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guns for a wannabe

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Deeper Blue Budget Bwana
Jan 13, 2004
I see that there are a lot of comments about various spearguns made here and overseas. Folks talk about materials, band size, etc., etc., but no one has answered a question that comes to my beginner's mind. What's the difference between a gun with a mid pistol grip vs. one with the grip on the end? Surely there must be some good reason why Riffe builds his one way and Picasso builds his the other but what is it?:confused:
In the most basic sense, the mid-handle gun gives you more control when swinging the gun.

Though this will probably draw objections, I feel the rear-handles are easier to aim.

The euro guns have rear handles that cause your hand to be more inline with the barrel, which not only streamlines things but also reduces recoil a bit.

When comparing Riffe & Picasso, that's night & day due to the materials used, size of shafts/bands, etc.

Sorry if not a great answer, I'm half-asleep at work ;)
If you dive in the kind of miserable vis I grew up in, 10 ft or a lot less, a midhandle gun gets the spearpoint closer to your eye ball, and allows you to use a larger gun than otherwise would be possible. It swings much faster, another advantage in dirty water.
the real deal

Spearguns are only and always just platforms for the shaft to be propelled by the bands that stretch the length of the stock/barrel. Thus, the longer the gun, the more the bands are stretched and the more power available to the shaft.

Thing is that some conditions and fish don't let you use a 6 foot gun, but you still need the power to sling the shaft. That's where a mid handle comes into play. By having the handle in the back tird or so of the gun, you get a couple of things- The handle is in the "middle" so you can swing the gun around easier. This is nice when in the rocks, the kelp and when you have a real log of a gun, like my Alexander, my Merlo and my own guns. A mid handle also positions the trigger mechanism at the very back of the stock, giving you that length from the handle to the trigger mechanism as additional stretch to the bands, in the case of my guns that adds up to 18". A mid handle also balances better.

If you have a handle/trigger at the end of the gun,as in a euro or Riffe Competitor, or a JBL you often have a real bear loading it as the notches/tabs are waaay back there against your gut. A handle at the end is also a very great pain in the ass in the kelp, the current and in the rocks. It is a great way to go out in the open reefs like Hawaii and Florida where the added length you gain from having all the gun out in front of you puts the tip that much closer to the fish.

Picasso is a euro gun, as are OMER's, Rob Allens and Esclapez and they use a trigger totally different from a Riffe or Alexander- the US lumber style guns. The euros act to pinch the shaft rather than having a definite dog or sear to hold the shaft. They can, as can any gun be overpowered and suffer a misfire, but that's pretty rare and then most often happens with a cluster of mistakes. Euro's are sometimes thought to be faster as there is less gun in terms of it's mass, but in reality, you're as fast as you make yourself by anticipating the prey and positioning your body as you go along. Again, it depends on what you get used to, what your prey and water is, and your skill levels. After that it's all about wishing you had a different gun for that special trip.
Ah! Thus Riffe, a California manufacturer, provides guns that are best adapted to our conditions here where the majority of the local fish are to be found around rocky shores or in the kelp beds offshore. Picasso, on the other hand, aims for a European market where there is little kelp and many fish are more likely to be found in sea grass or over sandy bottoms. Much clearer, now, thanx very much
Yeah, kinda sorta... but you can use (and I do) a Riffe in Mexico and the Gulf, and guys are using euros right next to me; much as there are those using Riffe's in the Med. It's not so much a building for the immediate area per se. Riffe is experiencing a very large increase in slaes in Greece for example and all you see these days in Hawaii is euros. Go figure.
Again, it's what you want to get used to, what you want to adapt for your use and what you can afford.
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