1961 Bally Marksman

Description: Marksman, Bally, 5/61, shoots hard solid plastic 11/16" balls using a "blower" vacum system, hitting individual targets that move back and forth and that fold back when hit (the targets are essentially metal pinball drop targets). The game is timed (operator selectable for 40 or 50)

Bally had a very similar (if not the same) game introduced just 4 months earlier called Sharp Shooter (1/61). The differences between Sharpshooter and Marksman are the moving Squirrels versus Crows (respectively). Also Sharpshooter had drop-target like rabbits, where Marksman's rabbits were motorized and moved in a semi-circular pattern. Bally's Marksman is very similar game to the other projectile gun games like the Midway Shooting Gallery (9/60), Deluxe Shooting Gallery (3/61) and White Lighting (9/70).

The power behind the gun is generated by a shop vac type system. The "suck" on the shop vac sucks the balls from the back of the game, and brings them to a loading mechanism under the shop vac guts. Then the "blow" on the shop vac propels the balls through the gun. It works pretty well really. The only catch is the shop vac and all the associated tubing needs to be clean, and with tight fittings (to avoid leaks). Also the inside of the game needs to be kept sparkling clean (otherwise the shop vac will suck all the dirt into the ball tubing, and slow the balls). Note it's not the "suck" portion of the shop vac that propels the ball. So leaks in the ball feed tubing, and around the black cardboard shell, and around the black cardboard shell feed to the copper tubing really doesn't matter (there just needs to be enough "suck" get feed the balls). It's the shop vac's exhaust, the "blow", which pushes the balls. And the only tubing here is the flexible tube from the copper to the gun. Note the ball feed tubing seems to be the same semi-rigid tubing as used in underground lawn sprinkler systems.

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