Seneca Double Shot air shotgun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Seneca Double Shot
Air Venturi’s Seneca Double Shot air shotgun.

This report covers:

  • Fast second shot
  • Let’s review
  • Sub-1 crossbow
  • Reality of bow hunting
  • Description
  • How many shots?
  • What it shoots
  • Is this for you?
  • Summary

I usually just review the products and leave my personal opinions out — or I try to weave them in under the radar. Not today. I first saw today’s subject airgun, the Seneca Double Shot air shotgun at the 2018 SHOT Show. I looked at it and then showed it to Rossi Morreale on American Airgunner, all the while wondering — WHY? What possible use is there for a double-barreled air shotgun? Then Val Gamerman, the president of Pyramyd Air, told me. The extra barrel gives you a fast second shot.

Fast second shot

That second barrel gives you a quick second shot at a deer or other large game animal, when you are using Air Venturi Air Bolts. Nuff said! That is a real reason for owning a double-barreled air shotgun.

Let’s review

Before I describe this airgun let’s look at some past articles that have brought us to this point. First there was my review of the Seneca Wing Shot air shotgun. There are just two parts to that review because I treated the report of the Air Venturi Air Bolts as a separate subject. But, if you read that report you’ll see that the Wing Shot was at the heart of it.

We learned that the Air Bolt is an arrow (or bolt, as they are called by crossbow shooters) that fires much faster than any crossbow can. And they are accurate. Rossi Morreale shot a Robin Hood at the 2016 Texas Airgun Show while sighting in his Wing Shot for an upcoming pig hunt. That’s where the point of an arrow hits an arrow in the target and splits it.

Seneca Air Bolt Robin Hood
While sighting in his Wing Shot for a pig hunt, Rossi Morreale shot this Robin Hood (arrow hitting the base of another arrow already in the target).

Sub-1 crossbow

And there is one more report that you should consider. I also tested and later bought the Sub-1 crossbow. I initially did it because my experience with the Air Bolts compelled me to learn what a true crossbow was like. And the Sub-1 isn’t just any crossbow. It is the most accurate crossbow on the market today, with the possibility of shooting three bolts into a group that’s smaller than one inch at 100 yards! Not that I ever did it, but it has been done.

I found the Sub-1 extremely accurate, but at a cost of about double that of the Wing Shot. It isn’t as powerful, but with a crossbow, power isn’t everything. The bolts they fire are so heavy (400+ grains) that when they hit they keep on going — right into the boiler room of a large game animal, if they strike in the right place.

Reality of bow hunting

With an arrow, the animal has time to move after it hears the shot. This move is instinctive and triggered by sound. The Sub-1 puts arrows out at around 350 f.p.s. The Wing Shot is about 200+ f.p.s. faster. Even so, it isn’t so fast that the target doesn’t have time to move. Stealth and patience are still the name of the game when hunting with any kind of bow — even an airbow!

Description

Okay, enough background. Let’s get to it. What’s this Double Shot like?

The Double Shot is a side by side double barreled precharged pneumatic shotgun that weighs 8.55 lbs. That’s heavy for a shotgun, so if you are a scattergunner there will be some getting-used-to time ahead. They claim a velocity of 450 f.p.s. with Air Bolts, so the gun has been tamed from the Wing Shot to get more shots per fill.

Seneca Double Shot muzzles
Seneca Double Shot muzzles.

There is a single trigger, so the selector mechanism on top of the gun lets you switch between barrels. The action is cocked by a bolt on the right side of the action that is pulled straight to the rear each time you want to shoot. So, to fire both barrels you set the switch to either the left or right barrel, cock the gun and fire, then switch barrels with the selector, cock and fire again. With practice it takes seconds.

Seneca Double Shot selectors
The selector for which barrel fires is on top of the receiver. You can rotate either knurled knob to select to barrel and a line (arrow) tells you which barrel is going to fire. This photo also shows the knurled sliding breeches for loading balls or shotshells.

The gun has a pretty wood buttstock and forearm that many people commented on at the SHOT Show. It looks like a fine English double with its straight buttstock that has no hint of a pistol grip. It also handles like one, though the weight does slow it down.

There is a brass bead up front for rough sighting

How many shots?

