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Ammo Benjamin Marauder .25 caliber: Part 4

Benjamin Marauder .25 caliber: Part 4

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

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

Benjamin Marauder
Benjamin Marauder

Wow! More than one month has passed since the last part of this report. I’ve been to the Roanoke airgun show and also out to the rifle range at least 3 times trying to get the data for today’s report, but what a quest it has been! It all boiled down to false confidence in my ability to get the job done. I’m used to certain rifles cooperating with me every step of the way, and this time I got called by the fates who expose pride for what it is.

I’m not going to bore you with all the details, but I will point out the most recent example of my stupidity because it’s a lesson for us all. When I went to the range last week, I thought I was ready to complete my 50-yard test of the .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder. I’d swapped the scope mounts from a previous test because they were too high. The new mounts were lower, and I didn’t have to hold my head as high on the comb. I knew this would help with the accuracy. But then I went to the Roanoke airgun show, and forgot that I’d made this change.

What’s most important about the change, though, are that the new mounts were vintage B-Square adjustable mounts. And the rear ring was jacked up higher than the front. I always liked that setup because it gets the drooper problem taken care of on the first shot — even if there isn’t one! But not if you forget that you did it!

And that’s why this report didn’t happen last week. I had the Marauder at the range with the TX200 Mark III, on which I reported last weekWhen I shot the Marauder, there wasn’t a pellet hole on the paper. And I’m not just talking about the target paper, either. I mean the 2-foot x 4-foot backer paper that I use whenever I have a rifle that’s not known to be sighted-in.

Naturally, I was disappointed. This was a Marauder after all, and I expected it to go right to the point of aim. After shooting just two 8-round magazines, I took the rifle off the line and put it away. I needed to look into the situation deeper and figure out what was wrong.

What was wrong, was that I had forgotten about the new scope mounts. When I looked at the scope back in my office, I immediately saw that the rear was higher than the front. Then I vaguely remembered something about changing the mounts before going to the Roanoke airgun show, so I reread the last report and discovered what had happened. The gun had not been sighted-in with the new mounts. It was obvious that the scope was set up for a rifle with severe barrel droop, and this rifle doesn’t have that.

I even went back to the rifle range last Friday and looked at the backer board where my target and backer paper had been stapled. Sure enough, above where the top of the paper had been there was a hole in the backer board. It had the appearance of a nice rifle group. And some of the holes in the group appeared to be .25 caliber.

Benjamin Marauder group in wood
This group in the backer board is just above where my target paper was stapled. I believe it’s the impact point of the 25-caliber Marauder from last week’s test!

Suspecting what happened, I started shooting at an aim point much lower than my anticipated target. Sure enough, my pellet was hitting the paper about 16 inches high and 6 inches to the left. That’s a problem I can deal with! All I had to do was adjust the scope down and to the right, and I was on target. It took me less than 10 minutes to get my groups landing where I wanted at 50 yards. Now, it was time to test the rifle.

The first group was shot with H&N Baracuda pellets. In the past, these were the most accurate .25-caliber pellets on the market, but they have since been replaced by several others, including one huge surprise that emerged in this test! The group measured 1.021 inches between centers. It’s a good group for any rifle at 50 yards, but I did think the Marauder might be capable of better.

Benjamin Marauder H&N Baracuda group
Eight H&N Baracuda pellets went into a 1.021-inch group at 50 yards.

I should mention that I was firing two magazines of eight shots each in this test. So the groups that you see have 8 pellets and not 10 in them. I recharged the rifle with air after every 16 shots because the reservoir pressure had dropped to around 2,100 psi by that point. That was as low as I felt it could go and still be accurate.

JSB Exact King
The next pellet I tried was the JSB Exact King, a .25-caliber pellet that’s shown a lot of promise in recent testing. The first group I shot measured 1.447 inches between centers. That’s not very good for a PCP rifle at 50 yards. Interestingly, however, 7 of those 8 shots went onto 0.719 inches, and that is good. I hoped that the one flyer was an anomaly, and that a retest of the same pellet would do better.

Eight JSB Exact Kings went into 1.447 inches. That’s not very good, but 7 of the pellets went into 0.719 inches, which is promising.

The second group of JSP Exact Kings when into 1.094 inches. That’s a lot better, but it still wasn’t what I’d hoped for, so I left the Kings to try other pellets.

