Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Marauder magazine’

Benjamin Marauder .22 repeater with synthetic stock: Part 4

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

Benjamin Marauder PCP .177-caliber air rifle: 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
Part 3
Part 4
Benjamin Marauder .22 repeater with synthetic stock: Part 1
Benjamin Marauder .22 repeater with synthetic stock: Part 2
Benjamin Marauder .22 repeater with synthetic stock: Part 3
Benjamin Marauder .177 caliber 50-yard test: Special part

Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock
New Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock has all the features of the classic Marauder in a lighter, trimmer package.

Well, it’s certainly been a long time between reports on this rifle, hasn’t it? Today, we’ll begin looking at the accuracy of the .22-caliber Benjamin Marauder with the synthetic stock. Some of you have already asked me if I plan to also test the new wood-stocked Marauder that has the same new action as this one. I have no plans to test it because I feel this test encompasses everything on the rifle, except for the stock material.

I was particularly keen on testing this rifle because we had a couple new readers who had purchased this gun and were having accuracy problems with it. I wanted to pay closer attention to accuracy than normal. After all, this is a new action, even if the changes have been relatively minor. Also, this is the first .22-caliber Marauder I’ve tested. Since Crosman makes both the .177- and .22-caliber barrels and buys the .25-caliber barrels from Green Mountain, I feel it’s worthwhile to examine this rifle more closely.

Sight-in
I filled the rifle to 3,000 psi because we learned in Part 3 that it’s on the power curve with a 3,000 psi fill. Then, I fired a single shot from 12 feet to see if I was on paper. Following that, I backed up to 25 yards and refined my sight picture. Only the 14.3-grain Crosman Premiers went everywhere! I got them on target, but sometimes a pellet landed an inch away from the aim point.

What was happening?
This is what a couple readers had described, so I did what I advised them to do. I removed all the baffles (see Part 2 of the Synthetic Stock review for this) to see if the pellets were touching any of them. Since they’re just plastic, it would be obvious if a pellet nicked one; but there was no sign of this on close inspection. So, I assembled the baffles and closed the shroud again.

And the next 10 shots with Premiers were remarkable! They went into a group that measures 0.246 inches between centers. Right away I guessed what might be happening is that the rifle was smoothing out as the air pressure dropped. So, even though the power curve seems to support a 3,000 psi fill, the targets do not show the same thing.

Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock Premier Group 1
Ten Crosman Premiers in 0.246 inches is pretty conclusive! The new synthetic-stocked Marauder can shoot!

You can’t tell everything from just a single group — even a tight one like this. More testing was needed, but now I would be careful about the pressure level at which the groups were shot.

I tried many more pellets, but I’m not going to show all the groups. In all, I fired a total of ten 10-shot groups, making this test more exhaustive than my usual 25-yard accuracy test. I wanted to pin down this pressure-versus-accuracy correlation to see if it was real or imagined.

JSB Exact Jumbo
The 15.89-grain JSB Exact Jumbo pellet gave a very clear example of how the pressure affects the groups. The first group was fired from a fresh 3,000 psi fill and 10 pellets went into 1.131 inches. You can tell at a glance that the pellets are scattered around.

Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock JSB Exact Jumbo Group 1
On a fresh 3,000 psi fill, 10 JSB Exact Jumbos are scattered around in a 1.131-inch group.

The second group of the same JSB pellets was fired after the first group. By this point, the rifle’s internal pressure has dropped to the mid-2,000 psi point (2500 to 2600 psi). This group still isn’t a good one, but you can see that it’s tightening up. It measures 0.872 inches between centers.

Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock JSB Exact Jumbo Group 2
The second 10 JSB Exact Jumbos on the fill tightened up to 0.872 inches. Still not a good group, but better than the first.

On the third group of 10 shots (still on the same fill), the group really tightened up. These 10 went into 0.592 inches. That’s a good group, but maybe I don’t want to use this pellet in this rifle because it seems too fussy.

Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock JSB Exact Jumbo Group 3
The third 10 JSB Exact Jumbos on the fill tightened up to 0.592 inches. This is an acceptable 10-shot group for 25 yards.

No Predators, no Newboys!
I tried both Predator Polymag and Skenco Newboy Seniors, but both were too long to fit in the Marauder’s rotary magazine. If you want to use these pellets, you’ll need to use a single-shot tray; and since Crosman no longer makes them in .22, good luck finding one. Of course, you can load pellets without the tray, but it’s more difficult to align them with the breech.

