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RA users...mods, quirks, and thoughts on the following...

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.

Manootgop

New Member
Mar 26, 2004
8
0
0
A friend of mine, who has been spear fishing since he was 12 in Hawaii, told me which brand of gun to buy. That was over two years ago and with a few modifications my RA has been great.

I really like my 1.3 gun. It is "reasonably" accurate.
I can hit an 8x11 notebook paper at 3 meters 5 times out of 5 attempts.

(Tape-measured spear-tip to target, target: 1m x 1m Maas style floating net, gun “V” benched on a sand bag, clear visibility, no current, protected salt-water marina, glass surface conditions, 74 degrees F., clear and sunny San Diego, etc...). I have tried removed most variables due to human error (no booze) and environment.

There are a ton of RA users out there.
What are your thoughts on the following?

Barrel Plug...My gun never came with a front barrel plug...I tried making a foam plug and added 1"of silicone glue, but it was good until I dove to 50'...I tried shoving a a cane tip down the barrel but it didn't seat correctly. You should have seen me drilling it out! (joy)

Muzzle…. The inside 16” rubber broke (wire-wishbone failure) out in the kelp. Was using 2 16” bands, but had no access to the inside rubber hole. Also, the 2mm mono crimp at the end of the spear, now made smaller, still clips the closed muzzle. What about an open Aimrite-style muzzle? Hell, I put one on in Guam, and it’s the heat. I can now change bands even in the water.

Chatter…when I track a fish, retract the gun, turn to where I think the fish will swim, extend the gun completely while getting my body mass behind the gun, final adjustment, and smooth trigger pull. My point is...I can’t just swing the gun. The mono and line-clip to the bungie bang against the barrel in a "chatter-like" sound. Strong current whoa...makes it worse. I enclosed the clip in small vinyl tubing, (similar to the spear tip protector), and applied several layers of duct-tape down the length of the barrel to keep it from chattering and scaring the fish.

Safety…sure you heard this one before. In the first month of use, the safety develops a mind of its own. It doesn’t stay “on” when you need it to, and then, it mysteriously slides “on” when lining up on final approach to fire. I have heard of people just ripping the safety out with pliers. Ok, I guess if you’re in the “I don’t trust a safety anyway club”, but troublesome if you are trying to sell the idea that RA guns are the heat to a new or an experienced spearo.

Wire wishbones... fray too quickly, look unsafe with little wear and I just got plain tired of lancing my skin. I had my own experience when the wire gave way, ripped the glove. Fortunately, 10 fingers and no blood. Why not sell the gun with Omer-style wishbone that a guy can just tie in another piece of dyneema. This could even be done in the water. I am a big advocate of “methodically placing”, not “slide-scraping” the wishbone into the notch. I eventually filed/polished the loading notches in all my spears.

Shark-fin tabs…love ‘em. It preserves the life of my Dyneema wishbone. They even come with a sissy tab for that end of the day load or a possible low-power, one-band fish-in-the-hole shot. I don’t think I’d have tried this unless I went with an open muzzle.

A small, square loading pad...looks like a nice feature to newbie potential gun buyers, and a few others. If you could remove it and still have a redesignedbetter “non-slip area” to load with, it would be great. Most all the other gun manufacturers have them.

Front stabilizer? You guys experiment with these? I’m not an accuracy freak but a fifth of J.D. got me wondering... lot of people use them, but I've never seen one on a pipe-gun.

RA enclosed track? RA Mid-handle? I gotta quit drinking.

