The Marksman 2070 Air Rifle – A Beginner-Friendly Springer. Part Two.
Last time we ended our review with a little tease. I suggested that the trigger pull of my new Marksman 2070 air rifle was not exactly to my liking. Time to read the manual…
The Marksman 2070 air rifle was light at 6 1/2 pounds, and cocking was almost effortless. It was going to be a delightful gun to carry in the field. But I was never going to enjoy owning the gun with a trigger pull that was off of the chart.
Before I had shot the first 10 pellets with the Marksman, I became acutely aware of the 2070’s heavy trigger. I put it on the scale and it measured nine pounds. Yes, 9 Lbs!
I continued to shoot, but the ultra heavy trigger made it almost impossible for me to use the Artillery Hold shooting technique. In fact, by the time I had shot less than 100 rounds, the trigger pull increased to 12 pounds. Ouch!
I would have been ready to return the gun were it not for the fact that I was shooting near half-inch, three shot groups at 10 yards while employing a rigid bench rest technique and two fingers to pull the trigger. I knew the gun had potential above its price point if I could solve the trigger pull dilemma.
The Beeman manual was another pleasant surprise. (Beeman owns Marksman). If you are new to spring piston air guns, you’ll want to read this manual cover to cover. Buried on page 12 appeared to be the answer to my trigger pull dilemma. Beeman suggests that their guns with simple triggers will benefit from a light application of Moly. They recommend their Metal-2-Metal paste.
The gun is easy to dismantle. Two phillips screws in the forend, and one bolt in front of the trigger guard. The trigger unit is sealed, and Beeman gives no instructions on how to access the sear for lubrication. So anyone attempting to lubricate their trigger with Moly is left to their own devices.
But before you order Beeman’s Metal 2 Metal paste and attempt to improve the trigger pull on your Marksman 2070 air rifle, you need to consider the following. Internet forum participants have warned that the application of Moly products to their trigger units resulted in an unstable and UNSAFE trigger.
I suspected the 9-12 pound trigger on the gun I purchased was the result of dried/congealed factory lubricant. So, I wiggled a pipe cleaner around inside the trigger mechanism (you can’t take it apart and I strongly suggest you don’t try). This obviously removed the offending material!
In this way, I managed to achieve a trigger pull of under 4 lbs. But I’m not recommending you do this unless you are willing to assume any and all associated safety risks!
As I suggested above, I was pleasantly surprised that the gun was producing acceptable groups at 10 yards using conventional bench rest technique dictated by the heavy trigger.
It’s common knowledge that break barrel, spring piston guns require a special shooting style to achieve acceptable accuracy.
I was cruising the internet recently and I ran across an article by an air rifle marksman of note which piqued my interest. This gentleman had quantified the benefits of the Artillery Hold by comparing the group sizes resulting from using this springer technique with group sizes produced by using conventional bench rest technique.
The former allows the gun to recoil freely upon discharge, while the latter restrains the recoil of the gun with a very secure hold. The groups produced by the traditional Bench Rest style of shooting were over twice the size (Center-to-Center extreme spread) of the groups produced when he employed his Springer Hold (aka Artillery Hold) during the execution of the shot.
Since the Marksman 2070 air rifle had demonstrated an ability to shoot acceptable groups using standard Bench Rest technique, I decided to do a comparison analysis using both shooting styles with various pellets. Below, you see my friend Ron Keller demonstrating his Bench Rest shooting technique.
If you are a beginning shooter and looking for a gun which doesn’t require a tricky springer hold to shoot with reasonable accuracy, you’re going to love my test results!
The test format was of my own creation, so I’ll attempt to explain the the reasoning behind my 12 shot tests. In each test, I average the size of four groups, each group consisting of three shots at 10 yards. My reasoning is as follows…
We all know that 10 shot groups are the accepted standard for assessing the accuracy of an air gun. But there is a caveat that goes with that. The single ten shot group needs to be shot by an “expert Marksman”. An Expert Marksman I am NOT.
When the run-of-the-mill marksman shoots ten consecutive shots, there is a strong likelihood that at least one shot will be executed with less than perfect technique. It only takes one poorly executed shot in a 10 shot group to double the group size, and skew the analysis.
Three shot groups “make the shooter…and the gun look GOOD”.
But beyond that, they AVERAGE out the impact of one or two less than perfect shots by the everyday shooter. Additionally, they are nearly as useful in a comparative analysis as groups with a larger pellet count.
Please bear in mind that Five shot groups will nearly always be larger than three shot groups and ten shot groups will be larger yet. So please accept my three shot group analysis in the spirit in which it is intended.
I’m using three shot groups as a way to compare the performance of my Marksman 2070 air rifle using two distinctly different shooting styles. At the same time this minimizes the impact of a less than perfect marksman (that would be me) on the results.
I chose four pellets to carry out the test. I had recently purchased a tin of H & N’s budget priced Excite “Hammer”, and added premium Field Target Trophy pellets as my second choice from that manufacturer. I also chose two pellets from RWS. Their budget priced Diabolo Basic, and the time-honored Superdome.
Remarkably, all four pellet designs shot groups AVERAGING close to half an inch using two different shooting styles.
My Artillery Hold employs the use a soft blanket roll in place of my open hand at the balance point of the gun. The cheek weld, chest anchor with the butt pad and wrist grip with the trigger hand all are executed with MINIMAL contact and pressure.
So, with the Artillery Hold, the gun is allowed to recoil freely. (For an expert analysis of Springer shooting technique, I refer you to HAM contributor Charlie Portlock’s book titled “How to Shoot Spring Rifles”).
My Bench Rest hold is very traditional, securing the gun firmly (but not a white knuckle grip) at all contact points. The gun recoil is moderately inhibited.
In each case the Bench Rest group averaged slightly smaller than the Artillery Hold group, but I suspect the differences were well within a statistical margin of error.
What my test suggests is this. If you are a novice, and are in the early stages of developing your Springer Shooting Technique, you’ll be able to shoot near half inch, dime size, three shot groups with the Marksman 2070 air rifle using conventional Bench Rest Technique.
And if you shoot the gun using traditional off-hand, kneeling,sitting or prone shooting positions, you won’t sacrifice accuracy. So long as you’ve chosen the right pellet.
My final test was to shoot 10 yard, 5 shot groups, using Bench Rest Technique, using five additional brands of pellets. Ruger Hollow Point and Crosman Destroyer-X pellets won this shoot-out with groups just over 0.6 inch. You probably have favorite 0.177 pellets you’ll want to try in this gun.
So if you’re looking for a beginner-friendly air gun which is light in weight, traditionally styled, easy to cock and a joy to shoot, check out the Marksman 2070 air rifle. It’s for sale at Airgun Depot and Pyramyd Air and many physical sporting goods stores.
As an afterthought, I asked Ron Keller to shoot the Marksman 2070 air rifle at the range after our Monday morning round of Vintage Skeet.
He shot two rounds from his custom bench rest pads at 25 yards. Clustered much like the two-shot groups he had shot from his upstairs window with the Beeman QB78 Deluxe, the two pellets were side by side in the 10X ring.
What can I say? He’s a better shot. But I can still beat him at skeet… so there!