Gen 2 .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Marauder air rifle Gen 2Second-generation Benjamin Marauder in a synthetic stock.

Part 1
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Bipod, scope and rifle — oh, my!
  • 2-16X44 scope
  • Sight-in
  • First group better?
  • The key?
  • Sound
  • Second group on the second magazine
  • What have I learned?

I told you in Part 1 that this is going to be a different kind of report. Not just because this new .25-caliber second-generation Benjamin Marauder is my personal gun (I bought it for a project involving a new modular RAI stock), but also because I’m installing some Leapers parts, including a killer new UTG 2-16X44AO Accushot scope. What I didn’t tell you (yet) is that I’m also installing and testing a new UTG rubber-armored folding metal bipod.

second generation Benjamin Marauder
The new .25-cal. Marauder with synthetic stock is set up with a UTG bipod and the new UTG 2-16X scope. I’m gettin’ with the program!

second generation Benjamin Marauder scope
Leaper’s new UTG 2-16X44 scope is a lot of glass for the price. It’s the same size as a 3-12X.

Bipod, scope and rifle — oh, my!

I’m going to address the bipod, then the scope, then what I’ve done with the rifle. First the bipod. I’m not a person who uses bipods as a rule, but the new RAI modular stock screams for one; so, I thought I would test the standard Marauder synthetic stock with one.

This bipod is very compact and extends to a maximum 8.5 inches. The legs fold in either direction and are rigid when locked in position. The bipod attaches to a Picatinny rail; but if your rifle doesn’t have one, an adapter converts the Marauder’s front sling swivel stud to a Picatinny rail and gives you another sling swivel stud to boot. You lose nothing and gain a bipod that folds flat when not in use.

second generation Benjamin Marauder bipod
The rubber-armored UTG folding bipod legs can swing forward or back when not in use.

2-16X44 scope

This UTG 2-16X44 scope deserves its own report. First of all, this scope has a greater range of power than you’ll find in any other affordable scope. You’ve heard of 4-16X scopes. They’re considered to be very versatile because of their great range of power. I probably use a 4-16X more often than any other power range, with a 3-12X coming in second. But 2-16X? There hasn’t been such a scope until this one — at least not for less than a thousand dollars.

On 2X, the view through the scope shows everything clearly. When you want more detail, you can zoom all the way to 16X. First, you find the squirrel; and then, you pick the place you want the pellet to hit.

This scope has all the bells and whistles that Leapers puts into their finest scopes. The reticle is etched glass, so it seems to float in the field of view without touching the sides. It’s illuminated, so there are 36 shades of reticle color to choose from when the light is low. Or, leave the reticle switch off, and it’s the regular black lines you’re used to. Flip-up scope caps on both ends keep the lenses clean until you need them.

This scope comes with UTG Weaver/Picatinny rings that will save some people money; but since the Marauder has an 11mm dovetail, they don’t work with this rifle. Ironically, I used an older set of Leapers high 30mm rings that do fit 11mm and 3/8″ dovetails for airguns and rimfires. I put one shim under the scope tube on the back ring just in case the Marauder droops, and sure enough — it does!

Once the eyepiece was adjusted, the image in the scope was also very bright and clear. This scope is short for its power, but it has sidewheel parallax adjustment that’s a lot easier than reaching out to turn a ring on the objective bell.

I’ll have more to say about this scope as this report unfolds. Today, however, I just wanted to get the scope mounted, and the rifle sighted in.

Sight-in

I sighted-in at 12 feet before moving back to 25 yards to refine the scope settings. The first shot landed low on the paper, which was where I wanted it to be at 12 feet, so I moved back to 25 yards. The UTG scope has locking rings on both the horizontal and vertical adjustments; so when the settings are where you want them, just screw down both locking rings and nothing will move.

Once I was back at the shooting bench, I rested the rifle on the bipod legs with the butt on my shoulder. It took 3 additional shots to get on target at 25 yards, and I initially sighted for the center of the bull. But when I blew it away in 3 shots, my group started to grow because I was guessing where the center of the bull was supposed to be. So, I dialed the elevation down 9 clicks for the first group.

The .25-caliber Marauder magazine holds 8 pellets, so all the groups I will shoot today are 8 shots rather than 10. I’m shooting only the JSB Exact King pellet, which may or may not be the most accurate one in this rifle, but I know it’s one of several that are very good. I’m not interested in shooting the smallest possible groups right now. I just want to learn how this rifle functions, and this is a good pellet for that.

Since I used an entire magazine sighting-in and confirming my zero, the first group I shot was the second 8 shots after a fill. And, by the way, I filled the rifle last week, and it was still holding all the air when this test began.

Notice that my 8-shot 25-yard group, which measures 0.366 inches between centers, is vertical. I wondered if the air pressure and velocity was dropping below the useful point by the end of the group. And it was the final 3 shots that made the group so vertical.

second generation Benjamin Marauder JSB group 1
The first 25-yard 8-shot group is small but very vertical. It measures 0.366 inches between centers. That .25-caliber pellet is big, isn’t it?

First group better?

I wondered if the first group after the fill would be any better. I refilled the rifle to 3,000 psi and shot 8 more JSB King pellets. This time, they landed in 0.421 inches, so no better. The group isn’t as vertical as the last one, but it’s larger overall.

second generation Benjamin Marauder JSB group 2
The second 25-yard 8-shot group measures 0.421 inches between centers. It isn’t as vertical, but it’s larger than the first group.

The key?

Before deciding anything, I noticed something while shooting this second group. My heartbeat was moving the crosshairs around the target by about 1/16 of an inch. Though the front of the rifle was resting solidly on the bipod feet, the rear was against my shoulder and wasn’t supported by anything else. When I shoot from a sandbag, the entire rifle is rested and all I have to do is move it gently until the crosshairs are on the target. Then, it stays put. Another test was in order.

Sound

The .25-caliber Marauder is quiet for what it is, but it’s not silent. Far from it, in fact. It’s about the same sound as a magnum spring rifle firing, which is to say a 3.5 on the Pyramyd Air scale. You aren’t going to shoot this one on a tiny suburban backyard! Marauders have a reputation for being quiet PCPs, but it’s the .177s that are super-quiet. As the caliber increases, the sound that comes from the muzzle does, too.

