Marksman 1010 – Part 2 An air pistol that has endured

Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Yesterday, we looked at the history of the Marksman 1010. Today, let’s look at the gun.

A strange spring-piston gun
The 1010 is a spring-piston airgun unlike any other that I know of. When you cock it, you first release the slide, which pops back under slight spring pressure. Then, you pull the slide all the way back to position the piston. Returning the slide to battery (the locked forward position) puts tension on the mainspring and completes a cocking sequence that is unique in all of airgun-dom, as far as I know.

Push the slide release down, and the slide pops back like this.

Pull the slide all the way back like this. When it stops, push it forward until the slide release catches it again.

Before we discuss loading, we have to talk about the ammunition the pistol uses. It shoots BBs, darts, pellets and another longer dart-like projectile called a bolt. That’s four different types of ammo that shoot in one airgun. Except for BBs, all the ammo must be fired single-shot. As many as 18 BBs fit into a magazine above the barrel. They’re fed by gravity when you cock the pistol, as long as you hold it correctly during cocking!

BBs MUST be loaded through the magazine. They cannot be loaded singly into the barrel. Pellets are loaded directly into the barrel, as are darts, but each must be seated to the correct depth in the barrel. For that, Marksman provides a seating tool, but it was missing from my early MPR. I believe that is the chief reason I did not enjoy my first pistol. Also, I didn’t have a manual. I was unaware of how important both are to the correct operation of this pistol! I must have acquired my gun used and just thought I could figure it out on my own. After reading the manual of my new Marksman 2000, I have to warn everyone that this pistol is different. The dart-like bolt does not require the use of the seating tool and is loaded directly into the barrel.

When the barrel flips up, you can see the square BB magazine and the round breech.

The gun must be cocked before loading. When it is cocked, pressing in on a button below the muzzle flips up the breech for loading. After loading a pellet, dart or bolt, just press the breech back into position and the gun is ready to fire. If you loaded BBs into the magazine, there is one more important step. The muzzle must be elevated to feed a BB into the breech. If you shoot BBs, you never need to open the barrel again as long as BBs remain in the magazine, but you must remember to raise the muzzle each time you cock the gun to feed the next BB.

Power has always been the weak suit of this pistol, though I suspect it wasn’t quite as bad as I once believed. Because I tried to shoot pellets that were improperly loaded, I had little success with them. BBs were problematic, because I didn’t know about elevating the muzzle when cocking. My ignorance limited me to just darts (bolts hadn’t been invented for this gun back in the 1970s), and I was even loading them improperly!

I shot the 2000 for velocity, because it is the newest gun I have. The rated velocity is 220 f.p.s. Daisy BBs (5.1 grains) averaged 187 f.p.s., with an 8 f.p.s. spread. RWS Hobbys (6.9 grains) averaged 123 f.p.s. with a spread of 6 f.p.s. Gamo Raptors (5 grains) averaged 217 f.p.s. with a spread of 20 f.p.s. That made them the velocity champs. Too bad that 300 pellets cost more than the gun! Finally a 12.7-grain Marksman dart (I used the same dart for all shots) averaged a turtle-esque 64 f.p.s. with a spread of just 5 f.p.s.

Conclusion? I may have misjudged the 1010 for three decades! It’s a worthy little air pistol with a lot of attractive features. Until airsoft guns came on the scene, it was the only game in town for those wanting a low-powered plinker. And, the discharge noise is about the same as a mouse cough, so those with snoopy neighbors now have a stealthy shooting option.

16 thoughts on “Marksman 1010 – Part 2 An air pistol that has endured

    • yeah I just bought a early repeater at a antique store in the original box for 15 the store and shot oi into my hand too see if air came I brought it home,try’d to figure out to load it,then put a pellet in the barrel,just stuck it in and nothing came out.I finally got the BB’s and stuck a few in and shot at a alum,cooking pan and ping it bunched back,a little,very little.meanwhile a bird landed on the target and,I try”d to figure out a way to make it stronger,after an oil duech did nothing for the power.I took out the 3 screws,then put them back in and put the gun back in the box.At night I wouldn’t think it’s a toy.That’s about all it good for,a decoy or a 15 dollar paper weight.I have a 20cal.Ben S.air pump pistol to play if I want to shoot somthing serious.It’s interesting to see the advancement of guns like that.