JSB Exact King group 2
Eight JSB Exact Kings went into 1.094 inches. It’s better than the first group, but still not thrilling. At this point, the .25 Marauder looks like a 1-inch rifle at 50 yards.

Benjamin domes
Another stunning pellet in .25 caliber is the Benjamin dome. It has no model name, but you could think of it as a Premier pellet because it looks similar to the other pellets in the Premier line. The first group of 8 pellets measured 1.226 inches between centers, which was again larger than I was looking for.

Benjamin Marauder Benjamin dome group 1
Eight Benjamin domes went into 1.226 inches at 50 yards. It’s larger than I would like.

The second group of Benjamin domes measures 1.06 inches. While that’s better, I still thought the rifle could do more.

Benjamin Marauder Benjamin dome group 2
The second group of Benjamin domes was better, with 8 in 1.06 inches. It’s good, but somehow not good enough.

Predator Polymag
The last pellet I tried was the .25 caliber Predator Polymag. It showed well in the 25-yard test and earned its place in this test. There really aren’t a lot of options when it comes to accurate .25-caliber pellets, and I think we’ve included all of them in this test. Yes, there are other brands out there, but do they perform? In my experience, they don’t.

The Predator is a hollowpoint pellet that has a red plastic tip in the center of the nose. Normally, hollowpoints fall off in accuracy at around 25 yards, but this pellet doesn’t. That tip seems to do its job.

Predator Polymag
The Predator Polymag pellet is a hollowpoint with a plastic tip in the center, and it really works at long range!

The first group of Predators measures 1.121 inches between centers. Once again, that’s okay for 50 yards, but it’s nothing to scream about. But the second group measures 0.808 inches between centers. That’s what I was looking for! While the Marauder can’t be expected to shoot that well every time, this group proves that it has the potential. And it does it with a pellet that is acknowledged to be a great hunting pellet!

Benjamin Marauder Predator Polymag group 1
The first 8 Predator Polymags went into 1.121 inches at 50 yards. That’s not bad, but not what I was hoping for.

Benjamin Marauder Predator Polymag group 2
Now, that’s a group! The second group of 8 Predators measures 0.808 inches. This is the accuracy I was looking for from the Marauder.

No .25-caliber airgun has ever been as accurate as the best .22 or .177 guns. What we see from this test is a range of results that represents what the .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder can do at 50 yards. I think these groups show what this gun can do very well. Sure, if you shoot more there will be some smaller groups. But there will also be many more groups that are larger than those shown here. I think we can safely say the Marauder in .25 caliber is capable of putting 8 shots into one inch at 50 yards when you do your part.

The .25-caliber rifle uses a lot of air! I was getting just 16 good shots in this test on a 3,000 psi fill. Compare that to the 32 good shots I got in the test of the .177-caliber rifle filled to the same pressure.

From a handling standpoint, there isn’t a nickel’s worth of difference between the .177- and .25-caliber rifles. The trigger can be adjusted to operate virtually the same, and the stocks feel the same. The one small difference is the .25-caliber gun does move back slightly with each shot. I didn’t feel that with the .177, but I definitely felt it in this test.

If you want a .25-caliber hunting air rifle, I think the Marauder is a good candidate for your short list. It’s powerful, accurate, quiet and reliable. How much more can you ask?

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

63 thoughts on “Benjamin Marauder .25 caliber: Part 4”

  1. BB
    I have every one of the pellets you tested setting in front of me except the Preditors. So far my favorite is the Barracudas. Not so much as accuracy (yes accuracy is important) but penetration.

    I have in my mind that the Preditors are a pointed pellet. Which tends not to be that good for accuracy.

    But maybe I shouldn’t look at them that way now that I see your test.

    And I would like to see what they do to a 2×4. I bet that they wont go through and they make a nice size hole when they do finally stop. That would be good for different type of game or pest control to eliminate over penetration.

    I need to go search the predators so I can see what grain they are. Maybe they will change my mind for the hunting pellet I try next.
    But I just like how hard the lead is on the Barracudas. They poke through almost every thing I shoot at with my 25 Mrod. (which is ok depending on what your shooting at) The Benjamin domes in .25 cal. pretty well resemble the Barracudas. But not as hard of lead. And whats funny is the JSB’s resemble the .22 cal. Crosman premiers. Kind of a shorter pellet.

    I bet the Preditors and Benjamin domes will compare to the Barracudas when you finally do the 100 yard test because of the longer length pellet.

