0

Seneca Dragonfly Mark 2 .177: Part Two

Dragonfly 177
Seneca Dragonfly .177.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Labradar was used
  • The first test 
  • Huh?
  • A retest of the .22-caliber Dragonfly Mark 2
  • Pump effort
  • A string with five pumps
  • Trigger
  • A second velocity versus pump stroke test
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the velocity of the .177-caliber Seneca Dragonfly Mark 2. I say start for a reason you will understand by the end of this report.

Review the .22 Dragonfly report

Before I started I reviewed the velocity report of the .22-caliber Dragonfly Mark 2. It was a good thing I did because I learned something that was very pertinent for today’s test.

Labradar was used

I used the Labradar chronograph for today’s test, but I did not finish the accuracy test at 10 meters. I will show the results I got in a separate accuracy report, but there will also be another 10 meter accuracy test with the open sights. I mention that because I had said that I could test both velocity and accuracy, now that I had the Labradar. Well, the Dragonfly Mark 2 has a quirk that makes the accuracy test a bit more complex and I didn’t feel that accuracy was given a fair chance today. The quirk isn’t a flaw, but it’s something that I think potential owners need to be made aware of.

The first test 

I’m shooting off a sandbag rest, using the open sights to sight with. I will use the 10.5-grain Crosman Premier pellet for all tests today.

This is where the “quirk” emerges, and I will show you that we also saw it with the .22-caliber Dragonfly, too. Let’s look at the velocity per pump stroke.

Pump strokes…………….Velocity
3…………………………………506
4…………………………………529
5…………………………………542
6…………………………………582
7…………………………………651
8…………………………………669
9…………………………………687
10……………………………….676  ?
11……………………………….680  ?
12……………………………….663  ?
13……………………………….635  ?
14……………………………….663  ?
15……………………………….689  ?

Huh?

This is what confounded me today. Why is a shot with 10 pump strokes slower than one with nine, or 13 pumps slower than seven? I cocked the bolt and shot again to see if there was any air remaining, and there was none. In fact, after shots 10 through 15 pump strokes I cocked the bolt each time and fired again to prove there was no air remaining. What was happening?

Well, here is what I wrote after the first velocity test for the .22-caliber rifle.

That’s it for the velocity test today. But as I said, I will come back to this test again after there are more shots on the rifle, because I believe the Dragonfly Mark 2 needs a break-in.”

In Part 5 of that test I did come back and do the same velocity/pump stroke test again and I showed you the before and after results. Let’s look at them again.

Build a Custom Airgun

A retest of the .22-caliber Dragonfly Mark 2

        Velocity    Velocity   

Pumps…..Then………..Today
3……………..428…………….488
4……………..476…………….526
5……………..518…………….568
6……………..553…………….589
7……………..564…………….604
8……………..583…………….620
9……………..589…………….629 no air remaining
10……………602…………….638 no air remaining
11……………601…………….642 no air remaining
12……………617…………….649 no air remaining
13……………605…………….649 no air remaining
14……………617…………….657 no air remaining
15……………618…………….674 no air remaining

You can see the difference in velocity between the first and second times. I will do the same thing for this .177. In fact I will do a second string today to see what changes there are.

Pump effort

How much effort does it take to pump the pump handle? Here we go.

Pumps…Effort in pounds
3………………..15
4………………..16
5………………..15
6………………..17
7………………..16
8………………..15
9………………..16
10………………16
11………………15
12………………17
13………………15
14………………17
15………………16

So, like the .22-caliber Dragonfly, the effort needed for the pump strokes doesn’t increase with the number of strokes. In fact I discovered that the slower you pump the less effort it takes. That will come up again in a moment.

A string with five pumps

I next shot a 10-shot string (it will be a group in the next report) with five pumps per shot. Look at the velocities for that. Remember, every shot was with five pumps. I did try pumping slower to allow the air time to enter the rifle and be compressed and as I did the velocity seemed to increase, but not always. 

