Marksman 1010 – Part 1 An air pistol that has endured

by B.B. Pelletier

The pistol we know today as the Marksman 1010 has been around in some form since I was a little boy back in the 1950s. In those days, it was made by Morton H. Harris, Inc. of Beverly Hills, California (!!!!). The company moved several times in the early years and ended up in Torrence as the Marksman company. The first gun they made (model MP in 1955) was all metal and looked keen (the 1950s version of “way cool”), so we all wanted one. It was heavy, which translated to power in our minds. It looked like a .45 automatic, so a semiautomatic operation was inferred, as well. In fact, the gun of those early days was a single-shot and not very powerful at all.

I truly lusted after that early $6.95 black beauty ($8.95 for chrome), but it wasn’t until the 1970s that I bought my first one. By then the price had escalated to $9.95. I was an adult, but I just had to satisfy that itch that started two decades earlier. The gun was still all metal, but it had been turned into a repeater for BBs, while still shooting pellets and darts single-shot. It was called the model MPR (Marksman Pistol Repeater, 1958-1977), and it was now made in Los Angeles.


My old Marksman MPR was the direct ancestor of the 1010. Made until 1977, is was all metal on the outside.

I was also shooting a lot of .45 ACP and .45 Long Colt at this time, so you can imagine my surprise to discover the low velocity this pistol produced. Of course, I had previously owned a Whamo Kruger that was lucky just to get the BB out the barrel, so the 150-200 f.p.s. (or so) of the Marksman was an improvement. I say “or so” because chronographs weren’t affordable in the ’70s. Until I did the research for this piece, I never really knew how fast things were going.

That early Marksman of mine was so weak that lead pellets simply bounced off target paper; sometimes when I didn’t seat them deeply enough they didn’t even leave the bore! BBs and darts were the only usable ammo. I found darts to be the best because they stick in a dartboard with the slightest provocation, which is about all they’re going to get. I disliked the clumsy BB repeating function, which is really problematic until you develop the knack for it.

For some reason, I hung on to that pistol all this time and still have it today. It no longer works, having stopped about 15 years ago, but I could never bring myself to throw it away – sort of like the spare set of keys in your junk drawer that fits your last car.

Dawn of the 1010
The 1010 was the next logical step, and manufacturing technology began to creep in – in the form of plastic parts. I have avoided testing one until now. My experience with the earlier gun wasn’t good, and I really didn’t want to have anything more to do with one until one of our readers asked for it. Since times and airguns both change, here we are.


The first 1010 was nearly identical to the MPR, except it has some plastic parts. The front sight and grips appear slightly different, too.

I obtained an older version of the 1010 that is mostly metal with a little bit of plastic (barrel shroud, trigger, slide release and safety), and for this test I just bought a new Marksman 2000, which is a 1010 with a silver frame, separate black plastic grip panels and a black plastic slide. In many ways, it’s the same as the 1010, but apparently the new 1010 is all plastic. I wasn’t able to buy one of those, so the 2000 will have to stand in for it. The firing mechanisms are identical.


This Marksman 2000 is the same physical structure as the 1010, except that it still has some metal parts on the outside. A real 1010 is all black.

Well, that’s a little bit of the history; tomorrow, we’ll look at the design and some of the performance.

55 thoughts on “Marksman 1010 – Part 1 An air pistol that has endured


  1. B.B. I won’t say that I love you but I sure do love learning more about airguns from your knowledge in the subject. Could you review the Alfa Proj Sport pistol and/or the Tau pistols? (As you masterfully did on the Drulov Condor). Thanks.


  2. Don,

    It may take some months to get to the Alpha Proj Sport. The Tau 7 I have tested and can drag out the results sooner.

    B.B.


  3. Gentle reminder,

    I did the polishing blog. It’s the one about lapping. Basically, the simple way to do it is with JB Bore Compound.

    The barrel harmonics is coming soon.

    B.B.


  4. Actually, I’d like to hear your opinion on Tau-7. I heard quite a few nice things about that series. I was going to buy Tau-7 Junior, but if you can say anything about it I’d like to know it before I make an order.



  5. I have been looking on the Web for some information on my 1972 Marksman BB Repeater, and found your interesting blog on the gun.

