Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle Review

Ruger Blackhawk Combo air rifleThe Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle is another one of the interesting air rifles from the renowned gun maker Ruger. This air rifle is packed with power and features you will enjoy, but there are a couple items you should look at closely before making your final decision. As you would expect with any gun from Ruger, the Blackhawk is well-built and highly accurate. If you are looking for an air gun with great power and accuracy from a company who stands behind their products, then you need to check out all the features of the Blackhawk.


Ruger Blackhawk Combo Air Rifle Main Features


  • Power
  • Dual Sighting Options
  • Single Stroke Pumping Action
  • Durable and Comfortable Stock
  • Accurate Shooting
  • Safety Considerations


Power for Pests, Targets, and Fun


The Ruger Blackhawk Combo air rifle is not a kid’s toy. This is a serious weapon and needs to be treated like one. The Blackhawk uses .177 caliber pellets which blast out of the muzzle at 1000fps (feet per second). This velocity provides you with plenty of power to deal with pests. One user of the Blackhawk has reported using the rifle to eliminate starlings, squirrels, and an opossum. Many air rifles have the power to stop small birds like starlings, but only high velocity air rifles have the power to deal with larger pets like an opossum.

Power is not only crucial for dealing with pests. A pellet which is shot with higher velocity stays on a tighter trajectory making your shots more accurate. If you enjoy target shooting or just plinking around shooting tin cans, the added accuracy of a high velocity air rifle can make a big difference. Of course, velocity alone is not enough for accurate shooting.


Dual Sighting Options


The Ruger Blackhawk comes bundled with two sighting options. The first is the built-on fiber optic sights. If you like to have your air rifle ready to go at a moment’s notice this will be your favorite option. The second sighting option is the included 4×32 scope. If you like a little added accuracy the scope is ideal.

It is important to remember when buying an air rifle, or any other type of rifle, you must plan to spend a little time adjusting your sights. The factory settings are not going to work for you. You need to make those minor adjustments which fine tune the sights to your eyes, grip, and shooting style. Ruger provides you instructions for adjusting your sights and also offers an online guide called “Achieving Accuracy with An Air Rifle” to help you become a more accurate shot.


Single Stroke Pumping Action


There is nothing much more frustrating about an air rifle than standing there pumping it 5, 10, or 20 times to prepare for your next shot. The Ruger Blackhawk combo air rifle uses a break-barrel cocking action to prepare for your next shot. Break-barrel is just like it sounds. You will be gripping the stock of the rifle and the end of the barrel and “breaking” it to cock the rifle. The barrel pivots right at the end of the stock.

The Ruger uses a spring piston action to produce the 1000fps of power. It is important you understand this means the cocking action takes a little strength. Ruger estimates it requires 30 pounds of pressure to cock the gun. This can make the rifle difficult to use for some women, seniors, or if you buy this as your child’s first air rifle.

Ruger does offer an identical gun with half the power which only requires half the cocking power. This lower powered rifle produces a muzzle velocity of 490fps. This rifle may be adequate for target shooting and sport shooting, but will not be highly effective dealing with pests.


Durable and Comfortable Stock


The stock of the Blackhawk is made from an all black composite material. The stock has a checkered grip pattern on the pistol grip and on the forearm sections. The grip is checkered on both sides to make the rifle usable for both left handed and right handed shooters.

The composite stock is more durable than wood stocks. The stock will stand up to water, sun, and dirt with only mild cleaning. The butt of the stock includes a rubber recoil pad to allow for comfortable pressure as you steady the rifle for a shot.


Rifled Barrel for Accurate Shooting


The barrel of the Blackhawk is 18.7 inches long with a standard rifled bore for a .177 caliber pellet. The rifle barrel has been blued which makes it look great with the black composite stock. You will want to make sure you take time to keep the barrel cleaned and free from excess body oils. Since you are hand cocking the rifle by holding the barrel before each shot you will get body oil on the barrel which needs to be cleaned off regularly. Ruger offers a high quality cleaning oil which is acid and resin free to keep the barrel in perfect shape.

The other factor to consider with a rifled barrel using lead pellets is internal cleaning. Ruger has made this easy with the Blackhawk. You simply load a pair of cleaning pellets into the rifle, cock, and shoot. Your cleaning is finished.


Safety Considerations of the Ruger Blackhawk


We must remind you, this is not a toy. The Ruger Blackhawk combo air rifle is a powerful weapon. It is critical you follow Ruger’s guidelines for safe operation. As part of the safety considerations Ruger has included an easy to use safety mechanism. The safety is automatically set when you cock the gun to avoid accidental discharge. When you are ready to fire it only requires pushing the safety in gently.

This tiny feature of automatically setting the safety may seem unimportant to many shooters, but to people with children it is a real blessing. It reduces the risk of a child accidentally getting the gun cocked and pulling the trigger successfully dramatically.