It would be a hoot to hear from other RA spearos,
What works, what dosn't, & thought on the above...
 

fuzz

Hawaiian transplant...
Sep 9, 2002
995
73
0
43
Welcome to the board Manootgop! What a great first post! :D

Here are a few of my comments:

Originally posted by Manootgop
Barrel Plug...My gun never came with a front barrel plug...I tried making a foam plug and added 1"of silicone glue, but it was good until I dove to 50'...I tried shoving a a cane tip down the barrel but it didn't seat correctly. You should have seen me drilling it out! (joy)
There are a ton of ways to make homemade barrel plugs. Unfortunately most of my epoxy/foam/silicon DIY ideas started to leak after some period of time. If you want to just do it the right way, click the link in my signature & talk to Aaron. He has the original RA plugs in his shop. Take a bit of silicon spray and a dowel & you should be set ;)
http://www.norcalfreedive.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=38&products_id=68



Originally posted by Manootgop
Muzzle…. The inside 16” rubber broke (wire-wishbone failure) out in the kelp. Was using 2 16” bands, but had no access to the inside rubber hole. Also, the 2mm mono crimp at the end of the spear, now made smaller, still clips the closed muzzle. What about an open Aimrite-style muzzle? Hell, I put one on in Guam, and it’s the heat. I can now change bands even in the water.
I had the wishbone on my friend's gun break the first time we tried loading it. It broke clean through the ss wire, almost like whoever inserted it into the rubber put a nasty kink in it. I personally hate wire wishbones on RA's - dyneema or spectra for me ;)

Open muzzles are great. They've long been my personal preference; however, closed muzzle Euro/SA guns are made that way for a reason. They're very effective in their own right & I have no qualms about using either.

I've installed the Wong muzzles on a few guns & love them. If you like the open muzzle that much, you should check out Daryl's new railguns. The aluminum version comes with an extruded rail, open muzle, & his original trigger.

Anyway, here are a couple links to get you started:
RA barrel with Wong muzzle
My original eurogun project
Daryl Wong railgun



Originally posted by Manootgop
Chatter…when I track a fish, retract the gun, turn to where I think the fish will swim, extend the gun completely while getting my body mass behind the gun, final adjustment, and smooth trigger pull. My point is...I can’t just swing the gun. The mono and line-clip to the bungie bang against the barrel in a "chatter-like" sound. Strong current whoa...makes it worse. I enclosed the clip in small vinyl tubing, (similar to the spear tip protector), and applied several layers of duct-tape down the length of the barrel to keep it from chattering and scaring the fish.
I almost never swing a gun. That's not necessarily the right way, but it's my style. Most of the time it's tucked under me & simply extended when aiming. I do get that chatter at times in current, so I know what you're up against. To address it, I've done 2 major things - I put a strip of electric tape on the barrel(similar to what you've done). This doesn't detract from the looks(yes I'm vain) & adds a dampening effect. The other is to slip a small piece of 3/8" surgical rubber over the swivel. I'll have to show you a picture of what I mean for that.



Originally posted by Manootgop
Safety…sure you heard this one before. In the first month of use, the safety develops a mind of its own. It doesn’t stay “on” when you need it to, and then, it mysteriously slides “on” when lining up on final approach to fire. I have heard of people just ripping the safety out with pliers. Ok, I guess if you’re in the “I don’t trust a safety anyway club”, but troublesome if you are trying to sell the idea that RA guns are the heat to a new or an experienced spearo.
I haven't taken my safety off, but I sure want to at times. Nothing is more frustrating to me than a safety being on at those crucial moments :head: One of my friends drilled a tiny hole in the safety tab and uses a pin to keep the safety off. If he lets someone borrow it, he take she pin out so they can use it. I agree that RA(& picasso) safeties are not the best design.



Originally posted by Manootgop
Wire wishbones... fray too quickly, look unsafe with little wear and I just got plain tired of lancing my skin. I had my own experience when the wire gave way, ripped the glove. Fortunately, 10 fingers and no blood. Why not sell the gun with Omer-style wishbone that a guy can just tie in another piece of dyneema. This could even be done in the water. I am a big advocate of “methodically placing”, not “slide-scraping” the wishbone into the notch. I eventually filed/polished the loading notches in all my spears.
When the wishbone I mentioned above broke, I was loading the gun with no gloves on. :waterwork:
When you mention OMER-style wishbones, do you mean the screw-in caps? If so, that'd defeat the whole purpose of having bulk-rubber muzzles where you can tie your own bands. If you're really sold on that style, there is a way you can incorporate both. Just attach these to the wishbone end of your bands & use your own caps:
Something like this.



