Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Seneca Aspen PCP
The Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Today’s test
  • Beeman Kodiaks
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Air Arms domes
  • Discussion
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53mm heads
  • Second discussion
  • High power
  • Field Target Trophy pellets with 5.55mm heads
  • Last discussion
  • Summary

Today I move back to 25 yards and shoot some groups with the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP. Before I go there, though, I promised reader Decksniper I would show him the shim I used to tighten the scope mounts on the Aspen’s small dovetail. You need to remember that I used the UTG P.O.I. scope rings to mount the UTG Bug Buster 3-12X32 scope on the Seneca. That’s important because of the extremely tight tolerances those rings have. They fit so well that only a single shim was required. Look where I put it.

Seneca Aspen PCP scope ring shim
Raising one jaw just that little bit was all it took to bind the scope rings solidly in place.

I just shimmed under one jaw on the right side of the rear ring. Those P.O.I. rings are so precise that once they are pushed out of line even a little they bind up tight. This is a great solution!

Today’s test

Today I shot off a sandbag rest at 25 yards. I shot 5-shot groups because I was pumping the rifle between shots. I plan to do more shooting at 25 yards with the magazine and also with filling the rifle from a tank, but today I just pumped the gun by hand. I kept it pumped to the pressures we have discovered work the best for high and low power. Because low power requires slightly higher pressure, I started the test there.

I loaded the gun single shot. I will test the magazine in a future report, but I didn’t today.

Beeman Kodiaks

I started with some vintage Beeman Kodiak pellets that are no longer made. They are the same pellets as H&N Baracudas. On low power 5 of them went into 0.547-inches at 25 yards. Not bad.

Seneca Aspen PCP Kodiak low
On low power the Aspen put 5 Beeman Kodiak pellets in 0.547-inches at 25 yards.

I had hoped that Kodiaks might be great, because Baracudas were great at 10 meters. But that didn’t happen.

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy

Next I tried JSB Jumbo Heavy pellets. Five of these on low power went into 0.499-inches at 25 yards. It’s a very vertical group, but close side-to-side.

Seneca Aspen PCP JSB Jumbo low
Five JSB Jumbo Heavys went into 0.499-inches at 25 yards.

Air Arms domes

Next to be tried were some .22-caliber Air Arms 16-grain domes. At 25 yards 5 of them made a group that measures 0.53-inches between centers.

Seneca Aspen PCP Air Arms low
Five Air Arms domes went into 0.53-inches at 25 yards.

Discussion

The groups I was getting were very good, but not as good as I had hoped. You may notice that the impact point is shifting around as the pellets change. I was adjusting the scope after each group to get the shots in the black without shooting out my aim point. So, now I adjusted the scope once more for the next group.

H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53mm heads

The next pellet I tried was the H&N Baracuda with 5.53mm heads. These were the best at 10 meters and I hoped that would carry over to 25 yards. Well — it did. This time 5 pellets went into 0.253-inches at 25 yards. That’s almost small enough for the trime.

Seneca Aspen PCP Baracuda Match low
On low power 5 H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 5.53mm heads went into 0.253-inches at 25 yards. Notice I shot out my aim point!

Second discussion

When you see a pellet that clearly stands above all the rest like this, stop wasting your time chasing other pellets. Work with this one. This was the breakthrough I had been hoping for.

High power

I initially planned on testing all the pellets at both power levels, but that didn’t seem as important after seeing how much better this particular one is. So I tested it on high power, which, ironically, takes a little less pressure in the rifle for best results.

Five Baracuda Match pellets with 5.53mm heads went into 0.534-inches at 25 yards when fired on high power from the Seneca. While that’s very good, we have the first tests that show the rifle can do at least as good, if not better, with most pellets on low power.

Seneca Aspen PCP Baracuda Match highh
On high power 5 H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 5.53mm heads went into 0.534-inches at 25 yards. Notice I shot out my aim point again!

I was getting tired from all the pumping because the Aspen requires me to hold it away from myself to open the pump arm all the way. So I’m pumping while holding the rifle at arms’ length. The pumping is not hard, but doing it that way does get old. In the field, away from a shooting bench, I wouldn’t have the same problem.

Field Target Trophy pellets with 5.55mm heads

I did want to try one more pellet, though. Would the Seneca Aspen be the first rifle to shoot H&N Field Target Trophy pellets with 5.55mm heads for me? Apparently not, because this was the largest group of the test. On high power 5 pellets went into 1.018-inches at 25 yards.

