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Riffe Metal Tech #0, In Depth Look

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Mr. Long Post
Apr 22, 2002
I had one hour to test and was putting power output as a priority. Have not had time to test accuracy. As promised here are my findings based on spec below.

Riffe Metal Tech #0 at 81 cm or 32". Floater wing and aluminum muzzle. 5 x 9/16 bands at 15".

This gun is a natural sinker in standard form with the plastic muzzle. The floater wing kit is supposed to make it float. Since I used the extra heavy aluminum muzzle, it becomes an extra sinker. What did I find out ? Even with the floater wing, this gun is still a sinker cause of the aluminum muzzle. With 5 bands in sea water, it sinks super slow (shaft out ) like maybe 3 seconds a feet. I was curious and removed two bands, it sink even faster. Bands are quote buoyant, I just remembered that.

Shaft tested 9/32" (7mm) Hawaiian at 34" with 270 lbs coated stainless shooting cable at 380cm ( 12.6 feet ). Second shaft at 5/16" (8mm ) x 32" using Riffe large spearhead, same shooting line set up. Maximum shaft to target reach with this set up is 380 cm + 60 cm = 420cm ( 14 feet ) from muzzle. Testing range was about 380 cm muzzle to 6mm (0.23") plywood board. The original setting of shooting line is 2 wraps, mine is at 3 wraps.

9/32 / 7mm shaft TEST
I first shoot at nothing/water to feel the left over energy of the spent shaft. At 2 bands it still has very little tug, at 3 bands and all the way to 5 bands the tug increased decently but can't take the gun of ur hand. Recoil is very decent even up to 5 bands.

Now the 6mm plywood test. At 2 bands the super sharp Hawaiian shaft can only make round damage on the 6mm plywood but the shaft bounced back. Riffe stated shooting range at 2 band is 2.29 meters, so I guess I was shooting too far at 3.8 meters. 3 bands stated at 3.35 meters and it was quite honest because the shaft did penetrate about 3cm into the plywood but the I need at least another 10 cm if I want that flopper to toggle free on the other side. I have been using 6mm plywood as a rough guess that it should equal the complete penetration of double gills on a +-20 kg giant trevaly. I don't know if that is accurate, but at least I have a known reference to measure my set up. At 4 bands, the shaft penetrated the plywood only to be stopped by the flopper. At 5 bands, I was getting only extra 1 cm of penetration, still the flopper could not pass thru entirely. My conclusion for the time being is that, this short and light weight 7mm shaft does not have enough momentum even at 5 bands, I was not getting any extra significant benefit by the extra 1 band. Could it be that the shaft have reached its theoretical maximum speed limit as I have predicted before between 4-5 bands? With no chronograph I can only to speculate. The extra resistance of the bulging flopper on the plywood grain only confuse the matter further. I have done test where angle of penetration matters for plywood. Also the low quality plywood is not similiar in hardness on its entire surface. Cheaper solution was a "ballistic putty" that I heard people use to simulate flesh penetration of projetiles.

5/16" / 8mm x 32 " shaft TEST with Large Spearhead.
This is the first time I ever use a large spearhead from Riffe. All my guns been Ice Pick or Hawaiian. Somehow I do not like Riffe spearhead cause it doesn't look sharp. I started with 3 bands and all the way to 5, shooting at water/nothing. The left over energy pulling the gun at 3,4 and 5 band was a prospect to lengthen the shooting line more. Recoil still in my limit even at 5 bands, like shooting my 124cm #2 Riffe at 3 bands with 5/16 shaft. Penetration test of 3 bands was not impressive. The massive size of the large spearhead frontal area was restricting penetration, only like 1.5 cm entered the plywood. At 4 bands the spearhead entered and again was halted by the flopper. At 5 bands the spearhead penetration goes almost to the end of the flopper but not enough to toggle out. Conclusion, this seems like a better overall deal than 9/32 shaft. If I use a Hawaiian at 5/16", penetration must be better for sure. Maybe next time.

