by B.B. Pelletier
Testing and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald
The Marksman model 60 was a special version of the famed HW77 air rifle.
Mac had a windfall a couple months ago. A family was selling off its estate of firearms, among which were a few airguns. One of the airguns was the Marksman model 60 shown here.
Many of you are wondering what a Marksman 60 is. Well, back before the company that owns Marksman, S/R Industries, bought Beeman Precision Airguns in 1994, they were most noted for making and selling their Marksman 1010 pistol. In the late 1980s they wanted to expand their lines into higher-end airguns and apparently they contacted Weihrauch at a time when they also wanted to sell more of their guns in the United States, so several new models were born. Among them were the Marksman model 60 and modes 61 that are the HW model 77 and HW77K, respectively.
Mac got the HW77 rifle. It came without a factory globe front sight or adjustable rear sight, but it does have a mounted Bushnell Sportview 4x scope with parallax adjustment. And, Mac has a .177 model, which seems to be much more popular.
The front sight is gone, but the sight base remains because it’s also the part that secures the cocking lever. See the sliding lever latch underneath.
The big question he had when he got the gun was…did Weihrauch cut any corners when they made this rifle? Was it somehow a lesser gun? The retail price differential between the model 60 and a Beeman HW77 was about $100 in the 1980s.
The answer is NO. The Marksman model 60 is every bit a quality HW77. And, in the brief time it was available in this brand, it was the best value on the market.
Another valid question Mac had was whether or not his new gun was unrestricted power or limited to 12 foot-pounds. In the day when his rifle was produced, not as much was known about the differing power levels of certain airguns. Weihrauch would restrict the power of guns they shipped to the UK to slightly less than 12 foot-pounds, while those made for U.S. sales could be made with no power limitations whatsoever.
Push forward on the sliding latch button and the cocking lever falls free, awaiting the cocking stroke.
Looking inside the latch retainer, we can see the small chisel detent.
In this regard, Mac lucked out by getting a rifle restricted to 12 foot-pounds. I say he lucked out because the rifle in 12 foot-pound trim is as sweet as they come. Easy to cock, with a wonderful Rekord trigger, it’s the embodiment of a field target springer.
The rest of the rifle is exactly what you get when you buy one today. Weight is just over 9 lbs., and the overall length is 44 inches. The barrel is a somewhat long 18.5 inches. The stock is hardwood stained to look like walnut, and the pistol grip is checkered on both sides.
Cocking the rifle via the underlever retracts the sliding compression chamber. That allows direct access to the breech, where the pellet is loaded. An anti-beartrap device prevents the gun from being fired with the sliding compression chamber anywhere but closed. That protects your finger while you load a pellet; but for safety’s sake, never let the underlever out of your grasp until the sliding compression chamber has returned to home.
With the silver sliding compression chamber out of the way, the breech is very accessible.
The cocking lever is all the way back.
For those of you who are looking for great deals, this is a big one. These rifles never bring the same price as a Beeman-marked model that’s identical. And, you can often get a real bargain if the seller doesn’t know what he has. Keep this in the back of your mind, should you ever stumble across one, as Mac has.