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Don't Bet Your Life Or Your Buddy's Life On A Riffe

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.
Fondueset

Fondueset

Carp Whisperer
Jul 27, 2004
4,604
734
203
17
I agree, this thread has been bothering me since it was resurrected. When I seat the shaft in my guns I allways work it back and forth a little to make sure it feels normal.
 
josedesucre

josedesucre

Well-Known Member
Sep 14, 2006
342
43
118
I agree too. It is worth noticing that nobody else came out with another example against Riffe. The case was poorly made the very first time. That's not to say that it can not happen, because accidents occur all the time but sometimes the cause is human error. In this case, even if there was a malfunction, the major error was not to keep the gun pointing away from anybody. It is basic. One of my guns (a pneumatic) misfired once, but nothing happened because I make sure those spears never point towards me or anybody else.
 
S

seaman

New Member
Aug 3, 2005
245
23
0
52
That is so true, one thing is to give an honest point of view about some product as Bill Macintyre does. And the other is call a product a safety hazard. The Riffe guns are top notch, high quality products. I would recommend a DISCLAIMER on that post, since we just don`t have any evidence that the Riffe trigger fails in a normal situation. Never heard about that. So politically incorrect to let go an opinion like that.
 
R

Ron S

New Member
May 9, 2006
89
9
0
I once had a misfire with my little 75cm aspic. I shot and missed, and was in a hurry to load and fire again. When I loaded the shaft for the second shot, I could feel that there was sand in the mechanism and the shaft just didn't feel like it seated right. Being in a hurry, I loaded the first band anyway. As soon as I relaxed my hands, the gun fired. Since I still had the gun on my chest and my hands on the band, no harm was done. The lesson I learned is that after you load a gun a couple times, you can feel when things are right or not. I knew better than to not take the time to clear the crud out of the mechanism, but I was in a hurry. Now I know better...
 
ROBERT REYES

ROBERT REYES

Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2003
213
22
108
59
Sorry to hear what happen, it must be a big gun to cause such a damage under water.
I have seen it happen twice, both times
the shaft was not properly installed in the mech, and the gun fired while the user was putting one more band on, and he was hit by the end of the gun
in the stomach, after installing the shaft again, and making sure it was properly installed the gun was used again, both guns have being used for many years after that.
But, any triger mech, with time , will be damaged by the salt water environment and the normal use over many years, so I think we could call this normal, and is up to the user to change the mech after many years, how many, is up to you I guess.
I just changed 5 triger mechs from RA, they were old, and I did not wanted to take any chances, so I bought the cartridge for me and some friends, thats it.
Just like a funny car gets their rod bearings changed after every single race and our tipical everyday car we probably wont changed it, or do it once in a life time, is just the same.
Here something for you to read.
http://spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=37038&highlight=trigger+mech
But, if you install shorter, stronger bands that what the manufacturer recomends, no warranty should be expected from you, and you should be aware that there are high risks involved, even death.
The ones who build their own guns, should be very careful, from those guns
I have seen many shafts flying on their own.
If you ask me, we have been very lucky of the few accidents we have had.
 
Marcelo Tan

Marcelo Tan

Member
Apr 1, 2015
3
0
11
60
Guns misfire coz before loading the bands sometimes the trigger was pulled while in transit and when loaded it is engage with the sear halfway and releases when loading the second band.
 
Bill McIntyre

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
3,490
1,227
368
83
Since this old thread has been resurrected, maybe it’s time for clarification and an update. Years ago I heard of a guy being killed when his four band Riffe misfired while he was loading on the back of the boat. I’m not sure if the Riffe mechanism can be blamed- maybe he just had not properly seated the shaft in the mechanism. At least a couple of times my Wong’s have fired while I was loading but I wasn’t hurt because I was in the water. The important distinction is being in the water.

A couple of years ago a spear fisherman here in Southern California had a misfire while loading his gun in the boat while hunting giant bluefin tuna. His gun had another highly regarded brand of mechanism. The butt hit him in the abdomen and he momentarily passed out. When he woke up he told the other guys to keep on hunting but they insisted on heading for the harbor. When they got him to the emergency room the doctors said he was about 30 minutes from death due to internal bleeding. He had surgery and spent several days in the hospital.

These incidents have been eye openers for me. I’ve never been comfortable with loaded guns in the boat but it’s relatively easy to keep them pointed up in the air. It’s the butt end that can hurt you and no one expects that.

When I’ve told these stories people have asked me why a gun can hit you in the gut when it misfires under water without killing you but can do serious damage if it misfires out of the water. Perhaps a physics major can provide a better answer, but my guess is that the water slows down the shaft and bands so that the recoil isn’t so severe. But out of the water the recoil is more abrupt. And maybe the problem is exacerbated if you happen to be moving the butt a couple of inches away from your chest so that it gets a running start at you.

Whatever the explanation, it’s a real problem that we should be aware of.

So you might ask why the hell anyone would load their gun in the boat anyway? It’s being done a lot in Southern California in the last few years because of Blue fin tuna up to 300 or more pounds. Fish are seen foaming in the surface or perhaps 100 feet under the boat on the depth sounder. The diver has to be sitting on the stern with fins on and gun loaded. When the captain gives the word he has to jump in and dive immediately while another guy feeds his float line and floats into the water. If he loaded the gun after jumping into to the water he would almost always be too late. Is a tuna worth the risk? I don’t know of anyone dying yet although that guy I mentioned did come close. But it’s just one reason besides my age that I decided tuna are not for me.
 
Last edited:
popgun pete

popgun pete

Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2008
4,491
1,271
353
Everything wears out eventually, but if you have a Riffe mechanism that you want to check just remove it from the gun and detach the biasing spring from the trigger by unhooking it and with the mechanism upside down flip the levers outwards and you can see everything that would normally be pointing at the sear box roof ceiling. This way you don't have to knock the pivot pins out, especially as they are riveted over.
 
