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Ammo Air Venturi Seneca Eagle Claw lever action repeater: Part 8

Air Venturi Seneca Eagle Claw lever action repeater: Part 8

Eagle Claw
Eagle Claw lever action repeater.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

This report covers:

  • Catch up
  • Power adjustments
  • The test
  • Fill
  • First pellet — JSB Exact RS
  • Air Arms 18-grain dome
  • That low shot
  • Adjusted the scope
  • Filled the rifle
  • Air Arms 16-grain dome
  • Second group of Air Arms 16-grainers
  • Baracuda 15
  • Discussion
  • Summary

It’s been awhile, but I said I would continue to test the accuracy of the Air Venturi Seneca Eagle Claw lever action repeater to see if more accurate pellets could be discovered, prior to testing it at 50 yards. Today we look at that test.

Catch up

It’s been so long that I had to read several of the back reports to see how the Eagle Claw operates. I learned that the rotary magazine has to be loaded from the rear by dropping the pellets into the chambers skirt-first. Some airguns require this for the first pellet, but the Eagle Claw needs every pellet to be loaded this way. Once each chamber is aligned the pellets drop in easily.

I also discovered in past testing that the test rifle does not like to be filled to 206 bar. It likes to start out at 180 bar and gets about 30 good shots per fill.

The single-stage trigger is a little heavier than I would like (3 pounds 1 ounce) but it breaks crisply when the time comes. It’s easy to hold the rifle on target until the break.

The Eagle Claw I’m testing had to be replaced following Part One because the first rifle lost all its air pressure when I tried to bleed the air hose prior to disconnecting. That happened again once during today’s test, but I refilled the rifle then opened the bleed valve fast and that corrected the problem. Sometimes the valve that closes the fill port is so tight that it needs encouragement to close, and a rapid bleed is just the ticket.

Power adjustments

I said that the test rifle had 11 power setting detents, but when I started testing it for today there were only three. Believe me — I did play with that adjustment wheel several times for many minutes before writing that. I have no idea what happened.

The power wheel now seems to have only three settings. I set it on the highest setting and left it there for the entire test.

The test

I shot the rifle off a sandbag rest at 25 yards with the rifle resting directly on the bag. I shot 10-shot groups and, since I had already adjusted the scope for 25 yards in Part 7, there was no sight-in. I did adjust the scope once and I’ll tell you about that when we get there.

Fill

I filled the rifle to 180 bar because that was the pressure I established at which the rifle performed its best. By “best” I meant the velocity varied the least over a string of 30 shots.

Stock up on Air Gun Ammo

First pellet — JSB Exact RS

In Part Seven I shot two heavier medium-weight pellets, plus a .22-caliber slug. Everything weighed between 18 and 23 grains. Given the power of the test rifle, which is in the 30+ foot-pound range, I’m thinking those are the heaviest pellets I want to use. So today I tried lighter medium-weight pellets, just to see if they made a difference. I already know that JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets and H&N Baracuda 18s are quite accurate at 25 yards.

Ten JSB Exact RS pellets made a 0.492-inch group at 25 yards. The last pellet landed to the right of the main group of nine that measures 0.348-inches between centers. This is a good round group of a pellet that’s perhaps worth pursuing at 50 yards. We shall see.

Eagle Claw RS group
The Eagle Claw put 10 JSB Exact RS pellets into a 0.492-inch group at 25 yards.

JSB Exact RS pellets all broke the sound barrier. They were significantly louder than any of the pellets that followed.

Air Arms 18-grain dome

Air Arms has two domed .22-caliber pellets. One is 15.89-grains and the other is 18.13-grains. They are the same weight as two corresponding JSB pellets, though they sometimes perform differently. The Eagle Claw put ten of the Air Arms 18.13-grainers into a 1.055-inch group with nine in 0.36-inches at 25 yards. That was the smallest group of nine and the largest group of ten in this test.

Eagle Claw AA 18 group
Ten 18-grain Air Arms pellets made a 1.055-inch group, with nine in 0.036-inches at 25 yards.

That low shot

That one low shot came with a sound that the rifle was not firing on full power. For whatever reason the difference in sound was so much that I noticed it and watched as the pellet dropped away from the main group. So I am saying that this pellet is very good in the Eagle Claw based on the other nine shots, and that stray was a fluke.

Adjusted the scope

The first two groups were both low and left of the aim point. So at this juncture I adjusted the reticle up and to the right just a little. This was the only time I adjusted the reticle in today’s test.

Filled the rifle

At this point in the test I filled the rifle again, though it was still showing above 150 bar in the reservoir. That’s down from the 180 bar I started with.

Air Arms 16-grain dome

This is the 15.89-grain Air Arms dome I mentioned. Remember that today I want to see how well lighter pellets do in the Eagle Claw.

