Second-generation .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder in a synthetic stock.
This report covers:
- Different report
- JSB Exact King Heavy Mark II
- Predator Polymag
- The JTS Dead Center
- One more thing
It’s been a long time (6 years) since I last reviewed this Generation 2 .25-caliber Benjamin Marauder. I have missed shooting it, but today I’m testing it for two important reasons. First, I’m testing it because JTS gave me some of their new .25-caliber pellets to test and this is currently one of the few repeating .25-caliber air rifles I own. And second, I now have a JTS Airacuda Max precharged pneumatic in .25 caliber to test for you and I needed a basis for comparison. If the Airacuda Max was a .177 or a .22 I’d have a lot of airguns to compare to but in .25 caliber the cupboard is, if not bare, at least very sparse.
Today really isn’t about testing the .25-caliber Marauder again. I have tested this rifle many times over the years. Nor do I intend comparing it with the JTS Airacuda Max. I just selected the most accurate repeating .25-caliber PCP I own as a means of talking about the .25-caliber JTS pellet in general. So today is a partial test of the .25 caliber JTS pellet, with more to come when I test it in the Airacuda Max.
Since I have tested the .25 Marauder many times, today’s report will be different. I used the Labradar chronograph so I could check velocity and accuracy at the same time. I will report both today.
When I looked at the Marauder I saw that it had a vintage UTG 10X44 SWAT scope mounted. In the last report back in 2017 it had the 4-16 Bubble Leveler. So I wasn’t certain if the rifle was sighted in. One shot from 12 feet showed that it was on target for 25 yards, so I backed up and shot the test from there.
The .25-caliber Marauder holds 8 pellets in its rotary magazine, so each group will be shot with 8 pellets unless I say otherwise. I shot with the rifle rested on a sandbag at 25 yards. I also recorded all shots until something happened that I’ll get to in a bit.
JSB Exact King Heavy Mark II
The first pellet I tested was also the sight-in pellet — a JSB Exact King Heavy Mark II. This pellet weighs 33.95 grains and went out of the rifle at an average velocity of 723 f.p.s. That’s an energy of 39.4 foot-pounds.
The low velocity was 715 f.p.s. The high was 733 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 18 f.p.s.
The group and the velocity string above only contain 7 pellets because the first one was fired as a sight-in check from 12 feet. Seven Kings went into 0.25-inches at 25 yards. This pellet has been even more accurate in this rifle in the past and I’ll address that in a bit.
Seven JSB Exact King Heavy Mark II pellets made a group at 25 yards that measures 0.25-inches between centers.
The Marauder trigger is set WAY too light for me! It needs to be adjusted heavier. It breaks with just 3 oz. of pressure and I cannot feel a stage two. That HAS to be adjusted!
Next up was the .25-caliber Predator Polymag hollowpoint. They weigh 26 grains, according to the tin. They averaged 791 f.p.s. That’s an energy of 36.1 foot-pounds.
The low velocity was 690 f.p.s. The high velocity was 846 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 156 f.p.s. That”s too high for the Marauder. I don’t think the chronograph is recording correctly.
Eight Predator Polymag pellets went into 0.66 inches at 25 yards. This Marauder is WAY more accurate than that!
Eight Predator Polymags made a 0.66-inch group at 25 yards. That’s out of profile for the Marauder.
The JTS Dead Center
This is the pellet I really want to evaluate in the Marauder. That will let me know how well this pellet shoots so when I test it in the Airacuda Max I’ll know something going in.
And this test was different. Remember those “I’ll tell you in a bit?” things I said earlier? This test is where they all came to a head. To shoot for accuracy and to test velocity simultaneously I have to shoot with the rifle’s muzzle close to the microphone that triggers the radar. That makes me sit scrunched up at the shooting bench because of where the muzzle has to be for me to get as close to the microphone as I can get. Remember — the Marauder has a shroud and is very quiet. That is problem number one and the reason why I believe all but the last of today’s groups aren’t as small as they could be.
Problem number two is I shot the microphone holder! That ended my trying to record velocities and accuracy at the same time — at least in my house from 25 yards. Not just today — for all time!
So I wound up shooting three groups with the JTS pellet. The first one measured 0.508-inches between centers. The second group measured 0.691-inches between centers and that group had only seven pellets because the first one hit the clip that holds the microphone to the Labradar, sending it about 12 feet. Following that I shot a lot faster, taking less care in my aim because of what happened. So phooey on that group.
After the Labradar was taken down I rearranged the shooting table for comfort and a good hold. This time I did just one thing and I did it to the best of my ability.
The third group of JTS pellets is eight in 0.503 inches between centers. That’s so close to the first group with this pellet that it’s a tie and any difference is a measuring error.
The best group of JTS pellets was made when I stopped trying to chronograph the shots and just concentrated on accuracy.
Before I shot the microphone clip I measured the velocity of the 25.4-grain JTS pellet at an average 810 f.p.s. That’s good for 37.1 foot pounds of energy. The low was 612 and the high was 870 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 258 f.p.s. There is no way that number is right. And, only one pellet read below 821 f.p.s. The way I had the radar set up at 25 yards had to cause that inaccurate reading.
