The Seneca Dragonfly multi-pump pneumatic rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Seneca Dragonfly
Air Venturi Seneca Dragonfly multi-pump air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Hobby
  • Sight adjustment
  • Qiang Yuan training pellets
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Crosman Premier lites
  • Last group
  • Evaluation thus far

Today we begin to look at the accuracy of the Seneca Dragonfly multi-pump rifle. But before we start, there is a picture I owe some readers.

Dragonfly open
The pump handle is fully extended.

The test

I decided to pump the rifle 3 times per shot for the entire test. In Part 2 we saw how powerful it is, and three pumps are more than enough for any pellet. The distance for this test was 10 meters and the rifle was rested. I used the open sights for today’s test. I shot 5 shots per bull and then selected the best pellet and shot a final group of 10. Let’s get started.

RWS Hobby

First up were RWS Hobby pellets. These wadcutters loaded hard because of the sharp angle on the nose. Five pellets went into 0.544-inches at 10 meters. The group was low and to the right, so I adjusted the rear sight after finishing this group.

Dragonfly Hobby group
Five RWS Hobbys went into 0.544-inches at 10 meters.

Sight adjustment

The sight adjustment has no detent so you have to watch the notch move. The test rifle sight was stiff and had to be coaxed to move to the left. However, once it started it moved fine.

Qiang Yuan training pellets

Next I tried 5 Qiang Yuan training pellets. These wadcutters are often surprisingly accurate. This time was no exception, as they gave the best 5-shot group of the test — 0.377-inches between centers at 10 meters. The group had moved up and to the left from the sight adjustment, but it still needed to go more to the left, so I adjusted the sight again,  after this group.

Dragonfly Qiang Yuan group
Five Quang Yuan training pellets made this 0.377-inch group at 10 meters. This is the best 5-shot group of the test.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The next pellet I tried was the super accurate Sig Match Ballistic Alloy target pellet. This time they weren’t as tight as expected, giving a horizontal group that measures 0.526-inches between centers. That’s not bad; just not the best.

Dragonfly Sig Match group
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets went into 0.526-inches at 10 meters. It looks like three shots, doesn’t it? This is the second-smallest 5-shot group of the test.

It seemed like the sights were now adjusted pretty close. I left them where they were for the remainder of the test.

JSB Exact Heavy

Up to this point all the pellets were wadcutters. It was time to test the rifle with a different shape, so the next pellets were JSB Exact Heavy domes. They loaded easier than any of the wadcutters. This is usually among the most accurate of all pellets in any airgun, but not this time. Five scattered around in a group measuring 0.822-inches between centers. The group is centered on the bull, though.

Dragonfly JSB Heavy group
Wow! Pellets everywhere! Five JSB Exact Heavy pellets made this 0.822-inch group at 10 meters.

Crosman Premier lites

The last pellet I tested was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier. Five of them made a 0.54-inch group at 10 meters.

Dragonfly Premier lite group
Five Crosman Premier lites went into 0.54-inches at 10 meters.

Last group

I selected the Qiang Yuan training pellets as the best ones for the final test, which was a group of 10 shots. Same three pumps as before and this time 10 went into 0.69-inches between centers. That group tells the bigger story, I think, because it shows how consistent the test rifle is.

Dragonfly Qiang Yuan group of 10
Ten Qiang Yuan training pellets made this 0.69-inch group at 10 meters.

Evaluation thus far

The Seneca Dragonfly is turning out to be a worthy multi-pump. It’s both powerful and accurate, plus it has no bad habits or traits. The pumping effort is a little hard and the lever makes noise, but the trigger is light and, as you can see, the gun can shoot.

While some pellets grouped better than others, only the JSB Exacts were less than promising. We are not finished with this test. I next plan to scope the rifle and back up to 25 yards, and I think all of this test’s pellets other than the JSBs have earned a spot in that test.

