Eagle Claw
Eagle Claw lever action repeater.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Last time
  • Today
  • First string
  • Discharge sound
  • Adjust the power as we go?
  • 5 clicks up from the bottom
  • 6 clicks up from the bottom
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I do something very interesting with the Seneca Eagle Claw lever action rifle. It’s something we have discussed, and today you get to see it in action.

The test

I thought the test would be to shoot the Eagle Claw with H&N Baracuda Match pellets going out at around 875 f.p.s. Then I would see how many shots I got in that general neighborhood. Well — it didn’t work out as planned, but I still got an interesting test.

Last time

In Part Three I tested the rifle on it’s lowest power setting. That turned out to be unusable, shooting H&N Baracuda Match pellets at 269-275 f.p.s. 

Then I dialed up the power wheel one notch and got an average of around 500 f.p.s. That was quite useable, and later in the test I was able to get back to that power after shooting the rifle at a higher power setting. The rifle was also quiet at this power level, producing only 69.2 decibels.

Then I bumped the power up one click at got an average 795 f.p.s. with the same Baracuda Match pellet. That was quite an increase, and the sound also increased to 93.8 decibels. After that was when I dialed the power back to one click up from zero and the velocity went back down to just under 500 f.p.s.

Today

It was my goal today to adjust the power to around 875 f.p.s. with this same Baracuda Match pellet and see what sort of performance there was. But the rifle I’m testing doesn’t adjust to that level. At 3 clicks up from the lowest setting the first 10 shots averaged 927 f.p.s. So you can get around 800 f.p.s. with this pellet, and the next stop is around 920 f.p.s.

Remember from Part 2 that the highest power setting gave about 965 f.p.s. with this pellet. So three clicks up from the lowest setting puts us about 40 f.p.s. below the maximum. There isn’t much middle ground.

First string

Okay, now let me show you the entire first string I shot today — the one that averaged 927 f.p.s. The rifle was filled to 200 bar and I’m using the same Baracuda Match pellet that’s been used in all the discussion up to this point.

Shot………..Vel.
1……………919
2……………926
3……………925
4……………928
5……………924
6……………928
7……………928
8……………925
9……………937
10..…………935

Look at the velocity jump for shots 9 and 10. That’s the rifle coming up on the power curve. But now look at the second string on the same power setting (3 clicks up from low).

Shop Benjamin Rifles

Discharge sound

In Part three I recorded the discharge sound at 108.4 dB. Today with the power set at 3 clicks up the discharge recorded at 108.2 dB. So the sound is about as high as it’s going. This is no suburban backyard airgun!

Seneca discharge
The discharge at 3 clicks up is the same as at full power.

Shot………..Vel.
1……………934
2……………936
3……………929
4……………926
5……………921
6……………902
7……………908
8……………907
9……………903
10..…………897

Can you see that the rifle fell off the power curve around shot 4 or 5? I completed the string because most of the time I would not be shooting across a chronograph. I would just shoot a complete magazine. 

So, what was the air pressure remaining in the reservoir when the rifle “fell off” the power curve? Let me show you.

Seneca gauge 1
When the rifle “fell off” the power curve there was still 180 bar of pressure remaining in the reservoir.

The rifle really hasn’t fallen off anything. What has happened is the valve isn’t working well on that power adjustment setting any longer.

Adjust the power as we go?

I’ve talked about adjusting the power up as the reservoir pressure drops, and I thought this was the perfect time to show that. So I now dialed up the power to 4 clicks up from the bottom and shot another string.

Shot………..Vel.
1.……………964
2……………965
3……………956
4……………955
5……………955
6……………960
7……………950
8……………928
9……………944
10..…………did not register

Isn’t this interesting? At 4 clicks up from the bottom the rifle started out as powerful as it was on the highest setting — eleven clicks up! But toward the end of the ten shots the power did drop away. That told me it was time to dial up the power another click. The average velocity for this string was 953 f.p.s.

5 clicks up from the bottom

Shot………..Vel.
1.……………954
2……………948
3……………943
4……………941
5……………936
6……………934
7……………929
8……………922
9……………916
10..…………908

At the start the power is almost where it was before, but in the middle of the string it starts dropping away. By the end of the 10 shots the power has fallen quite noticeably. This is probably the end of the useful shots, regardless of where the power wheel is set. The average for this string was 933 f.p.s.

Just so we know for sure, I did shoot a final string. This time the power wheel was set up 6 clicks from the bottom.

6 clicks up from the bottom

Shot………..Vel.
1.……………917
2……………909
3……………909
4……………898
5……………888
6……………887
7……………883
8……………870
9……………865
10..…………DNR

After this magazine I photographed the onboard gauge once again. The needle is still in the green, but the rifle has used almost all its air.

Seneca Gauge 2
Though the needle is still in the green, the Eagle Claw has no more stable shots at this point.

The average for this string was 890 f.p.s., but the extreme spread was 52 f.p.s. That’s too high for anything but shots at very close range. So, for a shot count we could say there are 4 magazines worth with 40 good shots when the power wheel is moved up from three clicks after magazine 2, and then one more notch each for magazines 3 and then 4.

Discussion

Here is what we now know about this Seneca Eagle Claw rifle. The power wheel does adjust its power over a broad band, but there isn’t much adjustability between the power stops at 500, 800 and 920 f.p.s. We can get 500 f.p.s., then it jumps to 800 f.p.s. and then to 920+ f.p.s.

We know we can keep it around 920+ f.p.s for at least 40 shots by adjusting the power wheel three clicks up for the first two magazines, one more click for the third magazine and one more click for the fourth mag. Hunters can use that kind of data, once they settle on an accurate pellet.

We also know that at each power setting the velocity remains very stable. That isn’t common for rifles with adjustable power, and for a powerful hunting rifle the Eagle Claw does quite well.

Finally I need to say that all Eagle Claws may not perform exactly as this one did. Remember that the first rifle I tested only had 7 power levels, so there may not be a lot of consistancy in these rifles. You need to chronograph your own rifle, but use my method to shorten the process.

Summary

This is the last time we will test the power. Next we look at the accuracy, which the Eagle Claw hopefully has in abundance