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Seneca Dragonfly Mark 2 .177: Part Seven

Dragonfly 177
Seneca Dragonfly .177.

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

This report covers:

  • To begin
  • The test
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • H&N Sniper Magnum
  • Accuracy versus pump strokes test
  • Adjusted the scope
  • Three pumps
  • Four pumps
  • Five pumps
  • Summary

Today we back up to 25 yards to test the accuracy of the Seneca Dragonfly Mark 2 in .177 caliber. I also start testing accuracy with a varying number of pump strokes.

To begin

From the 10 meter test in Part 6 we learned about two pellets of the ones we tested that were the most accurate in this air rifle. They were chosen for today’s test.

The test

I fired the rifle off a sandbag rest from 25 yards. The rifle was rested directly on the bag. I pumped the rifle 6 times for each shot (until I say otherwise) and I shot 5-shot groups. The rifle is still scoped with a UTG 3-12X32 Bug Buster scope and the scope hasn’t been adjusted since the 10 meter test back in February.

JSB Exact Heavy

The first pellet I tested was the 10.34-grain JSB Exact Heavy dome. In Part 6 five went into 0.223-inches at 10 meters. Today five went into 0.69-inches at 25 yards. Four of them are in 0.265-inches and I thought I was going to have a great one, but the fourth shot went wide. It wasn’t a called pull, it just went wide on its own.

Dragonfly JSB 25 6
The Dragonfly Mark 2 .177 put five JSB Exact Heavy pellets into a 0.69-inch group at 25 yards. Four are in 0.265-inches. That lone pellet that’s high and right went there on its own.

I’ll reserve commenting until I see the results of the second pellet.

H&N Sniper Magnum

The second pellet was the H&N Sniper Magnum. In Part 6 and from 10 meters this pellet put five into 0.503-inches, but four were in 0.223-inches. However, in Part 4 with open sights the same rifle put all five into a 0.322-inch group. So this pellet showed a lot of promise.

From 25 yards the Dragonfly Mark 2 put five Sniper Magnums into 0.822-inches at 25 yards. Shots three and five went low and left and once again there was no called pull.

0Dragonfly 25 Sniper 6
Five H&N Sniper Magnums made a 0.822-inch group at 25 yards.

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Accuracy versus pump strokes test

Now I started the accuracy versus pump strokes test. In other words, I shoot 5-shot groups at 25 yards with the same pellet but with a different number of pump strokes per pellet.  You will remember that I also tested that when I tested the .22 caliber Dragonfly Mark 2. The .22 caliber seemed to like five pumps the best, making a 0.196-inch group at 25 yards.

I selected the JSB Exact Heavy for this test. I’ve already tested it with 6 pumps, so today I’ll also test it with 3, 4, and 5 pumps. Let’s go.

Adjusted the scope

Since both groups hit to the left of center in the first test I adjusted the scope what I thought were five clicks to the right. The problem is I could not hear or feel the first few clicks, so I had to guess where five ended. I may have adjusted farther than 5 clicks. I’m pretty sure I didn’t adjust less than 5.

Three pumps

First I pumped the rifle three times for each shot. When I tested the velocity in Part 2 with 3 pumps using 10.5-grain Crosman Premier pellets I averaged around 500 f.p.s. This JSB pellet weighs a little less and is pure lead so it should go a little faster.

Five shots with three pumps went into 1.068-inches at 25 yards. The center of the group also dropped about 1.5 inches.

Dragonfly 25 JSB 3
On three pumps five JSB Exact Heavys made a 1.068-inch group. The first shot hit high and the other four grouped together below.

Four pumps

On four pumps the Dragonfly Mark 2 put five JSB Heavys into an open 1.195-inch group at 25 yards. This group landed a quarter-inch higher on the paper than the last one. 

0Dragonfly 25 JSB 4
On four pumps the Dragonfly Mark 2 put five JSBs into an open 1.195-inch group at 25 yards.