    You are going to do a 100 yard test ain’t you? And now that you got your scope zeroed at 50 yards your going to use hold over if you do the 100 yard test and not re-sight for 100 yards. Right?

    • Sorry BB. But I have to add this.
      When you take your picture of the target can you put a couple pellets setting by the group you shoot?
      One laying down and one standing up. I will do that sometimes as it gives a reference to the size of
      the holes and how big the group is. It helps to determine things sometimes.

      Just a suggestion. You don’t have to if you don’t want to. And I know you told the story about your famous dime. So don’t get rid of the dime in the picture either.
      But yep its cool to shoot a dime size group at 50 yards. 🙂

      • GF1,

        I used to put a pellet in the picture, but it got vert tiresome and only one person had ever asked for it. You are the second.

        That is why I link to the pellet the first time it is mentioned in the report. That’s each and every report. If you click on the link it takes you to the pellet, which has the multiple images.

        As for the 100-yard test, I don’t think so. The .25 caliber Marauder isn’t accurate enough at 50 yards to warrant it. The Condor SS was accurate enough, which is why I did it for that rifle, but it takes an exceptional air rifle to shoot good groups at 100 yards.

        Maybe if the synthetic Marauder in .22 is more accurate, I can test it at 100 yards. Twenty-two caliber is much more accurate than .25 caliber, so there is a chance it could be.


        • Very tiresome…… Yeah that would be me…. Sorry, my mom was bitten by a black widow a few weeks before I was born. I also ran a fever of 106+F for a few days when I was 5 and have no recollection of anything before that. So, those are my excuses for being the way I am now… 😉 (JK)


        • BB,

          Just to let you know, the general consensus on the Marauder Forum from people that own both the .25 and the .22 is that in the Marauder, the .25 beats the .22 most of the time.

          There are some good .22s (I admit I re-barreled mine with and LW Poly), but the view is that the Green Mountain .25s are a far superior barrel to Crosman’s .22 barrel.

          I agree that the .22 pellet selection is better, but that does not necessarily carry over to the gun itself. Interestingly, most have also reported best results with the JSB Kings, but yours is different – as every gun is.

          Alan in MI

  2. BB, my rifle’s changed preference again. Is that common? I’ve 7 different pellets, and for the first several weeks it shot best with Crosman’s, then after a few more weeks, it did better with JSB’s. The rifle sat unused for a couple months, but I went to resight and now it’s Gamo Round Lead Balls (though they’re only a little tighter group than Crosman). Is this a common thing for a rifle to shift around like this? Couple notes: I don’t weigh pellets, and I was using Iron Sights on a 9 yard range, though I don’t believe the Irons make any affect.

    • JP,

      No, the open sights don’t make a difference with accuracy, but the distance does. Nine yards is far too close to determine accuracy. Stretch that out to at least 25 yards, with 35 yards being more preferred. Then you will get a good idea of what is happening.

      If I were to guess I would say you are also changing your holds as you shoot. That will affect group size as much as anything.


  3. Hmm. Everybody raves about the accuracy of the .25 Marauder but it sounds like for serious target work the .177 or .22 are a better choice. Which is a shame really as it has been at the top of my short list as a gun that will make up for the shortcomings of my .22. (Even though it doesn’t come with sights of any kind) I’ll explain more below but first……

    Just received an email from Pyramyd about the upcoming C96, so I have to ask, (tongue planted firmly in cheek) Can you forget doing tests on highly accurate and smart looking rifles for just one second and concentrate on another inaccurate and mostly useless replica pistol please?