50 thoughts on “The Seneca Dragonfly multi-pump pneumatic rifle: Part 3

  1. B.B.,

    Definitely a rifle to watch out for. If this thing starts flying off the shelves in sales maybe that will convince Crosman that there is still a market for a legacy quality MSP. Odd that the JSB did not perform well, they usually do. Maybe if the leade was formed better, then again since you mentioned that they loaded easier than the wadcutters they might have been undersized for the bore? The nice part about the next test will be to see how accurate wadcutters can be beyond their usual 10 meter range. I think they might outperform even the Crosman Premier Lites at that range.

    Siraniko


    • Siraniko
      I want to throw this out there about the JSB exact heavy 10.34’s. They are my .177 caliber pellet of choice. And here is what I want to say. They usually do load loose in guns I have used them in.

      So what I’m getting at is that I don’t think it’s the guns bore size. What I think it is more. The pellet wants more air to flair the skirt to seal to the barrel better. In other words maybe more pumps would do the trick.


      • Gunfun1,

        That makes sense. The RWS Hobby weighs 7.0 grains, Qiang Yuan Training Pellets weigh 8.2 grains, Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy weigh 5.25 grains, and the Crosman Premier lites weigh 7.9-grain. Not only do the JSB exact heavy 10.34 need more air to flare the skirt they also might need the extra power to fully stabilize.

        Siraniko


        • Siraniko
          Yep and that too. That’s what’s nice about a multi-pump. You can tune your velocity to the pellet with different pumps strokes.

          And it makes me wonder what twist rate they used in the barrel rifling.


        • Siraniko,

          I am not sure that I would equate pellet weight with skirt expansion. To me, that would depend more on skirt thickness. Plus, the heavier pellet would not move out as quick and have a bit more time to allow for skirt expansion.

          It is interesting that at 8 pumps it makes 150’ish fps more. To me, that would play more to the heavier pellet as you eluded to and stability.

          All in all the rifle is quite interesting and I am glad to see it doing as well as it is. The 25 yard should be interesting, especially with wad cutters. If things fall apart at 25, I say try some other domes and at least 6 pumps.

          B.B.,… Thank you for the open pump arm picture.

          Good Day to one and all,…. Chris


          • Chris
            I think Siraniko was saying that the JSB 10.34’s do need the extra blast of air to seal the skirt. And that’s what I said yep to.

            And they do need need the extra velocity from the more pumps of air to stabilize. And that’s what I said yep to.

            He was referencing that all the other pellets were lighter and they don’t need as much air/velocity to stabilize is what I think he meant.

            I don’t think he was relating the skirt flairing to the weight of the pellet for this particular case. But like you said. The heavier pellet should seal quicker in the barrel. Unless like how the JSB 10.34’s tend to fit the bore loose. Even though they are heavy they might need more air to flair the skirt since there is less friction on the 10.34’s because of fit to the bore.

            And that is why I use the JSB 10.34’s. Even though they are heavy they still usually chrony close to what 8 grain pellets do. Plus they have a flatter trajectory than most other 10 grain pellets and because their heavy they retain energy better after they leave the barrel than the lighter pellets.




  2. BB
    Maybe here’s where you can try the JSB exact heavy pellets out at 25 yards and see if they do better than 10 yards. So like what I was saying to Siraniko. Maybe they want more pressure behind the pellet than the other pellets you tested.

    Maybe you can shoot a 5 shot group at 25 yards with the JSB exact heavy pellets but with more pumps. Say like 6-8 pumps. I’m just curious if it would like more pressure hit to the skirt on those pellets.



      • BB
        Ok good. Curious to see how that works out with the pumper.

        Oh and forgot thanks for the picture with the pump arm open. I bet with that long stroke it’s making some good compression.


      • B.B., at the energy levels you’re getting at 3 pumps the JSB RS pellets at 7.33 g might add about 100 fps; hence, they might do well in this test; I bought a bunch from PyramydAir (the 4 for the price of 3 deal)
        and they tend to shoot very well in non-magnum guns. *shrugs*…just my 2 cents.