Five pumps

The final test I will do today is five pumps. The Dragonfly put five JSB pellets into an open 0.977-inch group at 25 yards. This group is in line with the target for height and still off the the right. a bit. Next time I need to move the scope 2 clicks to the left.

Dragonfly 25 JSB 5
On five pumps the JSB Exact Heavys climbed back up to where 6 pumps had them. They are still a little to the right and 5 pellets made a 0.977-inch group at 25 yards.

Summary

What we have seen thus far is this .177-caliber Dragonfly Mark 2 is not quite as accurate as the .22 caliber, but it’s not bad. It will certainly hold its own against a Benjamin 397 or a Sheridan Blue Streak.

I need to adjust the scope two clicks to the left before I start the next test. My plan is to test the rifle with this same pellet at 7 through 15 pump strokes.

31 thoughts on “Seneca Dragonfly Mark 2 .177: Part Seven”

  1. B.B.,
    I was just shooting my .22 Mark2 at 30 yards today; it’s still wearing the old UTG 4X scope (with my custom RidgeRunner scope mounts =>), which I may replace someday, but for now it’s shooting so well that I just shoot and enjoy it.
    Whether you get the .177 or the .22, these are just great rifles, a really cool design.
    I’m happy that I allowed “The Great Enabler” to enable me on this one. 😉
    Blessings to you,
    dave

      • Tom,
        You are in a unique position to never lose on a gun. You could even make some. Your review of the Gen 1 Dragonfly got me to buy mine, and I was neither misled nor disappointed! I’d be happy to buy your .22 anytime in the future for whatever you paid, adjusted for, say, the consumer price index inflation. That’s no loss, and I’m sure I’m not alone. And there would be many who would pay a lot more for it with your signature on it! You could auction off such guns! I’d even bid on one, especially if proceeds went to a noble cause, like your church or charity.
        Cheers,
        Mike

  2. Tom,

    I get the idea of keeping it down to 6 pumps at 10 yards. I’m just thinking what would have been the effect if eight pumps were used for the 25 yard test?

    Siraniko

    • Siraniko,
      This .177 caliber rifle may yield different results. But last June, when I received my .22 caliber version, I did a quick test for Gunfun1, where I said the following:
      “It’s well over 100 with the heat index, so I just did a quick test: for 5, 10, and 15 pumps, I got 583 fps (10.1 fpe), 673 fps (13.5 fpe), and 699 fps (14.55 fpe) with the JSB 13.43 grain .22 pellets. Using the same 5, 10, and 15 pumps with the H&N FTT 1.4.66 grain pellets yielded 564 fps (10.34 fpe), 640 fps (13.32 fpe), and 674 fps (14.77) fpe.”
      Later on, after adding a 4X scope, I found the JSB pellets gave the best accuracy; and with either 10 or 15 pumps, I could hold under a 1-inch group at 25 yards (note: I bought this gun to have an accurate pesting rifle; that was the accuracy level for which I was hoping, and the rifle met it).
      Since I had, over the years, eliminated many pests with my Sheridan using 6 pumps (for 11.8 fpe), I figured 10 pumps with the Mark2 was the optimum level; it gave over 30% more power than 5 pumps, yet was still easy to reach quickly. Hence, I decided that for the extra 5 pumps to get one more foot-pound of energy, “the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze.”
      So far, I haven’t even shot one pest with this rifle, but I’ve shot many pecans on the 25-yard range, and have basically had a ton of fun with this rifle; it is MUCH easier to pump than my Sheridan!
      So, overall, I am happy that B.B. “enabled” me to get it. 😉
      Blessings to you,
      dave

      • P.S. B.B.’s a much better shot than I am; HE may see a difference between 10-pump accuracy and 15-pump accuracy; but for me (no sand bags, just resting the forearm on my palm with the back of my hand rested on the bench, and me seated at the bench), using just a 4X scope at 25 yards, I saw no real difference; hence, since I’m lazy (LOL! =>), I opted to sight in at 10 pumps, and to accept the slight decrease in power. For someone who wishes to hunt, the full 15 pumps may let you reach out there a bit more; but for my use, which has only worked out to be plinking (nothing wrong with that) so far, it has worked out well; and it’s nice to know that if I should need it, this rifle is super-easy to hit with at 25 yards, with no special hold necessary…just my 2 cents. 🙂

  3. BB,

    I personally do not want a Dragonfly, but I can most certainly see why others would. If you would like a “modern” multi-pump, there are none better available. It is hands down better than any of today’s competition.

