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Ammo Marksman model 70 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 9

Marksman model 70 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 9

Marksman model 70
Marksman model 70 breakbarrel rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight in
  • Predator Polymag
  • Baracuda Match 5.53mm head
  • RWS Meisterkugeln 
  • H&N Baracuda 18
  • The Baracuda 18
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the Marksman model 70 breakbarrel whose mainspring has now been cut to the point of very little preload.

The test

This will be a quickie, because it isn’t the end goal. I’m simply testing the rifle now because a couple readers asked me to.

I shot the rifle off a sandbag rest at 10 meters. The rifle rested directly on the sandbag, which we discovered in Part 4 is slightly more accurate than using the artillery hold. I shot 5-shot groups and I tested 4 pellets. One of them is brand new and will be part of future tests.

I wore my reading glasses to see the front sight blade sharply. And beyond that I had a good time.

Sight in

Normally there wouldn’t be a sight in for a gun shooting factory sights, but the barrel has been off this rifle since I last tested it. And that apparently made a difference!

I started with Predator Polymag pellets for no good reason. The first shot was an inch high and 1.5-inches to the left of the center of the bull. I adjusted the rear sight down one notch, which was as low as it would go, and also cranked in several clicks of right adjustment. My second shot was in the bull. Good enough!

Predator Polymag

Five Predator Polymag pellets went into a 0.349-inch group at 10 meters. I’ll take it.


Five Predator Polymag pellets went into 0.349-inches at 10 meters.

Baracuda Match 5.53mm head

The next pellet I tested was the H&N Baracuda Match with a 5.53mm head. I adjusted the rear sight several clicks to the right, but it was already set as low as it would go, so that stayed the same. Five shots went into 0.838-inches at 10 meters, with 4 of them in 0.526. This pellet had been the best in the Part 4 test, so something has changed. Also note how low on the bull they hit. This rifle seems to want to shoot wherever it wants to at this time. So I stopped adjusting the rear sight.

Marksman 70 Baracuda group
The Marksman 70 put 5 Baracuda Match into 0.838-inches at 10 meters, with 4 in 0.526-inches.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

RWS Meisterkugeln 

The next pellet I shot was the RWS Meisterkugeln wadcutter. Five of them went into 0.634-inches at 10 meters. It had done slightly worse in the Part 4 test, with five in 0.765-inches

Marksman 70 Meisterkugeln group
Five RWS Meisterkugelns went into this 0.634-inch group at 10 meters. The group looks larger because of paper tearing.

H&N Baracuda 18

The last pellet I tested was the new H&N Baracuda 18. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was eager to find out! To my surprise, five of them made a 0.441-inch group at 10 meters.

Marksman 70 Baracuda 18 group
Five Baracuda 18 domes went into 0.441-inches at 10 meters.

The Baracuda 18

I didn’t know what to expect from this pellet. It’s a dome that’s lighter than the other Baracudas, but it’s still a heavier middleweight. The dome is more rounded and less pointed than the regular Baracudas and has a thinner skirt. They do seem to come in head sizes and the ones I’m testing are 5.52mm.

Baracuda 18 tin
The H&N Baracuda 18 looks similar to the Baracudas we know, but the nose isn’t as pointed and the skirt is thinner.

Baracuda comparison
The Baracuda 18 on the left has a more rounded nose than the Baracuda Match on the right.

Summary

Okay, I tested the rifle and saw no change in accuracy. That was what I expected. Though it is easier to cock and smoother shooting, the barrel has not changed. Hence accuracy remains the same.

I will say that I like how the trigger is adjusted. There is a positive second stage and a crisp release.

Next up will be shimming the mainspring with preload and seeing where that takes us.

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.

59 thoughts on “Marksman model 70 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 9”

  1. B.B.,

    Results so far as expected. It’s easier to shoot when you don’t have to struggle to cock the rifle every time and it doesn’t slap you after you shoot it. Is the trigger the same weight but feels better or did the weight get lighter?

