by B.B. Pelletier
The new Marlin Cowboy BB gun is a beauty!
Well, we’ve certainly heard a lot of passionate comments about the new Marlin Cowboy from the Part 1 report! Today, we’ll test velocity, and I’m including the new RWS BBs in this test. You can’t buy these from Pyramyd Air as of this date, but perhaps if they test out well in a couple guns we’ll give them a reason to stock them.
Somebody commented that the Cowboy looks like theDaisy Red Ryder, but I don’t think it does. In fact, there’s very little resemblance between these two BB guns, other than the fact that they both have levers. The Marlin is a little larger, overall, and perhaps not as refined as the Red Ryder.
Cocking the Cowboy will seem strange to anyone familiar with American BB guns. It has a ratchet that incrementally grabs the cocking lever as it’s pulled away from the gun, hence a ratcheting sound accompanies every shot you make ready for. It’s more of a TX200 sound than a BB gun sound, and I’m still not used to it. It does no harm, but it does remind you that this is a different kind of BB gun.
Thankfully, the safety is manual, so it doesn’t come on when the gun’s cocked. However, the ratcheting mechanism is an anti-beartrap device, so there’s no uncocking this gun. If you cock it, you must fire it. Cocking is hard enough that I think smaller kids will be challenged.
The trigger-pull is single-stage and breaks between 6 and 7 lbs. That sounds heavy –and it really is; but when you’re shooting the gun, it doesn’t seem as bad as it sounds. I guess you can get used to anything. I don’t know what effect it’ll have on youngsters, though.
There’s also not a lot of room inside the triggerguard for your trigger finger. Adults with normal-size hands will find it tight, and large hands may find it impossible.
Not a lot of room inside that triggerguard for a finger. Those with larger hands will find it difficult to operate.
Velocity with Daisy zinc-plated BBs averaged 328 f.p.s. The spread was very tight, from 324 to 332 f.p.s. Pyramyd Air says these BBs weigh 5.1 grains, but I weighed mine and they averaged 5.3 grains The average muzzle energy works out to 1.27 foot-pounds.
Crosman Copperhead BBs really do weigh 5.1 grains, and in the Marlin Cowboy they averaged 331 f.p.s. The spread went from 327 to 335 f.p.s., so once again it was tight. They averaged 1.24 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.
And, now for the RWS BBs. They look so uniform; and when I weighed them, they all weighed 5.3 grains. The average velocity was 335 f.p.s., for the fastest of the test. The spread went from 333 to 339 f.p.s., so another tight distribution. The average muzzle energy was 1.32 foot pounds — the highest of the test.
There were several failures to feed during this test. They happened with all the different brands of BBs. It seemed that if I jarred the gun when it was held level, I would get a failure to feed. So, I’m thinking the BB is falling off its magnetic seat.
Thus far, I’m on the fence about this BB gun. The looks are good and the power is right where it should be, but the trigger’s heavy and there have been a few failures to feed. The accuracy test should tip the balance.
65 thoughts on “Marlin Cowboy BB gun – Part 2”
We all sure had fun as kids with our BB guns. However, we all graduated to pellet rifles and never looked back. I’m of the op ion that kids are safer shooting pellets rather than BB’s due to the ricochet factor. Just my 2 cents worth though.
Bruce i agree with you completely !Now question :do you guys wash your gamo pellets before using them or am i the only one ? 😉
No. I’ve never had Gamo pellets, but if I did, I almost certainly wouldn’t wash them :). In many cases, what people are washing off pellets is graphite lubricant, which leaves them lacking for lubrication.
BG-those pellets tend to leave lead dust on fingers after usage so i figure ,more i wash cleaner the rifle 😉 and hands.
BG-what you are saying is that you need to remove any excess lubricant(graphite lubricant) I think (know from experience) that Gamo TS-22 pellets are lubed with something ,off course my gun is weak for those guys (D34)but i had an opportunity to try them -they are lubed !?