    Ok, rant mode on.
    I see review after review, including blog entries and forum posts, about making ONE SHOT kills at distances out to 200+ yards on small game like squirrel. I realize I don’t have the experience most of the folks here have with airguns, but in my short time I’ve taken well over 75 tree rats and countless pigeons and I am calling BS.
    My go-to critter gitter is my .22 Disco which throws H&N FTT over the chrony at an average of 854fps. According to Doc Beeman’s charts that’s MORE than enough energy to humanely take squirrel, but in reality IT IS NOT. Unless it’s a head shot that animal is going to suffer, be it bird or rat.
    I have hunted all my life and will continue to do so til my last breath and I know the difference between a clean, humane kill and a botched shot resulting in a wounded and suffering animal.
    I call BS on the distance claims as well-I quickly realized the Disco was inadequate in the field and have relegated it to backyard duty only.
    Personally I don’t eat squirrel, don’t like the taste, so I gut them and fry them for the dogs. In EVERY case where I’ve gone for a heart/lung shot, at least one more round to the head has been necessary to put the lil rascal out of it’s misery. Each time, cleaning the animal has revealed shot placement was perfect and the pellet remained lodged in the body-be it domed, pointed or hollowpoint, I have NEVER had a round go right through the body and out the other side.
    I don’t expect ANY animal to drop dead instantly, even with a headshot, be it deer, moose, or squirrel. But yesterday’s fiasco reinforced that airguns, at least .22 calibers shooting under 1000fps, are not effective hunting tools IF you like to shoot humanely. The squirrel I shot at less than 10 yards had to suffer for over 5 minutes while I pumped the damn gun back up to take him out permanently with a head shot.
    Sorry to vent, (and for the long post) but I know many people will take shots at anything that moves without concern for shot placement or the animal’s suffering. Personally I don’t think Pyramyd should advertise ANY of it’s guns as suitable for hunting, even though I’m sure some are. (Maybe one of those .50 caliber Korean guns)
    It was a frustrating experience and I’m still mad about it this morning.

    • If you start thinking like that then all your hunts will be done at the grocery store.And sell all your air guns.When I watch hunts on tv whether its a 223 308 or arrows the hunters have to tract their pray a short distance and find it dead.No difference with air guns its up to the shooter to judge humane or not.thats why their is such thing as follow up shot.

        • Interesting response from someone who watches hunting on tv. Shoot and track a deer sometime in person-you can’t understand the meaning of cruelty until you’ve experienced it yourself. I had a huge bull elk get almost 300 yards away one year, dead on his feet though he didn’t know it, and down for the count in less than 5 minutes. That, to me, is nearing the borderline for a ‘humane’ kill. An acquaintance of mine will take a haphazard shot, screw around for awhile, then go looking for his prey. I’ve been with him when we found it 45 minutes later, still very much alive and in obvious pain.
          As I mentioned above, I don’t expect ANYTHING to die instantly. My point is, SOME airgunner’s are making claims that are complete BULL, period. BB has a wide audience, including those very new to the sport, and I don’t want these people getting any wrong ideas.

          • dd,

            I hear ya! There is no way to kill an animal painlessly without a perfect head shot. And sometimes I have my doubts about those. (I’ve killed many animals. God, squirrels are super tough!) Personally, I think those 200 yd kills on tree rats and crows with an airgun are bs too. It’s the one lucky shot you get to see on the video, while the other 50 ran or flew away to die miserably from a bad hit. I’m curious about why you would have to take 5 minutes to pump up your Disco for a follow up in your example though. Surely you had enough pressure left in the task for one more, point blank follow up? Or did I misunderstand your example?


            • Sorry Dave, like I said I’m a bit cranky about this still so I probably wasn’t as clear as I could have been.It was probably actually less than 5 minutes but to me it seemed like an eternity!! The gun had run down to 1k psi (Maybe that’s the reason he was only mildly injured?) and the sprint upstairs, digging the pump out of my mess, quickly pumping 10 or 15 times then sprinting back out to find he had crawled into a bush was just too much time IMHO. By the time I found him he was in a spot where it was difficult to get a head shot-I had to poke the gun into the bush and hope for the best! Honestly, I don’t like taking ‘follow-up’ shots. It needs to be right the first time or not taken at all.

              • dd,

                Everyone has a bad shot once in a while, so there is no magic answer. You did the responsible thing. Tracked it down and put it out of its misery. Some jerks would just leave it to expire on its own. 5 minutes can be a long time when you’re suffering, but I’ll take that any day over a several day ordeal… I’ve found that sometimes a boot and a knife work when you don’t want to take another shot (like one I shot with an arrow). I’ve even used a rock to end its suffering. Anything to make it quick. I love to hunt, but the kill is really anticlimactic and sometimes just plain sickening. When you realize this and can accept it, you can gut it up and get it done.

                I personally don’t like fish although I like catching them. I catch trout and cook them for my dogs. I’ll do the same with squirrels and rabbits if my wife ever gets tired enough of their raiding the garden to let me shoot them…


                    • Lol! Barbless hooks…. Check….. Got ’em and use only them already.
                      Dog food… Check…. Got it already. That’s mostly what they eat. The fish and game are very occasional. I just don’t like to waste what I do kill….

            • You should of read our blog post of some time ago about a guy who was shooting crows in the head to know effect. He said, they would just rock a little bit, and concluded, “Man, those crows have tough heads.”


