And the Best Multi-Pump Air Rifle In 2022 Is….
2022 is notable in the airgun world for one particular thing. After many years of inactivity, two – yes TWO – new multi-pump air rifles have been launched in the first couple of months of this year. So which is the best multi-pump air rifle for you in 2022?
The two models are – of course – the Crosman 362 and the Seneca DragonFly Mk 2. Let’s be clear from the outset, these are both outstanding air rifles in their own way. Both use bolt actions and single-stage triggers. The 362 is single-shot only, the Dragonfly can also be used with a magazine, if desired.
The Dragonfly Mk 2 was the subject of a full, comprehensive HAM test review. It earned a HAM Gold Award on test, scoring a creditable 81%.
We’ve not yet made a full review of the 362, however we have undertaken informal shooting tests with it, together with a comprehensive test of the power produced for different numbers of pumps. We also showed how to fit a Crosman Steel Breech to the 362 as this will undoubtedly be a popular upgrade for many owners.
And it’s half the price of its competitor. Price is ALWAYS important!
So – based on this extensive HAM data – we can compare the two models and help you decide which is the best multi-pump air rifle for you in 2022.
NOTE: this review was updated on April 18, after I was contacted by HAM reader Kyle Henry. Kyle correctly pointed-out that I had mis-stated the price of the 362 with the steel breech installed. That has now been corrected below. Thank Karl!!!
Best Multi-Pump Air Rifle: 1 – Price And Caliber
The Seneca Dragonfly Mk 2 is available in both .177 and .22 calibers. But right now, if you prefer .177 caliber, the Dragonfly is the one for you.
The 362 is available in just .22 caliber – as the Crosman cognoscenti will immediately understand from its name. There’s no question that Crosman could easily make a .177 caliber version. It would undoubtedly be called 367, just like Crosman makes 1377 and 1322 versions of their multi-pump air pistols in the two classic airgun calibers.
The Street Price of the Dragonfly is $199.99. So, it’s double the price of the 362, which sells for $99.99. But is that really an appropriate comparison?
Well, most air rifle shooters in 2022 will probably choose to mount a scope on their gun. The Dragonfly accepts one: no problem. (Although you must remove the rear sight to do so – a simple task).
As for the scope, there’s no contest! You’ll need to mount a Leapers UTG Bugbuster scope on either gun. No other scope comes close for the combination of size and features!
By comparison, the 362 cannot accept a scope “as is”. The standard factory breech is supplied with a rear peep sight. Our eyes just can’t work with a peep sight in the way they once did. To hit the target, we need a scope!
Of course, you can mount a riflescope to the 362 by using those 459MT Crosman adapters that clamp to the barrel. But the HAM Team has never really favored this route.
Instead – like many folk – we’d prefer a Crosman steel breech. That incorporates dovetail rails that are ideal for mounting a scope. Now the Crosman Steel Breech sells for $44.95. That takes our 362 to a price of $144.94. In addition, Pyramyd Air can fit the same Steel Breech to your 362 at the time of purchase for just $25.00. That takes the total price to $169.98.
As PA is an authorized Crosman Repair Center, you preserve the factory warranty on your purchase.
Note that there’s no sunshade fitted to the same Bugbuster scope in the photograph below. That’s why it looks shorter.
|$99.99 (bare gun)
|PA Price With Steel Breech Fitted
|N/a (metal breech included)
Best Multi-Pump Air Rifle: 2 – Power And Pumping
After price, everyone is interested to know how much power and speed is produced with different numbers of pumps for these two guns.
So we opened a couple of tins of Crosman pellets and started pumping. For this comparison test we chose to use 14.3 Grain Premier HollowPoint pellets. For a comparison, we also used 19.0 Grain Premier Domed Ultra Heavy pellets.
But first, a little technology explanation. The Crosman 362 uses the traditional, simple type of pump mechanism.
This compares to the more sophisticated multi-point leverage provided by the Dragonfly’s mechanism.
The Dragonfly’s manufacturer says that this mechanism provides pumping effort that is pretty consistent, irrespective of the number of pumps. That – in itself – is a major advance over any multi-pump airgun that the HAM Team has ever used. And it’s true!
The 362 can be used with any number of strokes from 2 to 8 per shot. And those pumps definitely become harder – make that MUCH harder – as you approach stroke 8. The Dragonfly requires anywhere between 3 and 15 pumps.
So how does that relate to power?
First let’s look at a chart of the power achieved by the 362 compared to the number of pumps. As you can see, the maximum power of 14.6 Ft/Lbs was achieved with 8 pumps and 19 Grain pellets.
By comparison, the Dragonfly achieved 16.3 Ft/Lbs with the same Crosman Premier Ultra-Heavy 19 Grain pellets. The maximum power developed in HAM’s comprehensive test of the .22 caliber version was 16.59 Ft/Lbs with 21.14 Grain H&N Baracuda Match pellets.
So the Dragonfly is definitely MUCH easier to pump. It’s also more powerful, although not hugely so.
And here’s another factor. Multi-pump airguns of all types have a notorious reputation for pinching the unwary operator’s hand between pump handle and action when pumping. Everyone who’s ever owned a multi-pump airgun will have a painful recollection of this!
Here’s what the HAM testers found…
In our 362 testing, we made a total of 350 pumps. The result: one blood blister. We made a total of no less than 2,130 pumps in reviewing the Dragonfly and emerged pinch-free. There’s a definite advantage for the Dragonfly!
All testing on both guns was made with a Leapers Bugbuster compact scope attached to the breech. So that proves both guns can work well with a scope attached.
|Pumps Per Shot
|2 - 8
|3 - 15
|Maximum Power With 14.3 Grain Crosman Premier Pellets
|Maximum Power With 19 Grain Crosman Ultra Heavy Pellets
Best Multi-Pump Air Rifle: 3 – Size And Weight
One of the attractions of multi-pump air rifles is their relatively compact size and light weight. Both the 362 and the Dragonfly will please here. The Dragonfly is heavier, although it’s a fair guess that most of this additional weight will come from the wood stock and pump handle.
|Weight (Bare Gun)
|4 Lb 15 Oz With Steel Breech
|6 Lb 8 Oz
|Weight With Scope As Tested
|5 Lb 10 Oz
|7 Lb 3 Oz
Best Multi-Pump Air Rifle: 4 – Summary And Conclusions
If you’re the sort of person who finds the attractions of multi-pump air rifles compelling, the Seneca Dragonfly is the clear winner in this comparison. It’s much easier to pump and slightly more powerful. And it has a wood stock and magazine feed.
It’s also just $30.01 more expensive than the Crosman 362 with Steel Breech, even with Pyramyd Air’s installation deal.
Now which is better? To me, it’s clearly the Dragonfly. But it’s your choice!