Let’s face it….there’s nothing quite as satisfying as firing a shot every time you pull the trigger. No pumping, no cocking, no loading. Just BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG! Five shots fired. BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG! Five more. The new Benjamin SAM (Semi-Automatic Marauder) gives you the goodness of the familiar Marauder platform with the all new Semi-Automatic action. The link below is to the full review video that accompanies this written report. I suggest taking them both in for the full story.
The first two minutes of the review video are of me blasting pop cans as fast as I can with the SAM. Doing that was FUN! That’s one of the main points that I wish to convey in this review. The gun is essentially a good old Marauder that has the “fun” knob turned up to eleven. Don’t get me wrong, there are some real technical improvements to the gun as well. Among these would be the new picatinny rail optics mounting platform and the regulator. That’s right. The SAM is regulated! While the SAM retains the hammer spring adjuster for changing the power, it no longer has the adjustable transfer port. Nor is the regulator externally adjustable. Still, the factory adjustments on the SAM put it around 23fpe in .22 cal. With the hammer spring maxed out, you can expect around 28fpe…but fewer shots of course. Below is a full shot string from a 3000psi fill on the stock settings. I used the JSB Exact 15.89gr pellets for my testing. I averaged about 75 shots on the reg at roughly 23fpe average, as seen below. An extreme spread of 23fps over 76 shots isn’t bad.
Unfortunately, the new SAM magazines and older Marauder magazines are not interchangeable. Trust me. I tried. While not really a negative aspect of the gun considering the upgrades, one must not expect to be able to use an older bolt operated Marauder magazine in the new gun. Another major difference would be the trigger. While the trigger looks like the same old Marauder trigger, it definitely feels….well…different. My trigger testing produced a 1lb 13oz average with the SAM. That’s fairly light, and the trigger is very easy to pull and use. Having said that, it has a completely different character than the old Marauder trigger. Out of the box, the first stage is light and roughly 1/4″ long. The second stage gradually increases in pull weight, and is about 3/4″ long. You can see this in the review video. Again, the trigger is light and easy to use…but I would not call it match grade. This is a price you must pay for the Semi-Automatic capability with the SAM.
Unfortunately, I was not able to test the SAM for accuracy at 50 yards like I normally do. The wind lately has been too extreme to give the gun a fair chance at 50 yards. Therefore, I did some 10 shot groups at 20 yards indoors. The SAM regularly produced 10 shot groups of about 1/4″. The group shown below (and in the video) was even better than that at 0.21″. That’s as accurate as any gun I’ve tested. Naturally, you will need to test pellets to find the most accurate one for you. The JSB Exact 15.89gr were what I used for my testing.
The physical specs on the SAM are pretty much right in line with the older bolt version. I won’t bore you with them all, but you can check out our listing for the gun HERE if you want to see them. The gun retains (relatively) the same stock as the older version, including the sling swivel studs and the adjustable cheek piece. It also keeps the baffled shroud that keeps the gun nice and quiet. If you’re looking for a gun to shoot competition with, you might want to stay with the original bolt operated Marauder. If you want a nice hunting/plinking gun that is ridiculously fun to play with, then I’d take a good look at the SAM.
Donnie Reed is our Sales Manager and general airgun guru here at Baker Airguns. He was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, and qualified as both a Rifle Expert and Pistol Expert. Donnie is now a competitive airgun shooter, focusing primarily on field target and benchrest competitions. He has won both PCP and piston class field target matches, as well as local benchrest competitions. Donnie also runs the Youtube channel and Facebook group ALL THINGS AIRGUN. His first college degree is in Mathematics and Sciences, but he is still pursuing another in Physics and Astronomy.