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Education / Training Marksman model 70 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 4

Marksman model 70 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 4

Marksman model 70
Marksman model 70 breakbarrel rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Front sight
  • Sight in
  • Crosman Premiers
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Loose stock screws
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53 mm heads
  • Check the stock screws
  • RWS Meisterkugeln
  • One final test
  • Too much happening

Today we take a quick look at the potential accuracy of the Marksman model 70 rifle. I say quick for reasons that will be explained.

The test

I shot 5-shot groups to test more things. Pellets, yes, but also holds and other things. You’ll see as the report unfolds.

I shot from 10 meters and I used the open sights that came with the rifle. I used a couple different holds that I will explain as we go.

Front sight

As I explained in Part 2 the front sight had an aperture insert when it arrived. That’s a perfect sight for a rear peep but I was trying to use the sporting rear sight with a notch and they doesn’t work together at all. I said I would just replace it with a sporting front post, but when I looked at my Weihrauch front sight inserts, there was only one that would work — a tapered post. Apparently I have more front target-style aperture inserts than sporting inserts. Oh, well. I had what I needed, so I installed it.

I had no idea how to hold the rifle for best results, so I decided to try two different holds and see if one stood out. First up was the artillery hold with the off hand in the middle of the cocking slot. I did it that way because my HW 85 likes to be held that way and I figured the model 70 was somewhat close to that rifle.

Sight in

I sighted in with Crosman Premiers. It took five shots to get into the bull and when I did the rear sight was elevated as far as it would go. 

Crosman Premiers

Five Premiers went into 0.606-inches at 10 meters. The group is open and doesn’t really tell me much.

Marksman 70 Premier 1
The Marksman 70 put 5 Premiers in 0.606-inches at 10 meters when the artillery hold was used.

Next I tried 5 Premiers fired with the rifle resting directly on the sandbag. I was hoping for a dramatic difference with the first group. But I didn’t get it. Five Premiers landed in 0.981-inches at 10 meters when the rifle was rested directly on the sandbag. Yes, it is significantly larger than the first group, but let’s not make any assumptions just yet.

Marksman 70 Premier 2 bag
When rested on the sandbag the model 70 put 5 Premiers into 0.981-inches at 10 meters.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy

The next pellet I tried was the 18.13-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy. When the rifle was rested on the sandbag five of them made a 0.692-inch group at 10 meters. 

Marksman 70 JSB 1 bag
Rested on the sandbag, the model 70 put 5 JSB 18.13-grain domes into 0.692-inches at 10 meters.

Then I tried the same JSB pellet with the artillery hold. Again my off hand was in the middle of the cocking slot. This time five pellets made a group measuring 1.271-inches at 10 meters. This is just the opposite of how the Premiers did.

Marksman 70 JSB 2 arty
With the artillery hold the 70 put 5 JSB pellets into 1.271-inches at 10 meters.

Loose stock screws

As I was shooting this last target the rifle seemed loose in the stock when I cocked it. So I tightened all the stock screws and every one of them was loose. I had overlooked the fact that this is a 1970s springer and those screws are going to get loose. Yes, this is something I should have checked before starting the test, but I didn’t.

H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53 mm heads

Next up were five H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53 mm heads. Would these be the ones? Well — they were! When shot off the bag, five went into 0.335-inches at 10 meters. Wow! This is what I expected. Was it the stock screws all along or had I just found the right pellet?

Marksman 70 Baracuda 553 bag
When the rifle was resting on the bag, five Baracuda Match with 5.53 mm heads made a 0.335-inch group.

After shooting this group I adjusted the rear sight down one elevation mark.

Next I tried the same pellet with the artillery hold. But the first shot landed higher than the last group. What? 

This time the rifle put five into 0.917-inches. Now that is a significant difference, but I still don’t know all that I need to.

Marksman 70 Baracuda 553 arty
When held by the artillery hold the model 70 put five Baracuda Match pellet into 0.917-inches at 10 meters.

Check the stock screws

After this I checked the stock screws again. This was after 10 shots after tightening them. They were all still tight. Then I thought about that test target that came with the rifle. It was shot with wadcutters. Was that significant? I also wondered if I should be wearing by reading glasses that let me see the front sight more clearly.  So I put them on and shot a wadcutter

RWS Meisterkugeln

Next up was the RWS Meisterkugeln. I shot from a bag rest and was wearing my reading glasses that let me see the front sight sharply. I did see that sight very clearly, but five Meisters only grouped in 0.765-inches so they are probably not the right pellet for this rifle.

