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Air Gun!

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Oct 8, 2002
I just read full report of the spanish spearos who caught the 278 kilo bluefin.

The beast was killed with a Sporasub Stealth Air gun loaded to 40 atm.

Do any of you use air guns instead of band guns?

If so what are they like? Are they easy to load?

Have any of you used the ones with regulator that controls power.

Please let me know as I am just curious if air guns are commonly used.
A lot of guys use them in the New Jersey/Delaware area b/c they can be very small and manuverable w/ very good power. The problems are there a pain in the @$$ when they break, they are louder than band guns, and there power becomes diminshed at depth b/c of further compression. I think you dive fairly deeply so you should stick with your new toys from Italy for a little while longer.

One of the funny things is that Pipin endorses a line of pnumatic guns, which would be worthless at the depths he's going... I guess it might just be about the money... kinda the same when Streeter is endorsed by caffine-laden red bull.

which reminds me, I assumed air gun ment pnumatic, however they used to use compressed air guns w/ CO2 back in the 60/70's. They stopped for a reason... (namiley have to recharge and discharge of bubles and noisy. Maybe one of the old guys holding a candle-lit virilg for Captain Kangaroo could chime in on those relics (No attempt to offened, by all reports he was a very good guy who even tesitfied in front of the supreme court numerous times to advocate pro-child ledgislature).
i have used an air gun in the past, about 6 years ago when I stayed in Cuba. I never really had a problem using it and caught lots of large fish. I am going to Grenada witbh the same gun tommorrow and will let you know how it went.
I have video of pipin that using air guns. He shoots some nice fishes especially big groupers and some pelagic in medium level water. Very long shots he has and his air gun is soooooo huge :D

I have shot several times with small airguns and its funny to see the travel speed of thick shaft. And i found them harder to load, i also see one in the shop that need to change pistons and some other internal parts... It cost as much as new gun...:naughty
How the hell do you load a 130 air gun???????????

Not even Shaquille O Neal is tall enough I think.

DEF I am not planning to chage to an airgun but I was just curious as I never heard anyone mention them on this forum for Bluewater hunting.
I also began spearfishing with air spearguns (titan, mares sten and super sten). The impact you get with the 8mm or 10 mm spear is simply amazing. Its true that these guns needed more maintenance (specially the o-rings) .
But things change with the years, and definetely, nowadays its better to use band spearguns because they are less noisy than the air ones. The spears (I normally use 6.5mm or 7mm) have quite an impact too ( not comparable with the old air spearguns though).

Lets say that if you are diving in an area where there are 3 fishes, with air you would get one, the others would just go away cause of the noise, but in the same situation with rubber bands, you would get 2 fishes, and if you are lucky you would get the 3rd one too! And if you need more power, just add more rubbers.

Now, about charging the 130 air gun, as always is just more thechnique than strenght:you place the back of the handle on your foot/anckle, place the spear and then you pull it into the gun.

One of the most famous ones is the Pelletier, if we make an analogy, this would be the weapon for a safary! (actionated with CO2, the one that Marc Antoine Berry uses in his video). They got forbidden for spearfishing competitions, cause by definition, a speargun should be loaded with the strenght of the diver (air gun or rubbers gun)


about the noise, I have recently watched a video where there is the comparison between some airguns and band guns.
I will not dicuss about the impact, because of the shaft size.
But concerning the noise, this is really similar.

About the Pelletier, yes it is a great gun for huuuuuuge fish! But this is now very old and anyway fordidden in many countries (like France) not only for the competitions...

Pneumatics were the "hot" item in the Med during the '80s. The top spearos were split in two camps: Pneumatics for the Italians and "arbalettes" for the French/Spanish. Eventually, the advantage of the arbalette was obvious especially with the thinner tahitian shafts, better rubber and longer shots.
I used a pneumatic Mares Medisten for many years and it served me very well. It is indespensible for close shots on big groupers in the hole. Eventually, I learned to dive with two guns: A 100 cm arbalette and my Medisten. This was back in the early '90s in Greece.
Nowadays, pneumatics are still very effective: The 200 lbs+ tuna that Margaritis got in the Corinthian Gulf (the photo is in Terry Maas' book) was caught with a "specially tuned" pneumatic.
Loading a long pneumatic requires great skill and any wrong movement will bend the shaft.
I have not used a pneumatic for several years but I still have a Cyrano in the back of my closet (in case the make a "comeback")

ok Shane!

One thing that I really miss about the air guns is when spearfishing the lenguados (a sort of hallibut that we have, but the biggest ones weight 12-15Kg). With the pneumatic I was able to keep on pushing the gun with the spear still in (but already shot) so that the spear wouldnt go out of the sand, nor pulled away by the fish, and this was better to control the big lenguados. This doesnt happen with the arbalettes, its more difficult (even when you hold the rubbers/spear close to the end of the gun to not to allow the spear to get pulled away with the fish).

Old times...old fishing....man fishing has changed since then!

Bilblun said:
Does anyone has any information about how a pelletier gun work and its design?
Forgive if I'm wrong, maybe I'm confusing it with another one, but as I remember now the Pellettier was a hydropneumatic french speargun built in the 50's.
The gun I'm talking about (and I'm pretty sure the Pellettier was a Hydro, but I could be wrong) had a gas tank on the butt in which you could pump water directly from the sea while diving, making the mass of water compress the gas, so to reach a very high pressure (say 40, 50 bar or more). Very very powerful gun.
The downsides were weight and bulkiness, because to sustain such a strong pressure it was necessary to build the gun all in iron!
Similiar concept guns (hydros) are still built in Russia and Ukraine.
Have a vintage pic of the pellettier:
http://www.apneateam.it/Fucili Sorici - Pelletier 1954.htm
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Thank you spaghetti.
From the pics in apneateam it is similar to the one used by Marc Antoine Berry. I think it don't have a complicate mechanism.
I saw how modern hyrdo-guns works work but I think they have a different type of mechanism and are not as powerful as the pelletier.
Does anyone has a sketch diagram of the pelletier mechanism??
I need this for huge tuna (200kg-400kg). At the moment in Malta we can fish for these beasts just a mile out, 'thanks' to the tuna fishfarms (that's the only positive thing we can get from these pans).
The Pelletier was CO2 powered. It was the gun used in the final underwater fight scene in "Thunderball"
Marc Antoine Berry used one adapted so it used compressed air in the "Extreme Spearfishing" video
Since posting this I think Shane now exclusively uses the Mamba air guns :) - plus ca change...
dave said:
The Pelletier was CO2 powered. It was the gun used in the final underwater fight scene in "Thunderball"
Marc Antoine Berry used one adapted so it used compressed air in the "Extreme Spearfishing" video
In facts I was wrong, sorry: not a Hydro, but a CO2 powered.
I checked it on an article on old issue of Pescasub magazine about vintage spearguns, and...Dave is right. Magazine also says that Berry shot the Pelletier with the unbelievable pressure charge of 200 atm! (?) (!)
PS: apologies to the friend who gave me reputation for the (wrong) answer in my upper post. I'll try to be more accurate in the next ones...
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Never mind spaghetti, I appreciate your help. 200 atms is no problem to get because that's the pressure is a scuba tank. Now the only problem is its mechanism. Do you know from where I can get any help for the design?
I use Mamba Airguns with a sealed chamber that allows the piston to move much faster within the chamber

How things can change ;)
shaneshac said:
How the hell do you load a 130 air gun???????????

Not even Shaquille O Neal is tall enough I think.

...I am not planning to chage to an airgun...

rofl rofl rofl
I guess you have grown A LOT in the last 3 years, haven't you Shane ;)
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