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Balancing and Ballasting a carbon gun

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Tbo

Member
Nov 23, 2017
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I recently put together a new carbon gun, it has a pathos handle with ermesub mech, an OBD carbon cuttlefish barrel, and a pathos open muzzle. I have yet to put a reel on it but it is coming soon.
My problem is that it is far too buoyant. I need suggestions of how to balance it and ballast it so it sinks correctly. It currently floats very well even with shaft in and I can already tell it will still float with a reel on it, or at least the muzzle will be much too buoyant. Any ideas?
 
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marco15499

Laguneros Spearfishing
Apr 4, 2011
262
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Put some lead in the space between the muzzle and the barrel and also between the handle and the barrell. There is a "dead space" that can be filled with lead. Make sure to have the shaft and bands in the gun when doing it. I ilke it to be a little "nose heavy" and sink slowly, but that's a personal preference.

You can add lead with some adhesive tape before making it definitive. If you do it in a pool, it will float a little bit more in the sea. But not too much.
 
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Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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Jan 27, 2005
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Put some lead in the space between the muzzle and the barrel and also between the handle and the barrell. There is a "dead space" that can be filled with lead. Make sure to have the shaft and bands in the gun when doing it. I ilke it to be a little "nose heavy" and sink slowly, but that's a personal preference.

You can add lead with some adhesive tape before making it definitive. If you do it in a pool, it will float a little bit more in the sea. But not too much.

Or you could trade it for a teak gun? :)

Just kidding, at least a little, but I'm an old fart who is puzzled why carbon fiber is so popular when its such a PIA. With every teak gun I've owned I've drilled multiple holes in it.

But back to the problem. Why not let it float with the shaft in? All my life I carried guns that sank with the shaft in and floated after they were fired. Then I got a couple of Abellans that barely floated with the shaft in and I'll never go back. If I want to adjust my mask or help a buddy, just turn loose of the gun and it sits there beside me. I frankly can't find a reason that all guns used by freedivers are not that way. I recently took a chance and brought a Ulusub 160MH gun that has compartments fore and aft with lead disks in them. The manufacturer intended these to be used to just adjust balance while still sinking, but I found that I could remove enough lead so that the gun floats. Its the best handling gun I've ever had. I just sold my last two guns that sunk with the shaft in.

Try it. You may like it.
 
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marco15499

Laguneros Spearfishing
Apr 4, 2011
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Well, some like them "floaters" and some like them "sinkers". I belong to the second group. But very slow sinker. And you can achieve that by doing what I recommended.

Regarding the comparison between wood and carbon, my opinion is that they are two different worlds; carbon is way easier to swing, lighter to transport and less care is needed. Wood... Well, wood is wood. :giggle:

BTW Bill, do you really like Abellans? They're beautiful and apparently, well engineered, but I shot a friend's one and it has tons of recoil, it is very difficult to swing in the water and the handle isn't comfortable at all to my hand. It is like grabbing an apple :LOL:

After trying rollers I don't want anything else. Well, yes. Pneumatics when visibility is not the best.
 
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sharkey

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2013
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Carbon or other composite construction doesn’t have to be light, it seems people wrongly assume this. Let’s also remember that timber is the original carbon fiber.
Carbon is strong for weight but it’s is also suitable for moulds. Pictured are my moulded carbon bluewater guns in which the bare stock weighs 4.2kg.
With a 1.8m x 3/8 spear four 16mm rubbers, trigger, handle,etc it is much heavier but still very light in the water. It sinks slowly with all the hardware & floats when the spear is fired.
So, carbon or composite construction should not always be considered as light weight.
Also there are lots of aftermarket ballasts available for both timber & tube guns. The Deeper Blue blog here did an advertirial for the ballasts Neptonics sell just a couple of months ago.
EB94C2E7-DB90-490A-928B-DDE4BCE4D100.jpeg
 
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Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
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Well, some like them "floaters" and some like them "sinkers". I belong to the second group. But very slow sinker. And you can achieve that by doing what I recommended.

