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Education / Training Air Venturi Seneca Eagle Claw lever action repeater: Part 6

Air Venturi Seneca Eagle Claw lever action repeater: Part 6

Eagle Claw
Eagle Claw lever action repeater.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This report covers:

  • Couldn’t mount a scope
  • No sight-in
  • Another scope!!!
  • What’s happening?
  • Oh, fudge!
  • Why not 10 shots in the groups?
  • Summary

You were supposed to get an accuracy test of the Seneca Eagle Claw today, but old BB Pelletier blew up — in many ways.

Couldn’t mount a scope

First up was the scope mounting fiasco. I tried and tried mounting scopes to the rifle, but nothing worked. After an hour of messing around with two different scope mounts and swearing (literally!) that the Eagle Claw Picatinney rail wasn’t machined correctly, I measured it with a dial caliper. The lug slots measure exactly 5 mm. Okay — then UTG got it wrong with their cantilever scope rings.

Nope! Five millimeters on the nose. Okay — then the rings HAVE to fit the rail. So I took the scope out of the rings and, sure enough, the rings did fit. BB doesn’t like taking scopes out of rings because not only are they mounted correctly so the crosshairs will be vertical and level when they are mounted, the shims are also in place to offset any droopiness. Because BB has learned that rifle barrels are ALWAYS droopy.

So, I’m tightening the rings and — oh, oh! The front ring now impacts on the rotary magazine. Okay, there was an hour wasted on a scope I can’t use. Where is my 3-12X32 Bug Buster?

The Bug Buster went on with no problem. Among other things like its clarity, I like my Bug Buster because it almost always fits a rifle! Hurrah I am 90 minutes into the test and I have a scope on the rifle. I should be photographing and measuring groups by now, but I haven’t fired the first shot.

Eagle Claw scoped rifle
The Bug Buster cleared the rotary magazine.

No sight-in

But I couldn’t get the Bug Buster sighted in! I shot from 12 feet and the pellet hit low. But if I back up to 10 meters the pellet will rise by the amount of height the scope is above the bore. 

Nope! The pellet dropped even lower. How about back at 25 yards? Nope again. The pellet dropped farther.

Another scope!!!

BB is starting to fuss and fume. Two hours of his test time is blown and not one effective shot does he have to show for it. It takes longer to write the report than it does to test the rifle and I am running out of time.

Eagle Claw scopes
Old BB was runnin’ and gunnin’ today. Mostly to no avail.

But I smiled and got on with it. The third scope was and still is an older UTG 8-32X56. Once again I tried to sight in. At 12 feet I was hitting where I needed to, to be on at 25 yards. But when I backed up that far I never hit the target. In fact I wasn’t even sure that pellets were coming out of the muzzle.

Eagle Claw target
No matter what BB did the pellets kept moving away from the targets.

What’s happening?

I reloaded the magazine and noticed that one pellet from before had fallen into the breech under the bolt. Oh, NO!

At this point almost three hours had passed without BB getting off a single decent  shot. And it suddenly dawned on me what was wrong.

I had been loading the rotary magazine from the back, the way most rotary mags are loaded, and at this point I remembered that the Eagle Claw mag might just load backwards. So I went to the older reports and there it was in Part 2. Under the heading Loading the magazine (how ironic!) it says:

The Eagle Claw magazine is loaded from the front, pellet skirt first. I have to admit that I forgot that since the last time I tested the rifle. I loaded it from the back the first time. You can do that but the magazine doesn’t work right if you do. The rotating cylinder doesn’t rotate when the mag is loaded from the rear. I shot several blank shots before I figured that out. You can manually advance the mag, but it won’t go on its own if loaded incorrectly. That said, it’s no trouble to load it the way they say to.

If you load the mag correctly the pellet has to be pushed deep inside the cylinder. And it does go deep! That means it can accept pellets of all the heavier weights.

Once I loaded the magazine correctly all problems went away and it was 100 percent reliable. I will also remark that the lever does operate smoothly, once you get used to it.”

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

Oh, fudge!

Here I had spent all morning fussing with the rifle when all that was wrong was how I was loading the pellets into the magazine. Okay, today won’t be a formal accuracy test, but you do get at least one group! Maybe two. These were shot with JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets.

Eagle Claw groups
That’s 7 pellets in the 0.483-inch group on the left and 8 in the 0.385-inch group on the right. Both were shot at 25 yards.

Why not 10 shots in the groups?

In today’s test I was also using the power adjustment wheel that I discussed in Part 5. I set it at 3 clicks from the bottom and then forgot to dial it up as the shooting progressed. By the time I shot these two groups, several shots were weaker and missed the target altogether. For the group on the right I figured out what was happening and dialed the power all the way up. That’s the way I will shoot the Eagle Claw from now on. I’ll dial in full power, shoot 20 shots and refill.