I wouldn’t remove the graphite — it is there for a reason: lubrication. It is not “lead dust”, as commonly believed — that would be fairly dangerous, or at least it would appear so. My understanding is that pure lead (many RWS & JSB pellets) needs no lubricant at air rifle velocities, but that harder compounds with antimony (? — I think) will actually lead the barrel when shot at the upper end of the air rifle range of velocities. In my experience (limited, admittedly), the graphite goes hand in hand with the harder compounds (most notably in Crosman pellets here) and seems to be an attempt to make up for the lack of natural lubrication lost when using the harder compound. If they shoot well “dirty”, I would leave them alone — graphite is harmless, although probably not too tasty, just don’t wipe your hands on your white shirt :). My opinion only.
I would have to buy some before I could wash them.
All you would find in my ammo box is JSB, H&N, Crosman, Preds, RWS. Any Beemans in there are really H&N.
Twotalon -you are completely right but…i can’t find any other types of pellets here 🙁 (except Diana Sport -those pellets are great! 😉 )
That must suck.
All you find in the stores around here are mostly junk. The closest thing I can find to good pellets at our Walmart are the CPHP. Crosman is the only kind of pellet that our store sells now. Not even Gamo Raptors anymore. No other stores in the area that sell any airguns or supplies.
Try the Crosman Field Hunting Points — if you visually reject the occasional wee one, they shoot pretty well.
Tried both sizes. not too bad in some rifles, but not the best.
Niether one available anymore at wallyworld. Same with the wadcutters….gone. Just cphp and destroyers.
Where do you live that has such a poor selection of pellets?
No Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops or other gun shops there? Even our Dick’s Sporting Goods has Crosman Premiers and a Gamo selection, and that store is 80% clothes and fishing equipment.
No sporting goods stores around. The largest one went out of business a few years ago.
It’s internet or nothing.
Been a little preoccupied today. Starlings started hitting my back yard. Many left in fear. A few did not leave.
If you are ever travelling by Tiffin Ohio and want to find a place to get some pellets….just keep on going unless you want cphp.
I have three Wal Marts within 7 miles of me. Also a Bass Pro and a Cabala’s within 15 miles of me. Still none have very much in the way of decent pellets. Most opted to go for cheap pellets.
However all have CPHP’s and those shoot extremely well in a lot of my guns. But if I want a true match pellet or even Beeman or H & N or JSB I have to order from pyramid air.
There is a large really good gun store about 25 – 30 miles from me carries a pretty nice selection of Beeman pellets and the boxed crosman in .177 and .22 in both weights for each caliber. And they carry gamo and predators and a few other “novelty” pellets.
What I would like to have is an indoor 25 yd pellet only range with a complete line of pellet guns & bb guns and accessories, scopes, and pellets. Hmm, I wonder if that could be turned into a viable business?
I shoot a lot of the Gamo Match pellets in my Walther repeating guns. They fit the 8 shot magazines just right and the accuracy is just a notch below the RWS R10 match pellets. They are dirty buggers though!
I notice that the bottom of the tins have a fair amount of particles and/or lead “dust” in them, unlike RWS or H&N tins. I think that this is mostly a lack of a washing cycle prior to packaging at the factory and possibly some residual lube from the die/forming process.
The price is not bad end neither is the performance.
Brian -Gamo Match are good pellets really for the price -and even better pellets are Gamo Pro Match Competition pellets(in 22 cal) today i have bought one tin of them and i think that i’ll stay with this gamo match pellets and RWS of course.
We’ll have to “agree to disagree” on the legitimacy of the begetting of the “Cowboy Gun”. I don’t see anything but cosmetic differences and a metal cocking lever between the two (CG and RR). The mechanical design and placement of several features look eerily similar. Again, the ratcheting cocking lever is on the RR (I would guess since the 1938A variant in 1979 or so), which is the only American BB gun I’ve had much experience with. The failure to feed or load is also reminiscent of the current 1938B’s particular requirements about position during cocking.