Seneca Aspen PCP FTT high
On high power 5 H&N Field Target Trophy pellets with 5.55mm heads went into 1.018-inches at 25 yards.

Last discussion

I find the trigger crisp, but a little heavy. I may see if I can adjust it.

The Bug Buster 3-12 is just about perfect for this rifle. The optics are clear and the reticle is fine enough for what the rifle can do.

Pumping is a bit of a chore. I still have to find a good way to do it.

Summary

I’m going to test the rifle as a PCP next and that will be when I also use the magazine. I think I will test with the Baracudas and perhaps some new pellets, to find a second good one.

This is a great multi-pump. If you are on the fence let me push you over. There is a lot like.

50 thoughts on “Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 5

  1. B.B.,

    I’m glad Decksniper pushed you into showing how you shimmed the scope mount. I had thought you had placed it in the angular mating surfaces. Any ideas as to the cause of that consistent vertical stringing of the shots?

    PA might have it’s hands full this season fulfilling the orders for the Aspen and Sig ASP20.

    Siraniko



  2. B.B.,

    Nice. Looking forwards to more. The shim idea was interesting. I had pictured it at the pinch point. (Very) fortunate that the dove tail is so tall. That is something I have learned to look for in something new.

    Thank you for the input on the straight SIG stock. Also to Siraniko and Shootski. Maybe it is a trend we will see more of.

    Good Day to one and all,….. Chris


  3. BB
    Looks like the Aspen is going to be a shooter.

    I almost bought a Nova Freedom the other day but decided to hold off to see how the Aspen did.

    Now to see what it will do at 50 yards.

    And it’s a shame you had to shim your rings at the dovetail. From the dimensions you gave on the last report I still say that 3/8 rings would be the choice over the 11 mm rings. 3/8 rings are closer to the dimensions that you gave than to the 11 mm rings. The 3/8 rings should clamp right up with no dovetail shimming.

    I know you got a lot of testing to do so that probably played a part in shimming rather then getting the correct rings for your guns dovetail. Oh well as long as it works I suppose.



  4. BB
    The original importer actually has a notation that Weaver # 49053 3/8″ scope rings work well on this rifle. So I imagine any rings or adapters identified as fitting a 3/8″ dovetail would work OK.
    Mine is tight but unfortunately I have no way of identifying the rings once unpacked.
    Sometimes flipping the ring tip that fits into the dovetail upside down will tighten the ring up but it looks like that’s not an option with your particular rings.

    I imagine the best air pressure for shooting on the high or low setting would get thrown out the window if you make adjustments to the hammer spring. You would need to test it all over again.
    Of course you would have to identify the factory hammer spring setting and let us know ( Hint, Hint ) which way you adjust it and what the results would be. Probably take up another entire part.
    Bob M


  5. B.B.,
    I’m so glad that you give the replacements for the Beeman Kodiacs. Those are the best in a PCP pistol I have and I am shooting through the last tin of them.
    Gerald


  6. BB

    Excellent close up of the shim placement. I too was surprised at the location. Would have expected it to be around the jaws or above the mount grip, not below it.

    Bob M’s tip on flipping the ring tips has sometimes worked for me but always wondered if it would remain tight. Gunfun 1’s advice on using the 3/8 inch clamps seems like a better solution if they work for this rifle.

    Just when I’m sure I need the Sig along comes this hybrid PCP/multi pump. Oh my, what to do?

    Deck


    • Decksniper
      Maybe the description is wrong on PA’s site about it being a 11 mm dovetail. Since Bob mentioned the importer states 3/8 dovetails. PA needs to get that figured out before they lead people down the wrong path. I don’t think everyone will be wanting to shim their new scope on their new gun just because the rings were noted wrong.

      But first things first. Someone should try 3/8 rings on their Aspen (hint PA) to make sure they do indeed clamp up tight without shimming. Or maybe you done checked it out Bob. If so let us know.