    TCFKAC (Velocity Outdoors) will soon be offering an updated 362, but whether it will shoot with this has yet to be seen.

    • Updated?
      Dear TCFKAC, I would like a 362 with a walnut stock and a steel breech, a barrel shroud, and while I’m at it, an improved trigger and silent pumping. Please. And since I shoot mostly after everyone goes to bed, my entire family will appreciate the silent pumping. How much for that? If it works out, perhaps one in .177.

  4. I’m surprised, and a little disappointed that the accuracy fell off so dramatically at 25 yards at different pump levels. Anyone else experience this? I can see if there is one or two pump levels that don’t perform as well (for my 362, it seems to be 8 pumps), but it seems to me to defeat the purpose of a MSP to only be able to use one pump level to get acceptable accuracy. Is there an issue with your scope, perhaps? You said that you expected but could not feel the clicks. I hate to blame the equipment, but we all know that B.B. can shoot!

        • You have to remember, RG, that accuracy with any barrel is dependent upon the spin rate of the projectile. (among other things, of course)

          So, with different weight pellets, the muzzle velocity at a given number of pumps will vary. And since the spin rate varies with the velocity, one may need to find the pellet weight that gives the the desired performance at a given number of pumps.

          Multistroke Pneumatics are just like PCPs in that regard. The difference is that with the MSP it is easier to change the pressure to match the pellet.

          They can be a lot of work or a lot of fun, all depending on your attitude toward experimenting.

          (addendum)

          Hank said the same things but I hadn’t read that far, yet. I probably should delete this,, but I will leave it here for no other reason than to show that I agree with him.

    • RG,

      With springers the power is fixed and you chose the golden pellet(s) that play best with that specific airgun.

      With multi-pump and PCPs you have option of changing/controlling the pressure and volume of air making it possible to optimize the airgun to work well with (almost) any pellet you would like. You can tune the airgun to various power levels – PCPs more than multi-pumps because in addition to power (pressure) you also have hammer spring, valve dwell and transfer port adjustments.

      You tune the multi-pump/PCP to get consistent and stable flight of the pellet. The factors you are balancing are the barrel rifling (twist rate), the weight/design of the pellet, the power level and the harmonics of the airgun. Depending on your accuracy expectations/requirements, some combinations work well together, some work ok, and some don’t work well enough.

      Because of gremlins (and manufacturing tolerances) 10 airguns off of the assembly line can all have different preferences. You would need to do some experimenting to find what works for your airgun. Velocity (fps) or power (fpe) is often used as a tuning reference, keeping notes on what combinations work can be helpful.

      Some airguns are more versatile than others. I’ve tuned my. 22 FX Crown to JSB Hades pellets for pesting in the backyard at low power or with a twist of the dial, hunting at 60 yards. My HW100 is happy to shoot a variety of pellets with it’s fixed factory tune. My Impact will shoot good groups with a variety of pellets but really shines when tuned to a specific one – what “works” is mostly dependent on what I’m willing to accept.

      You just have to find the amount of pumps and which pellet to use for the power and accuracy level you want.

