Welcome back to our ongoing examination of the Marksman 1010 air pistol. In Part 1 and Part 2, we explored its operational mechanisms and discussed its unique features. Today, we will shift our focus to the performance of this enduring air pistol downrange. Please note that while I will be using the Marksman 2000 for this evaluation, its similarities with the 1010 allow us to draw relevant conclusions.
Let’s begin by discussing the trigger. Precision target shooting requires a trigger that is both responsive and reliable. Unfortunately, the single-stage trigger on the Marksman 2000 falls short, breaking at a weight of approximately 10 lbs. This heavy trigger pull may be forgiving for beginners and younger shooters, as it prevents accidental discharges caused by resting a finger on the trigger. However, experienced marksmen will find it quite challenging to use. To truly understand how the trigger feels, you must cock the gun, as once cocked, it cannot be uncocked and must be fired. Comparatively, the trigger on my older model 1010 is slightly lighter and considerably smoother. Perhaps there is a break-in period required for optimal performance.
Sights: A Mixed Bag
Moving on to the sights, the old Marksman 1010 features rudimentary sight notches which, unfortunately, do not offer the precision required by serious shooters. In contrast, my older 1010 model boasts a sharp rear sight, though the notch and front blade are both quite thin. The Marksman 2000 attempts to address this issue by introducing an improved Patridge front sight. However, a U-shaped rear sight was substituted, which does not complement the square front sight. While the 2000’s silver finish makes the black front sight easily visible under ideal lighting conditions, it tends to blur and become indistinct in low light.
Marksman 2000 rear sight is a groove. Silver color makes sighting difficult unless the light is perfect.
Front sight on the Marksman 2000 is this modified Patridge post atop a ramp.
Now, let’s address the all-important aspect of accuracy. Testing the Marksman 2000 with RWS Hobbys from a distance of 15 feet, the results were disappointing. Out of five pellets, only two managed to hit the 5″ square target paper. To make matters worse, one shot completely missed the three feet square safety backer board placed behind the pellet/BB trap, leading me to halt the session. Unfortunately, accuracy with lead pellets, specifically the Hobbys used here, is abysmal.
Next, I decided to test the pistol with BBs. Loading a slew of Daisy BBs into the magazine, I attempted to hit the target from 10 feet away. However, I struggled to remain on paper at this distance. Moving closer to six feet, I was able to achieve a 3″ group as my best result. For a pistol shooter with a national ranking (NRA Sharpshooter in 10-meter pistol), this performance is far from satisfactory.
Switching to Marksman darts, the results were better, with a group of approximately 4″ for five shots from a distance of 10 feet. If you were using a traditional dartboard as your target, this air pistol could provide a fun shooting experience. Although luck would be a factor, skill would also contribute to your final score.
The black dot was the aim point, and this was the best group of five darts shot from 10 feet. Target was just a cardboard box.
Gamo Raptors to the Rescue
As an afterthought, I decided to test the Marksman 2000 with Gamo Raptors. Despite being a smoothbore pistol, the hard zinc material of these pellets should not significantly impact their accuracy. Surprisingly, the Gamo Raptors outperformed other ammunition types, demonstrating superior velocity and accuracy in my test gun.
Gamo Raptors were the real surprise, out-grouping other pellets and BBs in the Marksman 2000, as this group from 10 feet shows. Only four holes appear, but two pellets passed through one of them. The aim point was three inches low and two inches to the right.
Before we conclude our evaluation, let’s discuss penetration. A reader mentioned that their 1010 failed to penetrate a cardboard box, although they did not specify the ammunition used. During my testing, I observed that BBs managed to penetrate a fairly sturdy cardboard box, whereas Hobby pellets simply bounced off. However, Gamo Raptors effortlessly pierced through the box, highlighting their superior penetrating power.
In this comprehensive examination and test, we’ve gained valuable insights into the Marksman 1010 air pistol. Although initially considered a lost cause, it has proven itself to be a dependable plinking airgun rather than a precision target shooter. No matter how carefully you handle and maintain it, achieving exceptional accuracy is a challenge. However, Gamo Raptor pellets have demonstrated the best combination of velocity and accuracy in my tests. Armed with this information, you can now make an informed decision about whether this air pistol suits your needs.
Published by B.B. Pelletier