How Old Is My Benjamin Marauder Air Rifle?
I – for one – have never known the answer to this question. “How old is my Benjamin Marauder air rifle?”
But yesterday I was talking to Phillip Guadalupe, the Product Manager at Velocity Outdoor. He told me the secret to understanding the build date of my Marauder, so I’m sharing it with you here.
Like most airguns, Benjamin Marauder air rifles are allocated a serial number during assembly. This number is recorded on the air rifle itself using a laser engraver. In fact the characters are made up of a series of dots, rather than as “solid” letters or numbers.
That serial number holds the key to understanding the manufacturing date – and therefore the age – of the gun.
On Marauders, the serial number is located on the right side of the gun. It’s in one of two locations. One is on the breech (these tend to be more recent guns) …
The other is on the High Pressure Air tube.
Benjamin Marauder serial numbers are normally comprised of nine characters. (But sometimes there are ten, as we’ll see below). It’s the first three that give us the manufacturing date. Character one gives the month. Characters two and three signify the year.
But wait – you say – how can this work? There’s twelve months in a year, so how can they be represented by a single character? That’s the key to understanding…
The months are indicated as follows:
1 – January
3 – March
4 – April
5 – May
6 – June
7 – July
8 – August
9 – September
O – October
N – November
D – December
So now it’s easy! The gun in the photograph below, with the serial number N13121790, was actually manufactured in November, 2013.
A gun with the serial number starting with “320” was manufactured in March, 2020. And so on…
There’s only one reason I can think of for there being no serial number on a Marauder. This would be if a gun with a numbered HPA tube had the tube replaced in a repair using a new tube intended for use with a gun having a serial numbered breech. But there’s likely to be very few such guns around!
One other useful piece of information is this. Those Marauders that were factory-fitted with a Lothar Walther barrel have the letter “L” at the end of the serial number. This is always on the breech. So, a number like 221136438L (I made that number up) would indicate a gun manufactured in February 2021 and fitted with a Lothar Walther barrel.
This serial number code also is applied to other Bloomfield, NY-manufactured airguns such as the Discovery, Maximus, Fortitude and Marauder pistol. It’s also present even on Crosman 760s. I have an old 760 with the serial number 409103573. Now I know it was manufactured in April, 2009.
Note that this numbering system does not apply to the Chinese-sourced breakbarrel models. They use a completely different numbering system.
So now we all know how to answer the question: “How old is my Benjamin Marauder air rifle?” Thanks Phillip!