    Siraniko

  2. More good mid-heavy weight .22 pellets to test, Yippy…….
    The 16 grain Air Arms is a heavy as I would go in my 12-13 fpe HW 50’s?
    Maybe I should give these a try too??

    -Y

  3. BB
    Easy to cock, smooth to shoot and accurate so far.
    I like.

    Curious to see where you stop at when you start shimming up and why you decide to stop at that paticular tune. Or if you will go back to the no pre load tune you have right now.

    You need to do at least a 25 yard group or 2 after you get the gun how you want it later on down the road.

  4. BB,

    To quote GF1, “I like.” Now I am wanting to break out my Tomahawk and Dremel tool and see what I can do with it. My first goal will be to see how much spring I can get rid of before I see a power drop.

    My next goal will be to see how much spring can be removed to improve the accuracy. I will probably “follow in the master’s footsteps” and lop it off at a slight preload to see how the power and accuracy is affected, and then add washers to find the optimum length for the spring to achieve the the happy balance for me.

    The Tomahawk also has a muzzle brake / air stripper on it that I am going to replace with the adjustable Hatsan air stripper and a barrel dampener to see how this will affect the accuracy.

    The hardest part will be finding the time to do this AND not jumping in and doing all of the mods at one time without testing each modification for its affect.

    Earlier this week I ordered a tin of those Baracuda 18’s. I am very anxious to see how they do. I am so glad to see you are giving them a run also. If they do well, maybe they will lighten the .177 and .25.

  5. Hi B.B.,

    I was looking forward to the 50 yard Semiautomatic Marauder Report. Would you also be able to include some pictures of your shooting setup, like the rifle rest, shooting table and seat, etc.? If you included the setup for 10 meters, 25 yards, and other distances you typically test at, as well, that would make a great report for not-so-experienced readers like me.

    Thanks,
    AP

    • Mister AP,

      I really do need to get to the 50-yard range for a number of tests, including that one. Every time I attempt to go, something comes up.

      I will try to remember what you asked, but I already showed that in another report on the TexasSS.

      /blog/2018/02/the-texanss-part-3/

      and here

      /blog/2020/08/airforce-texan-part-1/

      and here

      /blog/2011/03/the-art-of-collecting-airguns-part-8/

      BB

  6. B.B.
    I cut off some of the mainspring in my clangy, high-powered Cometa Fenix and ground the cut end flat and did not heat and collapse the last coil, per Gunfun1’s suggestion. There is about 1/4″ of preload on the spring, to keep it from flopping around in the tube. When I cocked the gun with the shortened spring, it was much easier to cock. No cocking force measurements were taken because I have a digital bathroom scale. An analog scale is better because the force is always changing through the cocking stroke. It’s just “way easier” to cock. The trigger pull weight became much lighter due to the drop in spring pressure on the sear, which is fine by me! It’s still pretty loud, mechanically, but the works are pretty dry of lubrication. The shot cycle is calmer and but POI shifted upward by about 3″, perhaps due to barrel harmonics, as Ridgerunner suggested. The POI shifted so high I had to add height to the front sight with JB Weld epoxy because I couldn’t flatten my face any further against the buttstock! Accuracy is still good. I like shooting this gun best with open sights.
    The pellet velocity dropped significantly, from the low 890fps/21fp to about 704fps/13fp.
    The extreme spread in two sets of 5 shots was 10.5 and 9.5fps. These measurements were taken with a clean, dry system. I’ll see how things change with some TIAT on the spring. I expect a small reduction in sound.
    After I added a bit of TIAT, and let it work itself in, the clang went away and the gun sounds more like a “thumper,” though the rifle still lunges forward as the piston stops. I like it better! I’ve only shot it in my basement at 10 yards so far. We’ll see how it does at 25 yards in the yard! The chrony I expect will show a sub-700fps velocity, but that’s for another day.
    An interesting by product of a near zero spring preload is that when I tapped the buttstock to the floor, the piston bounces and you can hear it. That is new. I’m glad I did this experiment and I’m likely to shoot the rifle more as a result of having done it.
    Will

    • Will S.