I wondered how Premiers might do on the third batch of 10 shots after the fill. Ten pellets went into 0.496 inches. Not as tight as the second 10 after the fill, but still very good!

Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock Crosman Premier Group 2
The third batch of 10 Premiers after the fill went into 0.496 inches. This is a good 10-shot group for 25 yards.

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
The 18.1-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets behaved much the same as the regular Jumbos, except the groups were tighter. The first 10 went into 0.653 inches; the second 10 went into 0.657 inches, and the third batch went into 0.591. All 3 groups are pretty close to one another; but in light of the Premiers and the Kodiaks we have yet to see, I don’t think they’re the best in this particular rifle.

Beeman Kodiaks
I was burned out when I got to the Beeman Kodiak pellets — 100+ shots is too much for a single session when every shot requires concentration. I didn’t mention shooting RWS Superdomes yet. I did shoot 1 group with them, and it was a bust at 0.83 inches. When I got to the Kodiaks, I wasn’t concentrating as well as I would have liked. And I shot this single group on a fresh 3,000 psi fill. I felt I could get away with that because of the weight of the 21-grain Kodiak pellet.

And I was right. Even though I was fading, 10 pellets still went into a tight round hole that measurtes 0.378 inches between centers! It’s the second-best group of the test and earns the Kodiak a spot in the 50-yard test, for sure!

Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock Beeman Kodiak Jumbo Group 1
Ten Beeman Kodiaks made this very round 0.378-inch group at 25 yards. What a nice finish to today’s shooting!

What I’ve learned
The first thing I learned from today’s test is that this particular rifle doesn’t seem to shoot as well on a fresh fill as it does on the second and third magazine of pellets. So, if you stop filling at 2,600 psi, you’ll get 20 good shots from the rifle and not waste any air. I also learned that Crosman Premiers are the miracle pellet in this rifle, just like they’ve always been.

That last group of Beeman Kodiaks has me thinking that Premiers and Kodiaks will battle it out at 50 yards for the overall accuracy championship. I know Premiers are aerodynamically excellent, but the Kodiaks look like a real challenger in this air rifle.

I need to comment on the noise, or lack of noise. This .22 caliber Marauder is extremely quiet. It’s more like a .177 than it is like a .25 in that respect.

I expected to have problems with accuracy when I encountered those wild shots during sight-in. But by hanging in there and shooting both the second 10 and the third 10, I learned that this rifle likes to push its pellet slower than most. I would have to live with the gun for a long time to learn all of its secrets, but the test rifle is a very accurate PCP that’s worthy of the Benjamin Marauder reputation.

I like the synthetic-stocked rifle, but in my opinion it is no better than the older model in the wood stock. I never minded the thickness of the old wood stock, so I’m just going on the performance of the gun at this point.

Benjamin Marauder .22 repeater with synthetic stock: 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
Part 3
Part 4
Benjamin Marauder .22 repeater with synthetic stock Part 1
Benjamin Marauder .22 repeater with synthetic stock Part 2

Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock

New Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock has all the features of the classic Marauder in a lighter, trimmer package.

Today, we’re looking at the .22 Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock and establishing how it’s shooting over the chronograph. I said last time that I would test it at 2,500 psi; and if I got reasonable accuracy and shot count, I would go with that. But if any changes needed to be made, today is when they would be made.

I had no idea of what lay ahead of me! I began by loading 10 Crosman Premier pellets, which would be the standard pellet for the rifle. I knew going into this test that I wanted to shoot .22 Premiers at around 820-860 f.p.s. At 840, they produce 22.41 foot-pounds, which is a reasonable number for a middleweight .22 pellet in the Marauder.

Here are the first 20 shots, after which I will discuss my thoughts.

Shot–Vel.
1        899
2        903
3        900
4        899
5        895
6        893
7        885
8        887
9        885
10     886
11      879
12      875
13      867
14      866
15      859
16      858
17      851
18      851
19      842
20      839

My thoughts
Okay, a couple things jump out right away. At 900 f.p.s., this rifle is shooting way too fast for its power potential. And notice that after the first few shots, the velocity decreases steadily. That’s more like a Korean rifle that’s been set up for screaming power and no shot count! I’m proven correct when the velocity declines starting with the fifth shot. By shot 20, the rifle has lost about 60 f.p.s.