      “Accuracy” depends on what your doing… bench rest target shooting accuracy is different than off-hand plinking accuracy. IMHO, a multi-pump is a fun plinking airgun, I’ve never shot groups with my Benjamin 392, minute-of-a-tin-can is fine 🙂

      Hope this helps.
      Hank

      • All true. Thanks. For me, the 362 was purchased as a learning tool, first and foremost, and perhaps as a base for modding and tinkering. I took 5-bull targets and added 3 extra bulls with a marker. Then I shot each test pellet at each number of pumps. My goal was to find a pellet that would be precise at a variety of power levels. I will take the best of those and retest at 20 or 25 yards and further to find its maximum effective range for hunting and plinking. I hope to be able to compensate for range and gravity by adding pumps. I want to see what the 362 can do.

    • “…it seems to me to defeat the purpose of a MSP to only be able to use one pump level to get acceptable accuracy.”
      Roamin Greco,
      I hear you, but I guess I am the “odd duck,” hahaha! 🙂
      Three of my MSPs have been optimized (as outlined by Hank); my Sheridan and Crosman 362 are sighted in with 6 pumps at 15 yards (since both wear peep sights), and my Dragonfly Mark2 is sighted in with 10 pumps at 25 yards. Since any of these 3 rifles might be used for pesting, I want to ensure I could make a head shot on a varmint, so I only practice with them always at the same power level and with the pellets for which each is optimized.
      However, with my Crosman 1322s, both the pistol and the carbine, I use them as you’d expect an MSP to be used: I shoot them with 3 pumps indoors, and more pumps outdoors, depending on the range. Fortunately, both of them stay “on” for windage at various pump levels (NOT so at all with my Sheridan, which is why I never vary it); and, as Hank mentioned, both of these are pure fun plinking guns, so minute of can (outdoors) is just fine…for me. 😉
      Wishing many years of excellent and fun shooting to you,
      dave

  5. B.B.,

    The photograph of the Three Pumps JSB Exact Heavies group caused my brain to remember a group with my .22caliber Steroid. It was shot outside on a cool day (60°F/15.5°C or so) at 25yards. I had pumped it up to maximum in the house and just walked out and took the 1st shot. I laid the rifle down on the bench in the Sun on its left side to walk to inspect my target. Mine however was in the black of a 10M Air Rifle target. Pumped the Steroid took the next 9 shots and they walked a similar pattern as yours did.
    I hadn’t seen anything like that from the Steroid so i thought about it and decided to put up another target but this time put the rifle in the shade. I shot 10 in a row and was back to the normal 1MOA that rifle had always shot before. So being a tester and student of things i tried another target and this time alternated the side i lay the rifle down on (in the Sun) for a minute each time. I now wish i had an image of that third target or even the actual target; but i didn’t keep it because the result is “burned” into memory. That target showed a serpentine group that walked down similar to yours.
    If you didn’t shoot outside then none of this applies.
    But if you did shoot outside i would suspect uneven heating of the barrel and perhaps even the valve and (i used iron peep sight) likely your scope.

    shootski

  6. B.B.
    You did shoot these pellets “single shot” correct? Meaning not with the magazine. I’m sure you’ve said it and I’ve just missed it. Just making sure.

    Thank You,
    Doc

  7. B.B. and Readership,

    I posted this to yesterday’s Blog about range finding:
    I was troubled by the fact that PA only carries one (Correction B.B. SAYS there are more available) LRF as best I can tell. Before you all spends your money here is a good tutorial on what is available and how they differ in performance and why:
    https://precisionrifleblog.com/2013/10/29/how-do-rangefinders-work/
    I looked at the pictured LRF in yesterdays Blog on the PA web page hoping to get some Specifications and Operating System information…nothing.
    I think PA should provide more information. I even downloaded the Users/Owners Manual from the maker? Now I know why PA has no real information about the subject item…nothing of value to find there!

    shootski

  8. A fella could really occupy his/her self with creating a database of pellet performance with this pumper. The myriad combinations of distance, power(pumps), weight crossed with accuracy and fpe results would take a fair amount of time to compile. Then repeat for caliber. Valuable? Who knows. Could be entertaining and a potential source of “too much information” when someone asks, “How do you like that pumper?”.

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