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Freeing speargun trigger mechanisms - 5 spearguns

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Mr. X

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jul 14, 2005
2 of my spearguns jammed on the last dive of my holiday last week. I could put the spear fully into the mechanism but it would not hold in place. Fortunately I managed to free one by bouncing the loading butt against a rock, which allowed me to continue the dive but it locked up again later when cleaning it at home.
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When I unloaded and re-washed my other 2 spearguns, as I feared, they too had "locked open" :(

I have encountered this issue several times before. One or twice with my Omers but a little fiddling about soon cleared it. Also, long ago with my Rob Allen railgun. Now with my 2 new apnea spearguns (which have all s/steel rear trigger mech - so a quite different set up). Clearly this is not a brand or model- specific issue.

So, how did I fix it?
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1. With the RA, @Rob Allen very kindly sent a new trigger mech which fixed the problem and upgraded the mech :) Worked great afterwards.

They thought fibres freed by wear were preventing the light, unsprung , plastic line release from dropping normally. Quite possibly true. But I now think the problem is often caused by tiny, visible pebbles in the sea water getting in the trigger mech and sticking there, partly by surface tension but also by slimy gunk from seaweed in the water.

2. I removed the trigger mechanisms from my 2 Omer XXVs and wiped out the tiny pebbles and flushed it out with silicone spray. Both work great again now, super smooth and easy functioning again :). I used my 2 smallest punches to remove the plastic and steel pins.

3. I really did not want to dismantle my new Apnea spearguns, which have hardly been used. So instead I opted to wash them a third time but this time I used washing up liquid to reduce surface tension and remove any sticky gunk. And left them to soak for several hours in the warm dishwater before flushing with cold water. That too worked well. Both spearguns working well again :)

So, try to keep your spearguns away from grit, sand and tiny pebbles, flush them thoroughly with clean, freshwater after use, let them air dry and stores them carefully. But even doing all that, from time to time, you have problems like me (the tiny pebbles and slimy gunk are suspended in the sea water sometimes), you may need to soak the mech in a little warm dishwater. Failing that, dismantle, clean and flush.
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You can use a jet of water from a garden hose to clean out trigger mechanisms. My Riffe Metaltech got dropped in the wave zone and filled up with sand in the sear box and the pushrod tunnel and the only way to get it out and remove that gritty feel was to blast it out by aiming the jet into the sear box mouth and into the trigger slot. As you do it you can see the sand grains coursing out.
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The place I stayed at had a hose with a Lance with a rose on it. It was very good for rinsing the wetsuits but, with the rose, less so for the spearguns.

I used to have a short coil hose at home for this sort of thing but it didn't last long. I've asked my wife to look out for a short, tough hose (she already has a very long, heavy one that she uses in the garden and it is guaranteed to last at least 20 years - but she was unwilling to cut a piece off for me! :D).
I used to take a flattening compact hose that wound on a reel which was light (but not much of a hose) which had its own snap on fittings and hose nozzle. It needed care in winding it up as a fabric outer had a polyurethane inner which kinked and creased if you did not take care in rewinding the hose on the reel. Expensive when they first came out the price plummeted when they were seen as a poor substitute for a normal hose, but for washing dive gear in spots which had access to a tap they worked OK.
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This is a spare that I bought and never used. The first “Hydrolett” hose got a bit tatty as the orange fabric outer hose cover wore when pulled along over dirt and gravel and was best used over cut grass where it stayed clean. You don't want anything gritty sitting on the hose when you roll it up as the inner polyurethane core would easily puncture. Pretty sure these hoses are still around, but probably sold under a different name now.
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What lube are you using for your guns? I use silicone spray on everything, mech, rubbers, shafts etc. no corrosion and no issue with debris. I like to lay on the sand and reef.
One gun with issues, bad lack. Two, something is up, three guns of different brands and my guess is something you are doing without realising. Lube would be my first guess.

not sure if that helps. Good luck
Any grease can cause sand particles to stick. WD40 is OK or a light oil that floats off after a period of immersion. Some plastics don't like WD40 as it causes discolouration and brittleness in some white plastics, not sure what they are.
I normally don't use any lube on my spearguns - and that was Rob Allen's advice and that of the guy I bought my first gear from. They don't need it, they just need to be flushed with clean, freshwater.

However, in recent years I have started protecting rubbers and O-rings with silicon spray (or sometimes glycerine for O-ring seals on torches). And as mentioned above, I did use some silicon spray to help flush my Omers, after dismantling. I generally avoid oil based lubes for dive gear, except to sharpen and coat my dive knives and galvanized spears. Silicon seems like a safer bet for plastics and rubber. Neoprene apparently resists oil quite well though - apparently it is even used to make seals for oil systems.

I wouldn't use WD40 for plastics. I believe it contains light mineral oil, white spirit and scent.

Like I said, I think there was a lot of slimy gunk from seaweed in the water. I had to wash my mask with detergent a couple of times, which I rarely do normally.
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Even silicone spray can leave deposits that particles can stick to, so it is not a great idea to use it in a trigger mechanism. Trigger mechanisms are designed to be used unlubricated by anything but water, but on cast alloy grip handle guns the pivot pins can effectively weld themselves in the grip locating sockets through corrosion between the different metals unless the gun is washed out after every dive by submerging the handle in a bucket of freshwater. A blast of WD40 will displace any water if directed into the sear box mouth on these guns. On metal piston pneumatic guns you can use WD40 on the muzzle and power regulator gate after the dive, but don't use WD40 on plastic piston gun muzzles as it can affect the type of plastic used in the piston and shock absorber anvil. The plastic bodies of the guns are made of different stuff which does not have to absorb high impacts.
I cant comment on pneumatic maintenance as I don’t use them, but my 1100RA I purchased in 2003 looks like a new gun except for a few battle scars and I coat the gun in a quick spray after cleaning including the mechanism which is still original. I spray everything including snorkel and mask, knife, belt and my cressi gara which are the same age. They are just about done, but over 15years from a set of fins makes me happy.

I don’t use wd because it can react to somethings. All my gear goes into one bag so I don’t need to worry when using silicone spray.

dust will stick to it in the garage but it’s fine and I have never had issues in the water

Nb: the 1100 has seen heavy use and for a couple of years would have been firing over 20 times a week.
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