Crosman Air Guns: The Bejamin Maurader
By Dustin Vaughn Warncke, Mac & Prowler Pro Staff
Like many rimfire and centerfire rifle owners , I never really took air rifles very seriously for more than plinking and target practice at the gun range and back yard. One of the first rifles I ever owned was my grandfather’s Winchester .177 caliber pellet rifle which was left to me after he passed away when I was 5 years old, back in 1986. He never had the chance to watch me learn to shoot but I think he would be proud to see me now. I remember my Grandfather every time I pick that gun up and my son will one day learn to shoot with it as I did before graduating to a .22LR. and into larger calibers in the centerfire realm. Many of us grew up shooting air rifles to learn the basics of gun safety and shooting fundamentals on paper, soda cans, bottle caps, etc. and there is still a place for this first step in gun ownership and education today.
What has changed dramatically are the many innovations in the air gun world. Gone are the days of only being able to use CO2 Cartridges or being restricted to shooting only break-open style pellet rifles as well as the limited power that used to accompany the air guns of the past. Crosman and Benjamin Rifles have been a legacy in the shooting world and standard for quality rifles throughout the years and they keep coming up with better technologies and innovations at a better price than most competing air guns on the market. The air guns of today are not your Grandpa’s pellet gun for sure and they are capable of taking down much larger small game than squirrels and cottontail rabbits.
Enter the Benjamin Marauder Rifle. Available in .177, .22, or .25 caliber versions. This is an affordable way to enter into the PCP (Pre-Charged Pneumatic) air rifle world. What’s more is that is “Dual Fuel” meaning it works off of either CO2 power or an air pump, almost resembling a bicycle pump, also available from Crosman. Included are either an 8 or 10 round ammo clip, depending on caliber. The air chamber tube of the rifle is charged to 2000 to 3000 PSI for optimum performance and you are ready to rock. The action resembles a standard bolt action rifle but far more simplistic. The bolt enters the installed ammo clip to load the respective pellet into the chamber and cycles through the clip for fast follow up shots in the woods or the range. Everyone I tell about this rifle always asks, “So how powerful is this gun?” Around 850 to 1100 PSI, depending on the caliber of the pellet, which is far more powerful than I ever expected from an air gun and it is a serious contender for small game and predator hunting.
Mac and Prowler both love this rifle along with me. For the price, I don’t think it gets any better with the power and versatility you have. The neat thing is that the Marauder was built to hunt and competes very admirably in the world of other air rifles in its class. The .25 caliber version is our personal M&P top pick compared to the other calibers available. The reason? The combination of around 900 FPS performance combined with the heavier .25 caliber pellet is a good all-around contender in our book. This gun is a new favorite of mine for many reasons. Anything from ground hogs and prairie dogs up to coyotes can be harvest out to 50 or even 100 yards, depending on the shooting situation and size of the game pursed. This rifle will be with me on all of my upcoming predator and other small game hunts for sure.
One other nice features is that this air gun shoots fairly quietly compared to most rimfire and centerfire cartridges. The older I get the more I love hunting with guns that don’t make my ears ring for half an hour after I take a shot in the field. Sometimes I even wear ear plugs in the field of there is time to put them in before taking a shot with a high power centerfire rifle. Many of us have paid a significant price in our hearing over the years of hunting. Along with that, there have been more than a few times in the field that I have been lined up on a shot only to have it blown because a neighboring muzzle blast spooks what I am aiming at or not see anything the rest of the day because my own shot spooked everything within three counties. The Marauder helps on both of these fronts considerably by allowing you a quieter/stealthier experience in the woods after you do take a shot and you don’t sacrifice power in the process.
Another point: Here in Texas and throughout many other states in the US, feral hogs are a problem and nuisance to farmers/ranchers but also happen to be good table fare when harvested and smoked on the BBQ pit among other preparation methods. In working in sales and marketing for DB Hunting Ranch here in the Central Texas Hill Country, I have often joked with the owners and guides that our new slogan for hog hunting should be “Turning Nature’s Pork Problem into a Delicious Dinner Entrée.” I am not sure how the PETA and anti-hunting community might feel about that idea though. All kidding aside though, I have seen several videos and other hunting shows using the Marauder to harvest hogs in the 100lb or so range quite effectively. My recommendation for hunting hogs with the Benjamin Marauder is to take head or neck shots exclusively to ensure the best penetration and recovery. Wild hogs usually have thicker hides than most other critters in the predator hunting world. The Marauder is certainly more than capable of closing the deal on some Pork Chops! The Benjamin Marauder is one of the best hunting air rifles on the market today and a serious consideration for small game, hogs, and predators. Outfitted with a Centerpoint scope (also sold by Crosman) or similar optics, you will be well suited for hours of target shooting or be able hunt anything in the small game and varmint category. For more information on the Marauder and other fine air guns, visit www.crosman.com or see our Partner Page on our website. Dustin Vaughn Warncke is an avid hunter, outdoor industry consultant, and Pro-Staff for Mac & Prowler as well as several other outdoor industry product and guide service businesses. E-mail Dustin at firstname.lastname@example.org