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Ammo Air Venturi Seneca Eagle Claw lever action repeater: Part 7

Air Venturi Seneca Eagle Claw lever action repeater: Part 7

Eagle Claw
Eagle Claw lever action repeater.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

This report covers:

  • Read the past reports
  • The test
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Jumbo Heavy target two
  • H&N Slug HP
  • H&N Baracuda 18
  • More to come
  • Summary

This report is at the request of reader Jane Hansen, who wants to know the best pellets for the .22-caliber Air Venturi Seneca Eagle Claw lever action repeater. Jane is a fan of the powerful Korean smallbore repeaters, and I think she fancies this lever action.

I took my sweet time getting to this report! As you see this is Part 7, and I normally get to accuracy by Part 3. I last wrote about this rifle in early August. I have no idea of what happened that caused me to forget it except that when I mounted the scope I blew up and did everything wrong. That may have distracted me. So, after a lot of water has passed under the bridge, today is the day!

Read the past reports

The first thing I did before doing today’s test was read the past reports. I have done so much velocity testing with this rifle, plus so much time has passed that a refresher seemed necessary. It was a good thing I did because I forgot that the Eagle Claw magazine loads from the front, with the pellet loaded skirt first. I also see that there are two different ways to maintain velocity. One involves counting shots and adjusting the power wheel at certain places and the other is to just fill to 200 bar, dial the power all the way up and shoot 20 shots before refilling. I chose to do the latter for today’s test, since I wasn’t as familiar with the rifle as I would have liked.

The test

The rifle has a UTG SWAT 8-32X56 scope mounted and, since it was on there, I took that to mean that I had also sighted it in. So I started today’s  test at 25 yards with no sight-in. I shot with the rifle rested on a sandbag rest and I shot 10-shot groups.

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy

The first pellet tested was the 18.13-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy dome.The first shot hit the target paper high and to the left of the aim point, but since they were all together  I continued to shoot until all 10 shots were in the group. The 10-shot group group measures 0.387-inches between centers.

Eagle Claw JSB Heavy group 1
Ten JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets made this 0.387-inch group at 25 yards. The Eagle Claw can shoot!

If this was my rifle and I wasn’t writing a report I would probably stick with this pellet and see what it can do. I wasn’t satisfied with where the group landed, but after shooting I adjusted the scope to the right and down. Since this scope adjusts in 1/8-inch clicks at 100 yards, and I needed to put in 2-1/2-inches of right adjustment and two inches of down, I adjusted the scope 70 clicks to the right and 64 clicks down. Because at 25 yards there have to be four times as many clicks to move the strike of the round the same amount as at 100 yards. I know my right click count is a little off, but seventy clicks is a lot!

Jumbo Heavy target two

Something really cool happened with the next group. Let me show the target and then let’s talk about it.

Eagle Claw JSB Jumbo Heavy group 2
The second group of JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets measures 0.927-inches between centers. The last 9 shots went into 0.608-inches.

This group isn’t as small as the last one and yet I said something really cool happened. What was it?

See the lone shot on the left? That was the first shot after I adjusted the scope. This is a classic example of scope stiction, which means the reluctance of the scope to move as far as it should after adjustment. I’m not casting aspersions on the scope; this is just a teaching point. I have never had an example this clear before, so learn something from this target. After shooting this group I adjusted the scope eight more clicks to the right, and I bumped it several times to overcome any stiction.

This group is larger than the last one, but I’m going to move on to another pellet for now. I do have a bigger plan in mind that I’ll share in a bit.

Build a Custom Airgun

H&N Slug HP

Sooner or later someone is going to ask me to test the H&N hollowpoint slug in the Eagle Claw so here we go. This is the 23-grain slug that measures 0.218-inches in diameter. First of all, all the slugs fell into the magazine with no help. They are smaller in diameter than the skirts on the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavys, and of course, being slugs,  they have no skirts of their own.

This projectile landed a good half-inch lower on the target and a little to the right of the previous pellet. Ten pellets went into 0.703-inches between centers, with the first nine of them in 0.513-inches. I watched the very last pellet land above and to the right of the group. Because it was the last pellet I don’t think stiction caused it. There are so many more pellets to test that I don’t think this one is worth pursuing, but someone who wants to shoot slugs could make the opposite argument just as easily.

Eagle Claw JSB H&N 218 slug group
The hole that’s high and right was the last shot. I don’t think that one is stiction. I think it’s a flier for which I have no explanation. Ten slugs are in 0.703-inches with 9 in 0.513-inches at 25 yards.

H&N Baracuda 18

The last pellet I tried today was the H&N Baracuda 18. This new lighter Baracuda is doing well in a lot of airguns, and in this Eagle Claw it made the smallest group of this test. Ten pellets went into 0.355-inches at 25 yards. So, Jane, this pellet is another one to try.