Second group on the second magazine

Since I already fired one group following the fill, this would be the second group. In other words, the same conditions as the first group I showed that had verticality. However, the rifle was rested on the sandbag with the bipod folded flat.

This time, 8 JSB King pellets went into a group that measured 0.316 inches between centers. It’s noticeably smaller than the first group and also not as vertical. I believe this target demonstrates 2 important things about my new Marauder. First, it has at least 2 full 8-shot magazines on a fill of air. Second, it groups better when rested on a sandbag than it does rested on a bipod.

second generation Benjamin Marauder JSB group 3
The third 25-yard 8-shot group was the smallest group I shot — measuring 0.316 inches between centers.

What have I learned?

The rifle is now set up the way I want for the present. I’ve adjusted the trigger as I want it, but I left the power alone for now. The scope is mounted and sighted-in. I know the bipod is a handy rest, but it isn’t as steady as a bag rest. So — shoot groups from the bag and shoot at game off the rest. I can hold the rifle steady for a single shot, but not 8 times in a row.

I have no idea if there are other pellets that are even more accurate than the JSB Exact King in this rifle. All I know is that Kings are accurate enough to shoot at 50 yards. There don’t seem to be any funny interactions with the baffles inside the shroud. The scope will have to be adjusted for that distance, but that can easily be done when I get to the outdoor range.

I know there are at least 16 good shots on one fill of air. The onboard gauge reads 2,000 psi when the last shot is fired, and my carbon fiber tank gauge tells me the rifle has 2,100 psi remaining. Small air gauges seldom agree, and I think my tank gauge is the more accurate gauge in this instance.

Are there even more than 16 good shots on a fill? I don’t think so because of the low ending reservoir pressure, but it doesn’t really matter. The magazine holds 8 pellets, so 16 shots is very convenient.

Notice that I haven’t yet chronographed the rifle. It’s as if I don’t own a chronograph, and yet I can still set up the gun to suit me.

My next move will be to take the rifle to the 50-yard outdoor range and test a variety of premium pellets. Only then will we know if this new second-generation .25-caliber Marauder is really accurate. I believe it will be.

142 thoughts on “Gen 2 .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder: Part 2

  1. How can you have an “artillery hold” with a bipod?
    If you shoot better off of a bag rest will you use the bipod on the RAI stock?
    I thought it was only spring guns, particularly break barrels that were droopers? For a PCP to be a drooper, is it a factory defect? Sorry for all the questions…
    Thanks,
    -Yogi


  2. Two questions. First, what is the point of this set up for you? You planning on hunting with it?

    More importantly, just how do these scopes compare to low end nice scopes, like low end Nikon or leupold scopes that are in a similar price bracket? I have a low end Nikon that is cheaper, with a fixed 100 yard parallax, but it seems very clear even at, say, 5 yards. It also had has a decent range of usable eye relief. By comparison, my center point scopes, cheaper, with all the bells and whistles, is clear only with the parallax properly adjusted and the head in precisely the right spot. How do these pricier leapers scopes compare?


    • Tim,

      The point of this project is for me to test a gen 2 marauder, then set it up with an RAI shock and test it that way. I am doing this like I would a personal gun. I’m not so interested in test data — just results. If the rifle proves accurate I might hunt varmints with it. We have coyotes and bobcats around here.

      I have an old Leupold that is as clear as a bell. But it’s only 4 power. That’s how the old scopes did it. When the power goes up you start noticing the focus.

      B.B.


  3. BB
    How did you determine that the Mrod has barrel droop as I was understanding that it was only a real issue for Diana guns and some break barrels but not necessarily on PCPs as well.

    BD


    • BD,

      When I shim a scope and the gun STILL shoots low, it droops! I have seen this so many times that I prepare for it every time I mount a scope on a new gun.

      Some of the droop is caused by the separation of the scope and barrel and the close ranges we shoot at. But droop is droop and it all has to be compensated for.

      B.B.


      • BB
        Ok that makes sense I was just wondering if you automatically installed the shim assuming it would have droop rather than shooting it to see of the pellets hit low to start with before shimming the scope. I do understand that any gun can have droop but was just curious if you shot it first before shimming.

        How much did you shim it .005″ or did it require more as the reason I am asking is to be aware for when I get my new camo 25 Mrod once PA has them for sale so I can see if it requires any shimming as well.

        BD


  4. BB et All
    Benjamin sure hit one out of the park with this second Gen. Marauder. There is nothing about this Marauder that could be considered pretentious, or gimmicky. Aside from looking good, the Marauder has everything it needs to make it a great shooter, without the sales gimmicks that would be obsolete by next years Shot Show. Now that they are available for us Canucks to enjoy, I will seriously consider it my first PCP.
    The new piece of glass from Leapers looks like it was made especially for the Marauder. A 2x16x44 scope is the perfect option for an airgun of the .25cal Marauders capability. I do wish they would include a .20cal barrel option as well. However, I can understand it would not be a big seller. On my last order of boxed Crosman pellets, the 7.9gr .177cal pellets had a date of Mar. 12, 2014. The boxed .20cal were dated Aug 26, 2011. I hope the .20cal isn’t fazed out altogether. Do you think the decline of the .20cal would make an interesting blog? I for one would be interested in your views on why it never really caught on, BB. despite being championed by non other then Dr. Robert Beeman.
    Ciao
    Titus


    • Hi Titus,

      I checked a couple of the Canadian sites and while they listed Marauders none of them said anything about being secound gen.

      Where did you see them for sale?

