I have been contemplating my next airgun purchase for a while, and Crosman’s Benjamin Marauder has been in the mix. Every since Crosman released the Benjamin Discovery at an affordable price ($399 for the gun and hand pump) I have been considering going PCP, but to be honest, the dark side is daunting. After reading a ton of material on the Marauder from various sites and forums, I finally decided to take a leap of faith – my .22 Benjamin Marauder arrives tomorrow.
As always I used Straight Shooters for my airgun purchase – they are professional and give great advice. While I may have been able to find some of the non-airgun items in my order cheaper, why bother? I do not mind paying a little extra for quality service and peace of mind. In fact, after placing my order via the web, Craig from Straight Shooters gave me a call and politely explained to me that a one piece scope mount would not work on the Marauder because its magazine would get in the way. I was given several different options before finally deciding on the perfect choice for my shooting needs.
I ended with the Sun Optics (the old BSquare) two piece medium adjustable mounts. The mounts will hold a Hawke 4-12×40 Air Max scope. I have wanted to try a Hawke for a while, and the Air Max seems to be a good value for the price ($159). I am very interested to see how the Map-6 system works. At some point I will probably do some scope swapping, moving the Air Max to my R1 Carbine since it has a cheap CenterPoint scope. In this hobby, you always have to think about the next purchase!
The final decision I had to make was the hand pump selection – Hill or Benjamin branded pump? I needed to keep this purchase at a reasonable price, and going with a hand pump keeps me from going all in with scuba equipment. Once again Straight Shooter helped me out via email – I finally decided on the Hill hand pump because its shaft holds more air, which means less pumping and it contains an air filter that supposedly keeps out moisture among other things. The Hill pump ended up costing me an additional $89 because I had to add on a Quick Connect Foster Female Adapter to make the Hill compatible with the Marauder. In the end, I think (hope) the Hill pump will be the right decision since I will be pumping for the foreseeable future.
Just for the hell of it I also threw an extra magazine into my order. You can do the math, but I think this order set me up with a more than reasonable entry into the world of PCP.
So what to do while I wait for Brown Santa to arrive? I downloaded the Marauder manual from the Crosman site and have read it a couple of times just to make sure I am ready to enter the world of PCP when my Marauder arrives. If I had not read about bleeding the hand pump fill hose, I would have been a victim of hose whip. Never knew there was such a thing, but I bet I would have not given a second thought to just pulling the hose off the fill nipple.
I am excited about going PCP, but that does not mean that my R7, R1 Carbine, and .22 R1 will fall into disuse. To the contrary, I think they will get used more because I will have to compare the merits of traditional high quality springers vs. an American made PCP.