Pellet guns are becoming a popular alternative to more traditional firearms due to a number of reasons. Specifically, they are often quieter, easier to use, cheaper, and even more accurate at shorter distances.
In addition, pellet guns utilize a much lower pressure when discharging the pellet then traditional firearms. Thus, they are considered less dangerous because the pellet is not fired as fast. Yet, pellet guns are still considered powerful weapons, and they are often used for pest control as well as target shooting.
In this article, we offer a comprehensive review of 3 of the most popular Pellet Guns from Ruger, which is a firearm manufacturing company that was founded in the mid-20th century. We will discuss the pros and cons of their products before comparing them to products from their competitors.
Ruger Targis Pellet Gun
- Designed with the outdoorsman in mind and was made for getting out in the woods; Features an ergonomic all-weather stock
- Stock features checkered rubber inserts for a sure grip in hot or cold, wet or dry; Fitted with a comfortable rubber...
- Features the Umarex exclusive integral Nucleus Rail Platform engineered to reduce scope movement and vibration,...
The Ruger Targis pellet gun is considered ideal for small-game hunting and target shooting, as it offers a high-velocity, high-impact system.
What’s unique about this gun is that it features Ruger’s notable SilencAir Noise Dampening System. Essentially, this is a 5-chamber piece of technology that is installed in the barrel of the gun that allows the pellet to push air out as it is discharged. This minimizes the sound stemming from the muzzle as the pellet is discharged.
This Noise Dampening System is a significant feature that makes this Ruger pellet gun ideal for practicing in your backyard or at a range. Many inferior pellet guns on the market do not feature this patented technology, and thus they are extremely loud when fired. This not only makes them annoying to neighbors but also less effective when hunting pests around your yard.
Many pests, like mice, squirrels, and rabbits are extremely sensitive to sound. Thus, Ruger’s pellet gun is extremely efficient at hunting these kinds of animals.
At $140, this Ruger pellet gun is also extremely affordable and even features a 4-32X scope that can magnify the target you are aiming at. This makes it extremely accurate when hunting small animals, and many customers have noted that it is perfect for killing squirrels.
Cons of the Ruger Targis Pellet Gun
Some customers have noted that this Ruger pellet gun takes some breaking in. Many have noted that it is hard to cock for the first few months, but that this difficulty dissolves after prolonged usage.
Other customers have noted that this is a relatively heavy gun when it comes to pellet guns, and that the weight limited their mobility when hunting small game. This is particularly important considering how crucial it is for hunter to feel light when moving around.
Even a small amount of discomfort can impact their focus and precision, affecting the accuracy of their shot.
Additionally, some customers have noted that this Ruger pellet gun is not that powerful, as they fired at various squirrel and birds in their yard but did not kill any of them. Thus, if you are looking for a deadlier pellet gun, Ruger’s Targis pellet gun might not be ideal for you.
Alternatively, if you are looking for something to practice with and finetune your skills, then Ruger’s Targis pellet gun might be the perfect fit.
Ruger Yukon Pellet Gun
Ruger’s Yukon pellet gun is a break-barrel rifle that includes the same SilencAIr Noise Dampening System as the Targis.
Yet, many customers note that this system still results in a relatively loud shot when compared with some of the quietest guns of the market. Thus, while the system certainly minimizes sound, it is now where near the effectiveness of a silencer.
What’s really unique about this gun is its aesthetics, as it features a sleek wood finish that allows it to camouflage with forest settings. Many customers have noted that this Ruger pellet gun is one of the most beautiful in the company’s arsenal and that it’s a shame to even dirty it in rugged environments when hunting.
One drawback to this gun is the trigger mechanism, which many customers have reported as unreliable and not durable. Some customers have noted that they had to purchase a new trigger after several months of usage while other customers noted that the trigger was faulty out of the box.
While it’s difficult to determine how much this is related to packaging errors or human error, it’s still a factor to consider before investing in this Ruger pellet gun.
Ruger’s Yukon pellet gun is so aesthetically attractive that it might even serve as a display piece in your house if you were particularly fascinated with guns. Many customers have commented that they hang the Yukon on their wall in case they need to use it, but they prefer to keep it there more as a piece of art than a weapon.
Ruger Explorer Youth Pellet Gun
- Designed for youth with a shorter overall length (37.125"), lighter frame (4.45 lbs) and an added safety system
- Spring powered break barrel action
- Durable all-weather ambidextrous synthetic stock with a rubber recoil pad for comfort
The Ruger Explorer Youth pellet gun is designed specifically for children who are interested in a single-stroke break-barrel air rifle.
What’s unique about this gun is not only its smaller size but its ambidextrous thumbhole stock, which means it can be utilized by someone who is either right-handed or left-handed. This is an important distinction, as many children have not yet developed a dominant hand, which is a function of later brain development.
Yet, recent research has shown that the connection between hand dominance and brain development is a two-way street. In particular, brain development can be influenced by which hand becomes dominant.
Thus, forcing a child to develop a dominant hand through the purchase of a less dynamic pellet gun might actually influence their brain development. The safest approach is to simply buy an ambidextrous weapon that gives them more control over which hand becomes dominant. The Ruger Explorer pellet gun offers this possibility.
