Seneca Double-Shot Shotgun field review
A few weeks ago I received two Air Venturi products, the Seneca Wing Shot and the new Double-Shot Air shotgun. These are both products of Air Venturi and arrived fairly quickly with 150 loaded shotshells and .50 Air Bolts. I had very little experience using any type of shotguns, so I was a bit excited as well as skeptical using them in the field. My expectations of air-shotguns were very low. I expected them to have low power, be heavy and have only a few inefficient shots before getting refilled. This detailed article is written as my first-hand experience using these in the field.
Seneca Double Shot .50 cal Double Barrel Shotgun
- Precharged pneumatic
- 244 cc air cylinder
- Two Smooth Bore Barrels
- Up to 5 good shots per fill
- 3000 psi fill
- Male Quick Disconnect Foster Fill Fitting
- On-board pressure gauge
- Velocity up to 1130 fps with shotshells
- Velocity up to 425 fps with Air Bolts (170+ FPE)
- Velocity up to 600 fps with Round Balls (140+ FPE)
- Thread on chokes (Easily removed for use with Air Bolt or Slugs)
- Front bead sight (no rear sight)
- Optional 11mm dovetail scope rail to add optics
- Ambidextrous hardwood stock
- Rubber Buttpad
- Patent Pending Air Distributor allows a follow-up shot in less than 2 seconds
- Bore Diameter: 12.47mm Barrel Thread: 16.6×18 Choke Measurement: 12.4mm The choke reduces the inner barrel diameter from .494″ to .486″
Easily the most flexible big bore system on the market: Double Shot delivers a decisive one-two punch to medium and large game with any combination of .50 caliber ammo, shotshells, and the Air Venturi Air Bolt. The Double Shot uses a patent-pending air distributor that allows you to perform a quick follow up shot in less than two seconds, through the use of a barrel selector dial. Simply load both barrels, rack back the bolt, fire your shot, twist the barrel selector dial, rack the bolt, and fire again. To sight in on your target, use the traditional shotgun style bead sight, or purchase the Air Venturi 11mm Dovetail rail for mounting the optic of your choice. This innovative PCP uses a 244cc cylinder, filled to 3000 psi, that provides 5 full-powered shots per fill. This high pressure translates to incredible velocities with up to 1,130 fps with shotshells. The options don’t stop there, as the Double Shot can sling .50 caliber big bore ammo and the revolutionary Air Venturi Air Bolt—an arrow-slinging system that can put 170 FPE on target. Each Double Shot features the trademarked etched actions and finely grained hardwood stocks you’ve come to expect from a brand that pays homage to the golden age of the hunt. Put simply, the Seneca Double Shot is a very versatile big bore PCP shotgun that doubles down on big bore power. This is a PCP shotgun that can sling .50 caliber rounds downrange one shot after the next, perfect for small game such as birds and rabbits. Load slugs, round balls or Air Bolts for large game hunts.
Check out these configurations below:
Mount up optics with the Air Venturi 11mm Scope Rail (sold separately).
SHOTGUN: Choose the shotgun option and enjoy velocities of 1,130 feet per second with either No. 6 or No. 8 filled shot shells. With consistent spreads of 12″ at 20 yards. (NOTE) Empty shells can be purchased to customize your load for various types of hunting)
RIFLE: UNSCREW THE CHOKES BEFORE USING LEAD BULLETS. Hunting for larger game? With .50 caliber slugs the Double Shot offers speeds of 600 fps and fpe exceeding 140. That’s more than enough power to take medium game with a well-placed shot.
BOLT-SLINGER: UNSCREW THE CHOKES BEFORE USING AIR BOLTS. Arm your Double Shot with Air Venturi Air Bolts to turn your air shotgun into a hard-hitting arrow launcher! Now more speargun than airgun, be careful not to “Robin Hood” or split bolts already on the target –they are that accurate! Capable of speeds up to 425 FPS and 170 FPE, Air Bolts are a fusion of innovative design and incredible knockdown power.
The first day out with this rifle was mostly to just get familiar with its function as well as to get several promotional type photographs to use for this report. I took both rifles with me to make sure they both functioned and would be sufficient to hunt with. The only part of the rifle that needed assembly was the cocking bolt, very easy to install with the provided allen key. Marley and I arrived to our location high in the mountains in a remote part of California, perfect for testing these rifles. My first impression of the Double Shot was great, it’s lightweight at 7.5 lbs and has a great looking wood stock as well as good durable metal finish. I found the rifle to be very easy to fill with a standard foster fitting with a cap that snaps on and off with ease. The rifle is very well made and has a unique and robust double loading breech with a manual valve that controls airflow into each barrel.
