course, some of that is due to the lesser number of shots, so bear that in mind. Also, bear in mind that a group of .25-caliber pellets will look much larger than the same size group of .177-caliber pellets.

25-caliber Benjamin Marauder 25 yard target Baracudas
Six H&N Baracudas went into 0.376 inches at 25 yards. This pellet is on the list for 50 yards.

JSB Exact King and Benjamin dome
Next, I shot 4 each of the JSB Exact Kings and Benjamin domes. Both performed exactly as expected. The 4 Benjamin domes went into 0.196 inches. Of course, I would expect this group size to double with 10 pellets, but it’s still the kind of accuracy I was looking for.

25-caliber Benjamin Marauder 25 yard target Benjamin dome
Four Benjamin domes went into 0.196 inches at 25 yards. They made the list, as well.

I shot the first 3 JSB Exact Kings into a very tight 0.11-inch group, but the fourth shot was a called pull to the left. It opened the group to 0.383 inches; but since I know that I pulled the shot, it doesn’t phase me. This pellet also made the cut for more testing.

25-caliber Benjamin Marauder 25 yard target JSB Exact Kings
Three JSB Exact Kings went into 0.11 inches at 25 yards. That’s the larger hole on the right. A pulled fourth shot that was called opened the group to 0.383 inches, but that doesn’t bother me. This one is a keeper, as well.

Predator Polymags
The only other pellet that showed promise in this test was the Predator Polymag. Four of them went into 0.274 inches at 25 yards. That’s good enough to earn a chance to shoot at 50 yards in my book.

25-caliber Benjamin Marauder 25 yard target Predator Polymag
Four Predator Polymag pellets went into 0.274 inches at 25 yards. That was enough to make the cut.

The other pellets
As I said before, the .25-caliber pellet is not as uniformly accurate as the .177 and .22. Until this test, only the first 3 pellets I shot had shown any promise. Now, we have a fourth. To show you what some other pellets look like in comparison, here are 3 more that didn’t make the cut.

RWS Superdome
The results of 4 RWS Superdome pellets tell the story of the .25 caliber very well. Four went into a group that measured 1.378 inches between centers. You can clearly see there’s no need to shoot 10 pellets, when just 4 make a showing like this.

25-caliber Benjamin Marauder 25 yard target RWS Superdome
Four RWS Superdomes made this 1.378-inch group at 25 yards. It was the largest group of the test.

Diana Magnum
Next, I tried the pellet that was the best .25-caliber pellet for many years in the 1990s. Until the H&N Baracuda came out in .25 caliber, the 20-grain Diana Magnum was the pellet people chose for accuracy. Certain individual guns may have done better with other pellets, but the Diana Magnum was considered the best all-around .25-caliber pellet of its day.

Not surprisingly, Diana Magnums turned in the smallest group of the three pellets that were not selected to go on to longer-range testing. Four went into 0.588 inches at 25 yards.

25-caliber Benjamin Marauder 25 yard target Diana Magnum
Four Diana Magnums made this 0.588-inch group at 25 yards. Fifteen years ago, this was the best pellet we had in .25 caliber.

Beeman Ram Jet
Another pellet that has left the stage is the .25-caliber Beeman Ram Jet. It was supposed to be a domed pellet that also performed like a wadcutter, but accuracy was never this pellet’s strong suit. Four of them made a 0.769-inch group at 25 yards.

25-caliber Benjamin Marauder 25 yard target Beeman Ram Jet
Four Beeman Ram Jets made a 0.769-inch group at 25 yards. This pellet was also never in the running.

Summary
I hope from these results that it’s clear why I went with 4-shot groups instead of 10-shot groups. I never planned on testing the .25-caliber Marauder at 25 yards, except to prepare for the 50-yard test, which will be next. I think you can see the clear differences between the pellets that were selected and those that missed the cut. More than any other caliber, the big .25 is an all-or-nothing caliber. And there aren’t that many pellets to choose from.