          • I agree 200 yards is out of air guns limit.To me air guns are perfect tools to kill unwanted pests.But that is not hunting.I don’t kill anything just for fun.I remember when I was 14 yrs old my friends and I would shoot small birds and chipmunks with daisy 880 and daisy Buck bbgun out to 100ft with some success.As far as the Marauder goes it is a good upgrade from any springer in $500 range.I like airguns for a lot of different reasons.I usually buy 4or5 air guns every year just to keep the industry going.

              • Matt61
                Have you ever shot a .17 HMR before. They are pretty flat shooting rounds. They shoot out to 200 yards pretty easily.
                I wonder if people are relating that round to a airgun? I’m sure you already know what they are but I wonder if other people do.
                They are a rim-fire firearm round. The projectile is around 17 grn. and they shoot at around 2500 fps.
                They are fun guns to plink with. If a person shoots at a soda can or potato or such inside of 100 yards it will pretty well blow up whatever you hit.
                I just thought I would throw that out there.

    • Completely with you on this one.
      Like you, I have no problem with hunting. But there are too many out their…the kind who think Gamo’s pig shooting claims are ‘real’ (for example) who make me give my head a shake.
      I remember reading (I think it was on this blog) that with an airgun, if you can’t put 5 shots in an inch at the range you are taking you quarry at (meaning a head shot) that you are overextending what your rifle is capable of doing.
      Isn’t an airgun in the world that I know of that will put 5 shots in an inch at 200yds.

      • CBSD,

        Unfortunately, some people who haven’t got 2 brain cells to rub together think that the object of hunting is not one shot/one kill. Their goal is to kill, and the number of shots is immaterial. First shot is made to hopefully stop the critter or at least cripple it to slow it down so the shooter can gain an edge and shoot at a closer distance. Then, keep on plugging the critter til it stops moving.

        You have no idea how many product reviews and customer comments are declined because people use seriously underpowered guns, take illegal/protected game, shoot totally inappropriate critters with airguns and make wild/absurd claims of superior accuracy.

        I still remember the guy who claimed he could shoot tiny one-hole groups with a Crosman 1377 pistol (using open sights)…at a distance of a quarter-mile. When challenged, he went berserk because that was tantamount to calling him a liar (which, of course, he was!).

        Then, there’s the kindly old grandpa who wrote a review of a Buck Jones BB gun, which he used for 2 purposes: First, he was teaching his little grandkids how to shoot. Second, he used it “discipline” the neighborhood cats who used his garden as a toilet.

        Next, we go to the person who has a death wish. There are actually quite a few of them who write gun reviews. Generally, they’re the ones who hear the “crack” of their .177-caliber Powermonger air rifle that shoots featherweight pellets at 1300 fps, and they’re taking on cougars and coyotes. Personally, it’s my policy to never shoot a predator with an airgun if the critter’s teeth are longer than my own. The people who use their underpowered airguns to dispatch such critters will soon have a prefix before their names: “The late….”

        By the way, many people believe that most airgunners are generally good shots. I don’t think I can agree with that. I see the many claims people make about how wildly accurate their guns are. The problem is that they’re often talking about distances like 15 feet and mention group sizes of 2-3 inches. I’ve also removed customer comments from Pyramyd Air’s site that made absurd claims for shooting wee, teeny groups at 200 yards with springers.

        Quite honestly, this blog is a mental refuge for me. Sanity and good sportsmanship seem to rule here. It’s not like that everywhere.


        • I can’t imagine the kind of stuff you come across. I’m sure that publishing excerpts would be very entertaining although probably not entirely ethical or at least legal. I had a swimming coach who would videotape swimmers and critique their form; it’s a standard technique. But his presentation would always include two of the worst swimmers he had ever encountered. “Nightmare” was the word he used. I guess the idea was to show us what not to do and encourage us in the process. It was pretty funny.


    • dd

      That was a pretty good rant you got going. Figured you would stir up a few lurkers with that.

      I have mentioned my feelings before about suitable power levels and shooting conditions , so no need to repeat .

      I don’t buy all ( or even much ) of what I read on the net. I just let it slide for the most part. It can be good for a good laugh, even though a lot of people who would like to believe it usually will. Real life experience makes you wary of blindly believing. Remember…. on the web, you can be anyone you want to be, and do anything you want to do . You can find plenty of suckers who will buy any story.