I loaded the rifle with the provided Air Venturi #6 shot that came boxed very well, these in my opinion are great for birds, but from later experience found them to be too light of a load for rabbits.
Marley and I proceeded to hike North away from the Jeep hoping to spot some Quail, Cottontail and Jackrabbits. The rifle really carried well and had a great solid feel to it and it did not feel like 7.5 lbs at all. Within several minutes of hiking I had spotted two Jackrabbits running up the hillsides at over 100 yards away. Marley and I moved slowly into the mountains with the hopes to get some closer shots on rabbits as well as to find some Quail. We were now several miles from the Jeep and decided to take a much needed break from to 80+ degree weather. I figured we would sit in the shade for awhile and wait to see if I could spot any movement on the nearby hillsides.
After about 20 minutes of rest Marley and I continued in a large loop through the brush covered hillsides with very little activity. Marley flushed out a good sized Jackrabbit that sped off leaving a poof of dust behind, much too quick for me to even react. I had made the mistake of not mounting my camera on the rifle and was only carrying my movie camera and tripod. On the way back we flushed a large covey of Quail and I was able to get several shots on a few at 40 yards. The brush is so thick that the #6 shot just didn’t carry enough energy to get through it at that range. Our real goal was to test the rifle, see how it carries and look for performance issues. As we made our way back down the hill I made several stops to take some more photographs, as well as to enjoy the beautiful scenery this location offers.
The following day I was accompanied by my good friend Terry who is an avid Airgunner and hunter as myself. This would be his first experience hunting with an air powered shotgun as well as his first time hunting the California Quail. These birds are abundant in the areas we hunt, but are incredibly difficult to find and get close to. Terry and I left fairly late in the morning and arrived to our location around 11:00 am, the weather was in the low 80’s with a slight cool coastal breeze. Terry would be using the Seneca Wing Shot, the single barrel version of the Double Shot. He was impressed with the simplicity, lightweight and feel of the rifle right away. We did some initial shooting with it just so he could get a feel for it as well as familiarizing how to aim it. We found that the front bead covering the target would get the full pattern on the target. The pattern was as stated approximately 12″ at out to 30 yards, great for birds and even rabbits at close ranges.
Terry, Marley and I headed out into this large field where we had spotted a large covey of Quail. We moved through the field with Marley zig zagging through the tall grass trying to flush some birds and rabbits.
We continued through the field in a big loop that took us into some thicker areas where we soon spotted a large covey of Quail at 50 yards. Terry and I both took shots on several that were fleeing away from us. I believe we may have hit one of them but the area was so thick that Marley had a difficult time making her way through the brush. This was the most fun I think I’ve had with an Airgun in a long time, a very unique way of hunting. The challenge at this point was very apparent to both Terry and I, super fun nonetheless.
‘Terry and I took a short break in the shade and just enjoyed being out in such a beautiful location to hunt. Terry was saying how surprised he was on how light the Wingshot was to tote around, shouldered nice and had a forearm that made good for offhand shooting.
Over the course of the next few hours we had very little luck finding any birds or rabbits, but we did have some fun back at camp. We had set up some small pumpkins at 20 yards and took turns blowing them off the log.
After looking at the damage afterwards it became apparent how powerful these shotguns were. The shot penetrated through very easily, with heavier load I’m sure they would have exploded. The rest of the day was spent doing some filming and taking some more photographs for this write up. The following week would be the Dove opener so I had planned to come back to try for that, giving me a better chance to capture something on film. When making field use videos we sometimes feel like we have to capture a kill on film. I have to remember that when hunting there is never a guarantee. We still enjoy the time out getting to hunt with some awesome Airguns.
Today Marley and I got up very early and headed back for the Dove opener, this would be another first for me. I had not really ever hunted many birds, through curiosity had been reading as much as I could on the subject as well as watching a few videos. I had decided the night before to pull apart several of the #6 shot shells and replace them with 20 Crosman Copperhead BB’s. I felt that the #6 was just to lightweight for punching through the brush as well as making longer range shots. When we arrived I tested out several that I had loaded on a tin can at 35 yards, the shot seemed to hit with much more authority. I had packed my large backpack with close to a gallon of water, snacks, as well as all my camera gear. This time I had decided to mount a small Sony HD camera to the barrel of the Double Shot, hopefully to capture the action with ease.
We headed up through a rugged canyon that had many fallen trees and tall dry grass that eventually lead us into some very thick brush. I wanted to get up into the higher elevations to get to where the Cottontail would most likely be, as well as some birds. Within about 20 minutes I spotted several Doves fly overhead and land in some nearby brush. Marley and I quietly made our way closer where I was able to take one at 35 yards as it was perched on a branch.