Regarding the comparison between wood and carbon, my opinion is that they are two different worlds; carbon is way easier to swing, lighter to transport and less care is needed. Wood... Well, wood is wood. :giggle:

BTW Bill, do you really like Abellans? They're beautiful and apparently, well engineered, but I shot a friend's one and it has tons of recoil, it is very difficult to swing in the water and the handle isn't comfortable at all to my hand. It is like grabbing an apple :LOL:

After trying rollers I don't want anything else. Well, yes. Pneumatics when visibility is not the best.

Less care? I do bother to wipe on a bit of Tung oil every year or so but that’s strictly cosmetic. I know two guy took pride in their RIFFE guns looking like bleach driftwood. The still shot more fish than I did.

I really like the Abellans. All the recoil is into my palm. No muzzle rise. In a pool I was amazed at the range with just two bands.

I love the handle once it’s in my hand in front of me. I’ve had a hard time with moving it from the soldier at arms back near my thigh. My impression is that most people who use tear handles guns carry them in front of them anyway. I’ve used to mid handle guns.

But to the meat. Why do you prefer guns that barely sink to those that barely float? Have you even tried it? I can’t notice any difference when I dive. They handle identically. If I can’t feel any difference, why not use a gun that can fall overboard and wait until I jump in? I really want to hear a down side but I haven't experienced it myself. Tell me what I'm missing.

I know it’s a novel idea. I always thought guns had to sink because they all sank. Two guys who dove on my boat had home made guns. They both shot more fish than I did but i was dumb. I thought guns had to sink even if I didn't know why.

It’s never to late to learn you were wrong. If I can do it at 81, you can too. Try it.
 
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Tbo

Member
Nov 23, 2017
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Or you could trade it for a teak gun? :)

Just kidding, at least a little, but I'm an old fart who is puzzled why carbon fiber is so popular when its such a PIA. With every teak gun I've owned I've drilled multiple holes in it.

But back to the problem. Why not let it float with the shaft in? All my life I carried guns that sank with the shaft in and floated after they were fired. Then I got a couple of Abellans that barely floated with the shaft in and I'll never go back. If I want to adjust my mask or help a buddy, just turn loose of the gun and it sits there beside me. I frankly can't find a reason that all guns used by freedivers are not that way. I recently took a chance and brought a Ulusub 160MH gun that has compartments fore and aft with lead disks in them. The manufacturer intended these to be used to just adjust balance while still sinking, but I found that I could remove enough lead so that the gun floats. Its the best handling gun I've ever had. I just sold my last two guns that sunk with the shaft in.

Try it. You may like it.
The problem isn't that it floats, (well kind of) but that it floats way too much. I need to use an insane amount of wrist power just to get it under the surface. I also like the gun to sit on the bottom while I'm reef hunting so I can use both hands to relax or scratch.
 

Tbo

Member
Nov 23, 2017
33
7
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18
Less care? I do bother to wipe on a bit of Tung oil every year or so but that’s strictly cosmetic. I know two guy took pride in their RIFFE guns looking like bleach driftwood. The still shot more fish than I did.

I really like the Abellans. All the recoil is into my palm. No muzzle rise. In a pool I was amazed at the range with just two bands.

I love the handle once it’s in my hand in front of me. I’ve had a hard time with moving it from the soldier at arms back near my thigh. My impression is that most people who use tear handles guns carry them in front of them anyway. I’ve used to mid handle guns.

But to the meat. Why do you prefer guns that barely sink to those that barely float? Have you even tried it? I can’t notice any difference when I dive. They handle identically. If I can’t feel any difference, why not use a gun that can fall overboard and wait until I jump in? I really want to hear a down side but I haven't experienced it myself. Tell me what I'm missing.

I know it’s a novel idea. I always thought guns had to sink because they all sank. Two guys who dove on my boat had home made guns. They both shot more fish than I did but i was dumb. I thought guns had to sink even if I didn't know why.