  4. dangerdongle, my heart goes out to you. Maybe you just need a hug. I agree with you that blog/forum posts claiming 200yd+ one shot instant kills with a low energy air gun projectiles probably belong in the fantasy/fiction category. However, there are credible claims from credible shooters who have made occasional 100 yd or so kill shots on small game with low energy air guns. Now about your concerns about what you refer to as a “Humane Kill”. Are you familiar with the term Oxymoron? All references to “humane Kill” are exactly that. You claim to always intend to be a Hunter yet you seem to indicate that unless your quarry expires immediately at the shot then the critter must be needlessly suffering even though you claim that you don’t actualy expect that to happen. That’s an unrealistic assumption that can’t be proven. You must surely know that what causes death in most of the critters that we Hunters shoot regardless of the caliber,velocity or foot pounds of energy delivered by the projectile is blood loss due to perforation of vessels that carry the blood. There are exceptions of course such as a shot to the base of the spine where it enters the brain but in the field shots require the animal to bleed to the point that brain function ceases. So in the final analysis if you kill with an air rifle projectile then the projectile obviously had enough power to get the job done. As for taking five minutes to pump up the gun to “finish off” the less than 10 yards away target you have my sympathy. I would guess that you were suffering probably more than your intended quarry for those minutes. Bless your Heart.

    • I know, ‘humane kill’ is a completely stupid thing to say. But it’s adequate for us inbred redneck critter killin’ types. : )
      I’m kidding of course. Here’s the thing. I hunt for food, not trophies. I go for the head shot EVERY time on game larger than squirrels, and if I can’t get a head shot I won’t take the chance. No, they don’t die instantly, but I don’t believe they suffer either-afterall, the brain is no longer processing any sort of signal, pain or otherwise. And no, I don’t think you can quantify ‘humane’ with ‘time.’ Suffering is suffering, whether 30 seconds or 10 minutes. I find most wildlife beautiful beyond their ability to provide sustenance and simply try to be as kind about killing (another oxymoron) as I can.
      Youtube is full of morons shooting birds with Red Ryders. And through experience, I personally have discovered the Discovery (alliteration, yay!) really isn’t quite up to the task unless at VERY close distances.
      Yeah, maybe I do just need a hug. : (

  5. If I may ask a question unrelated to the post.
    I am looking for a short, hunting, .22, spring rifle, around $180
    I have seen:
    Benjamin Legacy Jim Shockey (not too good reviews)
    Stoeger X20 X20S
    Webley ValueMax
    RWS 34P Pro Compact (if I can find it in .)22
    Gamo Bone Colector

    I would preferr it not to be to heavy, but giving its a spring (either metalic or gas) it may be better some weight, specially since I am not a good shooter. Saying that, I would expect the rifle to be as precise as possible (I need all the help I can get).

    Let me hear your suggestions.

    • Juan,

      Go for the Diana 34P, imported to the U.S. by RWS! It is by far the best gun in this price range. The Compact version will be harder to cock — I hope you understand that.

      And don’t forget that with any breakbarrel, you are going to have to use the artillery hold. That will make you a better shot with everything.

      Here is a video on how it’s done:



        • Juan,

          Then why was the Diana Compact even in the running?

          Of the guns you have listed, I like the Stoeger X20 the best. But you are forcing me to make a selection based on numbers. You can’t do that and get the right answer, most of the time.

          You can have a nice .22, but if you limit the cost to $180, you block out most of the nice guns. See how it works?

          If I had your decision I would first look at the money, and if $180 was the absolute limit, I would have to buy used. I would not buy a new airgun that I know (or suspect) won’t be what I want, just to satisfy the money issue AND also get a new gun.

          If $180 is the limit and .22 is the caliber, then I would think used gun before anything.


          • $180 was not absolute, it was around that, that is why the 34P was listed with my wish list. But it seems a .22 is just a dream. What else would you suggest in less than $300?

              • Juan,

                I have thought about it and you made me aware of a fact that I wasn’t cognizant of. There are darned few .22-caliber spring piston air rifles around today that I can recommend.

                If money was no object I would say the TX 200 or the Diana 48. But the Diana 34 isn’t far behind, so I am going to recommend the 34P. Not the Compact, since it doesn’t come in .22, but the regular old 34P.

