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.