Ruger Airhawk Range Test

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OldRugerMan

Blackhawk
Joined
May 26, 2003
Messages
758
Location
Idaho USA
This is the first range test of my new Ruger Airhawk Elite. I spent three days at a great camp near Silver Creek north of Crouch. This gave me time to ATV scout for deer and elk (saw none) but lots of bear sign.

005.jpg


I set up my target a 25 yards along with the bench rest, sandbags,etc. Also, this was the perfect opportunity to test my new CED chronograph with the Infrared screens.

Group 1 The gun seemed to shoot best when cold and it has a definate preference for Beeman 7.8 grain H&N Match wadcutter pellets. The first group was the first 5 shots of the session, the best group of the day. Velocities as follows:
1. 788
2. error
3. 784
4. error
5. 778

008.jpg


Group 2 The second "group" was shot with Benjamin 7.9 grain pointed Copperheads. Very dismal accuracy.
1. error
2. 795
3. 771
4. 799
5. 797

009.jpg



Group3 This was the beeman H&N pellets again after shooting 10 rounds in rapid succession. Accuracy falls off and got "fliers".
1. 788
2. 782
3. 755
4. error
5. 784

010.jpg


Group 4 Decided to try seating the pells into the rifling. Not successful at all. Poor accuracy and slower velocity.
1. 637
2. 688
3. 702
4. 677
5. 681

011.jpg


Group 5 Back to Beeman H&N pells. This is about as good as it can shoot.
No velocities taken. This group was shot the evening before from a cold gun.

012.jpg


Conclusion: The old addage that "you get what you pay for" is hard at work here. The fit and finish is good and the Ruger Eagle looks cool. The rifle cost $184 at Cabelas. It shoots 1 3/4" groups at 25 yards, including the fliers. If you want one hole groups I guess you need to spend $300-400 dollars. I was disappointed in the accuracy but really surprised that it didn't live up to its advertised velocity of 1000 fps. High vel was 799. Should I return the gun or just live with it?

ps. The CED chronograph with Infrared screens worked great. The errors in the data are the result of the sun shining on my screens as it filtered through the trees, something they said could affect the readings.
 

Boxhead

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 28, 2004
Messages
965
Location
Either Texas or Idaho
That is disappointing. At $180+ I would expect much better. Not sure how familiar you are with shooting the sprung, barrel or side cocker airguns but you must really hold the rifle firmly, against shoulder and at the forend much like shooting a big bore rifle to get groups that the rifle is capable of. It makes a big difference on my RWS's. I did not pay much more for my RWS M34 and it is very accurate when shot correctly. My 2 cents.
 

OldRugerMan

Blackhawk
Joined
May 26, 2003
Messages
758
Location
Idaho USA
Good advice. I'll try a firmer grip next time. I held the gun firmly against my shoulder with the forarm resting on the sandbag throughout the session. I adjusted the trigger for a lighter pull before shooting and it worked very well (except for the creep). I expected better accuracy too.
 

welldoya

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 31, 2007
Messages
193
Location
Florida, USA
I've got a Gamo that I paid around $150 for and I get similar groups. I was pretty disappointed but maybe I was expecting too much. I will try holding it tighter against my shoulder and see what happens.
 

OldRugerMan

Blackhawk
Joined
May 26, 2003
Messages
758
Location
Idaho USA
Thanks for the input. : I was thinking of taking the Ruger back and getting a Gamo but I guess there's no point in that. Like I said, I guess you have to spend $300-400 to get one hole groups. I hope I haven't discouraged anyone from getting a Ruger. They are cheap entertainment!
 

CODAVE

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 4, 2008
Messages
4
Location
Colorado
I have a cheap chinese air rifle I picked up as a group buy, out of 10 about half of them were OK the rest were weak and inaccurate mine being
the latter. Not ready to write it off I took to cleaning it the barrel took some time but 10 years later it still lives in the camper as fine minute of
pop can plinker. So even air rifles can foul a bore.
 

welldoya

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 31, 2007
Messages
193
Location
Florida, USA
It's funny how we can't hit a thing with a $150 - $200, 1000 fps pellet rifle . When I was a boy in the 60s I carried a Daisy Model 25 (one pump) BB gun everywhere I went on my grandfather's 3 acres. My job was to keep the blue jays out of the fig and plum trees. I almost never missed with that $10 gun and it just lobbed the BB out of the barrel, probably around 300 fps, if that.
I don't know how it would do on paper, but it could sure hit a can or a bird with no problem.
 

b1buddy

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 25, 2008
Messages
182
Location
Brownsboro, Texas
I have one of the Ruger Airhawks also. I bought it new and only shot 7 rounds through it. The first 3 rounds made a significant crack sound to it. the following 3 rounds it just sounded like a 'normal' air rifle. I thought about it and the next morning I shot one more. It still just made a regular air rifle sound. Something changed.

Did you notice a similar change in yours?
Buddy
 

OldRugerMan

Blackhawk
Joined
May 26, 2003
Messages
758
Location
Idaho USA
No, mine didn't change. I bought it new, set it up and all rounds fired have been through the chronograph. It hasn't achieved its advertised velocity of 1000 fps.
 

OldRugerMan

Blackhawk
Joined
May 26, 2003
Messages
758
Location
Idaho USA
No, mine didn't change. I bought it new, set it up and all rounds fired have been through the chronograph. It hasn't achieved its advertised velocity of 1000 fps and it has more spring release noise than air rifle crack sound.

