Ruger Yukon – a Quiet, Powerful Gas Ram

The Ruger Yukon is one of the more feature-oriented and budget-friendly gas-piston air rifles, but is definitely up against some very stiff competition in its price class. Consequently, if you are considering this as your first “gas-ram,” you will want to pay close attention to this model’s strengths and weaknesses before deciding if its the right air rifle for you.

Ruger Yukon Gas Piston Air Rifle Review>>Check Price, User Ratings & Availability!<<

 

The Ruger Yukon – What We Like

Great Power

With reported velocities using lead of 1050 and 850 FPS for the .177 and .22 caliber versions, respectively, this is a powerful gas ram. In fact, based on these velocities and assuming standard weight lead pellets, we estimate that this rifle produces approximately 20 foot-pounds of energy (“FPE”) in the .177 and 22 FPE in the .22. This makes the Yukon as powerful – if not a bit more powerful than most other popular gas-piston and spring rifles under the $200 mark. Given this power, you should therefore have little trouble using the Yukon for small game hunting or eliminating pests around the home or business. We suggest you opt for the harder-hitting .22 caliber version in such case.

Relatively Quiet Shooting

Many people want an air rifle that don’t wake up the neighbors and can be used in relatively urban settings without causing needless disturbance. The good news is that the Yukon’s rifled steel barrel, which is fitted with Ruger’s SilencAIR integral silencer, makes it a pretty quiet air rifle, comparatively speaking. This quiet report is definitely one characteristic that is routinely praised by users. As such, this is a very good choice for backyard plinking, target shooting or hunting/pest elimination.

Fantastic Trigger

Finding an air rife for less than $200 that comes with a good trigger is actually quite challenging, and even very expensive rifles are often plagued by awkward, heavy triggers that draw numerous complaints. That is why we were so pleased to learn that the Yukon was fitted with a very crisp, light two-stage adjustable trigger that is rated at just 3.3 pounds of pull. A predictable, light trigger like the Yukon’s really does help you maintain a good hold and facilitates repeatable accuracy – a very big perk in our book.

Decent Scope on the Combo

Aside from trigger complaints, most people are very unhappy with combo scopes included with more affordable air rifles. Yet again, however, the Yukon delivers better than expected quality. Now don’t misunderstand – the 3-9×32 scope (which comes with a duplex reticle and 35-yard parallax setting) is not one we’d recommend to buy separately of course, but hey, it’s definitely workable and considerably better than most we see on air rifle combos under $200. The picatinny optics rail is also good. Overall, this is a capable scope if shooting within around 30 yards or so.

We should add that if you are into open-sight shooting, you will like the fiber-optic front sights – you may even prefer them over the scope!

Solid Build and Great Fit & Finish

This is a beautiful air rifle that comes with a rich wood ambidextrous stock adorned with detailed checkering along the trigger grip and under the barrel. It has a rubber butt/recoil pad. In addition, the rifle has that “quality” feel that is evident in the heft of the model when first picked up. Overall, we have to applaud Ruger for using such a bold, attractive design on the Yukon!

Moderate Cocking Effort

If you’ve only used underpowered and inexpensive pump/spring guns, you may find the Yukon a bit challenging to cock. However, relative to the very impressive muzzle energy this rifle produces, we think the 30 pounds (rated) cocking effort is actually quite modest. Try cocking a powerful metal-spring rifle! Nevertheless, we suspect that younger/female users are likely to struggle with it, particularly during the initial break-in period.

Good All-Around Value

When you consider this rifle’s quiet report, above-average power, impressive build-quality, light trigger, and the usable scope on the combo, its current price tag of roughly $180 shipped is very good in our view. This is definitely a lot of rifle for your money, and would make a great first gas-ram for users interested in giving them a try.

Things We Don’t Like

Too Heavy?

This is actually a minor issue, since we tend to like heavier rifles. But, the 9.0 pound weight coupled with the rifle’s overall nearly 45-inch length could be a bit much for some users. In particular, we could see some people getting tired of carrying and holding this rifle for a long day of shooting.

Scope Insufficient for Distance Shooting

Unless you upgrade to a better scope, the model included with the combo will largely limit your shooting (if you care about accuracy) to within about 30 yards. Beyond that, your shots may start wandering and/or you could have some issues trying to keep it zeroed in. Of course, this may not be problem for you… and we happen to think that most shooters should limit their shooting to within 30 yards anyway – especially if small game hunting and one-shot humane kills are desired. But just keep in mind that this is an optics issue; the Yukon has plenty of FPE to keep even the .22 version shooting relatively flat, so the rifle has the capacity for delivering tight groups at 50 yards. Of course, as we always say, make sure you are using quality air rifle pellets, since even the most expensive scope cannot overcome a cheap/poorly-matched pellet.

Quality Control

We’ve heard some reports of users having triggers that won’t adjust, parts falling out, or faulty mounts or other hardware issues. This happens to varying degrees with just about any rifle, but be sure to inspect your rifle carefully upon receipt, and make sure to tighten any screws (particularly around the trigger and scope mounts) that appear loose before shooting.

Buy the Ruger Yukon Gas Piston Air Rifle at the lowest price!

>>Buy the Ruger Yukon at the Lowest Price!<<

Concluding Thoughts & Recommendations

We can’t say that the Ruger Yukon is necessarily better than other sub-$200 gas-piston air rifles, such as the Benjamin Titan or Crosman Nitro Venom, for example. However, it does have its virtues and is an unusually solid offering for the price. In particular, we think its quiet report, impressive muzzle energy and surprisingly good trigger make it an outstanding backyard rifle that is perfect for close-range hunting and pest elimination, right out of the box. Just remember that if you really want to tap into this rifle’s longer-range shooting capability, give it good pellets and an upgraded scope for maximum impact!

 

 

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