      That is awesome! With all of the companies trying to sell us the uber magnums, we miss out on the pleasures of shooting a sproinger in this power range. The Brits have been hunting small game at under 12 FPE for a long time.

      It is nice to learn someone else likes to use open sights. Some of these old gals here at RRHFWA have some of the nicest open sights I have looked through. They are so much better than those squared off, blocky sights that are popular these days. We will not even discuss the glowy thingys.

      As for it lunging forward, this is partly caused by a heavy piston, which helps a sproinger shoot the heavier pellets better. You can lighten the piston and will likely reduce the lunging, but may lose the use of the heavy pellets. If you shoot different sproingers a lot, you can tell by the vibration and / or sound whether the mass of the pellet is right for a particular airgun.

      If you err on the light side you can feel the piston slamming into the end of the chamber because the pellet has started moving before the air is fully compressed. If you err on the heavy side you will feel the piston bounce, a double forward lunge, as the piston bounces back from the compressed air before the pellet starts moving.

      I am sure that if you want to engineer out, you can find a bunch of mathamatitical stuff that will explain all this, assuming this kind of stuff excites you. Me, I just like to shoot.

    • Will
      Try some white lithium grease on the spring and see what happens. You can even put some on the cylinder wall before you put the piston and spring back in. That’s what I use when I tune a springer.

  7. BB, It’s nice to only need thumb pressure to get the end cap unloaded and drift pin out.
    Gas rams don’t buzz, I like that feature, but why are they all so powerfull?
    I figured out where on the piston to put the buttons now at least; I lost 100 fps w/my bushing.
    Even the slightest friction will slow it down.
    Looking forward to more on this, I hope you can get it dead calm,
    Rob

    • Rob,

      Gas springs (gas rams, gas pistons) are NOT all powerful. I convinced Ed Schultz at Crosman to make one that is lower powered and I have shot it and tested it for you guys. It is WONDERFUl! But the truth is — if you tell somebody that a .177 breakbarrel shoots at less than 700 f.p.s., they WILL NOT BUY IT!

      Maybe I need to review mine again for you? I have tried for three years to sell it at airgun shows and once people see the velocity — NO SIR!

      BB

      • I noticed the new Barracuda looked like a Crosman pellet to me at first by the look of the skirt too. The .177 version is similar looking. I will get more for sure.
        For Crosman, their pellet ammo has been a sucessful area, right, How about some more high quality , bulk brown box style ammo, and offer something to the high performance shooters. No profit/ market there either?

      • I think we as a community need to come up with a scheme to ensure the viability of certain airguns that just NEED to exist. I’m not sure which gas ram you are referring to BB, but it got me thinking about the AV Bronco, the UTG fixed 6x scopes, and other gear that didn’t survive the market and left a hole behind then when they went. Imagine if the Crosman 2240 or the Daisy 499 didn’t quite sell enough for the marketing team one quarter and just went away. There are lots of folks on this blog that have seen BB give out a rare “World Beater” review to a product that checks all of our boxes but disappears before there is enough money in the shoebox to buy one (see SIG ASP20) and then becomes a ghost. A ghost unicorn.
        I’ve had my eye on an Umarex Synergis since they came out because it checks all of OUR boxes- power, multishot, shrouded and silencer-ready, underlever, accurate, inexpensive, etc, etc. It is a world beater per the pro reviewers, but also has magazine and feed issues. Customer reviews show folks love them and were sad to have to send them back, would buy them again, and want these guns. I haven’t bought one because I want the Synergis 2.0. But how do we get 2.0 if the 1st model doesn’t sell because of a bad magazine design? Do I need to buy 1.0 to assure the existence of 2.0?
        The AV Bronco was a gun that should exist. I didn’t buy one when they came out because I was a new airgunner and bursting with ignorance. But I would have eventually, and then would have bought 3 to give to my son, and nephews. How many 2240s will you buy in your lifetime? Right? Right.