The rifle jammed twice during this run of shots. They were the first and second jams I’ve experienced with a Marauder in all the years I’ve been shooting them. I’ll keep an eye on this.

The rifle was shooting too fast to be of any practical use to me. So I took the action out of the stock and adjusted the power screw. Read Part 4 of this report or the owner’s manual to learn how this is done. The power screw was out 2.5 turns, so I adjusted it in a half turn, to 2 full turns. Then, I shot the next 20 shots.

Shot–Vel.
1       814
2       819
3       817
4       817
5       816
6       814
7       819
8       818
9       818
10     816
11     819
12     819
13     817
14     812
15     814
16     812
17     813
18     813
19     812
20    809

My thoughts
Now, the rifle is shooting a little slower than I’d like, but it’s very close. Note that there are a full 20 shots in this string. The maximum variation is only 10 f.p.s. I thought I could live with that, so I reinstalled the locking screw and turned it in. And that’s where a problem happened. When the locking screw touched the power adjustment screw, it also turned it in — all the way to the bottom. I removed the locking screw to confirm this.

So, I backed out the locking screw and then backed out the power screw 2 turns. The next 3 shots were faster than the previous string of shots.

Shot–Vel.
1 832
2 827
3 826

Also, there was a jam during the firing of this string. Time to stop and assess where things are.

My thoughts
The rifle was not performing like a Marauder. It jammed and wasn’t adjusting the way I expected it to. Could there be even more things that I needed to check? What would happen if I filled the rifle to 3,000 psi, instead of the 2,500 psi recommended in the manual?

3,000 psi fill
With the adjustment screw left exactly where it was, I installed the locking screw but didn’t tighten it once it connected with the adjustment screw. Now, I was ready to test the rifle on a 3,000 psi fill.

Shot–Vel.
1       861
2       863
3       863
4       865
5       862
6       863
7       861
8       858
9       859
10     859
11     863
12     857
13     863
14     859
15     860
16     861
17     861
18     860
19     858
20     856
21     858
22     852*
23     826
24     847
25     842

*Last useful shot

Okay, this rifle was not set up for 2,500 psi at all! It was set up for 3,000 psi. And the way it now shoots is exactly what I want. There are 2 full magazines per 3,000 psi fill, and they will average around 860 f.p.s. I’m going to forget about the 2,500 psi fill because the rifle is giving me what I want at 3,000.

There was another jam when I ran this string, making 4 jams in all during this test. Clearly, this magazine may have to be adjusted or replaced.

Trigger
I like the way the trigger is adjusted. I can feel some movement in stage two, but it’s light and repeatable.

Discharge sound
This .22-caliber Marauder is more like a .177 than a .25. It’s very quiet. Maybe that’s the new silencer design at work. I don’t know. Whatever it is, I like it.

Summary
This test was a surprise to me. I was so certain that this Marauder would be just like the others I’ve tested; but as you can see, it isn’t. That leads me to wonder if there are other surprises in store for me down the road.

The jamming magazine is the first encounter I’ve had with a bad Marauder magazine. That’s actually good because it forces me to go through the same steps that a new buyer might have to go through for a similar problem.

I probably cut through some of the tuning problems quicker than a first-time buyer would because I’ve tested so many other new airguns. When the results you’re getting aren’t what you expect, It’s time to do some experimenting. I’m referring to my filling the gun to 3,000 psi after the second shot string.

What’s next?
I’ll try to fix the magazine, which seems to need more spring tension. I’m also going to order a spare, just in case. Next time, I’ll begin testing the accuracy at 25 yards. Testing with other types of pellets will occur at a later date, but we’ve waited long enough to see how this new Marauder shoots…so that’s next.

Benjamin Marauder .22 repeater with synthetic stock: 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 .25 caliber Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Benjamin Marauder .22 repeater with synthetic stock Part 1

Benjamin Marauder synthetic stock

New Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock has all the features of the classic Marauder in a lighter, trimmer package.

Today is our second look at the .22-caliber Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock. We have a new log reader who goes by the handle AirrifleRatHunter, and he just bought a synthetic Marauder and it’s his first PCP, so I want to help him with his rifle.