I will also mention this — the JTS pellets went into the barrel extremely hard. The difference between them and the other two pellets was noticeable!
One more thing
While all this was going on, my cat, Dale Evans, was throwing up and trying to defecate all over my house. That went on for two hours. It had also happened back in October but it was much worse this time. I knew that it was finally time to send her home to be with my wife, Edith. So it’s going to be a lot quieter here at casa Pelletier. But 18 years is a long time and now she is out of pain.
The .25-caliber JTS pellet seems to be good, but in this Marauder the JSB Exact King Heavy Mark II pellet clearly has it beat. Next I’ll try the same pellets in the JTS Airacuda Max, which in a way will compare that rifle with the Marauder, though that is not my intention.
38 thoughts on “Generation 2 .25 caliber Benjamin Marauder: Part 12”
My condolences on Dale Evans.
Since when is a 5 year old scope “vintage”? Do they still make that one?
Apparently not. That’s why I called it vintage.
She was a good cat.
Sorry for your loss.
Sorry to hear that Dale Evans won’t get to watch you work anymore! You did the right thing for her as difficult as it was to do. We all wish our good cats (and dogs) could be with us always and
actually they are;
in our hearts.
Be strong the ache lessens with time.
Thank you for letting us know and sharing her passing with us all!
Sorry for your loss.
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier), “Life is like a box of chocolates, …”, so sayeth Forrest Gump.
I get the feeling the Labradar is testing you… 🙂
I am learning; that’s for sure.
I am sorry to hear of Dale.
I have to wonder how much longer the Bug Buster line will be around now that UTG is introducing the Integrix line. It is a real shame. I was hoping they would come out with etched glass reticles. I had better pick up a couple more while I still can.
Hawke Optics, here I come.
Leapers will never get rid of the Bug Busters. They are using Integrix to migrate new technology down from the top to the bottom. The only thing non-Integrix scopes will not get is the German glass lenses that cost so much. So Integrix will always be brighter with a greater depth of field.
What I’m saying is the etched glass reticle could still show up in a non-Integrix Bug Buster at some point.
I am sorry for your loss. Dale is in a better place.
I do hope so. I would really like an etched glass reticle in a Bug Buster. I have it in a Hawke 2-7X32 AO IR. It sure would be nice in a Bug Buster.
I am so saddened to hear of Dale’s passing. Yes, she had a long life with humans who loved her and took care of her well, but I know you will miss her companionship. I find myself recalling how you would describe the relative quietness of some air guns by describing how Dale Evans slept through your testing them in the house.
I will let my wife know of her passing. Even though we never met her, we will miss her just the same. Our two cats, litter mates we adopted together at an animal shelter, are now 20 years old, and so we appreciate the time we have left with them. And we have experienced losing beloved cats ourselves, so we know what that loss feels like. We will find comfort in knowing of the faith you have that comforts you.
Tom, please know we will also think of you and feel for you.
My condolences on Dale Evans, too.
The JTS pellets seem like a nice product, made under high standards of manufacturing. As with all pellets, some guns will favor them more than others, so it’s good to have another choice when trying to find the best pellet for your rifle. I’ll give ’em a shot.
It’s been a while since I have shot my Gen1 Marauder in .22, I think it’s time to give her a little exercise today.
RR: my Marauder likes the Crosman domes. It’s a game to find an inexpensive pellet that hits consistently well.
With the passing of Edith’s and your kitty, a part of the casa is missing. You can either rekitty or let time smooth things. Until then who is going to rule the casa and you? My condolences!
I know someone who is not yet into airguns but thinks he wants to be. He recently got to shoot an FX in .25 caliber and is keen on getting one. But he has discovered this blog and is unsure about plumbing this deep into the world of airguns as his initial purchase. He heard that I shoot airguns everyday and we are getting together for a fun discussion. Any thoughts from you and readers about starting out not only on the dark side but at the top for his first purchase? He believes he won’t be hunting and will be shooting targets and plinking at distances 75 yards or less. The Marauder you are reporting on today and the TX200 Mark111 may merit consideration.
Yes, I do have some thoughts. Tomorrow?
Two approaches to getting into airgunning. You can start start low and buy several airguns to work your way up to find what you want/need. Or you can jump in, buy once, cry once and get a better gun right off the bat. From what I’ve seen the costs are about the same.
If your friend can afford a TX200 then I think he should look at the better airguns. Love my TX200 but find it to be too heavy for new shooters. I’d recommend one of the lower power Weihrauch break-barrels first. The .177 HW30 is a dream to shoot but it he may prefer a bigger and slightly heavier adult sized rifle that is still easy to cock. I like my .22 HW50 for general shooting, plinking and pesting (it was all that was available at the time) but the other models should be considered.
If your friend is willing to pay for the HPA tank and/or compressor needed to support PCPs and he is keen to get one I’d recommend a .22 FX Crown with 600 mm barrel unless he had a strong preference for bullpups or tactical style guns, then I’d recommend a Maverick.