      Thanks

      Vana2
      (Perth, Ontario)


      • Hello Vana2
        First, let me explain I really am not sure what makes a second generation Marauder from the original. As I read the description from D+L on the west coast describing the gun, it seems to contain all the features described on BB’s Marauder. There is a synthetic stock with adjustable comb, the trigger is set back, it also contains an anti-pinger thinger, and easier access to load pellets. These differences are only the ones that come to mind. There are more then likely a whole host of others I’ve left out. I’m sorry I cannot give you a definitive answer to your query. Perhaps BB, or someone with more expertise on the subject of Marauders could shed some light on just what makes a second generation Marauder. When you read of the similarities between BB’s Marauder and the model sold on-line, I hope will explain why I said us Canucks are able to purchase the second Marauder rather then the original model. I would want the second generation as well when I decide to purchase a new Marauder.
        Ciao
        Titus



    • I have only one glaring exception to your favorable review: The dovetail scope rail! Why use this instead of the picatinny rail that is superior in every respect. The dovetail holds only with friction unless you add in a scope stop, which is just a picatinny rail in miniature. The picatinny physically blocks the scope movement. I’m very fond of the picatinny system after experimenting with my Saiga. The system is both much more secure and versatile.

      Incidentally, I had a real breakthrough with the longbow recently. I trying for a few extra inches in the draw and a little more deliberateness in the technique and those arrows started really zipping in there. Where archery gives way to guns in power and accuracy, there’s a more personal involvement with the shot that is quite thrilling. With new archery facilities available, I’m planning to work beyond my current 15 yard shooting distance.

      Matt61


      • Greetings Matt61
        I too have wondered why more companies haven’t incorporated the weaver/picatinny system over the vastly more popular dovetail system. The biggest reason to my mind, would be the ease of machining parallel lines in the airtube as apposed to welding, or braising the weaver/picaninny on the same tube. Just look at the fiasco of the first Benjamin Trail NP2’s losing their scope mounts at the most inopportune times. You only have to watch Paul Capello’s video critique of the gun to see the problem. BB had the same thing happen when he was testing the gun. Of coarse Benjamin sorted this problem out with quiet dispatch, and the problem has not reared it’s ugly head since. To my knowledge there has never been a convenient method of placing the weaver system directly onto the airtube. Therein lies the rub. It comes down to the quickest, easiest, and least expensive method of mounting a scope using todays technology. I realize that Feinwerkbau has a type of weaver system, however if it were superior to the dovetail system, I’m sure it would have been adopted by two or three of the big names in airguns. There are one or two adaptors available that suit my criteria of adding no more then 1/4 to 1/2 inches of height to the dovetail. If memory serves, I believe BB introduced a nice low model a couple of years ago during Shot Show. They come as a two piece set, and are .25in high, by almost 1 in long. they are also adjustable for the width of dovetail your gun has. They are made by UTG, and can be purchased through Pyramyd Air for under $10,00. They also have almost a five star rating from over 50 satisfied buyers.
        Glad to hear your still dabbling in archery. The English long bow was the most devastating weapon on any battlefield for over a century. The way I used to shoot my long bow, was not very traditional. Being concerned with shooting recurve bows for ultimate accuracy, I always liked to have a stable anchor point, just under my chin, as well as “kissing” the string in the same place each time. This allowed for tight groups at close ranges, but the longbow was meant for long distance. When we shot a round called “Clout”, the flag was 170? (give or take 10 yards) yards distant. On a crowded battlefield, you had an excellent chance of hitting your enemy by using the method you describe by getting extra distance. This had a devastating effect on any army of that time. Imagine seeing your men being picked off at such a long distance all the while knowing your bowyers needed to be at least 70 yards from their target before being effective. Henry the Eight had all able bodied Englishmen practice at long distances daily. One method I read about was when men went to church, they took their bows and arrows with them. and shot at clumps of dirt or a stick along the way. They would walk up to their arrows, score hits and look for another target, until they reached the church. I believe the author attributed this method to the birth of the Clout Shoot. There are a number of clout shoot videos on Youtube, so check tone or two out if you have the time. It was always included in the Pacific Northwest Tournament, which included archers from Alaska all the way to Northern California, as well as Idaho, Montana, and Alberta. It was a two day event, and the clout was shot last. I always considered it my favourite tournament, and met a lot of great people from all the States and Provinces represented.
        My goodness this is getting long winded. But you know my weakness for the sport of archery. I read your dispatches regularly, and especially enjoy your trials and tribulations on the shooting range. They have provided me with many a good laugh as well as being very knowledgable in content. Take care my friend, perfection is just putting all your pellets in the same place over, and over.
        Ciao
        Titus


    • Titus Groan,

      This is not exactly an answer to your question but my most accurate rifle to date is a Rapid Air Weapons TM1000 in a benchrest style stock. This rifle is in .20 caliber. I bought it from a well known airgun man who believes that .20 cal. is the most versatile caliber in that it works for both benchrest and field target disciplines, not to mention hunting.

      After about one year of shooting it competitively I must agree with him.

      G&G


  5. I was able to play with a .22 Gen 2 MRod at the Fun Shoot. After a bit it was almost boring to shoot because I just did not seem to miss. When it is time to add a PCP to the collection, one of these will likely be up for consideration.




  6. B.B.,

    Time has come for me to be a pain in your eye.

    Very interested in this new leapers 2-16X44 scope. Thickness of the reticle is not mentioned in your overview. Can you tell me how thick the reticle is compared to the burris timberline at 25 yards? Same? Twice as thick? More than twice as thick?

    Thank you.

    kevin


    • Kevin,

      The Timberline is a duplex with a small center reticle. The center lines are thinner than the UTG lines, but not by half. Maybe 2/3?

      The UTG is duplex lines way out at the edge, butt the center part is larger and the lines have mil dots.

      At 25 yards the UTG lines covered the 10-dot on a 10-meter rifle target.

      B.B.


  7. B.B.,

    This is very helpful. Thank you. Please bear with me.

    The 10-dot on my NRA 10 Meter targets is 3/8″. If I’m understanding you correctly, the thin part/center part of the UTG reticle is 3/8″ wide at 25 yards?

    kevin



      • B.B.,

        My targets are Official NRA 10 Meter AIR RIFLE TARGETS.

        I was measuring the ring around the 10-dot. The ring around the 10-dot on my targets is 3/8″.

        I assumed you meant the reticle on the new UTG at 25 yards covered the RING around the 10 dot rather than the 10 dot since the 10 dot is only as thick as a human hair. If you meant the ring not the dot is the ring around your 10 meter air rifle targets 3/8″ too?