Baffled?
ARH said his rifle wasn’t as accurate as he thought it should be. We found that he was using substandard pellets and corrected that, but I also mentioned to him that the baffles inside the shroud could be involved. He asked me what baffles are, so I’m now showing them to everyone. The test Marauder has 7 Delrin washers (the baffles) that are shaped to strip away the compressed air behind the pellet once it leaves the rifle’s muzzle, which is buried deep within the shroud. I’ve laid out these parts for you to see how they work. If the pellet were to touch one of these baffles as it passes through, it would destroy accuracy.

Benjamin Marauder synthetic stock baffles
Here you see all the baffles that are held inside the shroud under spring tension, so they don’t rattle around.

Benjamin Marauder synthetic stock baffle detail
Looking at a single baffle shows that the compressed air that’s behind the pellet gets stripped to the sides by the shape of the baffle (on the left) as the pellet passes through its center. This happens 7 times in succession before the pellet leaves the gun. The end cap that pushes the baffles against the coiled spring at the back has an o-ring to keep the air from escaping around its threads.

One other accuracy tip is to ensure that the shroud is not touching the forward barrel band on any side. Mine was touching on one side when I got the rifle, so I loosened the 2 set screws on the bottom of the band and repositioned it.

Benjamin Marauder synthetic stock front barrel band
I have repositioned the front barrel band so it clears the barrel shroud around its entire circumference.

Today is setup day, where I will adjust the rifle to suit myself. The first thing I did was select a scope and mounts. Marauders have a low receiver, which means you need to select a higher scope mount if the objective bell of your scope is a large one. I chose a Leapers UTG 4-16X50 scope with illuminated reticle, but mine is an older model than the one I linked to. Nevertheless, it’s a big scope with a large objective bell that needs height to clear the barrel shroud.

Benjamin Marauder synthetic stock with scope mounted
See how close the objective lens comes to the barrel shroud — despite my using high mounts? Also note that the magazine needs clearance, so the scope mount must be 2-piece.

You have to either use a 2-piece mount or a cantilever 1-piece mount that will clear the magazine sticking up above the receiver, so keep that in mind when looking at mounts. I chose BKL one-inch mounts with double straps that are high enough for the gun and scope combination. The double straps mean that you don’t need to worry about the torque sequence when you tighten the screws in the scope caps because each strap is independent.

Benjamin Marauder synthetic stock scope cap detail
These clever BKL scope caps relieve you of the need to follow a torque procedure when tightening the cap screws.

Adjust the cheekpiece
Usually, I have to just adapt to whatever gun I’m testing because most of them don’t have any ergonomic features. But the new Marauder synthetic stock does have an adjustable cheekpiece. I was able to raise it up so my eye in in line with the scope’s exit pupil when I shoulder the rifle normally. What a convenience that is!

The new trigger
The Marauder’s trigger has been moved back in the receiver by about one-half inch, which brings the blade closer to the pistol grip. The result is a nicer feeling when you hold the rifle because your hand doesn’t have to stretch to reach the trigger. I never noticed it until I shouldered the new rifle the first time, but it certainly feels much better now.

Moving the trigger back meant that several internal trigger parts had to be redesigned. In essence, this trigger is the same one that’s always been on the Marauder, but there are small differences inside. So, the next thing I did was adjust the trigger.

To properly adjust the trigger, you remove the action from the stock. It’s only necessary to remove one stock screw for this, and the action comes right out.

As the rifle came from the box it had a heavy first stage pull of 2 lbs., 6 oz. This can be reduced by adjusting a screw counterclockwise to take tension off the trigger return spring. When I backed the screw out entirely so no spring tension remained, the first-stage pull dropped to just under 11 oz., so there’s another spring inside the trigger group that also helps return the trigger blade.

Benjamin Marauder synthetic stock trigger adjustment screws
The large round screw at the left adjusts the trigger-pull weight. Behind the trigger blade the two small screws adjust the first- and second-stage pull length. And the screw behind those 2 allows for slight repositioning of the trigger blade.

I put the adjustment screw back in the hole and tightened it just enough to keep it from falling out. That raised the first-stage pull to just over 14 oz., which is fine for a sporting rifle; but I must note that it’s heavier than the triggers in the other 2 Marauders I’ve tested. They both break at 11 oz., and this one has a first-stage pull greater than that.