Keep in mind, most children will be unable to cock the gun. The 30 pounds of pressure required for cocking the gun is beyond their strength, at least without major effort. If you are choosing the gun to teach a younger family member your should consider the Blackhawk –C which only requires 19 pounds of cocking effort and cuts the power in half. It is a much safer option for young shooters.

Ruger Blackhawk air rifle

Dimensions and Weight of the Blackhawk Air Rifle


The Blackhawk air rifle is an ideal size for most shooters. It is small enough to be easily handled by women and teens, but large enough to work well for most men. The Blackhawk is 44.8 inches long overall with an 18.7” long barrel. The rifle is an easy to handle 8.3 pounds in weight.


Optional Items for Your Blackhawk


Since the Ruger Blackhawk combo air rifle is already bundled with a scope there are not a wide variety of options offered by Ruger. The one item you may be highly interested in is the Walther Nighthunter Light and Laser Sight. This optional site adds a small shooting light and an aiming laser to your rifle. It attached to the existing scope on your Blackhawk making it very easy to mount for nighttime fun.

Other items you may want to buy with your Blackhawk would include the following:

  • RWS Spring Cylinder Oil
  • Cleaning Pellets
  • RWS Pellet Sampler

The pellet sampler allows you to test your gun with 5 of the most popular pellets from Ruger instead of just trying one style. This is only a small sampling of the variety of pellets you can use. Choose a pellet which is designed for your needs to have the best results.

The only other accessory which is highly recommended is the Air Gun Accessories kit which includes lubricants, cleaning pellets, and supplies. This makes getting all of the essentials easy and at a low cost.


Additional Features of the Blackhawk


One feature which is not mentioned in most reviews is Ruger’s two stage trigger. You can feel the gentle transition in preparation for the shot and reduce the normal tendency to pull shots when squeezing the trigger. Their two stage trigger can be adjusted for increased play between stages or for nearly know distance between the first and second stage. Keep in mind both stages require the same 3 pounds of squeeze strength to fire the shot.

The Blackhawk rifle includes Ruger’s 1 year parts and labor warranty which requires shipping the gun to their USA based repair depot. The warranty does not cover any abusive use of the rifle. After warranty repairs are available through the same repair centers.


Pros of the Ruger Blackhawk


This outstanding air rifle from Ruger has many positive points including:

  • Highly accurate.
  • Dual sighting options. (3 if you add the optional laser sight)
  • High power – 1000fps velocity.
  • Easy to use with simple cocking mechanism.
  • Safe – The automatic safety adds to your security.
  • Reasonable price.


Cons of the Blackhawk Air Rifle


The negative points of this rifle are very few, but you must be aware of them. They include:

  • Dual position sight mounts instead of the commonly preferred single mount.
  • Hard to cock for some users.
  • Scope is not high quality.
  • Potential loosening of screws in trigger guard and stock.

Ruger in the Blackhawk manual spells out the need to check the screw tightness on the trigger guard and stock on a regular basis. This is not a flaw, but a cautionary note due to the mechanical movement of the cocking mechanism. It is uncommon to require tightening of the screws, but must be watched for safety. This is common among barrel-break cocking air rifles from most manufacturers.

The power required to cock the gun can be problematic for younger shooters, women, and seniors. This can be overcome by getting the C version, but costs you half the power. Many buyers of the rifle have commented on the cheap quality of the scope. This issue can be overcome if you discover the scope is not to your liking. You can buy an aftermarket scope from Ruger or another supplier.

The negative aspects of this rifle are very minimal and are greatly overcome by the positive attributes.

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Ratings for the Ruger Blackhawk Air Rifle


The Ruger Blackhawk air rifle combo receives above average reviews by users. The results would be even higher if the scope was replaced with a slightly higher quality option. It is the most common complaint expressed about the rifle.

Many reviewers who give the rifle slightly lower marks mention they would give it an excellent score if the scope were switched to a higher quality option. For most buyers this should be a non-issue since high quality scopes can be purchased for $10 to $30 allowing you the flexibility to choose the style and scope magnification you want. The cheap scope is ideal for dealing with pests and shooting for fun, but if you are a highly serious target shooter you will probably want to invest in a higher quality scope.




The Ruger Blackhawk air rifle combo is an excellent choice for shooters who need an easy to use high-powered pellet gun. The .177 caliber pellets shot at 1000fps can handle almost any pest control issue and provide you with great fun shooting at targets. The rifle is best suited for adult men due to the strength needed for the cocking action. While some people may conclude that is a negative, in reality it is a positive feature. You are getting high powered shooting on single cock and without the need for CO2 cartridges.

The rifle is priced competitively with other rifles in the category. If you are looking for a low budget air rifle, with ample power, from a company who is renowned for their support, then the Ruger Blackhawk air rifle combo is a great choice. It is hard to go wrong with Ruger quality, support, and performance. It is not accident they have become one of the world’s favorite brands among shooters.

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