|The Marauder Pistol Jim Chapman
HUNTING HAND GUNS (MY WORLD VIEW*)
There are many aspects of airgun hunting that are near and dear to my heart; I love hunting with all the
new multi-shot pcps with excellent triggers and shrouded barrels and never tire of getting out to the
woods with one of my work horse springers, but Iâ€™ve been jonesing for a new air powered
handgun to hunt with.
Let me first say that I think there are some great (albeit few and far between) hunting air pistols out
there; the Brocock Grand Prix, the Evanix Renegade six shooter, and the custom 2240 based pcp
conversions are all guns Iâ€™ve used and think highly of. But what I really wanted to get is a hand gun
that combined a few of the features of each of these with a couple not seen on any of them.
While the Grand Prix is dead accurate and moderately powerful, compact, and has an excellent trigger,
it is a single shot. Nothing wrong with that, but I often hunt in the cold of winter and like a multi-shot so
that my frost numbed fingers donâ€™t have to fumble with pellets between shots. I also think highly of
the Renegade, it is multi-shot, accurate and powerful, but it is big and pretty loud. I have had a great
time building up custom air pistols on the 2240 platform having built some very powerful and compact
guns in a range of calibers (.177 â€“ 9 mm). However, they require finding parts, taking the time to
build, and all the guns Iâ€™ve built have been single shots. I am restricting this discussion to small
game air pistols, there have been other custom and small run production guns ranging from small
calibers all the way up to the big bore pistols that Quackenbush has built.
What I wanted in a pistol was pretty straight forward, although not available anywhere that I knew of;
a compact design, multi-shot, high shot capacity, adjustable power, a serviceable trigger, and here is a
big one, a shrouded barrel. Iâ€™ve had a good relationship with Crosman for a few years and have
gotten to do some testing and give feedback to them on projects such as the Discovery and Marauder.
A couple of years ago Iâ€™d sent them one of my PCP builds on the 2240 and we had some
discussions on the pros and cons of the gun. Now donâ€™t get me wrong, I donâ€™t mean to imply
any direct involvement in the design of the gun other than to list what Iâ€™d like to see in a hunting
hand gun, chief Crosman engineer and visionary Ed Schultz is the guy that specifies and does the
requirements engineering on these products, I just get to sound off and test earlyâ€¦ the fun stuff!
I (FINALLY) GET TO SHOOT IT!!!
Before the SHOT Show in 2010 Ed called to tell me theyâ€™d have a pistol based on the Marauder
design along for Media day at the SHOW and that I could get my hands on it and shoot it there â€¦. I
was excited! Media day at the SHOT Show is an event where manufacturers of products set up
booths at the shooting range outside of Las Vegas for outdoors writers, broadcast, and other media
types to get some experience with the products weâ€™ll write about and present through various
media outlets after the show.
When I showed up, the Crosman guys had the Discoveries and Marauders out and shooting away, but
I went straight to the table on which I saw a mutant 2240 sitting. On inspection it turned out to be the
new Marauder pistol, and get this, it had an eight shot magazine, it was shrouded, it was long but light
weight and ergonomic, and it had an onboard manometer. The trigger was an update to the 2240 and
had been cleaned up a lot and turned out to be fairly smooth when I got down to shooting. I spent as
much time as possible shooting the spinners out at 25 yards, and was positively impressed with the
accuracy, the authority in which it impacted the spinners, and moreover just how quiet this pistol was.
We talked about the gun, the delivery schedule..... and when I could get a test gun. I left the range that
day thinking that Iâ€™d be shooting and hunting with it inside a few weeks. That few weeks turned
out to be several months. Itâ€™s a good news / bad news thing, Crosman did very well with their
other products; the Nitro Piston guns and the Discovery and Marauder sales and concurrent support
requirements exploded and ate up engineering and production resources which is the good news for
Crosman, but that didnâ€™t leave a lot of time to work on the (arguably) niche oriented pistol. But
finally the gun came and I had a chance to use it extensively on the range and for hunting.
In this two part introductory piece Iâ€™ll first look at the gun, shooting characteristics, and my results
on the range. This will be followed by a second part focusing on the field / hunting experience Iâ€™ve
had over the last couple of months. A few quick remarks before we get down to it; what I present is
based on my personal experience and opinions and comes replete with my biases, preferences, and my
requirements for a hunting air pistol. My evaluation is based on the intended use of the gun as a hunting
tool not a 10 meter target pistol, so should be taken in context. The gun I used is a prototype and not
the final production gun, though it is anticipated to be very close to what rolls off the production line.
And finally, I always suggest that you donâ€™t take one personâ€™s views as gospel: look around,
do your homework, and make an informed decision. OK, house keeping done, let get going!
THE MARAUDER PISTOL
The marauder pistol I received is a .22 caliber that looks like its daddy was a Marauder and its mother
was a 2240. The 11 inch barrel shroud and eight shot magazine are linked to the Mrod side of the
family, and the grip assembly and trigger hearken back to the 2240.... with an air reservoir of a design
that speaks to a bit of Discovery in the gene pool.