                I hate that it has fiberoptic sights, but you’ll scope it I am sure. I would steer away from the combo packages for 2 good reasons. First, they always put some kind of bargain scope in the package to keep the price low. If it’s a combo put together by Pyramyd AIR, that may not be so bad, because they often do include decent scopes, but the manufacturers never do, plus they change the scopes based on what’s left over in the warehouse.

                If you could see your way clear to a precharged rifle the Benjamin Discovery is what I would recommend, again sticking with your budget. And I’d get the one with the hand pump.


                  • Juan,

                    I recommend getting the UTG droop-compensating base


                    And any good medium rings. I developed this base for the 34 because of all the guns I rested, it has the greatest droop.


        • If you want something you will keep long time and shoot a lot.Than buy the RWS (Diana)34 you will not regret it.The Hatsan or Webley will never be as smooth as RWS 34.its worth the xtra bucks.But if you just want an air rifle that you will use twice a year than go ahead get the Stoger, Hatsan, or Webley.Oh Crosman and Gamo and Beeman are all good choice too.And the HW 95 is better than all of the the above.

  6. Look DangerDongle, I feel for you too, BUT there is no excuse for waiting five minutes to put a squirrel out of his misery unless he was stuck in a tree. Was he? Otherwise, you pick him up by the tail ans cave his brains in on a rock or a tree. I don’t hunt much or at all because of the reasons you stated–I don’t like to see animals suffer, but I sure have finished an animal off with a knife or brute force more than once. When you shoot at an animal it’s your job to make sure he’s dead asap. Guns are a tool to reach out, not the only tool in the box for finishing off an injured animal. Again, I’m very sorry for your experience and hope you take heed that I’m telling you these things to be kind.

    • “When you shoot at an animal it’s your job to make sure he’s dead asap.”
      You are absolutely right. On a hunt, I’ve got a backup firearm, knives, and whatever blunt object happens to be at hand.
      I just didn’t expect this to happen in my own backyard at such a short distance and was unprepared. No question, my fault entirely.

      • dd
        I have mentioned before that I had to track a squirrel in the woods because of a bad shot.

        At least we know we should try to put the animal out of its misery as soon as possible. Like you said. There are people who don’t care what happens after the shot.

        But I still believe more power is better than not enough. When a person hunts they need to know the accuracy of the gun and how far out to take that shot with equipment they have. Everything has its limit. And that’s a important part of hunting humanly as possible. That is the hunters job to know before they go.

        And if was going to hunt with the .25 cal. Mrod I would definitely do some paper shooting at different yardages including 100 yards just so I would know what the gun is grouping like.

        Not that I will make a hunting shot at 100 yards but to know when the capability’s of the gun start falling off. Just one more part of knowing what the performance of your gun is.

        And dd. This reply was not directed toward you. Just making a comment on what I believe. And ain’t it kind of funny this stuff comes up when the blog is about a more powerful gun.

  7. B.B.
    OK After reading all four parts you convinced me the .25 caliber Marauder is not the version of this gun I want to add to my small collection. So it will be either the .177 or .22 caliber. The new synthetic stock Marauder looks interesting but I kinda like my rifles with wood stock do you think the upgrades incorporated in synthetic stock models will find their way into the wood shock models any time soon?

    • David,

      You are asking me to guess what Crosman will do in the future. I would guess the answer is no. But those improvements, which boil down to an HDD and a (perhaps) more conservative valve, can always be done aftermarket. I’d go for the .22 Marauder if you were thinking of the .25.


  8. Nice shooting B.B., although confirms my sense that the .25 caliber version is not the one to get, not unless you’re hunting. So in what sense is that red pointed pellet a “hollowpoint” and what does that design get you in hunting? A centerfire hollowpoint really is hollow at the point which moves the center of gravity back in the bullet to stabilize it and to shatter for greater effect on impact. The red pellet looks more like a chiselpoint….

    Kevin, as a matter of fact, I have been living in a cave–a man-cave. It’s how they described Obi-Won Kenobi’s house in the desert, “designed more for mental than physical comforts.” Once one understands my interests, the arrangements make sense–like all of the action figures, airplanes and the unsheathed Roman gladius resting close to hand. I’ve heard of shooting varmints with .50 caliber guns before, and I can’t say I plan to look up the YouTube videos. Are those guys made of money?

    B.B., my sense is that the truly accurate barrels are adjusted by hand, so it makes sense that of all the parts, the barrel would be most improved in an era of handcrafting. But I understand that with precision machining and technique of making receivers and barrels truly concentric that the old bolt-actions cannot compare with what is coming off the production line now for accuracy. Even the fabled pre-64 Winchester 70s are supposed to be inferior to their modern incarnations.

