The Seneca Dragonfly multi-pump pneumatic rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellet
  • First attempt at pumping
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Air Arms Falcon pellet
  • The solution
  • The hold for pumping
  • Best pumping hold found
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Summary

This is the 25-yard test of the Seneca Dragonfly multi-pump pneumatic rifle. Today the rifle is scoped with the 3-12X32 UTG Bug Buster scope, and we will see what the Dragonfly can do.

Seneca Dragonfly scoped
The compact Bug Buster scope is a perfect compliment to the handy Dragonfly multi-pump.

The test

I shot 5 shots with each pellet from a rested rifle at 25 yards. That was because I was pumping the rifle 3 times for each shot, and with the scope occupying the place where I wanted to hold the rifle, pumping wasn’t convenient. I selected the best pellet from the 10-meter test and 3 new ones, since the others I tested at 10 meters didn’t do so well. At the end of the test I decided to select the best pellet and shoot one final 10-shot group.

Sight-in

The scope was pretty close to on when I mounted it, so sight-in only took a couple shots. The first was at 12 feet and the second was at 25 yards.

Qiang Yuan Training pellet

The first pellet tested was the wadcutter Qiang Yuan Training pellet. They loaded easily, though the scope was partially in the way. Five of them went into 0.707-inches at 25 yards. I think that is a great result from this rifle.

Seneca Dragonfly Chinese group 1
Five Chinese training pellets landed in this 0.707-inch group at 25 yards.

First attempt at pumping

I initially pumped the gun with my hand over the rear sight, which wasn’t pleasant. Because I was only pumping 3 times per shot it was tolerable, but I looked for something better.

RWS Superdomes

The second pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome. But when the second shot landed 2-1/2-inchs away from the first, I stopped. Superdomes were not for the Dragonfly. I will say that Superdomes loaded harder than any other pellet in this test. I suspect there was some damage caused as they were being loaded into the breech.

Air Arms Falcon pellet

Next up was the Air Arms Falcon pellet. I tried it because I really wanted a domed pellet for this rifle. I did discover a problem when loading these though.

The Dragonfly bolt probe goes way back into the receiver when the bolt handle is pulled all the way back. A short pellet like the Falcon can go back so far when loaded that its nose falls into the receiver. I did this and deformed the pellet.

Seneca Dragonfly bolt
When the bolt handle of the test Dragonfly is pulled all the way back, the bolt probe (arrow) goes back into the receiver so far that the noses of shorter pellets can fall into the receiver.

Seneca Dragonfly deformed pellet
This is a Falcon pellet that was deformed when the nose dropped into the receiver. When the bolt was pushed forward, the pellet’s nose jammed in the receiver.

The solution

This was a simple problem to fix. Just don’t pull the bolt back all the way. As long as a little of the probe sticks forward in the loading trough, all pellets will feed fine.

The hold for pumping

Holding at the rear sight wasn’t working for pumping so I switched to holding just behind the sight. It was awkward because of the scope, but at least the sight didn’t dig into my hand. For three pump strokes, it worked okay.

Falcons seemed to do okay for the first four shots, going into 1.298-inches at 25 yards. The final shot, though, landed 2-1/2 inches away from the center of the main group. Had that happened sooner I would have stopped testing this pellet. I must note that the final pellet did load harder than the first four, leading me to suspect a feeding issue.

Seneca Dragonfly Falcon group
The main group isn’t that bad, but shot five landed all the way over to the left. Group measures 2.689-inches between centers.

Best pumping hold found

For the rest of the test I tried holding the gun at the wrist as it was pumped. That worked the best of any hold I tried, so that was what I did for the rest of the test.

JSB Exact RS

The next group was shot with JSB Exact RS pellets. Like the other domes they did okay, putting 4 into 0.919-inches at 25 yards. But the last shot opened the group to 1.324-inches, which is a little larger than I would like.

