Benjamin Marauder: Part 2 by Tom Gaylord

The Benjamin name is on the bottom of the forearm so everyone knows where the rifle is in the rack.

In Part One I stopped just before I got to the trigger, so let’s begin with that. Crosman says this trigger is an adjustable match-type unit, and I know that kind of terminology gets kicked around a lot these days. You can even find Chinese breakbarrels that will tell you they have a match-type trigger.

Tell me about the trigger
Well, in this case, it’s true. This trigger on this rifle is sublime. It’s the same unit they’re going to put in the new Challenger PCP target rifle, and when I tried that one on the sample rifle in their booth at the 2009 SHOT Show, they had it set to break at way less than a pound. So when the factory called me to set up my test Marauder, they asked me what kind of trigger pull I wanted. I told them a pound and a half, and I’m darned if they didn’t send along a computer printout that shows the trigger breaking at 1.636 lbs. My finger cannot tell the difference between that and 1.5 lbs.

The trigger is an adjustable unit with a two-stage pull.

The Crosman trigger testing jig gave this printout of the trigger in my gun. Note the straight increase in effort at stage two, followed by the instant release.

The trigger adjusts for the length of the first and second stages and the weight of the second stage. All it lacks to be perfect, in my opinion, is an adjustable trigger stop.

The trigger breaks like a glass rod, which is what the lines on the printout clearly show. It is an essential component of the accuracy the rifle is able to achieve. This is a trigger you can warm up to and with practice it will become an extension of your will. The accuracy of the rifle needs a good trigger like this, and this one should please most shooters

The safety is manual (Yes!) and butter-smooth to engage/disengage. You do it with your trigger finger. Back towards the trigger blade to put on and forward to take off. You can put it on regardless of whether the rifle is cocked or not.

The magazine
Well, I have now read on the internet that this magazine is a close copy of this, that and the other thing. Everyone (but me) seems to know for certain. Here is what I know. When I first tried to use it I found it confusing. Then I was told that the manual I’d been given was for a magazine on the right side of the receiver, but my pre-production sample was on the left side. So the instructions were backward, unless I looked at the pictures in a mirror.

Loading the magazine is easy, once you get the knack. Because it’s spring-loaded, feeding is always positive.

On this pre-production rifle the magazine stocks out to the left. The production model will stick out to the right.

Fortunately I discovered how to use the mag on my own, and once I did, I fell in love with it. This has to be the easiest, most positive PCP magazine around–I don’t care where it came from.

Here’s how it works in a nutshell. You first wind the magazine spring, then you advance a little bit more and insert the first pellet–which is actually the last one. The clear cover can then be rotated around the mag and you drop in pellets every time the cover aligns with a pellet chamber. It’s quick to load, very positive (as in it doesn’t spill pellets all over the place) and it advances to the next pellet positively every time. As in it NEVER jammed in hundreds of shots! Best of all, after shot 10 the mag blocks the bolt from going forward, so there is no chance of shooting a blank–the great fear of every field target competitor who shoots a repeater.

The scope and base
The Marauder comes without sights, as any good PCP does, so plan on scoping yours immediately. I asked Crosman to supply a CenterPoint 8-32 scope, which is ideal for the accuracy potential of the rifle. The scope adjusts for parallax from 10 yards to infinity and goes from 8 power for general shooting all the way to 32 power for precise rangefinding ability out to 40-45 yards.

The scope base on the receiver is a standard 11mm dovetail, but because of the magazine that intrudes from the side, you must use two-piece scope rings. I found that the barrel drooped a bit, so I also had to mount the scope in B-Sq1uare adjustable rings, so the rear ring could be positioned higher than the front.

A CenterPoint 8-32X56 scope is the perfect sight for an accurate rifle like the Marauder. This one has sideweel focus that runs down as close at 10 yards, and an illuminated mil-dot reticle to help you on both ends of the hunting day.

Well, that’s it for the description of the gun. Next time we’ll shoot for accuracy and through the chronograph, to see just how the Marauder stacks up against other PCP rifles.

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