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.

Shop Benjamin Rifles

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.