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Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Mar 20, 2002
I dont really know much about powerheads other than what they are used for. Are they necessary? What type do you recomend? Ive read that ones with a separate firing pin are often too dangerous and simple desposable are better. I freedive/spearfish in CA in the islands and also in Maui and ive encounted a few tigers in maui. Can you fill me in on whatever you know?

I'd recommend the disposable ones. Most of the others I know of need a threaded end to screw on. If I'm using a threaded tip I usually use locktite so unscrewing it really isn't an option. I primarily use tahitian shafts so the slip ons make more sense for me. They can be carried in the sleave of your wet suit until needed.
Disposable Powerheards

Hi there,

I have been using disposable powerheads for many years now and actualy manufacture my own. You just need to know somebody with a metal lathe or if you have a good engineering firm close by that can do the job for you it also helps. I basically use a piece of aluminium tubing and get it drilled open so a .38 bullet can just slip in, but with a shoulder inside to catch the edge of the bullets casing so it does not slip through. Be carefull not to make the shoulder too deep otherwise the nose of the bullet will stick out on the other side and you will get a misfire when it hits the shark. Once I have placed the bullet inside I just use a piece of plastic pipe or tubing to secure the catridge inside and wich fits snugly over the tip of my spear, so the spear tip acts as the trigger. As a final touch you can seal the catridge with wax. Your powerhead is now ready to be used either by firing the spear or just bumping a shark.

I have only used a power head once (with remarkable success), but it is not something I would like to do again. a Word of caution , powerheads are extremely dangerous and if you should fire at a solid object your spear will come straight back at you!:naughty

Hope this helps, if you need a sketch, mail me and I can fax it to you.

what about misfire. how would you prevent the round from firing before it hit something? like when you fire your gun and the force of the spearshaft point puts pressure on the back of the shell?

great idea. i want to try it.

what calibre do you use?

where can i get one of these disposable? would people recomend a bang stick or power head on a tahitian shaft? What calibre would you recomend for mid size tigers (the bigest ive seen when fishing was like 8 feet)? it seems like there is a lot of room for failure to set off the shell. has anyone had any problems with this? What size gun do you need to fire one of these?


sorry for all the questions but i really am in the dark on this subject.:duh
Hi Andrsn,

Allthough the spear is touching or almost touching the primer of the catridge it still needs a pretty good wallop when it hits the shark to fire the bullet. Because the spear should fit perfectly into the pipe you use to secure the powerhead in place, there is basically no chance of a misfire and the speartip will hit the back of the bullet dead centre. I have use my .38 powerhead on a very big shark and it worked like a dream.

Hope this helps

I'll ck on the manufactuer of the disposable ones I have. I would say something in the .38-.44 cal should work, just make sure you get a good shot to the head. I personally prefer the slip-ons to a bang stick. Thats just something else you have to carry and I would like to "reach out and touch them" before they're close enough to hit w/ a bang stick. granted a bang stick w/ a shotgun shell will do tremendous damage and probably take care of any shark you will see.
may i add that the benefits of getting that discharge as far away from your ears is important. those things are LOUD! and the shock wave can do wonders for the eardrum. :blackeye especially a 12gauge round.
Anderson got in here before me, but the message is the same- bang sticks are called that because the "BANG" is just that, except it feels like someone put you in an empty garbage can and played MacGuire. If you're going to let one of these things go, and I don't care what caliber it is, here's the safe way.

1) Remove the powerhead from the shaft.
2) Leave the water.

I've had to launch these things more than a few times and between doing the slowstroke backwards to the boat versus the ringing in your ears if you're successful, and/or screwing up and just pissing off the dinosaur, the retreat wins.

Know when to fold 'em.

sven DB's NRA rep
A few x-marine/comercial divers I dove with a while back recomend a .223 or simmilar for a powerhead. it's the amount of charge, not the size of the actual round (the lead bullet itself) that does the damage.

a .303 and 7.63nato was also disscused, but again, it's makes more of a mess, but they said a .223 was enough to "wind" them.

They laughed about something the spec boys had in vietnam that used a .50BMG.....

Not sure if that was for Zodiac's or what..... (they thought it was pretty funny....and I'd LOVE to hear more about it)

On another note, putting wax/sicone around your primer and crimp can help prevent an misfire, bullets are suppsed to be watertight, but.......

Has anyone checked on the manufacture of the disposable ones? I hunt normaly with a small 100 cm omer with a tahitian shaft and is what i usualy have had when i encountered larger sharks. Im not exactly sure if that would produce the amount of force for it to set off the blast. what size gun is appropriate?

Thanks a lot for all the help
The one I have that I bought years ago is labeled ASW- antishark weapon. The other one doesn't have a label. I'm still cking.
Hana paa sells slip on two peice powerheads for about 40 bucks. All you need to do is put some surgical tubing into the end that slips onto the spear shaft to make it secure. I do not think it is disposible (better not be for 40 bucks), uses either a 357 or 38. I have never had to use it. knock knock knock on wood. alohas
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