Next, I adjusted the first-stage pull a little shorter, and the second-stage pull to start sooner. Those were 2 separate adjustments; but each affects the other, so the manual tells you to do them together. The owner’s manual also warns you that these screws adjust the amount of sear contact, so go slow and be careful to not get the trigger to the point that it won’t hold the sear or will only hold it dangerously close to firing. After making these adjustments, I assembled the action in the stock once more and cocked the rifle. Then, I bumped it hard from several directions, and the sear did not slip off and fire.

Before the adjustment, the rifle fired at 3 lbs., 4 oz. That’s pretty good for an air rifle trigger, given the lawyerly influences in companies these days; but a Marauder is not an average air rifle. After adjustment, it fired at 1 lb., 7 oz. but still had a bit of creep in stage 2, so I adjusted the stage-2 screw one last time. This time, I didn’t take the action out of the stock. The small Allen wrench used on these 2 screws (a .050-inch wrench is used for both stage-1 and stage-2 screws) is small enough to reach through the triggerguard and fit into the socket of the screw.

The final adjustment took another half-ounce off the pull and eliminated most of the creep. I wouldn’t call this trigger glass-crisp…but the way it’s adjusted now, it’s quite good!

Now the rifle is set up for me. Next, I’ll shoot it for velocity and decide whether to leave the fill limit at the factory-set 2,500 psi or increase it for more shots. And I may adjust the velocity, depending on what I find.

Benjamin Marauder .22 repeater with synthetic stock: Part 1

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
Part 3
Part 4

Benjamin Marauder synthetic stock
New Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock has all the features of the classic Marauder in a lighter, trimmer package.

Sometimes, I get a rifle that I’ve waited a long time to test, and today begins a report on one of them. The Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock has been on my mind since I first saw it at the SHOT Show back in January. In the intervening 11 months, I had forgotten a few things that struck me about this rifle when I first saw it. The first was how light and trim it feels. Compared to a wood-stocked Marauder this rifle is a pound lighter, at just over 7 lbs. But with the lightness comes a much slimmer stock profile, so it fits the hands better, too. It’s the kind of air rifle that makes me smile just to pick it up! The rifle I am testing is serial number 013121147.

You’ve noticed there are a lot of links at the beginning of this report. I’ve linked to all the other reports made on the Benjamin Marauder in this recent series. I did those other reports on the .177- and .25-caliber Marauders specifically so I could look at this new rifle in .22 caliber. Not only are we going to look at what’s new with the Marauder, we’re also going to have a complete set of reviews for all calibers in one place.

What’s new?
Those who’ve been following the Marauder reports are no doubt familiar with the general characteristics and features of the Marauder. Most of these have not changed. The rifle is a 10-shot bolt-action repeater (8 shots in .25 caliber). There used to be an optional single-shot tray for all 3 calibers, so you could remove the magazine and load each pellet separately, but Crosman has dropped that option for the .22 and .25 calibers. They retain it for the .177 caliber because that’s the only one suitable for field target and field target shooters like to load each shot separately.

The rifle is adjustable for both power and for the maximum fill pressure (from 2,000 psi to 3,000 psi) and a hang tag that comes attached to the trigger guard tells you the factory has set the fill pressure of your rifle to 2,500 psi. The owner’s manual tells you how to adjust both the fill pressure level and the rifle’s power, plus I did a very detailed report on both things a while back. Part 4 of the .177 report deals with adjusting the rifle’s power and Part 7 of the .177 report deals with adjusting the maximum fill pressure of the rifle. The new rifle I’m looking at operates in exactly the same way, and nothing has changed as far as those adjustments are concerned.

Another noteworthy feature the Marauder has is the adjustable trigger. It’s a dream trigger that can be adjusted very finely to almost whatever a shooter wants. The new Marauder also offers an adjustable trigger, but it’s slightly changed from the older one. I’ve examined the isometric illustration of the new trigger in the manual and can see very little difference in the internal parts, so I doubt the feel and function has changed that much; but I do plan on doing a trigger adjustment on the test rifle, so we’ll all know. Until that report, then, let’s assume the trigger is just as good as it’s always been, which — on the Marauder — is very good, indeed!

Benjamin Marauder synthetic stock trigger
The trigger on the new rifle is very similar to the old trigger, but some internal parts have changed. The biggest noticeable change, though, is the squared-off triggerguard.

The trigger blade has moved backward in the stock, so your fingers reach it more readily. I think that gives the stock a more welcoming feel when you shoulder the rifle, though it doesn’t pop out at you. That movement was the reason some of the internal trigger parts had to be modified.

