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 high

h
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.