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Optics Generation 2 .25 caliber Benjamin Marauder: Part 11

Generation 2 .25 caliber Benjamin Marauder: Part 11

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Marauder synthetic stock
Second-generation Benjamin Marauder in a synthetic stock.

UTG Bubble Leveler scope: Part 1
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

This report covers:

  • Brief recap
  • Bubble Leveler scope
  • Fill the rifle
  • The test
  • Second target
  • Third target
  • What did we learn?
  • Next
  • Pump-assist Benjamin video

Brief recap

As you may recall, this report now includes the UTG 4-16 Bubble Leveler scope that I am also testing. I mounted it on the gen 2 .25 -caliber Benjamin Marauder rifle because I had my rifle’s action tuned by Tom Himes. The maximum number of good shots on a fill went from 16 to 22-24 and the velocity spread across those magazines dropped to a much smaller number. That means an extra magazine before it’s time to top off again. Tom Himes can be reached at batts@spcracing.com if you want a tune like the one I had. You can read all about it in Parts 8 and 9.

Today we look at the rifle’s accuracy at 50 yards. It shouldn’t be much better than it was in Part 7 because I’m shooting the same JSB Exact Kings I shot then. What’s different today is I may be getting one additional magazine of 8 shots from the rifle after the Himes’ tune. I also mounted the Bubble Leveler scope since Part 7, so we get to see what affect, if any, that had on accuracy. The rifle was already grouping 8 shots in 0.795 and 0.796-inches with this pellet, and I don’t think it can get much better than that.

Bubble Leveler scope

This was the first time I had the UTG Bubble Leveler scope outdoors and at 50 yards. This was a dark morning, both because of the early hour and also from an overcast winter sky. That was perfect for the test because it showed that the bubble can be seen in low light. In truth the bubble wasn’t that easy to see, but there was i a silvery reflection off it that I could use for positioning, once I learned where it was. I rested the rifle in a long sandbag that made small corrections both easy to make and solid, once made.

Fill the rifle

I filled the rifle to 3000 psi on the gauge of my carbon fiber air tank which we learned in Part 9 was the right pressure. Now it was time to shoot.

The test

I loaded the first magazine and shot the first target. Eight pellets went into 0.782-inches at 50 yards. Very similar to what they did in Part 7.

Benjamin Marauder 50-yard group 1
Eight JSB Exact King pellets landed in 0.782-inches at 50 yards.

From this first target I think we can say that the Bubble Leveler scope isn’t needed for this range and target. That really applies more to the target than the range. That’s because I always align the vertical crosshair with the vertical line of bulls to prevent canting. The Bubble Leveler is good for when there are no other cues to the cant of the rifle. I need to devise a test for that.

Second target

Okay, the first target told me the rifle was performing on par and as expected. This second test would tell me if it continued to do its best. In test 2 eight JSB Exact King pellets went into 0.984-inches at 50 yards. That’s about an inch. So it’s larger than the first group, but not by much.

Benjamin Marauder 50-yard group 2
The second magazine put 8 JSB Exact King pellets in 0.984-inches at 50 yards. It’s a larger group, but still very credible. And the point of impact is almost exactly identical to where the first magazine hit.

The third magazine will be the telling one, because up to this point the rifle was only good for 16 shots per fill. Let’s see how it did.

Third target

The third target was very telling. The first 5 shots were right there with the first two magazines. Shots 6 and 7 dropped a little below the others and the final shot dropped almost 3 inches from the first 5. The rifle is definitely off the power curve on that shot! The group from the third magazine measures 3.332-inches between centers, with most of that attributable to the final shot.

Benjamin Marauder 50-yard group 1
The third magazine started well but finished off the power curve. Shots 6 and 7 dropped a little and shot 8 plummeted well below the others.

What did we learn?

So far we have learned there are more than 16 good shots in a .25-caliber Gen 3 Marauder when it is expertly adjusted. There might even be a full 24 shots if I fill the rifle to about 3050 psi at the start. But I am safest if I limit my magazines to just two between fills when I want to shoot accurately at 50 yards and beyond. Shooting to 35 yards is a lot less demanding than pushing out to 50 yards, and that is a function of the physics of shooting any pellet rifle more than which brand of pellet rifle you shoot.

