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Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Rifle Review (.177 – .22 – .25 caliber)


Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Rifle Co2

        In another review, I had trash talked my old Benjamin air rifle.  Granted it was a pump, old, and the technology was way outdated.  Still, the Benjamin series holds a special place in my heart, as it was my first air rifle.

You can see why I decided to give good ol’ Benjamin Marauder a second chance, and boy I wasn’t disappointed.  At my first glimpse of the Benjamin Maruader Air Rifle. I was simply in awe, and even more enthused when I got to handle it.  It was in large contrast to my old Benjamin.  I was quite ashamed, as though I felt like I was living in the stone age.  It had the feel of one of my real rifles, but lighter. This is no kid’s .177 Daisy. It’s a full-blown sporting air rifle that will challenge any European PCP air rifle. Much of its design features are far ahead of many of the most popular and expensive European or domestic air rifles.  Pair this with a Benjamin PCP hand pump, and you have a match made in heaven.

Both Synthetic and Wood Stocks are available.

To use CO2, the gun should be adjusted for 2,000 psi. The ingenious internal shroud makes this air rifle very quiet.

5476977671_5a29b651f7The Benjamin Marauder air rifle is a 10-shot repeating air rifle that comes in either .177, .22 and .25 caliber. I tested the .22, as I thought it was a good compromise between the .177 and the .25.  Don’t get me wrong, there are many reasons to choose either the .177 or the .25.  Anyway,  The gun operates on a fill of 2,000 psi air or CO2, using the same Dual Fuel approach that made the Discovery famous. The Benjamin Marauder has a little something else up its sleeve though. You can CHANGE the fill level yourself from the outside of the gun. If you’re a PCP air rifle shooter, you’ll see why this is nice to have, if not, ill explain further later on.  This is a fantastic air rifle. Don’t believe me? Check out the hundreds of reviews on Amazon.

AmazonAnother great feature is the ability to adjust pellet velocity, but as Benjamin goes, the Marauder does it differently. This feature isn’t the power adjustment wheel or switch found on the side of many sporting PCPs today. No, it is a much more precise means of EXACTLY adjusting the velocity of a particular type of pellet. You adjust and leave the gun set that way.

You will want a scope for the Benjamin Marauder air rifle, as doesn’t have open sights, and why would you want open sights on a air rifle likes this anyway? For the purpose of all air rifle reviews, I like to pair the air rifle with the best scope possible, so as to not limit the rifles potential.

Other unique features you will enjoy are the Foster quick-disconect fill adaptor. Also the micron particle filter that stops dirt from entering the air gun, and the built-in pressure gauge that tells you the status of the air charge, and the barrel.

 

Check out this video review of the Benjamin Marauder!

What about the barrel?

The 19.5-inch barrel is made by Crosman in New York. As you would expect from a high quality Benjamin it is CHOKED! Yes, Crosman is CHOKING this barrel to give you the same advantages as the respected Lothar Walther barrels from Europe. A choked barrel has a constriction in the bore near the muzzle so the pellet skirt squeezes down to a uniform size before exiting. Choked barrels are more accurate, as a rule, and Crosman wanted to make sure the Marauder was as accurate as it could be. I have tested the rifle out to 50 yards and I will show you just how good it is, but for this first report please trust me that few European PCPs are able to do any better.

Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Rifle scope

 I was surprised barrel on this Benjamin Marauder is free-floated.  You normally only see this on real rifles, such as my Remington 700. This means that any pressure change in the reservoir wont alter the accuracy, as it does not come into contact with the reservoir.

Shooting a Crosman 10.5-grain pellet at 920 f.p.s., the rifle sounds about like a ballpoint pen dropped on a deep-pile carpet! That’s how quiet! This rifle is so quiet that you hear the sound of the hammer spring, but not the sound of the report. It is so quiet that a person shooting 50 feet away will likely never be heard. This is the answer to you dreams for a quiet, powerful, accurate pellet rifle, because…

The (dreaded) price.

Not to be so dreaded after all! The Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Rifle will cost you just under $500! Yep, you heard that right. You are getting all the features of a thousand-dollar European pellet rifle for under $500. 470$ right now on Amazon. and on top of that you get some very important features that none of the expensive guns get the joy of having! More on that shortly.

The stock and metal

The stock is fully ambidextrous, with a palm swell on both sides of the pistol grip. Good news if you’ll be having both right handed or left handed people using this. The high comb rolls over to both sides of the butt, so lefties will feel quite comfortable holding this rifle. And the extra-long bolt that cocks it and feeds the next pellet is quite smooth–something else those European rifles don’t always give you.

The checkering on the pre-production rifle is a very luxurious additionon, but the production gun is slightly different. The wood is a beech, stained medium brown with a slight shine to the wood finish. It is attractive and elegant without being too flashy.

The metal has a charcoal matte finish that I personally prefer for all types of air rifles. The day was misting heavily and all the blued firearms I took rusted by the time I got home. They all had to be sprayed with Ballistol and wiped down carefully. And then I came to the Marauder. It hadn’t a mark on it! It looked like it had never left the house. So, after two hours of saving rifle finishes, it was nice to finally have one that didn’t need a thing. I wasn’t prepared for that. Hunters will love the tough finish.

Adjusting the fill pressure

You adjust the fill pressure for how you want to rifle to operate. If you want to use both air and CO2 (but not at the same time) you need the fill pressure to stop at 2,000 psi. If you want to run on air exclusively and you want a few extra shots in the useful string, you adjust the rifle to a 3,000 psi fill. The fill pressure determines the amount of air in the rifle–not the velocity, which is adjusted separately.

The fill pressure is adjusted by two Allen screws accessible from outside the gun. They are located in the rear of the receiver. One adjusts the striker length and the other adjusts the tension on the hammer spring. The hammer/striker is an assembly and they work together to open the firing valve. The owner’s manual will have detailed instructions on how the adjustments are to be made.

The two Allen screws for the fill pressure adjuster are inside a small hole at the back of the receiver.

Adjusting for velocity

The velocity is adjusted by a screw that intrudes into the air transfer port. The more it intrudes the less airflow there can be and the slower the rifle will shoot. To adjust the screw the action is removed from the stock, and then the locking screw is removed from the adjustment hole. This adjustment isn’t some sloppy setting that gives you “whatever” velocity it happens to give. It is a precise way of arriving at exactly the velocity you desire, within the limits of the rifle’s capabilities.

The small Allen screw inside the hole is removed, giving access to the velocity adjustment screw behind it. Screw it in to slow the pellet; out to speed it up.

To use this adjustment you should find the most accurate pellet for the rifle, and then shoot only that pellet. You will be like a buffalo runner of 1872 who used just one bullet and powder charge for all his shooting.

The Marauder is for beginners and advanced shooters, alike!

You can just start shooting the rifle right out of the box and never suffer one bit. It is a lovely beginner’s airgun. But–for those who want to experiment to find out just how far an air rifle can go, there has never been a more flexible rifle than this one. You need a chronograph to do this and you need to understand that, as the fill pressure changes, it DOES affect the velocity, though there isn’t room in this report to discuss that relationship properly.

Tell me about the trigger
This trigger on this rifle is sufficient. It’s the same unit they put in the Challenger PCP target rifle, and when I tried that one on a sample rifle at the 2009 SHOT Show, they had it set to break at way less than a pound.

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