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Recharging (loading) pneumatic guns

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jun 22, 2004
First of all, great forum! I am new to hunting w/spearguns and have already found some great tips and infos here!

now to my questions:
1. I am considering buying a pneumatic gun. But I am unclear as to how EXACTLY they are recharged. I mean, they require air, so obiviously one has to surface. But are they pumped up somehow? (I am thinking back to my days as a kid when I had a Crosman pellet rifle which had to be pumped up) Is the process similar with pneumatic spearguns?

2. I will buy my speargun through an online shop since there are no shops in the area where I live (central Germany). Does anyone know if there are import restrictions on such guns to Germany?

3. Last but not least: do air guns come standard with a retaining line for the spear? I have visited a few online shops and the descriptions of the guns are very sketchy. Do I need to purchase some kind of "reel" with line?

Thanks in advance for any help!
Greetings from rainy Paderborn, Germany
I use a pnumatic gun on ocassion. to answer some of your questions, the guns are charged useing a hand pump which comes with the gun. Once charged mine seems to last about 30 shots before recharging. They seem to have enough power and are pretty accurate. They are noisy and seem to be a little hard to reload. I attach my shaft with a marine grade bungee cord which works pretty well for the size fish I shoot with it. For bigger fish I prefer my 48 Biller Stainless band gun. Most of the pnumatic guns have two power settings. Although I really cant tell the difference. Unlike most wood guns they are negative bouyancy and sink to the bottom. For deeper dives mine seems to loose a little power. Hope I have answer some of your questions.
i suggest that you contact your custom's department- like call an airport- and ask them about the restrictions.

pneumatics can be fitted with reels, but you dont really need to if you are going after small fish, as you most undoubtedly will when you are new to spreafishing. the gun includes a line that you attach to the spear and the gun. i suggerst that you try to find other spearos in your area and let them help you with the set-up and show you a few trick to help you better establish yourself in the sport.

p.s. always take out all the air after using the gun and wash with fresh water and always keep the gun unloaded when not hunting, and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER shoot it out of the water.

Hi Guys,
Thanks for all the good answers!

I just received my Cressi SL 55 today, along with a new mask (mares x-vision).

Mishu you are right I am a beginner with spearfishing. I will be reading a lot in the Forums before my vacation in August. We go camping every year near St. Tropez, and I will be anxious to try out my new gear.

By the way the owners manual for the Cressi is crap! I'm still trying to figure out the correct way to attach the line. It seems that it should be wrapped around a hook at the front of the guns and one which is located under the trigger. I guess when the trigger is released the line is the set free. Only I'm not sure if there is a right or wrong way to wrap the line. S**t manual!

thanks again!
Once you start using your gun you will find that everything will fall in place. wrap your line starting from the shaft traveler around the rear catch then back to the front. Dont worry about discharging your gun after use. Pump it up as far as you can and you will get many shots with it. Always disharge the shaft before surfacing. You will probably have to "jiggle" the shaft with the loader as you depress it into the gun, makes it easier to load. Sometimes the shaft can be a pain to load. I use my air gun when I am shooting small fish at shallow depths. You will find that they have plenty of power, but a little noisy. I agree that the inst. manuel sucks. You just have to practice to see what works best for you.
thanks diverherb for the helpful tips!
So now I gotta get going - I'm driving down to Alpe d'Huez to see an Etappe from Tour de France - GO LANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Be Careful with spearfishing in France as you need a spearfishing licence...and a float.

Near St Tropez, you will find a lot's of fishes like bonitos, AJ, dentex, barracudas (small), but also benthic fishes.

Anyway 55 is a bit small I suppose .

I just want to warn you because Police receive special orders from government to control every one on the water, (specially spearfishermen) because of the incidents we had in France last year : 5 men have been cut in pieces by boat in summer

Happy Hunting
hey whiz. i think the 55 will server you well as long as you have enough pressure in it. i have a 70cm gun that i completely drained the air out of and pumped up to the max. it may be a little hard to load but i have all the range I want.

btw, i don't know about all pneumatics but one reason i love mares is you do NOT lose air pressure. you may have to repressurize once a year. I'm talking 1,000+ shots and no pressure drop.

anyways, I'm heading to the lake RIGHT NOW. have a good day ;)
NO! dont pump up your gun to the max. this makes the gun unstable and add wear-and-tear to your gun.
and yes the cressi-sub manuals are crap, but the quality of their products is outstanding
I agree with DBS, The only pneumatic I've used is my mares 85cm but I've never noticed a loss of pressure, even though it's old & beat up. (bought it used) Great, easy to handle gun for smaller fish.

One thing with pneumatics though: be careful to keep it pointed away from you when loading- one slip and you could have a spear up your nose.
I just got back from the Tour de France and i wanted to just say thanks once again for all the great tips! That's really helped me a lot!

@ cece: Thanks for the info regarding a license for spearfishing in France - I didn't know that! Do you have any idea where they can be purchased? I know that in the area around st. Tropez there are several dive shops - should I try there? Regarding a float: I have a rubber boat w/ small outboard motor - I anchor the boat and then dive from there. Do you still recommend a float in addition?


p.s Alpe d'Huez was fricken' Awesome!

spearfishing permit you can obtain in marinas.
try at capitan's office. I don't remember price but it was rather cheap last year.

as long as you are going to dive close to coast (100-200m) the the bouy is enough. otherwise you will need the pontoon at least.

police isn't very strict about permissions untill you stay close to the coast and keep away from city public beaches.

I don't now where you are going to dive but I suggest spots outside the st.tropez. because of lots of people hunting there, close to the city its hardly to encounter nice fish.

in the direction of st.Raphael kind of national park is there. beautiful, red, rocky cliffs. not far from the shore the water going very deep. lots of fishes!i'm not sure about hunting rules you can try;)
but probably you already know it.

by the way
my favorite spot in that regio is in thoule sur mer,at the end of city beach.
Nemrod Torpedero

My first speargun was a pneumatic - the Nemrod Torpedero I traded an old dacor two hose regulator for. Strong little gun - shot many a hapless and large carp with it. Anyway - the only reason for charging it was after de-charging for storage and maintainence (replacing O rings and stuff) It used no discernable air.
I have never had any problems with my pneumatic mares (Cyrano) gun. I have 3 of them, and i love them. From what i found out, pneumatic guns are the best, hands down for shooting a lot in low visibility waters. They load way faster than band guns. I can reload my Cyrano 700 in about 2 seconds. They are also extremely powerful at close range (8 ft or closer). If the water is super clear and you have to make far shots, i don't recommend pneumatic guns. The long pneumatics are a pain in the butt to load...you have to be as tall as Yao Ming to load them. I bet they are super powerful though if pumped up.

Just my .02 cents

I scuba dive and free dive the Chesapeake bay bridge tunnel in Virginia. The visibility is like 1-6 feet with HEAVY currents. The visibility is horrible, but there are SO many fish that its worth it. Cobia, flounder, tau-tog, and sheepshead are pretty abundant.

Here is a picture with the Cyrano in action :D
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We'll I'm leaving tomorrow for 2 weeks of camping and diving around st. tropez. Just wanted to once again say thanks for all the great feedback - sure helped a beginner like me a lot - what would we do without forums? :)

@ moses: thanks for the good fishing tips - i hope to be able to try them both out.

@ Greek Diver - thanks for the great photo!

Hopefully when I get back I'll be able to post my first photo!

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