I agree with what everyone has told you about pellets. I think the reason that the graphite is placed on the pellets after manufacturing has more to do with slowing the oxidation of the pellets than lubrication.
I live in a major metropolitan area and the selection of pellets is minimal. I order all of my pellets online. I know you live outside of the USA but are you able to receive pellet shipments? Will Pyramyd Air ship pellets to you? Pyramyd Air has a 10% off orders today and if your order totals $100.00US the shipping is free AND if you buy 3 tins of pellets you get the fourth for free!
Milan can’t take advantage of the free shipping because the promo is for ground shipping to the lower 48 U.S. states.
Sounds like you need to move.
Guess it does 😉
I have room for your sleeping bag and luggage inside my 10 meter garage range, and Cabelas is only 2 miles from here!
It’s 20 degree F outside today in Idaho, but about 60 degree F in the garage/range. Just right for some low powered Co2 rifles or match pistol shooting!
Brian – then i would be on your shooting range- don’t wanna be a victim of another “hunting accident” in news 😉 kidding man 🙂 😉
Thanks for the reminder about PA’s 10% off and free shipping–gotta go order some pellets. Later folks!
I just order the pellets I want from Pyramyd. There prices are often better than the stores with a lot better selection. Of course the fourth tin is free. It’s hard to beat free.
As soon as the frost melts here on the ground in Gilroy California I’ll put some more shots through my 70th anniversary Red Ryder I picked up at Wal’s yesterday. I got one of those packs of 6000 shiny Daisy BBs. Guess they’re zinc plated.
I have 2 Wal-marts and a Big-5 near me, and “Predator’s Archery” yep with the apostrophe, the Super-Wal has very basic pellets and BBs, plus a selection of firearm ammo. Big-5 has some RWS, gamo, etc stuff and a selection of firearm stuff. And they sell long guns but not pistols. Predator’s, sells match pellets and they’ll order Sheridan/Benjamin etc pellet guns but at full list plus 15% it seems.
If I want to buy a pistol I’ll have to buy it at Markley’s in Watsonville or from this little gun shop in Mountain View.
So that’s the situation in my neck of the woods.
That RR has caught my eye on more than one Walmart trip. Enjoy it. I think the cowboy gun looks very similar to the current RR’s also.
I’m shooting this around a bit ….. got the rear sight all the way up….. I’m wondering if I should put some Crosman Pellgun oil in the oil hole. I like the shape of the stock better than the Marlin, just on an appearance basis. I don’t find the plastic lever bothering me at all. I have had it failing to load so I’m using the little window, I may want to put more BBs in it.
This gun seems to share a lot of little details with my Red Ryder. The safety, the loading “door”, bunch of little details make me think they both came out of the same factory. So this might as well be a review of the Red Ryder, in my opinion.
I was initially put off by the idea of a plastic lever but so far, so good.
Are kids still interested in cowboys? There are no movies or shows for them. I bet that they don’t even play cowboys and Indians anymore. Out of all the bb guns I’ve seen, I must say that the only one that has my serious attention is the EBOS. And it has an impressively low price too.
B.B., good luck tomorrow. Next thing you know, you’ll be back at home.
Volvo, based on the reactions of the judges, I expect that the deer would have no idea what they were facing in that woman.
Matt, every once and a while a good western still comes out (3:10 to Yuma and The Assisination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford being 2 of my favs) though they are a little (okay, a lot) to violent for younger children.
Both my boys however love their Red Ryders and regularily choose them over there much more powerful and accurate BAM AK looka likes.
But dad (that of course being me) had a lot to do with that. I reeaaallllyyyy dislike a lot of the drack that passes for childrens programing these days (however I am a huge fan of SpongeBob). So a couple of years ago I ordered DVD sets of Roy Rogers, Red Ryder and a few older John Wayne westerns.