As I went back through all the reports in this series on this rifle I found that the accuracy has not changed one bit. This rifle consistently groups 8 shots under one inch at 50 yards, and has been doing so all along. However, there might be something that is new — I just have to test it. The rifle might now group better at 100 yards, because it is so consistent in velocity and also because of the Bubble Leveler scope.


So, I’m going back to the 100 yard range next. I want to see if precisely leveling the rifle will have any bearing of the group size. And I have past test data to compare to. Stay tuned!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

53 thoughts on “Generation 2 .25 caliber Benjamin Marauder: Part 11”

  1. BB,

    If you want a great target to really test the effectiveness of the level, flip your target over and use a Sharpie and draw an X on the paper. You can draw several if you desire. This gives you a very precise aim point with no vertical referencing. Also, if you happen to shoot out the point, the lines of the X will help you locate center. This is what I use with scopes all the time.

  2. BB,

    I have mounted my Leveler on my HM1000X, but have not had the opportunity to shoot it since. I am hoping life will allow me a little breathing time this weekend.

  3. B.B.,

    Fine shooting there. The video was very nice as well. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

    Looking forwards to the 100 yard test and your opinion of the levels effectiveness at that range. I have never used one for shooting but I think that it would have to help. As for how the level appeared,…. that could just be some of the different eye issues that you have going on. Perhaps Ridge Runner can look through his and give us his thoughts.


    • A level on an air gun is really not going to make much difference, except perhaps in a bench rest competition. First consider that the scope base/mounts on the receiver must be level, i.e. perpendicular to the bore. Now assume they are and mount the scope. Is the vertical crosshair perpendicular to the bore or did it move as you tightened the screws? OK, you did the best you could and still the bore is 1/8 of an inch to the left of the vertical crosshair if the crosshair were extended down into the bore. This is quite a large error actually. Now sight in at 25 yds. You will adjust your crosshairs to get the impact correct. Now shoot 100 yds. Your impact point will now be 3/8 inch to the right of the bullseye.
      Had you sighted in at 50 yds the error would be 1/4 inch to the right at 100 yds. Had you sighted in at 100 yds the worst accuracy error would be at the muzzle and never exceed 1/8 of an inch out to 200 yds. There would also be a small vertical error, but you will never measure it with the guns and pellets available to us. Where the level helps is removing the tendency to cant the gun differently with each shot. It helps with consistency, even if not properly mounted.

      • M Boyd,

        Years ago I did a cant test at 35 to 50 yards. I found at 50 yards a cant of 10 degrees to either side (canted 10 degrees to the left to 10 degrees to the right) moves a pellet about 6 inches horizontally and 2+ inches vertically.


            • Was that with a springer? Theoretically you could cant a gun 90 degrees so that elevation adjustment became windage and windage becomes elevation and shoot the gun accurately. If you didn’t try to hit the bulls eye but sighted in so that you hit the same distance left or right that the scope was above the bore line, then you would always hit that much left or right of what you were aiming at. Gravity doesn’t care how the gun is tilted. Many of the older or Asian military rifles require that a scope be mounted in an off set position, like the K31. This duplicates cant. Windage has to be adjusted to compensate for the offset.

                • It may not seem like it, but we are actually sort of talking about the same thing. I am saying that a gun with a scope improperly mounted will still shoot fairly accurately, your comments are saying that a gun with the scope mounted properly then canted will move point of impact, and it will. As you and I and most other shooters know, canting a gun even a few degrees can move your crosshairs way off target.

                  • M Boyd,

                    Yes, but shooters then center the crosshairs and throw their shots wide. I was really testing this to see what effect a 1/2 degree of cant would have on the size of a group. It is significant, yet almost all shooters are unaware that they are doing it.


      • M Boyd,

        You bring up many good points. But yes,…. that is what I meant,….. it will insure cant (or lack there of) from shot to shot. Consistency as you said.

      • M Boyd,

        Something on the order of a micro switch, perhaps Mercury type,…. with Red/Green/Red LED’s with green being the “perfect” spot and red being 1/2 degree of cant. Not as cheap as a level,…. but far more accurate in removing human subjectivity. That would be fun to try.

  4. Nice shootong and I like the video also. My M-rod also needs to be topped off after 2 magazines. I am also sure that it can shoot more accurately than my ability to do so.

  5. B.B.

    The video really does show the double fulcrum of the pumper.
    Could the same concept be used on a break barrel? I know many a magnum that could use an assist!


