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Building a custom gun

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
May 26, 2003
I just found this site and from reading the posts, it seems like quite a few people have built their own guns.

I made my first about 4 years ago, and am planning to start building my 5th one any day now. The first 3 turned out to be functional 'prototypes' But, the fourth (and wouldbe last) was a work of art...so close to perfection that I was not planning to build another...until this past weekend. After returning from the first dive i clipped my gun to my bc (or so I thought) to make the swim against the current bit easier. Seconds later I realized my gun was not secured, but it was too late. The gun was designed to be slightly negatively boyant when the spear was inserted so it sank slowly with the strong current. I searched but only had a few min of air left and with less than 10 feet visibility I knew the search would be futile. It's pretty lousy feeling when hours and hours of work and pride slip away in split seconds. It was only the second trip out that I used the gun. I think I only took a brief video documenting of what the final gun looked like. All my plans were kept 'upstairs' nothing written down.

I told my dive buddy the only thing more valuable to me that day was the boat or my life....he asked me what about him...and I told him I would have to think about it!(I was kidding of course)

Now I figure the only thing to get me past this is to build a "bigger, better, more perfect gun" That's where all of you guys come in! I'm hoping to share some ideas and see what works for you.

The first think I was hoping to get advice on is a fail-safe way of tethering your gun when not in use during a dive! (ouch)

Acutually, I want to know what trigger mechanism all of you think is best (quietest/smoothest). I acutally hand made my entire trigger mechansm out of 316 stainless to accept riffe shafts on the last one but thought I could improve or just save time by buying a riffe trigger mech. Does someone have any pointers here on something better. Or where to find pictures or design plans for trigger mechs.

Trigger Mech

If you one day decided to load up ur guns to massive rubbers amount, use Riffe, Alexander or Kitto trigger mech. I think all about US$75.00, why risk ( self-fire ) and waste time making what others have perfected ??

These are the best triggers around, I have not tried a Kitto but I am sure it is very good.

A good trigger will have almost the same trigger pull regardless of 1 or 6 rubbers of 9/16". If ur own made is not this sweet, then buy one of what I mentioned.....it's worth it.

Have Fun....:eek:

Damn shame to hear of your loss. Having been there, I can sympathize. :waterwork

Tetherwise, the best thing going is a clear head. Having a gun tied to you, even if there's nothing to shoot at, and/or if you swear you'll unclip it before you shoot is a bad deal waiting to happen. :rcard Been there too.

Triggerwise, here's my list and it all depends on where you are to have them sent to you... Alexander, Kitto Millenium, Riffe. And then an Aimrite. (And before you get all agro Daryl, I have yours on my hybrid and it works fine... yeah I know that you and John test the beejeezus out of them and the plastic isn't plastic, but a composite :hmm) And then too it depends on the size of the gun, the band pull you intend on throwing on, the prey...

Definitely agree on using Alexander, Riffe, Aim Rite. Never used a Kitto but they are supposedly really good. From my own experience, the Alexander has the same trigger pull using 1 band all the way up to 5 bands. Just watch the recoil as I have hit myself in the mouth many times using my 5 band gun.

As far as setting up, I have a weight stop with a D ring already welded on attached to my weight belt. I bought this sucker for around $5 and it is well worth it. I usually put a belt stringer on this but I have clipped my reef gun to this many times. Since my reef gun is a 55" Wong, there is a large bore hole near the butt. I think Riffe has these too. Anyway, instead on just putting a loop of mono or a Riffe break away and leaving it as is, I crimp on a short section of 400# mono to the loop then crimp a small tuna clip to the end. I use a different break away style. Instead of a plug that goes into the hole in the gun, I use another half wrap of shooting line. I bring this down almost to the line release then form a medium sized loop before crimping. BTW always double crimp everything. Next I attach a short section of bungee material and loop this over the line release. If I want to shoot attached shaft, I clip the tuna clip to the loop in the shooting line. If I want breakaway, take off the tuna clip then attach the floatline directly to your shooting line. When swimming in strong current, cutting up burley, or if I don't want to carry the gun in my hand, I use the tuna clip and attach it to the D ring on my weight belt. The gun is secured to my belt but right there just in case we got some action.

Good luck with your next gun and welcome to the forum.

Thanks for the advice,

Needless to say, I am going to have to follow a new protocol when clipping and unclipping the gun... I guess there is no replacment for keeping your head out your arse regardless of how exhausted your are after a dive.


My custom mechanism was a beefed up hybrid of those mechs mentioned...it worked fine but it took too long to make.

I think I'll go with the riffe mech for simplicity.

Somebody mentioned the trigger mech was about $75? where can I find this price? or better. I only seem to find 'kits' in the $150 range (I don't what the handle and other hardware)

I'm located in Florida... can somebody recommend the cheapest place to buy riffe trigger mech ???

Im looking to make another mid handle gun. Does riffe sell two phsyically different trigger mechs for mid vs. rear or are they the same?

The basic trigger mechanisms in the bigger series guns are alike, the difference being how the safety is engaged. Cheapy Riffe gear is going to be a stretch... try Jay's site, www.speargun.com and see where a dealer is near you. The parts list is there as well. If you decide to go completely hard core, and have an easier time doing it, the Alexander and Kitto gear is available from HanaPa'a as well as their own site at www.spearguns.netfirms.com


I like self building of speargun too.(but lack of skill)

this is my DIYgun's trigger mechanism.DIVEWAYS.but original case was made by very thin and unreliable stainless.so,I made the case by myself.
this is very simple mechanism.
this DIVEWAY system is similar to almost American locking system.

I think Alexander,Aimrite,RIFFE are the best.
Alexander is expensive but beautiful.Aimlite too but case is made by plastic so some people say it is unreliable.but i don't think so.RIFFE is economy,but case looks not so nice.and you have to process your gun with consideration when you groove the hole for RIFFE mechanism.

I want to know about wood.I tried only teak and nyato.nyato is very beautiful.looks like mahogany.I made a gun by nyato-teak&aluminum rail-nyato 3ply sandwich.but buoyancy was too strong.Did anyone try another wood?I am interested in african bubinga.


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Nice one Yuta!

Any chance of posting a "Make your Own Triggermech" guide? :)

I'm getting some triggermech parts cut out of 4mm SS for my wood gun...
Nice pics of trigger set up mate
I have made my own gun using Arctic Beech and had no problems with it my mate works for a timber company and he got it for me they didnt have any teak but one of the old guys that works there told him that beech was great for what we wanted and the price was right so I took it and tried it the gun is about 2 1/2 years old now I think and I have been slack and only reoiled it twice but used it a lot it is still straight and works good was good timber to work with too.
It is a solid piece of very straight grained timber but unfortunately they only had 1 piece so I have to find more or different timber for my next gun I want to make a shorter gun this 1 is about 1300 I want another about 1m or so for general use on reef etc.
Regards Peter
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