Seneca Dragonfly JSB RS group
JSB Exact RS pellet put 4 in 0.919-inches but the fifth shot opened the group to 1.324-inches at 25 yards.

So there you have it. There is just one last thing to do — shoot a group of 10 shots with the best pellet in the test. That was the Chinese Qiang Yuan wadcutter. The five-shot group measured 0.707-inches between centers.

Ten Qiang Yuan Training pellets made a 0.885-inch group at 25 yards. That was a little better than expected and is certainly noteworthy. If I owned this rifle I would continue to search for a good domed pellet, but I would also remove the scope and shoot it with open sights, only.

Seneca Dragonfly Chinese group 2
The Dragonfly put 10 Qiang Yuan pellets into a 0.885-inch group at 25 yards.

Summary

I like the Dragonfly and I like the fact that it comes with a single shot tray. It has plenty of power and decent accuracy. And the trigger is good. I’m putting it on the best buy list for those wanting a good multi-pump.

55 thoughts on “The Seneca Dragonfly multi-pump pneumatic rifle: Part 4

  1. Apologies for being so far off topic…
    Hey BB, Gunfun1 et al..
    Some really long beautiful days here so have been out on my range quite a bit lately. Today for the afternoon with the MP40 which is loads of fun and with the Swiss Arms 941 which is a super hot pistol in the warm weather with 480 fps average on the chrony. With a picture window bridge mounted dot sight it becomes a real accurate pistol with minute of tin can accuracy out to 25 yards. If you really concentrate 35 yards is doable. Mostly because of the flatter trajectory. Lots of fun on my FT style woods walk.
    Later on this evening I went back down to the range again and took the .22 cal. QB Chief with me. It’s turning into a tack driver! After a hundred shots or so I was getting bored just shooting the targets so tried a few shots on the lag screws holding some of the rubber target hangers to the rail. Five shots in a row dead center on one of those lag screw heads which are about ¾” with washer. Not to shabby for Crosman Premiers at 50 yards.
    A while ago a blog member asked about shooting Crosman Premier Hollow Points and I remember saying there didn’t seem to be any difference compared to the CP Domes. As well now, having just yesterday found a tin of .22 cal. CP Pointed, they also shoot the same as the CP Domes with no noticeable difference. The Chief seems to take any type of CP pellet and shoot them well.
    Cheers
    Dave


    • Redrafter,

      I am glad that the QB Chief is doing well for you. That is very good for 50 yards with a budget friendly PCP.

      I was surprised that the hollow point and pointed Crosman’s did so well at 50 yards. It sounds as if you have an all around winner on your hands. Always a good thing. 😉


      • Hi Chris
        The Crosman pellets are doing exceptionally well in this gun. I have had good luck in the past with their .22 cal. pellets in guns such as the BullPup QB57, the QB88 sidelever, the B3-3 underlever and the B4-3 underlever in .22 cal..
        Also, the Crosman Hunter Pointed .22’s, which are bulk in the milk cartons work well in these guns but yet to be tried in the QB Chief.
        Cheers
        Dave


        • Redrafter,

          I’ve never seen the .22 pointed hunting in the bulk cartons, only the .177, which I buy all the time because they shoot well from several of my guns. Where do you find the .22 in bulk? I’d like to get some.

          Half



      • Hey GunFun 1
        Considering it was about 10:00 PM with the sun just setting, low light from shooting in a heavilly wooded area affecting the picture in the 24x scope and me being a little tired from concentrating on the previous 100 shots I was quite surprised at that accuracy. As the gun gets broken in it just shoots better and better! I remember the older springers that used to take a thousand or two thousand shots to break in and wonder if todays PCP’s need something similar, if only to season the valve, breech and barrell.
        Cheers
        Dave


        • Redrafter,

          24X (min. I want), heavily wooded, low light are all conditions I deal with. I am also in the market for a scope. What scope are you using and do you like it? Would you consider it clear at 24x? I am looking at least at a 24x and maybe up to a 32x.