3/8" / 8mm x 36" shaft TEST with large spearhead.
This is a wrong size shaft for the gun, should be 32" long. Anyway test was most impressive with this shaft. Shooting at water/nothing with 3 bands the gun get heavy tug from the spent shaft. Recoil is decent. At 4 bands recoil is still decent but stronger. The left over shaft energy was massive. At 5 bands and after my muscles were exhausted with at least a hundred band loading, I got so tired, the gun came out of my hand when I shot at nothing, it wanted to go rearward but the shaft left over energy was pulling it forward, saved my lip. Testing penetration in plywood was fun. At 3 band, the entire large spearhed exit out on the other side. At 4 bands the entire 36" shaft went thru completely. Bear in mind that this short 3/8 shaft has 1 extra custom loading tab, which the total becomes 3. At 5 bands it went thru and travel some more to hit a rock behind the plywood. The 3.8 meter shooting line was too short. I got out of the water and extend the line with 300 lbs mono, it get to be 5 wraps or 6 meter. I tried 5 band shooting from about 5 meter and the shaft penetrated 50% of its entire length into the plywood. Looks like 5 meter effective for a 20-30kg fish is not too optimistic. This extra length has no difference in accuracy, in fact it is more stable than the other 2 if at 4 and 5 bands.

Is this gun accurate ? Since I was doing penetration test and not aiming very much into the target, just the 60cm x 60 cm plywood and the 5 cm black dot target is too hard to see at 4 meters or more, I can say that I need to practice to shoot this gun at high power setting of 4 or 5 bands. By the time I had enough rest, I can shoot 1 hand at 5 bands.

My shooting has a tendency to shoot a bit left. I also find it difficult to shoot such a short gun, aiming is tough, especialy with short 32" and 34" shaft. The aiming make it difficult to shoot consistent in the low-high department. Left-right no problem.
If I were to test only at 3 meters, maybe a different story.

Since this is my first time with mid-handle in such thorough detail, I still prefer aiming with a rear handle. Also to note that at 5 bands, muzzle recoil is evident using 3/8 shaft if on a single hand shot, low shot tendency is quite obvious. 2 hand shot is a must for shooting at 5 meters away target.

Tracking, this short 81cm mid-handle track better than my 85 cm pneu, lovely even with floater wing kit. Overall, I am very happy. I also got to realize that since the gun is light in water and can change aim so fast, a good technique is required to shoot consistently accurate at 4 or 5 bands. Why ? A smaller gun swing easy, at the same time it is not stable as a long gun which is harder to swing. Being short, a slight movement on ur hand results in a big degree of shaft shift at impact at 5 meters, only natural.

Say shaft whip, recoil and all other accuracy destructing issue not playing any factor, holding this short gun properly is a must. I feel like I am shooting a pistol with this gun, more practice is needed.

What's the botttom line? Must conduct more test. 3/8" shaft at 36" is good for this gun even if it seems too long. This gun can replace my Riffe #2 for strong current and close quater work, I am very happy to use it as a 4 meter effcetive gun. Next test is to use Ice Pick on 3/8" shaft and a 5/16 Hawaian shaft at 34" or slightly more, say 36".

If this is to be made as a second shot mercy killing gun at 2-3 meters for very big game, it has the potential with 3/8 shaft.

I never knew that shaft mass/diameter even for a gun this short can change the ballistic quality so much IF 4 and 5 bands is available to be used. In fact if big power is available, a short 81 gun ballistic quality seems to get better improvement than my 124cm gun.

Photo coming soon. I still have some frames left in the 35mm camera.

IYA, the crazy.
Great test IYA,
I think one conclusion of your test is that extra bands are only beneficial for getting mass up to speed. Besides the spear reaching maximum under water speed efficiency, the rubbers maybe reaching their retraction speed limit too. Maybe, unless there is more weight to propel, extra bands don’t do much.

I wonder what the results would have been with a 32” spear instead of the 36” spear? You would lose 11% of your mass with the shorter spear.
Keep it up,
very interesting, i actualy read the whole thing this time :D haha. Im interested on seeing the results of an accuracy test with the 36 inch shaft. It has always made sense to me that more band on a smaller gun and fatter shaft would make a longer range gun. But i have yet to hear of anyone to do it, (other than for short range and more penetration power) Keep me posted on your results!:wave

Thanks a lot Iya

Maybe you should cut some of the tip off the end off the shaft and grind it down to make a tri-tip.
This accomplishes two things:
1. The tri cut takes less energy to penetrate (According to S. Alexander) than a pencil tip, such as the riffe.
2. Cutting off some of the tip reduces the total amount a shaft has to penetrate before the flopper toggles.
To really reduce the distance a tip has to penetrate before the flopper opens, shorten the length of the flopper by cutting some of the excess length down.
There was an article recently in Spearfishing Magazine that delt with these issues.

Keep up the good work!

Anthony Wells
Tacoma, WA

Glad that my test is interesting to you guys, at least I get to share info.