        Whatsay BB gets a limited # of new World Beater stamps and 500 of us commit to buying the things- like a Kickstarter campaign of a sort- so that the stuff we know we will all eventually buy don’t become legends that never were? I’m not talking $2k guns. But imagine if the Gauntlet or the Bug Buster scopes had had lukewarm rollouts? Simply didn’t take off, disappeared before we even realized what we had? Banish the though! The Insanity!
        I think we need a scheme to game this system a bit.

        • ProfSteelToe,

          I wear Steel Toe Flight Boots from time to time…try not to kick myself!
          I bought two of the SIG SSGASP20, one in .177 wooden stock and one in .22 with the synthetic stock. Both have the ASP WHISKEY 3 scopes. The .22 has the flush cups that work perfectly with the TAB Gear BIATHLON Sling for hunting. I must admit that I kept putting off buying the ASP because I wanted an adjustable cheek piece and perhaps an adjustable butt for LOP and cast on/off etc. But those never came and for some reason social media never agreed with B.B. and many other (knowledgeable) writers about how good the ASP airguns are. One particular Influencer was often quoted about it being a perfect airgun for firearm shooters… Pure BS but it stuck. SIG made some mistakes in marketing but it seems they had enough market in firearms and replica airguns that they could write off the money spent building the dream AIRGUNERS Break Barrel of the century! I laugh everytime I shoot mine at the ignorance and penny pinching that failed to make the market viable for the ASP Series that should have been. I’m sad I didn’t buy them until the bitter end but i have NO concerns now that I own two guns that i suspect may become cult guns in the not so distant future. Interestingly I only bought Break Barrels for my two children before the ASP; i was a CO2, Single/Multi Pump, and PCP shooter from the start of my return to airguns as an adult in the 1980’s. My take was they had too many designed in problems.
          You are correct! We can’t allow marketing and bean counter types keep killing off some of the classics at will.
          I hope more of the readers buy int the idea of finding a way to get it done.

          shootski

          shootski

        • PST,

          Quick remark on the 2240. It is not likely to go away because it has a humongous customer base. It can be easily modified into about anything you could want. Also, TCFKAC has built quite a lineup of airguns based on the 2240. It also has parts that are common with the Maximus, Marauder Pistol, Fortitude, etc.

          As for the lower powered airguns. They are out there. The problem is it costs a company as much to build one of these as it does to build an uber magnum. Since most people think they want uber magnums, which are they going to build?

          I myself bemoan the loss of the adjustable gas sproing. A couple of innovative companies used to make them, but some customers kept charging them up too high trying to make them into uber magnums they would cause issues and they mostly went away. There is some renewed interest in these and I hope one day to be able to get my hands on a top shelf air rifle utilizing these.

          Rugged low powered scopes? I adore them, most especially for sproingers. when you have an effective range of 25 yards, how much scope do you need? I have a 3-9 and 3-12 Bugbusters and a 2-7 Hawke. I also have a couple of Compact Swats. These are my go to scopes for sproingers. I would really like to get my hands on a 4X and 6X Bugbuster. I am also considering one of these for my sproingers.

          https://leapers.com/index.php?act=prod_detail&midx=2287&allids=2266_2287&itemno=OP3-G1563CRWQ

          This is another one I have been thinking about, but I am not too crazy about the reticle.

          https://leapers.com/index.php?act=prod_detail&itemno=SCP-T4IETDQ&midx=2280&allids=2274_2266_2280

          Once upon a time the Discovery was a big seller. Now it is gone. The Maximus took its place and now it is special order. They all have their time and then they fade into the past. This is why there is a RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns.

          • RR

            The UTG Prismatic you referred to has a fixed parallax at 100 yards. Would that go well with a springer? I also wonder what the reticle looks like.

            Really good advice about scope magnification for spring guns. I have too many 16 and 20 power scopes because like velocity more is better right? At my maximum distance of 25 yards I usually turn them down to half power or less unless light conditions are very bright. They do well as spotting scopes so good for something I guess.

