If it is a springer, that is your problem. If it is a Chinese springer, that's even worse.
Good HUNTING air rifles start at the Benjamin Discovery. Even a Benjamin-Sheridan pump-up air rifle at $150-$180 is better than a springer.
A serious hunting air rifle starts at the Benjamin Marauder. No springer on earth can compare to it regardless of its price or place of origin, because it is PCP. PCP rules.....PERIOD. You get fancier woodwork and nicer finish if you buy an English or European air rifle like Air Arms, BSA, Theoben, Falcon, Daystate, FX, Steyr, EDgun, etc.
Watch what pellets you use. Crosman Premier, JSB, H&N (sold under many different names around the world....Beeman in the USA, Bisley in the UK), and possibly the new Benjamin pellets will walk all over Gamo, Daisy, cheap Crosman, and other brands you find in department stores.
If it carries an American firearms name, stay away from it. No American firearms maker makes air rifles, it's just a cheap marketing trick that importers like Umarex use to fool ignorant people. No such thing as a Remington, Ruger, Marlin or Savage air rifle. Do your homework and buy a REAL air rifle. They commonly shoot 1/2" at 50 yards like my BSA Lonestar does. If your air rifle can't get those groups with match pellets, it is substandard. 2" at 50 yards is good for a springer, but crap shooting for a hunting air rifle which are almost exclusively PCP these days.
I wouldn't say all chinese air rifles are crap, I would just say they need some work. The BAM line can be tuned to do most of what the original european guns they copied can do. If I remember correctly, the ruger airhawk is a b-25, and I if I remember correctly, it is a copy of the Diana 34, so you might want to look into modifications for the rifle at network 54, or at gateway to airguns in the china gate.
WHy would anybody serious about hunting want an obsolete Diana 34, much less a Chinese copy "that just needs some work"???
My BSA Lonestar or Benjamin Marauder .25 cal pumps out 45-50 foot pounds of energy out of the factory, and it's a simple matter of turning the hammer spring screw to get more energy out of it.
Springers must be tuned to a specific pellet weight and lose energy with lighter or heavier pellets. PCP air rifles gain energy with heavier pellets.
Anyone who is anguing about fixing up an obsolete springer for hunting when they could be shooting a modern PCP is as crazy as somebody who is driving a Model T when they could be driving a Corvette.
If you think a springer is great, then I have a standing offer to pay anybody with a springer air rifle of any kind at any price from anywhere with any amount of mods to a day of prairie dog shooting in Montana on private land against my BSA Lonestar. The guy with the most dead PD's gets $1000 from the loser at the end of the day. I have had zero takers, once they see the Lonestar in action. A police sniper proclaimed my shooting equal to sniper grade centerfire shooting at 100 yards.
A Benjamin Marauder or BSA Lonestar can be had for around $500, which is less than the top Weirauch or RWS springers from Germany. More power, less weight, more accuracy, less recoil.....why would anybody argue springers when such rifles are readily available? The Benjamin-Sheridan multi-pumps address those who are too impecunious to go for a full fledged PCP multi-shot.
Capt. Meriwether Lewis took a state-of-the-art PCP repeater air rifle on expedition, the best rifle on hand, better than any of the rifle muskets the others were stuck with. That was in 1803. He knew better way back then. Good for him he didn't watch Bone Collector or get his advice from those who read paid advertisements and talk trash back and for on forums. For some reason those who watch Bone Collector videos and listen to advice from paid hucksters like Jim Shockey think that cheap import springers are OK? Would anybody going to Africa to hunt big game go to a department store to get a rifle, then walk out with an obsolete single-shot black powder rifle??? When you talk springers to me, you tell me you are just that type of person. They are just as stuck in the past and as obsolete against modern air rifles. Some modern PCP custom air rifles are charging to 4500 PSI, and that will go up as technology catches up. 6000 PSI bulk nitrogen has become fairly available in many places (local coal mining operation use tons of the stuff), and 10,000 PSI Russian submarine storage vessels and 4500 PSI Scott Air Pack portable carbon fiber tanks are standard production these days.
Springers are something cheap you sell to cheap people who are playing around instead of getting serious. It's a result of the "toy mentality" that air rifles have been stuck with for a long time, due to the lack of keeping up with curent technology. If going cheap, get a rimfire instead of a springer. Crosman came out with an electronically controlled .357 PCP rifle, so now the high quality/high power air rifles are finally going mainstream in the USA (Daystate has made that type for years in England). Nosler is making custom pellets for the rifle, and others will follow in years ahead. You could toss the springer and get on the bandwagon early, or stay stuck in the past like a Civil War reenactor.
Wow, when did I argue about the shortcomings of PCPs? The OP has a ruger airhawk. I will not get into a fight with you about which is better. Saying that a $500 PCP with the associated $1-500 tank/hose setup or $1-300 pump setup, plus whatever else you have, like fillups at the scuba shop, or the shoebox compressor, let's round it out to $1000, it's going to beat a <$100 springer, but not everyone wants to invest $1000 in a "toy". And M-rods can be found for $300 if you want refurbished. I would still have to go with the Rainstorm. Power of the .25 Mrod in .22, and more tank to spare.
My $1000 BSA Lonestar, Hawke scope and FX air pump setup is not a "toy". It's you guys with the "toy"mentality that has screwed up airguns, and the manufacturers that play to that mentality.
If people were buying lots of really good air rifles, a vietnam vet on a fixed income would have a lot of used air rifles to choose from, and some at a price point he could afford.
A $100 springer air rifle is worth far less than that, because I can buy a Marlin rimfire for the same price that will totally blow it away in every way.
If I were a disabled vet on a limited income that can't afford a PCP rifle, I would buy a nice used rimfire rifle and feed it subsonic ammo. A rimfire shooting subsonic ammo can be very effectively silenced for very little cost and effort and will put the department store air rifles to shame in every way.
A rimfire firing subsonic ammo and a PCP air rifle are far closer together in the way they work than a springer air rifle is to a PCP air rifle. Springers were cheap, low performance contraptions for getting rid of yard and garden pests for people who would not buy a rimfire or PCP rifle. They somehow became the dominant air rifle. Mostly it had to do with a junk rifle selling at a junk rifle price. I have had better luck selling my junk ammo and firearms at high prices than I have had at selling good ammo and rifles at reasonable prices. Junk at a jacked up price still sells lower than something of quality at a reasonable price. That is what Bubba wants, and that is what Bubba gets. So screw Bubba and pocket the profit. He is happier if you do. Sam Walton got it right. Wal-Mart forever.
I would give up on air rifles all together than to stoop so low as to get another springer. As long as rimfires and quiet subsonic ammo are available, there is no reason to get a springer if you intend to go hunting and not just blow away yard and garden pests at close "can't miss" range. I would even get a CO2 rifle before I got a springer, as they can do things that springers can't do. Those who stick with rimfire instead of getting a springer are doing themselves a favor. Even at close "can't miss" range the $150 Benjamin and Sheridan PCP rifles beat springers due to their variable power option allowing their use in the house attic to take out squirrels without damaging the house. Springers are NOT the thinking man's air rifle, regardless if he has a lot of money to spend or not.
Last edited by FAL Shot; 07-23-2011 at 10:37 PM.
Reason: add info