  3. BB,

    Would I be correct if I said that you performed this test with the single shot tray? I am certain there are many who would like to hear your opinion of the use of the magazine also.



  4. RidgeRunner
    If memory serves, I believe BB tested the Webley MKVI bb air pistol a while back. It may not have been the Battlefield finish pellet model, however it still proved to be a solid performer.
    Ciao
    Titus


  5. B.B.,

    Thanks for the photo of the Dragonfly with the pumping lever fully extended. I wanted to see the amount of travel it has, and it looks as though it has quite a bit.

    Michael


  6. B.B.
    Thanks for the pic with the pump handle extended out. WOW, that thing reaches out there. Not at all what I pictured. In my mind I was picturing it extended looking like a Crosman 760. Guess a pic is worth a thousand words.
    Thanks again,

    Doc


    • Doc,

      I was surprised too. I am no multi pump expert by any means, but that seems to be more stroke than most. With B.B. testing at only 3 pumps and at 6-8 it is making only 150’ish more, that 3 pumps seems to be really doing a lot. If in fact the stroke is longer than average, that long stroke could be the secret to getting more,.. faster. Very interesting. I had a 880, but modded it for arrow shooting and later gave it away, so I have nothing on hand to compare the stroke to. At first glance, it looks awkward,… but maybe not. The 880 configuration seemed to work very well with the handle coming to rest near the trigger.


      • The piston stroke on the Dragonfly is very short for a Multi-pump rifle. When I get time I will provide the swing angle on the multi-pumps I listed earlier with the piston stroke and linkage dimensions.

        The maximum force on the pump handle is about 3/4 of the way through the pump swing on most multi-pumps that is where the piston pressure and linkage leverage combine to give the maximum required force on the pump handle. That is why the pumping force reaches a limit on multi-pumps after so many pumps they max out. The maximum pressure is at the end of the pump when the leverage is the greatest. The head space determines the ultimate pressure on any multi-pump gun. If there is very much head space you can pump all day and never get past the dead head space pressure.

        Conversely reducing the head space provides more pressure and volume of air in the valve for each pump with out much change in pump force.

        Don


        • Don,

          Wow,.. thank you for that. I will just sit back on the sidelines and watch. I will leave to it to the hands on folks like yourself. For an 8 stroker,.. it does seem to get most of the way “there” on 3 pumps. From what I gather, they must have the head space pretty minimal? That,… and (maybe) tube ID being larger?



        • Halfstep,

          Thank you. That is pretty far too. I guess that they open more than I remember. I am 6′ 4″ and long armed, so reaching to pump was never noticed. That looks like a Limb Saver butt pad? They are nice and fit great. I always recommend them.


  7. Thanks for testing this new multi pumper. I have certainly had problems loading pellets such as the RWS Supermags, Basics, and Hobby’s in some of my air rifles, as they hang up when seating them in the breech. Sometimes, I”m sure, enough to distort the pellet. Also, in some of my Crosman rifles with the 5 round magazine, they are a loose fit in that mag, and when I pump up the guns, they can slide to the rear (as I point these muzzle up when pumping) and then hang up when pushing the mag to the next position. This is too bad, because these pellets often shoot very well. In my picky Daisy 880, only the RWS Basics and Crosman Super Match wadcutters shoot well.


  8. B.B.,

    I thought folks would like to see the same pellets used in another Dragonfly so they can see if all the Dragonfly’s are expected to give similar results. My test is not quite the same because I used 10 yards instead of 10 meters. Bad short term memory. And thanks for using 3 pumps that sure made the test go fast. It is a calm 90 degrees Farenheight today. My test was also with a Hawk 2-7 x 32 scope. So it is not quite the same. I think the results show very similar results.

    I have adjusted the trigger on my Dragonfly but still need to focus on the trigger pull too much and have no idea when it will break. It is still a good trigger.

