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Vintage ScubaPro Speargun - Modification Discussion

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gear.sub

New Member
Aug 5, 2021
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0
1
Hello Guys,

This is my first post on this forum.

I recently acquired a speargun from ScubaPro that I believe is more than 30 or 40 years old. I think the name of the speargun is ScubaPro Panther.
The same exact speargun is still sold by this brand called Bandito.

1) The speargun I purchased has a few things missing on it. The rubber power bands, slide ring and the rubber butt loading pad. I would like to know if the later two missing components are availiable as spare parts to be purchased online and will it be delivered internationally? If not, what can I use as an alternative?

2) Furthermore, where can I find the official specs of this speargun? I would like to know what is the min - max shaft thickness this speargun can handle. To add to that, I am also trying to find out what is the maximum rubber power band thickness and configuration it can handle.

3) I have noticed that this speargun does not have an eyehole or a provision to attach it to my buoy. This means I will have to drill a hole on it's body and tie a dyneema cord around it to which I can then tie my buoy. I would like to know where would be the ideal spot to drill this hole without compromising the structural integrity.

4) Can this speargun use a sharkfin shaft without getting stuck or damaging the muzzle on it way out after shooting? If using a sharkfin shaft, will I be able to add it to a break away rig? This is my first open muzzle speargun.

Thanks you for all the help in advance. I am attaching an image of the speargun for reference.
 

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A bit late as I don't usually post in this section, but for future reference.
Scubapro Panther parts.jpg

Scubapro Panther schematic.jpg
 
Scubapro never tooled up for a longer version of the Panther gun, only making two models, the 26 and 36 inch, the moulding dies to create these foam plastic guns were very expensive. Mark Lamont who did a lot of the design work on the gun told me that if you cut the gun down to leave the grip and upper parts then it could be morticed into a timber stock where the gun performed very well. Scubapro guns traditionally had long grip handles and the Panther continued this design choice.
Panther modified to create longer timber gun.jpg
 
An example of the long grip handle can be seen in the Scubapro "Safari", a timber gun using the Scubapro tube gun trigger developed by spearfishing great Wally Potts.
Scubapro Safari vars R.jpg

Wally Potts Scubapro trigger mechanism.jpg

The Scubapro gun it was designed for, they came in various lengths.
Scubapro 648 (1).JPG

Scubapro 648 (2).JPG
 
Bandito took over the Scubapro Panther guns and they still seem to be available in both sizes, 45" and 35".



The Panther guns have new mould sideplates that proclaim them Bandito guns and have a slightly different butt pad shape, it is a bit taller and not the flat wedge it used to be. This butt pad also fits the older guns.

They also make the old Aquacraft guns which are tube barrel guns and were originally produced by Lionel Long. They have a good trigger mechanism which was also used in a similar Sportsways gun.
Bandito Panther I.jpg

bandito tube gun.jpg
 
This is the Aquacraft handle opened up, later produced as a Bandito. Some guns had blue plastic handles and muzzles to match.
Bandito Aquacraft.jpg

Terry Maas used this trigger mechanism in his big capture guide stock Tuna gun, but operated it with a remote trigger which added extra mechanical advantage, the remote trigger moving a push rod that in turn operated this one. It was actually a Sportsways, but the same mech.

Note that these cam lock trigger mechanisms don’t need a metal housing, so are much lighter than the current crop of euroguns using frame lock metal trigger mechanisms. The latter need a metal frame as the trigger leans on it to “lock” when the gun is cocked to shoot. The Aquacraft/Bandito gun handle has the front boss on the left hand side of the grip so that the "O" ring it carries can plug the barrel tube against water ingress without a join in its front face, which is quite a clever way of doing it when you have a clamshell handle moulding. The same approach is used where the muzzle is also a clamshell moulding, but some guns have the muzzle as a single piece, hence no longitudinal split where halves join together.
 
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This is the very rare version of the Wally Potts trigger mechanism where he followed the lead set by his colleague Jack Prodanovich. This mechanism has two pivot pins and has been turned into a cam lock trigger. The high mounted sear lever pivot needs an angled sear tooth to shoot as otherwise it is too high up and is in fact a single piece trigger location. Prodanovich realised that worn single piece triggers could shoot of their own accord and exploited this fact in his angled sear tooth design. By changing the tooth angle guns could be used at various band loads, but you needed to change the sear lever there being no all-purpose angle unless you always used moderate band loads, then one set-up would do. As most of us rarely shoot monsters at medium to long range that compromise worked out fine. To buy one of these double pivot guns today be prepared to bring along a very big bag of money!
Wally Potts mech 2 piece 1.jpg

Potts two piece mech diagram.JPG
Potts two piece mech analysis AA.jpg
 
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Jack Prodanovich in his prime and his speargun which was the inspiration for the Swimaster line of spearguns, but they never adopted his second trigger mechanism with the two levers, only using the single-piece trigger. The single-piece trigger guns have a safety lever on the side of the handle that moves a pin behind the trigger, the two-piece trigger guns have a safety cam which stops the gun from firing if you don’t pull the trigger, you can see it located under the trigger. When you pull the trigger your finger moves a small jiggle pin in the trigger and causes the safety cam to be revolved away by effectively changing the shape of the back of the trigger. A brilliant idea, Prodanovich was a prolific inventor of spearfishing gear. At some time you will have unwittingly used something or some idea generated by him.
_JackProdan'55_.jpg

Prodanovich mech in both versions.jpg

Prodanovich_personal_spearguns.jpg

Prod gun with Jackpot reel 1.jpg

The above is his "Jackpot Reel" which was created by using two alloy saucepans welded together and modifying the assembly to mount a big spool. You can see Jack Prodanovich and Wally Potts were not into shooting tiddlers, most of the heavy duty gear used in game spearfishing was pretty much devised by them, the early euroguns of the time being too weak for such work. The alloy gun handles were sand cast, Jack Prodanovich making all the parts of his own spearguns. You can see faint echoes of a handle strapped to an upper tube if you look closely at his cast alloy gun handle, that is because that is how he made his very first spearguns.
 
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Wally Potts took the “Jackpot Reel” idea for a large capacity reel and made his own Potts reel of plastic, producing a number of these over the years. The idea behind the big reels was to tether the fish without resorting to a float system. Prodanovich used his big reel with a buoy system that had a pulley underneath it to route the line for the big ones. In the case of a giant fish that was poorly hit and still able to muster the horsepower to escape Jack also had a gun-saver package that in the last resort would free the gun rather than having it towed to the depths. When you consider the terrain that they were diving in then these rig choices makes sense. The Scripps Marine Canyon is very deep!
Wally Potts Reel on Prodanovich gun.jpg

Potts Reel on Prodanovich two-piece trigger gun, the small safety cam can be seen behind the trigger.
prodanovich with gunsaver system.jpg

Gun-saver package detaches large float to mark the end of the pulled free line. The fish can be tracked and pursued to finish it off once a new spear is fitted or a second gun brought to bear.
 
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