          Chris


          • Hey Chris
            I have a couple of these 6x24x50 AOE Rio Rand scopes from amazon.ca. Cost around CDN $55. No complaints about the quality. Good glass with a sharp picture. One on my QB Chief and another on my Savage MK IV Heavy Barrell .22LR. Super accurate!
            In the US on amazon.com the Rio Rands don’t seem to be available but the 6-24×50 AOE MD RG CVLife scopes seem to be identical to the Rio Rands at around US $35! Just search “rifle scope” on amazon.com. They’re priced like toys but seem to work really well. I would draw the line at useing them on a springer though.
            If you do order one check the scope pics to make sure both turrets are the high profile multi-turn indexed turrets – they’re easier to use and setup. I have seen some similar models with the low profile snag free turrets which I don’t care for on target guns Your choice I guess.
            I’ve also seen these Amazon scopes in 16x and 36x as well.
            Cheers
            Dave


            • Dave,

              Thank you for the info.. I am surprised that they do that well. At the least,.. very least,.. it will be a UTG in the 24-36 max. mag. range with etched glass and lighted. The lighted is real nice by the way when your target is buried deep in the woods. Combine lighted with etched and I do not think that anyone could want anymore. The UTG’s that are etched have done that very well.

              Chris


              • Hey Chris
                These Amazon scopes are all metal and illuminated red or green. The complexity of the reticle (rangeing mill dot) indicates etched reticles and the 50 mm AO is bright and accurate for rangeing. Last summer and fall I put about 2½ buckets of Remington Golden Bullets (3500 shots) through my Savage with the 6x24x50 with no problems.
                I do light it up, mostly in the evenings or when I’m shooting in the bush on an overcast day. Illuminated reticles make a considerable difference under those conditions
                At the US price I would have a drawer full of these scopes and at the CDN price I do have ¾’s of a drawer full. Most all are in use and work fine!
                As I said before I would be a little leery useing this scope ln a springer. It might be OK but I’m not willing to sacrifice a scope trying.
                Cheers
                Dave



          • Hey Gunfun1
            Could be. I know Crosman pellets are made from a harder lead – could be a little slippy-er as well. I was thinking of cleaning the barrell today but your comment made me change my mind! I’ll just wait till the gun starts to become less accurate before cleaning.
            Cheers
            Dave



            • Redrafter,

              I think I have read here that the antimony that makes the pellet harder also makes it less slippery, actually, and that leads to fouling at velocities over around 850 fps, if I am remembering correctly. Maybe the harder alloy is smoothing out the imperfections in the rifling sooner than would be the case with softer pellets. It’s producing good results, in your case, so who cares, right?

              BTW, you will know right away if those Crosmans start fouling your barrel. I fired some at over 1100 fps from my Gamo Coyote and by the 3rd mag I started getting a shotgun pattern. I cleaned the barrel and dialed the velocity back to 850ish and now all is right with the world once again.

              Half



  2. B.B.,

    I’m wondering if feeding domed pellets from the magazine might be more conducive in aligning the pellet to the leade rather than single loading them in this rifle, especially with a scope mounted. This could be done as an extended test for this rifle if you have time to spare.

    Siraniko



      • BB,

        That rear sight should slide off its dovetail after removing a screw( assuming it is made like the Diana stormrider) If that is an, otherwise, good location for your hand, then its removal should make it a lot less painful. Maybe you could try it since at higher pumps that wrist area may prove fragile. I think you established that this was a hard pumper, didn’t you?

        Half


  3. B.B.,

    Well at least we know that it can shoot well. 25 yards is respectable. I had forgotten that it came with a magazine and a shot tray.

    I am a bit confused with the nose of the pellet falling back into the receiver,.. which you mention a couple of times. It would seem that the tail/skirt would be the end falling back in the receiver,.. off the back of the shot tray.