I been using JBL Tri Cut and I notice that it open up the wound bigger than pencil point. I know the penetration power is deeper/more efficient but when it get damaged, I heard, it can make a shaft more in inaccurate than a damaged pencil point. In this case I was extremely pleased with the Ice Pick pencil point that produce such small hole on the other side, it grip deadly. I have not get any big fish on my Hawaiian shaft, it is so new with me.

I just check the Riffe catalog and they do not have any 5/16" Hawaiian shaft shorter than 44". 9/32" do not seems good for the application I am after. If I do buy it, I will place the flopper closer to the tip as u advice. In fact I was thinking on the same shorten config for my Cyrano cause it lacks power. HEY !!!! I think a tri-cut is better on the low power Cyrano too, THANKS !!!

I wonder why Riffe place flopper so far from the tip ?????? There must be a reason....anyone ???????? Extra length for grinding if tip get damaged ????

It will be a challenge to shoot accurately an 81cm gun at 5 meter effective. I need some kind of reliable sighting system. The style of super-imposing on a target is not easy on this short gun for long range, not enough vision. If I aim low, all I see is the powerbands stacked on the wishbone. If I try to see more of the speartip, I get to shoot high. Anderson had this problem on his Wong.

I have also another problem. When I tightened the spearhead, the machined thread ended where the speartip is at 2 and 7 o'clock if viewed where the floppers are. When I noticed the tendency to shoot left, I removed the speartip cause I thought it has a part in this inherent left hit but it makes no difference. Without the tip, it still go left. I hate to see floppers that are not "parked" either at 12-6 or 3-9 o'clock. I can always get a Riffe thread adaptor and use JBL speartips, some models can spin, thus I can park the floppers where I want.

One thing I do not like about Riffe is the pistol grip, it doesn't feel that my palm is holding it a 100%. This MT0 get the new rubber coated grip, nice to hold but shape wise not nice for me. Maybe I should try custom pistol grip someday, it might improve my single hand shot at 4 and 5 bands. My Cyrano pistol grip is just nice for me. I use a simple test. Grip the pistol grip as hard as I can and start to shake the gun left-right with my left hand. My Riffe can shift left right easy but my Cyrano does not, the grip is more "locking" for me. If I shoot a pistol, a grip does matter a great deal, in fact a speargun need the best grip possible cause when we track/swing the water drag is massive, and then come the recoil.

I do have another idea to stabilize the gun, will let you guys know if I do get to make it.

sighting system

I can’t wait to see what you come up with for a “reliable sighting system”. I tried one of those Russian made lasers and I never could see it in the water. I tried it several times in visibility over 100’ (33 meters) to about 35’ (10 meters) and I never saw it once. I see it great in my house at night, but not in the water. I would probably have to dive at night to see it. Now it’s a toy for my kids.
Keep it up,
Hi Don,

U talked about the Russian laser, it was selling for US$500 here in Jakarta to compliment the Sea Bear Russian Pneu ( garbage gun I have it from a friend ) underwater those days. Never bought it but I have a few land based one for my Rifles. Lasers not good for U/W work. Later I blought a U/W laser pointer for only US$35, I thought I could somehow install it on my gun but as you say, it is not bright enough.

I am thinking regular sighting system as in front and rear sight like my Cyrano or those that come with basic non-scoped rifles. But where to mount the front one on a rubber gun with open muzzle...:D :D :D. If I modify a bit the U safety hook, that might be a rear sight ....possible. Later, let me dream on....
Is/was the laser red? Red is the first color to diffuse out (in this order ROY G BIV);), essentially making it invisible at a shollow depth.
Secondly the laser will reflect off anything in the water including any suspended particles, similar to a flash from a strobe for U/W photography.
It would be nice if it worked, I imagine though even if you could see it (laser), it wouldnt be pointing exactly where your shaft would hit due to the trajectory and all the factors affecting it.:hmm
Take it easy
Tacoma, WA
YEP, the laser was red. I think all aiming lasers are red, have not seen other color. Disco ones come in green and blue.

Talking about sighting system, I remember the days. My old pneu gets a UK40 super bright mini torch mounted on the left side. Since a pneu has no projection outside the air barrel, it is one gun that u can mount anything with ease. I use a big pencil eraser as a base/adaptor to place the torch to the round air barrel. What u do is to place a sand paper on the barrel and scrub the erase till it follow the contour of the round barrel. It's flat side goes to the torch cause the torch is kind of flat on its side. Use power glue on the torch and nothing for the eraser to touch the barrel, since eraser is rubber, it offer friction. Use two big nylon tie-wraps to secure this torch on the barrel. Where the tie-wrap goes round the barrel, I use neoprere or used bicyle tyre inner tube as friction material cause nylon tie-warp on aluminum barrel is slippery. Tie a knot from a 100# fishing line to the torch and the barrel, this will keep the torch from disappearing if it gets knock out of place. Since my old pneu original aiming sight is accurate in respect to shaft trajectory, I adjust the small torch spot beam to fall somewhere within the sight view. This is super good for cave or close work in dark area. If I shoot from a 1.0 to 1.5 meter, I can always hit the hidding fish just by looking at where the torch beam shine. The fish must be at least 2 kg or more. I save at least a few seconds of aiming in dark caves and that can mean between a fish and no fish. Once in a while you need to adjust the torch position, but it is so easy.