    Mine doesn’t have a model # on the gun, although it is all metal, so I am assuming it might be the MPR?

    Would you happen to know the worth? I am trying to sell it.

    Tom (yelodwg at yahoo.com)




  6. I have just acquired an old single shot Marksman. It states Marksman on the left side of receiver and Morton H. Harris on the right side. Once you cock the gun by releasing the slide and pulling back on it, you can then tip up the front of the receiver by moving the front sight. At this time you can place a single bb in a rubber cup that holds it until it is fired. Is this gun an early prototype of what is now the Marksman Repeater? Also, is there any real value for this gun as a collectible?


  7. You have an early Marksman pistol – not a prototype. If it was made in Beverly Hills, it was made in 1955. If it was made in Los Angeles, it was made in 1955-1957.

    The first version is worth $100 or more in excellent condition. If you have the box and all the papers, $200. The second version is worth $50. With box and papers $100.

    These are all for perfect guns – no paint loss.

    B.B.


  8. I just got an old marksman as well. Even though it says Marksman repeater on the left hand side of the barrel, its a single shooter. As the person before me said, Once you cock the gun by releasing the slide and pulling back on it, you can then tip up the front of the receiver by moving the front sight. You can load either pellets or darts. It says it was made in Huntington Beach, CA.

    The only problem is that i have not been able to get it to shoot. Its spring loaded, so I wonder if the spring has lost its strength. The pellets never leave the barrel :(

    Any advice on what I can do to get this to start working?

    Thanks.



  9. hi i have just recently came across an old repeater single shot and was wondering if you have any instructions 4 a rebuild or pictures of one that is in pieces as i got mine in pieces and don’t really know how it goes back together. and i cant find anywhere in newcastle new south wales australia where i can buy another one from. if you could reply to rayallones@hotmail.com it would be greatly appreciated thanks ray


  10. Ray,

    I get this question from time to time, and I’m sorry to say I don’t have what you need.

    Can you contact Lewis Reinhold at Beeman of Australia? He may be able to help you.

    Sorry about not replying to your email, but everything stays here on the blog.

    B.B.


  11. Thank you who ever told how to load The 177 cal Marksman. I lost my manuel and could not figure it out. A good powerfull gun. With a little WD 40 it works great.

    Bob from Dallas


  12. le preste a un amigo la que bendria siendo la pistola de la foto # 2, y al pedircela me la entrego desarmada, e intentado armarla pero no puedo colocar todas la piesas en su lugar, habria manera de que me ayudaran



  13. When S/R Industries bought Beeman in 1994, they moved the company from northern California to Huntington Beach, to be with Marksman. So Marksman had to have moved no later than 1994.

    B.B.


  14. I took apart one of these that had become non-functional in the 60′s, and quickly learned that it was impossible for me to reassemble it without the specialized spring-compressors that I assume were used in assembly.

    I sure had a lot of nicks, blood, and scrapes on my hands from a number of hours of failed attempted re-assembly.

    This taught me not to expect good results with things that very suddenly go sproiiing, that includes spring clocks, camera lenses, etc…

    Not only do you have no idea about how many parts are missing, somewhere in the killing radius of flying parts, but also no clue about the order of reassembly, or the orientation of parts that could go back in more than one way.

    I bought another one, that I recently found in the basement with the original darts.

    As a kid we had a lot of fun snap-shooting those orange 1-2″ styrofoam balls (sometimes weighted by a bit of lead) launched by hand or slingshot from a blind, or at the firing line as in trap-shooting.

    Does anyone have suggestions for lubing this, after 10 or more years without use.

    It currently works fine with a test firing with Crosman Copperhead pellets.

    It might be interesting to see if I could take it apart and get it back together, after more experience with brakes, suspension, and such things, but I think I will wait until it stops working!


  15. Open the gun as if to load it. Drop five drops of any kind of household oil (not WD-40) down the hole that’s behind the barrel when the barrel is closed.

    Cock and shoot the gun several times with a pellet in it.

    B.B.


  16. Thanks for the lube advice, B.B. That seem familiar from the long ago disintegrated owners manual.

    As luck would have it, I found another one of the Marksman repeaters today that I have not test fired with ammo yet, but the action is a bit stiffer than the first one.