        If the reticle of this new UTG on 16X is as thin as a human hair at 25 yards I’m buying several.

        Thanks for your patience with me.

        kevin


      • 0.48″????

        Pardon… That’s nearly half an inch vs 0.375″ for 3/8″

        Or did you intend to indicate something that covers 0.48 arc-seconds at 25 yards?


  8. Off topic

    Yesterday I received my wood stock .22 caliber Walther Terrus. I really wanted to like this gun, it felt good to hold, cocked smoothly and was dead calm. Unfortunately that’s where the good stuff ends. My sample won’t group under 2″ at 25 yds. 🙁

    Cleaning didn’t help so it has to go back. I think I know the problem the bore is tight and it takes real effort to seat the pellets so the skirt isn’t damaged. Anyway I didn’t order a replacement think I’ll save for a TX or LGU in .22 or maybe take the plunge with a .22 Marauder. 😉

    David



    • David,
      Thank you for sharing your findings. From my previous comments, I did say that all the Walther airguns that I owned, none is accurate and two of them are 10-meter airguns too. Even a couple of shooters from my club that I shoot 10-meter Airguns with confirmed the same thing. I will NEVER buy a Walther, even the newer Hammerli now because Walther brought them out.



      • Gunfun,

        Looking back at part 4 of the report on the Terrus the .579″ best group is not that much better than my NP Trail shoots on a good day. The trigger on the Walther is better than the RC bearing modded trigger on the NP so I really have to work hard for those good groups with the Benji. I think I’ve gotten spoiled by the triggers on the 460 Magnum and HW50S, theTerrus trigger is not in the same class, it feels more like plastic than the T05 despite both having plastic blades. It is also heavery but otherwise OK. If the gun shot as well as the one B.B. owns I would have kept it, but since it has to go back I’m going to most likely just get a TX to replace the Terrus.

        David


        • David

          I think you would be happy with a Tx or a LGU if your wanting stay with a spring gun.

          If I’m out shooting I always make sure that my TX and LGU are in the mix for that day. They still amaze me how accurate they are.


        • David,

          The TX is hard to cock, harder than the HW77/97 and the Diana 54, and also heavier than the Diana 48. After you mount a scope, the gun will weight about 11 pounds. Not a fun gun to shot and carry around. If you shoot some off-hand, your back will feel the hurt. I didn’t think the accuracy of the TX is all that great like people said.


          • Joe,

            I just ordered the TX in .22 caliber with the beech stock. We’ll see Wednesday how it stacks up against my 460 Magnum and HW50S in the accuracy department. If it falls short it goes back, I’ll update later this week.

            David


            • David,
              Please let me know how your new TX compare to the Diana 460. As for the HW50, it is hard to compare a breakbarrel to a fixed barrel. I think the HW50 is a pleasure to handle due to its relative light weight. Cocking is much easier than the TX. Recoil is less than TX. It has a great trigger. I can mount a rear aperture sight which I prefer over a scope. Great for all day plinking. However it doesn’t have the power of the TX.

              If I am in the market for a fixed barrel spring airgun, I will consider buying the HW97, HW77 or the Diana 48/52 with T06 Trigger.


  9. BB–Regarding droop–that’s why Burris makes signature rings with offset inner plastic inserts. I think that they work better than shims. Please try them . Ed



  10. BB,

    Is the modular stock you keep talking about available to the rest of us common folk, and if so where?

    Enjoying reading this series (probably) almost as much as you are shooting that Mrod. Keep ’em coming!


  11. Thanks BB, sorry about that – I guess I’ve gotten lazy when everything else you discuss is already hyperlinked. But I get why this one isn’t…yet?


  12. The armored bipod looks pretty cool, but I can’t get away from my double sandbags for the kind of groups they produce.

    Thanks for the thoughts on red dot sights. Mike, yes I was surprised at the poor evaluation by the Delta Force trooper. Perhaps he was referring to the divide between quality red dots and cheap imitations although my sense is that this gap is starting to close. Some of the cheaper red dots are supposed to perform pretty decently. Reb, yes I understand that the size of the red dot is about 3-4 MOA. That’s a low starting point for accuracy. But that shouldn’t prevent using it at distance given the expansion of the ballistic cone. Holding 3-4 MOA much beyond 100 yards is not bad at all for other than a precision rifle. Perhaps starting the ballistic cone with this level of inaccuracy (as opposed to good iron sights) causes a problem.

    Wow, I didn’t know that shooting bugs was such a thriving past-time. TwoTalon, you are the man. That’s quite a list of targets, but I wouldn’t go making trophies out of them. 🙂 In all cases, I assume that you are not taking these bugs on the wing but while they are earthbound. I seem to remember B.B. hitting a flying wasp at 100 yards with a 22-250, but I think that must be an isolated instance. Otherwise, hitting a bug on the wing seems almost impossible because of physical facts. Flies can change direction seven times in a second. Mosquitoes routinely fly through rainstorms dodging raindrops that would be lethal if they hit. Striking any of them in flight would have to luck. But I had supposed with that kind of sensitivity that even on the ground, the bugs could sense the disturbance in the air from the oncoming pellet and dodge. Apparently not.

    Matt61


    • Matt, don’t worry about the dot size. You can shoot moa (or close) with a dot- it just takes a while. Just remember no piece of curved glass is ever going to be perfect (completely parallax free) and you’ll figure the rest out.



      • I guess they don’t have a chance with a pellet if they can’t dodge a shock absorber. Isn’t there a better blunt weapon you can use? 🙂 Try the indestructible polypropylene bat from Cold Steel.