            Thanks
            Deck

          • RR-
            I’m with you on the staying power of the 2240. It’s the 10/22 of airguns, without a doubt.
            What I was thinking about was more along the lines of, If they give us what we want and we don’t buy ’em, we have shot ourselves in the foot.
            My first adult airgun was a 1st version Benjamin Trail in .22 with a 4x scope. Medium power, capable gun. The airgun bug bit me. What did I buy next? An NPXL in .25 and a Nikon 8x24x50 scope because I guess I thought I was ready to drop water buffalo from the back of a Land Rover safari.

            “Old too soon, smart too late,” always applies here. New airgunners will always do the same things. Part of the learning curve.

            What I am thinking is that some responsibility falls on us who have perhaps progressed to the other side of this perfectly inevitable kind of stupid to step up and make sure the good stuff sticks around.

            Consider the Gauntlet. If I’m not mistaken this is the QB78 that Steven Archer and a 5000 other garage engineers have been building in lesser form for years, piece by expensive aftermarket piece. It is absolutely what we wanted. The Gauntlet will survive. The ASP20 didn’t.

            There aren’t company founders at the wheel anymore who will inject their own money into a product that just needs a little more time for the world to recognize it for the brilliant thing it is. But there are enough of us who have already bought the Tazer5000s and ruined $500 scopes with $100 guns, etc., to help out when we see a great product. We are already doing it.

            If we put a little thought to it we can make sure the good stuff sticks around long enough for the new airgunners to get them when they have worked out all the stupid as we have. Hopefully have. Well, working on it anyway.

        • “…the UTG fixed 6x scopes…”
          ProfSteelToe,
          You nailed it here! I absolutely LOVE my UTG fixed 6X scope! Make that scopes. When I heard they weren’t making them anymore, I got online and found one on a shelf at a place that sells mostly AR15 gear, so I snapped it up. Originally, I had it as a spare, in case my current UTG died; but since it’s on a 7 fpe HW30S, that is extremely unlikely to happen.
          However, since I retired early (6 months ago, due to massive amounts of Covid at my workplace), I have now joined the ranks of the “officially poor,” and my wife has me on a tight budget. Yet, with the lack of .22 rimfire ammo, I was able to convince my wife that I needed another .22 air rifle in the 15 fpe range (for varmints, when I run out of .22LR ammo), and that an XS25S at $130 from Flying Dragon would fit my budget…I also cracked open the piggy bank and came up with the extra $100 to get it fully tuned (Mike Melick does a nice job, and good work on the trigger). Hence, my “extra” UTG fixed 6X is now at home on the .22 caliber XS25S, and it works just as well on that rifle as on the HW30S (also .22 caliber). The only difference is the HW30S shoots 13.43 grain pellets at 485 fps, and the XS25S shoots H&N Field Target Trophy 14.66 grain pellets at 680 fps, so at 40 yards with the HW30S, I have to use the second mil dot to be on target, but the XS25S only requires the use of the first mil dot to be on target at that range.
          Yet on both rifles, I LOVE these scopes…enough so that I called the manufacturer to voice that opinion. However, I was told that they just weren’t selling well enough, and that’s why the fixed 6X was dropped…a crying shame, in my opinion.
          Take care,
          dave

          • TDM-
            Yeah, those UTG 6x scopes are a perfect example of a thing that needs to exist. A rock solid 4x or 6x scope in my opinion is the ONLY scope for a hunting/posting springer, and a diagnostic tool when you have a gun that just isn’t shooting right. Pellets not going where they are supposed to? Put a fixed 4x on it and you have removed 100 variables (sticktion, adjustable power and POI, field of view, etc. I ruined a nice Nikon 8x32x50 back in my Early Stupids with an NPXL .25 that I was convinced was a cursed gun that wouldn’t ever hit the broad side of a barn unless I threw the whole gun at it. Until I put a fixed power 4x UTG on it and did the work to find the hold, the pellet, the range, and the limitations of that gun.

