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SEAC Asso 90 maintenance and repair

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

Member
Jan 15, 2024
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Hi Fello Spearo's i am new to this forum, but thought i would post my various fixings of several of my Pnumatic guns, starting with this thread on my Seac Asoo 90. I enjoy the gun cant stand the retaining line mechanism (garbage in my point of view). The issue i will discuss and fix happened to me yesterday when i shot my Asso and the Piston got stuck in the muzzle, the reason i know is because i coulnt for the life of me reload it..
So with the muzzle pointing downards for a while to allow the oil to flow to the muzzle i released the air from the rear valve, then pointed it upwards to aloow oil to drain to trigger, then unscrew the muzzle and took some pliers to carefully remove from muzzle. after some inspection of the piston i saw that the tip of the piston was warn a bit smaller to allow it to get lodged into the muzzle easier, so i am replacing with new piston and will pump it up and try it out today, i assume this will fix the issue but if it doesnt i will post back on my findings.
Here is a pic of the old piston and new piston for your reference.
Take care...
 

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Jamming generally has two causes, the piston seals have stuck on the inner barrel tube bore due to a long period of not being used and sand in the muzzle and on the piston. Guns need to be kept off the sand and rinsed by dunking before you leave the beach. Spearguns are made for a marine environment, but that does not mean they are impervious to abuse or carelessness.
 
Jamming generally has two causes, the piston seals have stuck on the inner barrel tube bore due to a long period of not being used and sand in the muzzle and on the piston. Guns need to be kept off the sand and rinsed by dunking before you leave the beach. Spearguns are made for a marine environment, but that does not mean they are impervious to abuse or carelessness.
Hi Popgun Pete
Thanks for the reply.
So after every spearing, I soak my gun in a 55gallon barrel of fresh water.
There could be possible sand infiltration but I don't think so because I never felt any grinding when loading nor did I see or feel any damage to the piston O rings, or rear rubber. One thing that was happening that I believe contributed to the piston sticking into the muzzel / bushing , was the fact that my spear butt ends seemed to be getting worn and the spear would fall out occasionally when I tipped the gun down. I believe I read in another thread that if the piston is shot without a spear it would go alot faster than designed....
 
You need to swish the gun around muzzle down in the water before you leave the beach. When shore diving I park my gun on top of my fins after exiting, but I wear dive boots as my fins are open heel sprung loaded types. And salty drying sand grains can stick to items and need more than a splash to remove them once the sand has dried onto the surface. The trick is not to allow it to dry in the first place before you remove it, wet it comes off instantly with a dip. Decades of diving I never had sand problems with my guns except when I dropped a loaded band gun in the wave zone and waves coming through filled the mechanism with sand. I had to blast it out later with a garden hose. A mate once had a plastic fishing bucket that he left unwashed after use on the beach, you could have used that bucket as sand ;paper when it was dry as sand grains stuck to it. Scratched up my underwater strobe when I made the mistake of putting it in that bucket on a boat trip, I might as well have wrapped it in sandpaper.
 
Ok I'll add that protocol to my exiting the beach. Since my home is within 400 feet of the beach it doesn't get to dry before it goes into the rain water barrel, but you got decades on me, so I'll take your word for it and do the swirl, it's makes sense ...
Something to note that I see, is I have had more issues with my Seac Pneumatics than my Salvimar ones, my Salvimars just seem hardier, except my Salvimar Darkside, I have had multiple issues with that one. I like the complete grip handle balance in the water but I feel they gave up strength for weight reduction...
 
Ok I'll add that protocol to my exiting the beach. Since my home is within 400 feet of the beach it doesn't get to dry before it goes into the rain water barrel, but you got decades on me, so I'll take your word for it and do the swirl, it's makes sense ...
Something to note that I see, is I have had more issues with my Seac Pneumatics than my Salvimar ones, my Salvimars just seem hardier, except my Salvimar Darkside, I have had multiple issues with that one. I like the complete grip handle balance in the water but I feel they gave up strength for weight reduction...
The ASSO has been around a long time, the first one I saw had the name "Terminator" stuck on it when someone first tried distributing them here, then they reappeared again as the ASSO under a new dealer arrangement. It is very similar to the first Sten model in shape and internal layout. The Salvimar guns are based on the gun that was built for Scubapro using the Sten as their guide, the brief was to improve on the Sten. Then Salvimar was created out of parts maker Salvis and Figli and their guns all evolved from that gun made for Scubapro. Scubparo quit any involvement in spearfishing when spearfishing was deemed "bad" by a green push in the sport of diving.
 
