Benjamin Marauder Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal.
June 22, 2014
No changes from factory condition.
It's so quiet!
High muzzle energy.
Great clip feed.
Not a lot, but we'll try...
Ugly stock - the first model looked better.
Heavy when fully loaded with a big scope.
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BUY FROM PYRAMID
Benjamin Marauder Air Rifle, Synthetic Stock
VALUE FOR MONEY
The Benjamin Marauder air rifle is great value for money in a PCP air rifle. But remember that you will need to buy a scope to use it. You also need PCP charging equipment such as a pump or high pressure air tank in order to use it. This is true for all PCP air rifles, of course. Adding a good scope, mounts and a HPA tank system could almost double the price of the gun. But the Marauder’s still very tough to beat for the price.
SPEED AND ACCURACY
This HAM test was made with the Marauder completely at factory settings, just the way most people will shoot it. It’s important to state this because there’s much tuning potential built into the gun, with easy adjustment possible for valve output, hammer spring tension and striker travel.
For those with a chronograph, time and knowledge, the Marauder can be setup for a wide range of performance characteristics, including varying “ideal” fill pressures and muzzle velocities. In fact this level of built in tuning capability is unprecedented for a mainstream air rifle! But you can also end up in a lot of trouble with poor muzzle velocity or high air use if you change the factory settings without understanding the impact of those changes. If you’re not sure, leave the gun’s tuning adjustments alone – at least at first!
The Benjamin Marauder air rifle HAM tested was most accurate with JSB Jumbo Express pellets: these also gave a very healthy muzzle energy of over 28 Ft/Lbs. Although slower, the H&N Baracuda Match heavies produced a whopping 33.43 Ft/Lbs of muzzle energy, making these the “go to” pellets for hunting.
Biggest surprise was the good accuracy of the lightest weight pellets tested, the Gamo Raptor Platinum alloys – we were expecting a shotgun target pattern with these as PCPs usually prefer heavy pellets. But we were wrong, as the test target shows!
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Gamo Raptor Platinum 9.7 Grain||1041.83 FPS||23.38 Ft/Lbs||Good.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 10.03 Grain||1024.70 FPS||25.00 Ft/Lbs||Poor. Vertical stringing.|
|RWS Hobby 11.9 Grain||980.30 FPS||25.40 Ft/Lbs||Good.|
|Crosman Premier HP 14.3 Grain||935.83 FPS||27.81 Ft/Lbs||Good.|
|JSB Jumbo Exact 14.35 Grain||941.61 FPS||28.26 Ft/Lbs||Best Tested.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 14.66 Grain||941.99 FPS||28.89 Ft/Lbs||Good.|
|H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain||843.85 FPS||33.43 Ft/Lbs||Good.|
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JSB Diablo Jumbo Express pellets, .22 caliber
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
Bolt operation is fairly light with a cock on opening action. Pull the bolt handle back, snap in the magazine and push the bolt handle forward to load a pellet.
Trigger pull weight is very reasonable, averaging around 3 lbs out of the box. The safety is conveniently positioned directly in front of the trigger.
The two stage trigger is crisp and the let off positive, making shooting a pleasant experience. If you want to make adjustments to the trigger, Crosman describes how in the Owner’s Manual. There’s easy setscrew adjustment for trigger pull weight, trigger blade position and changes to the first and second stages.
As Crosman says, if you make changes to the trigger settings, go slowly and keep checking so that you understand the changes you’re making. And double-check to ensure that the trigger does not become unsafe and produce accidental discharges. That’s potentially very dangerous!
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
Crosman claims a maximum muzzle velocity for the Marauder of 1,000 FPS in .22 caliber. In this HAM test, we exceeded this claim by 41 FPS when using Gamo Raptor Platinum alloy pellets.
Crosman also claims a muzzle energy of up to 31.7 Ft/Lbs for the Marauder. Of course they don’t claim that the same pellets giving maximum FPS will give the highest Ft/Lbs, because they don’t! In this HAM test, we achieved a maximum muzzle energy of 33.43 Ft/Lbs with heavy, 21.14 Grain H&N Barracuda Match pellets. That’s handily above Crosman’s claims and makes the Marauder a strong air rifle very suitable for hunting.
So, Crosman’s muzzle velocity and muzzle energy claims for the Benjamin Marauder are realistic, honest, even conservative!
Muzzle velocity consistency for this Marauder was OK, but not as good as we expected. The Standard Deviation – shot to shot difference in muzzle velocity – was close to 10 FPS with most pellets. We expected it to be around 5 FPS. This may not have had much impact on accuracy, but it could probably be improved by a little tuning of the gun.
