by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Once, again, I want to remind everyone that I’m away filming The American Airgunner, so I won’t be answering very many comments. Also, my blogs will be shorter and different because I don’t have access to the equipment I need. My wife, Edith, will be monitoring the comments.

Crosman has been following the blog, and they’re just as caught up in the new Benjamin Marauder as everyone else. I suppose that’s normal, since they’re in the final stages of production for the first guns. But they contacted me and offered to send the parts to upgrade my rifle to the production specification. How could I refuse?

Crosman has been spending a great deal of time on the shape and size of the valve. CNC production makes it possible to obtain shapes and finishes only dreamed of in recent years, and they’re taking advantage of that to refine the gun’s performance.

The parts to modify the gun arrived yesterday, but I’m crashing with last-minute projects like this blog, so I haven’t looked at them yet. However, I’ll share the test data that Russ, a Crosman engineer, developed for me.

Indoor use – 2,000 psi fill
You don’t need a cannon indoors, so Russ set the rifle up for a 2,000 psi fill and velocities in the low 600s with 7.9-grain pellets. Once the setup was perfected, he got 50 shots on a 2,000 psi fill. The average velocity was 631 f.p.s. Top velocity was 644, low was 612. The spread is 32 f.p.s., which is nothing for 10 yards or so. And because this is only a 2,000 psi fill, hand-pumping will be easy.

Want more power? Russ tweaked the valve and got 30 shots with the same 7.9-grain pellet, only this time the average velocity was 862 f.p.s. That’s good enough for light hunting or field target. The low was 828 and high was 887, so the spread this time was 49 f.p.s. That’s a little high, so you would have to keep the range under 35 yards, or so. Target testing would confirm that.

Want more? Still running just 2,000 psi, Russ tweaked the valve again and got 20 shots averaging 928 f.p.s. The low was 898 and the high was 960, so the spread was 62 f.p.s. That’s high, but it clearly shows the flexibility of this new adjustable valve.

2,500 psi fill
Bumping the fill to 2,500 psi, Russ ran three more tests for us. The low was a 7.9-grain pellet averaging 884 f.p.s. He got 40 shots in this string that went from a low of 863 to a high of 900. This might be another hunting solution for the gun.

Next, he adjusted the valve to get 30 shots that averaged 921 f.p.s. This one, also with 7.9-grain pellets had a low of 901 and a high of 932, so the spread of 31 f.p.s. is tighter. A great hunting setup and Russ even used the hunting pellet when he tested it!

Finally, he bumped up the velocity to an average of 1,066 f.p.s. The low was 1,038 and high was 1,083, so the spread was 45 f.p.s. There were 20 shots in this string, and I want you to note how close he came to 1,100 f.p.s. with a 7.9-grain lead pellet. Obviously, with trick pellets, this TUNE is going to exceed the advertised 1,100 f.p.s.–to say nothing of the GUN!

3,000 psi fill
Okay, on 3,000 psi, Russ was able to shoot 20 10.5-grain Premiers at an average of 1,025 f.p.s. The low was 1,007, the high was 1039, so the spread was 32 f.p.s. That’s real performance from a gun that can be tuned the way this one can!

With another adjustment, he shot 40 7.9-grain Premiers at an average 906 f.p.s. with a low of 885 and a high of 918. That’s a 33 f.p.s. spread with a fast-moving light pellet. And 40 shots!

After still more tweaking, he got 40 shots with 10.5-grain Premiers at an average 919 f.p.s. velocity. The low (876) to high (937) spread was 61 f.p.s., which might be more than you want, but again, this was 40 shots with heavies!

Just to prove the gun could do it, Russ retuned the gun and shot a string with 7.9-grain Premiers that AVERAGED 1,098 f.p.s. The low was 1,069 and the high was 1,117 f.p.s. The spread for the 20 shots in this string was 48 f.p.s.

Wow! That’s all I can say. You have to realize–all these strings came from THE SAME RIFLE! That’s what I’ve been trying to explain, but Russ provided the test data to prove it. You can shoot in the basement at 630 f.p.s. with lights and with a tweak of the powerplant take the same gun to the woods and shoot heavies over 1,000 f.p.s.

It will be a few weeks before I have the time to swap these parts into my rifle and test it for you, but I plan on doing just that! The rifle goes on sale from Crosman on April 22 and at the end of May from Pyramyd Air.

If you have wanted to get into PCPs, and you have the money, I think the Benjamin Marauder is a great way to go!

My thanks to Crosman Corporation and more specifically to Russ for all the work he did (much more than I have shared with you today) to get these data to us.