The surprising Ruger Talon

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ruger .177 Talon 007I mentioned a while back that I had been shooting some inexpensive – sub-$200, Tier One – air rifles, and today I’d like to share some of my experience with another one of these highly affordable air rifles, the Ruger Talon.

The Ruger Talon came to me through the good folks at Umarex USA. It stretches just under 45 inches from end to end and weighs 8 lbs. 6 oz. with the included scope mounted. The Talon is interesting to look at. The entire rifle is black, with four very small exceptions: the front and rear fiber optic sights and two red circles with the Ruger emblem on either side of the buttstock.

The butt pad slants into the butt stock at an angle.

The butt pad slants into the butt stock at an angle.

At the extreme aft end of the buttstock is a soft rubber butt pad. This soft rubber section extends into the buttstock on a diagonal which is unusual but pleasing to the eye. The rest of the ambidextrous stock is made of matte black finished polymer. Underneath the comb of the stock are three horizontal slots. I suppose it might be possible to store some survival supplies in those slots – firestarter perhaps – and then cover the slots to contain the supplies.

Ruger .177 Talon 006

Forward of that, the pistol grip slants at a modest angle and has checkering for improved grip. Moving forward again, the stock material forms a trigger guard that surrounds a black metal trigger. Just forward of that, there is checking on either side of the forestock. Ahead of that, you’ll find some decorative slots on either side of the forestock and a long slot underneath the forestock that provides clearance for the cocking linkage.

The five-chamber SilencAir helps to reduce the down-range report.

The five-chamber SilencAir helps to reduce the down-range report.

Beyond the forestock is the .177 caliber barrel, which is nearly 19 inches long. At the end of the barrel is the SilencAir noise dampening system that reduces down-range muzzle report. The five-chamber SilencAir also serves as a mount for the front red fiber optic sight. Moving back along the barrel, you’ll find a micro-adjustable green fiber optic rear sight mounted on top of breech block.

Moving back again along the receiver, a custom metal Picatinny mounting rail is fitted to the top of the receiver and provides secure mounting for the scope. (An aside: I am pretty much a fan of Picatinny scope mounting systems. It provides a very straightforward way of mounting a scope and heavy duty protection against the scope moving under the whiplash recoil of a spring-piston or gas-piston powerplant.) At the aft end of the receiver is a push-pull safety as found on many RWS airguns. The scope that comes with the Ruger Talon is a 4 x 32 with a non-adjustable objective.

To ready the Talon for shooting, grab the muzzle end of the barrel and pull it down and back until it latches. This requires about 30 lbs. of effort. Slide a pellet into the breech and return the barrel to its original position. Now, here’s where the surprise comes in: when I was cocking the Talon, I could hear no spring noise whatsoever. In my experience, it is highly unusual for sub-$200 spring-piston air rifles to be this quiet during the cocking stroke.

Take aim, ease the first stage out of the trigger (this required 1 lb. 13.3 oz. of effort on the sample I tested), and squeeze a bit more. At 4 lbs. 1 oz., the shot goes down range, again with no noticeable twang or spring vibration.

Ruger .177 Talon 007

I was so surprised at this that I called Umarex USA and asked if maybe they were building the Ruger Talon as a gas-ram and hadn’t told anyone. No, they assured me; it really is a spring-piston powerplant, but they have been taking a bit of extra care in their quality control and manufacturing tolerances.

The Ruger Talon sample that I tested launched 7.9 grain Crosman Premier pellets at a sizzling 928 fps average for 15.11 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

I suspect that the four-power non-adjustable objective scope was the limiting factor in my accuracy testing.

I suspect that the four-power non-adjustable objective scope was the limiting factor in my accuracy testing.

I was able to achieve quarter-sized 5-shot groups at 20 yards with Barracuda Green .177 pellets, and I did nearly as well with JSBs. I suspect – but can’t prove – that the limiting factor here was the four-power non-adjustable objective scope. With a non-AO scope, if you don’t put your head in exactly the same spot behind the scope for every single shot, you can get point of impact deviations. This is an air rifle that I think would be improved with the addition of a higher power adjustable objective scope. Note well: the view through the 4x scope was crisp and clear and light years ahead of the terrible scope that was included with the Hatsan 95.

In the end, I liked the Ruger Talon. It’s pleasant to shoot and delivers good value for the price.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

5 Comments

  1. steve says:

    Would this be a good choice for chicken coop security? I live in a suburban neighborhood. I’m looking for some just for skunks, raccoons, and possums….maybe use it to give a fox or coyote second thoughts…

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Steve,

      At close range with careful shot placement, I think the Talon would do the job on most of the animals you mention, although a .22 would likely be a better choice on the bigger animals. For coyotes, .22 caliber or .25. Since I don’t do much hunting, it would be good to ask your question of my fellow blogger here at http://www.airgunsofarizona.com, Jim Chapman, here: http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/hunting/ In addition, it is always a good idea to study the anatomy of these animals so that you know where to put the shot. Depending on the range that you need to shoot at, a Benjamin 392 with a peep sight might be a good choice. They offer variable power and are easier to shoot well than a springer. The downside is that, at full power, they tend to be noisier than a typical springer.

      Here is one of Jim’s blogs that is relevant to your question: http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/hunting/2014/04/springer-hunting/

  2. scott says:

    So, I’ve owned the talon for almost a year and at first I wasn’t happy! Although powerful, and we’ll balanced, the breech seal was so flat it wasn’t even flush with the breech surface. So losing power from the start. It was really oily and sounded like a powder burner for a while. The scope has bad issues with parralax. I had a beeman 3x9x32. Put that on and just when I’m driving tacks at 60′ it shoots high right way high right! Finally figured out the stock screws were all loose and would come loose after about 20 shots. The hinge screws also came loose. So I had to remove the long stock screw by the trigger. Once out I noticed it was stripped right in the middle of the screw! I notified umarex and they wanted to sell me the screw and or ing for the breech. It’s under warranty still and the causes were their fault and they wanted make me pay for them! Not expensive but not the point! Now after using thread tape on the screws, replacing and customizing the long stock screw to fit right, it’s become a real good squirrel executer! The gun really likes crossman premier 7.9 grn hp. Took several squirrels at 70yrds. Shots all went through! Still had some make it back to the hole after a good shot so, I have moved to a heavier grn pellet, the cross prem. 10.5grn and the benjamin discovery 10.5grn hp. The talon seems to like these too. Also the trigger is wierd, spongy out of the box and in consistant after adjusting. Can’t feel the first stage sometimes! Other times it’s really obvious. Takes a while to get used to the strong double recoil. Especially from the bench. Finding a technique and repeating it is crucial to getting good groups. Because of the issues I had at first I’m hesitant on buying the umarex octaine .22, I really love my talon now. I’ve put atleast 3000 shots through it now and love shooting it. I’m unsure because of the poor quality control, and bad customer service and policies. My other option is the Benji murader in .25 ! I’m so unsure I’m leaning towards spending 3x as much for a rifle that does what I want!. One last note, the talon is very backyard friendly. I live in the city, neighbors very close. Although not silent, it’s not recognizable as a air rifle. Unless it’s oily or your using ultra light pellets and breaking the sound barrier!

  3. Kerry Sturm says:

    I bought a ruger 1050 air rifle serial #00370028 Im looking for the red emplems on the butt stock the box had been open and someone took the emplems off if anyone can help me find two red emplems that would great it looks good with the emplems .

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Kerry,

      I suggest your contact the good folks at http://www.umarexusa.com to see if they can help you.

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