by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- What we are testing today
- Rifle is now adjusted perfectly
- Removed the UTG folding stock adaptor
- At the range
- Changing pressure doesn’t change POI
- More fun
- Bottom line
We are looking at a .25-caliber gen 2 Benjamin Marauder with synthetic stock that I purchased specifically for this extended test. Dave Rensing of R. Arms Innovations send me a modular stock to test, and I attached a number of Leapers UTG parts to it. Read the earlier parts of this report to see what’s been done so far.
What we are testing today
Today we will look at accuracy with the rifle installed in the modular stock. You may recall what I’m about to say, but I will summarize for those who haven’t been following and don’t like to read the earlier parts of the report. I found the accuracy was only good in the RAI modular stock, but it was superior in the factory synthetic stock. I noticed a dense rubber pad in the synthetic stock and right away readers started talking about using dense material to bed rifle actions. But my discoveries did not end there.
Rifle is now adjusted perfectly
I also have discovered the best velocity for the 25.4-grain JSB Exact Kings the rifle likes best. I get a total of 16 shots from a fill and they go to the same point of impact when the rifle is in the synthetic stock. Yes, a lot of other pellets were tested and you can read about them in the earlier parts of the report.
The trigger is now set exactly the way I like it. In short, everything is set up to function as well as the rifle can, but I had only tested it this way in the synthetic stock, shooting off a sandbag rest at 50 yards.
Back to the RAI stock
Today we will see how well the rifle does back in the RAI modular stock, shooting off a UTG rubber armored bipod. There was some speculation that the bipod introduced harmonics in the stock that allowed the groups to open. Today we shall see.
Removed the UTG folding stock adaptor
Before I started I removed the UTG Folding Stock adaptor that allows the buttstock to swivel to the left side of the gun. The swivel function isn’t important, because the rifle is still very large, even after the stock is folded. It offers no advantage for carrying. It does give access to the striker adjustment, but I now have that where I want it and don’t plan to adjust it again. Even if I did, I remove the stock to adjust the rifle, so I wasn’t using the adaptor anyway. It added weight, plus it made the butt so long that the 6-position Mil Spec stock could not be adjusted. It had to be collapsed all the way for me to use the rifle, and my pull is 14-3/4-inches! I like the setup much better with that adaptor off, because the stock is more than one inch shorter.
At the range
I filled the rifle to 3,000 psi and loaded the first 8 pellets. Then I shot when the morning light was just good enough to see the target clearly. This is one time when I actually used the illuminated reticle in the UTG 2-16X44AO Accushot scope. For the first half hour of shooting I was using the red reticle on increasingly bright settings as the sky brightened. People have asked me if these reticles have a use. This is it!
The first 8 pellets hit the target about 0.8-inches high and 0.8-inches to the left. I attribute that to changing from the synthetic stock to the aluminum one. Eight pellets went into 1.044-inches, which I thought was a very good start.
I adjusted the scope to the right and lower and the second group of 8 went into 0.981-inches. This group was still high and a bit to the left, but it was now time to refill the reservoir. When I did I noticed the pressure inside was right at 2000 psi when the fill started, so 16 shots accounts for 1000 psi of air. I refilled to 3000 and continued.
Changing pressure doesn’t change POI
I wanted to see where the next group would go, so I left the scope where it was. This time the rifle put 8 into 0.795-inches at 50 yards. And this group was in the same place as the group before, which was the second 8 shots on a fill. So that answers both questions I had about the RAI stock. It does shoot accurately and also does not shift its aim point when the pressure in the rifle drops. All the stuff about harmonics and bipods versus sandbags is mute. This Marauder can shoot, once it is properly tuned!
Then, I just had fun. I shot 3 more 8-shot groups and adjusted the scope to bring the shots closer to the aim point. I shot another 0.796-inch group and the rest of the groups hovered just under or just over one inch. I found shooting off the bipod legs was easy if I pushed forward on the rifle to tension the legs. I also used the micro adjustments in one leg to perfectly level the rifle on the table. After that it was like shooting in a gallery. I couldn’t miss!
I may return to this Marauder again, just to see how fast it’s shooting. And there is a chance I will try it at 100 yards. I haven’t decided on that yet.
We have now looked at this Gen II .25 caliber Marauder 7 times. We have tested it straight out of the box, adjusted the velocity, adjusted the fill pressure and adjusted the trigger. We have used both the stock it comes with, and a very fancy setup from RAI. We have adjusted both the rifle and the accessories to the point where they gave the best performance, and as you have seen, the accuracy is pretty fine!
I wondered whether a .25-caliber pellet rifle could ever be as accurate as a .22 at 50 yards and this Marauder has shown that with the right pellet, it can. So I will keep it in my inventory for those times when I need a quarter-inch pellet.
The test is not over but the results are in. The Gen. II Benjamin Marauder in .25 caliber is an accurate air rifle that’s also very affordable. Put it on your short list.