On a similar vein I ordered the complete set of Man From U.N.C.L.E. Both boys really want a b.b. gun copy of the pistol Napolean and Illiya used, which if anyone of you remember was based on a Walther P-38 with a barrel extension, shoulder pod and optical sight.
But again, in my opinion (and I am the first to admit that sometimes I am too opinionated) parents these days obsolve themselves of a lot of resposibility as to what their kids read/watch.
Now the test….anyone know what U.N.C.L.E. stood for (without googling it!)
I saw tons of kids playing cowboys in Arizona, only they used real horses, real cattle, real lariats, etc. Some big kids but they start out LITTLE, these kids are learning to rope calves at say age 8.
I got an email today from a friend who has a Daisy Red Ryder he got as a kid. He wanted to know if I could fix it for him and he was going to give it back to his cousin who was the one who gave it to him. I had to say no I don’t fix them.
I told him he might not want to give it back if he finds out how much it might be worth. Here’s what he could give me about it.
DAISY RED RYDER CARBINE
NO 111 – MODEL 40-PATS 880555-1062855-OTHER PATS PEND.
DAISY MFG.CO PLYMOUTH, MICH. U.S.A.
It has a wood stock.
He says it has compression and fires but doesn’t shoot (???).
Any idea if he has something?
The Daisy No. 111 model 40 was the first Red Ryder, but don’t get his hopes up. I bought a nice one for $60 at Roanoke. Red Ryders are not among the BB guns that command high prices. The most I’ve seen asked for one was about $250 for an original copper-banded one from 1940.
The Blue Book says they go as high as $600 and I supposed a really fine early one might, but that would be a very rare gun.
Also on the Red Ryder, who would be a good person to send it to for repair?
Try this guy:
Larry Behling 315-695-7133 or email@example.com
B.B. I inquired a couple of months ago about where I could get my 1970 Model 25 repaired. The answer was Larry Behling. I have called him and left a message and have sent him a email. No response. Is he still around or wanting to repair these old guns? I don’t doubt that you think he is the man but if so why doesn’t he return his calls or emails? I still want to repair the 25, is there someone else you would recommend? Thanks, Toby.
Contact Jim Coplen. He’s an expert:
PO Box 7297
Rochester, MN 55903
Edith, I am glad Tom’s surgery went well, what a relief. ( Thank you for the reference ) Take care of yourself and Tom. Toby T.
BB and BGF,
Thanks for the info I passed it along.
I think political correctness killed the cowboy. Now all we get are gay cowboys. And Indians are off-limits
Another detail on the red Ryder, he said he got it in ~1950.
Got another email from the red Ryder guy. Here’s what he says about the firing,
No noise when cocking. Sounds like a new one, just nothing comes out the barrel
so I’m guessing it’s somehow not feeding the BBs into a firing chamber. There is
enough air burst coming out the barrel to blow a hole in a plastic bag – just no BB
You said, ” The failure to feed or load is also reminiscent of the current 1938B’s particular requirements about position during cocking.”
Is this something I can pass on to my friend as a solution? What is the correct procedure?
Here’s a link to the current manual for Red Ryder.
Its not exactly like his, but it won’t hurt to try following the cocking procedure.
Basically you have to hold the muzzle up and the front sight perpendicular to the ground for consistent feeding. My older one doesn’t really seem to care, but the newer one requires the method in the manual for best results. I’ve also found that more BB’s is better than fewer. Finally, his gun could be jammed…I vaguely remember pulling the shot tube (the end of the barrel unscrews it) one or two times for some reason, but I don’t know if that could help clear a jam or not.
I find using that little “window” helps a lot.
I wanted to thank everyone who has responded to my questions in the last month or so. I just wanted to let you know that I have read the input and it has been very helpful (regarding TX200, IZH 60, etc). I have limited on-screen time and often can’t reply to replies….
