Seneca Eagle Claw Field Review&Hunt
About a month ago I received the New Seneca Eagle Claw from Pyramydair to field review. This is a .25 caliber lever action 70 fpe rifle that I was more than excited to get to field use. We have received a good amount of rain and snow so it took some time to be able to put together a few days of time in the field.
In the market for a powerful, fun-to-shoot PCP repeater with a smooth, easy-to-cock lever action? Then look no further than the Seneca Eagle Claw from Air Venturi! Add a little Wild Western flavor to your hunting, paper-target punching or backyard pest control with one of these slick-looking lever-action repeaters. These PCP airguns feature easily adjustable power, smooth lever-action cocking and deliver up to a whopping 70 foot-pounds of muzzle energy in .25 cal and 45 foot-pounds in .22. Add the fact that this repeater platform can deliver follow-up shots in less than a second and you’re talking about a rifle that’s extra-quick on the draw! Plus, its shrouded barrel takes quite a bit of the bark out of its bite for backyard-friendly shooting. Set in Sepatia (Indonesian Walnut) stocks, these handsome-looking PCPs are powered by a 460cc air tank for up to 35 shots per fill in .22 cal and 25 shots in .25 cal on max power. If you prefer to conserve air, dial the adjustable power wheel down to get more shots per fill. It is available in 10-shot, .22- and 8-shot, 25-caliber versions.
3000psi fill pressure, ideal for hand pumping
Several weeks after receiving the rifle I packed up the Jeep to head several hours into the mountains where we would spend several days with the Eagle Claw. The weather has been very cold so the hunting was expected to be very slow with animal activity. This area has an variety of animals to hunt such as Cottontail, Jackrabbits, Quail, Coyote and Ground Squirrels.
Much of this area still had snow patches from the storm that came through several days prior of the trip. The ground was saturated and made traveling these rugged roads very difficult even in the Jeep. I planned to spend the first part of the morning testing the Eagle Claw at various ranges as well as to test both pellets and slugs.
Filling the Eagle Claws 460cc air cylinder to 3000psi is very easy with its standard foster fill located in front of the tube. I can see this being a rifle suitable to filling with a handpump. Many modern PCP’s now fill beyond 3000 psi making it near impossible to fill without the use of a fill system. The rifle has a nice Picatinny rail built into the receiver that I mounted a Hawke Vantage 3-12×44 SF Scope to. I really like picatinny as it’s from my experience the most secure way of mounting a scope. The rifle is shrouded over the 20.5″ barrel, this is a very similar look to what the Marauder has with several baffles to moderate the sound. The fit and finish of the overall rifle is good and the only cast parts seem to be the lever action, trigger and cross-bolt safety. The Eagle Claw is a big rifle but balances fairly well for offhand shooting, smaller shooters may look at the “Carbine” version. Under the rifles forend of the stock is the fill gauge and the power wheel that allows the user to make external adjustments. This is a useful feature of adjustment to really fine tune the rifles performance depending on the ammo being used.
The self indexing 8 shot magazine is all plastic construction and had initially given me some jamming issues.
The magazine has a small center screw that I found to be to tight from the factory making it get stuck causing the rifle to jam. After I loosened up the screw the magazine functioned perfectly. This is one part of the Eagle Claw I would like to see improved, could be some durability issues down the road. This magazine works for slugs but they do slide through as slugs have no skirt, keeping my finger over the back while advancing to the next is best method. With diabolo pellets I like to seat them with a pellet pen, this usually from my experience aids in accuracy and for a much smoother loading into the barrel itself. The Eagle Claw comes from the factory setup to load magazine from the right side, this can be switched by moving the small screw in the breech area to the right side. This is a nice ambidextrous feature for you left handed shooters.
I set out a target at 75 yards where I planned to test both pellets and slugs for accuracy and speed. I first tested the JSB 33.95 gr pellets out to 75 yards and found them to be averaging 888fps producing 59 fpe with superb accuracy.
Spending my time on a few targets and dialing in the scope I was able to make a very nice 8 shot group that made me giggle a little.
The trigger on the rifle is two stage adjustable and was set fairly stiff, yet predictable right out of the box.
The very short first stage had a little creep but I feel this may be one of those triggers that improves with use. If this was mine I would have definitely adjusted it, but for the sake of “Out of the box” I left it alone. I think with some adjustment the trigger will be just fine for just about any type of user. Moving on I decided to test out some NSA 33.5gr slugs out to the 75 yard mark and to see how fast they were traveling.
The slugs were going a bit slower than the pellets, this is normal due to more surface area going down the barrel. From my experience slugs usually shoot much better at higher velocity.
The slugs were grouping very well even considering I pulled one of my shots off to the left, very impressive group.
I was very pleased, it’s rare you find an Airgun that shoots both pellets and slugs this well, pretty cool. After concluding that this rifle has an excellent barrel it was ready for a few days of hunting and field use.
The high of the day was just 34 degrees, very cold for much animal activity but Marley and I were still eager to get out and try for some hunting. After loading up my pack I took some time to discuss the Air Venturi buddy bottle I had purchased to extend my ventures into the field.
This is a 100 cu in 4500psi bottle that has an EZ fill valve that keeps the unit very slim for packing away. Here is a link to the smaller version found at Pyramydair. Marley and I set off away from camp where I had planned a big 4 mile loop into some very rugged canyon terrain.