Originally posted by Manootgop
Shark-fin tabs…love ‘em. It preserves the life of my Dyneema wishbone. They even come with a sissy tab for that end of the day load or a possible low-power, one-band fish-in-the-hole shot. I don’t think I’d have tried this unless I went with an open muzzle.
You may want to just use the Riffe or Technosport mini-sharkfin shafts. Properly filed, they are still able to be used in closed muzzle guns as well as open muzzled ones.



Originally posted by Manootgop
A small, square loading pad...looks like a nice feature to newbie potential gun buyers, and a few others. If you could remove it and still have a redesignedbetter “non-slip area” to load with, it would be great. Most all the other gun manufacturers have them.
I've asked this same question before :D I got used to not using the loading pads, but it's a lot different for me between doing so up here with a 7mm wetsuit & back in Hawaii with a 1mm rashguard(ouch). Here's an old thread I found where I asked the same thing:
http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?threadid=32697
If you talk to Aaron(from the link in my signature), I'm pretty sure he can get the loading pads specifically made for the Rob Allens. I've tried it in Hawaii, but didn't find it that much better. Might be worth a try if you want to get a barrel plug & other things at the same time. :confused:



Originally posted by Manootgop
Front stabilizer? You guys experiment with these? I’m not an accuracy freak but a fifth of J.D. got me wondering... lot of people use them, but I've never seen one on a pipe-gun.
You know, one of my dive partners has just developed a euro-gun open-muzzle replacement with integrated band elevators. These mini-elevators also act as a little stabilizer as well. If heavily-powered like a RA, it might not be apparent(haven't tried it), but on a lighter gun like a Beucat, it does dampen the kick a bit. If anyone's interested, I can take pictures at home.

Originally posted by Manootgop
RA enclosed track? RA Mid-handle? I gotta quit drinking.
Could you pass along some of whatever you're smoking? :D Those are definitely possible. Just don't think it'd be worth the trouble ;)
 

ahoyhoy239

As Seen On TV!
May 13, 2003
61
12
48
33
the only thing i kinda relate to you with is the chattering but it doesnt seem as severe as your case. as for your other comments, it seems to me that you should try a wooden gun.
 

w3ac

I should be working
Nov 8, 2002
338
54
0
43
@ Fuzz

Hey Fuzz,
Do you know what the threading is on a Sporasub Aspic? I ordered one and specifically asked for a custom 20 mm single band. Instead they sent me a single 5/8 band. If I'm not mistaken, isn't that a 16 mm:hmm Anyway, the adapters are way overdue and I will definitely get me a couple. Thanks man.

Brad
 

fuzz

Hawaiian transplant...
Sep 9, 2002
995
73
0
43
Re: @ Fuzz

Originally posted by w3ac
Hey Fuzz,
Do you know what the threading is on a Sporasub Aspic? I ordered one and specifically asked for a custom 20 mm single band. Instead they sent me a single 5/8 band. If I'm not mistaken, isn't that a 16 mm:hmm Anyway, the adapters are way overdue and I will definitely get me a couple. Thanks man.

Brad

Yup, the 5/8 is 16mm. Where'd you order from?

As far as the adaptors, I'm pretty sure that all Euro threads are M14x1. The 20mm bands are the same size threading as the 16mm bands. The only difference I've seen is the older OMERs which had a different sized threading for 20mm bands. Omer has largely replaced the 20's in their line with 18mm bands which still use the threading of 16mm.

PM me your #, I'll give you a call. ;)
 

Pablo

Breather... so far!
Mar 9, 2004
347
69
0
My first toughs about the RA where all about the dam noise... well it hurts too!

