by B.B. Pelletier

This post was requested by a reader named Michael.

Crosman Mark I is a great pistol to start with.

The LD is a specialized pistol modification for long-range air pistol shooting.

What is it?
The LD is a long-barrelled customized Crosman Mark I target pistol. It’s made by Mac-1 Airguns and has been around for more than a decade. It was designed primarily as a sillouhette gun, but it’s also used by many shooters who never compete. It has rifle-like accuracy and rifle-like bulk, without the length and weight of a rifle.

Over the years Mac-1, has offered guns with all sorts of barrel lengths, but they seem to have settled on a 13″ .22 caliber barrel. According to their website, they do not offer the gun in .177. The barrel is a German make, but not Lothar Walther. Rumor has it that they use Weihrauch barrels, but I can’t confirm that. It’s a heavy barrel and they re-contour the bolt probe for better gas flow. Readers of this blog should know by now that a CO2 gun gets its best velocity from a long barrel, so an increase of five inches over the factory length should offer a significant advantage. The designers of the LD have chosen to have more shots at a consistent velocity over raw power. Since they still get 75-100 f.p.s. higher than the factory Mark I, that’s a pretty good decision.

There are open sights, but this pistol is meant to be scoped. In fact, it uses a powerful rifle scope that is held up to the eye when shooting. A 3.5-oz. bulk CO2 tank hangs below the grip, giving enough gas for about 250 powerful shots, but it also serves as an anchor point for the pistol. The tank lowers the center of gravity, which offsets the large scope on top. It also cancels the weight of the long barrel. If you hold the tank against your chest, it steadies the gun. Your non-shooting hand grabs the rear of the scope and holds it to your eye in what looks and feels like a strange way to hold a pistol, but actually gives a very steady hold. The gun is painted black to match the dark barrel.

The gun weighs 61 oz. with an empty tank fitted. Add another 1-1.5 lbs. for a scope, and you can see this “pistol” is really a small carbine. That’s exactly what they intended it to be, and the weight helps you hold steady on target.

A great start!
They couldn’t have selected a better gun to start with than the Crosman Mark I. It already has a wonderful trigger and great balance. When they add their modifications, the gun just gets better. You can either supply your own Mark I or II for a discount, or you can just buy the entire gun all customized.

Powerful but not a magnum
The LD is set up to deliver its shots at 500 to 525 f.p.s. when shooting a 13.9-grain lead pellet. That’s not magnum power, but it is considerable. You can hunt with this airgun because it is a .22 and it’s accurate. Squirrels and rabbits out to 35 yards should be okay, and pigeons can be taken out as far as you can hold a 1″ group. RWS Meisterkugeln pellets are the recommended ammo out to 25 yards, but almost any quality pellet works well. I would use JSB Exacts for long-range shooting.

With all that power, the LD is really very quiet and docile. It doesn’t bark or kick because the gas use has been matched to the barrel. When the pellet leaves the muzzle, there isn’t an exhaust of white vapor that is often the case with unbalanced gas guns. The propulsive power of the gas is mostly expended pushing the pellet, leaving little pressure behind to go bang.

Accuracy is up in the rifle category. Once you learn the proper hold, you’ll be amazed at the accuracy you can achieve. I know shooters who can do very well at 50 yards with their LDs. I’ve never shot mine that far; but, at 35 yards, no target the size of a quarter was safe. The pistol retails for $395, if you buy it without a trade-in. That gets you the gun, two tanks and a refill adapter to fill from a bulk CO2 tank. Contact Mac-1 for further details.