Others American Tactical Nova Freedom .177 (a.k.a. Seneca Aspen)

mcoulter

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Yup, this rifle is a bit of an odd-duck!

It looks like "American Tactical" as an importer does not do airguns any longer and the model they called NOVA-FREEDOM is now called the AV's Seneca Aspen... BUT Air Venturi seems to only distribute these in .22 and .25 caliber. That being said, it is a pretty interesting platform.

HAM did a review of the .22 caliber in 2018 and this .177 is likely the the same generation. I have to say that the review of the .22 is pretty much spot-on with the .177 caliber.

I did my initial fill from my tank and wow, you only need to *barely crack* open your tank to move the needle on this gun's air cylinder! Here are the number of pumps from a 1000 psi fill to get to various pressures:

1000 to 2000 psi = 25 pumps
1200 to 2500 psi = 50 pumps
2500 to 3200 psi = 25 pumps

I'm 5'6" tall and while the effort on each pump is doable, the stroke is about as much as my wingspan can accommodate! 25 pumps is certainly doable in one stretch, but 50 pumps in a row is probably a bad idea for the health of the pump in the long run.

All the shooting I did was on the high power setting with the single shot tray using the open sights. There is a really significant "shot curve" that I saw across the pressures I shot from. Shooting 10-shots like I did between pumping it back up is also more than ideal given the extreme spreads (ES) I saw in velocity. Here are the numbers from the strings I shot at various pressures using Air Arms 8.4 grain pellets. Temperature when shooting was a brisk 55f outside.


3200 >> 2900 psi
Avg = 740 fps
ES = 85 fps (703 – 787 fps)

2900 – 2300 psi
Avg = 853 fps
ES 102 fps (803 – 905 fps)

2300 – 1500 psi
Avg = 936 fps
ES 43 fps (918 – 914)

The key takeaway from the above strings is that shots 5 and 6 of the 2300 to 1500 psi fill each were 957 fps and is the peak of the power curve. According to my gun's pressure gauge, that puts the peak velocity with 8.4 grain pellets at about 1900 psi. This is a long way from the 3600psi "Optimum Pressure" printed next to the gauge!

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So how did the gun shoot with these wild spreads? Actually pretty darn well for me shooting fiber optic open sights at 35 yards (rested)! The black bullseyes measure 2 3/8 inches and you can see the point of impact rise and fall given the velocities.

Target 1

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Target 2
Note: I was having chrony issues so the left target was 13 shots and the right one was only 5 shots as the pressure was well below optimal.

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Matt, thanks for the great review - yes this is an unusual air rifle that has worked well for me. The gun we tested for HAM in 2018 is still working, although it has not used very often. My opinion is still that this is a worthy attempt at an all-in-one solution that deserves more success in the market.
 
Hello, I have had a Seneca Aspen for a couple of years. Liberty Freedom and Aspen appear to be the same gun with the same performance. When I purchased the Aspen there were a few reviews that indicated problems with he pump valve. So far I have had no problems with the gun. It is accurate, and powerful, I have obtained above 30 fpe with 15.89 gr pellets and 21 gr slugs (34 fpe) on the HIGH POWER setting. I have filled the air tube with the gun's pump a few times from 0 to 3,000 psi, it was a work out.

Now days, I fill it with either a higher capacity hand pump or an electric pump. I use the guns pump to maintain a more or less constant pressure. I will typically fire 3 to 5 shots then use the gun pump to boost the pressure back up to where I want it. It usually takes 15 to 20 easy pumps. A person could keep firing pretty consistent shots all day long following that procedure. I mostly fire the gun on the LOWER POWER setting, the fps is typically between 850 to 750, depending on pellet weight. I like the gun and am glad I added it to my collection of air rifles.
 

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I've got a Seneca Aspen. I had one pump rebuild--only because it was my fault for overfilling; otherwise no problems at all. There's really nothing wrong with these guns you just have to figure out how to shoot em. First do go lickety-split and pump it 15, 20, 30 pumps in a row; they don't like that and the pump heats up. I pump mine 4-6 slow pumps every two shots or so. Mine takes 4 pumps for each shot fired to keep it level. But if you're walking in the woods and don't wanna scare squirrels find the shot range, like above, and just pump to fill it up when it's finally low or you're backhome. Mine is blistering accurate and I've shot a sparrow off a power line at 80yds--FREEHAND.
 

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