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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:

PROS 

  • Extremely versatile
  • Great fit and finish
  • Lightweight
  • Simple design
  • Easy to fill
  • Great power

CONS

  • 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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Airgun Hunting, Scouting Safari

by Dana Webb

Thursday morning Lindsey, Marley and I left home and traveled several hours North of us where we would spend the next 4 days. The area we had chosen is somewhat familiar to us although this trip would be spent exploring new territories within the park. The weather was typical for Springtime here in California and was supposed to be in the high 70s and mid 80s throughout the rest of the week. As we turned off the highway and into the BLM land we were immediately greeted by the 246,812+ acres of grassland. Springtime is especially amazing here as everything is so green and the wildflowers are exploding throughout this vast wilderness of rolling hills and mountains.

Most of the area is semi-arid grassland where very few trees grow with the annual rainfall around 9 inches. This area is close to the terrain you would expect to find on the African Plains and gives a very “Safari” like feel to it when traveling down the long dirt roads in the Jeep.

We had planned to travel much further than before into the area where we would create a primitive campsite where we would spend our first night. The area we chose was at much higher elevation and would prove to be much cooler as the sun made way down over the mountains. The small trail that switch-backed through the picturesque mountains was steep, rutted and no doubt a great job for the Jeep. We found a nice spot that offered a spectacular view of the valley floor as well as great scouting opportunity for the giant Jackrabbits that roam the hillsides. We unpacked the Jeep and set up a nice comfortable campsite complete with fire-pit to keep us warm while enjoying the stars.

We spent the evening enjoying the stars and making plans for our following days adventure. This area offers a great deal to the outdoor enthusiast such as hiking, offroading, wildlife watching, metal detecting and some unreal hunting opportunities. My plan was to get up early and hike around the hillsides looking for signs of large Jackrabbits.


The next morning Marley woke me up ready to start the day with a nice leisurely hike, she was very excited to get out and about looking for big bunnies. On this trip I packed very minimally with only a small pack for water, pellets, rangefinder and the .22 Lynx MK2 PCP rifle. I had recently done some work to the rifle making it more suitable to extreme field use. Marley and I moved slowly down the hillsides through the tall grass and with hopes of spotting some Jackrabbits in the distance as the sun came over the mountains.

As I was carrying a light caliber rifle the ideal range was within 100 yards limiting many of the shots that are more suitable to the larger .30 rifles. The nice part of using a smaller caliber is the challenge of getting closer and making much more precise shots to bring down these giant Jackrabbits. These animals are tough and can many times run for miles if shot placement isn’t perfect. I found myself using more stalking techniques that have not been practiced in awhile. The key is to stay low and slow, frequently stopping to look around. I like to work hillsides, canyons, ravines as these are generally the areas Jackrabbits move through. Many times I will walk for a few minutes and simply sit and wait to spot for movement, it’s amazing to see a Jackrabbit sometimes appear from nowhere. This particular habitat can be difficult as the grass is taller and the Jackrabbits blend so well into the environment.

Marley had flushed a few Jackrabbits from the tall grass with none stopping long enough to to make any decent shots. I was having a great time just being able to hiking around with my little friend and to have the opportunity to gather some great photographs of our adventures. After about an hour we headed back to camp and had decided to pack things up and venture back down into the valley to explore some different areas. We had enjoyed our stay in the primitive campsite and will most likely return sometime to spend a few more days. As we slowly drove down the mountain into the valley floor we spotted a large Elk herd off in the distance.

After spending several minutes watching the Elk move across the large open plain we continued down the road and deeper into the territory. I had found several buildings off in the distance using the spotting scope I figured we would go and explore. The area was home to several ranches in the mid 1800’s and many of these homes are still in fair condition as well as the many other ruins left such as farm equipment, water tanks and windmills.

One of three wooden harvesters found near an abandoned homestead site

Homestead built around 1929

After having a short break in the shade of the old homestead we continued north spotting several more Elk as well as some Antelope grazing in the miles of open plains. One of the prominent attractions that can be seen from the highest points of the valley is an alkali lake, essentially a dry lake bed. From a distance the lake seems to give the illusion of water but upon closer inspection it’s just several miles of salt bed.

We spent some time walking around taking some photographs while Marley played in this interesting new environment. We soon left and continued down the road heading up into a more remote area more off the beaten path, this area is simply huge and fairly easy to get lost in. Lindsey drove for a bit as it was now late afternoon and we decided to try settling on a new spot to spend the night. We drove up a small trail that took us into some beautiful rolling hills covered in grass.

This area was very open with a few Ephedra Viridis bushes spread throughout, very beautiful place to camp. After we parked and started unpacking the Jeep I had already spotted several Jackrabbits moving about. I dug a small fire-pit as I knew it may be a bit chilly later in the evening, I too gathered a small amount of kindling as well as some larger dead branches I found.

That night was a bit chilly as anticipated but offered some unimaginable views of the stars, I ended up staying up quite late just enjoying the sky.

Lindsey enjoying a beer next to a great fire


The following morning Marley awoke me as usual as she was ready to start the day with a nice hunt. I was excited as I was sure we would no doubt have some action from the many Jackrabbits I had encountered moving about from the day before. We moved slowly heading towards the Northeast of the camp where there were some prominent hills.