The spear keep swinging from side to side of the track, and on a carbon tube that kind of get the fish off...

I end up by setting a break away system (a reel will work too), and run the mono around the muzzle holding the spare in place: coming from the barrel, the mono goes down thought one of the muzzle notches, then hook on the line release, then up to the second muzzle notch, around the spear, down to the first notch (where yo already have the mono once) and down to the break away.

This set up should enable to cut the muzzle open, and use shark spears. But not so keen to try on a new carbon RA where the muzzles come glued and are a hassle to change. Anyways, the original spears are both... strong and spectra friendly.

I cover the gun barrel with some kind of sticky film. Is hard and slippery to guide the spear correctly but more quiet than the epoxy finish, and keep the bad scratches out.

I agree with fuzz on the way to move the gun... and is a bloody good idea to drill the safety tab!!!;)

Will be nice to see an upgrade of the trigger system... I feel lonely on the water when I fit my second 20mm rubber!

But so far the gun is reliable, impressively accurate and finally silent.
 

Alison

Offline
Mar 6, 2004
1,898
204
0
Chatter…when I track a fish, retract the gun, turn to where I think the fish will swim, extend the gun completely while getting my body mass behind the gun, final adjustment, and smooth trigger pull. My point is...I can’t just swing the gun. The mono and line-clip to the bungie bang against the barrel in a "chatter-like" sound. Strong current whoa...makes it worse. I enclosed the clip in small vinyl tubing, (similar to the spear tip protector), and applied several layers of duct-tape down the length of the barrel to keep it from chattering and scaring the fish.
[/B]


I have seen some double sided sticky tape used for double glazing (UK) it is super sticky and made of a foam rubber type stuff anout 2mm thick, someting like that could help stop the noise from the monofiliment hitting the barrel:)
 

Hamrrhed

Blue Water Wanna Be
Mar 27, 2001
125
7
0
48
Manootgop,

Pop out the retaining pins in the mech, upon doing this you can remove the plastic slider that acts as the safety, its easy and you'll never have to worry about it again. Problem solved.

Your right the ss wishbones sucked, mine frayed beyond my comfort level the first time I took out the gun, I changed them out with riffe dacron ones. No probs since. The open Aimrite muzzle is the only way to go.

If you collect spearo videos, Diving the Californias has some nice footage of D. Laird sucessfully navigating what apears to be a 130 euro gun across his body to pull off a nice shot, or at least its a posed shot, but either way it gives a nice example of how to properly deal with a long rear handle speargun.

Front stabilzer? Hmmm? I thought they were to counter act muzzle lift, Am I right in this assumption? If this is the case I dont think twin 16's even with a 7mm shaft should really give you that kinda problem.

All said and done IMHO the RA more than makes up for its Few weak points. With a couple mods you mentioned its a sweet AFFORDABLE rig.

Good post and welcome.

Anthony
Minnesota :head
 

Manootgop

New Member
Mar 26, 2004
8
0
0
Found the answer to the frayed RA wishbone at HSD website....if the dynema wishbone starts to look worn ....just tie in another piece...have a nice day!
 

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Dogmatrix

Deeper Blues pet
Jun 4, 2002
210
19
108
38
so your up to speed their is now new RA handles out... they are a blue colour. :)
The safety is on top and they are reported to have an ss sear so should be a bit stronger.

cheers
rob
 

stef

New Member
Dec 4, 2003
25
3
0
Loading: I spear in swimming trunks, but I use gloves. To load, I slip one glove over the handle of the gun and load it against my bare chest. You have to use good loading technique though (and learn to enjoy some pain :cool: )

Safety: remove it. We shouldn't rely on it anyway. Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction at all times (or unloaded while on the boat as the wise say...) that' s the only real safety.

Cheers,
Stef
 

crusty

Aquatic Soul
Jan 20, 2005
523
165
0
56
Good thread im going to buy my first R/A and it ansered a few questions i had

Thanks Crusty
 
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