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Ammo Marksman model 60 – Part 3

Marksman model 60 – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Photos and testing by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1
Part 2

Mac’s Marksman model 60 is really a special version of an HW77.

There’s been a lot of interest in this rifle since we started the report. As you now know, a Marksman model 60 is a rebadged HW77 underlever air rifle, and the Marksman model 61 is the HW77K carbine. We learned in Part 2 that this rifle is a 12 foot-pound gun, but several readers who own Marksman underlevers have said theirs are all full-power guns. Perhaps, it had to do with when the guns were shipped, but I really don’t know.

Today, Mac’s testing the rifle’s accuracy with a Bushnell Sportview 4x scope that came mounted on it. The scope has parallax adjustment. Mac shot for accuracy outdoors off a rest at 30 yards.

Mac tried several variations of the artillery hold with little difference noted. He finally settled on resting the rifle on the flat palm of his off hand with his index finger touching the rear of the cocking slot, just for repeatability.

He’s amazed that after sitting for no less than 10 years without being fired (the former owner was ill), the gun shot like it was brand new. He thought it might be dry; so when he tested velocity he shot it as it was, then added two drops of chamber oil. Nothing changed except that some oil appeared at the seam of the receiver tube where the end cap screws in. So, the gun wasn’t under-oiled when he got it.

Accuracy testing
The rifle was fired off a bench rest and held with the artillery hold. The range was 30 yards, and the targets were 10-meter bulls.

The first pellet he tried was the 8.4-grain JSB Exact dome. He called one flier in the group of 10 which he did not include in his group measurement of 0.85″.

Ten shots of JSB Exact 8.4-grain pellets, but only nine were measured. Hole on the right is a called flier. Group size for the nine is 0.85 inches.

Next, he went up to the 10.2-grain JSB Exact dome. A similar shape, though both longer and heavier than the 8.4, it usually gives different performance in a rifle. In this case, he got the same overall group size, but notice the difference in the shape of the group.

Same size group as the 8.4-grain Exacts (0.85 inches) but a vastly different shape.

Then, Mac tried his favorite RWS Superdome pellets. The 0.71-inch 10-shot group was the smallest of the test, but Mac notes that it seems to be two groups in close alignment. Without the two shots that opened up the group, the size would have been 0.42 inches. Mac says he could feel a difference in the firing behavior when those two pellets were fired, so perhaps some sorting before shooting is warranted.

The best 10-shot group of the test was turned in by RWS Superdome pellets. Without the two pellets that opened the group to 0.71 inches, the size would have been 0.42 inches.

Next, Mac tried RWS Hobby pellets. As you can see, they didn’t do very well in this rifle. Ten gave a group size of 1.49″. Thirty yards is pushing the limit for wadcutter pellet accuracy and the lightweight Hobby is going to be more affected by that than a heavier wadcutter.

Ten RWS Hobbys went into this group measuring 1.49 inches. Not a good showing, especially in light of the other results. One other pellet deliver a group less than half this size.

Mac also tried Crosman Premiers. First, the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier pellet. These are usually the right pellets for quality spring guns of this power range. They grouped good but not the best.

The Premier lite produced a group of 0.82 inches, with one called flier.

Finally, he tried the 10.5-grain Crosman Premier heavy dome pellet. This 10.5-grain pellet is too heavy for a spring rifle of this power range, and the results bore that out. The group measured 1.49 inches, which is just as large as the Hobby group.

Another pellet that doesn’t work well in Mac’s Marksman model 60. The Crosman premier heavy opened up to 1.49 inches at 30 yards.

So, there you have it. Mac proved his Marksman model 60 is every bit an HW77 rifle. He doesn’t want to leave it here, so we’ll return with Part 4, in which he mounts Weihrauch target sights and reshoots the same test with the accurate pellets from this test.

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.

53 thoughts on “Marksman model 60 – Part 3”

  1. Morning B.B.,

    We’ll leave Joe B in Marian alone cause he did that to let some of us know that we’re not the only folks that do things like that.

    Please convey our thanks once again to Mac for all the testing that he’s been doing for us. Does he ever post here?


  2. B.B.

    That’s a fine shooting rifle. Also considering the scope.
    I found that oiling both my 48 and 97K only results in blowing oil out of the muzzle. Any change in accuracy only seems temporary until the extra gets blown out and the bore can return to a stable condition. Would not want more than one drop in my Storm XT… it will detonate on two drops.
    Not a problem anymore anyway. It got cleaned up and moly lubed.


  3. Mr B…
    I hope you have been doing something constructive.
    I have been plugging starlings for the last three days, and have collected another shopping bag full for the garbage man on thursday.
    More snow tomorrow, so the shooting will continue for a while.

    I get a little twitchy on starlings, so I don’t always get good hits.
    Picked them up in my back yard, my wife’s yard to the south, the neighbors yard to the north, and the neighbors yard to the west. One on my roof has not been retrived yet.
    Been using cphp, cph, FTT, Match Rifle, and Preds.
    Got one where the sun don’t shine with a Pred. Always wonder if their eyes bug out when they get hit that way.


