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Education / Training Marksman model 70 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2

Marksman model 70 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2

Marksman model 70
Marksman model 70 breakbarrel rifle.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Description
  • The sights — front
  • Rear sight
  • Test target
  • No cap to tap
  • Spartan owner’s manual
  • Summary

Wow — has this Marksman model 70 report raised some interest among you readers! Today we continue to acquaint ourselves with this unusual breakbarrel spring-piston air rifle that touches four airgun companies — Weihrauch, BSF, Beeman and Marksman.

Description

The Marksman 70 is a large air rifle in the same sense that the Beeman R1 is large. The example I am testing weighs 8 pounds on the nose! It’s 45-1/2-inches long overall and has a 19-5/8-inch barrel. The length of pull is a “manly” 14-1/4-inches from the center of the trigger to the center of the buttpad.

The stock is beech and is full in all dimensions. A thin red rubber butt pad keeps the rifle from sliding against your shoulder or when you stand it up in the corner.

The forearm is tall and squared. It’s quite full, by which I mean wide. It’s smooth all over, but the pistol grip has two panels of genuine had-cut checkering. Want to know how I know they are hand cut? There are runover lines in the corners and improperly cut diamonds. I don’t mean that the checkering is sloppy; it’s actually pretty nice. Even a quarter-million-dollar Perazzi shotgun checkering has faults if you look closely. It’s the nature of the beast.

Marksman 70 checkering
The checkering is hand-cut. I’m showing this detail not to embarrass Weihrauch but to show you what to look for to identify real cut checkering.

The sights — front

The model 70 has a globe front sight that accepts inserts. Oddly the rifle came to me with the aperture insert up front that is correct for a peep sight and bullseye shooting, but entirely wrong for the sporting Vee rear notch that’s on the rifle.

There were no additional sight inserts that came with this rifle. They aren’t mentioned in the somewhat Spartan manual, either. I think they either dropped out of the box at some point or they were never packed. That makes the aperture insert all the more difficult to understand. Fortunately, I have many Weihrauch front sight inserts, including the ones that came with my HW 30S. I will make do.

Marksman 70 front sight
The Marksman 70 front sight accepts inserts.

Rear sight

Remember that Weihrauch used the BSF tooling to make these rifles? They also used some of the parts. The rear sight is a BSF sporting rear sight that might be found on an S55 or an S70.

The rear sight adjusts for elevation via a stepped ladder. For windage there is a knob on the right side that adjusts to the right when turned counter-clockwise and clockwise for left. There are very fine detents in the windage knob, though there is no scale to tell how far the sight has been adjusted, nor any markings on the windage knob to tell you which direction to turn. The elevation is obvious, but with windage you need to learn this sight and count the clicks.

Marksman 70 rear sight
The rear sight is definately BSF

Test target

How long has it been since I’ve seen a test target with a sporting air rifle? No markings to indicate how far it was shot (I assume 10 meters), the number of pellets (I assume 5) or even the brand of pellet used. I’m going to assume it was a .22-caliber wadcutter that we call the Meisterkugeln.

The nearly perfect little cloverleaf group measures 0.091-inches between centers. That earns a 13 mm gold dollar for comparison, and it also makes B.B. Pelletier’s job testing accuracy that much harder! I have only shot a couple 5-shot groups at 10 meters that were so small in my entire life. Phooey!

Marksman 70 test target
The test target that came with the rifle is serial-numbered. It’s going to be hard to equal that kind of accuracy!

One more fact. The test target is serial-numbered to this rifle. That’s the way it’s done, and it keeps guys like me honest.

Marksman 70 serial number
The serial number on the barrel matches the number on the test target.

Hunting Guide

No cap to tap

Remember I said the Marksman 70 was related to the Beeman R10? Well, not in the area of the end cap. The model 70 has no end cap to unscrew like we see in the R10. In this area of design, the model 70 is more closely related to the R9 that has an internal cap that does not unscrew. But the R9 came out several years after the R10, so here is what I think. I think the Weihrauch engineers saw the benefit of the internal end cap that didn’t have to be threaded into the very thin spring tube. So they allowed the internal end cap design feature to hop over the R10 and emerge in the R9.

Marksman 70 end cap
The end cap doesn’t unscrew from the spring tube like the HW 85/Beeman R10. There must be keepers holding it in.

Spartan owner’s manual

I mentioned before that the model 70 manual is Spartan. It’s almost as if you had to know how to operate a breakbarrel air rifle to use this one and the “manual” was just there to line the bottom of your birdcage. For example, there is no mention of the Rekord trigger.

Marksman 70 manual front
The front of the manual tells you the 11 safety rules, such as the all-important “Clean your air rifle regularly.” How many shooters have been injured by a dirty air rifle? Oh, look! There’s a lifetime warranty! I wonder…

Marksman 70 manual inside
Not a lot of detail inside.

Summary

That is the end of the introduction. Next I test velocity in the usual way and accuracy follows after that. This is gonna be a good one.

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.

46 thoughts on “Marksman model 70 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2”

  1. B.B.,

    That’s a really odd combination for sighting with a rear notch and disc for the front sight. Maybe the sighting discs could have been embedded into the foam?

