I was waiting to see how Crosman
would follow up on their opening
act, the Discovery. I had
scheduled meetings with the
companyâ€™s representatives at
the SHOT show and while in
Orlando got my first glimpse of the
Marauder. And there it was, a
beautiful rifle with â€¦.. a match
grade trigger, a ten shot rotary
magazine, and OH YEA â€¦. A
fully shrouded barrel!
The Crosman Marauder
I am a lucky airgunner, because of my writing projects I am sent a lot of guns to shoot and hunt with.
Some I like, some I donâ€™t, some surpassing expectations and some falling short. But as a rule I try
to approach each gun with an open mind and without the baggage of preconceived opinions or
expectations. However I must admit to breaking my own rules, and have been eagerly awaiting the
arrival of Crosmanâ€™s new precharged pneumatic rifle expecting to see something exciting coming
out of their development program.
It was just a couple of years ago that I was driving home from a deer hunt when a call came in from
the well known airgun writer Tom Gaylord, asking if Iâ€™d like to test a new pcp rifle being
developed by an American airgun company. When I replied with a heck yes ! (or something like it) ,
he promptly put me in touch with the guys at Crosman. The gun they were developing was the
Benjamin Discovery, which became an instant hit in the North American market. The Discovery had
several things going for it; accurate and moderately powerful, compact and light weight, the dual fuel
feature that allows the gun to be filled from either a high pressure air source or CO2 (depending on
power requirements). The rifle provided efficient operation at a low charging pressure, was feature
rich with a lot of bells and whistle youâ€™d expect on a more expensive product, and to top it off,
made in the USA and the lowest priced prercharged pneumatic on the market. Of course nothing is
perfect, and at the end of my initial evaluation I wrapped up my review by saying that as much as I
liked the rifle I would like to see a premium model with a better trigger, a multi-shot capability, and a
shrouded barrel, with the shroud being the most important feature. As guns got into the hands of more
airguuners, many made the same observations. This was not surprising as my insight is not unique â€¦ I
just got the gun first. Like I said, I am a lucky arigunner! And while the Disco is great for what it is,
there was room for another level of rifle in the Crosman product portfolio. In fact, they had told me
early on that this was their strategy and the Discovery was their entry into the PCP market.
OK, so like the rest of the airgun world I was waiting to see how Crosman would follow up on their
opening act. I had scheduled meetings with the companyâ€™s representatives at the SHOT show and
while in Orlando got my first glimpse of the Marauder. And there it was, a beautiful rifle with â€¦.. a
match grade trigger, a ten shot rotary magazine, and OH YEA â€¦. A fully shrouded barrel! But it was
more than just these features built on a Discovery, this was a brand new design. The gun I found
myself inspecting on the exhibition floor was more substantial and dressed in a very handsome walnut
stock with crisply cut checkering. It had a rear mounted bolt action, and I was told it could be readily
adjusted to operate at a range of fill pressures up to 3000 psi depending on what the shooters
requirements were. It appeared to me that these guys had a pretty clear picture of what we airgunners
want and need in our hunting, plinking, and target rifles. But of course, determining if they had really
gotten it right could only happen with pellets flying over the chrony and printing tight little groups off the
benchâ€¦â€¦ and a step further for me at least, in the field hunting! Iâ€™ve now had the chance to
shoot several hundred pellets through the gun and to get it out on a couple hunts, and would like to
share some preliminary observations.
The Marauder; Initial Impressions
The gun I was sent to work with was a pre production gun that had some differences from the
production guns, mostly but not all cosmetic; the magazine removal was to the left rather than the
right, the pressure gauge on the production gun will be calibrated to 3000 psi but my gun used
the Discovery gauge calibrated to 2000 ps. But mostly it was things like provisional graphics or
slight differences in checkering. Having said this, the gun I pulled out of the shipping case was
very attractive and looked like a purposeful hunting gun.
The stock is walnut with laser cut checkering on the pistol grip and forestock, and is
ambidextrous with a raised comb that yielded a good sight alignment through a Centerpoint 3-
9x40 30 mm scope with medium profile mounts. The Benjamin name is carved into the bottom
of the forestock, and the logo on the pistol grip. The pistol grip has a black cap and the buttstock
a ventilated buttpad with a white spacer that adds a touch of classy good looks to the package.
The Marauder is a larger rifle than the Discovery weighing in at a bit over 7 Â½ lb (7lb 8 oz to
be exact) with an overall length of 43â€�. It is well balanced and comes quickly and naturally
into shooting position. The gun I was sent was set up to my specification and I told the guys that
Iâ€™d like to get 30-35 shots using Crosman Premier pellets at around 850 fps. It was also
equipped with swivel studs, as I intended to use a sling and a bipod when out hunting.