    I have spent many hours polishing the lead and the crown on my gun, and I have shot well over 500 pellets through it.

    As I said earlier I have been storing it with two pumps and have been leaving it cocked when stored. If it is not cocked it will leak off even with three pumps. When cocked it will hold air for days. I don’t leave any of my other guns air or powder burners cocked and don’t recommend it but this one is the exception.

    My barrel is not held tight in the barrel band and has about .002 inches of movement. The bolt that tightens the band to the pump tube does not tighten the barrel band against the barrel on my gun. I have tried a few ways to snug up the barrel but it does not make much difference. I have also tried different barrel weights and locations with no better results than without the weights.

    The target below tells its own story. I knew the first five shots with the Crosman Premier Lights were lucky and could not be duplicated with a 10 shot group. My gun also tends to shoot two group patterns quite often. My gun shoots best with the Crosman Premier Lights and I used them to test the lead while I was working on it so they now load with a smooth snug fit.

    I did not have Quang Yuan training pellets so I substituted:
    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/p/RWS_R10_Match_177_Cal_7_0_Grains_Wadcutter_Premium_Line_500ct/529
    Mine are older but I think they are the same pellet.

    The JSB Exact Heavy pellets were also very loose loading in my gun.

    I can’t wait for the 25 yard test.

    Don




      • Benji-Don,

        Unfortunately this is a new term I have had to learn since the new stream of Chinese guns and their loading issues have begun to get discussed here. Is the correct spelling “lead” or “leade”? I always want to use the term “lead in” and the machinist in me wants to call it a countersink. HELP!!

        In your comment you mentioned subbing R10 pellets for the Trainers, but it looks like you used Meisterkugelns in the actual test. If they were the MKs were they the pistol or rifle version. Is that CP lite group representative, ’cause that’s sweet, just sayin’.


        • Half,

          I have been off grid for a few days just catching up. Below is a picture of the pellets I used. I think they becams the R10 pellets. Not sure of the weight, I have not weighed them. I dont think they are made any more.

          My Dragonfly is now cocking ok. I think it is a combination of breaking in and leaving it cocked when stored. It still dumps all the air on each shot, i thik the spring is stronger than needed, maybe the same spring in the Stormrider.

          Don


          • Don,

            RWS claims on their website that the R-10 pellets were introduced after developing ” an elaborate new production and control procedure”. At one time the Meisterkugelns ( MKs) were their best and rated the 100 count “Extra” packaging as an option. Now the R-10 is supposed to be better so it gets the “Plus” treatment when put in the 100 count Black box and MKs only get to live in round cans now. 🙁

            Seriously I think they are different and I get different results with R-10s. Anything that likes MKs just usually LOVES R-10s. The pistol version will sometimes be better than the heavier rifle version and vice versa. Same with MKs in pistol and rifle weights.

            I reread your comment with the targets and I see now that the group I got so excited about was 5 shots and the 10 shot group opened up some.

            On the subject of the barrel band, I don’t think it’s supposed to grip the barrel. It doesn’t on my stormrider, either. I think that might upset the harmonics or something if it actually clamped down on it. Because the barrel is just stuck into a hole at the receiver and is thin and shroudless, I feel the band might just be there to keep a sharp blow, from a drop, for instance, from bending the barrel at the junction with the receiver. It may even be there solely for a mounting point for the rear sight. The more I think about it the more I believe the latter is the case. On my Urbans and Coyote the barrel band is way out at the end of the air reservoir and it doesn’t grip the barrel either. It does have an under cut on the shooter’s side of it that is stuffed with an Oring. That would be an arrangement that could keep the barrel from bending. Should be more effective than where it is located on the Dragonfly, anyway. Don’t they free float firearm barrels to remove all contact with the stock to improve barrel harmonics and accuracy? Another issue, on the stormrider, at least, is the effect expansion and contraction of the reservoir as pressure changed would have on barrel deflection if it there were a rigid connection between barrel and reservoir. I don’t think you want it to touch.