I recommend the Crown because it’s has above average performance (accuracy, shot-count), is well made, has excellent ergonomics (light weight, balance, trigger), and is adjustable to suit any role from backyard plinking to target shooting and hunting. If, down the road, a larger caliber is needed then the barrel/probe can be changed.
Starting with inexpensive airguns is a way to test the waters but there are usually compromises, then upgrades and the resale value is low.
Higher end airguns are good to learn with as they exceed the user’s skills and can be grown into rather than having to be upgraded/replaced. They retain their value as well.
The Marauder is a fine airgun but it’s old tech. There’s been lots improvements in recent years, I’d recommend looking at more modern models.
Just my 2 cents.
As BB said I will try to help with your friend’s choices tomorrow.
Not any other reason, just that today is Dale’s day for me.
I think the place to start is here: “He believes he won’t be hunting and will be shooting targets and plinking at distances 75 yards or less.”
Next, has he a firearms, archery, sling, or sling shot background? If not then the PCP powerplant will allow him to learn the skills needed much more quickly in my opinion.
Deck if his property supports shooting to 75 yards then that makes him a candidate to start on PCPs. IF he has the budget then it makes sense to buy the best PCP he can afford and a compressor if he doesn’t have a (known and willing) 4,500psi fill source (Dive Shop/ Paintball/ Fire Station) close by to fill Carbon Fiber cylinders. Don’t forget to tell him about the advantages of Cascading two cylinders compared to single cylinder fill source operations.
The .25 caliber is no longer as much of an orphan in pellets and the bullets (slugs) available make it even better.
If he has wind on his property the .22 is at a slight disadvantage but not all that much to 75 yards.
One other issue is his strength for pumping or cocking today and in a few years from now…PCPs (unless you are using a manual pump) eliminate the requirement to be moderately fit to enjoy long(er) shooting sessions.
The FX brand will probably be around for a long time compared to some of the other small start-up PCP builders.
My best wishes in helping him become a long term airgunner regardless of his powerplant choice.
Very early Dark Side adopter :^)
All FM can offer is the observation the Benjamin Maximus series air rifles were just right to get started into PCP Gun-Fun and that was thanks to his kind enabler GF1. Unfortunately Crosman discontinued the Maximus line, so this implicit suggestion for your friend is not very practical. Vana2’s advice makes a lot more sense.
B.B. I’m sorry to hear about Dale Evans, too. I hope you get re-adopted by a new feline master soon.
Sorry to hear about your loss!
I know that pets are special!
Sorry to hear you lost your furry friend but somehow feel she’ll be around watching you having a blast with your airgun life.
Tom I am sorry to hear about Dale, and know the times will be difficult for a while.
My thoughts and prayers for you and Dale.
My deepest sympathy for your loss. Reading about it first thing in the morning was hard, especially having my little Maltese princess sitting next to me. I looked at her and felt your pain. Time for you to be re adopted, as RG said.
At my age it makes no sense getting another pet. Leaving an animal alone after an association is cruel.
You are absolutely right off course but;
In Greece the standard birthday wish is “you live to reach 100 years”. So take it for granted and maybe reconsider.
Anyway you have everyone around here sending you the warmest wishes for your well being.
Sorry for my bad use of English if the above are badly expressed.
I understood you, so you were not expressing things badly.
Yeah, I’ve felt that way, too, Tom. And, if you were thinking about a kitten or a puppy you’d be right. Consider, however, that there are lots of “mature” pets that have found themselves homeless and could use a “retirement home”.
Sorry to hear about Dale. She has long been a part of this blog. Being the official “Sound” meter. We knew how loud the air gun was per what you wrote about Dale’s reaction to it.
You wrote: “I don’t think the chronograph is recording correctly.” Was that the LabRadar or an optical chronograph?
If it was the LabRadar what were the other distance velocity numbers compared to the MV (Muzzle Velocity) you reported? Did the other V1, V2, V3… corroborate the MV?
Also, when i have a bench session with my LabRadar I set up to shoot first and then position the LabRadar.
I ignore the LabRadar just as I would a recording optical chronograph when shooting groups and not concerned about power adjustment tweeks on a new projectile or power tune.
I know it is tempting to look each time, VERY distracting to shooting, but eventually, I hope, you will find the level of trust in the device both Hank and I have found. Start using it running untended and as i believe Hank calls it His Trusted Scribe and Bookkeeper.
B.B. and folks,
So sad to hear about the passing of Dale Evans.
Also disappointing to see the JTS .25’s not working so well in B.B.’s Marauder.
But I spotted some good news, Pyramid Air now has the JTS Pellets in stock both .22 and .25 cal Look here https://www.pyramydair.com/product/jts-dead-center-precision-22-cal-18-1-grains-domed-250ct?p=2269
They just went live today or I would have linked to them.
My condolences on your loss. Losing a beloved companion isn’t easy at all. I hear you about another one outliving you, but perhaps another one will come along that will suit you that is also farther along in years and needs a similarly suitable companion too!
Best wishes and prayers!
Sorry to read about Dale. Take the necessary time for you.
Add my condolences to the list, Tom. Our pets, especially after 18 years, are special companions. 😉 Jim.
losing a pet like Dale Evans is equivalent to losing a member of your family. My sincere condolences on your loss.