Crosman is all about dominating their market, and they do that by controlling cost. All this confusion about the Marauders is why I went with a BSA Lonestar in .25 cal instead. At $625 delivered, it wasn't much more costly than a Benjamin Marauder and I know exactly where and how the barrels are made. BSA makes all their barrels in house, and they are fully the equal of Anschutz and Lothar Walther in quality. They have a detailed description of barrel making on their website, and I can guarantee that Crosman would never go to the trouble and expense they do in making barrels. BUT, their rifles usually cost in the $1000 range and are considered bargains at that price relative to other British airguns. Still, they will never dominate our market and will be a connoisseur item over here. I have an old Sheridan .20 cal made in Racine, Wisconsion. In looking at the new rifles made by Crosman, you find cheapening of components everywhere and I would suggest getting an old Benjamin or Sheridan that was really made by Benjamin or Sheridan. Mine should last far beyond my lifetime. With Baracuda pellets, it shoots like a fine British PCP air rifle.
That being said, I noticed that my old Ruger 10/22 has quite a bit of differences from the new ones being sold. What was polished and blued is now matte blued. What was metal is now often plastic. This cheapening of production seems to be happening all across the American gunmaking system.
I looked at a Kimber rifle for $1100, and it was inferior in precision fit of the bolt to the receiver compared to a CZ rifle of much lower cost. Must be why local dealers have trouble keeping CZ rifles in stock. All the salesmen tell me the CZ rifles shoot like Anschutz and Sako for a fraction of the cost, and usually a bit better than Kimber or Cooper. A salesman that owns CZ, Cooper and Kimber told me this. A happy turnaround seems to be FN Manufacturing that owns the Winchester name and is building the Winchester Model 70 in their machine gun plant on the east coast. The production is largely automated and very precise. Their actions are quite precise and very smooth. They seem like a fine European firearm such as Sako. FNM has the financial ability to set up very precise automated production line tooling. I suspect you would find almost no difference between two Model 70 rifles, just as you would between two M249 machine guns.
Did you know that FN makes repeating air rifles for nonlethal crowd control? FN usually prefers to deal with government agencies, but they do offer a few models, like their new pistol, to the public. The Winchester Model 70 they are building is said to be the best ever made, according to my local gunsmith. If the air rifle craze gets big enough, I would hope that FNM start building air rifles for consumers.
I hope that Crosman gets a bit more interested in quality. They COULD use the Sheridan name as their top quality product line, and put all the quality into air rifles that the best British manufacturers are doing. Going to China to get stuff made isn't the smartest thing to do in the long run. Chinese products may be worth their money sometimes, but you definitely know you do NOT have state-of-the-art when you buy Chinese.