Shot…………Vel.
1………………542
2………………520
3………………500
4………………525
5………………539
6………………505
7………………523
8………………492
9………………574
10…………….577

Wow! If the last string didn’t convince you this rifle needs a break-in this one certainly should have. There is an 85 f.p.s. difference between shot number 8 and shot 10. And yet these are all shots with five pump strokes. Multi-pumps usually don’t have a difference of more than 5-8 f.p.s. for the same pellet and number of pump strokes. This test was what convinced me to try the first test again today. Before that, though, let’s look at the trigger.

Trigger

The trigger on this Dragonfly seems to be a single stage. The pull is long and the trigger breaks with 3 pounds 10 ounces of effort. The release isn’t crisp, but it is manageable and doesn’t affect accuracy.

A second velocity versus pump stroke test

I’m still using the 10.5-grain Crosman Premier pellet. Here we go.

Pump strokes………….Velocity
3…………………………………503
4…………………………………470
5…………………………………531
6…………………………………586
7…………………………………642
8…………………………………642
9…………………………………653
10……………………………….680
11……………………………….675
12……………………………….698
13……………………………….700
14……………………………….708
15……………………………….713

Okay, in this string we can see the rifle starting to break in. It will be interesting to return to these numbers after there are more shots on the rifle. Notice also that in both this test and in the first one there is a huge velocity increase between six and seven pump strokes. I don’t know why that would be.

Discussion

I think the need for a break-in is the biggest lesson we have learned — not just for the .177 Dragonfly Mark 2 but for all of them. This is why a chronograph is such a useful tool for an airgunner to have.

I don’t think we have yet seen the fastest this rifle will shoot the 10.5-grain Premier. The .22 became at least 40 f.p.s. faster with a break in and I expect to see something similar with this rifle.

Look at how fast the rifle is on just three pumps! That will help me in future tests, I hope!

I do plan on doing the five-shot accuracy tests with the different number of pump strokes at some point, but where I’ll do that I’m not sure. Should I wait until the rifle is scoped? I think I should.

Summary

This .177 Dragonfly Mark 2 seems to be every bit as nice as the .22. I think once it is fully broken in we will see a very special multi-pump.

28 thoughts on “Seneca Dragonfly Mark 2 .177: Part Two”

  1. Tom,

    Maybe the optimum number of pumps strokes for the plenum chamber is at the 7th or 8th stroke?

    Siraniko

    PS: Section Review the .22 Dragonfly report 1st paragraph 2nd sentence: “It was a good thing I did because I learned something that was very pertainate (pertinent) for today’s test.”

  2. I still shoot my Dragonfly. 22 cal with open sites. It shoots so accurately this way that, at least at this point, I see little advantage to using optics. It just may be that some guns are meant to shoot with open sites. By the way . . . this gun seems to do its best with 5 or 6 strokes as you have suggested. BB, you are testing my 2nd favorite airgun. My 1st rifle is my TX200 which is waiting on a Vortek tune and breech seals. I’ve been convinced that I may as well do a complete tune and lubrication since the gun will already be out of the stock for the seals. What do you all think? Is there anything else I should look at or do at this point? Thanks, Orv.

    • Doc,

      If you are happy with the open sights, why bother with a scope? Most of the airguns here at RRHFWA cannot accept a scope without major modification. That ain’t happening. The use of open sights is almost a lost art. Most of the “new” gals around here must have a scope as this is the only alternative. If the open sights on that thing meet your needs, go for it.

      • I agree that shooting with open sites is becoming a lost art. Actually, I thoroughly enjoy the skill of shooting without the use of optics. I guess that I’m just less tense, more comfortable shooting through my iron sites. My Dragonfly is well, just fun to shoot.

  3. In general – I think the break in process is very important. I do not judge airgun performance before it takes at least 500 shots. To be honest – it is very often ignored while testing equipment. The same airgun might be a complete different story after break in compared to out of the box. For me a test directly out of the box does not count for a final judgement, and I ignore summary if I see someone shoot 20 times and judged equimpent base on that.

    • LOL! Most of the airguns here at RRHFWA are usually well broke in by time I see them.

      When you use a break in period, not only do you give everything a chance to wear in and settle down, but you also have time to learn the particular quirks of the airgun. In new guns there is usually a manufacturing / preservative residue that needs to be cleaned out / shot out / worn out.