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The ASSO has been around a long time, the first one I saw had the name "Terminator" stuck on it when someone first tried distributing them here, then they reappeared again as the ASSO under a new dealer arrangement. It is very similar to the first Sten model in shape and internal layout. The Salvimar guns are based on the gun that was built for Scubapro using the Sten as their guide, the brief was to improve on the Sten. Then Salvimar was created out of parts maker Salvis and Figli and their guns all evolved from that gun made for Scubapro. Scubparo quit any involvement in spearfishing when spearfishing was deemed "bad" by a green push in the sport of diving.
I just read another post by you regarding the Salvimar Darkside and something that you said pricked my ears so to speak. i had multiple issues with my Darkside one being that the Piston cracked in half, the other being that i needed to change bumbers and didnt even use the gun over 20 times...
What you wrote is that if the pressure is set to high, you can crack pistons and have to change bumbers, that got me thinking is my pressure way to high, i think i had it set toward the upper limits. Now i am not a tall guy, only 5'9", so to get around loading my spear guns over 100cm (including the Darkside) in awkward postions, i stringed 2 loading handles about 8 inches from one another, so i could first put the first loader on the tip of the spear than pull down with the 2nd loader, unitl i could reach the tip loader on the spear and set the gun. This has worked well for me to load longer spear tip Pnumatic guns....
 
I just read another post by you regarding the Salvimar Darkside and something that you said pricked my ears so to speak. i had multiple issues with my Darkside one being that the Piston cracked in half, the other being that i needed to change bumbers and didnt even use the gun over 20 times...
What you wrote is that if the pressure is set to high, you can crack pistons and have to change bumbers, that got me thinking is my pressure way to high, i think i had it set toward the upper limits. Now i am not a tall guy, only 5'9", so to get around loading my spear guns over 100cm (including the Darkside) in awkward postions, i stringed 2 loading handles about 8 inches from one another, so i could first put the first loader on the tip of the spear than pull down with the 2nd loader, unitl i could reach the tip loader on the spear and set the gun. This has worked well for me to load longer spear tip Pnumatic guns....
That two handle loader is the same idea used in the Mares Clever loader which is actually three loaders connected by two line loops, the top one goes on the spear tip and the other two oppose each other sitting either side of the spear. When pneumatic spearguns first appeared they used steel pistons and shock absorbers. You could crack the steel shock absorber anvil with shots in the air, but the guns are not designed for that. When they moved to plastic pistons and anvils they are strong enough, but when you go to vacuum muzzles the safety margin is lower for resisting cracking. A vacuum muzzle is not like shooting in air as the spear still emerges into water, but the water pump has been removed from the barrel. That water pump tends to slow shots, but it also saves pistons and anvils. All my regular use pneumatic guns have metal pistons and metal anvils.
 
So which pneumatics do you find that have held up best to years of use that you like? Please be specific as I got the spearfishing bug and invest in guns as I go 4 to 5 times a week, and feed my family on my catches.
But I must say from my Bull shark encounter last week it has definitely traumatized me, So i am very twitchy, and quite frankly scared when I'm past the reef and in any rough zones where I can't see. I went yesterday with my daughter again, we speared together in what I call "our aquarium" ( all behind a protective reef, where sharks in low tide don't usually come) but then I went outside the reef Solo, and it was quite rough with lots of white water, there were big fish seeking shelter within the finger reefs, but I couldn't psychologically get into it, was to afraid, even with my Shark shield on...
It didn't help getting slightly zapped a few times when diving around....
 
I just was thinking I am drifting on subjects all over the place and should try to keep on point of the thread for the benefit of others reading...
I should post my emotional trauma under shark encounters and my best pneumatic spear guns to another thread to keep it cleaner, oops I'll try to do that in the future....
 
The guns I use most often in terms of pneumatic guns are my Mares Sten and my Scubapro Magnum, they are similar in that they have the finger grip sculpted handles that were more common years ago. Being old they come from the era of metal pistons and shock absorbers and shoot 8 mm shafts with detachable screw on tips with double floppers. I also have a Cressi SL 70 which is from the metal piston era. These guns came from the time before there was a cost cutting drive that lowered some aspects of gun quality. The drop in quality and money saving came in the eighties when spearfishing was under attack and many companies hid their spearfishing roots. In the nineties things improved as guns like the Mares Cyrano arrived, albeit with the 11 mm diameter inner barrel. Order was restored with the 2001 Sten which put the new handle of the Cyrano on a 13 mm barrel. The 11 mm barrel guns are weak, only made to shoot spears 7 mm and under, influenced by Mediterranean spearfishing.

The new guns made by Pelengas are quite good, they learned very quickly, but the guns are 12 mm, not 13 mm. They have plastic pistons. Unfortunately the metal piston era is over. Plastic pistons mean that the piston is almost a consumable. Anyone using a pneumatic frequently needs to know how to dismantle their gun for piston and oil replacement, threads on here tell you exactly how to do it. Some who look after their guns and keep them clean, don't chuck them down on the sand and keep them free of loose sand may never have to do any maintenance on their guns bar cleaning.

I don't like integral tip spears, often once my prey is dead I push the spear through, unscrew the tip and then pull the shaft out. The spear tip goes in my glove so I don't drop it. Once the fish is stowed, depending how big it is, I reattach the tip and reload my gun for the next victim. Or if the situation merits it use my second gun. If you are dragging a float around you can carry a second gun, but everything depends on the terrain that you are diving in and your gear adjusted accordingly if say shore diving.
Scubapro catalogue 1989 R.jpg

The Magnum marked the start of the return to quality in pneumatic spearguns, there are no brass parts in a Magnum, it is alloy and steel. Even the later Salvimar has some brass parts to contain costs. The Scubapro guns were expensive, positioned in the market as being superior to anything else.
 
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