Many customers have noted that this pellet gun offers plenty of power despite being designed for a child. Specifically, it can fire a .177 pellet at 495 feet per second (FPS). Both the Yukon and the Targis max out at a little over 1000 FPS, which means that the Explorer pellet gun from Ruger is almost half as powerful as those intended for adult usage.
Perfect for a Beginner
In addition, this pellet gun from Ruger offers fiber optic sights, which facilitates accuracy and precision when shooting. This is especially important for building the confidence of beginner shooters, who are often just getting a hang of how to fire a firearm.
Guidance and support during the initial stages of learning a skill can often make or break an athlete. Thus, it’s great that Ruger’s Explorer pellet gun is easy to use, as a more difficult gun could demoralize a child and prevent him from mastering the sport of shooting.
The Explorer Youth pellet gun is also very affordable, costing only $75. This would make it a great birthday gift paired with a pack of pellets and several targets.
Many customers have commented that 3-foot length is a bit overwhelming for some children. Ideally, most customers recommend this pellet gun for kids in their early teens, as it’s a relatively larger gun that can be difficult for smaller children to manage.
What is the Reputation of Ruger?
Ruger is known as a reliable company that provides an affordable, durable range of firearms. While their pistols, revolvers, and rifles are more popular than their pellet guns, they have made considerable strides in recent years in the pellet gun industry.
Most importantly, many customers note how seamless their customer service is. In particular, some customers have reported receiving faulty equipment. Yet, Ruger’s customer service swiftly handled the complaints and shipped out a new item within a week. This is a significant feature, especially when purchasing a pellet gun for the first time.
Ruger’s primary demographic with their pellet guns is beginner shooters who are on a budget. This does not mean that their guns are not powerful or accurate, only that they are not loaded with every feature available. Thus, they are considered very easy to use and ideal for someone without much shooting experience.
This affordability in combination with flawless customer service translates to a positive experience. Many company’s offer entry level products for a much higher price, which is a risky investment since it sometimes takes several purchases to determine a shooter’s preferences.
How Does Ruger’s Pellet Guns Compare to Competitor’s Products?
In this section, we will compare Ruger’s pellet guns to some popular offerings from competitors.
Gamo Big Cat Pellet Gun
The Gamo Big Cat pellet gun costs the same as many of the Ruger’s pellet guns, specifically about $160. Yet, it can shoot at 1400 FPS, which is a significant upgrade.
The main drawback to this pellet gun is that the scope that it comes with is ineffective. Many customers have claimed that the gun itself is powerful and accurate, but only when paired with a more expensive scope. Thus, in reality, the retail price of the Big Cat does not reflect the total investment required to maximize its performance.
While many of Ruger’s pellet guns are not perfect either, customers speak highly of their scopes, claiming that they are sufficient for many activities and that it’s usually not necessary to purchase additional scopes. In this sense, Ruger’s pellet guns are more affordable than the Big Cat from Gamo.
Crosman Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle
At only $44, the Crosman Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle is the most affordable gun on this list as well as the lightest. Specifically, it only weighs 3.5 pounds, which makes it extremely mobile.
Yet, it has a firing velocity of only 625 FPS, which is considerably slower than the firing velocity of Ruger’s pellet guns.
Thus, this pellet gun from Crosman would be ideal for entry level shooters on a budget who want something extremely portable.
Yet, many shooting experts claim that a heavier body is sometimes more ideal, as the weight of the gun can help stabilize the shooters grip, making the shots more accurate. This is especially the case when you mount the gun, as a lighter gun might be more prone to moving around while aiming. Thus, Ruger’s pellet guns might still be more ideal despite their heavier weight.
Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock Pellet Air Rifle
The Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock pellet gun costs about $500 for the .177 caliber version. It features a similar velocity to most of Ruger’s pellet guns, specifically about 1100 FPS.
Yet, it is also considered a much more versatile gun, which is reflected in its price. In particular, a laser scope or a red dot sight can be attached later if necessary, and the gun already comes with a dovetail mount.
The main drawback to this gun is its price. Thus, if you were more interested in cost and did not care about the ability to add various sights, then Ruger’s pellet guns would be more worthwhile.
Our Final Thoughts on Ruger’s Pellet Guns
We think Ruger’s pellet guns are reliable and durable, but definitely not the best on the market. They are ideal for shooters on a budget who want a gun that is going to perform well.
We think Ruger’s Explorer pellet gun geared for children is a particularly good deal considering its firing velocity and price. Additionally, this gun has gotten rave reviews for its ease of use, so would be perfect for a child just getting into shooting.
We think that the market for pellet guns is only going to flourish in the future as customers crave smaller, cheaper, more portable weapons for hunting small-game. This is particularly important as farming becomes more localized, as many farmers will want to protect their crops from animals like squirrels, foxes, rabbits, and deer.
While Ruger’s pellet guns might not kill larger animals, they will certainly scare them away and protect your crops.
Ultimately, we think that any movement towards purchasing non-lethal weapons is a good thing, especially considering how often accidents occur when operating a firearm.
If a less dangerous gun can fulfill your needs, then there is truly no need to invest in a more expensive, higher-velocity gun. Thus, we think Ruger is well-positioned to experience much success in the future.