The air reservoir is the same dimensions as that used on the Discovery, and uses the same quick
release valve and cover as the Disco. A barrel band securely affixes the reservoir and the barrel, with
the forestock screwed into the band. The pressure gauge is housed in an opening in the forestock just
in front of the trigger guard.
The rotary magazine cassette holds eight .22 pellets, and in every way looks like a scaled down
Marauder magazine (to achieve a low profile). The design seems to hold up, I have shot several
hundred pellets through this gun and not had one hang-up or glitch with any of the pellets I tested.
Likewise, the bolt action and cycling of the pistol is analogous to that of the rifle. It could be a little
smoother, but is not at all difficult to cock and bring into action. Pulling the cocking bolt back cocks the
gun, pushing it forward indexes the magazine and loads the pellet for firing.
As a matter of fact the grip assembly of the gun has many similarities to the standard 2240. But actually
the grip and trigger are improvements to the 2240 and are compatible with the accessories (i.e the
carbine stock) that fit the current 2240. I have been told that this grip assembly (but not the trigger
components) will be used in future 2240 guns.
The trigger on the Marauder pistol is a two stage with a reworked sear, which is much smoother than
that of the 2240. There is an over travel adjustment screw incorporated into the trigger guard and the
trigger blade has a better tactile feel. The safety is the same cross bolt affair used on the 2240. The
guns receiver is a scaled down version of the one used on the Marauder rifle.
The shroud is very effective in quieting the sound signature, making this the quietist air pistol Iâ€™ve
ever shot. My preference is for a quiet airgun, and this is especially true with a pistol which is ideal for
slipping into areas where you donâ€™t want to draw attention to yourself. Understand that I am not
suggesting you hunt where not allowed, but there are a lot of hunting and pest control opportunities that
will open up if the landowner or facility manager is assured you can get in and out without disturbing
the non-shooting / hunting members of the public that might be in the area.
I decided to zero the gun at 25 yards as this is the range I like to try to get into, but will stretch out
further if everything is right. Before I got started with shooting groups, I selected a few pellets that I
wanted to use for hunting and ran them over the chrony to see what theyâ€™d do. The pellets
selected were the Predator Polymags, Crosman Premiers, Crosman Field Points, and Beeman Long
To get started I filled the gun to the recommended 3000 psi and loaded up with the Polymags with the
intention of shooting two clips (16 pellets) then refilling and shooting the next pellet on the list. The first
thing I noticed was that the velocities were lower than expected, and the second was that as I shot the
velocity continued to climb. I wanted to conserve the Polymags I had on hand so I refilled and started
shooting the Crosman Premiers, as I had boxes of these pellets and could shoot several string without
depleting my on-hand supply.
Again I stared to shoot from a 3000 psi fill, and again the velocity was lower than expected but
continued to climb. As a matter of fact the velocities didnâ€™t start to peak until I was well in to the
forth magazine (where the fill pressure was about 2300 psi). I shot multiple strings and achieved the
same results, which indicated the sweet spot for this gun was an operating pressure approximately
2300 â€“ 1900 psi.
After determining the sweet spot I went back and shot 16 shot strings with the Polymags and the other
afore mentioned pellets to see what they would do. These groups were much more in line with my
expectations, but moreover the long shot strings demonstrated to me that I could expect over 40
usable hunting shots if I was willing to fill to 3000 psi and deal with lower velocity shots at the high and
low pressure states at the low ends of the velocity curve. Having said this, I reckoned that if I filled to
2400 PSI it would produce 3 â€“ 4 clips (24-32) shots in the sweet spot for hunting, which is more
than enough for a day of hunting squirrels.
After months of waiting the
Marauder Pistol I've been talking
about for over a year, and only
got to shoot a couple of times,
showed up on my doorstep. I've
had about six weeks of intensive
shooting time and have put in
some meaningful range and field
time with it.
Crosman is getting ready to
release the gun next week!! The
first shipment ( a limited number
at first) is ready to roll off the
production lines, so I thought it
would be a good time to share
some initial impressions
Specifications at a Glance
Grips: Black Plastic (2240
custom grips not interchangeable
without additional fitting)
Action: Bolt (Ambidextous)
Magazine: eight shot
Barrel Length; 8"
Shroud Length; 11"
Length Overall; 18"
Trigger; Two Stage
Trigger Weight; 3.5 lb
Sights: Scope ramp, no sights incl.
Safety: Cross Bar Type
Max Fill Pressure: 3000 psi
Optimal Fill Pressure:
2400-1800 psi (on my test gun)
|I've been waiting for
this pistol to reach me
for over 10 months,
ever since shooting it at
media day at the SHOT
Show last January.
This graph demonstrates the velocity profiles of the aforementioned pellets and the concurrent fill
pressures. The blue box shows the intial velocities obtained with Polymags (blue diamond) and CPs at a
3000 psi fill. The red box shows the 16 shot strings captured at optimal fill pressures.
As far as accuracy, I spent a bunch of range time shooting groups at 20 -30 yards rested on a sand
bag. Hereâ€™s my usual disclaimer, I am an adequate but not a great shot. Simply put, the gun out
shoots me. I produced several groups with the Polymags, Premiers, and Field Points, which are the
three types I decided to use for hunting. The Polymags and Premiers because I like these two pellets
and use them in many of my guns and know they provide a good terminal performance on small game.