Tested trigger pull weight varied between 2 lb 12 oz and 3 lb 2 oz. Again, this is reasonably consistent out of the box performance.
The built in pressure gauge of the test gun was less accurate than we expected, reading 3,200 PSI at an actual fill pressure (measured by our precision standard test pressure gauge) of 3,000 PSI. But this 7% difference is probably within manufacturing tolerances for such a small, low cost gauge.
Quietness is another strong suit for the Marauder. If there’s a quieter air rifle out there, we’ve not heard it. In fact, it’s so quiet, it’s spooky! The built in, full length shroud ensures that there’s just about no muzzle blast from the gun. You have to listen hard to know that a Marauder’s been fired.
If you want a quiet air rifle, this is it.
The Benjamin Marauder air rifle has no iron sights and is not bundled with a scope, it gives shooters the choice of which scope to choose. The breech is fitted with airgun/22 rails, however so that the essential scope can be mounted. Choose pretty well any scope you like, but if it comes with Weaver/Picatinny rings, make sure that you have an adapter or an extra set of airgun rings.
Weaver/Picatinny rings do not fit the Marauder and are not necessary as there’s no recoil to counteract.
The HAM scoring for this section is based on our standardized rating structure. We assume a typical price for scope and mounts fitted to the Marauder at $150.00 and the score at 95%. (Obviously no-one will spend $520 on a Benjamin Marauder air rifle and then waste their investment with a scope costing much less than this).
For many people, the Benjamin Marauder air rifle’s 10 shot clip is a great benefit as it makes loading very tolerant of “fat fingers”. (Although single shot trays are available if you want to turn this great repeating air rifle into a, er, single loader?)
There’s a window indicating the number of pellets remaining in the clip, a very useful feature that’s easy to see when shooting.
But be aware that there’s no double feed protection with the clip, such as you find in firearms. Remember if you’ve chambered a pellet as there’s nothing to stop you loading another behind it. The result is either a “double shotted” discharge or – if you’re unlucky – a jam that can be difficult to clear.
Bolt operation is setup for right handers. But the Marauder can easily be converted to left handed bolt operation by the knowledgeable or – officially – a Crosman Authorized Repair center. This built-in capability is another clear sign that Crosman wants to make the Marauder the most adjustable air rifle available in the mainstream airgun market.
The adjustable height stock comb makes it easy to set up a good cheek weld that’s personalized to your physique and the scope/mounts you’re using. As a good cheek weld is important for consistent accuracy, this is a very good feature of the Marauder.
The Marauder has sling swivels built into the buttstock. Given the weight of this air rifle, you’ll want to add a sling if you plan on carrying the Marauder for any length of time.
Overall, this is an easy air rifle to shoot. There’s practically no recoil and no special hold is required to obtain accurate shooting. For this reason, the Benjamin Marauder earns a RateAGun score of just 3.4 – that’s great! – when a 3-9x40AO scope is mounted (as in this test report). That means it’s very easy to shoot well.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
Finish of the Marauder is OK, with a mix of black powder coating and bluing on metal parts. The stock is black synthetic. This finish is that of a practical air rifle, probably somewhat below average for the price. If you’re looking for beautiful mirror finish to the metal, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Personally, I don’t like the look of the stock either.
But these are minor complaints. The old saying “handsome is as handsome does” applies to the Benjamin Marauder air rifle. It’s not means for looking at, but for shooting!
BUYING AND OWNING
The Benjamin Marauder air rifle is widely available through online and physical stores. Like all PCP airguns, it requires a source of high pressure air. Because the Marauder uses a maximum operating pressure of 3,000 PSI, it’s pretty hard to pump by hand. OK, make that VERY hard to pump by hand!
Over 270 strokes (Phew!) are required to fill from empty using the Benjamin High Pressure Hand Pump, but “only” about 100 strokes to raise pressure from 2,000 PSI to the full 3,000 PSI. There are many Marauder owners who use a hand pump, but they all have to be pretty fit to do so.
A much easier but more expensive alternative is to use a high pressure air tank or scuba tank with suitable adapter.
The H&N Field Target Trophy Green alloy pellets were very rough to load in this gun. Given the enclosed design of the Marauder’s clip and breech system, we’d steer clear of lead free pellets in this air rifle for fear of jamming.
Crosman provides a 12-month warranty and has a full range of spare parts available if required, together with downloadable parts diagrams and post-warranty backup support from the range of Crosman Authorized Repair Centers. This level of long-term support is a benchmark for the airgun industry.
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BUY FROM PYRAMID
Benjamin Marauder Air Rifle, Synthetic Stock
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