I’m rethinking the IZH 60/61 idea…. but I will probably buy it anyway
Buy it, and buying try to find metal one on the secondary market. This is a great small gentle rifle, that would serve you and even your grandchildren. I posted a picture of what can be made out of it with a little woodwork – fit for FT and looking gorgeous.
Anyone here bought this pistol?
“From Russia With Love’ poster pistol sells for £277,250
A pistol held by Sean Connery as James Bond in a poster to promote the 1963 film From Russia With Love has sold at auction for £277,250 ($436,828 USD).
The Walther air pistol fetched more than 10 times its estimate of £15,000-£20,000 at Christie’s in London on Thursday”
You can learn more here :
I want to wish you all the best for tomorrow BB.
Hope everything goes well and your back having fun with us as soon as possible.
Gosh I like the PPK but I like the real ones. Neat little guns.
BB: During your blog on one of Crosman’s new guns you mentioned the Benjamin Legacy SE and that you were working on a blog for the gun when you were forced to stop due to illness. I’m curious what some of your initial findings were on the gun. Bub
Well, I pretty much said it all in my report on the other gun. The Legacy is a dream rifle, but in light of the Titan with reduced power, it seems superfluous.
Good night, BB. Good luck in the morning!
Good night and God bless.
I expect I’ll be speaking to you in a day or two, BB. Good luck!
If you have not visited the new NRA Museum on-line, you are missing a treat for the eyes and a walk down memory lane (or walk down an alley with a Tommy Gun)
Go to http://www.nramuseum.com/ but be prepared to stay there for a few hours!
PS if you are ever in Fairfax VA (D.C. suburb) the museum is free of charge for admission.
Brian in Idaho
If I remember correctly, the new Red Ryder has a similar ‘failure to feed’; it also has a ratcheted lever action. Likewise the model 105 Buck. Probably all 3 guns share the same mechanisms.
This was posted by Harry, who used some colorful language, so his oroginal comment was deleted.
Sorry to come so late on this post, but I just discovered this tiny Marlin and I’d like to know if anyone here has tried to mod this gun.
I’d really like to shorten the barrel, but I don’t know if it possible to open/dismantle the frame to cut the barrel from the base (not from the end, as one could do with any coach gun, but impossible here due to the “loading window”. I’d like to give this beauty a “mare’s leg” look, no matter if I can load 250 BBs instead of 750.
Any idea ?
PS : I live in France, and as the laws on firearms are VERY restritive, I just want to have a small BB carbine in my car/home.
It would be a major task to shorten a Marlin Cowboy barrel, because the real barrel inside the outer jacket would also need to be shortened by the same amount.
This is an old blog but since I found it while searching for info on the Cowboy, I’m gonna assume others may, too. I recently bought one of these to use in a velocity test between a stock unmodified Daisy Red Ryder, a modified Red Ryder, a stock Daisy Model 25 and the Sheridan Cowboy. This post will not get into any velocity testing (my chrono got returned to PA due to an address mix-up). There has been quite a bit of back-and-forth regarding how much (if any) resemblance there is between the Red Ryder and the Cowboy, so I hope to shed some light on this. No photos here, but some can be seen in a post elsewhere:
There has been quite a bit of back-and-forth regarding how much (if any) resemblance there is between the Red Ryder and the Cowboy, so I hope to shed some light on this.
I disassembled the Cowboy (takedown is same as a Daisy) and found a stronger plunger spring. Relaxed, it’s 0.75” longer and is made of wire that’s 0.003” larger in diameter. The spring ID is the same as a Daisy, the OD only a smidgen larger. Using an online calculator, the new style Daisy spring rate is calculated to be about 15.1 pounds per inch. The Cowboy spring rate is about 17.44 pounds per inch or about 15% greater than the Red Ryder. Ends are ground flat like the new Daisy, and is dipped in a translucent red dye.