        Matt61


  13. BB–I have reduced the installation time by using the following method–1 place unloaded rifle in a secure locking rest. 2 – insert lazer sighter im the muzzle. 3-attach rings with 0 inserts to rifle (omit the top ring.) 4-place scope in rings (optically centered scope, mirror method.) At this point it helps to have an assistant hold the scope in the rings with moderate downward pressure. 5–look through scope to see if the aiming point is close to the lazer dot. If not, replace 0 insert ring with offset ring (as you would use a shim). try different offset rings until the aiming point is as close to the dot as possible. 5–Install top rings with correct top offset rings. Remove the lazer and shoot sighting shots. You should only need a few clicks to finish the process. It may seem complicated, but it gets very easy after the first few installations. A patient assistant (my wife) helps. Do not use your cat , I tried and it did not work with my cat ! Ed





        • Remember… LASER boresighters are meant to get you on the paper for final sight-in. They do NOT compensate for bullet trajectory — they only give you a straight line intersect of the scope sight-line and the barrel bore-sight (what you would see looking through the barrel). But any real projectile is falling below the bore-sight from the moment it leaves the barrel.

          Using a LASER boresighter on a sighted-in scope should put the dot above the cross-hair of the scope.


          • A bore sighter that is off so much that any scope adjustment would be both extreme and questionable is a no go.
            If it points in the wrong direction by too much then it is a waste.


            • As my other post (below this one, I think) mentions… You have to ensure the LASER itself is centered in the housing. They too have windage/elevation adjustment screws… Stick the unit in the barrel, see where the dot hits, rotate 180 degrees, note the new dot position, and then adjust the screws for the midpoint… Then maybe rotate 90 degrees, mark, rotate 180, mark and repeat the fine tuning the point.

              When done, you should have taken out any offset caused in manufacturing.

              But no laser boresighter will ever show actual projectile point of impact as none of them account for bullet trajectory — they only indicate (as the name states) the line of the bore (as if you had opened the breech and were sighting down the barrel itself — something easy to do with a bolt-action rifle as you just press the bolt release and take it out the back.

              Neither will the optical collimator style… But they do offer grid lines that can be used to (after centering on the grid) adjust for estimated bullet drop at distance.



      • The one’s I’ve tried are fairly solid once in the muzzle (but don’t work in a Browning BOSS unit — which is way too large through the muzzle-brake section).

        Pick the proper “spud”, slide into the muzzle, and rotate a bit to expand the spud for a snug hold. The conical section of the main body centers that end.

        However, I do suggest one FIRST do sightings while rotating the unit at 180deg angles, and adjusting the alignment screws until one can not see the position shifting. I think the last one I used started out with something like a 6″ shift at under 40 yards until the zeroing adjustments were made.



          • With my Saiga, the way the stock line works- earbuds work way better than the muffs for me. I had to use muffs at an indoor range, couldn’t get the dot close to the center of the sight.


            • Interesting. The muffs have caused some problems for me with head placement on the stock but nothing less will do for hearing protection. I wear three layers: small squashable plugs in the ear canal, cotton, and then the biggest muffs I can find. If a big gun with a muzzle brake is next to me, I can barely hear it. I’ll just take what comes with that.

              Matt61


    • You left off one piece of information… The distance at which the LASER is projected.

      I think the last one I used suggested the backstop should be 75-100 yards away (apparently assuming a fairly flat [powder gun] trajectory to that distance. For most firearms, the drop in the first 100 yards is probably under 2″, which would put the scope on the paper for final sight-in.

      After all, NO amount of shimming is likely to bring a high mounted scope into alignment with the LASER at a backstop distance of 10 feet <G>


  14. Thought I’d ask Tom a question. I am considering buying a new Benjamin Model 397. I’ve wanted one of these for years now. Since we now live on the big island of Hawaii in the VERY rainy Puna District, I’m wondering if the Benjamins (397 and 392), since there are brass barrels instead of steel (which will rust very quickly here), and other brass internals, would the Benjamin’s stand up to the climate better? I am one that likes multi pump air rifles, as I just can’t get the accuracy from springers that I require from an air gun. I like the real wood stocks on these. I would, if I get one, like to mount a scope, as my 61 year old eyes are not cooperating with me any more.

    Oh, and though we do get a lot of rain, we also get a lot of sunshine here. It’s just that the rain sometimes is so hard, you literally can not drive a car through it, as no windshield wiper is fast enough.


    • Jon,

      I think a 397 will hold up there. You have to remember to oil the pump head very frequently, which will keep the inside of the gun oiled. And store it with two pumps in the gun to keep the valves shut against moisture.

      B.B.


  15. BB– My boresighter works. The tail or spud makes a tight fit in all the rifles that I have tried it in. I also checked it with my old handy dandy Bushnell optical boresighter. , and it was very close. I use this method of sighting in at close range, 12ft, sometimes 30 ft. Perhaps the error is minimized at close distances. Last deer season, a friend brought his .35 cal lever gun to me. He bought it used, at a gun show and he was unable to sight it in. (no, he did not know how to 4 corner a target). He had fired at least 25 rounds at 50 @yds, and could not figure out where the bullets were going. I put my lazer sighter into his barrel and saw at once that the rifle was shooting a foot or 2 high. I adjusted the scope, he returned to his backyard .. The first shot was in the black (25 yd nra pistol target) .3 or 4 more shots and he was hitting the 10 ring. It works for me. I am as happy as a witch—-well you know the rest. Ed


  16. BB
    I have finished my homemade springcompressor.
    Its got a 5 metric ton hydraulic pump to compress the spring 🙂
    I reckon thats enough 🙂
    The airguns action/compression tube is secured by two clamps who hold it in place. The length of stop is adjustable. The stop is covered with rubber….the end of the barrel (were the crown is) makes contact with the stop….so the gun has nowhere to go when tbe the pump compresses the spring in the tube.
    Its all aligned well.
    My question:
    The end of the barrel makes frontal contact with the stop. Do I risk a bend barrel with this setup?


  17. BB:

    Great review so far. I think it would be great if you did an article just on the scope.

    My only critic is the 10.5 lbs weight and 8 shots per fill. That’s a lot of weight to haul around and you’ll definitely need the bipod or some other rest to shoot it accurately. If you’re a hand pumper like I am, that’s alot of pumping.

    Last weekend I was down in Littlefield Arizona on my StepDads farm. I brought my Talon SS with the 22 caliber, 24-inch barrel installed. My stepdad brought his Ruger 10-22. I was just as accurate, if not slightly better than the 10-22 at 50 yards. The results were similar to what you reported in your comparison awhile back.