  8. Speaking of Baracuda 18 pellets, looked in PA site but not available at this time. Nada, nothing, zilch. “Well FM, keep on looking.” No complaints, fortunately have enough missiles to keep on targeting and pesting at this time. As suggested by one of our fraternity a few months ago when supplies of everything were really tight, have picked up whatever was to be had whenever FM spotted it.

  9. FM brings up a very good point. Even pellets are getting hard to get out hands on. I personally think it is the toilet paper syndrome. You guys do not need to be buying cases of these pellets that will take you twenty years to shoot up. Leave some for us guys.

    • RidgeRunner,
      Are you telling me that I didn’t need to buy those 175 tins of JSB pellets?!?!? Just kiddin’, man! =)~
      I always do the “buy 3, get one free” thing at PA.
      Personally, I think that’s one of the best things they’ve ever done.
      Take care & good shootin’ to ya,
      dave

    • I may be guilty here. After seeing the evaporation of firearms ammo, I made a decision to really stock up on pellets. I went pretty heavy on .177 and .22 Crosman Premier HPs in the tins. I find them hard to beat from a price/accuracy standpoint for my plinking needs.

      The Findlay airgun show was pretty thin on .20 pellets. With five or six guns in that caliber, and seeing the lack of availability, I put a bunch on backorder with PA. Looks like that was the right move–that was June. Projected delivery is September, so….

    • Shootski

      I have manually adjusted the objective lens on non AO scopes farther or nearer to remove parallax. I did not know it would be parallax free at longer distances without having to move those lens again. Or maybe I’m not understanding.

      Thanks,
      Deck

      • Deck,

        Bad choice of wording on my part.
        When you set a fixed power scope’s Parallax at a distance, say 50 yards, the focal plane (of the Reticle, aka crosshairs) and the target plane are identical at that one distance ONLY, closer and the deviation of planes is more (obvious) the closer you get. The situation beyond the focal length you chose to be Parallax (perfectly) free creates an ever decreasing shift out to infinity; a simple case of optical geometry. So yes in absolute terms the fixed power scope will have only one point that is free of Parallax but from a practical stand point for hunting if the target is beyond that chosen set distance.
        Sorry for causing confusion with an imprecise statement…i will work on minding my P’s & Q’s better from here on out!

        Sloppy,

        shootski

        PS: spell checker seems to want plain when it is plainly a PLANE I am talking about! I also inserted a few clarifications for Newbs.

  10. Deck
    I hate that the new blog doesn’t have a place to respond only after a few comments.

    If you turn your magnification down to like 5 and under and have a 100 yards parallax scope it will work at most airgun distances we shoot. 50 and under.

    • GF1

      Good to know. I don’t remember ever buying a scope designed for airguns that were set for 100 yards. Maybe the package deal scopes I’ve had that were non AO were set that way and I didn’t know it.

      Thanks,
      Deck

      • Deck
        Some of the UTG 3-9 magnification scopes I use have a 100 yard fixed parallax. No problem from about 12 yards and out at 4-5 magnification. They got the TF2+ turrets that are real nice too. You just lift and click then set back down. You can also set the turret at zero once you get your scope sighted in. I will occasionally do a couple clicks of windage on windy days when I shoot. Then I click back to zero and I’m back to my normal sight in.

  11. BB, 42 yds seems allot more difficult than 32yds with a Springergis. Really miss the Rekord trigger now. I dont think buttons are worth the effort for this gun. Luckily, the TIAT works great! I think the Synergis in .22 would be a good squirrel hunter. When I take the 16x scope off and put a PRS red dot on, it becomes much lighter and very accurate out to about 32 yds or so. So I have metal targets set up for more of an action style challenge for this rifle. I think the magazines are the best plastic style on the market. Trying to make longer range groups with the Synergis is a tall order with me driving. I have a better chance with the R10.
    Rob

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