Well, that was a peak behind the curtain at what sometimes happens in my life. I normally don’t tell you about these things, but today was a comedy of errors and I wanted to share it with you.

I will give the Eagle Claw a real accuracy test, and after seeing what I saw at the end of today, I think we are in store for a surprise.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

29 thoughts on “Air Venturi Seneca Eagle Claw lever action repeater: Part 6”

  1. BB –
    Isn’t there an old saying about ‘experience is what you get when you were expecting something else to happen’?
    Here’s hoping for a better tomorrow.

  2. BB
    An interesting lesson altogether.
    Please don’t let the Eagle Claw to wait for its turn for the next blog. I suppose most of us want to see the accuracy potential sooner.

  3. B.B.,

    Thanks for letting us peek over your shoulder and occasionally jostling your elbow. May this be the peak of your blunders. No guarantees though.


  4. BB,

    LOL! As Billj says, I am very experienced.

    As a hunter, I have heard nothing but raving reviews of this air rifle. When looking at your last two groups I have to agree. It is doing better than quite a few that cost twice as much.

    What this air rifle really needs is someone to handle it extensively and exclusively to learn all of its little idiosyncrasies. No, it will never likely win trophies, but I think it will fill the pot quite nicely and look good while it is doing it.

    Personally, I would druther it in .25. More knockdown.

  5. There will be days like this – when they happen to FM, the hardest part is avoiding the self-recrimination and anger at himself; “stuff” happens and most of the time we do not have as much control over “stuff” as we think. In the end, you arrived at a good place, B.B. – impressive shot groups after going thru all the frustration. FM should do half as well. Well, with the new transitional-lens glasses that might even be remotely possible.

    Final takeaway: we human “beans” love to reinvent the wheel; we’re human, that’s what we do!

  6. One more example of my frustration with airgun manufacturers and their obsession with proprietary pieces and parts. Please standardize, as much as possible, scope rail widths, foster fill ports (I don’t need anymore adapters thank you), magazines, etc.

  7. B.B.

    My condolences for your difficult day. Maybe these lyrics from a song by John Lennon will cheer you up.

    “Nobody told me there’d be days like these”
    “Nobody told me there’d be days like these”
    “Strange days indeed”
    “Most peculiar, Mama”

  8. BB, You are blessed with an abundance of details to manage. After about a week or so on the “springergis”, I picked up the R10 and manually loaded the FT barracuda and precision seated it with a headphone jack. I was well reminded of what it’s supposed to feel like, and shoot like, a nice springer, that truly stacks them at 25 yds. Now I can go back and work on that lowly mag fed airgun that still buzzes too much.
    And yes, there is a propietary trigger spring in that the gun that I will have a hard time getting from the Umarex distributor. As a reward for my mechanical curiosity, I ordered an HW silencer for the R10. It’s for the neighbors too. I learned to shim the rear ring is S.O.P.

  9. B.B.,

    My abject apologies for bring up Yhprum’s Law yesterday! Doing that must have sucked the good order out of the Universe causing you to have a difficult day!

    Is there also the potential that the barrel is being effected by the air tube distortion moving the barrel band and subsequently moving barrel off the POA.
    With a Quackenbush, as you know, you learn (for the few shots) how to compensate or you convert to a true free-float band. With the number of shots being so high ‘learning’ that shifting pattern would be nearly impossible.


  10. B.B
    First, thanks for doing such an extensive review of this rifle. I was so impressed with it when it first came out that, even though you had indicated you may get to a review, I bought one anyway. (which I have never done – I always wait for your reviews).
    It very much reminded me of the old Career Infinity that I once owned, (that you also did a very nice review on), that I had to have it, especially since I never owned a lever-action air rifle. I suspect some ShinSung employee made their way over to SamYang/Sumatra to help design this rifle. The similarities are too striking.

    I have some observations on this rifle that maybe you can advise on.
    First, would you conclude that the lower power levels seem almost of no use, (except perhaps for practice) – they are not consistent and I don’t get a logical power / velocity curve with any setting below 75% of full power. Or do I have a bad rifle?
    Second, the valve hammer/spring combination seems to have a problem at anything over 195 bar.
    My particular rifle shoots JSB Exact Jumbo Monsters, (25.39 gr), exceptionally well, once the pressure drops to 190 – 195 bar, at which point it will deliver 30 solid shots averaging 949 fps with an extreme spread less than 25fps, which I find quite remarkable for a hunting rifle. (and much better than the old Infinity). Above 195 bar, however, it struggles to reach 915 fps. I am not sure why that is, or what can be adjusted to make use of that extra air.