    I have no doubt that this 2nd Gen Marauder will give any airgun or rimfire gun stiff competition inside 50 yards. Just bring some sort of rest and a fill tank.

    Great report so far. I’m enjoying the heck out of it!


  18. Edith,

    On the PA webpage for the scope used on this gun ( UTG 2-16X44AO Accushot scope ) if you look down to the description section it is shown as having a 40mm objective when it should be 44mm. Also, wishing you guys some dryer weather soon.

    David H



    • I saw someone express the droop in their gun in degrees within the last week or so but I think more information about the whole setup would be necessary to get determine It.



        • I agree it would only save a few clicks of elevation and I’m used to setting airgaps with a business card,which would attract moisture in such an application so I would go with a credit card here which would probably be around .025-.030 and save considerably more elevation.






                  • BB
                    I know you always have to keep moving to stay on schedule.

                    But the whole idea of checking to see where the reticle is at is so you don’t get to far away from the spring tension and get reticle float. And yes on the good quality scopes you can just look at the turret to see where it is adjusted at by the lines and such.

                    And I guess back to the original part of this conversation. Why only .002″? I think I would automatically start out with .010″ that way I know the back of the scope will raise and I would probably have to put down adjustment in the turret.

                    Thats what I was thinking.


    • Gunfun1
      It has .0001′ droop so that the correction is 1/20th the amount droop which amount to virtually nothing.

      I bet if the scope had been optically centered it would have shown no droop at all and required no shim as well.
      I would think by the time rings were tightened it would be less than .002′ of correction as an end result.

      BD


      • It sounds like a good practice to cut down on remounts and I’ve seen em under a lot of used purchases and I’d be willing to bet that’s the thickness of the film B.B. had on hand.


        • Reb
          Yea I believe it is a good practice to get into doing before mounting any scope as you at least remove one variable by insuring the scope is centered before sighting in the gun.

          BD


    • At what distance? This presumes you intend an intersection rather than just parallelizing the bore and scope tubes (in which case centered crosshairs will be the same height above a laser bore-line at all distances).

      Once you include an intersection you have to account for distance… Taking out 1.5″ scope height at 25yards will be 4X more angular adjustment than the same at 100yards. (And this is still assuming the straight line bore, not a projectile trajectory).


      • BW
        You are completely correct but what we are saying is if you don’t start your sight in with the scope centered optically then you have no way of knowing if the gun is actually a drooper or the scope is already off the center of the horizontal plane and by how much so the apparent droop when shot at a given yardage my actually be due to the scope elevation adjustment not in the center of its adjustment and the barrel may actually not have a bore center that is at downward angle or bent at a downward angle,

        The only true way to test for droop is to insure that the scope is optically centered and mounted exactly level in the same horizontal plane as the bore of the barrel which is not so easy to do and why there is adjustments in the first place and then shoot at any given yardage you choose to shoot at and measure to see where the pellet or bullet hit as compared to the scopes POA and shim, use compensating mount or adjustable mounts to compensate for the amount of droop measured as some may even be an upward POI versus the scopes POA

        BD


        • Buldawg

          I agree with what you said. You have to know your scope reticle is centered.

          If some body gives me a scope that they had on a gun and they have the elevation adjusted almost all the way in one deriction. And I put it on my gun without checking the reticle centering I will not know where the gun will shoot.

          That would be like I take a shot at 25 yards and the pellet hits 10″ high. Does that mean I have barrel rise which is the opposite of barrel droop. Guess what if I didn’t check reticle center should I call it the barrel. I think before I say I have barrel rise I better check the scope.


          • GF1
            I am with you 100% on all that you said as if the scope is not centered you don’t have a clue where to start.

            Also as far a BB not having time to center a scope I would bet it take less time to optically center the scope than it does to shim it the mounts and check for droop or rise that may not even exist.

            BD


      • Wulfraed

        I believe BB said 25 yards not a 100 yards.

        And if I’m taking the time to shim a scope just to have something to start with I will put more than .002″ under the scope. That was a waste of time for 25 yards.


  19. Mike, don’t count out the BugBuster for the Saiga yet. I tried it last night, and the eye relief was fine. I now think that all my problems had to do with loose scope rings. I see that the scope had shifted in the mounts, so that is proof. I’m getting excited as I continue to settle in with this weapon. I should have a solid report at my next outing, coming up soon.

    Here is one of the weirdest airgun problems I have ever come across. I have an acquaintance who is something of a granola woman who is trying to raise chickens. One day, she entered her coop and found that all the young chicks she had been raising had had their heads ripped off. I figured that it was vandalism by some psycho, but she was certain that the culprit was a raccoon. I had always thought that they were relatively benign, but she says that they are the psychos of the animal world and will kill for fun.

    She wants revenge. Her plan is to buy something called a Z trap which will catch the animal by the paw and force it into immobility because spikes are arranged to stab into the paw if the animal moves. Then, she plans to come up and execute it. The question is how to do the final step. While she wants to eliminate the animal, she doesn’t want to cause pain, both for her sake, and I suppose the animal’s. She’s completely ignorant about guns and seemed to be thinking in terms of a rimfire or some kind of a shotgun. I told her that as far as I knew discharging any firearm in the city was illegal. Then I suggested airguns. But what airgun would be appropriate? It would have to take into account her complete lack of skill (and a certain stubborn resistance to instruction). You want something powerful enough to do the job but not too powerful or heavy to overwhelm her. I was thinking of a powerful Browning spring pistol, but perhaps the extra distance of a rifle would be better. Incidentally, this is not Lauren who could take care of something like this very easily on her own.

    Another factor driving the whole idea is that this acquaintance says that raccoon’s are very good to eat, and she hopes to get some fine meals out of this. However, her theory is that they live in storm drains, so I would think some cleaning procedure would be in order. I’ve heard that extensive boiling will do the job although it will remove a lot of flavor in the process and toughen the meat.

