Crosman Mark I – a target pistol worthy of the name!

By B.B. Pelletier

There have been some great airguns in the recent past, and today I’d like to take a look at one of them: Crosman’s Mark I Target pistol.

Ruger Mark I .22 rimfire pistol – the
model for Crosman’s Mark I.

They copied the Ruger Mark I
Crosman copied Ruger’s most famous handgun, the Mark I semiautomatic .22-caliber pistol. Ruger introduced this pistol, which built their company, in 1949; the Mark I dominated the handgun world by the time Crosman first offered their Mark I target pistol in 1966. The Ruger is a 10-shot semiautomatic, while the Crosman is a single-shot.

Single-shots seem to bore a lot of shooters today, but target shooters all know that the most accurate mechanisms are those that load and fire manually. So, the single-shot Crosman Mark I is actually MORE ACCURATE than the .22 pistol it copies!

Crosman made it right!
When Crosman copied Ruger, they did several things that made their gun better. First, they gave their pistol an adjustable trigger that any Ruger owner would love to have. It can be adjusted down to mere ounces and has the proverbial glass-rod breaking point. Second, their gun had better grips than the Ruger. Theirs were more hand-filling, plus they gave them a thumbrest on the left side that Ruger never offered. Finally, they gave their gun a rifled barrel (in .22-caliber only) that was the finest of all air pistols for that caliber and time. A careful shot can group inside an inch at 50 feet – something a stock Ruger Mark I cannot do.

Crosman’s Mark I is more attractive and even more
accurate than the Ruger it copies. This one has
aftermarket grips, but the rest is all Crosman.

Adjustable rear sights and a patridge front blade make for a perfect sight picture. Two power levels are determined when cocking by stopping at the first or second click while pulling forward on the cocking knobs located on both sides of the frame. The earlier versions of the gun also could have their power tweaked via a small screw in the front of the frame. All in all, a wonderful target air pistol.

How does it compare to the S&W pistols?
I was asked how the Mark I stacks up against the S&W 78G that I reported on in the Remembering Smith & Wesson’s pellet pistols posting. The Mark I is more accurate than the 78G, though I must say I like the feel of the S&W better.

Like S&W, Crosman also made this gun in .177, but unlike the S&W, theirs had a barrel that also accommodates BBs. It isn’t as accurate as the .22 or either of the S&W pistols. The Mark I is the more desirable gun.

You can still get one!
Even with its reputation as a great shooter, a Crosman Mark I pistol is still very affordable – even more than S&Ws. A gun similar to the one shown here should cost $100 to $125 if it holds gas. If you like good air pistols, start searching for a Crosman Mark I!

49 thoughts on “Crosman Mark I – a target pistol worthy of the name!

  1. Great review!

    Makes me want to go and buy one of each. So the 79g falls inbetween the 78g and mkII in terms of accuracy. Right now i’m leaning towards the 79g as there are several on auction. I was about to buy a MK II, but i’ll go with a 79/8g or mk I

    Thanks for the Info

  2. I read the commet from anouther anonymous person and I would like to know is the “Powerline Model 693 BB Pistol Kit” made of metal because it doesn’t say on it’s page. Is the chrome at least metal because I would like a air gun that’s made of metal, at least a part of it, and that is at a cheap price. I was thinking about the “Powerline Model” because it comes in a kit and also I’m a new buyer so I was wondering is this a good kit for me to start out with. One last thing I wanted to know is that does that plastic piece on the bottom of the “Powerline Model 693 BB Pistol Kit” always hang down or does it close up inside the bottom of the air gun because that looks like it could get in the way when trying to operate the air gun. Thank You for the information!

  3. Not being familiar with the Daisy 693, I asked the folks at Pyramyd Air to check for you. They tell me the barrel and slide are metal.

    The piece on the bottom is part of the CO2 mechanism and it does remain on the gun all the time you are shooting. As far as getting in the way, I think it would only do that if you were trying to draw the pistol from a holster. Many CO2 pistols have similar mechanisms and I’ve never been bothered by them while shooting.