The specs say you get up to 5 powerful shots per fill. That would agree with what I saw from the Wing Shot. However, since this is a double barreled gun, why not just go with 4 shots per fill? That will help you with air management, because its twice through both barrels. Naturally there is an air gauge in the forearm to tell you where the fill is. And this gun fills to 3,000 psi, so a survivalist can fill it with a hand pump. The rest of you may recoil in disbelief when I say that, but you have to remember — this gun isn’t for plinking.

What it shoots

The Double Shot is a smoothbore airgun, so it is ideally suited to shoot shot. Each barrel has a removable choke that’s taken off to load Air Bolts and shoot round balls, but put on for shotshells. You can also add the special longer and tighter 12.2mm chokes that Pyramyd Air provides that are supposed to give 10 percent tighter groups. I may have to try them for you.

Shot is available in a variety of loads that include a long shotshell loaded with number 8 shot, a long shell loaded with number 6 shot and an empty shell you can load with whatever you prefer. The specs say to expect up to 1,130 f.p.s. with shot.

The Double Shot also shoots .50-caliber round balls up to a velocity of 600 f.p.s. Accuracy will be less than with an Air Bolt, but out to 30 yards it ought to do the job. I will test it for you.

And of course the Double Shot also fires Air Bolts at up to 450 f.p.s. I think that is it’s strong suit, but a hunter will probably want to use all three types of ammo in this most versatile hunting airgun.

Is this for you?

Some of you have patiently read today’s report, all the while saying to yourselves, “This is not for me.” I get that. Air shotguns are not for every airgunner and this double barreled one certainly isn’t. It’s not a bragging-rights airgun, though you will certainly surprise and maybe even shock your shooting friends when you bring it out.

No, this airgun is for hunters — hunters of larger game, mostly. I’m going to test all the features, except wingshooting that I’m horrible at.

Summary

We are looking at a big bore airgun that’s not for everybody. It’s also unique in the airgun world. This is a step outside everybody’s comfort zone, and I am looking forward to it.

51 thoughts on “Seneca Double Shot air shotgun: Part 1

  1. B.B.,

    With the proper sized shot at a proper range this will also do for rats and other pests that usually come out at night. This is indeed a survivalist’s dream air rifle capable of shot, ball and bolts in one package.

    Siraniko



  2. B.B.,

    Not that I would ever get this,… I am interested in all aspects of it. This should make for some very entertaining reports.

    Good Day to one and all,….. Chris


  3. If you can indeed get the second shot off in seconds. I could like this gun. But it’s going to take some quick hand work to beat a firearm double barrel shot gun.

    All in all cool gun. And I still keep kicking around getting a Wing Shot or even a .50 caliber Dragon claw and use the Wing Shot shot shells in it. I’m still thinking the shot shells will do good in the Dragon claws rifled barrel. The question is I wonder if the barrel choke would work with the shot shells.

    Oh and BB. You reminded me of my dad with your saying. He on certain occasions when we was hunting would say get this one in the boiler room. That usually meant he didn’t want that one getting away.



      • BB
        Two seconds is doing some moving to get that follow up shot ready. But I’m afraid that a bird would done be gone by then. What I mean by that is that it would most likely be out of range. Well even a rabbit or squirrel.

        The big thing is will it be able to place the shot. In other words will it be accurate.

        Anyway can’t wait to hear more about it. Definitely like the idea about a air shot gun that works. From what I remember correctly the Wing Shot did pretty good with shot shells.



          • BB
            Yep I know what you mean about the follow up shot when your using a ball or such on deer and pig. That would be nice to have that other barrel available.

            What I’m wondering is about sighting when using balls and such. I’m guessing say the left barrel would get sighted in and the other would be for the up close finishing shot. I will like to see what you come up with when you test both barrels for accuracy. And I do see in the description it has a 11 mm dovetail.

            Makes me think that a red dot sight would be a good universal sight for this gun. That way you could easily shoot shot shells or balls and even arrows. What do you think about that when you test the gun on some paper later on.



              • BB
                I think the dot sight should work out nice for the round balls or slugs. Especially if we are trying to stay around the 50 yard range or so.

                And then you should still be able to point the gun good for wing shooting or rabbit or squirrel with shot shells.

                Don’t know about the dot sight with arrows/bolts though. But I guess if you stayed around 60 yards or in the dot sight should work too. Some cross bow shooters use dot sights for turkey and such and even deer and pigs.