The shot took the Dove down fairly violently and Marley was quick to make her first bird retrieval.
Finally after a few days with little luck I felt some success, it’s tough hunting but when things like this happen it makes it all worthwhile. What a beautiful bird, I was hoping several more were around but I think we would have to work hard to find them.
Marley and I bagged our prize and headed further South where it took us through a creek and up a steep ravine into the higher points of the mountains. By this time it was close to 9:30 am but fairly cool in the high 60’s, perfect weather for hiking. As we followed a small but busy animal trail I spotted out of the corner of my eye a small Cottontail scurry under a bush at 20 yards, THWACK!!!
Marley ran to find it with me close behind, it got hit so hard that it literally drilled it into the ground. I think 20 yards was a bit to close haha! After the recovery I filmed a little as well as taking some more photographs along with a much needed water break.
After our break Marley and I continued down the small animal trail along a ridgeline that was fairly flat giving us a fairly good view in front of us. As we slowly walked I soon spotted another Cottontail sitting under a nearby bush at 30 yards in front of us. THWACK!!! Another one down with authority, I actually hit a bit in front of it, but still managed to take it down.
As we continued down the trail I spotted two jackrabbits with one leaving me a great shot, in the excitement I aimed a bit to low just missing it. Very exciting watching Marley chase the huge jack into a big circle where I was able to take a good running shot hitting just behind it. I think with some more practice behind the gun I could really get used to hitting moving Jackrabbits. This rifle is so much fun, I love it the more I use it, and have found it to be near the perfect tool for this type of hunting. Using a shotgun can get frustrating when we see a shot that is beyond 100 yards, still at close range it’s versatility is well above a standard pellet shooting rifle. Marley and I made our way back to the Jeep where I planned to film some footage with the Air Bolts.
Back at the Jeep we took a rest and had some lunch, my legs were killing me from all that hiking around. I felt relieved that I finally had something to show for all the work I put into making this field use review. I mean lets be honest, we want to be successful and show how capable the rifle can be in real life scenarios. The Air Venturi Air Bolts are .50 in size and made from a carbon fiber shaft with finely machined aluminum tips. Broadheads can be fitted but the composite points are more than adequate for any small game use up to Coyote size.
The first thing we do when using the Air Bolts, slugs, round balls is to remove the chokes from the barrel. To do this they simply unthread from the rifle, these chokes are what adjust the shot pattern. After we have removed the chokes we can now insert the Air Bolt from the muzzle end of the shotgun.
The Air Venturi Air Bolts have a small o’ring at the end of the nock, this o’ring rides on the inside of the smooth bore creating a seal to propel the arrow at optimal speed. The Air Bolt can achieve 238 foot pounds of energy, more than any conventional archery device I know of.
The Air Bolt is easily inserted in the muzzle end of the rifle with a twisting motion to get the flights to glide through the bore. I took several test shots and was astounded at both the accuracy and power of these things. I actually broke one of them because it went through my test target and into the tree behind it. The arrow had gone so deep into the tree I couldn’t remove it without breaking the shaft. These Air Bolts are not cheap, but could be extremely deadly on almost any game animal. I set up a target at 35 yards and was amazed at how accurate they could be. Even with having just open sights a scope on the rifle would be most ideal for this setup.
Over the past week I have enjoyed the Seneca Double Shot Air Rifle, it’s versatility and fun is near impossible to beat. I went into the situation a bit skeptical, but was quickly satisfied after my first shot with it. This truly is one of the funnest Airguns I’ve had the privilege to use in the field. I think with some practice one could become very efficient in hunting with this awesome piece of kit. My final thoughts are as follows:
- Extremely versatile
- Great fit and finish
- Simple design
- Easy to fill
- Great power
- Need buddy bottle for longer trips
- Cost of shot shells/ Air Bolts
I want to thank Air Venturi for sponsoring this field review and allowing me the opportunity to bring my honest review of this great product. If you like what you see and are interested in purchasing this rifle please click HERE to find the best location for you!
Here is the video documentation of our adventure with the Seneca Double Shot, help us out by SUBSCRIBING to our YouTube Channel.
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I am trying to convince the folks at CAP tunes to develop a power tune for my double shot. One of the things they said would be needed for them to make the investment was to get likeminded double shot owners to show interest – would you be interested and help spread the word?
CAP has developed power tunes for the other big bore Senecas that have doubled their FPE or more!
I’m in. I have a CAP dragon and Wingshot on order now. Have my own Double Shot ready to send in.
When shot shells loaded with steel bbs did you remove choke to shoot ?