Trigger
One more thing I want to report today is how the trigger now performs. I adjusted it before this test and got it exactly where I want it. I won’t say that it’s better than the trigger on my .177 Marauder, but it’s just as good. The Marauder trigger is something Crosman can be proud of, for it surpasses most PCP adjustable triggers I’ve tested. This one now has a positive stop at stage 2, followed by a very light, crisp break. It allowed me to hold very precisely and know when I pulled my shots, which only happened once during this session. This trigger will certainly do!

Next, I plan to shoot the rifle at 50 yards with these 4 pellets. That should give us a good idea of the long-range capability of the rifle. If the results suggest it’s capable, I may attempt a 100-yard test, as well. I need for the shooting conditions to be perfect to do it; but if they are, we may see the real potential of the big Marauder.

25 Responses to “Benjamin Marauder .25 caliber: Part 3”

  • Gunfun1 Says:

    BB
    Your top 4 choices is basically what I use in my .25 Marauder.
    (1) Barracudas
    (2) Beeman Kodiak Match
    (3) Benjamin dome
    (4) JSB Exact King Diabolo
    And this is in the order of what works the best for me. But every one of them listed shoot good for me.

    The 50 yard test will be interesting to me. And of course the 100 yard test also.

    Your gun still has the stock tune on it as far as you know right?

    Your test pellets is basically the same as what I shoot but my gun is turned up. So it will be kind of interesting to compare the results.

    The 25 yard test you just did is pretty well the same as what my gun does at 25 yards.
    In my gun all 4 of the above pellets perform well at the 25 yard mark all the way up to the 100 yard mark.

    So I will be patiently waiting for your next round of shooting with this gun.

  • twotalon Says:

    B.B.

    Do you remember the name of the pointed hollow points that you said shot fairly well ? Was it beeman or H&N devastators, destroyers, or something else ?
    I am going to order some more pellets, and need a couple fill ins to get my free tins.

    twotalon

  • Michael Says:

    12 years and a few minutes ago an airplane hit the World Trade Center. Our lives have never been the same.

    My thoughts all day will be with the people who perished that day and their survivors. May the victims rest in peace and their survivors find peace in their grief.

    Michael

    • Gunfun1 Says:

      Still remember what I was doing that day.
      I worked 2nd shift and I just walked out the door to go to work. And it was a bright sun shinny day with no clouds at all to be seen in the blue sky.

      Then my wife stopped me and said come look at this on TV.

      I didn’t go to work that day. I stayed home. My daughters were young then. So wanted to be there at home. Know body knew what was going on that day at first until more news kept rolling in.

      And yes now all those people that lost somebody will be reminded every year on this date.
      A sad day in time.

    • J-F Says:

      Sad day indeed. I still can’t grasp why/how someone could do something like that.

      I was waking up from late night work and I turned on the TV, not a good way to wake up in the morning.
      They went crazy at work, checking everyone and everything that came to the plant, it was a bit ridiculous but I guess it was a normal reaction to what had just happened. It changed all of our lives but not as much as the lives of the poor people who died that day.

      I’ll never forget what went down and how I felt that day.

      J-F

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    TT,

    The ONLY pointed pellet that works well for me, and only in a few guns, is the RWS Superpoint.

    B.B.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      TT,

      I misread you question. Beeman Destroyers must be what you are referring to.

      B.B.

    • Desertdweller Says:

      I find the RWS Superpoints work for me. In fact, any RWS pellet I have tried works well at appropriate range.

      They are very consistent in shape and finish. Also, you will not find pellets with deformed skirts.

      Les

  • Matt61 Says:

    Remind me what the .25 caliber is good for? It would be shooting larger game right? I also think that the heavier pellet would do better than lighter ones at long distances.