    Matt61


    • I have caught Raccoons by using a “Dog Proof” foot hold trap. The trap has a trigger inside of a tube that only a Raccoon can reach down inside to trigger. It is very effective and will only catch coons. The use of a sweet bait is also recommended as most other animals aren’t attracted to sweets. Here’s a link to a firm that sells this type of trap, http://www.fntpost.com. Once in the trap, the coon can be shot at close range. An air rifle will work. I have used both my .22 cal. Diana 52 and Crosman 160. The Crosman has a mod for more velocity. However, if she doesn’t want to learn how to use the air guns correctly, she will be better off to have someone else remove the coons. BTW, I don’t think I would eat one by choice. Their fur can be worth money in the fall/winter when prime. Check local trapping/hunting laws.

      Mike


  20. BB– The Pyramyd air catalog arrived yesterday. I enjoyed your article re hunting with air guns. I searched my archives and found Rifle magazine #141(1992). It has an article by Paul Matthews re hunting with cast bullets. It has a lot of info re hard versus soft (paper patched) bullets, penetration, calibers, shock effect, etc. Matthews refers to Rifle #61–“The wound ballistician Clemendson (Swedish) and the Germans Lampel und Langenbach determined that the velocity at impact must exceed 2,625 fps to produce a pulsatile wound (shock effect). He then discusses the critical velocity vs bullet mass and diameter in producing shock. He compares cast bullets to arrows, and there is a lot of info in this article that is of interest to us. I hope that you have access to this magazine, if not, let me know how I can send you a copy of the article, if you would like to have it for reference. Ed


  21. Diana—-and—-RWS Diana? How about a different question(s) today? What’s the difference in Diana brand and RWS Diana brand? Same manufacture to date? After getting out of the air gun business in the 1980’s? I wanted to get back and enjoy the quality that others were having with air guns etc.! I sold and gave away a lot of the airguns and all guns to travel? That’s over and never got back into powder guns or competition shooting with powder guns! Just want to enjoy air guns! I never stopped reading doing research and handling a few airguns and started buying and building to my collection again! But! Don’t want any more junk!! I’ve never stopped reading and researching any type of source of energy to shoot a projectile! I read every source of literature on these subjects and get educated by blogs as much as I do the from authors and writers! But? I maybe reading to much into the problems of current air gunners experience, with some of manufacture’s and I don’t want to invest in high dollar air guns etc.? And have to send them back and be more disgusted with decisions of the higher corporations running the administration and not leaving the craftsman to do the manufacturing! Semper fi!


  22. Howdy all,

    Read the back and forth on the optical centering bit and turret centering.

    I got a Leapers 3-12 with all the “bells and whistles”. Leapers said their scopes are turret centered from factory. I called them a few months ago..

    From the factory, at 0 W and 0 E, I adjusted 44 out E and 20 in W to get it close to bull at 41′. (( Been shooting this at 41′ and 25 yds. for 6 months )).

    Did the mirror bit, another 52 out E and 72 out W. ( Total now 96 out E and 52 out W ).

    Now here’s where it get interesting,….to zero a JSB 15.89 I ended up doing 2 in E, and 81 in W.

    ( Total now 94 out E, and 29 in W from factory O/O ).

    Summary, post mirror,… While the E did not change much, or needed to, to keep it close,….the W required 81 clicks back in to get it zeroed AFTER the mirror bit. Confused ?,…me too, but shooting good at 25 and 50 yds.

    Can’t say it helped or hurt. Groups are no better, but not worse. (At least I tried it).

    As a side note,…from previous playin’,…the Leapers has about 7 full turns E and 2 on W from bottom to tops,..or,…full in to full out.

    Chris



    • Chris, USA and Reb

      Sounds like neither one of you shimmed after you found the reticle center.

      Why would you worry about finding reticle center if you weren’t going to shim the scope after you found out what your poi was?

      All you did was zero your scope at the distance you wanted and adjusted the scope so many clicks to hit at your poa.

      If you aint worried about shimming your scope to keep the reticle centered at your zero distance then yea don’t waste your time with clicks of the turret or optical centering. Because you did nothing but know how far away from center you are.



        • Chris, USA

          Nope nowhere in the post above that you talk about clicks do I see anything about shimming or what thickness you used. Or if you had a mount or rings that can compensate for scope alignment.


          • GF,

            You are right, I did not mention shimming. I did not say that I did. I did say in my reply, that I did in fact shim. More details were in the no-show reply.

            I thought info. in original post was enough,..but you are right about shimming and I should have mentioned it. Just thought that it was getting confusing enough.



              • GF,

                Why did the E require near 0 adj. from mirror and why did the W require so much? (+ .018 shim to the right to get it left + the 81 click from mirror set on W.)

                Chris


                • Chris, USA
                  This is a guess.

                  If you count the clicks its probably more accurate than using your eye sight to determine if the reticle is centered verses the optical centering.

                  The turrets are mechanical and should repeat more precisely than your eyes.

                  Have you ever used a optical comparitor before. Its hard for 3 people to get the same reading because everybody focuses different.


                  • GF,

                    I used one a long time ago. The turrets on the Leapers are VERY tight with the locks off. I do not trust (me) on judging top out and bottom with them so tight. Remember the 1st scope? Hawke’s that way?

                    B.D. metioned that 9 of 10 times,..the top/bottom method VS the mirror method,….do not agree.

                    Chris


                    • Chris, USA
                      No I got 6 Hawke scopes and they the way there suppose to be. Definite click and stop at the click but easy to move. The Hawke varmint scopes I have don’t have locks.

                      My question about your scope is. Are you getting the lock downs all the way loose?

                      And yes there is Noway that the optical centering will produce the same results as yours for the reticle centering. Unless you get lucky I guess.

                      But the main thing is start out as close to center as possible. That way you know when you shoot that you can add the correct amount of shims to stay centered at your scope zero distance.

                      It helps keep your sighting more centered in your scope. If you shoot enough different scopes you will see that the farther out from center of the scope you get the scope won’t have as sharp of a image.

                      If you have your scope pointed way up in the front and you zero your scope you will be getting closer to that outer part of the scope thats not as good as close to the center.


                    • And suppose to say that turret centering will no way produce the same results as your eyes for centering the reticle in less you get lucky.