Exact same design and function. Maybe a little [I]too[/I] exact. Unfortunately the air tube has the same ID as the Daisy, and the air tube is slightly longer to boot. It’s my opinion that the stronger spring is largely negated by the one simple omission of opening the air tube ID to ~3/32”.
PLUNGER HEAD (or PISTON)
Same dimensionally, but made of a translucent material that looks similar to urethane. Under close examination the Cowboy seal is not molded as precisely as the black Daisy seal. Durometer-wise the two are similar (I used a blunt pick to indent them and compared the results w/my uber sensitive, calibrated eyeballz). Different mold marks than Daisy but if not for the color/material difference, it would be hard to tell one from the other at arm’s length. Same washer and pin, no differences there. The Cowboy wiper is much like what Daisy used to use- dense felt. Daisy now uses a cheap, flimsy open cell foam material.
The Cowboy plunger tube is equipped w/a plastic roller that rides along the top inside of the receiver. I like the concept, but I also have to say I’ve not noticed any excessive contact between the receiver and plunger tube on any of the Daisys I’ve had apart- so whether it’s an actual improvement or something that seems like a good idea but has little real world effect on reliability/longevity remains to be seen. Other than the roller, the plunger tubes are essentially identical, w/one important difference: the Cowboy plunger tube “legs” are wider than those on the new Daisy. In fact, they’re the same as was used in the old steel trigger/removable shot tube lever action Daisys. This difference keeps the stronger spring from bowing the legs, which could cause them to contact the spring ID- causing a power loss and wear.
The triggers are very similar, but there are a few differences. The most notable is, unlike the Daisy the Cowboy trigger assembly is held together with three screws and a removable clip- in other words, it can be taken apart. It’s not an exact fit/replacement for the Daisy trigger assembly because the through-hole for the screw that secures it in the receiver has a larger ID. It would be relatively simple to sleeve the hole, but functionally and feel-wise the triggers are the same, so unless work were to be done to improve it there’d be nothing to gain by swapping them. Both triggers share the same anti beartrap ‘rack’ but they were not made on the same presses.
A lot has been made of Daisy using a plastic material for the lever, and an equal amount has been said regarding the Cowboy having a metal lever. All I will say about that is, I MUCH prefer the Daisy lever- be it plastic or metal. IMHO it’s just a better design. I found the Cowboy lever to be uncomfortable to use due to the sharper edges it has, along w/a lack of room for my trigger finger. Others may find the opposite to be true. The levers are not interchangeable because the pivot hole placement and ratio is different between them- so what you have is what you are stuck with (although there’s an aftermarket big hoop lever available for the Daisy, and Daisy will sell you a curved metal lever for a few bucks).
STOCK, FOREARM, RECEIVER, SHOT TUBE
Stock, forearm/forearm band and receivers are not interchangeable. Nor is the hardware that holds them together- Daisy uses standard screws and nuts, the Cowboy uses sleeved screws/nuts. The crosspin for the spring anchor/takedown key is removable on the Cowboy, the Daisy uses a rivet.
The loading ‘door’ looks and works the same way as the new Daisy.
The front sight/barrel plug is larger in diameter to match the outer barrel.
The front sight blade is different.
Cowboy rear sights are screwed on, making windage adjustment a possibility. Daisy tack welds theirs. Both are elevation adjustable.
As for the shot tube, I did not compare it since it’s not meant to be removed. By what I can see it looks very similar but there may be details that aren’t readily apparent.
The Cowboy uses a ‘window’ through the top of the receiver, similar to Daisy to see if a BB is in place.
That’s about it for now.
This was a guest blog. If you want to do one of those, just contact me at
Some photos of the trigger and plunger tube:
Thanks for the comparison. Only a few people bother to monitor the old blogs. I would suggest re-posting this study in the current blog even if it were off topic as that this seems more interesting than the double barrel air rifle that is the current subject.
Thanks for the info- I emailed the address above, but didn’t get a response- I know there are more pressing matters so no worries. I re emailed just in case the original was lost.