    Siraniko

    PS Caption of the first picture: Marksman model 72 (70) breakbarrel rifle.

  2. B B,
    It’s a great pity Weihrauch didn’t keep the BSF name going with the likes of this rifle. It’s probably a marketing strategy that would work these days as older buyers look back fondly on their BSF’s. Perhaps not in the 80’s.

    I agree with your thoughts on the need for a non threaded end cap. The thinner gauge steel also required the use of the sight ramp, rather than milled dovetails.

    I’d like to see your Model 70 tested against an old HW85/ new 95 or more likely the Beeman equivalents (which still confuse me).

    Regards,
    Drew

    • Drew,

      You aren’t alone. I am somewhat confused as well. Several readers have reported they have 70s that are different than this one. One has the safety lever on the left side of the gun!

      BB

        • Siraniko,

          What I believe but cannot prove is that Weihrauch used as much of the parts from BSF as they could. If, in doing that, changes were made to the design of a gun, they were overlooked. I imagine Marksman was in on the deal, and that they got better pricing because the weren’t holding Weihrauch to a specific design. That is my belief.

          BB

          • B.B.,

            Completely agree. So many of these models after the Weihrauch acquisition of BSF are “Frankenstein’s”, I.e., made from a combination of parts, that it’s tough to draw any other conclusion.

  3. BB,

    Those are some top shelf quality sights on this air rifle. I am sure you already know this, but finding scope mounts to hold on to that rail is going to be quite difficult. Very likely you will have to use an adapter made for a Diana if you mount a scope. Maybe BKLs will clamp on there tight enough. I will bet big money that an old Weihrauch rear aperture will fit on there real nice though.

    I know most of these guys are going to want you to hurry up and get to a scope, but I want to see how it does with a post front sight insert and then a rear aperture. If you never get to a scope with this old gal, it will not hurt my feelings.

    • RR-

      Absolutely no worries on scope rail/ring fit. I just checked my Beeman R10 that has the same rail (other than a second attaching screw). Standard air gun/rimfire rings, risers, etc. fit on the rail.

      Like you, I would be hesitant to scope immediately. Wish I had the option to try metallic sights on mine. But alas, they were removed for the current scope by the previous owner.

      • Paco,

        You are likely right concerning the width of this rail, but I am quite certain it was never meant to mount a scope on. Very likely it came with a Weihrauch or similar rear aperture. The Diana 50 rail is too narrow for most 11mm rings and mounts to clamp to. That is why they had to develop a special mount for these old Dianas that had a piece that went over the front of the rail to keep them from sliding back. They were meant for Diana rear apertures.

          • This could very well be so. It was during this time that more people were starting to use scopes. The little grooves are for aperture sights like the Diana. A screw on top pushes a pad with grooves down to engage the grooves in the top of the rail and tighten the clamping grip.

            Oh, and you might be surprised about the aperture sights not moving. I have an old Feinwerkbau sight I clamped on my grandson’s HW30S and it wanted to slide off the back from recoil. The Diana sight will slide if the grooves do not properly engage.

  4. B.B.,

    Why is it that so many of today’s air rifle manufacturers do not provide test targets with their sporting air rifles? . . . They don’t have large enough targets. ;^)

    Michael

  5. BB,

    That’s a real impressive test target! Nice to see an accurate sporter!

    I’ll second RR, please take your time reviewing the iron sights.

    Have you considered contacting Weihrauch and asking about what happened during that BSF take-over time and maybe slip in a couple of questions about the Model 70 design? You never know, there may be an old guy there who (like us) might love talking about the good old days. 🙂

    Hank

  6. What surprises me most is that in 2021, Weihrauch still offers the HW35, R1 R9 R10…one wouz expect them to consolidate these very similar guns, or at least homologise on the same tube diameter and use as many common parts as possible.

    • Mel,

      It is like you said, they have been making these fine air rifles for so long, they do not need to consolidate the parts. It would likely spell the end of Weihrauch if they did. They make a top shelf quality air rifle to suit anybody’s taste.

      Crosman makes ten or fifteen different models, all of which are identical except for the stocks and some of the accessories, such as scope rails, etc. None of them appeal to me.

      Weihrauch knows that if you enjoy shooting airguns, sooner or later you are going to buy a Weihrauch. I bought one for my grandson. I want at least one more.

  7. B.B.,

    The Test Target is Interesting for more than just that excellent 3 leaf clover!
    It looks to me that the technician did a miss numbering. The number wheel stamp appears to have been set for: 1113302 and then the third 1 was overwritten with an ink pen and made a 3 to match the rifle’s serial number!

    I hope you get to lay down that Gold Dollar by surpassing or at least getting close to that Test Group!

    shootski

  8. BB and people,
    I came up with a novel solution: how to install an Hamster on an underlever without sawing/rasping a slot.
    May I present the hinged Hamster for your amusement!
    ( Now it really feels like an Off Hand ace, comfortable, well balanced and steady. ) :- ) Robert.

    • RobertA,

      I’ve got to hand it to you. When it comes to thinking out of the box, you not only left the box, but you are running circles around it!