      Quite often, reviewers will clean and / or shoot a particular airgun quite a few times before making their videos. Of course, they wish to show good results. They wish to remain on the airgun manufacturers / distributors / dealers mailing lists.

      • I saw many strange tests, sometimes they want to show how bad something is (which isn’t bad).
        Everything I get new I test first, and then it goes through zero check process, clening, new lube etc. I change seal when I can get a better one, the spring guides… Usually out of the box we get some potential but not the real working point of equipment. Depends on how expensive / what class it is.

          • Ridge – yes, but only if the test systematics are right. The most I like to see how the test systematic is done, the result itself does not matter so much (if the repeatability and systematic are correct). If you test in a proper way at the end you may tell “isso” – it is as it is.

    • tomek,

      Agree completely. Few reviewers have the time/budget to break in the airgun that they are testing, it’s the way it is.

      After a clean&check I’ll shoot a new airgun and note the stats for reference but don’t bother to tune or test for the best pellet until I’ve put (at least) 500 pellets through it.

      Breaking in a new airgun (or piston seal) is a feeble excuse to shoot but I’ll take it 😉 …Any reason to shoot is good by me LOL!

      Hank

      • Hank – I can’t remember any airgun which was honey-sweet directly out of the box (except FWB). You need always some time to reach the performance plateau, and I mean after the zero check.

  4. You may want to try some Meisters. At speeds under 700 fps in all the .177’s here at BIMA (Boudreaux’s Island of misfit airguns) they really shine. My Racine Benji 347 loves them. .Sorry Ridgerunner I just had to copy you,it’s too much fun.

  5. Tom,

    I had planned to report in the comments about my second and new Seneca Dragonfly 2 in .177, which I received late last week. The timing ended up being perfect given the very same subject of today’s look at your second Dragonfly 2.

    First, I purchased the 10 for $10 service from Pyramyd Air, but it was not performed. As far as I can tell the 10 for $10 was instead performed on the Oktoberfest rifle I also purchased. (Yes, I made the distinction correctly during checkout.)

    Second, I have not shot any projectile through the Dragonfly as the barrel is so filthy, I am not sure if it is safe to do so. Solid debris was so stuffed in it I could see some of it protruding from the muzzle. (It looked like chewing tobacco.) Light from a super-bright flashlight cannot be seen through the barrel, and both a dowel rod and a patch worm could not be passed through it. A pellet might push enough solid debris ahead of it that before everything exits the muzzle, a serious clog might occur. Therefore, I have only tried pumping it up and dry-firing it. Even after dry-firing it a few times light still cannot be seen through the barrel.

    The pumping lever is less terrible than my first Dragonfly 2, which I purchased and returned back in the Spring. Unlike the previous one, it is not necessary to forcefully jerk open the lever. But it does have the same problem at the end of the stroke where in order to get the lever past 90 degrees one must slap the lever as one has to slap magnum break barrels to open them. My postal scale measures to only 20 pounds, and my bathroom scale can’t settle on a figure with air guns, so all I know is it takes significantly more than 20 pounds, perhaps 30 or so, to open the lever the last 10 or so degrees. After repeating this part of the action 50 or so times the force did not seem to decrease.

    From the very first pumping stroke, the pumping becomes slightly difficult at the end, when the lever is almost closed (perhaps 20 degrees). Again, my postal scale cannot measure over 20 pounds, but I estimate that this Seneca Dragonfly 2 requires about 35 pounds of force for every single pump. This is much more than my Blue Streak and Benjamin 397 require for any of the first 4 or 5 stokes.

    This Dragonfly 2 requires roughly twice the pumping effort required for your two Dragonfly Mk 2s (in .22 and .177). The first one in the Spring pumped harder than this one, but the two of them are nevertheless the two-hardest pumping multipumpers, for the low-power range, I have ever tried to use. I did try ro pump them slowly, but that, too, proves difficult because the Dragonfly 2 has a jerky, start-and-stop pumping stroke.

    Unlike my first one, purchased months ago, I will not ask for a refund but instead exchange it for another (and hope I will finally be granted a 10 for $10). Maybe the third time will be the charm!