  7. Sorry to be off subject, but Tom never seems to scold me or others. I had never shot any lead free pellets through any of my airguns before. Stopped into a good sized fishing, hunting, shooting store yesterday. Picked up some .177 RWS Hobby’s and RWS pointed pellets to try. Decided to grab a tiny tin of Crosman Fast Flight 5.4 grain lead free to try. These are spendy at about $9.00 for the 150. I want to try a few in each of my air riles just for fun. I’v e been getting back to shooting my older model Remington Airmaster 77 lately. bought it new 14-15 years ago. I had expected these Fast Flight, being just 5.4 grains, might shoot way off from the normal pellets I usually shoot. These, being from 7.0 to about 8.2, with a few Crosman 10.5 grainers thrown in. I also expected horrible accuracy. I have watched and read airgun reviews, where lead frees, instead of the 1/4″ groups the writer gets most of the time, might open up to six, and sometimes even like eight inch groups splattered every where. I shoot mostly at close range of seven to ten yards. I was very surprised with these lead free pellets. I only shot a three shot group due to the expense and only having 150 to try in all my rifles. These made a vert tight little group and the elevation was right on. They shot about 1/2″ to the right though. Not much of a difference.

    More testing in my other airguns. Daisy 880, Crosman 760, Umarex APX NPG, maybe my Crosman F4 break barrel too. These pellets use a cylindrically shaped plastic (?) sleeve at the base, with the tip of the metal pellet sticking out. Anyone else tried these? Why do they shoot so close to where my Remington is zero’d? Ya learn something every day.


    • Birdmove
      I have the same thoughts about the light weight pellets.

      It’s good to know that you got good results.

      Definitely want to hear more about how they do in your other guns.


    • Birdmove,

      Good question. I too have wondered about the plastic “sleeved” pellets.

      1) How does the skirt “blow out”? Or,.. does it?
      2) Is the head as big as the OD of the sleeve?
      3) Since/if the skirt leaves the barrel smaller then than head,… how does that differ from something that leaves the barrel with the skirt and head being the same size?
      4) What makes the “sleeve” separate?
      5) When does the sleeve leave? Immediately? 2′? 5′?
      6) Would not the sleeve departing from the pellet cause disruption/instability when the separation occurs?
      7) What is the concept/theory to this type of projectile?

      Or,… am I the only one pondering such matters? 😉 I do not discount anything,…. but quite frankly,… these sleeved pellets have me stumped.

      Chris


      • B.B.,

        That is a list of questions,… ehh? Have you done any extensive testing with plastic sleeved pellets,… other than the (maybe) occasional test,.. in with other conventional pellets? If so,.. a link. If not,… then the questions await an answer. Been there, done that,… seen it before?,…. a bunch of hooey and just a sales gimmick? If so,… call it.

        I think,… gimmick. But,.. I do not know. Therefore,… I ask.

        Chris


      • I can say that the sleeve made it out of the barrel, through the target, and into my pellet trap. I use a home made wooden box and stuff it with ole towels, rags, shirts, whatever. They were sitting on these items. So, they apparently shed the actual metal bullet on impacting. The metal bullet or head is smaller in diameter than the plastic sleeve. Here is photos.

        https://www.google.com/search?q=Crosman+Fast+Flight+5.4+grain+pellets&rlz=1CAACAG_enUS793US794&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6082gvOjeAhXszVQKHdb2Am0Q_AUIDygC&biw=1242&bih=605&dpr=1.1#imgrc=9a5iBFPyP6j68M:

        These are the ones where the head is smaller than the plastic sleeve.

        I tried two 3 shot groups yesterday in my newer model Crosman 760 smooth bore. First I shot one group each at seven yards and six pumps with Crosman Premier Super Match wad cutters, RWS Hobbys, Crosman Premier Pointed, and Gamo Match. The 760 was shooting particulary well, and gave me nice cloverleaf 3 shot groups. The Crosman pointed put 2 in one hole, with one out, so I shot 2 more, and ended up with 4 of 5 in a nice small group.

        Then, I shot two three shot groups with the Fast Flights. These were both pretty close in placement wit the other pellets, but groups opened up to maybe 3/4″ . So, the 760 doesn’t care for these.


        • In my Remington, they shot pretty darn well at the same distance and 6 pumps. I’m not pushing them hard, and the the sound on firing is about the same as with my lead pellets. Maybe I’d get a “crack” sound at 10 pumps. Next, I’ll try them in my Daisy 880. Then maybe my Umares APX NPG. I do likes my multi-pumpers!


        • Birdmove,

          Thank you for verifying what the plastic shell does upon shooting (stays with the pellet until impact). It is an interesting concept.

          I would think that they might (not) be for something with a noise moderator. Maybe plastic bits would be collecting in the moderator casing?