    Anyone heard of Tatsuya Sakai? I was reading that he is a Japanese shooter who shoots an airsoft handgun 11 months of the year and then shoots on a level with the very best with target pistols. He even won something called the Steel Challenge. There is our poster child for converting from airguns to firearms.


    • Matt,

      Take the red plastic tip, that’s glued in place away and what is left is a hollowpoint. The red tip is supposed to be there for aerodynamic streamlining, which may really work, after seeing this test. But it breaks off and does not enhance the pellet’s performance in a viscous medium. Maybe I will do a test and demonstrate this.

      I would never consider a pre-64 Winchester model 70 to be a hand-crafted gun. I’m talking about real hand-crafted rifles that actually ARE made by hand. A pre-64 model 70 is a good example of a production rifle that holds its own with Sako and Mannlicher. But it’s nothing close to a fine hand-crafted rifle.


          • B.B.

            They used to sell a pellet that looked like a Pred with the tips pulled. That’s where I got the idea. Don’t remember what they were called. P.A. did not carry them long. They may have simply been Preds that had not had the tips installed just to come up with another impressive looking pellet.


              • Paul…

                That’s the one. Never tried them, but did try pulling the tips on Preds.

                Having internet problems this evening. Took the opportunity to run some scans . Have to put some passwords back in, because Norton dumped them. Hope they fixed the web.


                • TT
                  I tryed the Ultrashocks (made by Skenco, right?) in my .177 guns and my .25 cal. guns. Not very impressed with them.
                  They corkscrew and some even tumbled. Maybe good for shooting holes in mud at 20 yards or less. That’s about the best I can say about them.

  9. I like those Predator polymags. I have a can of those and I hoard them like a miser. I only break them out for when I absolutely need to put one into a critter that doesn’t seem to see things my way. At least that was what I did this summer. I adapted my AR15 to fire .22LR so next summer I can make it rain on a stubborn pest.

  10. What a great day for this report! I finally was able to order my M-rod in .177 on Saturday. I thought about waiting for the synthetic stock, but I have waited to long as is 🙂 Now I am just biting my nails waiting for my e-mail from crosman that it has shipped. I have not settled on a scope yet but have narrowed it down to a few, nikon prostaff, vortex crossfire 2, or possibly a bushnell. I think I want 16x-18x on the top end of the magnification. I’m going to get a 40mm objective, do you have any suggestions on what scope rings I should use. Can I get away with mediums? Brand suggestions? Thanks in advance for any info, I cant wait to get home from work each day to see what the blog is about! Thanks for that too!

  11. I recommended the Benjamin Marauder in my Springer book, but the 22. Is there a reason the 22 wasn’t included in your review. You mentioned you are a MAC guy. Kindle has software to download Kindle to a MAC. Reading these responses, I can see you’re a busy guy, so I can send you a hard copy of “Selecting, Setting Up and Shooting a Springer Air Gun if you would rather. Send me an email address for the download or a snail mail address for the hard copy. I really enjoyed reading your testing procedure and the video about the artillery hold.

  12. I am impressed that the Predator Polymags grouped well in that .25 Marauder, I haven’t taken any game with them in mine yet. However H&N Barracudas also fare well producing dime sized groups at up to 40yds, for further I prefer Kodiak or Kodiak Match. Very high impact and uncompromising accuracy I hit a small Red Bull can about 50 yards! I’m curious Mr. BB Pelletier if you have been to Germany where they produce H&N pellets? I have been to Munich-Bayern DE and even hotel rooms are uncompromising in detail. I think it would be cool to do a report on the H&N factory maybe please. I appreciate all good air rifle/gun input. I only wish I could import some Gewehr and Luftgewehr I have seen in Visier magazine Germany.

  13. My .25 cal mod averages 1.33 in at 100 yds. For 8 shot groups using JSB Exact Kings. Predator poly mags come in at about 1.75 in at 100 yds. At 50 yards the Exact Kings averaged .65 in. While the poly mags were at .76 in. I have the gun’s vel maxed out at an average of 872 for 16 shots. I have cut a little over a pound off my wood stocked marauder be buying a laminated spruce stock I found on the internet making it a much nicer carring gun. The .25 cal marauder reviewed didn’t seem very accurate compared to my gun.

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