• Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

Tuna Gun Evolution - South African Style!!!

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.


Jun 13, 2003

Coming from the land of the railgun (Rabitech & Rob Allan, in case anyone was wondering!! ), wooden guns were things those crazy power hungry spearo's in foreign countries used. No, we had no need for them!!! Our railguns worked quite well!!!!

Now, with the sudden interest in Blue Water hunting, we've now reached the limits of the euro/railguns capabilities. We now realised that in certain situations, a MUCH longer range was required. Thus the birth of the South African wooden guns!!! (yip, i know, EVERYBODY else have been using them for ages already!!!! I never did claim to be all that bright!! )

A couple of 68" rear handled guns were built. 3x16mm's (5/8") with 8mm (5/16") spear were built. They were marginally better than the normal 1.3m or 1.4m railguns. Then the first mid-handled wooden gun was built by Tommy Botha. (mid-handled guns have been around for AGES, but no-one here used them)

The first mid handled South African tuna gun was born. 63" with 4x16mm(5/8") and a 8mm (5/16") spear with slip tip. This gun was thoroughly tested on the healthy population of YF tuna. The manouverabilty was phenominal (remember, we were used to normal rear handled guns). A smaller 57" with 3x16mm(5/8") and a 8mm (5/16") spear with slip tip was made, specifically for bigger fish that ALWAYS seemed to be JUST out of range of your normal gun.

The only downside now was that those tuna had no respect for our 8mm (5/16") spears. Almost every fish meant a bent spear. After some research, and talking to some knowledgable guys on the net, 10mm (3/8") spear were the answer. Now the first guns sporting 10mm (3/8") spears were built. 67"with 5x16mm(5/8") and a 10m (3/8") spear with slip tip.

With out last trip, Tommy used a 9.5mm spear, which also eventually bent (like ALL the experts told me it would!!!). But the hitting power of that heavier spear was AWESOME.

The next step obviously would be an enclosed track, but due to these fish bending the spears, the track might present a problem. Tommy has bent spears back into shape on the boat, which still worked well enough to land more fish, but if the spear isn't 100% straight, it might refuse to work in the enclosed track.

Will keep every-one updated on the progress!!!!


Pictures : http://www.spearboard.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13368
Nice! I especially like the anti-recoil fins up near the muzzle. Riffe has incorporated a similar design in his new Blue Water Express. Good hunting!
well miles since you wont be using the Rob Allens and Rabis, feel free to send them here and i will take care of them for you :p
Really nice post Miles, it is really entertaining to see the development of monster guns.. and those are some niiiiiiiiiiiice guns mate ;)
Hi Miles...

The Rabi 130 is working wonders for me now since I got the hang of it, you were right it does require some getting used to as compared to my Picasso 110.... My final rig was to use x2 16mm bands stretch x4 their original length,,,, excellent accuracy/range and penetration (check out my milkfish post)

I finally got them woody guns I was telling you about.... they both have enclosed tracks both 135 cm length. One with a rear handle configuration and the second a mid handle configuration.

The rear handle one carries a 7mm spear (enclosed track) and the mid handle one a 8 mm spear.

Now the challenge was to get the right band configuration. The rear handle came with x2 20 mm bands. Was a bit tough to load. When testing in the pool, the x2 20 mm bands had too much explosive power. So I tried x2 18mm bands, the range was not as I expected, so I tried x3 18mm bands.!!!

After about 1 1/2 hrs of rigging a mid water target, I got into the water took aim from 24 ft (that’s from the tip of the gun) and gently squeezed the trigger.................................BANG - :hmm after I gathered my senses, I realised that I had only the handle left in my hand, the gun was floating on the surface behind me and the target still in tack :hmm :hmm :hmm

4 months of waiting and it snapped in the pool ... after contacting the manufacturer, he reassured me that it was a manufacturing defect in the handle... and would send me a replacement along with a pair of stabilizer wings for the front and a reel mount!!! That should reduce the recoil!

I am also considering x4 16mm bands that should give a smoother and more even release of energy….instead of the x3 18mm

Still have not tried the mid handle gun,,,, but will get around it some time this week….

By the way, your woody guns look fantastic …. Real blue water beasts, I am trying to get a gun configuration for every day diving, the 50KG GT still looks and makes fun of me when I see it ,,,, its very skittish and keeps its distance!

Happy hunting ;-)


Forget about the super pnuematic. The guy stop building it. The problem was with the "how" to attach the shooting line to the shaft. It's a long story...bla..bla. Stick with band guns.....easier.

I know what you mean about jumping with a loaded gun in the water when ready-ing for a yellowfin tuna. A forceful jump may cause the gun to shoot. However, if the safety of the gun locks like a Riffe mid handle ( not rear handle Riffe !!!! ), it locks the trigger sear which holds the shaft, not the trigger blade where your index finger pull to fire. If you see it you will know what I mean. However, it is scarry to have a loaded gun on board.....YUP...scarry.

If you want any everyday gun which can nail the 50kg GT with ease from 5 meters tip to fish get a full-mod Riffe MT2 with 3/8" (9.5mm) shaft like my friend's. The shaft is 48" long, so it is very short and stiff. Survive very well. You can use the 5/16" (8mm) and the Hawaiian 9/32 ( 7mm ) for other species and situation. GT skin is quite thick, with Ice Pick slip tip, it will hold on very well. My friends in Western Indonesia regularly lands 35-40Kg GT with just a 124cm Riffe Standard #2, 4 x 14mm bands and using the 8mm shaft.....yep, shaft destroyed in most cases. Good luck and be happy with such abundant fishes in Oman.........what a heaven on earth.

DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing


ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2024 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Ocean Advocacy and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.