    Edith, I am impressed that Jean Auel managed to survive like the cavemen. In a picture of her that I saw long ago, she did not look the part. But I wonder if she did all the other stuff in those books? :-) I’ll say no more…

    Gunfun1, what do I think of Avatar? I was looking partly for the 3D effect, but what I noticed most was the imaginative settings. If there was any 3D effect, I must have internalized it. Otherwise, I never quite took to the blue woman. And when she appeared in her actual size at the end, cradling her human boyfriend as if he were an infant, that kind of blew it for any serious reaction to the film. I also thought the exoskeleton worn by the villainous soldier was kind of neat.

    BG_Farmer, I could sort of understand the appeal Tom Bombadil in Lord of the Rings. He was kind of a quirky guy with his yellow boots, and I liked the latent power that he seemed to have. But Galadriel? My impression of her was of kind of an ice queen. Good but very remote. In that way, I thought the woman who played her seemed appropriate to the part. Perhaps you had some different interpretation. But devotion for any reason would align you with the hobbits who seemed especially taken with her. :-)

    On the subject of the Chinese, there may be a way to understand makes them tick. It’s all the rice that they eat. One historian theorized that rice which is universal in Asia is very nourishing. But it takes a very specific method to grow properly. This led to social discipline and the collectivist orientation associated with the East. And once you come to rely on rice, your population grows so that you are forced into a future of rice eating which locks you in permanently. The collectivism makes sense in this context. If the whole village might starve because someone is messing around, there is every reason to come down hard on them. What does a grain of rice have to do with an airgun? What works for village agriculture may not necessarily be good for 21st century capitalism. Namely, if someone is on your case and your whole life is taken up with complex social obligations, there isn’t a lot of incentive for you to reach out and make a big investment in some stranger. Kind of dumb actually. All of this might be what you call a sweeping generalization except that it might be true. So, keep that in mind the next time you order Chinese takeout….

    Here’s a question. Why are semiauto pistols supposed to be more accurate than revolvers? My only guess would be that the frame is designed to send the recoil straight back rather than upwards which you might get with the curved revolver grip. But what about the disruptive effect of the moving slide? The wisdom growing out of the AR-15 design is that a moving piston will reduce accuracy. How much more so with a moving slide that takes up much more of the total mass of the gun. By that reasoning, the semiauto design should be almost unshootable. And yet, it’s supposed to be more accurate.

    Matt61

    • Victor Says:

      Matt61,

      I’m no gun expert, but I would expect a semi-auto pistol to be more accurate because of tighter tolerances within the action (i.e., head-space). Revolvers are more reliable because of the looser tolerances needed for freedom of motion, much like an AK-47, or a standard Ruger 10/22, neither of which are prone to jams.

      Victor

      • Robert from Arcade Says:

        Actually revolvers are less reliable than a semi-auto in muddy ,gritty combat type situations because of their many gaps between the frame and their delicate internal workings. Drop one in a silty beaver pond one time ,or take a unplanned spill down a muddy ,slushy hillside and this will become abundantly clear. If just talking about .22 cal semi-autos ,the Ruger pistols have one great advantage over some others in that the bolt moves within the receiver and the sights do not ride atop a separate slide, as is the case with some others. You are right that an auto can be accurized easier ,and cheaper.

    • Robert from Arcade Says:

      Mattt, I ‘ve shot many grey squirrels with a .25 cal BSA Supersport springer and the one thing I like is that it usually doesn’t penetrate the target . Of course , the pellets I shoot in it are the H&N FTT which weigh 20.5 grs. and the are only doing around 600fps . My Diana 48 in .22 almost always does, at 23 ft/lbs of energy, with a 14-15 gr.pellet. In a PCP like this .25 Marauder it would be good for larger game like woodchuck and raccoon at ranges under 50 yards. Its ballistics are roughly equal to the 29 gr .22 short I’ve employed in firearms for that purpose for decades.

