Just a reminder that I will be taking tomorrow/Thursday off, so there won’t be a new blog that day.
Today Ian McKee whose blog name is 45Bravo tells us about the Marksman BB pistol. Before we get to that, I have a confession to make. Ian sent me this report back in June. Or he thought he did. I have no record of that, so in August while we were at the Pyramyd Air Cup he asked me about it and I asked him to send it again. He did and I promptly forgot about it.
What I’m telling you is today’s report has been a long time coming.
If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take it away, Ian
Digging up bones and old memories
The Marksman air pistol, the airgun that will probably live forever
by Ian McKee
This report covers:
- The Blanca and Rio
- Now for BB
Ever since Tom wrote an article a few months ago about moving on or letting go, I have been wanting to thin the herd of many older lower-end airguns that I no longer shoot, nor hang on the wall to display. I was cleaning out a closet last night and found a box with a bunch of old memories.
The first thing I pulled out was my very first NEW airgun, a Daisy 179 that I received Christmas 1973 when I was nine years old. (I also had it taken away that same day and I didn’t get it back until the following Christmas. For some reason it seemed to have lost a lot of its magic over that year. [Editor: Ian — this is a story we all want to hear. Why was your gun taken away? Were you a bad boy?]
So that one was off the list to move.
Next up was a Marksman MPR (Marksman Pistol Repeater) I had picked up in a trade somewhere along the years, and a Marksman 1010 that I had bought at a garage sale as non-functional for $1. I bought it to repair, just to learn about the design.
Also in the box were some old shooting medals, and some awards.
In looking at the pistols, I thought it would be a good idea to write about the history of the Marksman company and test the velocities of some guns that had been in a box for over 20 years.
I was about an hour and half (and several paragraphs) into a brain dump of what I knew about the Marksman history, and was writing about their acquisition by S/R Industries and changes that had been made to the pistols by about 1990-ish when I went to Google a piece of information for clarification, and found a blog Tom had done back in 2006 about the Marksman air pistols.
Hells bells! He had beat me to it a long time ago, (note to self, search the blog first BEFORE I start writing about a subject.) [Editor’s comment: I rewrite stuff all the time. This blog is constantly getting new readers worldwide. Older blogs are fair game, Ian.]
While reading his blog I started wondering if the Marksman is still in production in 2023, 68 years after its introduction.
After a few minutes searching I found that sadly, the gun we grew up with and had a love/hate relationship with is no longer in production in the venerable 1911 platform in the USA as of November 2023.
The good news is the basic design is still being made in 2023, but with an updated outer shell.
Marksman has changed the cosmetics of the pistols over the decades to keep up with ever evolving taste in firearms, the current Marksman Model 1018 now resembles a more modern nondescript semi auto pistol.
Today’s Marksman 1018 is an updated version of the old Marksman BB pistol.
The trigger guard and “thumb safety” looks a little like a Taurus PT99, the grip is slightly reminiscent of a Walther P99, and the entire slide reminds me of a Fabrique Nationale FN57.
But mechanically it is still the same old single cocking action, tilt up barrel design we know and either love or hate, depending on how you feel about the Marksman pistol. [Editor’s comment: I’m fixin’ to soon give everybody a reason to love it again. Sorry, Ian, but apparently you are I are sharing the same brain today!]
I was specific when I said in the USA, because the Marksman 1010 is still alive and well in its traditional form in other parts of the world in 2023.
The Blanca and Rio
The Blanca air pistol is a version of the Marksman 1010, but made in India. The Blanca is marketed in 2 versions, the standard black model that comes in a bright red and yellow cardboard box with the pistol and a tube of steel BBs and a small pack of pellets packaged in a styrofoam insert.
And the Rio version that is packaged in a black box, is more of a presentation model that is dressed in a highly polished chrome finish with black grips, and is presented on a red cloth interior and includes a container of steel BBs and a small tin of pellets.
Blanca and Rio BB pistols.
From my research on the web, it maintains the same specs and level of performance of the Marksman 1010, it is just being marketed to a new and apparently eager audience.
Unfortunately we see many new budget priced spring powered airguns that are sprang (pun intended) on the market every year and most are no longer being made after 2 years.
An airgun that has been in constant production for 68 years, with very few if any significant mechanical changes, says a lot about the design that has stood the test of time.
Love it or hate it, the Marksman pistol design will probably still be in production somewhere in the world in 2055, 100 years after it first hit the market..
Shoot safe, have FUN…
Now for BB
I have a very special report for you on Friday. It’s about a dart gun, which is why I said what I did in Ian’s report about the Marksman pistols. They also shoot darts.
Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers and to everyone, the Lord willing, I will be back Friday.