    Michael

    • Tom,

      Well, this Seneca Dragonfly 2 is one strange air rifle. I haven’t called Pyramyd Air for the return info yet, so I thought I’d pull it out of its box (nice box) to check everything again, etc.

      So now, having sat in its box for a couple days, it is less bad yet. I wrote before that it pumped with what I estimate to be 35 pounds, but now my estimate is between 25 and 30 pouinds. That is for every single pump. It is still much harder to pump than my Blue Streak and Benjamin 397 for any of the first 3 strokes. It pumps about as hard as my other pumpers at 4 strokes. The movement is still jerky.

      The extending of the arm past 90 degrees is still difficult, definitely a bit more than 20 pounds, although perhaps slightly less difficult than it was a couple days ago,.

      If I do not send it back and instead try to break-in the rifle, the barrel is still so packed with solid debris and grease I am unsure how to clear it out. If it breaks in a lot more and I decide not to exchange it, I will try patches, but I am unsure they will pass through. What should I soak the patches in, Kroil? Naphtha?

      Michael

      • Michael, if I may offer my thoughts:
        I would take many pictures of all things weird and then some, more than appears necessary [but may prove entertaining, years from now 🙂 ].

        Also, I would email pyramydair the findings. Regardless of anything else, I think they need to know the airgun’s condition.

        They may acknowledge receipt of that email and maybe even reply… 🙂

        PS I find yours a most interesting report!

    • If the 10 for $10 test had been performed, you would never have received THAT rifle, but a working one. Please try again. Keep us updated. Don’t lose hope.

      I agree with HIHIHI, take lots of pictures. That and your reports are helpful information.

  6. BB,
    I’m glad to see the two calibers of the “same” gun being tested, it will be interesting to see how they compare. Regarding the odd velocity decrease after pump 8, do you think that a little Pellgun oil passed through the valve might help to seal an air leak?
    Best regards,
    Will

  7. BB

    Yes, mount a scope before the accuracy test. I get it that some prefer open sight shooting. I too like shooting with open sights that give me a focused front sight. But you are testing the rifle’s accuracy potential, not your ability. You could test both ways but to what end?

    My two cents worth.

    Deck

  8. B.B.,

    I read your report trying my best to keep an open mind and avoid jumping to conclusions.
    After reading it two things jumped into my mind: Headspace and Spring Rate variability as potentially causing the results reported.
    Then I read Michael’s “Guest Report” and dumped my conclusions since it repeats what appears to be a consistent case of NO QA and SLAPDASH manufacturer indicators. There are too many different failure/malfunction/performance glitches to make this airgun desirable; even if it could overcome half the reported issues after a break-in of some unknown duration and has a better pump linkage geometry just poorly (CHEAPLY) executed!
    Tomek’s catch phrase seems to apply to this airgun.

    shootski

    • shootski,

      Ever buy a brand new car expecting to rebuild the engine, clean the fuel system, replace the uphostery and replace the brakes, all before 50 miles? No, I didn’t think you had. :^D

      I like to buy a new air gun and have it not need fixing straight out of the box. On the other hand, I would love to own one of these Dragonfly 2s if it did what it is supposed to do / advertised to do.

      If it breaks in within a couple more days, I’ll consider it a keeper. Otherwise, I’ll try again.

      Michael

      • Breaking in is one thing, but having so much “chewing tobacco” in the barrel as to not let light through AND being difficult to pump is another thing altogether, and supports the suspicion that there may be other things wrong with that particular rifle. If it were me, I would return it and at least start the break in period with a rifle that functions as advertised. That is to say: easy to pump and shoots pellets, not chewing tobacco. This is P.A.’s chance to show what customer service is about.

        I bought a Crosman 362 and the front sight was not glued on properly. I sent it back and got a new one. No issues.

  9. B.B.,

    To eliminate one more factor scope the rifle for accuracy testing would be my vote…if this was a democracy.
    In: A string with five pumps
    “Remember, every shot was with five pumps. I did try pumping slower to allow the air timer (time)to enter the rifle…”

    shootski

  10. BB,
    I’ve already decided to get one of these. Now I just need to see this string of reports to the end to decide which caliber. (or both) LOL
    Third sentence in “A string with five pumps” should probably replace “timer” with “time”

Leave a Comment