                I definitely want to see what results you end up with. Sounds like some extra work for you but I think it will be enlightening to find out the results.


              • BB
                Has there ever been any double barrel air guns that shoot slugs or balls or bullets yet before this one your testing?

                And I’m not talking the Beeman over under air guns. I’m talking succesfull double barrel big bore solid lead shooters or even small bore solid lead shooters.


  4. BB,
    When I saw this on the show videos I immediately thought of a double rifle. I also thought of rifled inserts that would make it into a double rifle. You could probably go as high as .45. Of course you would have accuracy problems, especially when you removed and reinserted the barrels.

    Who knows, maybe the round ball will win me over. I can see a need for a .50 diabolo. They are up to .45 now.



      • BB,

        Chiappa has inserts for 12 and 20 shotguns. I have often wondered how really useful they would be. I guess if society fell apart they would give you more ammunition opportunities. No prepper shelter would be complete without them.



  5. B.B.,
    I’ve always been intrigued by air shotguns; and I’ve read all your articles about them.
    From an engineering perspective, I’m happy this thing exists; it’s just plain cool!
    As you’ve said before, we are in the Golden Age of Airguns. =>
    Eagerly anticipating your further reviews,
    dave


  6. BB,

    Another modification I thought of for this would be to either tap the knob on the right side and insert a “long” pin or replace it with a short lever. You would take your first shot with the lever toward the rear and as your hand came up to recock, your thumb could rotate the lever forward to the second barrel. You could change barrels and cock without removing the gun from your shoulder, speeding up the process for a second shot.

    I wonder if a miniature rifled slug would work well?


  7. All, Let me start by saying I’m not against this air by any means. BUT, I’ll never understand why shot shells for it are so expensive. When I can shoot my 12ga or 20 ga for less money, something doesn’t add up (same for the smaller less powerful Gamo viper too). I like the idea that airguns are “cheaper” to shoot as there is no primer or powder. Not so with the shotguns. Next, when compared with crossbows for hunting, one very important thing one must remember, Crossbows (or at least the ones I have shot) are very quiet. These air shotguns are a High level 5 on PA’s site (Very Loud). So I can shoot/practice the bow/cross bow in my yard, but not with these shotguns.
    All that said, of coarse I’d like to own one. I’d try to figure out if I could make my own load up for it though. Maybe a couple wads and some shot would work.

    Doc



      • B.B.
        $6 for 50 shells would be great. Even though the Gamo Viper Express is weak, I would have gotten one had shell not been so darn high. For what I wanted to shoot (wood bees, hornets, wasp, flies, grasshoppers and such) I think it would have been ok. I think the new Hatsun .30 cal break barrel would also be a good platform for a low power break barrel shotgun. But that is just me

        Doc


    • Doc
      I don’t like the idea of the high dollar shot shells either.

      Probably one of those because it’s a specialty type of air gun situations.

      But look at .30 caliber and up air gun pellets. They ain’t cheap either.

      And about the noise. And remember a 12 or 20 gauge shot gun is no way back yard friendly. Even a 410 shot gun. And thinking back I believe BB said the Wing Shot wasn’t as loud as a .410.

      So even though these single shot and double barrel air shot guns are loud. They are way quieter than a firearm shot gun. I think we are spoiled now days with shrouds and so on with our air guns. Plus remember a loud air gun makes a different sound than a firearm. In certain conditions a air gun still might be the ticket.


      • Gunfun,
        Agreed. On the noise side, I was comparing it to crossbows, not shotguns. I also agree that big bore airgun pellets are too expensive. But on the black powder side, I used to shoot bp all the time with I was in my 20’s & 30’s. I did so first because it’s fun and two because they were so darn cheap to shoot. Then all the round ball and patch prices went way up to where I could shoot .38 (back then) and 9mm for about the same price with no mess. Crazy how they charge so much with so little being there. Today’s BP sabots are silly as for as pricing goes.

        Doc


        • Doc
          Nowdays if you take the prices of firearms they tend to be cheaper then air guns.

          And to get good shooting pellets you tend to have to pay premium prices.

          So in some instances maybe a firearm is the better choice. But in the other hand usually air guns can be shot where firearms can’t be. But probably in the long run the air gun and ammo will win out over the firearm cost and it’s ammo.