The area still had patches of snow that made traversing the steep hillsides quite slippery and difficult. We moved diagonally into the higher elevations with hopes of spotting some movement of animals.
As we slowly made way up through the canyon I was able to spot a covey of Quail moving about at 75 yards, I set up my shot on one that was still at just over 75 yards.
I took careful aim and made a perfect headshot with Marley making a quick recovery up next to some thick brush. Captured on the Tactacam FTS scope camera.
Quail are very difficult birds to hunt with and Airgun due to the fact they don’t stay still for long. These birds are difficult to spot and this late in the season are really not as active as during the warmer months.
After bagging our bird we set out and continued the big 4 mile loop back to camp. As we were hiking my camera ended up disconnecting from my pack and took a pretty nasty tumble onto some rocks. The LCD screen cracked unfortunately so I was worried that my video footage may have been compromised over the two days. Thankfully the camera still functioned enough to get me through this trip but I will unfortunately need to be replacing it soon. We continued our hike up through a dry creek-bed where I saw no activity at all, the cold weather was keeping most of the animals hunkered down and out of sight. Marley and I made way back to camp where I set up the tent and dug out a good size fire-pit to help keep us warm for the night ahead.
I dug the fire-pit fairly wide and pushed some dirt towards the back stacking some rocks on top to reflect the heat towards the tent. I set a flat stone in the center of the fire to set the cast iron pot on to cook the Quail. After getting a good bed of coals I cleaned the Quail and placed it into a small zip lock bag with some garlic and herb seasoning.
Nothing went to waste and between Marley and I we ate the entire bird, not much meat but still tasty. These birds have fairly large breast and if prepared correctly are some of the best tasting meat one can have. Highly recommended to try!
After an early dinner Marley and I headed back out for a short walk around the camp seeing only a glimpse of a small Cottontail scurrying away into the thick brush. These types of cold weather hunts can get very frustrating, especially when trying to field review a gun on video. The temperature by this time we plummeting down into the low 20’s so we made way back to camp to enjoy the warmth of the fire.
My day spent with the Eagle Claw was great, was nice to get to learn a little more about it and get to carry in under some heavy field conditions.
That night we bundled ourselves under a ton of blankets and I periodically got up to keep the fire tended through the early morning hours.
The following morning I woke up and made some coffee while Marley slept in a bit longer till the sun came out.
The plan for the day was to hike away from camp into a giant 5 mile loop that I hoped would give us some better hunting opportunity. The Eagle Claw is a bit heavy but carries very well, the larger air capacity is well worth the trade in weight I think. About a mile or so into our hike we took a break near a rocky area that offered a good panoramic view.
I was able to spot some active Ground squirrel activity between 70 and 100+ yards on the many nearby rock outcroppings.
Normally during cold months the Ground Squirrels are pretty much non existent and stay underground till the days get warmer, seeing so many was surprising to me. I was able to conceal myself well behind a large boulder that doubled well as a steady rest for the Eagle Claw. I do like the loner swooped stock design as it works very well for these types of shooting positions.
I was able to connect with several large adult Ground Squirrels with the furthest out just past 100 yards. The eagle Claw no doubt had adequate power to get out to these ranges with ease. The lever action made reloading extremely quick while still keeping eyes on target through the scope. I really enjoyed the swooped long forend of the rifle, made resting on the rocks much easier for me.
The Hawke Vantage 3-12×44 SF scope works very well for most all hunting situations, the lower power is great for a wide field of view. When hiking around I usually always have the scope magnification set to 3 power so I’m able to make quick target acquisitions.
After spending about an hour in this spot taking down more around 10 Ground Squirrels Marley and I moved along the trail onto the big loop back to camp. On the way back heading through a field I was able to spot a large jackrabbit moving away at over 130 yards, tried moving in closer but it was gone from sight.
Back at camp we took a much needed rest and I filmed for a few segments of the enclosed video. Our time in the field was well spent and I was blessed to have had such a beautiful few days with the Eagle Claw. Although the cold weather made things difficult I was still blessed to have taken a good size Quail that fed us the night before as well as some success with the Ground Squirrels. I really want to thank Pyramydair for supporting Marley and I to get out and bring this review to you guys. I really enjoyed this review of the Eagle Claw and will enclose my final honest thoughts of this rifle as well as the video.
- Accurate (with pellets&slugs)
- Good Shot Count
- Smooth And Quick Lever Action
- Beautiful and Ergonomic Stock
- Adjustable Power
- Shrouded (quiet)
- Picatinny Rail
- Low Fill Pressure (hand pump friendly)
- Adjustable Trigger
- Plastic Magazine (poor quality)
- Bit Heavy
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What type of tank apparatus specifically did you use to fill the Seneca eagle claw? I bought two rifles from Pyramid and neither will hold air in the chamber. I use an “Airhog” 310bar 4800psi tank.
Send them back, after two not holding air I would get my money back.
It seems to me that the lever cocking forces you to lift the rifle to repeat shots unless you are offhand.
I get what you’re saying, but I didn’t buy this as a bench gun.
Dana, I don’t know if you’re married or not. If you are, why don’t you take your spouse afield??