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Loading a 3 or 4 band gun??

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New Member
Dec 17, 2004
Hi people. I have a new gun I just got from a friend. Its a Mid-handle Hawaiin Riffe. I cant seem to be able to load the bands back. There way to hard.
Any advice on how to get this thing loaded? or any techniques I can use. Im use to pulling a very short 1 band gun with my hand very easily. I havent used a gun this big before. I tryed pulling back with the gun to my waist and on my hip, but it was just to tough. Im not sure if IM doing something wrong. Any advice is appreciated.

The Riffe Hawaian is a 50" (127cm) gun and should be very easy to load. I load all my multiple band guns on my chest, EXACTLY like you'd load your normal euro gun.

What gun do you normally use and what rubbers are on your Riffe??


The best way to handle your problem is to order a spearshaft with a "rest tab" from Riffe. The rest tab is a tab a little over half way down the shaft. You pull the rubber back to it and then you can rest and re position the gun to load to the lower tabs. It makes loading a large gun easy and fast. Also it is alot safer I think because you are not straining. It does not affect accuracy.

I have alot of Riffe guns for my expeditions and anyone of them over a #2 has rest tabs. I can waist and hip load all of my Riffe guns with a rest tab.

I now that that will make loading much easier and faster.

Good hunting!

I tryed using my chest also. It was hard. I got the bands half way and I couldnt pull anymore. I tried doing it with all 3 bands at one time and I also tried one at a time. Still tough... The bands are 9/16" X 24.....

What im use to is a Riffe Competitor series. 00 with 1 band. Once uponb a time it had 2. But i use it for small surface fish in shallow waters.

Is there a tool out there, that can help pull back the bands? I looked into that spearshaft with the resting tab in the middle. But I cant find a place online that sells a 55'' Shaft Specifically with a rest tab.

You guys think I can use a 9/32mm or 1/4mm Shaft on this big gun. I want a thinner shaft for this much stronger gun. So I can get small fish from a good distance away. Or should I stick to my small gun.

I don't know what size fish you might consider "small" but as a general rule of thumb, any fish under 5 lbs. (2.5 kilos) should only be shot with a camera or caught by hook and line. If I remember correctly (a rare occurance, incidently) one of the Cousteaus' did a study which extrapilated the expense of energy to acquire versus the return of nutritional value from freediving for any fish of a smaller size than that. Theoretically, the subject diver would die of starvation within a month.

In other words, shot the little bastards with the smaller gun and stop at the market on the way home for a nice steak to eat along side. Also try working out a bit for some extra upper body strength. My eighteen year old daughter can load my "Riffe Island" off of her upper hip both in and out of the water. I suspect you are actually having a leverage problem rather than a strength problem. The sooner you are able to move offshore for bigger game, bigger challenge, bigger thrill, the better.

Agua Fina
Thanks Aqua..Your right. I dont think its the strength. Its the leverage. Im short, and my arms extended out all the way are still about 4 inchs from the bands. I tilt the gun slightly just to get a hold of the bands.

Today I got the bands a little more then 3/4 down the shaft and then I couldnt go any longer. I was also worried the bands would slip and the gun would hit me. So I stopped and didnt go furthur. If there was just a tool I can use to reach out and pull a ways down before I grab and make a complete pull.

The shafts with the rest tabs sound promising, but I still want to know what other options might there be. Or any techniques that can help.
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