    I think I will lube them both as suggested, and will report back with the results. I think the second one was my brother’s, but who knows what else may turn up the the basement.


  17. I am trying to find out some info on a Morton H. Harris (marksman) air pistol. I’ve had this pistol since I was 9 or 10 I think. I’m now 62. It’s all metal and the front two inches of the barrel folds down so you can insert the BB in the rubber ’0′ ring. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    RWU


  18. RWU,

    The pistol you own was made in either Beverly Hills or Los Angeles, from 1955 to 1957. Generally these Marksman pistols have little collector value, but your is the exception. Your pistol is worth $50-75 in average condition and $150 if you have the box. If the condition is better than average, the price can go as high as $200 with the box.

    My numbers are from actual prices at airgun shows. The Blue Book is lower than that.

    B.B.


  19. hey whats up i have a question for who ever i have a marksman repeater 4.5 mm .177 cal made in torrance cal. im wondering how much it is worth good condition with serial # of 7j070509



  20. id like to know where i can purchase parts for this model gun i have disassmbled it and am confident i can reassemble it what im looking for is the rubber washer and plasic seal that is in the spring mechinism serial #7116107….. please help!

    Bob in Forth Worth Texas


  21. Bob,

    Marksman has never sold repair parts for the 1010 pistols. If you want them you;ll have to make them.

    You can try to call the company, but that won’t be easy, as they do not advertise their contact information.

    B.B.


  22. To Bob in Ft Worth …

    I have reassembled my gun, except for the spring. Do you have a trick for this procedure? Anything you might share would be appreciated!
    FYI, the number I have for Marksman is 714-898-7535, in Huntington Beach.

    Thanks — to you and B.B.

    Dale


  23. I just bought two of these today at a gun show. The first is an all-metal MPR, well-worn, made in LA. It was in pieces so I had to put it back together, and also fabricate a new part the connects the slide pull to the cocking mechanism.

    Putting it back together was a real pain until I figured it out. The key is to put the big spring in first, then get the sides put on the gun, then cock the pistol by pulling the rod with a pair of pliers. Then, the cocking pull slide can be put on, and the small spring & shroud can be put on the pull rod. Then it's a matter of fiddling to compress the small spring & get the rod anchored in the cocking pull slide.

    The key to getting the big spring in is to have a metal tube of some sort that you can place inside the big spring (and over the pull rod) to give the big spring some "stiffness" so it won't have a tendency to bend and pop out…


  24. Anonymous with the two new (old) marksmans,

    Great job! You sound very handy.

    This is just the kind of information that other airgunners would like to hear about. This may help another airgunner, like you, that has a 1010 that’s a basket case. Your comment is valuable but has been left under an article B.B. did on your guns in 2006.

    You’ll find the majority of airgunners, like you, asking each other airgun related questions, answering each others questions and sharing experiences under the most recent article that B.B. has written (B.B. writes a new article every day Monday-Friday). If you go to the newest article then scroll down to the bottom of that article and click on “comments” you will be joined with this active exchange between airgunners. Here’s a link that will take you there (you’ll need to copy and paste this in your browser):

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/

    Hope to see you there!

    kevin


  25. Just took apart and it went all over the place. Now I finally find your discussion board after 3 hours of searching how to put it back togather. It still has not much power and I am wandering if anyone knows how to restore the power to shoot the pellets properly.

    Suzette


  26. Suzette,

    Brand new, out of the box the Marksman 1010 is not a powerful gun. 150 fps-200 fps is all these guns will do. Accurate up to about 15 feet. Your gun sounds like it’s doing the best it can.

    kevin


  27. Suzette, it is questionable if the 1010 ever really shoots pellets properly. If you read parts 2 and 3, you’ll find that Raptors seem to be the only pellets that work worth a hoot in this gun (this link has a link to part 2):

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2006/11/marksman-1010-part-3-air-pistol-that.html

    I think Kevin is being kind when he says the gun is accurate up to about 15 feet.

    On mine I made a replacement barrel from a Daisy 499 Avanti Competition BB gun shot tube. I got groups (with BB’s) down to about 3″ at 15 feet. Sounds pretty bad, but for a 1010 that’s actually pretty good.

    Oh – one more thing – the 1010 has an aluminum barrel. Accuracy will only tend to get worse with use!


