by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- What we are testing today
- Trigger adjustment
- Synthetic stock
- Now to shoot
- Other pellets
- Back to the Kings
It’s been a couple months since we looked at the .25-caliber gen 2 Benjamin Marauder. In that time I have done some things to it. I haven’t reported any of this, but here is a quick rundown of what I’ve done.
The past 2 times I’ve had the rifle out to the range I was getting just 8 good shots (one magazine) on a fill, followed by a second 8 shots that opened up. The second 8 shots were not terrible, they just weren’t as tight as the first 8. And that happened every time.
In Part 4 I adjusted the velocity and ended with what I thought was a 2500 psi fill limit. But it didn’t help things. So, I tried filling the rifle to 3000 psi, but it also did not change the outcome. The second group still opened up more than the first.
I had two rather disappointing sessions at the range in the past 2 months with no good results to report. It was time to make some changes and hope for the best.
What we are testing today
In today’s report I am still trying to get at least 2 good magazines or 16 shots from a fill. The rifle ought to be able to do that at least. It may not get more stable shots than that because a .25 caliber rifle does use a lot of air. But 16 shots would be nice. I keep saying 16 shots because the magazine holds 8 pellets. There might be 18 shots or even 21 good shots per fill, but it’s far more convenient to limit the number to complete magazines.
Before I get to today’s test, though, I was never entirely happy with the way the trigger was adjusted. So I took the rifle out of the RAI modular stock to look at the inside of the trigger assembly more closely. There is a plate on the right side of the trigger assembly that comes off by removing 4 screws. The pins will hold the trigger parts in place, if you don’t jostle the rifle too much.
One the plate is removed, you can see which screws do the adjusting. This is where I discovered that the instructions in the owner’s manual can be misleading. It’s not that they are incorrect — they just don’t inform you of how much adjustment needs to be made to each screw. Seeing the parts as you adjust makes the job go much better.
I was able to carefully cock the gun and test the trigger as I watched the parts interact. By seeing the relationship of the adjustment screws and how they affected the parts, I was able to adjust stage 1 to the length I wanted and stage 2 to a very crisp release with no discernible movement.
The trigger is now perfectly crisp and releases the same as a Gen 1 Marauder trigger does. The trigger is now set to break at 1 lb. 3 oz. I think this may make the rifle easier to shoot accurately.
When I had the rifle out of the stock, I spotted something in the original synthetic stock that was curious. There is a thick rubber pad in the forearm that cradles the air reservoir. The RAI stock doesn’t have a rubber pad. I wondered whether this pad was somehow damping some vibration that might be affecting the second string of 8 shots after a fill. While that’s a stretch, I decided to install the rifle back in the factory stock for today’s accuracy test.
With the factory stock back on I decided to shoot the rifle off a sandbag instead of the UTG rubber armored folding metal bipod that was on the RAI stock. This also changed the vibration patterns from the previous tests.
Now to shoot
Now it was time to shoot. I filled the gun to 3000 psi and shot the first group with JSB Exact Kings that have proven to be the best pellets for this rifle. The first group went right to the point of aim and 8 pellets grouped in 0.721-inches at 50 yards. So far, so good.
Now the second magazine was loaded. This would be the real test. This time 8 pellets went into 0.794-inches. This is the first time that the second magazine of 8 from this rifle has grouped as good as the first. Hopefully it wasn’t a fluke.
Now that I knew the gun could shoot 16 good shots, I checked out 2 other pellets to see what they could do. On the first magazine after a fill I tried 8 of the new 33.95-grain JSB Exact King Heavy pellets. They made a group that measures 1.477-inches between centers at 50 yards. Obviously this isn’t a good pellet for the new Marauder. I will test it in the .25-caliber AirForce Escape, where the increased power may improve things.
Notice that these pellets struck the target almost 1.75-inches lower than the lighter Kings. But they are still in line with the center of the bull.
I also tried the .25-caliber Benjamin domes that have no brand name on the second 8 shots after the fill. They landed in a group measuring 1.399-inches between centers. Seven of them are in 0.652-inches, though, so this may still be a worthy pellet to consider. And no, the last shot wasn’t the one that dropped low.
Back to the Kings
I wasn’t finished quite yet. Could the rifle return to the Kings and do it again? Could it shoot another 16 pellets to the same point of impact with good groups? I filled the gun and loaded a magazine with the Kings.
The first 8 pellets went to the same aim point at 50 yards and grouped in 0.728-inches. This was good.
The second group of 8 went into 0.903-inches. It was the largest group with this pellet on this day. And the point of impact was in the same place.
I have to make a number of conclusions from today’s test. First, I like the way the trigger is set. No doubt it is helping me hold on target as tightly as possible.
Next, the 3000 psi fill seems to work perfectly. So even though the chronograph said I should fill to 2500 psi, the 50-yard target tells a different story.
Finally, there may be something to the rubber pad inside the factory synthetic stock. I won’t know that for sure until I re-mount the RAI modular stock and run the same test. That’s planned for next time.
The bottom line is the new second generation .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder is just as accurate as the first generation was. I have played with the gun and uncovered some of its secrets, and now I know what it can do. From here on, everything will be measured against today’s results.