We hiked up to the highest hill where I had planned to sit and see if I could spot the ears of some Jackrabbits that sometimes glow as the sun hits them. After the sun started coming up I sure enough spotted a Jackrabbit behind a bush at 74 yards.

I slowly moved to my right as to get better sight of the Jackrabbit and made a nice heart lung shot that took it down instantly with Marley excitedly able to recover.

As Marley and I hiked back to camp the morning was really starting to heat up and by 9:00am was already approaching the mid 80’s. Lindsey spent some time walking around looking for some interesting rocks to add to our huge collection at home. I had forgotten the metal detector and can only imagine the cool things we may have been able to find if we had brought it. We plan to make a future trip dedicated specifically for relic hunting. We packed up once again and decided to venture to a nearby marked campground where a trailhead was located. The trail was to take us on a several mile loop that weaved through a cattle pasture and up a steep mountain offering spectacular views of this amazing wilderness.

Lindsey and I had a great hike and it was the first time she really got to witness Marley hunt Jackrabbits. As we walked the trail we would flush them and watch Marley shoot after them like a rocket, amazing how fast and hard that little dog can move through the rugged terrain. She is extremely adapted to this type of hunting as she’s so short she can easily move through the bushes. After each session of her chasing we would take a break to keep her hydrated to lessen the probability of heat stroke, a very common cause of death for dogs. We continued the trail back to the Jeep where we enjoyed a nice lunch in the shade of one of few trees found in the area. We decided to head another direction and back into the mountains on a small fireroad that weaved us high up onto a giant overlook. We decided to make our camp and enjoy no doubt one of the best views of the entire trip. It was quite exhilarating being up so high and able to view the many different features and mountain ranges over 50 miles away.

That evening my friend Jon had arrived with his girlfriend, her sister and his two boys. The campsite had plenty of room for all our tents and it was nice to have some company for the next few days. The plan was for Jon and I to hunt that evening and early the following morning where we would take the Jeep into and area he had previously scouted. That evening Jon, his son and I had decided to hunt up the hill from camp and work a very steep hillside where we hoped to find some Jackrabbits moving about. We all hiked down the steep hillside, Jon and his son sat at the edge just as it dropped off into the ravine. I moved a bit North and followed the ravine occasionally stopping to scan the embankments for Jackrabbits.

Within a few minutes I spotted one foraging around a large bush at 80+ yards unaware of my presence from high above. Hunting from a high point like this is always a great way to increase success as we have a much better view and the shots are usually less obstructed by thick vegetation, this becomes especially important when using small caliber Airguns. I was able to make and a good chest shot that took down the Jackrabbit with authority using the H&N Sport Sniper MagnumsIt took me quite a while to recover as I had left Marley back at camp and with Lindsey, it was getting dark and the ravine was ridiculously steep.

By the time I made it back up to the truck it was pretty much dark but thankful to have bagged a Jack. We had a great little drive back down the hill to our campsite where the girls had started a nice fire for us to warm ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jon and I processed the Jacks and marinated them in olive oil, black pepper and several other spices he had brought. After having a nice bed of coals we cooked them over the fire and had more than enough for all of us including Marley to feast on.

That evening we slept great in our tent having much more room than the previous nights being cramped in the back of the Jeep with Marley.

 


Jon and I woke up early to fire up the Jeep and head 12 miles down onto the valley floor to a spot he had previously scouted for both Coyotes and Jackrabbits. Marley was eager to hunt as usual so we proceeded to the area that was very near the dry lake bed.

Jon, Marley and I parked the Jeep and proceeded to hike up a hill into a large field that ran into a steep ravine, we saw many Jackrabbits moving about on the hillsides. We spread about 50 yards apart and paralleled this ravine where I soon spotted a good size Jackrabbit moving up the other side stopping at 58 yards. I was able to make a good headshot that sent the Jackrabbit into a flip as it rolled backwards down the hill into a bush where Marley recovered.

This area had a ton of Jackrabbits but the terrain was a bit open and difficult to get close without spooking them. I see myself returning at a later date with the .30 EVOL and laying it down with some long range varmint hunting. Jon had set out his Coyote caller with the hope of bringing one in within range of his .223 varmint rifle. Marley and I patiently sat behind hoping to partake in the excitement of Jon’s hunt and to keep watch in several different directions. We spent about 20 minutes using the caller with little activity other than viewing some crows and birds of prey staying busy in the sky. This area is no doubt a good area to hunt predators and I would much enjoy returning for a dedicated Coyote hunt. Usually areas with a large habitat for small animals such as kangaroo rats, squirrels and rabbits are good places to set a stand. The place is large enough that we would never run out of areas to try, I do believe the higher elevation areas may be a better choice to try.

We made our way back up into the mountains where we started packing up the camp and venture to several other landmarks. The areas throughout this valley have a ton of history and almost to much to see in just a few days, can’t wait to return again and continue our exploration. After just a few days we had managed to find several new areas that are excellent for hunting, camping and hiking. I hope you enjoyed this write up and encourage you to subscribe and share this website with others. Till then, enjoy life and remember “The best Airgun is the one your shooting”

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