If you hang out online at some of the airgun forums, you can't but have heard about the Benjamin Marauder, from Crosman Corporation. This is the new kid on the block, a bolt action repeater that is dual-fuel capable, shrouded for noise reduction, and filled with features many other guns only wish they had!
Fresh on the heels of the Benjamin Discovery, Crosman's first PCP, comes this wonderful 10-shot, .177 or .22 caliber PCP that offers all the features of some of the more desirable European guns, but at a price point in the $500 neighborhood. This is unheard of for all you get with this gun.
I've owned some nice PCP's, some custom guns, and the normal run-of-the-mill plinkers, and this one is up among the best of the lot. Let's take a look at it....
The Marauder is a handsome gun, quite the handful with a broad stock in the forearm area. It is solid feeling, weighing near 8 lbs. It comes already setup for a rifle sling as you can see in the picture, and all I had to do was add my own sling, scope, and mounts.
The barrel is factory shrouded, making this one of the quietest airguns of this power that I have used. It is truly backyard friendly, and if you want a quiet gun to enjoy without bothering the neighbors, this is certainly a great candidate!
To fill the gun, remove the dust cover on the end of the pressure tube and connect your pump or tank to the quick-detach fitting you find on the end. I've been filling mine to about 2700 psi, but the warning label says that 3000 psi is the maximum you should try. I seem to notice in my gun that 3000 psi causes a slight valve lock, and a few shots must be fired before it behaves like it should. You can also buy an adapter to use CO2 if you wish. I haven't tried it yet, so I'll save that report for another day!
The handy gauge located just in front of the trigger guard lets you know where you stand pressure-wise. It is also useful for determining how many shots you may be able to get before needing a refill.
The safety is handily located inside the trigger guard. Pushed all the way forward is the "fire" position, back towards the trigger is the "safe" position. It is easy to reach, easy to use, and works very well.
I have tried a few different kinds of pellets so far, and the Crosman Premiers (both domes and hollow points) do well, as do the heavier Beeman Kodiaks. I've mentioned in the past that each gun is its own creature, so don't hesitate to try all of your favorites in it to find what works in your gun. The accuracy is very good at 25-30 yards, and on a lark I mounted an old plastic 20 oz. soda bottle on a woodpile and proceeded to plink at it at a distance of 65 yards. I connected 7 out of 10 times once I accounted for the wind, and this was from a knee-rest while leaning against a porch rail! If I were to bench it, I have no doubt 10 for 10 was within my reach.
As the gun comes from the box, in .22 caliber, I recorded the following chronograph numbers. I won't bore you with an entire string, but recorded every 5 shots on my camera to show you.
As you can see, I could probably try just a little more pressure at this setting of the hammer spring and stroke length, and port setting. Oh, didn't I tell you? All of those are adjustable! That's right, you can setup this gun to your own liking by adjusting the hammer spring, the hammer stroke length, and the port opening that allows the air into the barrel. This makes for a wonderfully modifiable airgun, all without taking the thing apart! Very few airguns allow such ease of variables, all with a few twists of a wrench!
You are going to like this gun!
Spring squirrel season opens next weekend in my state....guess what I'm going to be shooting?!