    As far as this being a good pistol to start with, what can I say? The specs tell you what it is, and I know Daisy airguns are as foolproof as any on the market. So, if this gun has what you are looking for, I’d say it’s a good one.


  4. I just picked up a Crossman Mark 1 Target gun. Nice gun I must say. I got it from an older gentleman I know, it belonged to his dad. Id love to find someone who might be interested in swapping it for a pellet gun rifle. I have never fired it in the month I have owned it. If interested email me at

  5. Is it still available new? I bought one over 25 years ago and it still works great!

    I have the .22 model and use .177 darts aon a dart board at 25 feetplaying dart rules ….

    I have since lost the spec sheet. It has two settings. High and low. DOes anyone still has a spec sheet? WOuld love to get a pdf of it for my file …

  6. I bought a Mark I, in the original leather/like case with 2 Tins of pellets and original papers, shows 1st owner 1969. 99 % finish. My second. they are beautiful airguns.

  7. B.B.

    I’m bouncing between the MK1 & the Benjamin EB22.

    I really like the looks of the MK1, that it has an adjustable trigger, adjustable velocity (in the cocking mech. & possibly with a screw), adjustable & better trigger than the EB22, the accuracy, & that it can be modded.

    Putting aside that it’s a vintage gun & a collectors item, & that it can be modded by Mak1… For the same price, I can get a brand new Benjamin EB22.

    I’m wavering here, & to me it comes down to do I want a cool collectors piece with potential, or a new gun with a warranty, that I know is of brand new condition?

    Can you add some input that might shed some light on something I might be missing?

    - The Big Bore Addict -

  8. B.B.

    Yes indeed, Las Vegas does has it’s advantages for us airgunners. :)

    I was leaning towards the MK1, as it is one of the most beautiful pistols I’ve seen, & as I am becomming more & more knowledgeable about airguns, I am really starting to appreciate some of the older classics.

    The more I read, the more I learn that the saying “they don’t make them like they used to” is very true with a lot of the older airguns.

    You’re knowledge & input is helping to transform me from just an average airgun enthusiast, to a really enthusiatic airgun collector, who is learning to appreciate both, what the new AND the older models have to offer.

    I’m sure I’m not alone when I say this, byut you’ve been a great help tp me B.B.

    Thank you!

    - The Big Bore Addict -

  9. Yup… I understand.

    Rifled barrel = accuracy with pellets, but not with BBs.

    Smooth bore = accuracy with BB’s, but not great with pellets.

    Hence the MarkII is more accurate with pellets, but you CAN break some glass bottles shooting BBs with it if you want to.


    Once again B.B. you were right!
    I LOVE my Mark1.

    I think that when I die, I’m going to be burried with it & my Crosman 600! lol

    Thanks again,

    - The BBA -

  10. Anonymous with the crosman Mark I made before 1975,

    This is not the best place to sell your fine gun. This article and the comments below it were started in 2005. Not many people check back here since they spend most of their time on the current article and comments. See here:

    I would suggest listing your gun for sale on one or more of the many good classified ad sites for airgun sales. Here’s two good sites:

    Good luck,


  11. Anonymous looking for a Mark I and/or Mark II,

    The Mark I was discontinued in 1983 and the Mark II was discontinued in 1986.

    Your only option is to find a used model. Several answers above your comment are links to popular sites that exclusively deal in used airguns. My suggestion is to try those sites and monitor them regularly since the Mark I and Mark II are very popular pistols.


  12. buckstag,

    Unfortunately, I don't know where you could locate some seals for the Crosman Mark I. There are only a handful of folks who will even see your question on a 5 year old post. However, if you were to post it over on the current day's post, then upwards of several thousand folks will see it, at least one of whom will probably know the answer. And probably give you link to the McMaster-Carr product number for them :-)



  13. I have a Crosman mark 1 still in good condition, slightly scratched, all original parts, no modifications. My father gave it to me when he passed away… i have used it for 5yrs now. anyone interested in it?

    just email me at



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