      • Robert from Arcade Says:

        I’d like to add to what I wrote above, that this Marauder in .25 is a damn sight more accurate than any RF gun I’ve used with .22 shorts . That is if I could buy any .22 shorts here now , and the .25 cal pellets would still be alot cheaper to shoot.

    • Wulfraed Says:

      Classical duty-grade semi-autos were not known for accuracy… Look at any handgun magazine and you’ll find dozens of adverts touting accurization customizations… odd barrel profiles (swelling at the muzzle to meet the bushing), fitted barrel bushings — spring finger bushings, tightened slide/frame fit (peen the rails down, apply valve seat compound, use a rubber mallet to drive the slide back and forth until it just moves freely without slop)…

      There is a whole industry just supplying aftermarket parts for 1911 clones.

      One problem — often a bulls-eye accurized semi-auto loses its reliability to function when any spec of dirt lands on it.

      The revolver is often the more accurate — in single action shooting, where it has a cleaner trigger pull.

  • Victor Says:

    B.B.,

    It was helpful to see the one pulled shot with the JSB Exact Kings, because it showed just how large the pellet hole is in comparison to a group. Also, the Predator Polymag pellets seem to cut nice holes. I’ll have to look them up to learn more about them.

    Victor

  • Feinwerk Says:

    B.B.,
    I hope you will consider shooting comparison groups between single shot tray and magazine on the top one or two pellets – Thanks.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Feinwerk,

      I still don’t have a single-shot tray for this rifle. I’m not going to hold up the 50-yard test until I do get one, but I may do another test after that.

      B.B.

  • Jay Says:

    I’m really excited to see how this plays out. My .25 Marauder was delivered yesterday. My only annoyance so far is that I has P.A. perform the 10 for 10 check and the results leave me with more questions than answers. The 10 shot chrony results were:

    844.10
    836.32
    830.70
    826.61
    821.23
    818.95
    811.59
    806.46
    803.30
    796.27

    so… No bell curve leads me to think that the rifle was never on its power curve, so either not filled to a full 3000 psi for testing, or the factory tuning is really off. There is a spot to list the P.S.I. on the test certificate, but the person who filled it out wrote “n/a”. It ismost definitely “A”, darn it. The pressure guage reade @2100 psi out of the box, so I am guessing it just wasnt topped off fully for testing.

    Looks like I need to take advantage of todays sale amd spring for an Alpha chrony.

    • Jay Says:

      I neglected to mention, the certificate indicated testing was done with JSB 25.4 exacts, so the first shot out of the barrel broke the 40 foot pound mark, which is encouraging.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Jay,

      I have 2100 psi after three magazines (24 shots) from a 3,000 psi fill, so I suspect you are right about the starting pressure.

      B.B.

  • Patrick S Says:

    Mr. BB Pelletier Insofar I’ve tested my .25 Marauder with JSB, Benjamin Domed, H&N Excite, Beeman Kodiak, Kodiak Match, Gamo Rocket, Poly Predator, and Barracuda Hunters. As expected I agree that JSB and Benjamin domed are the most accurate at 35 yards. Least accurate I’ve tried are Excite Pointed and H&N HP unsurprisingly. I appreciate your input as I love all calibers of small pellets .177, .20, .22 and even the .25. as they are all affordable over a a bullet and easy to shoot. I would like to know if you think Crosman could make a quality .20 Marauder? .20 is not popular as standard pellets however it may achieve more shots than .22 and .25 while provided enough power to take squirrels and rabbits while being quiet. I would buy one if Crosman made it and Pyrmyd Air sold it for $450.00 as I will add more PCPs to my air rifle/gun collection in time.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Patrick,

      Could Crosman make a .20 caliber Marauder? Certainly. Could they make one to sell for $20 less than their other Maraiuders? Probably not.

      When it comes to the price it’s probably best to let the maker set it and you vote with your wallet or your feet.

      B.B.

  • Patrick S Says:

    Price I meant from $450-500, I hope they make a .20 I would get it

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