The first thing you notice about the Ruger Yukon is the elegant lines of the wooden stock combined with the blued steel receiver. It reminds you of a fine firearm prior to the proliferation of synthetic stocks. The wood is a stained straight-grained beech with pressed checkering and a unique black rubber buttpad that has a triangular section wrapping around the toe of the stock. Incorporated into each side of this triangular area is a medallion with the familiar red Ruger rising phoenix logo.
The Yukon comes with a 5 inch long picatinny rail mounted for scope attachment and a 3-9x32mm variable scope, rings and lens covers come with the rifle. A hex wrench is included with the scope rings which also fits the stock screws so you can keep those snugged up for the best accuracy potential of the rifle. For those who prefer standard sights, the Yukon is equipped with a fixed ramp front sight with a 1 ½ inch long red fiber optic rod as part of the SilencAir suppressor permanently attached to the muzzle. The rear micrometer adjustable square notch sight is equipped with green fiber optic rods which offer a nice contrast when lining up a shot. If you want the option to use both, you will have to obtain some see-through rings as the provided rings are the low mount variety.
Available in .177 and .22, the Yukon has an 18.7 inch barrel, weighs 9.0 pounds and is slightly over 44 ½ inches long. It is touted as providing 850fps velocities with lead pellets based on the use of the Reaxis Gas Piston Power System developed by Umarex. The Reaxis is said to give higher, more consistent velocities with less vibration and less recoil. This translates to more power and higher accuracy. In order to realize that higher accuracy potential, the shooter needs to use the “Artillery Hold”. For those unfamiliar with springers and the Artillery Hold it basically means you cannot have a death grip on the forearm when shooting. Just the opposite is true and it is recommended to use an open palm or resting on knuckles under the forearm. This is because springers have a dual recoil impulse – the piston slamming forward to compress the air behind the pellet and the rearward movement as the pellet leaves the barrel. Cocking effort is rated at 30 pounds and the shooter should refrain from grabbing the SilencAir /front sight when cocking the rifle to avoid damaging the unit. Also, there is no anti “bear trap” mechanism so it is recommended to keep a firm grip on the barrel while loading a pellet into the breech.
The Yukon comes with a black metal two-stage trigger adjustable for length of first stage travel and has a ribbed face. Trigger pull is factory set at 3.3 pounds. The safety sets automatically upon cocking the barrel. A black metal safety lever with serrated edges resides directly in front of the trigger making it easy to place the rifle in safe or fire mode. It does take a bit of getting used to because it works backward from most in that the safety lever must be pulled toward the trigger to disengage the safety. The only real disappointment, and it is minor, is that the trigger guard is made from polymer. On this quality of a gun I would like to have seen a blued metal trigger guard, but I also understand the realities of keeping costs under control so that they can be passed to the consumer. The trigger guard did have some sharp flashing along several edges, but that is easily taken care of with a sharp blade or fine jeweler’s file.
Umarex recommends the use of RWS pellets in the Yukon, which Airguns of Arizona carries in stock. The Owner’s Manual cautions against using felt cleaning pellets or loose patches when cleaning the barrel as they could become lodged inside one of the five chambers making up the SilencAir suppressor and cause damage. This package is available from www.airgunsofarizona.com for $179.95 and a one year limited warranty is provided with the Yukon.
So, OK, it’s all elegant and nice to look at and all that, but how does it shoot? I tend to be a rather wordy individual and am sorry to say I’ve used up my allotted space and will save that discussion until next time. If you have questions in the meantime, please reach out to the knowledgeable folks at Airguns of Arizona or post a reply. (Follow this link to be taken to the second installment: http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2017/03/umarexs-ruger-yukon-part-deux.html)