Benjamin Marauder – part 3 by Tom Gaylord

In this report I’ll show you the accuracy and velocity I achieved with my test Marauder. Remember, I have a .177.

Crosman asked me what velocity I would like with which pellet before they sent the test rifle. So I was fortnate to have the rifle arrive set-up the way I wanted it. I asked for a gun that would shoot the 10.5-grain Crosman Premier at about 900 f.p.s.–give or take. Anywhere between 875 and 920 would have been okay with me.

When I competed in field target several years ago I shot a Daystate Harrier, using a 10.5-grain Premier at 915 f.p.s. And I did very well with that combination. Now, the .177 Marauder is advertised to get up to 1100 f.p.s. in .177 and 900 f.p.s. in .22, but if you are reading this blog you are probably savvy enough to know that speeds above 1,000 f.p.s. are not where the best accuracy lies. Field target competitors usually keep their guns shooting around 900 f.p.s., and of course all FT rifles are in .177 caliber.

I also asked for the test gun to be set up for a 3,000 psi fill level, but it turned out that the gauge at Crosman and my own fill gauge disagree by 500 psi. I proved that with my chronograph that showed when I filled it to 3,000 it took many shots for the velocity to climb into the useful range. But by stopping at 2,500 psi, the gun was on the power curve with the first shot.

I get 25 good shots from one fill. They range from a low of 912 f.p.s. to a high of 940 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 38 f.p.s. The average is 925 f.p.s. Of course all of this information is meaningless without accuracy data to confirm that it has value, so I went to the range straightaway.

I sighted the rifle in at 10 feet and once I knew where it was shooting (took two shots) I went straight out to 50 yards. Another five pellets got me zeroed. The first group after that measured 0.674″ for five 10.5-grain Premiers. The very next group was the best one shot thus far. It measures 0.443″ center-to-center, for five shots.

Groups of Shots...

The first group after sighting-in at 50 yards (left) measures 0.674″. That’s five 10.5 Premiers! The group on the right was the very next group fired and measures 0.443″ It was the best of the series.

I continued shooting and the groups ket on coming. Nothing was as large as seven-tenths of an inch. This is very good accuracy for 50 yards. You can often get a few groups this good and maybe a little better, but there will be others the measure three-quarters of an inch. The Marauder just wants to shoot the tight ones!

I next tried other good pellets that in other rifles can sometimes be even better. Beeman Kodiaks are a wonderful .177 long-range pellet in many PCPs, but in my test Marauder they didn’t shoot nearly as well as heavy Premiers. The same for 10.3-grain JSB Exact domes. So Premier heavies are definitely the pellet of choice, so far.

After about a dozen more groups I ended the session. A few days later I was on a different range under wet and misty conditions. Once again the Marauder shined, giving 5-shot groups of less than seven-tenths of an inch.

Range

This day was cold and wet. Once again the Marauder performed very well at 50 yards. The groups were all under seven-tenths of an inch, and averaged about the same as on the first day.

Groups...

This group of five Premiers at 50 yards measures 0.526″.

Groups

The largest group shot during the second range session measures 0.662″. That’s pretty consistent shooting.

One interesting side note to the second range day was that all of my blued-steel firearms rusted while on the range. The Marauder no only didn’t rust, it didn’t even need to be wiped down after coming home. I just stood it in the corner until the next time!

In an interesting twist, Crosman sent me the parts to upgrade my test rifle to the production specification. I will be busy with my new television show for the next several weeks, but I will install and test those parts for you and report the results here. The rifles will go on sale before then, so others around the country will also chime in with their thoughts and opinions. But as of right now I believe Crosman has a big hit on their hands!

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