by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Benjamin Marauder .177 caliber: Part 1
Secrets of loading the Benjamin Marauder magazine
Fixing a Marauder magazine
Benjamin Marauder .25 caliber: Part 1
Benjamin Marauder .25 caliber: Part 2
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 .22 repeater with synthetic stock: Part 4
Today, we’ll look at the Marauder’s accuracy at 50 yards. I had to wait a long time for a calm day at the range for this.
Clearing the air
Before I begin the report, though, I want to address something. The new Marauder — both the one with the synthetic stock and the one with the wood stock — are the same rifle in different stocks. The actions are identical. Crosman waited to bring out the wood-stocked model, but both rifles have the new set-back trigger and also the new valve and hammer depinger. Which brings me to my second comment.
Owners who have used the new Marauder seem to like it a lot. They praise it in their comments on the product page. But those who don’t own one are making comments such as, “Tom Gaylord said the new .22-caliber Marauder only gets 860 f.p.s. Where is the 1,000 feet per second that Crosman claims? And where are those extra shots?”
Let me make this very clear — Tom Gaylord DID NOT say that the new Marauder only gets 860 f.p.s. What Tom Gaylord did was test the new Marauder exactly as it came from the box. He discovered that his test rifle seems to like a 2,900 psi fill, instead of the 2,500 psi fill suggested in the owner’s manual.
Tom Gaylord shot his test rifle at 25 yards and showed you the accuracy the rifle got when filled to that pressure. Today, he is going to show you how well it does at 50 yards, and it will also be filled to 2,900 psi.
This is a pet peeve of mine. When people read all the performance specs of an airgun, they lump them together as though the gun does all of them simultaneously. The new Marauder may very well get 12 percent more shots per fill because of the new valve. And it may very well shoot a .22-caliber pellet at 1,000 f.p.s. And it may also be very accurate. And very quiet. But don’t expect it to do all of that at the same time — just as you don’t expect a new Corvette to go 0-60 in 4 seconds and also get 21 miles per gallon. You get one or the other — not both at the same time.
I haven’t even adjusted the gun to see how fast it will shoot. And I haven’t played with the fill pressure, either. All I’ve done to this point is take the rifle out of the box, put a scope on it and test it for accuracy. During that testing, I’ve accomplished several things:
1. I know the best fill pressure of the test rifle as it stands right now — 2,900 psi
2. I know the most accurate pellets — 14.3-grain Crosman Premiers and Beeman Kodiaks.
3. I know that for top accuracy, I can count on getting 2 full magazine’s worth of shots on a fill — 20 shots.
Now, don’t go running around claiming that I just said the new Marauder only gets 20 accurate shots. What I said was for top accuracy I can count on getting 2 full magazine’s worth of shots. There are a lot more than 20 accurate shots in this rifle!
If you’ve been following this report, you know that I’ve eliminated several pellets during earlier testing. They didn’t hold up to the 2 I chose for this test. That’s not to say there aren’t other pellets that might outshoot these 2 — just that, of the pellets I’ve tested, these are the best.
Testing at 50 yards
The day was completely calm — perfect for this kind of test outdoors. I shot the rifle off a sandbag rest. The first group was with Crosman Premiers, the pellet that proved to be the most accurate at 25 yards.
Since I didn’t know when the wind might kick up, I went fast in this test. There were 2 other air rifles to test on this day, and one of them was the Double Disco that shoots the same velocity as the Marauder. I wanted to complete this test so I would have time for that one afterward. I also had an AirForce Escape to test; but given how powerful that rifle is and also given the heavy weight of the .25-caliber pellets I’d be shooting, I thought that one could endure a little breeze.
At 50 yards, 10 Premiers went into a group that measures 1.112 inches between centers. It’s a reasonably round group that has 7 of the 10 shots in 0.558 inches. There’s nothing wrong with that!
Next, I shot a group of 10 Beeman Kodiaks. This was on the same fill as the Premiers. Again, I was going fast to finish before the wind kicked up, so I didn’t stop to adjust the scope. Ten Beeman Kodiak pellets went into 1.516 inches at 50 yards, with 9 of them making just 0.888 inches. As with the Premiers, this group was also reasonably round.
Here comes the wind
When I finished the Kodiak group, the breeze was just starting to blow. I refilled the Marauder and tried one other test pellet that I’m evaluating for Pyramyd AIR, but it didn’t do very well. So, I ended the test for the Marauder.
The new Marauder is very accurate. This test shows that clearly. As far as the absolute top velocity it can get or anything else, I still have to test that.
In my opinion, the new Marauder shoots as well as the old Marauder did. I do like the new synthetic stock for its slim profile and lighter weight; but as far as accuracy and quietness goes, I don’t see any difference between the new rifle and the old Marauder.