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Education / Training Marksman model 60 – Part 1

Marksman model 60 – Part 1

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.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

48 thoughts on “Marksman model 60 – Part 1”

  1. Well, I’m probably wrong, but I do remember having a Marksman catalog in the early 80’s. Marksman only imported the .177 cal guns from HW. I remember being bummed out at having to pay an extra $100 for a Beeman branded version because I wanted a .20 or a .22 cal–and only Beeman had them.

    And yeah, I paid the extra money and got the .20 cal. Bought a 97K in .20 cal a few years ago, too. Still think it’s the best caliber in this platform for all around use.

    • Hi derrick i think that you are right(many will/would confirm) 20 cal is best overall cal but it is also the rarest ,in fact here where i am i can only buy 17 and 22 cal in our stores and maybe 25 (we don’t have limitation for airgun power -yet )

    • Hey Derrick, I’ve often thought the .20 cal made more sense too. Faster than the .22. Harder hitting than the .177. But I’ve stayed away from them because I’m told there aren’t as many different pellets available. You’ve found a good enough supply to keep all of your .20 cal guns shooting straight? Mike

  2. Fine looking rifle B.B.

    An interesting thing about the 12 ft-lb limit for our British friends.
    12 ft-lb does not sound like much compared to what we get out of some of our airguns, and the first thought that comes to mind is that they must have very low velocities and horrible trajectories. No power at all.
    Well, my 97K only gets a couple ft-lb more than that (.177). It would only have to lose about 60 fps to get down to 12 ft-lb. Hardly worth worrying about. Not much difference in trajectory and power.


  3. Morning B.B.,

    A fine looking rifle which looks like it wasn’t used much. Mac, congratulations on your fortuitous acquisition. I’ve been wondering about our friends in the UK and their hunting with a 12 ft-lb limit cause it sure does not seem to slow them down much. Perhaps DaveUK would comment on hunting in the UK?


    PS I seem to remember reading that you said that you were going to publish the the blog on the accuracy of the Marauder Pistol this week. If so there isn’t much time left.

    • Mr. B,

      There’s a fellow in England who goes by the name Hubert Hubert and has an entire blog devoted mostly to his experiences hunting rabbits and wood pigeons around his house. He’s a very entertaining writer and uses an HW80 if I recall correctly. I would recommend reading through his archives where he deals with typical issues that we all face when trying to master a spring piston air rifle. And he has recipes! Here’s a typical posting targeted towards those wondering about getting into the hunting sports in England.


    • Hello Mr B:
      The link Bobby Nations posted is a good example of some of the real Mcoy air gunners in the UK.
      The shooter who Hubert Hubert refers to as reading the airgun weekly and only dreaming,is me all over 🙂
      Opportunity and access to land is the problem for hunting with air guns for most folk here including myself.
      Finally,after 40 odd years though I may earn my spurs in the field having made a good contact.
      Roll on Springtime.

      • Don’t feel bad . Around here it is difficult to get permission to hunt for anything .
        The news media and our beloved antigun liberal fanatics have made vast numbers of people paranoid….which is just what they want.
        There are plenty of stories about hunters vandalizing property, damaging crops and fences, poaching, and failing to retrieve wounded game.
        There are the bunny huggers who don’t want to give anyone a chance to shoot anything….vermin or not.
        There are those who do hunt and have their own hunting land, but they won’t give anyone else permission….even though they don’t think a thing about poaching on other peoples land without permission.
        You hear the most about the deer hunters. They go wild to get a deer. They will do it any way they can. They violate every game law in the book. The most conspicuous of them are the gang hunters. Sometimes as many as 30 of them in a hunting party. They surround a woods then have a few guys drive the deer out. Any deer that comes out gets shot. Any deer escaping will run to a different patch of woods. They surround that woods and repeat the procedure. They do this for a whole week at a time. Also, to increase their ‘bag limit’ they get a deer tag for every member of their family who is old enough to carry a gun….and use the tags on the deer that THEY killed.
        Then the lawers….
        Land owners get sued if anyone is injured in a hunting accident. Land owners fear this.

        My hunting rant is concluded.