It’s never to late to learn you were wrong. If I can do it at 81, you can too. Try it.
I like guns that sink so that I can drop them to the bottom to mark spots, and also so the muzzle isn't always rising up and throwing off my shot or scaring fish when I'm hiding in the reef.
 
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Tbo

Member
Nov 23, 2017
33
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As to the carbon vs wood debate, I like both but I can't deny carbon is much lighter when taking long shore hikes to spots or simply diving to 100ft multiple times a day.
I have had multiple wood guns though, I had a riffe euro and a KAP euro, I loved the kap for it's accuracy but the enclosed track made it loud. Overall not a bad gun, if I can't figure out how to make this new one work out, I'll probably go back to KAP
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
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I like guns that sink so that I can drop them to the bottom to mark spots, and also so the muzzle isn't always rising up and throwing off my shot or scaring fish when I'm hiding in the reef.

Dropping the gun to mark a spot is valid. I just don't happen to dive that way.

But muzzle rise is not a factor. All three of my guns have compartments with lead up front and in the rear. I can adjust them so that they barely sink with the muzzle down, or with the muzzle up. But I doubt that is possible with a carbon fiber gun. :)
 
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Tbo

Member
Nov 23, 2017
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Dropping the gun to mark a spot is valid. I just don't happen to dive that way.

But muzzle rise is not a factor. All three of my guns have compartments with lead up front and in the rear. I can adjust them so that they barely sink with the muzzle down, or with the muzzle up. But I doubt that is possible with a carbon fiber gun. :)
Yeah if you don't ever let go of your gun the it floating isn't too bad, it's just when it is too bouyant and it gets hard to dive with.
Carbon guns can adjust bouyancy like that as well, putting lead in the front or back of the tube. You just have to be more careful about barrel plugs with carbon guns. I never said I dislike wooden gun, they work fine. I've seen the abellans, they look very nice, I like the raised handle as a low handle is my biggest qualm with wood guns.
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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Jan 27, 2005
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As to the carbon vs wood debate, I like both but I can't deny carbon is much lighter when taking long shore hikes to spots or simply diving to 100ft multiple times a day.
I have had multiple wood guns though, I had a riffe euro and a KAP euro, I loved the kap for it's accuracy but the enclosed track made it loud. Overall not a bad gun, if I can't figure out how to make this new one work out, I'll probably go back to KAP

I get it that long hikes are easier with a lighter gun. I'm lucky that all my dives are from a boat so its not a factor for me.

But I don't get how it matters diving to 100 feet multiple times. The gun is either buoyant by a few ounces or negative by a few ounces no matter what material its made of.
 

Tbo

Member
Nov 23, 2017
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I get it that long hikes are easier with a lighter gun. I'm lucky that all my dives are from a boat so its not a factor for me.

But I don't get how it matters diving to 100 feet multiple times. The gun is either buoyant by a few ounces or negative by a few ounces no matter what material its made of.
Well it's not so much the weight as the water distribution, wooden guns are usually built with larger diameter so the don't flex or crack, carbon guns can have a smaller diameter as the fibers resist flexing and cracking better than wood.
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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This has been a great discussion in that neither or us is wrong. You have good reason for liking sinking guys but none of your reasons apply to me. I hope innocent bystanders learn something from it.

"Well it's not so much the weight as the water distribution, wooden guns are usually built with larger diameter so the don't flex or crack, carbon guns can have a smaller diameter as the fibers resist flexing and cracking better than wood."

Funny, but I've had exactly the opposite impression. I haven't used one, but I look at carbon fiber guns and think that they are larger diameter than wood guns of similar power. In any event, I've been using wood guns for many years and I've never had a problem with flexing or cracking.
 

Tbo

Member
Nov 23, 2017
33
7
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This has been a great discussion in that neither or us is wrong. You have good reason for liking sinking guys but none of your reasons apply to me. I hope innocent bystanders learn something from it.

"Well it's not so much the weight as the water distribution, wooden guns are usually built with larger diameter so the don't flex or crack, carbon guns can have a smaller diameter as the fibers resist flexing and cracking better than wood."