The metal work on the guns was quite nice, well proportioned and well crafted. The aluminum
receiver has a high profile, with the bolt mounted to the rear where it is easy to reach and cycle.
The receiver is grooved to accept 11 mm scope rings and open sights are not included on the
guns (which in my opinion arenâ€™t needed on a gun like this).
The Marauder uses a proprietary ten shot rotary magazine, which is indexed as the bolt is pushed
forward after cycling. The first thing to mention is that my prototype gun dismounts the magazine
to the left hand side of the gun, whereas in the production gun the magazine will be removed from
the right. When the bolt is pulled all the way rearward, the magazine is simply pushed out. After
loading the process is reversed, and again the bolt has to be positioned fully to the rear. The
magazine is fairly easy to load once you get used to it, though it does take a little practice being
neither the easiest or most difficult Iâ€™ve come across. What I did like is that Iâ€™ve shot
more than a couple thousand pellets without a malfunction. The magazine loaded and fed almost
every pellet I tried, with the exception of extremely long bodied pellets such as Eu Jins and the
Predator XPs. I was able to handload individual pellets with some difficulty, though I was told
that there is an insert to convert to singleshot, which is a great backup in a hunting rifle.
The Marauder has an adjustable two stage trigger that was set up at the factory with 0.144â€�
travel to actuate, 0.127â€� of initial take-up, 0.011â€� over travel and 2.5 lb pull. The trigger
was smooth, tactile, broke crisply, and didnâ€™t require any adjustment from me (of course
they asked me how I liked my trigger before shipping the gun). I think this is a very good trigger,
especially on a gun at the mid level price tag the gun carries.
The choked barrel is 20â€� in length and the shroud extends it to 23 Â¾ â€œ. The shroud is
one of (if not the) key feature on this gun. It is very effective in quieting it down, and is integrated
into the guns design so that it cannot be opened or removed from the gun.
As with the Disco, the Marauder fills using a quick connect Foster type fitting. It does however
differ in that on the Marauder the fill probe is covered by a screw-on cap. I filled the reservoir to
the recommended 3000 psi pressure using my carbon fiber tanks. As mentioned, though I opted
for a fill pressure of 3000 psi, others may opt to optimize theirs for lower fill pressures. One
afternoon I used the Crosman hand pump to recharge the gun between twenty shot strings, and
found it easy to charge the gun up from 2400 psi back up to 3000 psi in a couple minutes of
pumping. The gun features an on-board manometer to monitor pressure that will be calibrated to
3000 psi in the production gun.
To start off my shooting session I filled the gun to 3000 psi and sat down at the bench to sight in
with a box of Crosman Premiers pellets. After I had the gun zeroed, I set up a number of the 2â
€�x2â€� steel plates I use as casual targets, and fired off a few hundred shots getting used to the
feel of the gun. I shot standing, sitting, prone, kneeling, both rested and offhand, having just an all
around fun plinking session. I found that the gun cycled smoothly and the magazine fed flawlessly. I
was able to keep the gun mounted while chambering a pellet from all shooting positions, and found
I could get a follow up shot off pretty quickly from the start. The stock fit me well coming quickly
to the shoulder yielding an excellent sight alignment. The forestock is well proportioned and rest
comfortably in my hand, I liked the feeling of the deeply cut checkering.
The trigger really was a pleasure and being light and responsive enough out of the box to facilitate
accurate shooting. The checkered pistol grip provided a stable and consistent hold for my shooting
hand. The long straight trigger blade is wide enough to offer comfortable contact with the pad of
my trigger finger and has an excellent tactile feel overall.
The other thing I noticed right away was that the gun is very quiet with the integrated shroud doing
its job. I think that this is a key element in a hunting airgun, because one of the practical reasons for
buying a hunting airgun is to expand your hunting opportunitiesby allowing you to shoot in noise
sensitive areas. The shroud increases the length of the rifle by a few inches, but is well proportioned
and looks like a typical bull barrel. It is affixed to the receiver and by a barrel band at the muzzle
end of the gun, and appears quite stable even though I detected a slight rattle if the gun was shaken.
On the Bench
I then took the gun to the bench down in my basement range, to shoot several brands and styles of
pellets across the chronograph. These included the Crosman Premiers Iâ€™d asked the gun to be
optimized for, in addition to JSB Exacts, Beeman FTs, Beeman Kodiaks, RWS Superdomes,
Crow Magnums, and Eu Jins. The chronograph was positioned five feet back from the muzzle of
the gun with several daylight bulbs mounted in adjustable spot lights arranged to provide consistent
pick up and measurement of shots.