          But ain’t it funny how the market always figures out a way to make money.


  8. Always wanted to go pig hunting. I bet that second shot could get exciting, trying to draw a bead on a very hurt and pissed hog charging your a$$. I suppose there is a tree stand, but get the first shot right, or I would bring a nice wheelgun. I think there’s a market
    for a small charging steel target for practice dumping your cylinder or changing the barrel selector switch, for when you dont have a cooperative stationary target. Those splatter bbs would be great!
    I bet Mr sausage is pretty tasty cooked right. Have a nice day.



      • B.B.,

        This post is very interesting to me since it may prove a vehicle for the future Sport of Air-3-Gun!
        I will follow this SENECA report with high interest
        A brave and experienced pikeman is also an asset on a pig hunt in dense foliage areas. I’m reminded of a pikes only pig hunt during Navy survival training at Eglin AFB in North Florida.
        My .58 DAQ Short Rifle and .58 DAQ pistol are still in need of their first pig! Soon….

        shootski


        • Shootski
          That was in my mind also about using this air shot gun for a air 3 gun shooting match if it would ever come about.

          It could work out. Have a full fill and 2 in the chamber and two ready to load as you do your run.

          And heck maybe they could tether some sort of small buddy bottle to it to get like 8 shots. Then I could see one of those semi-auto Hatsan Sortie-tacts for the pistol/rifle part of the course and maybe a Marauder or AirForce gun for the longer range shooting part of the course.

          I think it would be a fun event. But I bet the competitors won’t be throwing their guns in a barrel when they move on to the next shooting station like the firearm 3 gunners do. I think us air gunners are more aware of how we handle our guns. As in we don’t like to knock them around. Maybe if that competition gets rolling they could have a table with padding on it to lay the guns on at each station. Anyway I would like to see it happen.


  9. This is not a gun I could shoot in my yard because of the noise level. I do find it very intriguing though. You could have a bolt in one barrel as the primary shot and a round ball in the other barrel for the back up. I also think that being a .50 cal. some of the sabot slugs for muzzle loaders may work well in it.
    Gerald


  10. B.B.

    I am wondering if the barrels are aligned for the projectiles to cross at a certain distance like a BP double? It’s been a long time, but as I recall, on a double barreled shotgun the patterns cross at about 40 yards. I have a double barreled 12 gage 3″ magnum. I shot some slugs in it one time and the right barrel with the modified choke shot pretty well out to about 50 yards but the left barrel with the full choke didn’t do so well.


  11. Hi all, wondering if anyone here has any experience with a leapers golden image compact 4×32 mildot scope? Pyramid used to sell them by the look of it but don’t anymore. A local gun shop is closing down and had a couple of these on the clearance table and I’m wondering if they are a decent scope for the money in this case $30 CAD or about $20 USD I would be either putting it on a Springer or a .223 powder burner would it hold up ?



    • RBF
      Great price, $30 off. Get two! If it has a fixed 30 yard parallax it may be better for an airgun but could work on short range 223 shooting. Great for general use and quick target accusation.


      • I stopped back this morning on my way by and grabbed one . I don’t know what the parallax setting is on this one it says 4×32 mini @ 100 on the objective bell so I assuming it’s set at 100 yards? I found an article on the mcarbo site about adjusting parallax on fixed parallax scopes like this one… if I were to set this to a different parallax setting what would be the ideal catch all range to set at for an air rifle?


        • Red Beard Forge,

          I did just that on a very cheap Crosman scope,… maybe it was Daisy? There is a ring on the objective end that has notches in it. I can not remember if I turned it in or out,…. but I can tell you that it worked very, very well. Like,…. 25 feet well.

          Chris


        • RBF
          A springer would probably not be too accurate beyond 40 yards, especially for cleanly eliminating small pests. Set it at the distance you shoot at the most and that the rifle is accurate at. What ever you set it at will be the clearest distance. 30 works for me. BB has lots of scope info available in his search box.


  12. Well i guess if you like PCP though i see no advantage of an air shotgun or a bolt over a big bore or a big bore over a powder burner for that matter. Traditional archery off the shelf or springers or a good powder burner or an atlatl. I don’t have a point other than do what you want.


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