What’s in a Name?

Ruger Air Hawk
Not long ago I started to see Ruger-branded air rifles showing up on the market. They looked good, and Ruger has a fantastic reputation for quality and value, so I figured these deserved a closer look. One thing that puzzled me was the price- how could Ruger produce a quality air rifle for only $109.95?

The answer is that they can’t. The guns are actually Ruger-labeled imports brought in by Umarex, a German company who source guns from a number of countries. That led me to try and figure out where they’re actually having these guns made. The two logical sources are Spain and China of whom produce lower-cost guns, and at the price point I’d lean towards China as the source. Still, the Chinese made some pretty decent guns these days, and having Ruger distribute the guns means high quality and good service, right?

Well… maybe. Ruger doesn’t distribute the guns. What they’ve done is license Umarex to use the Ruger name on guns it imports and sells. Now Umarex is a good company and distributes many high quality guns, and the user reports say these guns are pretty good. That still does leave one question: Why pay a premium for the Ruger name on a gun that Ruger has nothing to do with?

3 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?”

  1. I’m not sure what you mean by paying a premium for the Ruger name in regard to this rifle? The price on the package for rifle and scope is around $110.00, so I would say the value is exceptional even if it’s only a Ruger by name. Someone at Ruger did their homework when lending the Ruger name to this product.

  2. My initial feeling was that someone has to pay for that extra bit of marketing, even if it’s only $5-$10. But as Umarex doesn’t appear to be marketing the gun here under its own name, as it does in Great Britain and Europe, perhaps Ruger is acting as the distributor here- in which case I’d have to agree with you.

  3. i have a ruger airhawk elite which dosnt come with open sights and has a thumbhole stock. they are made in china but are very good rifles nonetheless.

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