    Looking back at 1-3, I can’t see where the magazine was tried. PA list it as 9 shot in .177 and 7 shot in .22. I could be wrong on all this as it is early and I am still on my first cup of coffee. 😉

    Good Day to you and to all,…. Chris



  4. BB,

    I really do wish that Leapers would switch the Bug Buster line over to etched glass reticles. That is the one thing that makes me hesitate about buying this scope.


  5. Dear BB
    Thanks again for another excellent report.
    Sorry for the off topic, but do you know anything about the status of the Benjamin Fortitude? Will you be getting one to review for us soon? Do you know if maybe there’s a problem with production because the initial expected ship date was sometime in April. Since then it’s been moved May, June and now August.
    Thanks again for a great blog
    Azhar


    • Azhar,

      I know — it’s hard to wait for something you want. No, I don’t know anything about the Fortitude. But companies face multiple obstacles when bringing new products to market, and sometimes all a customer can do is wait. Crosman has multiple new products coming out, so the problems are greater than ever.

      The Fortitude certainly has a lot going for it. So in the end the wait should prove worthwhile.

      B.B.


      • Ah okay, that makes sense
        I remember your reports on the pre production discoveries, the valve changes and what not, very interesting to read.
        It certainly does: regulated, multi shot, etc at a truly remarkable price
        Thanks for the reply


  6. “The Dragoinfly put 10 Qiang Yuan pellets into a 0.885-inch group at 25 yards.”

    So, a good-looking rifle that is also accurate…looks like a winner. =D


  7. The breech is essentially the same for the entire series, the rifles pcp (stormrider) – CO2 (plinkster) – multipump (dragonfly). The pistol/carbine CP2 (Chaser) and target pistol CP1 (Bandit). The pistols have left hand bolts which adds a bit of danger thrill as it’s easy to nick a finger if you don’t radius off the plexiglass sharp edge on the magazine. The feeding of the barrel is much improved by nocking the sharp edge down with a rubberized dremel style point. The exposed rear bolt can be used to ease the pellet both by trough or magazine into the barrel with the thumb as well as the bolt handle.


    • Huklbery,

      I do the same – everything gets the spit-and-polish routine to remove burrs and sharp edges where needed.

      It doesn’t take much time to do and really improves the user experience with the product.



      • It’s essentially the same family as this multi pump, all the way from the Diana PCP (Stormrider) to the target pistol CO2 (CP1). Like Seneca is Pyramyd’s internal branding name you will find in a google search “Artimis” and “SPA” they are especially popular in Europe under a slew of importer names.

        While this model hasn’t been picked up by a mainstream importer, Diana has a PCP version on their website labeled “Bandit”, I hope they do follow through and offer it.


  8. BB

    There is an interesting review by a customer on the Pyramid Air site. On May 30, 2018 Jeffrey wrote this rifle is easy to work on inside. He found lots of hard grease that needs removing. He has more tips that may help this rifle function better. This review is under the criticism section.

    BB, you mentioned earlier that this rifle makes a crack when shot. Do you rate it medium or loud for neighbors?

    Decksniper



    • Decksniper
      Got a answer for ya about peep sights and scopes with good lighting.

      This is with the FWB 300 anyway.

      The scope on the 300 way out performs the peep. At 15-50 yards anyway. And I’m talking repeatability of groups and being able to locate my targets where ever they may be.

      And what I found is my FWB 300 is my go to bird pesting gun now. Well it was before too.

      But I will say this. The Gahmenn adjustable peep and Williams sight is staying on the HW30s. It for sure is a fun feral can and ilk hunter. It will hit what I aim at out to 50 yards. The only problem is it’s hard to locate targets in a tree. And I’m talking those pest birds that show up from time to time.

      So as it goes. Another one of those things that the proper tool is needed for the job at hand.

      And right now I’m scratching the peep on the Condor SS.


      • Gunfun1

        You likely just saved me a chunk of change. My tuned up FWB 300S does not have front or rear sights. You no doubt are well aware that Feinwerkbau made more rifles than sights for this model and they are pricey to buy. My rifle is a tack driver with a scope so I’ll leave well enough alone.