Eagle Claw Baracuda 18 group
The Eagle Claw put 10 H&N Baracuda pellets into 0.355-inches at 25 yards.

I have more to say about this pellet. First, they dropped into the magazine with no resistance, just like the slugs. I wondered whether that would produce fliers like the slugs, but you can see it didn’t.

Second, there were several shots that I wasn’t sure had fired. Several times I opened the lever to remove and look at the magazine to see if pellets were still firing, because after 6 shots I couldn’t see the group growing any larger. The scope was set on 32 power, so my view of the target was pretty good. The Baracuda 18 is definitely a pellet to consider for this rifle.

More to come

It seems I’m taking my time with this Seneca Eagle Claw repeater, so I plan to do at least one more 25-yard accuracy test. And then, once I know the best pellet(s), I plan to move back to 50 yards.

Summary

The Seneca Eagle Claw is stacking up quite nicely. For no good reason I seem to be testing it more thoroughly than most air rifles, but it seems I am getting more familiar with it as I go. I can’t wait to test it again.

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.

20 thoughts on “Air Venturi Seneca Eagle Claw lever action repeater: Part 7”

  1. BB,

    Pity it would have to be somebody else who wants to use slugs to have to do the testing. Then again you are very busy and it would better serve to test what probably 90% would use rather than a relatively niche crowd as of now. Would slugging the bore be a good way to get to a starting point?

    Siraniko

    • Siraniko,

      Yes, it would. Then you will know the exact bore size.

      The one issue everyone should keep in mind with these slugs is, it will take something of considerable power to use them. Also, if your barrel is chocked, it might be a good idea to not try one of these things.

      • RidgeRunner,

        I always look at bore size as two separate numbers: Land and groove diameters.
        In order to get a really perfect Bore slugging you need to plug the bore’s end and melt the slugging metal into the bore followed by carefully pushing the cooled slug mass out of the muzzle end. That technique is probably overkill for most folks purposes and carefully pushing a dead soft Lead bullet that is slightly oversized through the bore from Breech to Muzzle will give you “Good Enough” Land and Groove dimensions and does have the advantage of allowing you to feel the Bore discretely, inch by inch, as you push the projectile through.

        Why all this effort? Well as you know our bullets/Slugs don’t Obturate because we don’t kick the bullet in the base hard enough to make it shrink in length to fill the grooves and ride the lands.
        B.B. always preaches (rightly so) to use slightly oversized (one thousandth or so) which helps. However, if you know the actual groove depth you may find you can go even larger on your oversizing which really will improve precision almost without fail when shooting bullets(slugs) out of airguns.
        You may also find that on the small bores (.177, .20, .22, and .25) you may want less oversizing especially with the microgrooves being used more and more.

        But then you probably knew all this and i’m just writing for the folks all new to this airgun bullet shooting.

        shootski

        • Shootski
          Pellets are the same. I will have to find some of my pictures of recovered pellets. The most dominant thing you can see on the pellet head and skirt is where the land ends and the groove starts. My most accurate pellet guns show a deep V point in the head and skirt from where the land ends and the groove starts.

          So even just pushing a slug or pellet doesn’t really show what truly happens with the compression behind the pellet or slug when the air gun or firearm is fired.

          Pushing the slug or pellet gives you a idea but it really isn’t what is going on when the gun is fired.

  2. Jane,

    Thanks for your interest in the air rifle. We are certainly getting some mileage on it. Let us know if you pick one up and how it works out for you.

    BB,

    This is quickly becoming a must have for someone who likes hunting. It looks nice without all that fancy engraving they used to put on these things and that lever action is just meant for quick shooting.

    I am also glad to see the new Baracudas seem to be doing so well. I have some, but have not given them a try yet. It has been a little breezy around here for quite a bit. I am most interested in this lighter pellet and how it does in powerful sproingers.

    • Yogi
      It’s a finer adjustment so it probably still has the same travel.

      So probably you could devide the amount of clicks by 2 and thats how many clicks BB adjusted if it was a 1/4 turret instead of the 1/8 turret.

      • Without knowing the total adjustment range of the scope and how it was set-up before it was mounted on THIS gun, we will never know. However, 35 clicks and 32 clicks-assuming it was a 1/4 MOA turret IS still alot!

        -Y

        • Yogi
          No that is really not alot of clicks at 25 yards.

          The closer in you move to where your shooting from the more clicks you need to move your impact the same as farther distances.

          That’s exactly why I don’t like using clicks at different distances. I make cheat sheets for a gun with its scope for what hold overs I need at different distances.

    • Yogi,

      Normally asking if the scope rail is straight would be a good question; as would be checking the scope rings. On a Quackenbush I would first make certain my scope was centered (click count or optically – your choice) and then start the sighting in on a No Wind day or indoor range. If I got that kind of sighter group (Windage) I would suspect that I need to adjust the barrel band on the DAQ. The Elevation at 25 yards wouldn’t have bothered me at all since it will come down at 50 and drop quickly at any distance much beyond that; especially with Diabolo pellets.