Funny, but I've had exactly the opposite impression. I haven't used one, but I look at carbon fiber guns and think that they are larger diameter than wood guns of similar power. In any event, I've been using wood guns for many years and I've never had a problem with flexing or cracking.
It's a great discussion that's true.
I'm no expert on anything but think about if you had a carbon fiber pipe gun and how it can still float shaft out and still function well. Now I think about if I had a wood gun with the exact same shape and diameter, I dunno I feel like it would bend or crack. But that's just me. I have seen some surprisingly thin wood guns like the riffes and Kap, they work really well and are some of the slimmest guns on the market.
 
Oct 28, 2017
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I made a gun with that exact barrel but in the 90cm so not sure if this is going to help you or not. Yours should be foam filled so you can take a large drill on both ends and slowly remove some foam to make room for steel washers. You’ll have to add some to both ends until you get the balance you want. I would wait until you get the reel. You should be able to adjust not only how it floats but the balance in the water.
67683716-7C67-4065-A4C9-EEC22C51D06A.jpeg
 

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Tbo

Member
Nov 23, 2017
33
7
23
18
I made a gun with that exact barrel but in the 90cm so not sure if this is going to help you or not. Yours should be foam filled so you can take a large drill on both ends and slowly remove some foam to make room for steel washers. You’ll have to add some to both ends until you get the balance you want. I would wait until you get the reel. You should be able to adjust not only how it floats but the balance in the water. View attachment 56587
I don't believe mine is foam filled. It has epoxy over barrel plugs instead. I believe it's hollow. The guy I bought the barrel from said it should sink with the reel and a 7 mil shaft. Ill try it, if It doesn't work I'll probably melt some lead into little disks and try to slide them into the barrel ahead of the plugs.
 
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Mr. X

Forum Mentor
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Fit a roller muzzle? Roller muzzles and carbon barrels/spearguns seem made for each other. Carbon too muzzle light and prone to recoil, roller muzzles too heavy, especially muzzle heavy, but very low recoil/muzzle lift.

A Cressi open muzzle costs about £11, an Apnea roller muzzle (the cheapest option I'm aware of), with anchor fitting costs under £30 + £7 for rubbers.

... and also so the muzzle isn't always rising up and throwing off my shot or scaring fish when I'm hiding in the reef.

I experienced the opposite problem with my 90cm RA Sparid, too muzzle heavy (are the longer barrel sizes more buoyant/less muzzle heavy?). Stuck a cork in the spare rubber hole, which helped a bit but I have chronic shoulder problems now and it may have been a contributing factor.

All of my spearguns have been a bit or a lot muzzle heavy. I think all would have benefited from being more buoyant and less muzzle heavy. The superlight Omer XXVs - which have carbon barrels - are the least problem because they are so light; they don't float as well as I would like though.
 

Tbo

Member
Nov 23, 2017
33
7
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18
Fit a roller muzzle? Roller muzzles and carbon barrels/spearguns seem made for each other. Carbon too muzzle light and prone to recoil, roller muzzles too heavy, especially muzzle heavy, but very low recoil/muzzle lift.

A Cressi open muzzle costs about £11, an Apnea roller muzzle (the cheapest option I'm aware of), with anchor fitting costs under £30 + £7 for rubbers.



I experienced the opposite problem with my 90cm RA Sparid, too muzzle heavy (are the longer barrel sizes more buoyant/less muzzle heavy?). Stuck a cork in the spare rubber hole, which helped a bit but I have chronic shoulder problems now and it may have been a contributing factor.

All of my spearguns have been a bit or a lot muzzle heavy. I think all would have benefited from being more buoyant and less muzzle heavy. The superlight Omer XXVs - which have carbon barrels - are the least problem because they are so light; they don't float as well as I would like though.
The longer barrels do tend to be more bouyant but I think it has to do more with the internal volume due to the cuttle fish shape of my barrel.
 

Johny Depth

Active Member
Sep 27, 2020
116
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Purchase adhesive Lead weights ,Or purchase Brass plate or round bar.Hope this balances the Gun also
 
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