  28. I took my classic 1010 apart today to fix the spring that came off the trigger and cant seem to get everything where it goes now? Im an adult with lots of guns. Is there any exploded views of these anywhere. let me know if there is at gpl@rochester.rr.com
    george



  29. Hello
    I have the second version of the Marksman pistol 1010 , The only date I could find was 1972 made in Torrance Calif , Old box and papers with some loss of pant , But still work , Can you estimate how much i can get for it and where i can sell it .

    bigsnooks44atyaoo.com

    Thank you for your time and Happy Holaidays .



  30. hi everybody
    i'm french and i've got a marksman 1010 air pistol put all in pieces and i don't know how to build it correctly

    if someone can give me sonme details and pictures about the building of this gun

    thank you



  31. i maid a 6mm pistol from the 1010 repeater and it works .. :D!!i have inserted some parts that i have taken a long time to find them…but finally ..i have done it and now it can shoot 6mm bullets!!


  32. I know there are no stupid questions…HOWEVER.. I have a Marksman 2000. Lost manual..have not used in years.."how do I load pellets or bbs"? stop laughing

    Al


  33. Al

    Now that I have stopped laughing, I would like to suggest you check out part 2 of this article here:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2006/11/marksman-1010-part-2-air-pistol-that.html

    It should answer your questions for you.

    Incidently, this blog is written every Monday through Friday. The address for the most recent article is:

    http://airgun-academy.pyramydair.com/blog/

    It is the best place to post questions if you have any in the future. More people will see your question than on an older article.

    Hope to see you there, Al.

    Sincerely, Slinging Lead



  34. i have an old model MPR thats all metal. i took it apart because i was having problems with it and after i fixed it im trying to put it together and i cant figure out where one spring thingy goes. i have the rest of the gun together. i was wondering if u could help me find out how to fix it.


  35. Justin,

    The answer to your problem is printed in the comments above. Here it is:

    just bought two of these today at a gun show. The first is an all-metal MPR, well-worn, made in LA. It was in pieces so I had to put it back together, and also fabricate a new part the connects the slide pull to the cocking mechanism.

    Putting it back together was a real pain until I figured it out. The key is to put the big spring in first, then get the sides put on the gun, then cock the pistol by pulling the rod with a pair of pliers. Then, the cocking pull slide can be put on, and the small spring & shroud can be put on the pull rod. Then it's a matter of fiddling to compress the small spring & get the rod anchored in the cocking pull slide.

    The key to getting the big spring in is to have a metal tube of some sort that you can place inside the big spring (and over the pull rod) to give the big spring some "stiffness" so it won't have a tendency to bend and pop out…

    B.B.


  36. Does anyone have a spare "slide-locker"? The small part on the left side, which locks the slide after cocking. Mine is missing, I would be glad if I find one…

    Thanks

    V.A.




  37. I found my bb repeater in my town dump. The cocking handle is missing so I have to use pliers to cock it. The safety doesn't work either but it still shoots so I'm happy. I am having trouble figuring out anything about my bb repeater. Don't know if it makes a difference but mine is all plastic. I can't figure out how old it is. It says Huntington beach Ca. on the side so I don't know if its older or newer. The # on the side is 01124188. If anyone can help with any info., that would be greatly appreciated. thnx


  38. Scott,

    Your gun is definitely one of the late ones. The model has been around since the 1960s and the early ones were all metal. They were even metal in the '80s.

    Huntington Beach is the current address of Marksman and Beeman, the company who sells the gun.

    B.B.


  39. The first pistol I ever fired. I got one for Christmas 1984? All metal. Came with dart board and darts. That’s what it’s fun for. Sit on your bed and shoot when you’re 13 years old. I think my ex wife has my original one. I want one to shoot at the dart board in my garage but I want all metal


  40. I have a Marksmen repeater from 1969 but it was disassembled and a few small metal parts were broken and I don’t know how to reassemble it… If there is a video somewhere or something of a tutorial on how to fix it I would be greatfull if you would show me.


    • Mattias,

      There aren’t many people who repair the Marksman pistols. They cost so little that t are considered throwaways in most places. I wish I had the instructions for you but I don’t. I hope you are able to find them.

      B.B.


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