Marksman 70 Meisterkugeln bag
With a bag rest the model 70 put 5 RWS Meisterkugeln in 0.765-inches at 10 meters.

One final test

Remember the Premiers? Now that I was wearing reading glasses and had tight stock screws I decided to give them one final try. Five pellets went into 0.672-inches at 10 meters. But look at the group, because 4 of the five pellets are in 0.303-inches. 

Marksman 70 Premier 3 bag
This time the bag-rested model 70 put five Crosman Premiers in 0.672-inches, with 4 of them in 0.303-inches at 10 meters.

Too much happening

I called this a quick test of accuracy at the start of the report. Too many things were changed and I only shot 5 shot groups today, so there are as many questions remaining as were answered in the test. I kind of think the rifle likes to be rested directly on the sandbag, but there are several other artillery holds that weren’t tried.

The powerplant needs to be looked at before I go any further. It makes too many noises when cocked and there is enough vibration that the stock is hurting my cheek when the rifle fires. I have to get rid of that. I also want to check the condition of the piston seal and the mainspring, plus the fit of the mainspring to its guide. If things really are messed up I may do something different rather than waste time on what’s there.

54 thoughts on “Marksman model 70 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 4”

  1. Oh no, it looks like Tom had a Monday day at the range a few days early…
    I guess it’s time to do exploratory surgery…..

    A quick question I am sure we are all wanting to ask…

    Has anyone heard any rumors about airgun shows, or the Pyramyd AIR Cup for 2021?

    Ian..

      • Thank you.
        That’s good to hear one being held.

        Not that I can drive the 18 hours 1 way to make the show with this short notice.

        But I was hoping malvern or Texas airgun show.

        Maybe next year.

        I hope the events of this last year hasn’t permanently killed some of airgun shows.

        • Not specifically airgun show related, but my observations of the last couple of months. As the lockdown orders have been relaxed and people can start meeting in groups again, gun shows have been very busy. It seems certain categories of guns go very quickly (concealed carry handguns, defense style long guns, etc.) and dealers sell out quickly. I also noticed that some firearm only dealers are starting to include some earlier air guns (Sheridan, Benjamin, Crosman, Daisy, HW, Diana, etc.) in their lineups. And they are getting some attention. At the auctions with guns- as opposed to strictly gun auctions, I’ve attended, there seems to be lots of interest. But come bidding time….. well, a used Ruger LCP will sell for more than retail, but a like new Beeman R10 struggled to get north of one bill. I think as the Baby Boomers age out of the market, that fresh blood is not coming in. I will be interested to see the attendance at Findlay this Saturday.

  2. B.B.,

    Too many variables to make a good decision. Definitely needs some TLC on the inside before you can say anything for sure. Preliminary accuracy is tantalizing though. Maybe the loose screws simulated a floating artillery hold?

    Siraniko

    PS: The Model 70 is marked 72 in the opening caption again. Is there a 72 gremlin around?
    Section One final test 2nd paragraph: “This time the bag-rester (rested) model 70 put five Crosman Premiers in 0.672-inches, with 4 of them in 0.303-inches at 10 meters.”

    • Siraniko,

      The 72 gremlin is me cutting and pasting. But the second error you spotted was worse than that. A second caption had become a paragraph. It’s gone.

      Thanks,

      BB

  3. B.B.,

    I trust your instincts since they’re always spot on. Something seems to be going on in the inside. You’re a better shot than these groups unless this old barrel needs cleaning. JB Bore paste and some silk cloth between the gun and the sandbag comes to mind.

    • Kevin

      I have read that some folks say to use silk or a bag filled with styrofoam packing material. I’ve tried the latter which was inconclusive. Using silk would be easy to do. Have you had good results using it?

      Deck

      • Deck,

        Yes, I’ve had good results, especially with springers, putting a silk or nylon (anything slippery) cloth between the shooting bag and gun. Resting the gun on its balance point usually helps too. Thrift stores sell used silk sheets and pillowcases for next to nothing.

        • Kevin

          Thanks, will give silk a try. Multiple layers should reduce friction. I too find that resting on the balance often works best, but sometimes not.

          Another tip that I have borrowed permanently is curling two fingers around the forend and pulling rifle back into shoulder. The trigger hand only touches the trigger. This is especially helpful with potentially accurate rifles that have lawyer triggers. It is a stable hold.