  1. I enjoy the Marksman. It is suprisingly tough, but not to accurate. That was the first gun of any kind that i ever got. still have it after about 7 years. Be careful with the bolts. Eventually the plastic tail breaks, which makes the bolt unstable. I shot one with no tail, It was a little scarry. It impacted side ways and bounced all over the place. Also for their low velocity, they do some damage. They wil stick into plywood, although thet might break, but try to just shoot dart boards.

    I once made one that i fired out of a 750 fps daisy. That was interesting. I used a patch to improve the seal and i sharpened the point and rounded the edges. It shot through 10 inches of foam that will stop a bb from the same gun. Be carful!!!

  2. Hi bb, been reading your blog for a while, loving it. Ive come to a tough descision though. Should i opt for the Mendoza RM-600 with (Supposedly) Slightly more power, and not many reviews to back it up, or the RWS 34 Diana with barrel droop, and only 600 fps? Perhaps something else? Im looking for a .22 under 200$ for target shooting and hunting (hoping to get something powerful enough to kill turkeys, but mostly squirrels and racoons) Thanks in advance! (Your the best)

  3. I had a couple of these. My brother and I used to shoot each other in the ass when the other wasn’t looking. IT HURT, and that was through thick jeans and a wallet. Never did any damage except when it degraded inti fighting (I got a broken nose). Live and learn

  4. Hello, I found one of these pistols at a flea market a few years back. I took the thing apart to clean and lube it. I am just now, 8/14/2008, trying to put it back together. I cant remember where the springs go. Does anybody have a schematic or drawing they can post for me? thanks, Chris.

  5. I just reassembled my Torrance model. It is very easy. Lay the left half shell (has the Marksman name) inside facing up, grip away from you. Install the safety, trigger, and long release lever in that order. They only fit in one way, very simple. Install the barrel. There are only two small springs inside. The smaller stronger one is for the barrel end, the short crooked end touches the barrel, the center coil fits over the post, then streatch the long end over the other post. It will stay put.

  6. The other v-shaped spring is for the trigger. Place the coil over the post (behind the mech) with the arms facing the grip. Rotate the spring CCW until the first arm touches the safety stub. Put your thumb over the post and with a fingernail, pull the right arm over the top toward the left and hook it behind the trigger piece. The arms of the spring should be crossed over itself. It stays.

  7. Hopefully you didn’t tear the tiny grip washer off the piston shaft. Anyway, put the large main coil spring over the shaft all the way into the piston housing. Hold the piston end with left hand and put loose end of coil into its spot at back of receiver. Hold it tightly in place with your right thumb, now compress it using left hand and snap the piston into its place. It should stay put!

  8. Take the right half of the gun and place the receiver end exactly into place behind the coil spring end (half round sticking up.) Slowly apply a little forward pressure as you lower the right half down onto place, the safety button should come up through the hole. Screw in the 3 screws. Using pliers, pull the piston back until it cocks, sticking out.

  9. Take a tiny screwdriver and stick it completely through the gun slider slot in the gap at the front of the slot (above the trigger guard.) Pull the trigger and the mechanism should lurch forward slightly, only to be caught by the screwdriver. Install the slider by spreading it slightly, forcing it forward over the rear. Turn the gun upside down. Slide the slider so the piston shaft end is in place. Take the c-clip and drop it into place over the slotted end, and using a larger screwdiver with a small mallet, pound the back edge of the clip slightly so the clip snaps over the shaft slot. Hold the gun normally, pull the slider back to cock it fully and remove the tiny screwdriver.
    I think ya got her done.

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