      Siraniko

      • Siraniko,
        Thank you, and well, someone has to do it. :- ) Will embed a magnet to hold it shut. It’s pretty hecking darn cool! and sand paper for grip. ( but wait till you see my F.E.G. Relum… it’s getting a stock upgrade and a super cheap peep sight. ) Fun! Robert.

        • RobertA,

          You are wrong. Someone does not have to do it. But you did it anyway, and that is OK. What is really strange is that it is starting to look halfway decent. I find I am really looking forward to seeing the finished product. It is also inspiring me to want to build a sproinger ‘pup. Now if I could just get my hands on one I will not mind tearing apart. Anybody have a Crosman? 😉

          • RR,
            What is really interesting is that this is possibly the MK V. Maybe even a MK VI. I will have to look back through the folders of pictures to make an informed decision.
            Actually my first post here was the MKII version.
            /blog/2006/02/gamo-cf-x-field-test/#comment-441626
            How times flies! : – ) Robert.

    • RobertA,

      Interesting concept just like some of my reflex sight magnifiers on the top rail of my AR platforms.
      Do the holes provide a place for the hamsters to live?
      I always thought there were 4 of them that did The Hampster Dance Song! Is it Dixie that no longer has a hole to call home?

      shootski

      • Shootski,
        Ah, well, um. I cannot lie. I can only count to three. So it’s three of this and three of that. Anything over three and I’m bamboozled. and unless you can find 30mm hampsters…. it’s going to be a snug fit. I did see some flying Hompsters yesterday on the ‘tinternet … not very good at it. More like falling… will have to check up on the Hampster dance song. : – ) Robert.

      • RR, Siraniko,
        Well it depends on the travel of the cocking arm. Some do not come back that far. So studying the lever stroke is the best place to start. Looking at the stock is a good idea too. The lower rifle has a low trigger which gives you room to play with. The top rifle has the higher trigger and is more difficult to use. But even if you move the trigger and grip forward a dash or two it changes the balance point of the rifle and imho it’s much better. Make the LOP short and bring the sight right up to your eye and join the Off Hand Position Only Air Rifle Target Shooters Club (OHPOARTSC). Currently in the garage fettling the F.E.G Relum to have a short LOP and close eyeball to sight distance. It’s pretty darn cool. : – ) Robert.

        • and …. here is some concept art! The grip is pretty darn low ( makes it look very fat F.T style ), which will make it a bit top heavy. The trigger connector bar to the actual trigger is low to make it clear how I do my bullpup. but with some experimentation other ways could come up. : – ) Robert.

          • RobertA,

            The only thing I can think of to lower the center of gravity to make the balance easier would be to turn the gun 90 degrees on its side to turn it into a side lever cocker since you are going to make a trigger linkage. Might as well go all the way while making a modification.

            Siraniko

      • Siraniko and RobertA,

        No, no, no, no, no. You guys got it all wrong. This was a different show and tell. I would do nothing to either of these air rifles. The top one is a 1906 BSA and the one below is the guts of a Diana 50. I was just illustrating how little major design changes over the years have not really happened.

        Now, If I was to going to build a ‘pup from a sproinger, I would likely see what I could do with a Gamo Maxxim. Shortening that barrel without reducing the power would make it a bear to cock. I would want it to be more skeletonized also. Weight reduction would be one of the goals of the ‘pup.

        As Siraniko pointed out, sidelever would be much easier to work with from a design standpoint. The QB57, Baikal 60/61 and the cheap Chinese knock off are prime examples. If I am not mistaken, it is the Appeles family that builds Diana 54’s into WFT ‘pups.

        As for myself, I would build one from a PCP. There is a good chance I would design and build it from scratch. I would like to proof of concept one that a company could build and sell for under $400.

        These overly expensive ‘pups I have been seeing lately are outrageous. There is no reason many of them should be over $1500. Most all of them I would be extremely hesitant to spend $1000 on.

        Hatsan has done pretty good at keeping their ‘pup prices down, but most of them are too heavy and bulky. The idea of the ‘pup is to have something short, light, easy to tuck in close and carry.

        Those with the bolt or lever at the shoulder. Really? Any company that brings something like that to market nowadays needs to fire their engineers and put the marketeers up against the wall and shoot them with their own ‘pups.

        P.S. RobertA, the M1A sproinger has an extendable underlever. Great concept for keeping the overall length down.

  9. RR… well while we are here….
    I think the Diana 50 would be an excellent start on a BP project. I dare you! I am off to the garage to work on the Gamo and FEG, both are looking darn smart. Then off to Small bore club this evening.
    Maybe we can do a mail in shooting contest?
    !!!! — 5m standing, no rest, springer. Pellet or BB… has to be witnessed,or even video?( We could put it on that video channel ). No PCP or Co2 ! ( for video witness you could have the camera set up to film the shoot, then you walk to the target, bring it back and show then it to the camera. With a picture of it for the judging. ) Worth a crack. So we have to make sure everyone can get the video part sorted out before we start printing. Who’s in ? Do we have to start a committee/society/club ?? Do we need a name? : – ) Robert.

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