Years ago, Crosman was a big name in the air gun market. So was Benjamin, to a lesser extent.
Crosman eventually bought out Benjamin but they kept on the name.
Now, Crosman is still a big name in air guns, but they produce the Benjamin line of air guns as well.
What’s the difference between the two?
If you are looking for more serious power, choose a Benjamin.
One of Benjamin’s more well-known air rifles is the Benjamin Marauder, an air rifle which earns its name.
- Caliber: .25, .22, .177
- Capacity: 8 in .25/.22 pistol, or 10 in .22/.177
- Velocity: Up to 900 fps in .25, 1000 fps in .22 (700 in pistol form), and 1100 fps in .177
- Overall Length: 42.8″ rifle, 18″ pistol without stock, 29.75″ pistol with stock (non-adjustable), 27.875″-31.625″ (adjustable)
- Barrel Length: 20″ rifle, 12″ pistol
- Weight: 7.3 lbs synthetic stock stocked rifle, 8.2 lbs wood stocked rifle, 2.7 lbs for the pistol.
- Powerplant: Pre-charged pneumatic
The Benjamin Marauder is a bolt-action PCP air rifle with an eight or ten round capacity.
You can call what holds the pellets either a clip or a magazine. It’s a rotary device that clips the pellets encased in a magazine. It’s hard to be pedantic about clipazines with this one.
The air tank holds up to 3,000 PSI, which gives it enough power for knock-down shots up to 16 times in the .25 caliber version or 32 shots with .22 or .177 caliber pellets.
Other features include an adjustable two-stage match trigger and adjustable comb (on the rifle version).
The manual includes suggestions on how to fine tune the gun to fit you better. This includes adjusting the velocity.
So not only is the Marauder a fast shootin’ hard hittin’ air gun, it’s also capable of calm, civilized, accurate target shooting.
The Marauder also ambidextrous, though left-handed shooters will have to reverse the bolt.
A dovetail mount is included for a scope. There is also an air pressure gauge.
To keep the gun quiet there is an internal shroud and what they call a depinger, which quiets the loud PING from shooting down to a thud.
The .177 Marauder should be aimed at only paper. With the .22 pistol, you can take small game such as squirrels and rabbits at short range.
The .22 rifle extends your range and your choice of targets. Pest control against raccoons becomes possible.
You can take predators up to the size of a coyote with the .25 caliber Marauder set to maximum velocity.
What I Liked
There are many things to like about the Benjamin Marauder.
It is very accurate, especially after you have tuned it to your liking. The trigger is very nice, and unlike on a lot of air guns, is high-quality metal.
When you adjust the velocity up, the Marauder hits hard. Very hard.
You can’t use many air rifles for predator control, but the .25 caliber Marauder is up to the task.
If you like a variety of choices to choose from, you can get the Marauder with an ambidextrous wood or synthetic stock or in a shorter pistol form. The adjustable comb is nice.
The pistol version, sometimes called the Woods Walker, is just as good as the rifle if not better. You’ll lose a significant amount of pressure but the quality, customizability, and accuracy are all maintained.
One type of Marauder pistol can be configured either with just the pistol grip, or you can replace the pistol grip with a non-adjustable skeleton stock.
Or you can get the AR-15 stock version. The stock isn’t removable (yet they still call it a pistol…) but you can adjust the length of pull.
The PCP system, combined with the bolt action and the removable clipazine, means that you can shoot a dozen times or more without having to work to put some air behind the pellet.
What I Didn’t Like
PCP systems are great up until the point they let you down.
One of the most frustrating moments I ever experienced was when I had to deal with a wounded animal, but did not have enough air left in the reservoir to finish the animal off with a single shot.
If you are going to hunt with a Marauder, be sure that your tank is full, and do not continue to hunt once the air pressure has dropped enough that you can’t reliably take your prey.
This isn’t a fault of the Marauder specifically, but it’s a weakness inherent to any PCP air rifle.
Then you have to refill the air tank, which requires either a SCUBA tank or a hand pump, sold separately.
And it takes a lot of pumping to get that tank up to 3,000 PSI.
Onto other aspects of the air gun, some people who have bought the pistol version say that the stock does not fit the grip properly. Shims can fix the problem, but should you need to shim a stock on a $400 air pistol?
You may think that $400 is an upcharge for being a pistol. It’s not. That’s the low end for the rifle versions. Marauders are not cheap.
Finally, neither the rifle nor the pistol comes with sights. Some options come with scopes but for the ones without, you will have to furnish your own.
Which makes the Marauder an even more expensive investment.
If you don’t need a repeating air gun then you can spend a lot less for just as much gun.
There are two main categories to keep in mind when deciding on which Marauder to buy: Caliber and stock.
The choice between calibers comes down to how much hunting or target shooting you will be doing.
If all you want to do is poke holes in paper then the .177 caliber version will be your best bet. You will get the highest velocity, most shots out of one tank, and the cheapest pellets.
.22 caliber Marauders offer a good halfway point between the two other options. You won’t be hunting the biggest game, but raccoons will fear your might.
Also, if you want the pistol version, you are stuck with .22 as your only option. Since the pistol version is weaker expect to win against rabbits and squirrels but not raccoons.
As for the stocks, you have four different options.
The normal pistol version has a removable skeleton stock. The barrel is shorter and the velocity is lower, but it fits easily in a backpack.
Or, for maximum tacticoolness, you can get the pistol with an AR-15 style stock. Unlike the other version of the pistol, the stock is not removable, but it still has the shorter barrel and reduced velocity.
The rifle version is available in two stock choices. You can get it with a wood or synthetic stock.
The wood feels the best in your hands and looks pretty, but won’t handle harsh weather as well as the other two options.
Synthetic stocks are great at surviving any weather and are lighter, but lack class.
Do note that those magazines are not compatible between pistol or rifle and are not compatible between calibers.
Power: 5. You can adjust the power to the level you want. Maximum power? Sure, you’ll get only a handful of shots, but you’ll knock that animal down. Killing paper? Tune the gun down and you can fire pellets all day with one charge.
Value: 3. The Benjamin Marauder is a powerful PCP air rifle, but you’ll be paying a lot for the gun. I would have rated the air gun’s value higher, except that you’ll have to pay to charge the pneumatic system, either by buying a SCUBA tank or by buying their pump, which costs $150!
Reliability: 4. PCP systems are great for the first few shots, then you start losing power. Charging such a system up to 3,000 PSI is not as simple as, say, a break-action spring-piston air rifle.
Overall: 4.5. The Benjamin Marauder is a great and expensive air gun. If you have half a grand to drop then a Marauder is very worth it, but if that much money is a lot of money to you, a more economical air rifle may be a good idea.
If you want Benjamin style power but a PCP system is not necessary, then check out our review of the Benjamin Trail NP2. It is a single-shot break-action air rifle available for half the price of the Benjamin Marauder (or less!) but is just as powerful.
Another great air rifle available in .25 caliber is the AirForce Condor. These air rifles are more expensive and have a non-traditional design, but are even more powerful and work very well.
For even more options, check out our guide on the best pellet and BB guns for hunting!