Noah spearfishing academy

Noah spearfishing academy

New Member
May 18, 2021
4
1
3
42
Safety !

Sorry to hear about your friend.
For me, the probability of shooting a friend is very important issue to address. I am surprised with the amout of people I have seen pointing their gun at me ! also with the safe off ! I think this situation is forgotten by to many spearfisherman.
This is my way of handling my speargun:
1.Safety on always.
2.Load with safety on, tying not to let the gun loose between charging bands.
3.swiming with safety on.
5.Gun pointing away from frienly mammals around.:) Anticipation is good here. Adecuate gun balance an flotation is of great help here. (a neutral to mildly positive flotation with heavier muzzle floating with point down, I think is the best in many situations )
5.When I see fish, safety is turned off immediately.Regardles if I'm on the surface or at the bottom
6.If no shot is made, I turn safety on again, before ascent.
7.leave the gun or take it up with me, depending on situation.

Sounds simple, but many don't do this simple things ! Most get distracted with so manny things that can in the sea. Yes , I have make mistakes, but I have managed with discipline to stick with these procedures. If you losse fish because trying to shoot with safety on, youll eventually will remember to disengage the safety on time. For me is the first thing that comes to my mind when I see fish, with fewer exeptions every time.hey ,never
Safety !

Sorry to hear about your friend.
For me, the probability of shooting a friend is very important issue to address. I am surprised with the amout of people I have seen pointing their gun at me ! also with the safe off ! I think this situation is forgotten by to many spearfisherman.
This is my way of handling my speargun:
1.Safety on always.
2.Load with safety on, tying not to let the gun loose between charging bands.
3.swiming with safety on.
5.Gun pointing away from frienly mammals around.:) Anticipation is good here. Adecuate gun balance an flotation is of great help here. (a neutral to mildly positive flotation with heavier muzzle floating with point down, I think is the best in many situations )
5.When I see fish, safety is turned off immediately.Regardles if I'm on the surface or at the bottom
6.If no shot is made, I turn safety on again, before ascent.
7.leave the gun or take it up with me, depending on situation.

Sounds simple, but many don't do this simple things ! Most get distracted with so manny things that can in the sea. Yes , I have make mistakes, but I have managed with discipline to stick with these procedures. If you losse fish because trying to shoot with safety on, youll eventually will remember to disengage the safety on time. For me is the first thing that comes to my mind when I see fish, with fewer exeptions every time.
i don't think these are good ideas , unfortunately, so many disasters happened when safety is on !
after u have enough real experiences , you will know the rule of safety :
NEVER EVER TRUST ANY SAFETY
 
UWHunter1708

UWHunter1708

Member
Jun 3, 2020
4
0
13
54
Don’t Bet Your Life Or Your Buddy’s Life On A Riffe !

The object of this thread is two-fold: to inform the forum and as many others as to the danger of older Riffe trigger mechanisms and trigger mechanisms and gun modifications in general.
Unfortunately, I learned that a spearo friend in Trinidad was severely injured when his Riffe misfired while being loaded. Yes, we usually think that misfiring happens after the gun is loaded. Wrong! After several operations and removal of parts of internal organs my friend with resultant large scars and loss of 30-40 lbs. can be a reminder that loading a gun can be deadly to the loader. Since I have had a Riffe bluewater for about 10 years,
I contacted Riffe and wanted an explanation of the above. Jay Riffe said, “Your friend used his gun too much.” Do you use your gun “too much?” Since I retired I average about 200 dive days/yr. Maybe about 1/3 are bluewater. Fortunately, I have several different bluewater guns and the lightweight Riffe has always been my last choice.
With further outside research on my part, several members of the forums had reconfirmed that the older Riffe mechanisms can and do misfire. Why haven’t the Riffes put out an advisory to the spearfishing community for a recall? You can bet your life that a car
Manufacturer would recall their faulty brake cars and fix them for free! Well, to make a
Long,sad,story short: After several months of being sent the wrong parts to Fiji and charging for the parts and shipping both ways (despite originally giving them both the model and serial numbers engraved on the gun), I finally have changed the mechanism to the new‘improved’ one. Prevention is better than cure!
The trigger mechanism is the ‘heart ‘ of the gun. What spearo hasn’t thought of increasing the power of his gun? Ever see an old gun at a garage sale or flea market,etc?
Think you can buy or modify the above for a fraction of the price of a new one? HEALTH IS WEALTH! Trigger mechanisms are lucky to be safe for factory rubbers at their original length. The European guns especially. It is easy and unsafe to overpower
Your gun with high modulus,thicker,shorter,more,etc.rubbers.Think you can increase the
Length of your barrel,etc. Please consider the principles of the above apply.
NO ONE wants to shoot a buddy but remember your gun could backfire and shoot yourself too, especially during loading! Don’t be stubborn and have to be kicked by a mule in the stomach to consider the above. RIFFE CULT MEMBERS please be objective
And demand an explanation from your leader! I’ve tried with several emails to urge Riffe to come forward and make public that a new ‘improved’ trigger mechanism is available for their older guns.
P.S. I always try and wear a closed cell foam loading pad which I put in my bathing suit to help protect my gut and ‘family jewels’.

Jim

DIVE SAFE AND DIVE SMART
!
.
Interesting comment, it is the first time I hear this from any wood gun and specially the gun that is there in the market as the gun to buy when doing serious under water hunting or getting real in the sport, this comment comes from a true connoisseur with experience and with the information disclosed I agree 100% This is a topic every under water gun owner should evaluate and go for the preventive measures as written !
Thumbs up on the subject
 
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