          Deck

  4. BB, I’m a bit new to airguns, having become reacquainted with them and your blog for just over a year. I appreciate all the information provided by you and the “regulars.” I don’t usually contribute much, but I just read an older post about a tune you did for Michael’s LGV:
    /blog/2021/05/michaels-walther-lgv-part-3/
    I have a new springer that sometimes, not always, sort of “honks” when triggered. Is that what you refer to a a “buzzing” sound? If I wanted to apply TIAT to my springer, what should it look like when I am done? I am not so adventurous as to take my airgun totally apart, but I have removed the action from the stock and can see the spring in the slot with the plastic spring guide in the middle. Do you simply squirter a blob of lube down between the coils on either side of the plastic guide in an attempt to get some lube down to the other side of the cylinder? And then run a thin bead of lube on the parts of the coils that you can see through the guide?
    Do you have to clean away any lube that is already on that spring?
    Thanks for any details that you or other members of this group can provide.

    • Roamin,

      Ask all you want. That’s why we are here.

      Keep the TIAT thin, because the stuff really works. My rig that’s shown in Part 2 of the report you linked to is dandy, but so is the TIAT applicator.

      TIAT works with other greases. Nothing has to be cleaned off if you can’t get to it.

      The buzzing I referred to is felt more than heard. When it’s really bad the rifle stock slaps you in the cheek every time you fire — not pleasant! The honking is different than the buzzing, but if a rifle honks it usually buzzes, too.

      BB

  5. A update on something I got recently.

    I got a new unused Marauder FT action with no stock for a good price. I put my SAM (semi auto Marauder) stock on it. Yep a direct bolt on. Then put a Gen 2 Marauder synthetic stock I had on the SAM. One note about the SAM and FT Marauder. The gauge is located different than the regular Marauders. But what was nice is the Gen 2 synthetic stock is already molded for the 2 different gauge locations. You got to dremel out the second hole in the synthetic stock for the SAM or FT.

    And the FT is regulated like the SAM and they both have the tiny bleed hole drilled in the air resivour tube back by the gauge. Just like Huma says to do on certian regulator setups for the Marauders.

    But here’s the main reason for the comment today. I got the .177 caliber FT with the regulator and Lothar Walther barrel. The gun is absolutely accurate. It will hold 1/2 inch and under groups at 50 yards bench resting. And shot count is like the sam on a 3000 psi fill. Easy 90 usable shots per fill and up at 940 fps with the JSB 10.34’s.

    If your thinking about a Marauder you should strongly think about getting the regulated Lothar Walther barreled FT Marauder. They are more than a regular Marauder but worth the extra cost.

    BB maybe you should review a FT Marauder. I think it will surprise you.

  6. GF1,

    Your mention of the L/W barrel made me remember that their blank barrels are not too expensive. They also come in .177, .20, .22, .25, .30, and .357 calibers. The blank barrels do not need to be modified to work I n my low pressure pellet gun. Maybe a couple are going to be ordered down the road. If my next transfer port idea works I should be able to make one each barrel od along with the barrel guides. It looks like the .177 through the .25 calibers can have the same od. Things to think about.

    Don

  7. Hello all.
    The winner of the “Grab the grips” draw is Ridge Runner.
    Well done! ( All attempts to be fair and equitable were undertaken etc etc.)
    I would like to thank all those who entered. Lets see if I/we can find some more free stuff to put in another “Grab the …” lottery. I guess !? : – ) Robert.
    PS. RR you will need to post your E m@ i l so I can contact you about getting your prize to you. AnD you could post a before and after pic of the lucky lady at RRHFWA that gets to put on the new wood work. !!!

  8. BB and all,
    Some rapid fire 5m Off Hand shooting for kicks ( “Rapid” fire, in this case, is essentially working has fast as possible to get an accurate volume of fire in as short a time as possible using a break barrel, fiddly little pellets and a poker…). The interesting thing is it shows up my issues etc in my shooting style. 1) I tend to aim down to the right when hitting the bull… no idea how this works. 2) The target has to be uncluttered and fill the entire aperture. My nail box sitting on the wall has shadows which ruin the sight picture. This will be fixed. 3) My right hand grip is the key, if I hold the grip tight, it’s all bad, if I hold it lose, mother goose, then it’s usually pretty good. My left hand holding up the rifle is doing all the work really. The FEG is really light, it’s well behaved when it shoots and the trigger is growing on me, it has a reasonable single stage break and the rifle is shooting pretty fast ( no idea but my ear-O-meters tell it’s fast ). All those washers and the big spring seem to be working out. This rifle is growing on me more after the thousands of pellets through it… I suppose it should really ! What I really need is another Anschutz aperture sight. I am keeping my eyes on the Auctions, the Mossberg is nice but a smaller dioptre would be the bee’s knees. and some nose space…. : – ) Robert.

