Given the choice?
As a retired guy that is new to air gunning, I'd like to ask you experienced gunners, if you were given the choice between a Marauder Syn. stock .22 cal. Model BP2264S, and a Hatsan AT44S-10QE .22 cal., which one would you buy? This airgun would be my first PCP gun. Thanks for the input everyone.
In response to Pluric's questions, I offer the following.
I have hunted for decades, and have shot numerous shotguns and rifles in the pursuit of various game animals over the years. As far as air guns are concerned, I still own a Benjamin 137 air pistol, which is about 50 years old. Now that I'm retired, I have the time to spend on something that interests me. I expect to do some plinking and target shooting and, perhaps, helping to control the occasional varmint. I've researched the matter enough to know the costs to get started will not be insignificant. Nevertheless, I believe I can purchase a good quality air gun and initial support gear for under $1,000, and I'm prepared to dive right in. Thanks again for your input.
My first was a Marauder .22 . Second was a Prod that I later added a Marmot Militia barrel to. That made it shoot like the big boys. 😀 . From everything I've read the .25 shoots better out of the box. I still have both Marauders but seldom shoot them. European stuff has put them on the shelf. When I hear Hatsan I cringe over the memory of two of their springers I had that no matter what I could not get to group well. I've heard way more positive reviews of their PCP line up. So, I vote Marauder.
Some of these guys are recommending getting a .25 caliber gun. The thing that they aren't telling you is that .25 pellets cost about TWICE as much (per pellet) as similar .22 pellets. I'd say that unless you have a specific hunting requirement that would call for the higher power .25, stick with the lower calibers.
I'm a retired guy too. I've been into airguns for the past 17 years and have tried lots of them. My recommendation for a first PCP is easily the Marauder over a Hatsan. Marauders are the airgun equivalent of a 10/22 rifle. They are easy to work on, somewhat modular design, excellent parts availability, lots of aftermarket parts for upgrades, lots of information online regarding tuning the Marauder, and IMHO the Marauder has higher build quality. For a first PCP I strongly suggest the 22 over the 25. You will get lots more shots per fill with the .22, pellets are cheaper, more pellet choices in .22, and the higher velocity of a .22 means less loopy trajectory at longer distances. My other strong recommendation is to skip the interim steps of filling with a hand pump or buying a 3300 maximum psi scuba tank to fill your rifle. Start with a carbon fiber tank of your choice. It is more expensive initially but you'll shoot more and spend less money in the long run. A carbon fiber tank weighs a third as much as a steel or aluminum scuba tank and with a 4500 psi fill pressure it will give you many more fills as a heavy inconvenient scuba tank.
Just make sure you can get that tank filled. For me, it simply is not reasonable so a hand pump is the next best thing. If I had a way to get it filled without making a 100 mile round trip or needing to purchase an extra $500-$1000 of equipment, I would have gone with a tank. As it stands, a hand pump is not a bad option for a .177 or .22 Marauder. Might not be the best option for a .25 though, which will generally get fewer shots per fill - so will require more pumping.
Thanks to all of you for your advice and comments. Although, I'm ready to dive in to this pastime, I don't have to make any rash decisions. It appears that Benjamin's Marauder line has a substantial following, and for good reason based on the many comments I've read. I'm now contemplating buying a new .22 Prod. It appears that it may be a good choice for my first PCP gun, and one that might be fun to upgrade over time. Additional comments are most welcome.
I think that your choice of the P'rod is a good one. There is no question that Crosman customer service and parts availability are tops. That said, the M'rod is a Moose of a rifle and for me, just too much bulk to drag around. What you may like even more than the P'rod is the soon to be here Fortitude which looks a lot like a rifle version of the P'rod.
I'd go with the M-rod also and something you might want to consider is to take a look at the Crosman Custom Shop online. You can build your own to your liking and I think (not 100% on it) but I think you can even specify a Lother Walhter barrel. And while a little pricey they are well worth the money.
BTW I had a Gen 1 M-rod in .177 and it was a pretty good one.
Check out the Guantlet. I have the .177. This is a regulated rifle with a full shrouded barrel under 300.00
Adjustable stock. 40 to 60 shots from large air cylinder. Single load or 10 shot magazine.
I own a $3,400. bench rest rifle with 800.00 scope. I enjoy shooting the Guantlet fun at paper and Spinner targets out to 60 yards. With a 12 power scope. You can find them at $ 276.oo
Check out YouTube for great video.
Longer warranty than most air rifles out there.