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Sea rocket info

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Puchsgs250

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Apr 21, 2021
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G’day,
I have recently picked up these spearguns from my local rubbish tip but can’t find any or much information on them
Regards era, are they collectable and value?
Thanks in advance. Cheers Grant.
 

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popgun pete

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Jul 30, 2008
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They are both Australian made spearguns. The Sea Hornet "Sea Rocket" is a carbon dioxide speargun which uses a charge of gas to blast the spear out with each shot. You get consistent shots until the last of the liquid CO2 transforms into a gas, after which the pressure falls and then you need to have the gas cylinder recharged. The grip handles are usually black, but this one is blue.

The Turnbull is a slightly more common gun and usually has a blue anodised barrel and silvery grey anodized grip, but someone has painted this gun a grey colour.

The "Sea Rocket" is a collector's item but cannot be used anywhere now that such weapons are banned, which means that unless you are in the USA it is a wall hanger even though it may still work. The Turnbull is basically a slight revision of the Champion Arbalete as the short cocking stock was added to assist with reloading. It is also a collector's item, but not as rare as the Sea Hornet gun which is probably about 60 years old.

Unusual to see such items put in a rubbish collection, but at times relatives cannot be bothered when they clear out someone's house and garage after the owner has passed on. Or they may have been dumped after being stolen, it happens.
 
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Puchsgs250

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Apr 21, 2021
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Thanks Popgun for your reply, very interesting item the sea rocket, I can see why they are banned here now.
 

popgun pete

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The Australian dive equipment museum of the USFA may be interested in the "Sea Rocket" as they have a couple in their collection, but none with a blue handle as far as I know. http://usfa.org.au/ Such guns can be kept for display and historical research as the Sea Hornet company has ceased operation.
 

Puchsgs250

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Apr 21, 2021
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The Australian dive equipment museum of the USFA may be interested in the "Sea Rocket" as they have a couple in their collection, but none with a blue handle as far as I know. http://usfa.org.au/ Such guns can be kept for display and historical research as the Sea Hornet company has ceased operation.
Ok, Thanks will drop a line to them
 

popgun pete

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For your interest here is a black handle version.
Sea Hornet Sea Rocket handle.jpg

The problem with these guns is that being heavy they sink like a stone when dropped during a dive. In the early days of spearfishing divers were looking for more power as band rubber was not as good as we have today and they were willing to try many different propulsion types. Having a gun that floats after the shot allows you to free your hands to deal with the prey, so only the band gun and the lightweight full length tank pneumatic gun still exist today. Expellable gas weapons have since been lumped in with firearms and that saw them banned or highly controlled. A couple of divers who made the mistake of holding the shooting line when firing their carbon dioxide guns lost some fingers when the rapidly departing spear tore them off. Their enthusiasm for such weapons soon evaporated!
 
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Puchsgs250

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Apr 21, 2021
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For your interest here is a black handle version.
View attachment 57195
The problem with these guns is that being heavy they sink like a stone when dropped during a dive. In the early days of spearfishing divers were looking for more power as band rubber was not as good as we have today and they were willing to try many different propulsion types. Having a gun that floats after the shot allows you to free your hands to deal with the prey, so only the band gun and the lightweight full length tank pneumatic gun still exist today. Expellable gas weapons have since been lumped in with firearms and that saw them banned or highly controlled. A couple of divers who made the mistake of holding the shooting line when firing their carbon dioxide guns lost some fingers when the rapidly departing spear tore them off. Their enthusiasm for such weapons soon evaporated!
The one I have looks a bit different,in relation to grip & screws in handle.
I find this one online which looks similar but says it was made un the USA?
 

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popgun pete

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popgun pete

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Some history https://tributes.smh.com.au/obituaries/15955/michel-calluaud/
The "Sea Rocket" first appeared in 1956, the above magazine advert is from 1961. I have a "Sea Rocket" centre section which I have pulled apart to examine the inner works, but have yet to get around to photographing it. The alloy handle is of a clamshell design and my guess is the trigger finger guard was later enlarged to improve access to the trigger. The name was probably omitted from the handle casting as it is stamped into the chromed gun body. The guns bear the name “Sea Hornet” as they made and distributed them. I suspect that your blue handle gun is an early model as the gun body where it meets the front barrel is also slightly different. Note they both have the conical pointed nut on the top rear of the handle just above the safety switch.
 
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Puchsgs250

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Apr 21, 2021
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That is just an error on the website. https://blutimescubahistory.com/?q=it/tecnica/schede-tecniche/fucili/searocket/scheda-completa/co2

Attached is a contemporary advert from the old days. The guns would have been produced in limited quantities and variations will have occurred between batches.