        • Our stories up here in Idaho are nearly the opposite. The State Game Wardens have said that most (real) hunters help do their enforcement work with them. “Gang hunting” would last about as long as it takes to chamber a .308 and let the air out of the “gangs” tires, or doors or…whatever/whomever. The beauty of hi-power rounds and scopes.

          As in life, respect for others (and the land) is often taught the hard way. We have a lot of teachers up here.

        • twotalon:
          Hunters have a pretty good name over here.
          The flaming hoops you have to jump through to own a firearm probably helps ensure anyone in the sport is real serious and not likely to mess things up.
          Although not having to prove themselves legally speaking,air gun hunters seem to be cut from the same cloth.
          A good air rifle and kit costs a lot of money,also the effort to find a benevolent land owner,plus travel etc.Not many ‘space cadets’ willing to do all that 🙂

              • Not NJ although we aren’t allowed to hunt with air rifles, we aren’t allowed to use rifles to hunt (shotguns and now shotguns and slugs), very restricted deer season and squirrel season but wonder of wonders, we just had a 5 day bear season. Over 500 harvested but none with air rifles. Protestors to save Yogi Beer out in force. I remember driving through town a few years ago during deer season and someone was standing on a corner in a deer suit protesting. As I drove buy, I made a gun of my hand and pretended to fire. Boy was that person ticked off. I loved it!

                Hunting only allowed on the very few public lands in rural parts of our State. But get this, you can use a .22 rifle for vermin if said vermin is destroying your property but not if you’re within 500 feet of your neighbor. I can go on but, hey, it’s the Holidays!

                Fred PRoNJ

                • No rifles for deer around here except muzzle loaders, certain caliber handguns, shotguns with slugs. Otherwise rifle, handgun, shotgun, bow, crossbow, airgun for anything else except migratory birds…..shotgun only. Caliber for rifles or handguns is not specified for anything but deer…..which you can’t do.
                  I guess you could use a .50 BMG rifle for squirrel, but not for deer.

                  There was a lot of stink a while back about having a dove season. Don’t hunt them, never ate one. Don’t know if they are realy that good to justify the time and expense of hunting them. Not all that much meat on them. While we don’t have them around here, grouse are really good.
                  Wild turkey? not enough around to bother with the time and trouble. For the cost of a turkey permit I can go to the store and buy a friggin turkey that only has to be cooked.


  4. BB,

    I find it interesting that Marksman was able to sell the 60 for $100 less than a HW77 and still make a profit. Do you think HW had that much more profit in their 77?

    It’s a nice looking gun, anyway.


    • I recall talking to a Marksman person way back when (in Huntington Beach, CA) about the pricing, and their thoughts at the time were about breaking into the market at that price point, with more HW type rifles to follow. I’m guessing that they offered HW the “volume carrot” and got some price break as well as taking little or no margin for themselves for the near term.

      Obviously, Marksman never became synonymous with Euro quality air rifles, so, the volume never came and Beeman was well on their way as the premier US supplier.

  5. BB,

    What’s the deal on the anti-beartrap device on the Weirach’s??? I thought they didn’t have one at all, or at least were much less safe than a TX200 mkiii or a RWS 460. How do they actually work?

    • It is not the same device as the TX rifles. There is only a sliding “shoe” under the main tube and the engagement of the safety that keep the gun from firing while retracted. The TX has a separate device near the loading port that actually locks the comp chamber in place (two steps to complete the cocking/loading process)

    • JC,

      Well, I don’t have access top my Beeman data with the Christmas tree set up, so I can’t answer you on this. I know the HW 77 automatic safety comes on when the rifle is cocked, and I assumed there was an anti-beartrap to go along wit it. It would be a special sliding lever under the spring tube through which the cocking lever extends.

      Maybe there isn’t one. All I do know is to never let go of the cocking lever.


      • BB,

        I’m in the middle of restoring a HW77K – it doesn’t appear to have an anti-bear trap mechanism beyond the safety. However, for a right-handed shooter, it seems to be a better arrangement than sidelevers like the 48-52-54. To me, it is natural to hold the cocking arm with my left hand and load with my right. With the Diana, I found myself wedging the arm behind my right elbow while loading with my right hand – relying on the bear trap mechanism. The main reason I sold an otherwise fine rifle.