The Field Point I used because I had been asked to test them, to be honest this is not a design that I
typically like or use. But to be fair, both the velocity and 20 yards groups they produced were pretty
good. After a lot of shooting I selected a good eight shot group with each pellet ( shown in the
attached figure) and believe them to be representative for that pellet. I also shot some thirty yard
groups to show what the gun was capable at my maximum pistol hunting range, with a representative
In terms of the shooting characteristics of the Marauder Pistol; the grips felt like those of a standard
2240, so the most useful statement is that if you like the 2240 grips youâ€™ll like this pistol and if you
donâ€™t the like the 2240 youâ€™ll probably feel the same way about this pcp. I like them with
respect to the angle, dimensions, and ergonomics of the grips, but will replace with a set of exotic
wood grips on the basis of aesthetics. Likewise the position and function of the safety is the same as
the 2240 and sits just forward of the trigger and is easy to access. As with most air pistols Iâ€™ve
used for hunting, the over all length is fairly long (xxxx inches), which is required to get a higher volume
air reservoir on the gun. However, it is fairly light and balances well. A note to Crosman; Iâ€™d give
up a few shots for a 3-4 inch reduction in the barrel / reservoir lengthâ€¦â€¦ maybe someday a
At any rate I have had a great time shooting this gun, and think itâ€™s a winner. Itâ€™s generating
about 11-13 fpe in the configuration I received, which is fine for small game inside of thirty yards
(though as stated 20-25 is typical for me). I have to leave this gun in stock trim for the testing and it
will have to go back to Crosman at some point. It has done very well on the range and for hunting, but
when the gun is released to market and I have an â€œout of the boxâ€� pistol of my very own the fun
will begin! I am going to work on tweaking it up for maximum power and get some custom grips on it,
even though it is just about perfect as it ships from the factory you can always put your personal stamp
on it, right? Weâ€™ve been waiting a long time for this gun, but I think it has been worth waiting for!
Part II The Marauder
Pistol on the Hunt!
I'm very busy with hunting as
were right into the season, but
in the coming weeks I'll post
more wtie ups and videos
showing the gun in usde.
A CLOSER LOOK
The shroud on the pistol is easily removed; the muzzle cap can be unscrewed first, then the shroud
unscrews from the threaded front of the receiver and is pulled off the barrel. The shroud itself is quite
simple and yet very effective, there is not a baffle per se, but rather a single ventilated tube that fits
over the muzzle of the barrel with a distal flange that keeps it centered in the shroud tube. There are
three O rings, one at the base of the receiver where the shroud screws in, one in a ridge in the mid
section of the ventilated tube, and one between the flange and the muzzle cap.
The graphs demonstrates a typical 60 shot string with CPs, with 16 shot strings from CPs, Fieled
Points, Polymags, and Beeman Long Range pellets at the optimum fill. I believe this gun can be
tuned up for substantially more power and maintain an adaquate shot count.
In the context of hunting, this Marauder Pistol outshoots me. I feel very confident hunting small
game with this gun insiode of 30 yards.
The grip and trigger assembly do bear a
resemblance to that of the 2240, and as
mentioned I've been told that this will be
the grip used on the 224o in future as
well. The carbine stock from the 2240
will still fit on the Marauder pistol.
However when I looked to see if my
beloved RB grips would fit, I found that
I'd have to remove some material and do
a little reshaping to get a perfect fit.
The trigger is unquestionably better than
the 2240, it is fairly light and crisp on
break, it has an adjustable overtravel, and
to my way of thinking a much more
ergonomic trigger blade.
While the forestock and the grips are plastic, the whole gun has a solid feel and just comes across as a
well engineered and solid piece of hardware. From a design point of view, I think everything from the
action and mnagazine, to the shroud, to the trigger, to the onboard pressure gauge works well in the
design. As is always the case when I get a pre-released gun to work with, I can't wait for the production
pieces to get out and in the hands of the intended group of shooters to see what they think, that's the
real acid test But my thoughts on using this gun was that Crosman is continuing in the right direction....
The pistol makes a
very handy carbine that
is an excellent choice
for pest control around
the property. During
the winter months we
get waves of starlings
coming though, and
this fast cycling eight
shot gun shooting at 13
fpe is just right for
knocking them off the
The Marauder Pistol as a
The stock that ships with the
production pistol turns it into a
compact little carbine that is well
suited for backpackers, for use as
an urban hunter, or anywhere a
medium power hunting rifle is
needed. It can handle anything up
to squirrels and rabbits.
On a recent squirrel hunt I used
the gun to take a limit of fox
squirrels, and found that both the
accuracy and power were just
right for anchoring these big tree
climbing rodents inside of 35
yards with a well place head shot.
I like hunting with pistols, but the
stock does let me shoot with a
much higher degree of accuracy. I
think this is going to make a great
shooting rig for taking on road
trips. It's pretty easy to charge
with a handpump,