The safety is manual — just like the safety on the old Marauder. Pull it back to put it on — push forward to take it off. It’s light and smooth and can be operated by the trigger finger, alone.

One thing that’s obviously changed is the stock. The rifle I’m testing has a black synthetic stock with an adjustable cheekpiece. The sculpting of this stock is perfect for the shooter, in my opinion. The pistol grip fits my hand very well without being too fat; and the forearm just in front of the triggerguard is very thin, making a perfect place for the off hand to rest. The forearm then swells out a little further forward; so, if you hold your rifle like a deer hunter, there’s more meat to grab on to. But even that part is sculpted to fit the fingers and thumb of your hand, making a rifle stock that grips you as much as you grip it.

I intend adjusting that cheekpiece to suit whatever scope I mount on the rifle. How enjoyable to have a rifle that doesn’t need any adaptation or compromise when held — one that just fits me the moment I pick it up. I think Part 2 of this report will be devoted to setting up the rifle — the stock, the scope and the trigger adjustment.

Benjamin Marauder synthetic stock adjustable cheekpiece
The cheekpiece adjusts up and down, and can be set to match whatever scope you mount on the rifle.

The bolt is now ambidextrous! Lefties can now have the bolt handle on their side of the action. Making this switch requires some disassembly of the action, and Crosman recommends sending the rifle to an approved service station like Pyramyd Air for the switch. So, if this is something you want, think about it when you order the rifle and get the work done before the gun is shipped.

Crosman touts some changes to the rifle’s valve that offer a 12 percent increase in available power and a 30 percent increase in the shot count. I guess I’m going to have to make those adjustments to find out how effective they are. I doubt that we’ll see both a power increase and a shot count increase at the same time, though. That’s just the way compressed air works.

Crosman also says there’s a factory installed de-pinger that quiets the striker fall. You don’t notice that noise on most guns, but the Marauder is so quiet that secondary noises start to be heard. My ears are pretty well worn, but I’ll see if I can detect anything for you.

.22 caliber
The test rifle is .22 caliber. Of all the Marauders I’ve shot, I’ve never tested a .22, so this will be a big thrill for me. I always thought that .22 was an ideal caliber for this rifle, given the power potential. I intend on testing it at 25 and 50 yards, just like I did the other 2 calibers. The choked barrel is 20 inches long and encased in a baffled shroud that quiets the gun’s report to almost noting. I did note that the .25-caliber Marauder was just slightly louder than the .177, so I’ll report on this one when the shooting starts.

Next time
That’s it for our first look. Next time, I’ll adjust the rifle to fit me, adjust the trigger and mount a scope. After that, I’ll check the velocity and then we’ll get to the accuracy testing, which I’m really looking forward to. Stay tuned!

Fixing a Marauder magazine

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

Part 1
Part 2
Secrets of loading the Benjamin Marauder magazine
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Benjamin Marauder
Benjamin Marauder

Today’s report is a guest blog from reader Fred from the Democratik People’s Republik of New Jersey. It came from his ingenuity in dealing with a need that arose in the field. I’ve linked it to the recent .177 Marauder reports because it seems to fit.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.

Over to you, Fred.

Fixing a Marauder magazine
by Fred DPRONJ

A number of factors led to this blog — the first being a scheduled benchrest .22 rifle competition my league was going to hold following our 25-yard bullseye competition. The second was, I believe, blog reader John. Or was it Mike? No matter. But whoever made the comment mentioned later in my report…thank you!

I had gone to the range several days ahead of the benchrest competition to sight in my .22 cal. Benjamin Marauder. For fun, I decided to take on the rimfire boys with my air rifle. It took roughly 6 pellets to get the scope sighted where I wanted. However, I could not see where pellet 7 landed. Two more shots and I was incredulous. The rifle had gone from hitting the 10 ring to missing the entire target paper and backer. At this point, I looked at the magazine and discovered it was not rotating to feed the next pellet. It was stuck after firing pellet 6. I assumed the internal spring had broken, so I packed up and went home discouraged. I didn’t have another .22-caliber Marauder magazine, so I might have to use my Ruger 10/22 for the competition.

However, I recalled John (?) mentioning in the blog comments that these magazines could come apart. At home, I carefully examined the magazine under magnifying glasses and saw that what I had believed to be a rivet in the center of the magazine was actually an Allen screw.