        Hope you are doing well – Merry Christmas!


  6. American Airgunner was back on again at the regular time today.
    It was a rerun, but who cares as long as Crystal is on there. Could care less about Paul.
    Was Crystal shooting anything? Did not notice if she was or not.

    So I’m a dirty old man.


  7. A couple more interesting things….The current Bluebook value difference is even larger than the retail difference.A Marksman 60 in 100% condition is valued at $300,and a HW 77 in 100% condition is valued at $475.The Bluebook also indicates the Marksman 60 & 61 made by Weirauch on BSF tooling.
    Anyone who is not happy with their Marksman 60,61 or 70,feel free to sell it to me at Bluebook price!

    • Same type of differential for Crosman or Daisy vintage guns as compared to exact, same guns branded as Sears, or Hawthorn or Western Auto guns.

      Buyers who want Crosman, want Crosman, and pay for it I guess? Same for Beeman or HW guns.

      Original Shelby Cobra or AC knockoff?

    • Frank B,

      I think it may have something to do with Doc Beeman being the editor of the guide. The reality is the Beeman ones are actually the Ted Williams of the HW rifles.

      Hope you are well and have a good Holiday Season.


  8. I never found the so-called “lack of .20 cal pellet availability” to exist even back in the 1980’s. Sure, there are fewer overall choices, but there have been plenty of excellent pellets available from the old Marksman FTS, Crosman Premiers, H&N Barracudas, Crow Mags, Wadcutters …to the JSB’s today. Couldn’t get them at WalMart then or now, but I can’t buy match grade .22 rimfire there either. Though most of the sporting goods stores around here carry the .20 cal Benjamin Cylindrical pellets…

  9. Kevin
    I was using the scope, guess it Finlay found home against the block behind it. I still want to go with the one piece mount.I won’t have time to do much for the next week or so. Our outlaws are taking us and the 4 grand boys to Texas for a week to hunt. Guess who the skinner will be. Thanks for the dope on the trigger and all the other tips, with out them I might have given up.I have shot a lot of pistols, shotguns and rifle, but had no idea how much there is to air guns. I have learned a lot and have a lot more to learn, but its nice to see progress. Thanks Kevin and everyone.

  10. I have an early HW77 in .22 and it is a fun gun to shoot. Odd thing is that it seems to get the best accuracy with pellets over 20 grains – Kodiaks, Monsters, and Big Boys. At that weight the velocity is low (some under 500 fps) and the pellet drop gets large at just 50 yards.

    The earlier ones like mine have a 25mm compression chamber; current guns are 26mm. My rifle produces 13-14 ft lbs muzzle energy. New guns are somewhat more powerful.

    Paul in Liberty County

  11. Off topic,

    I ordered and duly received 2 crosman 1377c pistols. I bought them as gifts, so I didn’t have a good chance to examine them thoroughly, but in my quick scan I noticed a few differences. One has a brass trigger, the other has a black trigger. Also, one has a small ‘R’ on the trigger guard. Is there some known reason for the differences?


  12. Victor,

    On yesterdays blog you asked the question:

    “I wonder if the right compromise for longer distance is to buy the .177 caliber and use heavy pellets (close to 10 grains – e.g., Crosman Premier Heavy, H&N Baracuda match, Beeman Kodiak Extra Heavy, etc.). I’ve read that too heavy a pellet will damage an air-gun.”

    Here’s my two cents….You don’t get to pick the most accurate pellet your gun does. You may get lucky and get a .177 caliber barrel that really likes heavy pellets and your plan could come together. I personally don’t care how much the most accurate pellet in my springers weighs. A very light pellet and a very heavy pellet usually make the firing cycle in my springers harsh and I don’t care for that. As far as potential damage, what’s your concern? Shortening the life of your spring? Burning a piston seal? These parts are replacable and aftermarket springs and seals are better than the factory ones in most cases and are cheap.

    My suggestion is to find the most accurate pellet in your guns and shoot them. Good luck.


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