        I have the Avanti Rear Diopter Sight on my HW 30s and usually get 1/2 inch 10 shot groups at 25 yards. So far the rear sight stays put even with no stop post. I have tried this same setup with my HW50s but groups are a little larger. But it is a .22 caliber and pellet selection may explain the difference.

        Do you use scopes with etched glass lens? If so at what distance is that an advantage?

        Decksniper


        • Decksniper
          Yep on all you said.

          And right now I have some Hawke scopes that have etched glass reticles that a very thin. And I have some UTG scopes that are not etched glass reticles that are actually fairly thick.

          I myself have no problem with accuracy from either the thick or thin reticle.


  9. A few years ago, I bought two of the small cardboard boxes of 1250 each of the Crosman Heavy domed pellets. I tried them in various air rifles, and they never destinguished themselves as highly accurate. Then, a while back I got a tin of the Crosman Copper Magnums. I happened to try them in my 1377 multi-pumper. Now, my 1377 is outfitted as follows. I installed a steel breech in order to have a solid platform to install a rifle scope. I put on, currently, a Leapers 3×9 AO I’ve had for some hears now, and finally, I put on the skeleton stock. I stuck with the stock barrel. I have a 1322 outfitted the same but with a Winchester 3×9 AO scope.
    When I tried the Copper Magnums in the 1377, they shot very well. But, they are expensive. Tins come in 200 only. I got to thinking about the Crosman Heavy’s that I had, and considered that the Copper Mags, were just the domed heavy’s with a copper coating. I asked that question on Amazon where I had bought the Copper coated pellets. I was told that, yes, the Copper pellets ARE the domed ones with a copper coating. The non-coated pellets are quite a bit cheaper, so I decided to try them in the 1377 carbine. I am now very happy I bought those domed heavy’s, as they shoot fantastic groups in my 1377. I shoot this gun a lot because it is so compact, fast handling, easy to pump, and now, has great accuracy. I had been floating around between my pellet selection with the airgun, but wasn’t getting satisfied with the accuracy. I have learned over many years of shooting that a short barrel CAN be very accurate. With the results I am getting in this gun with those pellets, I wouldn’t even consider rebarreling to a longer barrel. I would like to install a TKO muzzle brake, as you can’t with a stock barrel, but with the accuracy and consistency I’m now getting, well, I’m not changing anything.
    BB has got fine results with these pellets for many years, which is why I bought them. But, till now, I hadn’t got really good results. I won’t even waste my time trying other pellets in this gun any more. Well, unless the 1377 changes it’s mind.

    The Dragonfly sounds great. Except my eyes won’t work with open sights any more. And, if it’s that hard to pump with a scope on, it’s probably not for me. Also, I like quiet, as I do some night ratting, and don’t want neighbor problems.


    • Birdmove,

      Have you tried some of the new red dots or Holo sghts. Some of them are getting smaller dots than the big 3-4 moa of the past. One of those sights might give a better spot to hold the rifle while pumping to boot!

      shootski



    • Birdmove,

      I just suggested to BB that he remove the rear sight and try pumping to see if it is more comfortable. It comes off pretty easy. Maybe he will report on it if he tries it.

      Half


  10. Birdmove

    My Diana 34 likes the brown box pellets, both the 7.9 grain and the 10.5 grain. I do sort these with a Pelletgage to weed out a few outliers. I bought a Hatsun 95 gas piston version with the Vortex a few years back and had only mediocre accuracy until I tried the 10.5 grain domes in the brown box. It delivers 1/2 inch groups of 10 at 25 yards consistently putting it in the same ball park with the Diana and my two Weihrauch rifles.

    I will try these in my 1377 and even in my Crosman Custom 1300KT. The latter has a 14.6″ Lothar barrel while the former is stock.