Ten of these went into a 0.71-inch group at 25 yards. But I watched as all the pellets hit the target and they looked like they were scattering around.

Eagle Claw AA 16 group 1
Ten Air Arms 16-grain domes made a 0.71-inch group at 25 yards.

After seeing this I remembered that the UTG scope that’s mounted on the Eagle Claw demonstrated stiction in Part 7, so I felt I had to shoot another 10-shot group.

Second group of Air Arms 16-grainers

The second group of Air Arms 16-grain domes made a group that measures 0.544-inches between centers. It is smaller than the previous group and maybe stiction right after the adjustment was the problem with the former group, but this group is still not small enough to warrant shooting this pellet at 50 yards.

Eagle Claw AA 16 group 2
This second group of Air Arms 16-grain domes is smaller than the previous one, but at 0.544-inches it’s still too large to be considered for 50 yards when there are at least three others that group in just over half that size.

Baracuda 15

The last pellet I tested in the Eagle Claw today was the H&N Baracuda 15 that weighs 15.89-grains. We have seen this pellet do quite well in some airguns. But not in the Eagle Claw. Ten pellets made a group at 25 yards that measures 0.758-inches between centers. But I wish you had seen this group take shape. The pellets went everywhere and not until the final few did the center of the group tear out and look pretty good.

Eagle Claw Baracuda 15 group
Ten H&N Baracuda 15 pellets made this 0.758-inch group at 25 yards. Nope! This one is out of the running.

Discussion

From today’s test there are perhaps two pellets worth considering for the 50-yard test. They are the JSB Exact RS and the Air Arms 18-grain dome. And that is not for sure — it’s only a possibility.

The fill to 180 bar seems to be the right way to go. And from that I get 30 shots when the rifle is set on high power.

Summary

The Seneca Eagle Claw has good potential for accuracy at 50 yards. The rotary magazine loads backwards, but it does load easily when you get the knack. The trigger is on the heavy side, but crisp and reliable.

Is this a precharged pneumatic for you? If you want a lever action repeater it probably is.

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.

24 thoughts on “Air Venturi Seneca Eagle Claw lever action repeater: Part 8”

  1. B.B.,

    I think you need to include some heavier pellets in your ammo box when you go to shoot at 50 yards just in case. I doubt the JSB Exact RS are going to be INTERESTING at 50 yards…strictly a hunch about a supersonic short pellet.

    Errata:
    In: First pellet — JSB Exact RS
    2nd to last sentence…
    “JSB Attached (Exact) RS pellets all broke the sound barrier.”

    shootski

  2. I have been giving serious consideration to this one for some time now. It certainly has it in the eye candy department. It looks like they have done a great job of updating the Sumatras.

    Single stage triggers are a common thing here at RRHFWA. We will have to see how this gal does when you stretch her legs. I do have concern with that power wheel adjustment. I am going to have to dig into that a bit.

    P.S. Are you sure the trigger is single stage? I have been reading some and it should be 2 stage.

  3. B.B.,
    She looks like a shooter alright, especially for someone looking for some hunting power; if I recall correctly from previous reports, she’s shooting in the 60 fpe range…serious power.

    Power has me thinking about a weird phenomenon I just verified today. Last night, I went to shoot my HW30S, and I realized (to my horror!) that I had put her away cocked; I had cocked the rifle to do a wipe down of the breech face as well as the face of the transfer port, then, like a dummy, I forgot to hold the barrel, take off the safety, pull the trigger, and slowly close the barrel; hence, the rifle was cocked for 3 days…very uncool!
    I shot some targets, and it seemed to shoot OK, but I recalled how you always say the chronograph is the tool to check the health of an airgun; I tried it last night, but there wasn’t enough light to get any velocity readings.
    So, today I took her out with the sun right overhead, and fired 5 shots through the chronograph to see how much power I had lost. Surprisingly (to me), the shots were: 507, 505, 504, 502, 503 for an average velocity of 504 fps. Prior to this, it was a very consistent 485 fps (with 13.43 g JSBs) for a 7 fpe rifle; so now it’s a 7.56 fpe rifle…an 8% energy gain. I was expecting the opposite!
    Not that I’m complaining; I’m pleased as punch (especially since the gun is still shooting one ragged hole off a rest at 15 yards). But have you ever experienced an anomaly like that with a springer?
    Thanking you again for all you do,
    dave

      • Thanks, B.B. I was just so shocked not to see a much-expected power loss (due to my own stupidity!). I guess the best thing to do is to just be happy about how things worked out, and praise the Lord…which is always a good thing to do, of course. 😉

        • Dave,

          Could environmental conditions account for the change? Did you compress the spring enough that it feels easier to cock? I remember folks in this blog describing their experiments with cutting off sections of spring to see what difference it made in cocking, firing characteristics and accuracy, but I don’t remember the results.