            You mentioned polishing the crown. Would you share the reasons for that and whether you got the result you wanted.

            Do I recall you going to the mountains or was that someone else?

            Half

            PS, removing that white spacer between hammer and spring might just fix your uncocked leaking issue.


            • Half,

              Thanks for the clarification on thr RWS pellets.

              Yep I just got back from our house in the mountais. We are off grid, no electricity and spoty cell phone reception. No internet.

              I am thinking of cutting the barrel band off below the barrel on my Dragonfly. I have Maximus barrels free floating from the breech that work great. The Maximus barrels are longer and smaller diameter so the Dragofly barrel should be fine.

              At some point i may try removing the spacer or shortening the spring to reduce the hammer pressure on the valve when uncocked. It is working ok when i leave it cocked for now.
              Don



                • Half,
                  I think I covered some of it in Part 2 report on the Dragonfly. When I try to get the best accuracy out of a pellet gun barrel I push a pellet through the barrel from the breech. On my Dragonfly the pellet took extreme force through the leade and then was relatively loose in the barrel. As the pellet hit the crown on the way out it hung up. There was a ridge at the edge of the rifling. I could feel it and see it with a 2.5X reading glasses.

                  I started on the leade with a stone on my dremel and then worked my way down to 600 grit diamond tips on the dremel.

                  On the crown i started with 400 grit and finished with a 600 grit ball on my drill press. I continue this process until i can no longer feel any catch when pushing the pellet past the crown.

                  That work cut my group sizes by half. The barrel still has some tight and loose spots between the breech and the muzzle it will never be a tack driver but is much better than before.

                  If the gun was shooting great groups from the beginning I would not have worked on the barrel. I could have shot thousands of pellets and the leade and crown would not have smothed up they were that bad.

                  Don


                  • Don,

                    Thanks for that. I forgot that you’ve commented on another blog. My stormrider barrel has the same tight-loose-tight thing going on in the barrel and I tried recrowning it with a little improvement but nothing as dramatic as you got. I HAD to work on the leade because I was having trouble loading the majority of pellets and If you have tried clearing a partial double feed from a magazine in one of these SPA guns you know what a chore it can be. If I hadn’t got that squared away right from the start it was destined to become a window prop. Glad your work paid off for you.

                    Half


    • Benji-Don,

      On my stormrider there is a white plastic spacer between the end of the hammer spring and the hammer itself. Removing that might relieve enough pressure from the valve stem to allow you to store it uncocked, albeit at the loss of a little velocity, perhaps. That is reliant on those parts being the same between guns.

      Here is a photo that shows it.



    • Chris U,
      I was sneezing before watching that. I had to take an allergy pill after watching the video. I am heading for the mountains tomorrow to get away from some of the pollen we have in the central valley Calif. I think it is the worst place I have been for allergies.
      Don


    • A fellow backs a large back hoe into a 120′ tall tree. The tree explodes in a “POOF” of pollen to the point of not seeing the tree. Shoot a bag of flour with a shot gun at close range,…. that is what the tree looks like.


    • Chris,

      I don’t have any allergies to pollen, thankfully, because that is what it looks like on West Point Lake in Georgia most Springs when I’m there for my annual Crappie fishing trip. The wind blows through the pines and they look like they are on fire and putting off green smoke. If you walk around at night with a headlamp on you will swear you’re walking in a blizzard. The chartreuse color of the pollen seems to fluoresce and they look big as snowflakes right in front of your face. For me it’s fascinating, for two of our guys it’s misery.

      Half


      • Halfstep,

        Thank you for that insight. I have never heard of, let alone ever seen anything like that (your trip). That much foreign air matter can’t be good to breath, allergies or not. I am sure that I have some, but nothing a good nose blow won’t handle most of the time. I am not one for taking pills other than a few supplements.


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