          Chris


  8. B.B.,

    Those groups with the 5.53 Barracudas are beautiful and round. The Seneca Aspen continues to impress, no question.

    I am surprised you haven’t decided to switch to SCBA just one stage of the report earlier. After all, you did demonstrate the multi-pump capabilities and benefits before. (And that’s from me, the anti-PCP ogre!) You deserve to be able to shoot a bit more and labor a bit less. :^)

    Frankly, and it hurts my considerable ego to admit this, a compressor is beginning to start to sound more reasonable to me as I have been struggling with both A-Fib and especially kidney and bladder stones for the past month or so. Those sorts pf things take the will to multi-pump Sheridans & Benjamins and cock springers right of a guy. :^(

    Michael


    • Michael,

      I avoided compressors as long as possible myself, so you are preaching to the choir. I will break down and try it as a PCP next, so I can shoot 10-shot groups and also use the magazine. But I have a feeling the multi-pump is the way to go with this one.

      B.B.


    • Michael
      I’m glad that the pcp compressors are available. It definitely makes the pcp’s more enjoyable.

      The biggest thing it seems from what I see is people don’t want to spend the money to get a compressor. The way I look at is get the compressor. It’s like you spent the money that it would cost to get one good spring gun. Then once you have the compressor you can get whatever kind of pcp’s you want.

      I’m willing to bet once you get a compressor and a PCP gun you will enjoy the exsperiance.



        • Chris
          So far so good on the compressor. Knock on wood.

          But yep I keep thinking about spring guns that I would like to get. Thing is the spring guns don’t stretch out like I can with the pcp guns. Well you know what I mean. But I think once people actually give pcp’s a try they will like them.



  9. BB
    I have a Nova Freedom and found that by putting the stock butt first on the ground keeping the rifle pointed up its a lot easier to pump up when I am sitting at my range.


  10. B.B. , For the 25 yd Benjamin smoothbore shoot, what about Predator Polymags?
    That pellet may work well out of a smoothbore, it looks like a tiny tank round with the polymer tips on them.
    Also, are a pistol scope and a scout scope the same or similar?
    Hope the Sig is worth the wait !
    Have a nice day folks, R


    • 1stblue,

      I’m reluctant to try anything at 25 yards that hasn’t been proven at 10 meters. This is a smoothbore and groups open pretty quick.

      Pistol scopes have eye relief of around 21 to 25 inches. Scout scopes are around 11-16 inches. To use a scout scope on a pistol you have to hold the pistol closer.

      B.B.


    • 1stblue,

      If you have a scout scope you could use what is called the TACO hold:. If you already know this just ignore the following: Hold scope and pistol overtop,. with your weak hand, just like you would an overstuffed real taco. That should bring the occular within the 11-16″ B.B. gives as the eye relief range for a scout scope.

      shootski



  11. GF1 and all
    Dovetails
    I measured the dovetail on the Seneca Aspen and it is 11/32″ wide inside the dovetail cut. That’s a tad under 3/8″ (1/32″) So it is a 3/8″ dovetail and that size will tighten down completely. The top flat is 1/32″ short of a half inch.

    Now I have a Accushot airgun/22 one piece integral scope mount and measured the distance between the shoe/ blade tips when tightened. exactly 3/8″ and it works fine on this rifle. ( For checking only, wont fit wth a mag in )

    I then flipped the removable blade to use the other blade tip and it measured exactly 7/16″ or 11.1125mm when tightened and it does not tighten down on this rifle. It’s too wide to tighten down in the dovetail or on the top flat when the screws are bottomed out, totally lose.
    Remember the top of the dovetail on this rifle is just short of 1/2″ wide and with the blade set in this 11mm mode the ring base is slightly ‘ wider ‘ than 1/2″ when tightened. A no go all the way around.

    I now believe these scope mounts that have different size blade tips are designed to fit both size dovetails with this option. The box for the scope mount made no mention of the dovetail size at all so I am assuming it was meant to be universal.

    Some dovetails and mounts appear to have designed the grove or blade wider or thinner to fit everything but it doesn’t always work. It’s either 11mm, 3/8″ or adaptable. I much prefer a dedicated dovetail sized mount rail over those cut into a round tube like an after thought but that’s what a dovetail really is anyway.

    Boy I just happened to drop back down to this blog and it has nearly doubled in size. It really pays to go back and review recent blogs.
    Bob M


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