I grew up shooting Sheridan 20cal air rifles and they have quite a crack to them and will reach 565-600 fps and are quite accurate. I have over a dozen of them now so I'll try one at the range next time and do a comparison test. As welldoya said, never had any trouble hitting birds with one in the old days! :)
 

Alan in GA

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
327
spring piston rifles tend to diesel the first shot or so. This is excess grease or oil COMBUSTING as a diesel engine does. It ignites the hot compressed air mass at the shot. It is not good for a rifle but many spring piston rifles will do this if the factory gets any lubricant in front of the piston seal. Some say to shoot heavy pellets the first few shots. The explosion of the air mass can drive the piston BACK strongly and compress the mainspring, sometimes even cracking it if the dieseling is violent enough.
Usually no harm is done to an air rifle shooting normally in the 700 fps range. Some of the higher performing air rifles can get damaged by first shots with dieseling [burnt or blown piston seal, cracked mainspring, etc.]
I tinker with a LOT of airguns. I was very disappointed that RUGER chose such a low quality air rifle to carry the RUGER name.
I use air rifles in my job, nuisance animal control. I find the Beeman R9 hard to beat as the best HIGH quality air rifle for the money.
 

b1buddy

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 25, 2008
Messages
182
Location
Brownsboro, Texas
If I am highjacking this thread, say so and I will start a new one, but I think I am on topic.
I neglected to mention that when I shot mine, the first shot buried the pellet at least 1/2" into a 1X6 treated fence board. I was impressed. So, off to zero the scope and as I said before, the next two shots made the sharp cracking sound. After these, I have not set up the chrono but I am sure it not much, if any, faster than my old Winchester break open 22 cal. air rifle.
If that is all it gets, I think I am not going to keep it. I wanted it because it is Ruger, but I also want to shoot it at something close to 1000 fps.
Buddy
 

slick rick

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Messages
9
Location
So Cal
Randy, I have to agree with you on one point I thought it was cool that Ruger made an airgun or at least put their name on one, However, I have to agree with Alan in GA, I have a Beeman R9 with a Venom Kit installed and it will shoot one ragged hole all day long at 940+ fps albeit at a price of $419.00 for the rifle and another $140.00 for the Venom Kit, I've had mine for over 5 yrs. now without a single problem, I also had a couple of RWS rifles too that would shoot sub 1/2 inch groups they are still in the $250.00 range look into a model 34 (800+ fps) 239.99 at BassPro.com or model 36 (850+ fps) 299.99 map price the sidecocking lever is a model 52 (900+ fps) and will set you back at least $400.00, anyway good luck and oh yeah dump the Airhawk!
oh yeah don't bother with any airgun made in china and don't bother with any made in Spain either, the Spanish ones always seem to have tighter breaches than necessary which slows down the reloading process, the German/English ones are the only ones worth owning in my opinion, they are usually the High End models which can cost well over $1,000.00 I have never seen any spanish model reach that price because they cannot match the German/English quality or craftsmanship. The Beeman R9 is actually mfd by a co. called Weirauch one of the High End English brands is Webley, Beeman imports them both.
sorry if I got carried away

Rick
 

mcknight77

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Messages
658
Location
Helena, MT
Randy, even if you decide to keep it, you ought to call Ruger and direct them to this post. If the rifles as a group are not performing as advertised, they need to know it. JMHO.

Jim
 

mcknight77

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Messages
658
Location
Helena, MT
DonD, there are times and places where it would be inappropriate or unsafe to shoot a centerfire rifle, but it is both safe and entertaining to shoot a pellet rifle. Good practice in the off-season in the backyard, for example. Teaching kids to shoot is another.

YMMV
 

Ruger # 1

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 4, 2004
Messages
16
Location
At the Range
For higher velocity try some RWS Pistol pellets, there lighter weight so you should get higher velocity, may even give you better accuracy.
Ruger # 1 Guy
 

mattsbox99

Hunter
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
3,391
Location
Montana 'Merica
I was thinking of getting one for my Nephew as he will turn 10 in January, but now I am going to go a different route. I want the gun to be accurate, no point in learning to shoot with an inaccurate gun.
 

dougader

Hunter
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Messages
3,108
Location
OryGun
You know, my brothers and I used to use 7-UP cans for targets. That red dot on the can was our bullseye. I don't think we fired at 25 yards, more like 10-15 yards, but we hit that red dot almost all the time... and this was with a cheap Crossman pump-up pellet gun.
 

rugerlovah

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
196
i have a beeman r7. at 25 yds its going to shoot much better groups than that w/ basically any pellet. i don't remember how much i paid for it, but it was definitely pricey. very nice little rifle, though.

i was taught that when shooting a spring-powered air rifle you shouldn't hold it tightly, but instead without putting tension on it in any direction (to the extent that is possible). you allow the gun to recoil freely and follow through with it the same way each time. its the follow through that will give you tight groups, as the pellet stays in the barrel such a (comparatively) long time.

here are some pics i took back when i 1st got mine. having one of the r-series beemans is like having a nice rimfire or centerfire rifle:

r7targit.jpg


headshot2.jpg


i went on a little bit of rampage when i 1st got it and we had a blackbird nuisance in the back yard.

btw, mine dieseled for awhile too. there would actually be smoke in the barrel from the burned grease. it all burns out after some shooting.
 
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