Yes. The Marauder is the new kid on the Precharged Pneumatic [PCP] Airgun block that can’t be punked. After being in the Airgun world for 35 years and establishing a business in the shooting sports industry over the past 6 plus years, I’ve developed an appetite for product quality, fair value and manufacturer integrity.
I received my .22 Benjamin Marauder mid July 2009. There are as many posts out there as you would care to read from owners communicating a range of personal experiences. After reading a number of these posts you’ll realize that the reports are so closely consistent that they appear redundant.
The consistent reports about the Marauder certainly underpins the base-line performance that you can expect should you choose to become a Marauder owner. My report will confirm many of the performance qualities you may have read about and include original observations to add to the ongoing Marauder experience.
I agree with many of the favorable reports about the Marauder, such as:
o From the initial opening of the box to getting acquainted with the Marauder you feel like you
got more than you paid for. Not something we feel often these days.
o Finish is classy and exudes visible quality.
o Stealth like quiet report. Really!
o Full Power shots per fill can be 35 – 45 and even more depending on your personal tune setting.
o The ability to personally adjust the full range of tuning components of a PCP is a feature that the Marauder has and it appeals to an audience with a wide-range of experience levels.
o The choked barrel makes this rifle very accurate and probably a better shooter than many of its owners.
o The trigger is perceptibly friendly and match level adjustable to boot.
Here are some of my personal observations:
During the new owner “getting acquainted” period, when you’re not very familiar with the Marauder’s handling techniques; a user error, not a product malfunction, may cause an accidental loading of more than one pellet into the breech. This can happen when not pulling the bolt back until it cocks. Then allowing the bolt to slide forward under spring pressure, which results in pushing a pellet partially or fully into the breech. The natural thing to do when you discover that the gun is not cocked is to try cocking it again. When you pull the bolt back the second time it frees the rotary magazine to index to the next pellet, which gets pushed behind the existing breeched pellet when you close the bolt again.
Solution 1 – Point the muzzle in a safe direction and use a suitable backstop. Now fire the rifle thereby clearing the multiple pellets in the breech. This should not be a problem if you have 800psi (never tried less pressure) or higher in your on-board reservoir.
Solution 2 – fully depressurize your rifle using the degassing tool method (see owner’s manual). Then follow the procedure for removing a jammed pellet. Remember, you’ll be removing more than one pellet at the same time, which will cause increased bore-to-pellet friction. Take your time and be careful not to use a rod that will damage the rifling.
New Marauder users may also find themselves expending effort to dislodge what seems to be a “stuck” magazine. Truly the magazine extracts flawlessly when used correctly and you won’t have this problem once you become more familiar with the operation of and relationship between the bolt and rotary magazine. A common culprit for a “stuck” rotary magazine is that the bolt pin may be partly in the magazine. Simply pull the bolt back to the rear most position and the magazine can be removed. (Always fire the rifle in a safe direction to clear any breeched pellet.)
Another culprit is a partially inserted pellet. Closing the bolt completely, thereby pushing the pellet fully into the breech, and then pulling and holding the bolt back to the rear most position will free the magazine for removal. (Always fire the rifle in a safe direction to clear any breeched pellet.) Most owners may never experience these problems, but if you do, know that it’s not the rotary magazine.
Protecting the Shroud
This caution applies to most PCPs and is meant to be helpful in avoiding unintentional user damage to the matte finish of the shroud. There is potential for surface damage to the shrouded barrel area above the fill probe. The quick disconnect fitting can scrape/scratch the bottom of the shrouded barrel when connecting and disconnecting to the fill probe. This can be solved by installing shrink wrap tubing or wrapping electrical or other durable tape around the quick disconnect fitting component parts (note: ensure that your shrink wrap tubing or tape does not interfere with the quick disconnect moving parts). If nothing else, at least place a barrier (e.g. cloth, gun sock, etc.) over the section of the barrel that may be bumped by the quick disconnect hardware. Over time, you’ll be glad to have practiced careful handling during pressurizing.
One of My Optimal Tune Settings
One hundred Marauders can be manufactured and among them will be some level of uniqueness in performance characteristics. So, using my settings may not produce the same results in your rifle. You must take the time to experiment with your rifle to achieve the performance that you desire. Here are the settings I use to achieve a satisfactory basic field distance (BFD): Hammer Tension 6, Hammer Stroke 4 and Velocity Adjustment 2.5. (The owner’s manual explains the adjustment parameters for the various tuning components). This setting produces an average 915 feet per second [FPS] with 14.3gn Crosman Premiers (CP’s) amounting to just over 26 foot-pounds of energy [FPE]….. I get over 30 full power shots with this setting. When using Dynamic 14.5gn PCP2’s with the same setting I get 940 FPS resulting in 28 FPE.
Trajectory Report and Long Range Shooting
The Marauder performs exceptionally during long-range field shooting conditions. The Marauder can’t be punked by many well established PCP’s carrying a price tag ranging 2 – 3 times as much.
Mount a quality mil dot scope and enjoy the process of charting long-range hold-under / hold-over data.
Once you’ve done this for your pellet(s) of choice the data will immediately become invaluable. You’ll shoot with absolute confidence at ranges out to 75 yards and beyond. My furthest distance shot string was during a 15mph left to right wind at 108 yards producing a 4″ group. It was no question that the gun was out shooting me. I’ll be shooting at this distance again under better conditions. In addition to shooting groups at 108yds, I also performed one of my low-tech penetration test using a soup can (soda cans are too thin). Every shot entered and exited the can, then embedded in the tree backstop. At 108yds the CP 14.3gn pellet is traveling at 421 FPS and retains 6 FPE. My currently chosen maximum effective field range is 70 yards. At 70 yards the 14.3gn CPs are traveling at 549 fps, delivering 9.5 fpe at the point of impact (POI) and my point of aim [POA] to POI is between right on to ¾ inch.
Crosman Customer Service
I have had the pleasure and, on some occasions, the displeasure of working with a number of customer service teams in the shooting sports industry. My contact with the Crosman Customer Service staff has been one of the most satisfying, respectful and responsive customer care experiences that I have had in any service industry. Crosman respectfully listened to my concerns, answered my questions and checked in with me to ensure that I was satisfied with their resolutions. I am still floored when I think about the time I received a check-in call from a Crosman representative who I knew was home sick for the day. Janet’s colleagues were very helpful during her absence. However, it was important for Janet to know that I was a satisfied customer, even though she was not in the office that day. Crosman treated me like a valued customer. Kudos to Crosman Corporation for excellence in customer care.
I’m presently placing the Marauder through additional testing (e.g. hunting, silhouette, different pellets, charting more tune settings and more…). Certainly, an important measure is the Marauder’s reliability over time. Unfortunately, my time machine is under-going a five-year maintenance service. Therefore, the Marauder has to be time tested the old fashion way.
The Benjamin Marauder lives up to its claims and is quickly establishing a respectful place in the quality PCP family of adult precision air rifles.
If you have found the MAGPRO Marauder Report helpful and would like me to test and review your Airgun industry products, I welcome the opportunity to work with your business.