    On a note unrelated to this rifle, a club member dismantled a PCP to insert a de-pinger in the air cylinder, and found it had a surprising amount of what looks like cutting oil in it. Enough that it dripped out when the tube was held vertically. This naturally started the debate about the dangers of oil in PCPs, as they plan to reassemble this thing with all that oil still in there.
    Being a scientist by training, I can’t debate that oil in the tube is no danger. As the gun fires, the pressure drops and the tube cools, so it won’t explode. Nor could one charge it fast enough to heat the contents to an ignition point.
    However, could not some of this oil end up on the low-pressure side of the valve, in the transfer port, or on the probe, and get exposed to a rush of high pressure air in a small confined space, and lead to a problem? Have you seen or heard of this type of “unscheduled rapid disassembly”?

    Best regards,


    • Jane Hansen,

      The entire problem with HPAir and carbon is a little overblown among airgunners in my opinion. I’m only talking about standard air not any of the combustible gases or oxidizers some have tried to use in PCPs. Even in the field of combustion/explosion/detonation it is still all only theoretical. The change over from combustion to explosion is normally caused by a rapid thermal increase or by increasing the length of the reaction change. Invariably those conditions are hard to achieve in an airguns pressure vessel as you have pointed out. It takes a specific mix at a specific pressure for an explosion to occur. The specific ignition point can be determined from the calculations of of when heat gain exceeds heat loss. I don’t think there is a way to fill standard air fast enough (available to even the above average airgunner) to have problems with thermal gain. Chain-branch reaction is another way to get there but again that is a very narrow band where the chain gets long enough and chain termination are equal; but even that takes some substantial heat gain. Finally we have Detonation: the flame front advancing at a supersonic velocity and by transition from laminar to turbulent flow gives rise to a shock wave. The increase in temperature due to compression in the shock wave results in self-ignition of the mixture, and detonation sets in. Okay, that sounds good, but where is that flame front being initiated? Not from flow any supersonic speeds in the pressure vessel, the Transfer Port, or behind the pellet/Bullet that i know of.

      That’s shootski’s Theory on why unless you use something you shouldn’t be using anyway to charge your PCP the odds are infinitesimally (Quantum shootski has learned to NEVER say never) small that you will ever have a bang!

      The above is in no way LEGAL Advice!


    • Rocket scientist Jane? Did you used to post on this blog many years ago? If so, you suggested an indoor target made of thick rubber that could safely stop a 45 cal round. Is it still working and what was it? Thanks

    • Jane,
      Sorry, but I have to ask, have you confirmed that it is a petroleum oil and not a silicone oil (used in some hpa pumps), or water which could come from the filling pump? – Don

    • Jane,

      It’s so good to hear from you!

      I must agree that with the Eagle Claw there seems to be no advantage to the lower power settings.

      As for the oil, I have to believe that it is not cutting oil but is silicone based. I have seen too many PCPs that have exploded and burned from using pure oxygen in them, that I think the warning about petroleum-based oil is valid. Though I admit that I’ve never seen a PCP burn or explode from just oil — there was always medical oxygen involved.

      I suppose you have seen the photo I posted years ago with the Korean rifle that melted from such an event, I re-post it here.


  11. Kevin – Yes, I reported the rubber backstop years ago. I purchased one, (an extremely, heavy, dense piece of 2′ x 2′ x 6″ compressed rubber composites. It met its advertised claim for a few dozen rounds and I was initially impressed. I did not use it much, but after a few years and a few hundred 9mm rounds, they were easily penetrating, and chipping away at the concrete wall it was mounted to. I asked the vendor about their “good for several thousand rounds” claim. They said that when mounted to a solid backstop, it would prevent RICHOCHETS for several thousand rounds. Very deceiving. I can’t find the company name.
    There is another company, ATS Targets, that advertises several “bullet encapsulating” rubber backstops. I have not tried them.

    B.B – thanks for posting the picture. This seems to show there is some inherent danger to very high pressure air, and I would hate to see another unique combination of petroleum distillate vapor, air, and pressure wave that causes such events. I assume it was a petroleum-based oil because it had that distinct hydrocarbon odor and color. (30 wt motor oil?). I could be wrong.



    • Jane,

      On this one we aren’t sure. This was sent back to Pyramyd AIR for repair. The owner of the company bought the gun back from the guy who sent it in, thinking that he shoul;d never be allowed to own a PCP.

      I have seen one other like this and yes, that one was petroleum oil and pure oxygen again.


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