  6. B.B.,

    Thanks very much for the pump assist 392 video. I take it that the Butterfly hand pump used the same essential design times two — one mechanism for each handle/side of the pump.


  7. I love the idea of the pump assist. I do not believe it could be used on a break barrel, but it could on a single pump gun. That would finally give it more power without being so hard to pump. Thanks Again B.B.


  8. B.B.,
    Hello again and happy New Year! I have two questions that I have had in mind that jumped to the fore after
    reading this blog and, about which, I think many of your readers would like your thoughts. #1. Why haven’t we seen the commercial introduction of an assisted hand pump, such as the Butterfly model, which significantly lessens the effort needed to charge a PCP? I imagine that there are many, many airgunners who would be very interested in purchasing such a pump (including myself). #2. Can a pump assist 392 like the one in your video be purchased anywhere? It too,along with the assisted hand pump, may result in a profitable commercial product.
    Thank you for your time and consideration.

  9. BB,
    I know the level will work, just not as good as a cant block :)!

    Marauder in .25 is looking very interesting. 50 yards is roughly equivalent to average rimfire, it looks to me. It will be good to see if it holds up at 100. Probably 2.5″ groups or better with good pellets would be satisfactory.

  10. BB and Fellow Airgunners
    Ever since the Benjamin Marauder went on sale in Canada in the three popular calibers, and Gen2 edition, I have looked long and hard at the .22cal model as being my first PCP airgun. It comes with the barrel shroud, but sans baffles per Canadian law. The match trigger, adjustable power, stock options, and after market custom parts make this airgun very appealing. The lack of shot count, would be my only pet peeve to purchasing a .25cal. Besides, I would use it mainly for target, and plinking purposes. I will reread the entire series on this Gen2 Marauder in case I’ve missed some vital information that might sway my decision.
    By the way, has anyone seen this video about a powerful single pump airgun that gets 700fps on a single pump with JSB 13.4 grain .22cal pellets? The pump mechanism reminds me of the Benjamin pump you photographed, and talked about seeing at the Shot Show a few years ago, but it never seemed to make it to the market place. Is this gun truly something new, or has this method been tried before? Here is the site. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fdh06WhhQME .

    • Titus Groan,

      🙂 PCP/M-rod. I love my .25. Gunfun1 too. I removed the baffles on mine and added 6 oz. of bronze weights. Mine is in a RAI stock with 6 position stock, fore grip, bi-pod. Will punch clean through a steel can at 100 yards. Squirrels drop in their tracks.

      All that said,…… doing all that,.. and having all that,….. I am looking at the Maximus. I think if it had been around when I went PCP,…. I would have gotten that. Since it is your first and you said that you are going to target/plink with it,….. maybe an option. Plus,… I have a Shoebox,…. so the M-rod is no big deal.

      Keep us posted.

      • Chris U
        Let’s see if I got this right. You love your .25 Mrod and Gunfun1 too. Well you never told me you cared. 🙂

        Oh wait a minute. You mean Gunfun1 loves his .25 Mrod too. 😉

        • GF1,

          Yes,… I could have perhaps worded that just a tad different. 😉

          Oh,.. I did try expanding the skirts on some 15.89’s for the TX. I used a pen and the end result looked a bit rough. I shot them at 41′ and while that is not going to show much,.. they did produce a slightly smaller group. I will keep playing with them. I am using some of those bunged up ones, so I do not feel too bad about deforming them.

          • Chris U
            Glad you tryed flaring the skirts in your TX. It seemed to help my lower powered springer verses the pcp’s I tryed.

            But if you seen some improvement in groups at 41′ I believe you should get better groups at some longer distances also. When you can get back outside and try will tell the true story.

    • Titus,

      On the link that you posted,….. someone (RR?) posted that the other day. It was in response to me wishing for that very same thing, (powerful single pump), except that I was wanting 800-900fps in .22. Well, you see what it takes for a .22 to get 700fps. Bottom line,… too heavy, too bulky, too big. Cool that he did it, but it would be a bench rest gun. = Another reason that I am considering the Maximus. Light, off hand, walking, plenty good for 20-40 yards.

