The purpose of this write up is to take give you an idea of the modifications that I have done to my Marauder pistol, where I had the modifications done, where to source custom parts if need be and what the outcome / results where.
1. Overview of the standard Marauder pistol in 5.5mm.
The Marauder pistol in the standard format should be able to deliver about 15fpe and about 700fps on the max power setting.
Power is adjusted by engaging a hammer tension screw from the rear end of the action; you can also adjust the stroke length by engaging a smaller screw through the same hole.
Preferred pellets in standard power mode proved to be JSB Exact RS 13.43gn.
All the adjustments are explained in the user manual
Please note that the Marauder will need imperial allen keys on all of its screws.
The pistol comes with a carbine plastic stock which aids with accuracy giving a much more stable platform when shooting from the shoulder.
You should be able to get a shot count of 24-32 or more depending on the power setting selected.
2. Modification 1 New Transfer Port
I asked Wian Schoonwinkel to assist me in turning a new transfer port for the Marauder, and in no time he made me a new brass transfer port with a port hole of about 2.8mm if I remember correctly. If you do not have access to a lathe or someone who has one you can just drill out the standard transfer port. With the action removed you will see a blue port exposed, this is the transfer port.
Standard Marauder Transfer Port.
This modification pushed the power to about 800fps using the JSB RS Pellets.
3. Modification 2 Power Hammer Spring
I sourced a hammer spring
from GMac Customparts.
Power Hammer Spring
The spring arrived and was fitted without difficulty.
A quick chrony session confirmed the new velocity of about 850fps using standard JSB RS pellets.
I decided to try some JSB Exact 15.9gn and to my surprise the velocity did not drop much giving me a starting velocity of about 825fps.
After a few chrony strings it was evident that the Marauder was now using way to much air giving me only about 8 usable shots where the extreme spread was not to high.
I also notice a decline in accuracy when using the lighter JSB pellets and decided to stick to the JSB 15.9gn pellets. After witnessing the decline in shot count I pondered the idea of adding more air to the standard 65cc.
4. Modification 3 Adding additional air source
I visited the paintballshop in centurion to have a look at the available options on hpa buddy cylinders.
Eventually taking into consideration the sizes of the bottles, I opted for a 13cu bottle
13cu Buddy Bottle
At first I couldnt decide whether to cut the Marauder cylinder and have dog leg adapter made or to combined the two cylinders using some sort of inter connector.
I approached Kevin from Airvolution with my problem and he eventually came up with a brilliant idea of making an adapter that will screw into where the current pressure gauge screws in and in turn attach the gauge to the adapter. Thereby not damaging the original rifle and also be able to use the original filling port.
He also made a bottle band attaching below the original barrel band, thereby aiding in stabilizing the air cylinder.
Kevin was very helpful, patient and understanding of my needs and I was very with the end result.
After receiving the rifle back I had a few shots and discovered that the Marauder would not group, not even nearly acceptable.
I contacted Kevin and I decided to have a new barrel fitted.
Buddy Bottle Fitted
5. Modification 4 New Barrel
After having the buddy bottle added and discovering the crappy grouping I took the rifle to Kevin a few days later. We discussed my needs and Kevin promised to sort out my problem.
Kevin eventually fitted a smooth final twist choked barrel.
I had a few test shots at Kevins place shooting at 25 meters and I got one hole groupings without even trying really hard.
All I can say is I was very impressed and it was more than I could have hoped for. I had some time to take a few shots in order to check the shot count and from 200bar down to about 150bar I got 4 mags or 32 shots, I will do a full test at a later stage with some chrony strings as well.
I also got one of Kevins silencers to use on the rifle; these are also of excellent quality and works really well.
As the plastic fore end had to be removed for the bottle addition the rifle looked a bit bare and I decided to speak to a friend in shooting and able stock maker Rudi Joubert (Colonel).
6. Modification 5 Custom Walnut Stock
I went to visit Rudi to discuss my options for building a custom stock for the Marauder. As he also owns a Marauder and has built himself a stock, I felt more than confident that he was the right man for the job.
Man was I not disappointed, this man is a true craftsman of note. Making sure he knew what I wanted he quickly made a few sketches and eventually mailed me some ideas. We met once more to make a few final decisions before final cutting started.
One of the draft drawings.
After all the final decisions was made the work started for Rudi and he kept me up to date along the way keeping me happy and making me more and more anxious to see the final product.
First shaping done
First round of sanding done
First Coating of oil
Rudi really did outstanding work to build this stock for me and it turned out even better than I thought possible. The stock adds beautifully to the balance and best of all, no more crappy plastic grips and of course no more pistol but more of a carbine / baby monster thingy with a nice piece of wooden craftsmanship attached to it.
The final product
Was this a cost effective upgrade? I dont think so, it was more like a snowball effect with every small change affecting something else and like I told Rudi after I picked up the rifle from him when the stock was completed, I wish I started with a better rifle... Also when selling a rifle the modifications are not really considered in value by prospective buyers but only the initial cost of the rifle. In the end I am glad I went through this process because I now have for now a one of a kind marauder with some nice wood and accuracy to match. I hope you have enjoyed this journey with and please comment and post questions should you have any.
I wish to thank all the guys involved in helping me along the way, Wyan Schoonwinkel, Kevin Strauss and Rudi Joubert without you guys and your craftsmanship skills this project would not have been possible..
I will do final testing and update the thread accordingly..
P.S. - Please Excuse my crappy photos decent camera was not available..