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.

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.