      • GF1,
        The extra holes throw my sighting off. Every target is clear. I think the fast shooting shows up bad habits etc and forces me to look at the target more. The crazy thing about shooting a springer is you reset for every shot. Every next target is a new shouldering of the rifle. This means I practice set up for every shot. I thinks this is a very good skill to master. Robert.

        • RobertA
          I like practicing like that because to me each shot is it’s own weather I’m pwsting, hunting or plinking. That lets me know how repeatable my point of impact (POI) is to my point of aim (POA).

    • RobertA,

      Those look good to me. Hank has years of building gun stocks for a quick shot and Gunfun does a lot of accurate fast shots. Maybe they will chime in. Then B.B. can straighten us all out. I am just a slow shot taker even when hunting. For me though hitting to the right and low are from not pulling the trigger straight back.

      Don

      • BD,
        My sight picture is always wobbly, but I find that my best shots are when I stop worrying about the wobble and concentrate on lightening up on the grip. When that happens I feel my bullseyes are “magic” like my mind willed the pellet to the target ( using the force..) . It’s weird but it makes sense. At some stage you have to have an automatic response that is totally on point. If you are stressed it’s not going to work out. I think this running bull shooting might be an interesting thing this try out. Oh and this: I told my buddy that I wanted to try out instinctive handgun shooting ( like the wild west etc ) and he slammed me with negative waves. Said that it’s debunked etc etc etc ( he’s a real AR /Glock fan boy….). Well you know what? I reckon he’s wrong. There really is something in instinctive shooting. Ask a tennis player. Do they have red dot sights? Nope. Well anyway, I think the way the human brain works is amazing and that we can shoot from the hip accurately IF we put the time in. This rapid fire with the rifle is amazing when it works, sometimes I am nto even sure I looked at the sights at all. Look through the aperture and fire. Peeps are amazing! OK I will shut up now. Robert.

        • There is definitely a force that can be used to will the bullet to the target. I have experienced it also. Not easy to achieve but it is there.

          I have done quite a bit of instinct shooting with a pistol I use to be ok at it. I still do it with a Red Ryder and cans for targets fun stuff for sure. I think B.B. did a report on instinct shooting.

          Don

    • PS,
      I have actually set up the sear engagement grub screw and it shortens/lightens the trigger pull. However set up is disturbing and not for the faint of heart: if you over do it the gun will auto fire, whenever it feels like it, which is extremely uncool. The way I set it up is thus: I load and charge the rifle, point at a pellet stop, turn the grub screw till the gun fires. This is zero. I then back the screw out half a turn and fire it. Does it feel safe? yes. Turn it in a quarter turn and fire it. Still safe? Yes. Stop fiddling. Is the trigger better? Yes. Continue using and monitoring the situation. If it ever does anything weird, STOP and back the screw out. Rinse and repeat till it’s 99.99% trustworthy. I would suggest that this process is not for a novice or safety challenged individuals, it’s a bit like using a chainsaw etc. I was seriously doubting that the sear engagement would actually be safe to use but with very cautious experimentation I found the sweet spot. Too little sear engagement can let the gun fire by itself moments after you have cocked it, this is very very very bad. Never let go of the barrel when charging. IMHO. I paid $120 fort this rifle, it was over priced but I wanted it! I have actually got my monies worth purely from investigating it and learning, now I am shooting like regularly and really like it. That’s why I have two now! : -) Robert.

    • RobertA
      Oh and forgot (edit option still not working) that’s the front post I use on my hw30 with the Williams rear peep sight. Well I should say now my daughters as of a couple years ago.

      • GF,
        I do like the post with the aperture now, the open sight picture is great. I used to think it was not so good, but then I just shot it out and well, here we are. I may make a globe sight for kicks and see which one I really prefer. At 5m the red 8mm ish dot is perfect. It floats just above the post and I can see where I hit no problem. I really need to practice being consistent, to get in the correct state to fire, every time. : – ) Robert.

          • GF1,
            I could swear blind that the post disappears just before I pull the trigger and for one tiny fraction, of very small bit of time, it’s just me and the red dot…. eyeball to eyeball…. absolute concentration.
            aaaannnd then I miss… but not always! There is that satisfaction in “Oh, did I miss the entire target? Nope, it’s plumb right in the darn middle hiding! ” : – ) Robert.

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