Ruger Yukon

Ruger Air Rifle and Accessories

Ruger Logo

One of the leaders in Air Rifle products, Ruger was founded in 1949 and has since grown to be one of the major firearm producers in the world. Publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange since 1969, Ruger has a long history of producing high quality products for a variety of different fields. Generally producing firearms which offer much more power than a pellet gun, they produce everything from bolt-action, semi-automatic, shotgun, single shot rifles and everything in between including single and double action revolvers.

A proven company, Ruger has lead the firearm industry with 15.3 million firearms produced with a period between 1986-2011. Featuring rigorous quality checks, you know you’re getting a field tested and proven air rifle when you purchase a Ruger pellet gun. Plus, because of Ruger’s scale, they are able to offer some pretty spectacular prices which makes it difficult for other companies to compete with.

Below, we take a closer look at a few of the top Ruger air rifles and take them out in to the field ourselves to help you determine which is the best Ruger pellet gun for you.

Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle

One of the better value air rifles on the market, you can find this .177 caliber for under $90 on sale quite often. Firing pellets up to 1000 FPS it also packs a punch which makes it a fantastic plinking and target practice air rifle. A classic spring piston, break-barrel pellet gun, it fires a single-shot at a time as is standard with this type of Pellet gun. The balance of the Blackhawk is fantastic and with an all-weather composite stock, it won’t let you down no matter the conditions.

We took the Ruger Black Air Rifle through a break-in period of over 300 shots before we began field testing. One of the first things to keep in mind is that during the break in period, is to have some tools to keep everything tight. The screws might get a little loose during the initial break-in period and it’s good to have it tightened up.

The scope it comes with isn’t particularly awesome but of course you always have the options to switch it out with something a little higher end. You can’t expect to get a high-quality air rifle AND scope for $90 can you? Once we had the Ruger air rifle honed in, we were really impressed with it’s consistent accuracy. From 10, 15 and even 25 meters, we were hitting targets repeatedly with in the diameter of less than an inch.

I really like the Ruger Blackhawk for recreational target shooters and first-time shooters who are looking to get into the sport. The break-barrel does require some strength but I think any kid over the age of 10 should be able to manage. For other great air rifles under $200, read our buying guide here!

Ruger Yukon Air Rifle (Gas Piston)

A little bit of a higher-end model compared to the Ruger Blackhawk, the Yukon comes in two different models including the .177 and the .22 caliber. A beautiful looking air rifle, I have always favored the wood stock compared to the composite despite the composite in some conditions holding up a little bit better. The gun measures a pretty standard 44.85 inches and has a healthy weight which feels well balanced. Only requiring around 30lbs of cocking effort, this particular Ruger Pellet Gun is great for younger shooters as well as experienced shooters.

The real difference in the Yukon model is the Reaxis gas piston. This spring of the gas piston is something that looks similar to that of a shock on a car. When the barrel is broken, the gas piston compresses and becomes locked in place. When the trigger is pulled, the gas piston fires forward, shoveling the air that occupies the receiver behind the pellet and down the barrel. Gas piston systems can sometimes shoot at higher velocities compared to spring loaded air rifles and are also known to sometimes have improved accuracy although this is not necessarily always the case.

The Reaxis gas piston when paired with the Ruger SilencAir technology really makes the Yukon one of my air rifles of choice. Obviously, one of the most commonly asked questions about an air rifle is just how loud it is. Well the good news with the Yukon is that despite it’s power, a 5-chamber dampener that is actually permanently affixed to the muzzle of the rifle provides a very calm firing experience.

We did our field testing with the .22 caliber air rifle which almost made our list for the best air rifles for hunting and we were really impressed with the accuracy. Probably a little bit tighter compared to the Blackhawk, it also seemed to be a little bit tighter in its quality as the whole rifle seemed to stay tight throughout the 300 shot break-in period.

The scope is still junk for the most part but can easily be replaced if you require it. My final thoughts are that this is a great value rifle despite the increase in price compared to the Blackhawk. If you value a little bit more power and are possibly considering hunting some smaller game; go with the Yukon.

Ruger Explorer Youth Rifle

I wanted to include this particular youth rifle as I really like it for youngsters who are first-time shooters. I began shooting when I was quite young, and I have fond memories of plinking with my father all those years ago. The Ruger Explorer is extreme value priced but still has some great qualities to it. Featuring an all-weather black composite stock, the pellet gun can take a beating and still keep on trucking.

This Ruger air rifle has an overall shorter length than most standard air rifles at 37.125” and shoots at a maximum velocity of 495 FPS which is the perfect velocity and actually reminds me of the old Slavia I used to fire when I was a kid. Up to about 40 feet, the Explorer can still plink with the best of them although beyond that, issues with drop off will start to arise.

If you are giving this to a youngster as his first pellet gun, make sure to explain that something like the Explorer is NEVER to be used on animals. Although it might be tempting, it is inhumane to shoot any animal with a low-velocity pellet gun like the Explorer and will only cause a slow and painful death for an animal struck.

This is a break-barrel single shot rifle although the cocking effort is much less than standard rifles due to the size difference and design which is made for youth. Read our buying guide for youth air rifles here.


Hi! I'm Dave - an air rifle enthusiast and a bit of a geek to be honest. When I'm not out at the range or on a hunting trip, I enjoy writing about different air rifle products and accessories.