For night dive this is the best set up I ever had. Since the light shine forward of the muzzle, loading the gun is so easy at night even without the help of my main torch. My JBL friends copy this set up on their JBL but have to placed it behind the trigger so it can only illumimate aiming but not using it as aiming sight.

Later I tried a Rifle type aiming sight on my aluminum JBL. I use also an eraser as the sighting units. I cut an inverted V for the muzzle and a V shape for the rear sight behind the trigger, it doesn't help though :D :D , at least I tried.:duh
red, green, etc. lasers

Yea mine is red. I read where you can get pointer lasers in green and the article said they are brighter. But they are not waterproof. There is a company called AimShot that makes waterproof gun laser sites. They use two o-rings, but who knows how deep they could go without leaking. Apparently brightness is measured by shortness of wavelength and they have the highest red powered ones available for consumer use by the FCC, which is 632nm.

I don’t know what power my Russian made one is. The article I read said if it doesn’t have a warning label (required by the FCC), then it’s probably a very low powered one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if its just because it was imported without. Do you think I could change the color to green? Any suggestions as to how? I didn’t understand your BIV part of the order of colors. What would be the best color to make it?
Laser color

I don't think the problem is w/ the color as much as it is w/ the power of the laser. Yes red does get filtered out first but I think you'll be shooting fish well inside that range. We use lasers as measureing devices on our ROV. At 1000'fsw it has the same range as 10'fsw. The distance your laser will work is measered from the source and is depth independent but power dependent. Water isn't "clean" like air and as stated earlier the suspended matter acts as a giant filter, even if the water looks clear its not really. Think about looking through a beam of sunlight in a darkened room and seeing all the bits of dust floating around. Same thing. IMHO you'll be better served just continueing to practice and learn to shoot instinctively.
I swear to God, (sorry Jay), that when I first started reading Iya's volumes, I said "this is a guy that's going to bring up lasers!":D

Jay's correct on a couple of things. One, that a laser's ability to reach a distance is dependant on the juice available to power it. Lasers on ROV's like Deep Ocean Engineering's Phantoms and the very cool Benthos units are used to measure distance and act as references to the pilot and plotters. There they have 220V to use and even then, suspended particulate matter will reduce their use to several feet. Using a battery laser is best used to point out an equation on a blackboard you'll never use in real life.

And practicing is a lot more fun, lasts longer, is healthier and every once in a while, you get to bring home dinner. Just my well fed opinion.

Originally posted by icarus pacific

And practicing is a lot more fun, lasts longer, is healthier and every once in a while, you get to bring home dinner.

I humbly agree ...;)
Shure is fun reading all these ideas though . :D
Congrat you with new gun.

I am expecting same test for MT3 even wýth 5/8 bands and enclosed track:D

I hope you will able to test your friend's gun soon:p

So is what you are saying is that a laser that will do 1000’ in the air will only do 10’ in the water? Sounds like battery power lasers is not practical for speargun use. I agree, there is a lot of improvement I can make just shooting my gun by sight. I’m already having some success with the little experience I have, but its nice to know why the laser I purchased doesn’t work. Also if we don’t talk about it, some else is probably going to make the same mistake and waste some hard earned money on something useless. My kids now have a $65 toy that only occupies their attention for about 5 minutes.
I think if I can do my target testing in a clean swimming pool it will yield better result. How can I shoot properyly when I hardly see
the target..:D :D

I can aim my #2 with the Ice Pick and have done sniper grade shots. Will let u guys know how I go around the aiming trouble on my MT0 :D :D
Re: lasers

Originally posted by donmoore
So is what you are saying is that a laser that will do 1000’ in the air will only do 10’ in the water? My kids now have a $65 toy that only occupies their attention for about 5 minutes.

Yep, though it might make 15' if the place is waay clear.
But be careful about having five minutes of peace and quiet. Last time I had that, 10 months later I had another noisemaker. :inlove

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