    • Chris,USA
      One question , you said that leapers stated that there scope are zeroed at the factory correct.

      Did you verify that with the mirror with scope at lowest magnification and parallax at infinity before you mounted and started to sight the gun in.

      If you did not verify that it was indeed optically centered before ever mounting and shooting the gun then you have no way of being accurate in your number of clicks in elevation or windage as you did not insure it was centered to start with and once you verify it is in fact centered. You need to pick a distance you intend to shot at for the most part and shoot three shot at a crosshairs on a piece of paper or cardboard whichever is going to be big enough to see exactly where the three pellets hit at that distance to know just how much correction is required and in which direction in order to even begin the shimming or corrected mount selection process.

      If you did not do it that way then you are just chasing your tail.

      BD


      • BD,

        From factory, I checked with mirror, but did not adjust. Just a .009 shim at rear and adjustments as noted above.

        When mirrored, I did just as you said,…min. mag and full AO. Re-mounteded as it was.

        Shot once at 41′ and several shots at 25 yds. Adjusted shims to get closer and dialed the rest.

        So yeah, I did it right.

        Chris


        • Chris, USA
          Was the scope centered from the factory as I would assume since you did not adjust and if it was not then you should have centered it.

          So what was the total amount of shimming needed to get it close to the POA because if it was over .010′ you are putting a lot of stress on the scope tube and would have been better using a corrected mount instead. BKL and Burris make some very good mounts as well as RWS and Sportsmatch.

          BD


          • BD,

            .005 hard on the bottom and .018 soft shims at right. The soft ones are similar to the cloth sticky liner that comes in the UTG rings. So, there is some “squish” effect on the soft ones.

            Chris


  23. Titus Groan, I can’t find the post that you replied to, so I’ll write here hoping you find this. Good to hear from you, and thanks for your info about archery. While I have great respect for the longbow, I’m not sure that it’s the most powerful bow ever. I’ve heard of historical contests by people who really had reason to know: the Crusaders and the Turks. They matched the longbow and the recurve for distance and the winner was…the recurve. It shot almost 500 yards whereas the furthest target butts for English longbows that I have heard of are 440 yards. Close, but a little short. The bends at the ends of the recurve just seem to give a mechanical advantage. As a matter of fact, I think it would be difficult to even make a distinction between the two as what we call longbows actually have deflex-reflex curves at the end which were very likely copied from the traditional recurves. I’ve seen this pointed out in medieval manuscripts, and the longbows that did such damage in The Hundred Years War were late enough to have this innovation.

    No doubt that a lifetime of practice was required for the longbow, but I don’t know about that story of shooting on the way to church. Unless they were all traveling to church in exactly the same direction, the churchgoers would have come under a lethal crossfire. Even if they were in the same direction, they would have had problems. There are plenty of accounts from the time that indicate that these people did not think about long-term healthcare, but they weren’t suicidal either.

    The clout shooting is interesting, and I see the appeal. My brother, with little practice, was eager to shoot targets 40 yards away even though he rarely hit. Something about nailing the target at long range has a special thrill. But along with that goes the problem of losing arrows. If I can lose arrows from a distance of 15 yards, what’s to be said of people shooting 150 yards away. Among other things, it’s expensive. That’s another reason I question the story about shooting on the way to church.

    While I was shooting a young kid watching me, asked how I aimed with a longbow. That’s a heck of a good question. What’s the answer? I told him that I ran my eye down the shaft and then onto the target. After release, I follow through, but I don’t really know how I aim. It is partly body position, muscle memory and instinct. Maybe the lack of aiming is the very thing that allows longbow archers to accomplish incredible feats like shooting pheasants out of the air or even pennies. No sights could keep up with that, so they develop some kind of other sense.

    Finally, have you or your friends come up with a theory on how the original yeoman archers operated longbows with draw weights of 180 lbs? My 60 pound bow is beyond my capabilities, and I am trying to work up to it. For all their barbarities, the medieval people were very sophisticated about some things whose secrets have been lost. These include the exact formula for making stained glass windows which have a richer hue than the modern kind; original Damascus steel; and the drawing of a full power longbow. I see quite a few variations on YouTube, but nobody seems to have found the secret.

    Matt61


  24. GF,

    Per manual, 40-70 degrees to loosen. It is obvious from the feel.

    Maybe BB should weigh in on the turret tightness,…or lack there of. Or,…any other Leaper’s owners.

    Today, at 50yds. it was much harder to see, even at 10 mag. But, as I said, the woods are very dark and it’s 60′ into them to get 50yds.

    Chris





      • GF,

        Well, for 50 yds.,…I got what I got. 60 ft. into the woods to get 50 yds. I know that lower mag. helps with low light.

        I got a driveway marker rod with some “fun” things to shoot at on it at 50yds. But since I just started to play at 50 yds, I needed paper to get hold over.

        I’ll just have to find some brighter targets for plinking at 50 yds. As for paper, the groups were not that good anyway. Will stay focused on getting 25 yds. down to 1/2″ and just play at 50 yds. for now.

        Chris


        • Chris, USA

          Do you have a flood light at home that you can aim at the 50 yard target.

          Or better yet one of those scope mounted lights or expanding beam lasers that can be adjusted to the beam pattern you want.


  25. I love the Marauder, no question about that, and I would love to have the .25 caliber. I very much appreciate the informative blogs.

    However, I want to mention my Benjamin Titan .22, briefly. Recently, it fired one shot that seemed reasonable although I can’t be sure. The next shot didn’t happen. The Titan made a weak Thump and the pellet remained where I had set it in the breach. Further shots made no difference.

    I took it apart and did a little cleaning, but nothing else. I put it back together. It fired the pellet into the ground, but I have no idea what the fps or fpe were. I attempted another shot. It had the weak thump, followed by three or four stutters (as though the piston or the gas ram stuck for a fraction of a second, then move forward a little and got stuck again). Repeated attempt to fire followed the same pattern. The pellet remains securely in the breach.

    I welcome any and all ideas (except to melt it down). ~ken




    • Those were the days, Chris. I drool over stuff on line, but you can’t beat the look and feel of four color catalogs with so many things to desire. ~ken


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