by B.B. Pelletier
Photos and testing by Earl “Mac” McDonald
Mac’s Marksman model 60 is really a special version of an HW77.
There’s been a lot of interest in this rifle since we started the report. As you now know, a Marksman model 60 is a rebadged HW77 underlever air rifle, and the Marksman model 61 is the HW77K carbine. We learned in Part 2 that this rifle is a 12 foot-pound gun, but several readers who own Marksman underlevers have said theirs are all full-power guns. Perhaps, it had to do with when the guns were shipped, but I really don’t know.
Today, Mac’s testing the rifle’s accuracy with a Bushnell Sportview 4x scope that came mounted on it. The scope has parallax adjustment. Mac shot for accuracy outdoors off a rest at 30 yards.
Mac tried several variations of the artillery hold with little difference noted. He finally settled on resting the rifle on the flat palm of his off hand with his index finger touching the rear of the cocking slot, just for repeatability.
He’s amazed that after sitting for no less than 10 years without being fired (the former owner was ill), the gun shot like it was brand new. He thought it might be dry; so when he tested velocity he shot it as it was, then added two drops of chamber oil. Nothing changed except that some oil appeared at the seam of the receiver tube where the end cap screws in. So, the gun wasn’t under-oiled when he got it.
The rifle was fired off a bench rest and held with the artillery hold. The range was 30 yards, and the targets were 10-meter bulls.
The first pellet he tried was the 8.4-grain JSB Exact dome. He called one flier in the group of 10 which he did not include in his group measurement of 0.85″.
Next, he went up to the 10.2-grain JSB Exact dome. A similar shape, though both longer and heavier than the 8.4, it usually gives different performance in a rifle. In this case, he got the same overall group size, but notice the difference in the shape of the group.
Then, Mac tried his favorite RWS Superdome pellets. The 0.71-inch 10-shot group was the smallest of the test, but Mac notes that it seems to be two groups in close alignment. Without the two shots that opened up the group, the size would have been 0.42 inches. Mac says he could feel a difference in the firing behavior when those two pellets were fired, so perhaps some sorting before shooting is warranted.
Next, Mac tried RWS Hobby pellets. As you can see, they didn’t do very well in this rifle. Ten gave a group size of 1.49″. Thirty yards is pushing the limit for wadcutter pellet accuracy and the lightweight Hobby is going to be more affected by that than a heavier wadcutter.
Mac also tried Crosman Premiers. First, the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier pellet. These are usually the right pellets for quality spring guns of this power range. They grouped good but not the best.
Finally, he tried the 10.5-grain Crosman Premier heavy dome pellet. This 10.5-grain pellet is too heavy for a spring rifle of this power range, and the results bore that out. The group measured 1.49 inches, which is just as large as the Hobby group.
So, there you have it. Mac proved his Marksman model 60 is every bit an HW77 rifle. He doesn’t want to leave it here, so we’ll return with Part 4, in which he mounts Weihrauch target sights and reshoots the same test with the accurate pellets from this test.