The “Sea Rocket” guns were designed by Michel Calluaud who also designed scuba regulators. (Not sure of his name spelling, but I have it in a book here somewhere.)
View attachment 57198
Thanks Pete that’s great infoCheers
A bit of money I those days?
 

popgun pete

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A young person probably earned about 5 pounds a week back then, so 32 pounds was quite a lot. Then you had to find someone to charge the cylinder with liquid CO2 as the gun was useless until it was recharged. Some CO2 guns used sparklet cartridges which were cheap after WWII as there was a lot of military surplus from life jackets and other military inflatable devices, but once that stock was used up such carbon dioxide guns were discarded. Band guns had improved with better rubber and the first generation of pneumatic guns that had a similar appearance to the carbon dioxide guns had appeared, but were in fact a type of spring gun that used a “compressed air” spring.
 

Puchsgs250

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Apr 21, 2021
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A young person probably earned about 5 pounds a week back then, so 32 pounds was quite a lot. Then you had to find someone to charge the cylinder with liquid CO2 as the gun was useless until it was recharged. Some CO2 guns used sparklet cartridges which were cheap after WWII as there was a lot of military surplus from life jackets and other military inflatable devices, but once that stock was used up such carbon dioxide guns were discarded. Band guns had improved with better rubber and the first generation of pneumatic guns that had a similar appearance to the carbon dioxide guns had appeared, but were in fact a type of spring gun that used a “compressed air” spring.
All very interesting stuff, didn’t realise the so many different types of guns.
So Pete in your opinion what would be the value $ of this speargun as it is?
 

popgun pete

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If it is in good condition without any dings or scratches maybe 200 bucks. Bear in mind that these guns are now illegal and such guns can be seized, so the price depends on who wants it and is able to keep it. A modern CO2 gun which was sold for a few years was the MACO2, but in many countries it would be seized at Customs Inwards and never seen again, plus a “please explain” letter to the purchaser. As I found some spearguns can just disappear during shipping when the shipping company suddenly decides that it is a forbidden weapon, even though it was not in a strict sense.
Maco2 5OGLbouteillemano.jpg
 

Puchsgs250

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Apr 21, 2021
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If it is in good condition without any dings or scratches maybe 200 bucks. Bear in mind that these guns are now illegal and such guns can be seized, so the price depends on who wants it and is able to keep it. A modern CO2 gun which was sold for a few years was the MACO2, but in many countries it would be seized at Customs Inwards and never seen again, plus a “please explain” letter to the purchaser. As I found some spearguns can just disappear during shipping when the shipping company suddenly decides that it is a forbidden weapon, even though it was not in a strict sense.
View attachment 57199
Thanks for all your help & knowledge,
Regards Grant
 

Mr. X

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Just out curiosity, why CO2 and not just compressed air or nitrogen. I watched a video at the weekend about inflating bike tyres with CO2 cartridges, apparently it's ok on the day but leaks out overnight, so not a long-term fix. On the otherhand a local tyre franchise used to make much of the benefits of filling tyres with nitrogen rather than air - they used compressed nitrogen.
 

popgun pete

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Because the phase transition of liquid to gas using carbon dioxide keeps the shooting pressure constant. The pressure in the tank will not fall until the last drop of liquid carbon dioxide evaporates in the tank, then the pressure drops. Using other gases you have a pressure drop with each shot. Carbon dioxide liquefies at a rather low pressure compared with other gases.
 
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Cool to see such historic guns; great wall hangers. Although I would not use them, even in the US, with so many modern pneumatic guns available.
 

popgun pete

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Because carbon dioxide spearguns can be used (illegally) on land that is why they have been lumped in with firearms and banned. Most spearguns will self-destruct if used on land as without the hydrodynamic drag of water slowing things down as they fly about after the gun shoots damage can occur. You may get away with a couple of shots before bad things happen, but any injuries to bystanders and the sport of spearfishing will be on the ropes. In their heyday the carbon dioxide guns were used against giant cods and groupers larger than the spearfishermen, a bonus was with a puff of gas in through their mouth or gills the victim got floated up with the gas expanding in their guts. Then you had to figure out how to get the fish to shore or into the boat. Unfortunately the populations of these fish were decimated resulting in a total ban on capturing them and I doubt that they will ever go back on the available species list. Changed sensibilities today would mean boos rather than cheers from any onlookers and mobile phone calls to summon the authorities.
 

popgun pete

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This Sea Rocket" gun was put up on eBay and after going around 3 times with no bids sold for 250 bucks by a sniping bid one second before the close of the latest auction. However that was the only bid at the starting price of 250 dollars, so that is what it sells for regardless of any higher bid being made.
 
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