The highest average velocity, calculated from a 20 shot string after a fresh 3000 psi charge, came
from the CPs, though the Superdomes, FTs, and Exacts were all very close. I opted for 20 shot
groups after a fill as this closely approximates my usage when hunting. All of these pellets, which
are similar in weight, had average velocities in the 870s or thereabout. The crow magnum and
Kodiaks came next at 825 fps and 790 fps respectively, with the heavy Eu Jins not surprisingly
coming in last in the low 700s. It is important to note that I had asked Crosman to set up the gun to
generate velocities around 850 fps with Crosman Premiers, and they delivered exactly what Iâ
The most accurate pellets shot in this evaluation were Premiers and the least accurate were the
Crow Mags, but any of the pellets tested would have been more than adequate for a day of small
game hunting. The Premiers were the most accurate and went into a ragged one hole group, which
I was happy to see as I find this a very effective small game pellet. Because if weather I had to
shoot undercover where I am limited to 25 yards, but will provide results from25 to 75 yards in a
So what did I think about my initial shooting experience with the Marauder? In a nutshell Crosman
has done it again; accurate, powerful, quietâ€¦â€¦ these attributes alone make this a gun worthy of
consideration by serious airgun hunters. But a 10 shot magazine, excellent quality of wood and
metal work, outstanding trigger, and features like an onboard manometer in a gun positioned at the
mid price point is really impressive. I enjoyed shooting this rifle as much as any Iâ€™ve used in a
long time, and will be taking along on several upcoming hunts. I am not only impressed by the gun,
but by the fact that Crosman listened to what their customers were telling them and responded so
quickly and effectively. This is the first of a three part series Iâ€™ll do on the Marauder, and next
weâ€™ll focus on the marauder in the field hunting a variety of small game and varmint.
The Discovery (below) and the new Marauder (above) represents a great beginning to
Crosmans PCP stable.
The Marauder is a well balanced gun that has stylish good looks. Nice checkering on the
grip and forestock, cap on the pistol grip and a ventilated butt pad arenot common on a
gun at this price.
The action of the Marauder attaches to the stock with a single screw positioned at a
juncture between the trigger assembly and pressure gauge.
The gauge on this gun was a Discovery part, but will be replaced with one calibrated to
3000 psi. The hex screw that attaches the action to the stock is seen just ahead of the
The shroud, the cap covering the fill nipple, and barrel band are seen in this close up
(left). The cap off fior filling (right)
The magazine on my gun is removed from the left, though this will be switched to the
right on production guns so as to not interfere with a AO wheel. The magazine
functioned flawlessly over several hundred shot.
The action is seen removed from the stock.
For the purposes of this test
I shot Crosman Premiers,
JSB Exacts, Beeman FTs,
Beeman Kodiaks, RWS
Magnums, and Eu Jins.
The chronograph was
positioned five feet back
from the muzzle of the gun
The gun yielded 35 shot per
fill, but I opted for 20 shot
strings on a fresh fill .
Where Does the Marauder
Fit? My Opinion
The Marauder allows Crosman
to compete in a market
segment that is currently
underserved by an American
manufacturer. I think that this
gun will compete favorably with
many of the quality European
guns and gives US buyers a
choice at a lower price point.
The Marauder is a different gun
than the Disco, but why would
they need another gun trying to
do what the Disco does so
NOTE: These groups represent the best out of ten shot with each pellet, produced in tightly controled
indoor environment.. I use my airguns for hunting, and my point is that this gun will easily outshoot
NOTE: Best groups shot from a solid benchrest
Randomly selected shot strings
Disclosure: Crosman Corp. has sent the Marauder to me without charge for evaluation. I have
no other business with them; I am not paid for any work nor am I obligated to undertake any
work for them. I am compensated for articles writen for various publications, and may or not
include mention of any product as I choose.
Hunting the Marauder
I've had a chance to get out on a
couple short hunts to date with ther
Marauder. The set up for the gun
when hunting; Scope is the
CenterPoint 3-9x40 30mm tube.
This glass has sharp bright images
and is compact fitting the riflle well.
I have a Rocksteady bipod
mounted of the forward swivel
stud, with the scope attached to
the bipod. I was using the Premier
pellets that the gun was tuned for.
On a trip out to a friends farm I set
out to thin a few of the squirrels. I
found the gun carried well as I
hiked through the brush and
woods. I had shots present from
standing and kneeling positions,
and I used the trees for support
when taking shoots out to around
I shot the squirrel in this picture
from a kneeling position as I leaned
against a tree, hitting him spot on
the noggin at about 50 yards. The
bushtail dropped out of the upper
limbs and was DOA when he hit