    • twotalon,

      Thanks for the explanation of your set up for starling control. Unfortunately I have to shoot through my open back door. I live inside the city with chain link fences and neighbor’s all around . The only exception is the attorney’s stockade fence which separates my backstop from his yard and view. My holly tree, your crab apple tree, has the attorney’s house behind half of it which requires very careful shooting to take a bird out of said tree. Some of the English sparrows won’t even perch on the shootable side of the tree. Last year a feral cat and her two kittens would hang out in the yard, hear the ping of the gun and run under the holly tree waiting for the lunch to hit the ground.


      • There’s alwasys cat food…either in a feeder or on the ground. The small round types are preferred. Preferably red in color. Bird feeders have to be made right for the cat food to feed out into the trays. Feed on the ground draws them fast, but the buggers don’t hold still long. It does pull them to the area.
        A flock of cowbirds will clean a feeder fast if they find it.

        A metal bowl with cat food works, but also draws cats. Steel instead of plastic so you don’t blow it to crap.

        I rigged a feeder special for the vermin. Wooden rig with trays on opposite sides. Holes were already large enough for cat food. I rigged up a brace to hold it still on the feeder pole so that the trays stayed in line with my back door. Can get 2 or 3 at a time this way. Had to extend the perches out a bit on the sides so that it ‘fit’ right for starlings. They did not like it the way it was setup by the manufacturer. I also put a steel plate on the end that faced the back door. as a bit of protection after blasting too many plastic feeders to pieces.

        Had one of the neighborhood cats trained during the summer. Every time I shot, the cat came running for a sparrow. It stopped coming on the run after the starlings started going down. The first time, it ran over and checked out the starling. Then it walked away in disgust.
        There are three of them that come over once in a while to see if they might get lucky.


        Action too slow today. Too much bare ground showing.Snow tomorrow should fix that.

  4. Did Mac have wind for this test? It looks like he was fight a brisk, gusting head- or tail- wind, except on the Superdomes, where it was either calmer or more consistent. Based on my own “testing”, I can’t imagine how you all ever get enough good days for accuracy testing.

    • I have the same problem.
      About the only time the wind goes dead calm is at night, and that is not consistent.
      In warm weather there would be the skeeters, and this time of year it is just plain too cold. Someone may also get curious why there is a spotlight blazing away out there. Would probably get a visit from the game warden.


      • I have a problem getting good shooting weather. Winter is too darn cold, and the summer…Well, I don’t stray out of doors much in that part of the year. Theres some West Nile, I think, but the main threat is triple E. Over a dozen people have died or been put in a coma over the last couple years. It gets really bad every few years. Its like living in the Panama Cannal zone….Only in the northeast.

        • Dick,
          Mac is blessed to live on a six-acre plot on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. His lot is heavily wooded and he shoots from inside his garage into a dead tree backstop 30 yards away. The wind is usually very calm there, so he enjoys a perfect airgun testing range.


          • BB

            I wish I would have come down with the airgun addiction before I bought my house. I definitely would have made my choices based partially on the shooting ranginess of the backyard, or the front yard for that matter.

            My current setup isn’t bad- I have a high wooden fence on two sides so far, but the neighbors on each side have young children so I have to be mindful and not overdo it.

            It’s about 30 yards to the place I feel comfortable shooting without hitting the fence. I can get another 15 yards or so added on to that by shooting from the corner of the living room, through the dining room, through the kitchen and out the sliding glass door. The key word being glass in that last sentence.

            • Same here. I have 33 yds in which to shoot. Beyond that is about 60 yds of trees. Trees, of course, aren’t a backstop, so I really have to watch the power. I hate reading airgun catalogs and having to consider FPS beyond all else! 😉

              Idaho maybe, someday…

  5. Kevin and all who follow my airgun buying and selling articles,

    I am within hours of striking on a fine and very collectible crossover gun. When it’s mine I will tell the entire story, which has a couple of important tips for airgun buyers. I’m telling you now so you can enjoy the final moments of the stalk with me.

    If I miss it, I will still tell the story, only with less detail.


  6. Gene,

    A called flyer is one of those “oops, I bucked that one” or any other mistake the shooter can make. It also includes things like an obvious difference caused by a mechanical phenomenon like maybe detonation or, or any one of several ‘flukes’ in a string. Short answer is; after the shot, when you know ‘somethings up’.


              • All kidding aside, a called flier is only relevant when you are concerned about determining the accuracy of the gun or gun/sighting system. The rest of the time it is still a shot that the shooter took, and thus a legitimate result reflective of the capability of the shooter/gun/ammo system – after all, we are part of the total sytem. If that “called flyer” was a shot at a critter, it would be a miss, or worse, a wounded animal.

                I have plenty of “called flyers” myself, and I’m working to get rid of them. But the really wierd ones are the shots I feel like I really blew, but end up being almost dead on target. Sort of a “that’s no good . . .wow what a shot!” kind of thing. What do we call those?

                Alan in MI

                • Alan in MI,

                  Call them what you want but the cause is more important.