          Half

          • Half,
            Environmental conditions are the same; the cocking effort feels about the same (too bad I never measured it before; I wish I had); it has always been easy to cock; I could, and still can, do it with my pinky alone. 🙂
            I wondered if the long-term compression had perhaps had the same effect as shortening the spring, or lessening the pre-load (if perhaps it was too high in the first place).
            I found an interesting discussion here:
            https://indiansforguns.com/viewtopic.php?t=21388
            But overall, I’m just happy my gun was not damaged by my foolishness! 🙂
            Take care,
            dave

      • “…or come to the Dark Side and PCPs !”
        Shootski,
        Actually, what keeps my from PCPs is the fear of mutiny; my sproingers and MSPs are afraid that if I get a PCP, I will never use them again, and they will sit in their racks unloved; they threatened that, should I get a PCP, they will hitchhike up the road to RRHFWA in the hope that RidgeRunner would take them in…and I believe he would, LOL! 🙂 🙂 🙂
        Take care,
        dave

        • Dave,

          Just giving you ways to STRESS less!
          I’m taking my two SIG ASP20 on a date to the indoor 100 range tomorrow. I’m still learning since i really never had springers before. I think you should be just fine if you aren’t judgemental of your MSP and Springer girls. My PCPs don’t mind as long as i keep them in the rotation.
          You need to keep them away from RRHFWA at all cost! …dark rumors surround that place ;^)

          Be well, shoot more, and give thanks for every opportunity.

          shootski

          • “Just giving you ways to STRESS less!”
            And I do appreciate that, Shootski.
            “I’m taking my two SIG ASP20 on a date…”
            That’s cool; I’m still sad that a serious company like SIG (whose pistols I believe are awesome) did such a great job on that air rifle, then dropped the ball.
            But at least you came out ahead with two great rifles. 🙂
            Be well, and happy shooting with them,
            dave

          • “dark rumors surround that place”

            What are you talking about?! You are the one with all of the big bores! You are just now learning about sproingers! There is a rich history hanging on the walls of RRHFWA!

            Dark rumors, indeed!

          • Shootski,

            Where is this home for wayward actresses? No, wait a minute. RR is happily married to Mrs. RR and really wants to keep it that way.

            Have a couple more fingers on me.

        • Dave,

          They do not need to hitchhike; I will pay for the ride. 😉

          There are a couple of PCPs here. The sproinger gals are still taken out to dance a lot more.

          If you can find one, I would recommend the Disco/Maximus as a good one to start with. They really are awesome. PA still has some of these left.

          /product/benjamin-maximus-hunter-air-rifle-6×40-scope?m=4386

          Here are a couple of more good starter PCPs.

          /product/diana-stormrider-multi-shot-pcp-air-rifle?m=4449

          /product/beeman-qb-chief-pcp-air-rifle?m=4339

          A good quality hand pump will work great with any of these. I would stay away from a magazine and go single shot.

          Do not sweat it, you will shoot your sproingers.

          • “They do not need to hitchhike; I will pay for the ride. ”
            I knew it! LOL!
            “The sproinger gals are still taken out to dance a lot more.”
            “Do not sweat it, you will shoot your sproingers.”
            That’s good; I may yet join the Dark Side.
            But for the moment, I’m looking at “The Lighter Side of the Dark Side,” namely the Dragonfly Mark2 for which I am patiently waiting; I figure that an MSP like that will basically be like having a single-shot PCP…especially once I get her scoped and all…we shall see…can’t wait for May! 🙂

          • Gents, this discussion reminded me to uncock my Benjamin Max which was taken out for backyard exercise last Sunday. Maybe that is not so critical with a PCP, but prefer to follow the manual on that.

            Agree on the Disco/Maximus advice, RR and sorely tempted to get a .22 version, but torn between that and the HW30…yes, FM knows, it’s comparing apples and oranges. It’s like walking into a ballroom filled with beautiful women all willing to dance with you – which one do you pick? More so when you can’t dance worth a shoot! 😉

          • RidgeRunner,

            Ran out of REPLIES above:
            “What are you talking about?! ”
            I’m so sorry! I ran a GOOGLE search on “RRHFWA” and as a result of a number of fingers of sipi’n whiskey didn’t realize I was reading reports on Robert Redford’s Home For Wayward Actresses.”
            So VERY sorry to confuse you with Robert Redford!

            shootski

      • I’ve seen several forum posts that document leaving springers cocked for ten days or more in an attempt to ‘detune’ a rifle. But in each case the rifle either shot the same, or experienced only a temporary loss of power. And by temporary, I mean only a handful of shots and it was back to normal.
        So, while I certainly don’t recommend carelessly storing your rifle cocked, it’s not the death sentence some of us thought it was.

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