Benjamin Marauder magazine screw
The Allen screw in the center holds the magazine together. I thought it was just a rivet that couldn’t be removed

A 1.5mm Allen wrench fit; after initial resistance, the screw was removed.

Benjamin Marauder removing magazine screw
The first several turns met with resistance, then the screw turned freely. The resistance is by design, much like a lock nut, to prevent the screw from backing out.

The magazine is really an elegant engineering solution for the task of feeding pellets with a bolt action. It consists of 5 parts — an outer case, a coiled spring, the circular pellet holder, the clear plastic cover and the the screw that holds everything together. When I disassembled it, nothing appeared broken.

Benjamin Marauder magazine disassembled
The five components of the Marauder magazine. Note the end of the spring that sticks out.

If you look very carefully at the coiled spring, you will note that the ends are different. While both ends are bent at 90 degrees, one is bent away from the coils while the other end is bent down to stick into a hole in the bottom of the magazine case.

Benjamin Marauder magazine spring end visible
One end of the spring is bent out at a 90-degree angle, while the other end (not visible here) is straight in line with the coils. This is the end that sticks into one of the holes in the bottom of the magazine case.

The end that you see in the above picture goes into one of three holes in the magazine case. Each hole gives a different amount of pre-load to the spring.

Benjamin Marauder magazine back
Those three holes at 9 o’clock, 1 o’clock and 5 o’clock (as arranged in this photo) give you a choice where to anchor the spring for increased pre-load. They go all the way through the magazine case.

I decided to insert the spring into the hole nearest the bottom of the case, next to the cutout that slides over the breech when the magazine is installed. In the above photo, that hole appears at the 9 o’clock position, and you can see the cutout that goes around the breech very clearly.

Benjamin Marauder magazine spring
Here’s the magazine spring. Now you can see both ends. The end on the left goes into one of those holes in the bottom of the magazine case, and the end that sticks out on the right fits into the slot on the underside of the pellet holder.

The straight end of the spring that sticks out, away from the spring coils, goes into the slot in the underside of the pellet holder. It’s just a matter of approximating position of the holder’s slot to the spring and moving it back and forth until the spring end clicks in. You easily feel when it pops into the slot.

Benjamin Marauder magazine pellet holder underside
The end of the magazine spring that sticks out, away from the coils, fits into the slot on the underside of the pellet holder.

The pellet holder has a circular groove in it, and the brass pin of the cover moves in it. The groove is almost a complete circle, but the part that isn’t grooved allows the cover to rotate the pellet holder against the coiled spring when the magazine is loaded.

Benjamin Marauder magazine pellet holder in place
The magazine case with the spring and the pellet holder in place. Notice the circular groove in the pellet holder, next to the numbers. This is where the brass pin of the cover fits, allowing the pellet holder to move as the pellets are pushed out of the magazine by the bolt.

With the pellet holder in position, I pressed it down and slid the clear plastic cover over it and then aligned the cover with the magazine case and inserted the Allen screw. [B.B.'s note: The brass pin in the bottom of the clear plastic cover has to be inside the circular groove of the pellet holder, and the pellet holder stop (the portion of the pellet holder that protrudes) must be to the right of the shelf inside the magazine's outer case.]

Benjamin Marauder magazine cover pin
The small brass pin on the underside of the cover engages the circular groove in the pellet holder to turn it for loading. A .177-caliber magazine was used for this photo.

Benjamin Marauder magazine assembly
I slide the clear plastic cover over the pellet wheel to keep it in constant contact with the coil spring so the end of the spring would not come out from the notch on the underside of the pellet holder.

The secret of my feeding problem was now revealed. The screw that holds the cover should be tightened only enough to remove any excess slop between the clear plastic cover and the magazine case. Too much tightening and the cover binds the pellet holder, preventing it from turning. The screw has an interference fit so it won’t back out when you rotate the clear plastic cover to load. Lifting and rotating the cover 90 degrees and releasing, the cover now snapped back with authority — indicating the assembly screw was tight enough and the magazine spring was doing its job. I was now set for my benchrest competition.

If this procedure seems confusing, believe me — it clears up when you have the 5 parts of the magazine in your hand. I have given you all of the references you will need to assemble your own magazines, should you attempt this yourself.

[B.B.'s note: I disassembled and assembled my Marauder magazine several times following these instructions. They do work.]

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