                  I’ve been having a tough time wringing the accuracy out of a HW55 tuned by Watts in an aftermarket Tyrolean stock. I’ve changed scopes. Changed mounts. Tried different pellets. Tightened stock screws etc. etc. This has been going on off and on for a month. Frustrating.

                  Finally got the scope height were I wanted and perfected my cheek weld and got it shooting great this past weekend. Quite a journey.


                  • Kevin

                    It feels so good when you finally figure a gun out, doesn’t it? Might even be better when it takes awhile. The final payoff is that much more satisfying.

                    • Slinging Lead,

                      Yes, satisfying. Relief more so. I was so close to selling this gun because of the frustration. If it didn’t have a fresh watts tune I would have sold it weeks ago. Now that it’s sorted out I have some experiences that will undoubtedly translate to other springers so maybe it was worth it.


  7. B.B. I’m running a little behind on my blog reading. On Friday’s blog you were talking about the TF79. In the comments there were a lot of talk about the QB78 and the TF78. Are these the same guns with different markings or are they made by different manufacturers? Bub

  8. All,

    Well, it appears I won the item I was stalking. It is a Sheridan Knocabout .22 rimfire pistol that I have been wanting for years. It’s the only firearm Sheridan ever made. This one has the box with instructions, is in excellent condition and comes with the special Sheridan holster that is marked Knocabout.

    I won’t see it until I return from the SHOT Show, so I’ll blog it then. I won it because of spelling. Tell you more about that in the report, but think Daisey and Crossman. 😉


    • BB

      Speaking of great Sheridan finds, I don’t think you ever blogged that Sheridan Supergrade you got at last year’s airgun expo, did you? A quick search revealed no archived blogs of a Supergrade either. Hmmm, maybe you could add that one to the inbox?

      • Nevermind. I re-read your comments. Seems that this one is coming to you from Florida. Unbelievable condition. Mint in the box with instructions and a holster. Rare pistol. The box, holster and instructions together are quite a find.

        I hope you’re not completed with your series on buying and selling airguns (guns) because I’d appreciate some pointers as to how you search sites. Either you have a long list of guns and implement “alerts” on sites or you have another technique I’m not aware of.

        I’ll share some of mine. For good deals, enter numerous mispellings of the name of the item you’re wanting to buy. For example, Luepold, anchutz, gehman, hakem, etc. There are some items (like a diana 75 rear diopter) that only have partial markings on the sight itself so I’ll search “drp”. You get the idea.

        Can’t wait to hear about the Sheridan Knocabout.


      • Kevin,

        Yes, the original box with instructions and an original holster.

        I found it when nobody else did because the seller spelled the name correctly. Knocabout instead of Knockabout. Another one sold without the box or holster under the Knockabout name, and five bids were on it.


  9. BB,

    The HW77 based rifles are very impressive springers, and a Marksman badged one would be a great find. I’m nearly done rebuilding my HW77k – stock refinish, reblue, new seals, and new lubes. Although the stock is not quite done, but I put it together this weekend to test fire and it was very, very nice to shoot. Looking forward to my own accuracy testing! When you’re up to it, don’t forget the last part of your LGV Olympia report. Mine has taken the place of my R7 as my favorite springer in that power range.


  10. It begins. The year’s first Red Squirrel was removed from my bird feeder A couple hours ago. Diana 52 wt. JSB Diabolo Exact Heavy .177 Cal., DRT (Dead Right There).


    • Excellent. I hate the little turds myself.
      Unfortunately the last one I got was a 42yd shot last year with the Talondor with a Kodiak…through the head. Don’t get enough of those. I would rather shoot them than starlings….and I HATE starlings.


  11. B.B.,
    My scope, Leapers 4×32 Golden Image, and new batch of pellets finally arrived last week. Got everything set up and did some shooting at 21 yds and in the process found out something that was affecting the accuracy of the TF87-22. The screw which applies tension to the spring and ball that locks up the cocking lever was always slack and quite often the under lever would disengage when a shot was taken. Never paid it much attention as i did not think that a slack underlever would affect the accuracy that much.Duh! Then I remembered the piece you did on barrel harmonics so out came the plumbers tape and got it nice and snug, recessed about 1/8″ from flush which put enough tension on the cocking lever to keep it from jiggling around.
    Crosman Premiers came out on top with a 0.37″ five shot group. I had another group of four pellets going into one hole measuring 0.18″ but the 5th shot went wide opening the group to 0.68″. Can I send a picture to Mac and ask him to call that one a “flier” LOL!
    The next best was a 0.43″ five shot group of H & N Hollow Points.
    Sadly, the Baracuda Match pellets did not do well. 1.25″ for five shots .
    If you still have the TF87 in your possession, perhaps you can check the tension on the underlever and check the accuracy again when you are feeling well and strong enough??
    Congrats on the latest acquisition. Look forward to hearing all about it.

  12. I haven’t been around in quite sometime. Thought I would drop off a quote to let you know I’m still standing after all this time away.

    ‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ said Alice. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the cat. ‘We’re all mad here.’
    Lewis Carroll

    rikib 🙂 🙂 🙂

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