    Decksniper


  11. Frankly, this gun has been disappointing. Too hard to pump with a scope and looks like it has the same potential for problems with the barrel as the Diana PCP version. I finally decided to pull the trigger (so to speak) on the Benjamin Maximus Euro. Seems to have a pretty good shot count and accuracy in the video. I’m having the trigger adjusted so we’ll see how it works when I get it back. I also like the fact that it’s a 2000 psi fill and easy to fill with a hand pump. Should be easier to hold steady on the offhand and kneeling lanes for hunter field target. I just can’t control the bounce with the R1 and the Leapers 6 to 24 scope I have on it.

    Brent


  12. B.B.,

    I was off grid when you posted this report on the Dragonfly. I figured that it might end up that way.

    I have a few more comments on the Dragonfly:

    1. Warning:

    I have adjusted the trigger with the set screw that is in the trigger and pushes against the sear. It can be adjusted to a very light pull, that I think will make it unsafe. On my gun I have it adjusted to 1 lb 4 oz. When you adjust the set screw to reduce the travel and pull in the trigger it does not allow enough trigger travel for the safety to work. The gun will fire when the trigger is pulled and the safety is on.

    2. I planned on putting a scope on my Dragonfly from the beginning. I have a Hawk 2-7 scope and Medium rings. For a while I held the gun at the wrist on the stock while pumping. That got old quick with more than 4 pumps. I now hold the gun at the scope just over the front ring. I have not noticed any problems yet by holding the scope and pumping.

    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Hawke_Sport_Optics_2_7x32_AO_Sport_HD_Rifle_Scope_Mil_Dot_Reticle_1_4_MOA_1_Tube/5164

    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Leapers_Accushot_1_Rings_Medium_3_8_Dovetail_4_Screws_Cap/793

    3. My gun still leaks when left with a pump or two and not cocked. I am still leaving one pump and the gun cocked while not in use. I think the spring is getting a little easier to pull back, I should have measured the cocking effort in the beginning. The gun still exhausts all the air on every shot with up to 8 pumps.

    4. I also did some 5 shot groups at 22 yards with 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 pumps. I used 22 yards because the target was in the shade at 25 yards. With my Dragonfly the point of impact changes in a way that was unexpected. I believe the pressure in the reservoir is bending pump tube and reservoir. Below is the target.

    5. I also compared the POI changes vs pumps against the Benjamin 392. The 392 follows the expected shift in POI with more pumps. Below is the chart.

    Don






          • B.B.,

            Am I pleased? I had to ponder that question for a while and I still am not sure if I am pleased. From your testing I would recommend the Dragonfly. On my gun I had to do quite a bit of work on the barrel to get decent groups. The barrel had a large ring/ridge all the way around the crown that I had to remove. Now I can consistently get 10 shot 1 inch plus or minus groups at 25 yards. I was hoping for more like 0.5 inch groups based on the features the gun has. I also think it may get a little better with a few hundred more pellets, that is a lot of pumping though.

            I like the design of the gun, I just wish mine performed a little better out of the box. So am I pleased, well not yet, I still have some more work to do with the gun and may eventually be very pleased.

            Don


      • Don,

        The 25 yard target did not come through, could you repost it or did you give up on 25 for the shade.

        On the 22 yard it looks like the Dragonfly likes 5 pumps with that pellet, that is kinda odd how the point of impact is changing, have you tried other pellets?

        Mike


        • Mike,

          I miss typed when I said 25 yards, I only shot at 22 yards.

          I have tried quite a few pellets but not too extensive of testing for different pellets. In my first pellet tests the Crosman Premier Lights were the best. I spent quite a bit of time on the leade and the crown using the Crosman Premier Light pellets. If I test some more pellets and find one better than the Premier Lights I will post it. I also did not test different pellets for point of impact at different numbers of pumps.

          Don


          • Don,

            Given the changing groups it might be a thought to try another barrel, if it is possible to order another.

            Good luck, I am sure you will let us know where it goes from here.

            Mike



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