      I keep looking at that air tube/barrel band fitting on the Eagle Claw and wonder if it is the REAL issue! Can it be adjusted? Maybe B.B. will weigh in with his thoughts.

      Shootski

  3. Shootski
    Looks like no adjustment on the barrel band to me.

    Well maybe there are some set screws like the Marauder rifles have that can’t be seen on that front barrel band. Or maybe the front fitting locks the barrel band in position.

    But again your forgetting that the clicks on a 1/8th inch turret uses a finer thread. Or to make it simple more threads per inch.

    So the clicks BB made really aren’t that many. I like the 1/8th inch turrets. You get your aim point to impact dailed in more precisely to where you want to hit.

    If I was shooting field target I would want a 1/8th inch turret scope more than a 1/4 inch turret anyday. Well not only for field target but for anything I would want a more precise scope adjustment on.

    • GF1, on my gen1 Marauder, there were no barrel band screws for the shroud, i had to add them. The natural lay of the barrel will not be exactly in the center of the shroud mount, so they added the plastic piece on the end of the barrel to force an alignment. The oring will eventually bind on inside of the shroud, causing mysterous accuracy issues, forcing the user to put more grease on it. The set screws allow me to toss the plastic thing away. On mine, the barrel lays nearly at the top of the shroud mount. I align it looking down the empty bore with a brite light shining at the breech end, it’s easy to see concentricty very well, and then lock it in with the set screws. The barrel is fully free floated now I think. The Carreer may have that sort of issue, and it’s fixable.
      My .25 doesn’t really need a reg with a two oring buffer, but I only fill to 2600. A regulator will give more consistant shots at the full fill pressure. I am happy i could turn the old poppet stem a new face and lap the WAR valve seat using nothing more than wet dry paper and ca glue and an electric drill. I think water corroded the old face?
      I think fifty ft/lbs is plenty for the yard!
      Good hunter.
      R

      • Stblu
        Really on your band clamp on your Marauder with no set screws. I had 4 gen1 Marauders and one was one of the first ones when they came out. Mine all had 2 sets screws on the bottom sides of the barrel band. And yes the barrel shroud floats in the barrel band. The band should not touch the shroud in any way. Very bad for accuracy if it touches.

        The Seneca guns hold the barrel shroud tight. No floating like the Marauder. I can see them being shifted a bit to the left or right. My Wingshot is a bit different than the seneca BB is reviewing but I did center my barrel on my Wingshot ll the best I could. Now the Wingshot is scoped and sighted at 35 yards with the shot shells. I don’t mis with the Wingshot how its set up out to 40 yards. There has to be something seriously wrong if I mis a pest bird or squirrel at 40 yards and in.

        • So it is like an expensive waste of ammo. It is amazing what accuracy and power I enjoy, but I need to take the little smooth creep out of my 2nd stage trigger, i think the grease is too sticky as well. I am thinking an AR style grip adapter and an exposed trigger side plate would be ok:)
          I have a .22 for most occasions for a nice savings on ammo tho.
          It’s a nikel a shot in .25

          • Stblu
            I have my trigger pressure screw adjusted all the way out for the lightest trigger pressure I could get. I can almost tell where the trigger will break at if I really pay attention. But it really has not affected accuracy for me. Definitely happy with my Semi Auto Marauder.

  4. BB – Thanks so much for all of the work with this rifle. I do like these Korean small-bores, and when I bought this one it reminded me so much of my original Career Infinity, that I am convinced some Shin-Sung employees moved over to this company.
    I think BB is finding what I found – the power adjustment in this rifle isn’t as useful as the old Career. The Career loved to lob heavy pellets – Eunjin 28’s, and it could send them flying, but to keep the velocity constant for even 10 shots, you had to start at mid-power and dial up after every one or two shots.
    The Eagle Claw surprised me – Good consistent velocity at high power, most likely due to the huge air reservoir. This rifle is just fun to shoot, but it forced me to change my PCP habit. Unless I’m hunting, which only takes a few rounds, I’d shoot a magazine or two, and then spend 2 weeks pumping up the rifle -a very laborious process for me.
    Now I have an air tank, and I can refill in 10 seconds. I don’t know why I didn’t invest before!
    As soon as BB recommends the 1 or two best pellets to try, I am going to really start shooting.

    Best regards,

    Rocket Jane…

    • Rocket Jane,

      Hurray! You read it!

      For my next accuracy test I want to try starting at power setting three up from the bottom and dialing up as I go. I should be able to get 40 good shots that way. I wrote it down when I was testing velocity and I have a good plan of what to do.

      BB

  5. I’m glad they only have a high and low power setting on my Wingshot ll. And that is done by pulling the cocking arm back to 2 different positions. So basically the striker hits harder or less depending on what position you cock too.

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