  11. In this article of the .25 Marauder you state that you are getting 22-24 shots with an “expertly tuned gun”. I didn’t see any mention of the fps/fpe of those 24 shots. I bring this up because there is currently a thread running where guys are getting 40 – yes 40- regulated shots from their .25 Marauder. http://www.gatewaytoairguns.org/GTA/index.php?topic=116706.0
    I have a .25 Marauder that I bought used, so I’m actually not sure if there was any internal work done (although I recall the original owner said no), except that it has an SSG (and advanced debouncing hammer design) from Wicked Air Rifles. It is currently tuned to provide 48 shots at 38fpe within 3.5% Extreme spread from a 3000psi fill pressure.
    My point is that the .25 Marauder is probably the best “bang for buck” PCP air rifle out there, and just a little extra work and/or investment can make it even better by dramatically increasing its efficiency.

    • mobilemail,

      Welcome to the blog.

      This article is one of an 11-part series. The velocities were presented in Part 10. Just click on the link at the top of the page to go there.

      It might be best to start withy Part 1 and read the entire series, as this rifle has gone through a lot of testing, over several years.


    • Mobilemail,

      I think you are the first person (on this site) to have an M-rod with an SSG device. I have casually followed the history on GTA and last I saw they were getting quite refined. The first ones were quite crude looking. I was not aware that they were being retailed. Nice #’s. Keep us posted as a few people here have the .25 M-rod.

  12. Really??!! Amongst the Marauder shooters on the forum (and GTA had over 17000 registered members the last I heard) it is largely considered the essential first upgrade, whether you build one or buy one. In fact, there is now talk of a successor that will have the same efficiency gains but be even easier to adjust – the TSS (Twin Spring System). It is not a new concept, but one that is getting new attention.
    But back to the SSG, it has been tweaked by some to work on the QB78 series, some have hand-made a Discovery version, and I think a couple of other guns. But the change in the marauder’s efficiency is drastic and immediately apparent. Note – you will need a chronograph and some DIY skills to get it set up correctly, but the actual installation is quite simple with basic hand tools.

    BB – I will review the earlier posts, thanks a bunch.

    • Mobilemail,

      Really. I have yet to hear of a single one. I do have a 12.5 # spring and can do 3500 with 24 good shots. I have not chronied it yet since the mod and adjustments. There was some guys getting some real high counts and tight spreads using internal regulators over on GTA. Mostly .177’s if I recall correctly.

  13. 3500 fill pressure? Can’t say I like to push the specified max pressure that much, but I’m a coward. But I would encourage you to do a search on that forum for “SSG” and see what folks have done. As for the .177, one well-known tuner is getting ~100 shots regulated at just below 20fpe from the Marauder, but he does a fair bit of work to get there. Anyway, I don’t wish to hijack BB’s space, and I’m not trying to spread, um, fluff. (And I don’t work for Wicked Air Rifles LOL). I only wish to convey that more efficiency can be had with the Marauder than is obtained with the stock parts.

    For your general interest, the thread on the development of the SSG – (it can get overwhelming in places) http://www.gatewaytoairguns.org/GTA/index.php?topic=102095.0

    and the TSS still in development http://www.gatewaytoairguns.org/GTA/index.php?topic=118527.0

    Awesome guns, these Marauders!

      • Mobilemail,

        Thank you. I read the last link in it’s entirety. Very impressive. And,… that was just bought and dropped in. You are right in that GTA can get a bit overwhelming in spots,…. but is nice for all the pictures and good data. Definitely a site for those that like to “play”. It would appear that both devices are close to reaching there pinnacle and are ready as drop in kits. Joe is great too. I have had some dealings with him. No matter what I have done to mine,… I have never had it “burp” from bounce.

        M-rod owners,…… worth a look see if you are not up to speed on the latest. More power, use less air, better spreads.

  14. To those questioning or noting tunes with larger shoot counts in a Marauder of any caliber. There is a notable difference in the intent and cost between a tune that utilizes stock OEM parts and one that adds aftermarket parts and also includes machining work.

    • I forgot to note in my last post – I installed a SSG assembly in both my .22 Marauder and ,25 Marauder. After putting a thousand rounds or so through each, I removed the SSG’s in each rifle. The slight increase in shot count the SSG provided was not worth the extreme effort and crudeness it added to the bolt action. I know others may have difference results than I experienced, but I have read of others having similar results to mine.

      At just a hair under 20 ft-lbs, my regulated .22 Marauder gives me 68 shots per fill and my non-regulated, all stock parts, .25 Marauder provides 30 shots at 37 to 38 ft-lbs. Both rifles are a pleasure to shoot due to their butter smooth actions.

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