To ready the P-rod for shooting, fill the air reservoir with a high pressure pump or SCUBA tank to 3,000 psi and load the magazine. For details on how to load the magazine, check out this blog: http://188.8.131.52/blog/2009/05/marauder-part-i.html Pull the bolt all the way back, slide the magazine into the breech slot from the right until it clicks, and push the bolt hand forward and down.
Take aim, push the safety off, and ease the first stage out of the trigger. On the sample I tested, the first stage required only 1 lb. 5.4 oz. At 1 lb., 14 oz., the shot went down range. The Crosman folks have done a wonderful job of designing an excellent new trigger for the P-rod, and I could find no fault with it.
Now here’s where life got interesting in the testing process for me. Check out the picture below. These were the shooting conditions on January 1, 2011 when I first shot the P-rod here in the wilds of upstate New York.
I had loaded the magazine with Crosman .22 Premier pellets. Look at the target below. The first two shots cut the inner most ring of the bullseye at 35 yards. The next shot was just slightly outside the inner ring at about 10 o’clock. At this point, I need to talk about something that I have never seen mentioned in the shooting forums: the psychology aspect of shooting groups.
The truth is that when I saw how tight those first three shots were, I started to get excited. I could feel my heart rate go up. I tried to calm myself by exhaling. Some of my breath landed on the eyepiece, which started to get a bit fogged up. My next shot landed to the right at about 3 o’clock, so I tried several calming breaths so settle myself down. That’s when the eyepiece got considerably fogged, with the result that the last shot landed near the outer ring. Unfortunately, I was under time pressure, so I had to accept the results I got. Nevertheless, I am convinced that .25-.375 inch groups are achievable with the P-rod at 35 yards.
The report of the P-rod, thanks to its shrouded barrel, is very mild. It is not as quiet as, say, a .177 Marauder rifle, but it is certainly no louder than a very quiet springer air rifle like the Beeman R7/HW30. I think it is the kind of airgun that can be shot in the back yard without irritating the neighbors, but if you want something that is dead quiet for ultra-stealthy pest control, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
In factory tune, the P-rod will deliver around 30 shots from a fill, averaging about 660 fps, which works out to 13.8 foot-pounds of energy (average) with 14.3 grain Crosman .22 Premier pellets. For an actual string shot by Steve, owner of the “Yellow” forum, check out: http://www.network54.com/Forum/79537/message/1293414891/Forum+Owner%27s+First+Review+of+the+Crosman+Marauder+Pistol-+Graphic
Also, if you want to see how the P-rod can be adjusted for various parameters, check out this work by “Airgun Enthusiast: http://www.network54.com/Forum/79537/message/1294258894/The+Benjamin+Marauder+Pistol+At+Various+Fills+%26amp%3B+Settings
In case you haven’t figured it out already, the upshot is that I really liked the Benjamin Marauder Pistol. It is light, easy to handy, accurate, admirably quiet, highly adjustable and has a great trigger. I can see many airgunners starting with the P-rod as their first PCP airgun and being satisfied with it for a very long time.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott