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What vacuum muzzle guns are available off the shelf?

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

foxfish

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I keep falling behind with this question but I was hoping someone could list any vacuumed or dry barrel guns that can be bought off the shelf....
 
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Diving Gecko

Diving Gecko

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There are five options that I can think of and I have made a spreadsheet but it is not yet complete:

HELP NEEDED
To finish this spreadsheet, please help with the following:
- Barrel sizes for Pelengas muzzle?
- Type of shock absorber for Pelengas muzzle, Delrin with PU or 100% PU?
- Weight of the Pelengas muzzle?
- Anything else you see missing or worth adding or any errors?

mHyA0wZ.jpg



Here are some notes and thoughts of mine that I wrote before I made the spreadsheet above. They go into more detail and have links but bear in mind that I have only had personal experience with the Salvi, STC and Evo-Air muzzles (links and prices as of Sept 2019):

Salvimar Vuoto (or download catalog here and go to page 34)
  • Likely the easiest to get as it is made by a big brand
  • Can often be had for 45 euros and a pack of 3 spare seals goes for around 9 euros
  • Comes for both 11 and 13mm "Mares thread" barrels and they have a version for the 11mm Mares Evo, too. But it wont work for Seac guns!
  • Short and light
  • Works for both slider and front tied shafts. Though a front tied shaft may not be perfectly centered in the muzzle
  • Can be loaded submerged without risk as the conical cuff seal can open up to let water out when loading - the same goes for the Palengas
  • The seal used allows for a wide range of shaft diameters to be used but this type of seal wears out faster than a regular o-ring, so stock up on them and remember to bring extra seals on travels. Once it tears, you loose a ton of performance and may risk pushing water behind the piston on shots
  • The seal supposedly has the same dimensions as the one from Palengas and at least one user has reported them to be interchangeable and for the Palengas version to be more durable
  • May start busting the o-rings in the shock absorber if run at higher pressures. This has happened to me at +25bar but have not yet heard of this issue when used at lower pressures
  • The shock absorber 'mating flange' (where the piston impacts) is Delrin, so there is a bit of a clangy impact sound when shooting

Pelengas
  • Cheapest (excl. shipping at 39 euros). Pack of 5 extra seals is 10 euros. So, looks to be the most affordable
  • The link shows an 11mm version for Mares guns. I don't know if they make a 13mm version
  • Looks to be short and light
  • I think it may include a nice titanium slider. At least, it looks to be metal slider which is a worthwhile upgrade as some of the plastic ones can be very brittle. If it does come with the slider, then it is even better value. The pic on the site doesn't show a shock absorber so check that one is included
  • Can be loaded submerged without risk
  • Seal is supposedly interchangeable with the Salvimar ones. Since the design is very similar, bring spares on trips as once a seal breaks the gun looses a lot of power and may be at risk of water ingestion
  • As the shock absorber is completely made out of rubber, the impact of the piston shouldn't be as loud as other systems

LgSub
  • Twice as expensive as the first two at 90 euros. Seems to come in 13mm versions for both Mares and Seac threads and also in an airbalete version (but I think the newer Airbalete may have changed barrel size?)
  • Uses a stationary o-ring in the muzzle to seal the slider and with the most recent 2019 version of the Revolution gun, the gun can now be loaded submerged. BUT LGSub may not have implemented this feature in the standalone muzzles they sell for other brands
  • Comes with a shaft tail end and a proprietary slider which contains a seal. If anyone orders this system, I would highly recommend getting extra sliders as without the proper LG slider, you will loose the vacuum barrel function
  • Interestingly, LGSub says that by pulling out the slider after loading and flooding the barrel you can reduce the power of the shot if needed. I guess with the large opening at the front of the muzzle they are not afraid of water being pushed behind the piston during the shot
  • I guess it is designed for slider shafts only - I don't know if they have an option to change out the front end of the muzzle for one that works with free shafts (like STC do)
  • Have slimmed down in recent iterations and LG says the latest 'Light' version only measures 40g which is quite light as the already slim Vuoto weighs in at 48g
  • A replacement polyurethane shock absorber is 20 euros... They better not break at that price
  • As the shock absorber is completely made out of rubber, the impact of the piston shouldn't be as loud as other systems

STC
  • Same price range as the LGSub (at least 80-90 euros)
  • Used to be a bit bulky, but seems that the newer XP XP2 weighs about 46g and the XP3 only 35g
  • You have to spec your muzzle to be for either a slider or front tied shaft. But it is modular so you could pick parts to change from slider to front tied shafts. Also, the muzzle uses a bushing to center a particular shaft diameter and while this should help front tied shafts, it also means you need to make sure you have the right bushing for your shaft diameter
  • A bit harder to order as you need to spec the parts and understand the system and speccing it for more than one shaft size may bring the price up
  • Uses proprietary seals which seem a little like the Salvimar/Palengas ones but they are more optimized for different diameters of shafts so one seal wont cover a large range of sizes. I do think they open up a little when loading the shaft, so I think an STC muzzled gun can be loaded while submerged
  • Seems to come in the most thread options to cover pretty much all the brands in both 11mm and 13mm barrels

Seatec Evo-Air
  • This muzzle will only work for front-tied shafts but I have used it and it does a good job at this
  • If I recall correctly, max shaft size unless the muzzle is modified is 7mm but if using this size, the shaft is well supported and centered at the muzzle
  • Uses a regular o-ring for a seal but can still be loaded in the water due to the design allowing the front part of the muzzle to be screwed out slightly letting the o-ring move into a larger bore, open up and letting water escape during loading
  • Comes for 13mm barrels in both Mares and Seac threads but not sure they make one for 11mm barrels
  • May not be easy to get though at the time of writing, this shop has them for 45 euros
  • As the shock absorber is completely made out of rubber, the impact of the piston isn't as loud as other systems
 
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popgun pete

popgun pete

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Although not exactly off the shelf you have the various models of the "Tomba" as well. While Mares and Cressi-Sub stay away you are unlikely to see many more versions appear as those two have a big slice of the pneumatic speargun market.

The LG Sub Manilu "Revolution" is a nice gun, but too expensive for what it is due to the way that every part of it is made from raw stock, i.e. no injection moldings with everything cut out of the solid. Unlike many of the others it does not use a rubber nozzle type vacuum cuff.
 
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Diving Gecko

Diving Gecko

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[EDIT] Unlike many of the others it does not use a rubber nozzle type vacuum cuff.

Hey Pete,
Maybe it's the lack of coffee, but I can't figure out what you mean about the lack of "rubber nozzle cuff"?
Is that the Salvimar/Palengas type "oil seal"?
(Which, if my understanding of it is correct, is actually a Dima invention;-))
 
popgun pete

popgun pete

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Hey Pete,
Maybe it's the lack of coffee, but I can't figure out what you mean about the lack of "rubber nozzle cuff"?
Is that the Salvimar/Palengas type "oil seal"?
(Which, if my understanding of it is correct, is actually a Dima invention;-))
The rubber nozzle first appears on the Russian "Taimen" which dates from 2000. Before that gun the company made a "Scorpion" pneumatic gun which looked similar, but it was a wet barrel gun. In Russia car parts like engine valve oil seals get used for spearguns, so I expect that the idea came from there. Now must guns use a similar vacuum cuff or seal and at a quick glance they all look much the same, although the sizes vary to accommodate the spear and gun muzzle they are fitted to. The "Revolution" uses a set of sealing rings, one in the line slide and the other in the muzzle, somewhat like the "Mamba".
 
Diving Gecko

Diving Gecko

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The rubber nozzle first appears on the Russian "Taimen" which dates from 2000. Before that gun the company made a "Scorpion" pneumatic gun which looked similar, but it was a wet barrel gun. In Russia car parts like engine valve oil seals get used for spearguns, so I expect that the idea came from there. Now must guns use a similar vacuum cuff or seal and at a quick glance they all look much the same, although the sizes vary to accommodate the spear and gun muzzle they are fitted to. The "Revolution" uses a set of sealing rings, one in the line slide and the other in the muzzle, somewhat like the "Mamba".

Yes, the design looks very much like an oil seal and I have spent a long time when I got my first Vuoto muzzle trying to identify it as a stock one without luck. Might be a Russian old standard. But I also heard a story that Dima specified the dimensions and a mold is somewhere in Ukraine...
 
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popgun pete

popgun pete

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Yes, the design looks very much like an oil seal and I have spent a long time early on trying to identify it as a stock one without luck. Might be a Russian old standard. But I also heard a story that Dima specified the dimensions and a mold is somewhere in Ukraine...
If you look through this http://apox.ru/forums/topic/7362-разборкасборка-ружья-рпс-3/?tab=comments#comment-54022 then you will see: "If there is a burning desire to go to the arrow f 8 mm, take the valve stem cap from the VAZ 2108": This is to convert a 9 mm RPS-3 to an 8 mm shaft.
 
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Diving Gecko

Diving Gecko

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I keep falling behind with this question but I was hoping someone could list any vacuumed or dry barrel guns that can be bought off the shelf....
Can we do stickies on this forum?
 
T

tromic

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Just to add:
Salvimar shaft seals must be regularly lubricated..
Next the shaft tail stop conus should be rounded not to damage the seal:
1567494495800


This was my attempt to make Salvimar kit better in performance adding smaller OD stainless steel hydro damping slider and better centralising the 7 mm shaft in muzzle. Unfortunately I have never tested this Tomba700XS (S-Salvimar) , but I had tested the performance of the slider.




The latest LG could be loaded in water - submerged..:


 
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Diving Gecko

Diving Gecko

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If you look through this http://apox.ru/forums/topic/7362-разборкасборка-ружья-рпс-3/?tab=comments#comment-54022 then you will see: "If there is a burning desire to go to the arrow f 8 mm, take the valve stem cap from the VAZ 2108": This is to convert a 9 mm RPS-3 to an 8 mm shaft.

This make total sense and I actually talked to Dima the other day. He said, he used to use valve stem seals in the early days but they could turn hard (and perhaps brittle) in colder waters. I don't know if the valve stem seal, the Taimen seal or both was his inspiration but around 2007 he designed the conical cuff seal and made a mold for it. This design has since been cloned by Salvi and Palengas.
I think the biggest difference between the Taiman and the Dima seal is that the latter is a "one size fits all" and has a large range of shaft sizes it can accommodate without having to change to a differently sized seal.
I think it might have been Tomi who years ago pointed out that a large cuff seal like Dima's would have a fair bit more friction during the shot than an o-ring. Especially at depth where a larger part of the cuff would be pressed against the shaft. How much of a friction increase we are talking about in real world terms, I don't know. Perhaps, it is negligible.

On a related note, Dima told me that he used to include 5 spares for local customers and more for overseas ones. I guess, it was always thought of as a wear item, a consumable that would need to be replaced at some point. When you know that, it's not an issue and you could actually replace a seal in the water with a bit of care.
With that in mind, it is actually strange that Salvimar don't sell their guns with just a few extra vacuum cuffs. It wouldn't cost them much and it's heaps better than having customers surprised that these will eventually fail and then, depending on location, might struggle a bit to get a set of spares.

Finally, since I have been mentioning Dima, he told me he has now fully relocated his workshop to Belize and should be able to take orders.
I have two of his muzzles and they are real work horses. His pistons are quite optimized in terms of weight and length, the sliders are tiny and strong and the whole set up handles very high pressures. But, of course, like Tomba it is not an off the shelf option.
 
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T

tromic

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I would say that "one size fit all" concept for cuff seal is more theoretical than real. I`v read few times on Italian forums that that seal was not very reliable with 6.5 mm shaft ("free shaft"?) - barrel become flooded , maybe because of poor centering of the shaft in Salvimar muzzle..? Similar situation might be with 7 mm "free shaft" too. Neither it can accept 8 mm shaft with tang, only "free shaft"... So that statement that the seal is for 6.5/7/7.5/8 mm shaft is relative.. I suppose that seal works good with 7 mm shaft with tang if the seal is regularly lubricated and the tang is modified as on image above in this thread.
 
Diving Gecko

Diving Gecko

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I would say that "one size fit all" concept for cuff seal is more theoretical than real. I`v read few times on Italian forums that that seal was not very reliable with 6.5 mm shaft ("free shaft"?) - barrel become flooded , maybe because of poor centering of the shaft in Salvimar muzzle..? Similar situation might be with 7 mm "free shaft" too. Neither it can accept 8 mm shaft with tang, only "free shaft"... So that statement that the seal is for 6.5/7/7.5/8 mm shaft is relative.. I suppose that seal works good with 7 mm shaft with tang if the seal is regularly lubricated and the tang is modified as on image above in this thread.

I know that skinny shafts are favored by some in the Med, but I have only used the Vuoto for 7-8mm shafts and had no problems with flooding. I never lubricate the seal either, btw.
The Vuoto can take an 8mm shaft with tang, too - but you need to replace your shock absorber with one that has a slightly larger bore. Salvi sell those, too.
In fact, the Predathor Vuoto in the two longest sizes (115 and 130) ships with an 8mm shaft (interestingly, the Dark Side 115 ships with a 7.5mm which I would think is a better match as an 8mm shaft takes quite a bit of pressure to fully power up).
But I can see how thin free shafts might leak or be less precise given the lack of support at the muzzle.

The bigger shock absorber is the third one in this pic from the 2019 catalogue:
ICGjOgk.jpg


And a pic of mine from the archives;-):
eLFBlni.jpg



That shot from the catalogue also shows the claimed range of shaft thicknesses the seal can accommodate, but I trust Tomi's reports that it may be too generous. I will try to remember to ask Dima what he feels about the range of his seals.
 
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popgun pete

popgun pete

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The reason that the "Taimen" vacuum cuffs or seals are available in 3 sizes is that the vacuum cuff is sized to fit the muzzles, which is why the guns are marked in the 3 spear sizes. Or they were until the 6.5 mm shaft was deleted leaving only the 7 mm and 8 mm versions. To change a gun's spear size you had to replace the front hub which in the "Taimen" is both muzzle and nose cone. In fact that was only the case with 6.5 mm and 7 mm guns as they both use a 10 mm ID inner barrel, the 8 mm version has an 11 mm ID inner barrel. Pelengas copied the Taimen as until the Pelengas started the Taimen really had that market segment all to itself. The key difference with Pelengas, and there must be deep pockets somewhere, is they launched a wide range of guns of many different types and have outstripped the Italians in producing so many guns in a relatively short period making the latter looking positively lazy. The key is the finance as you need a big budget to build such ambitious designs in any volume, particularly a Zelinka which is a wet barrel gun (for now). There is also a mind boggling range of reels.
 
popgun pete

popgun pete

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Rubber "O" ring shock absorbers seem like a good idea, but only if the housing stays dry as water between the rings is incompressible and they cannot squeeze together as well. When you use a rubber tube it can expand radially into gaps as it gets shortened on impact and water then squeezes out the ends and if you check out a Mares shock absorber body you see those gaps in the metal versions.
Mirage shock absorber

On another forum I discussed this option.
Muzzle shock absorber action 4
 
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Diving Gecko

Diving Gecko

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@tromic
Can you explain how you can load an LG muzzle submerged - without having first emptied the muzzle? I can't figure out how it is possible as the main seal in the muzzle seems to sit stationary in its groove (as opposed to the Seatec design which lets it move to a bigger part of the bore where it can expand and let trapped water squeeze out when inserting the shaft).

Here is the only pic I could find which shows the o-ring seat, but it is of an older LG muzzle so something might have changed:
zRu6XHN.jpg


And can you remind me of the Tombas? Do you need to empty the muzzle of water before inserting the spear?
 
popgun pete

popgun pete

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LG changed the muzzle, I wrote about it here:
 
Diving Gecko

Diving Gecko

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LG changed the muzzle, I wrote about it here:

Haha, and I even replied to that post of yours some months back but forgot all about since then.

BUT remember, I am not talking about the Revolution gun, I am talking about their standalone muzzle offerings for other brands. Do we know if they have updated those with with relief valves? If they have, I will update my list here accordingly.

Just looking at the old design it was pretty clear that not only would you have to tip the water out for performance and protection reasons, if you didn't you might also have a hydralic lock making it difficult to even insert the slider fully into the muzzle (which I can see that you talked about, too).
 
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popgun pete

popgun pete

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They call the new muzzle/head the "LG Black Head", but looking at their site, which has not changed much since I last looked, the aftermarket muzzles appear unchanged for now. However it may be that they have simply not updated the site. Their Facebook page may be more up to date, LG-Sub is a relatively small company and does not spend much time on their site updates.
LG Black Head muzzles
 
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tromic

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@tromic
Can you explain how you can load an LG muzzle submerged - without having first emptied the muzzle? I can't figure out how it is possible as the main seal in the muzzle seems to sit stationary in its groove (as opposed to the Seatec design which lets it move to a bigger part of the bore where it can expand and let trapped water squeeze out when inserting the shaft).

Here is the only pic I could find which shows the o-ring seat, but it is of an older LG muzzle so something might have changed:
zRu6XHN.jpg


And can you remind me of the Tombas? Do you need to empty the muzzle of water before inserting the spear?

This old type LG muzzle could not be loaded submerged, only the latest new one - LG BLACK HEAD from 2019., as Pete told you.
It was explained also in a video in my post #9, by Claudio Basili.
Recent Tomba700X neither could be loaded submerged.
I think it could be changed pretty easily, replacing O-ring 15 x 2.5 mm in Tomba muzzle with X-ring 14.8 x 2.62 mm and some additional adjustment.
I found that X-ring here: https://www.metricsealsinc.com/nbr-quad/4114b-366y-b-s-q-14-8-x-2-62 but I can not order it from Croatia...
It seems they do not send worldwide...
 
Diving Gecko

Diving Gecko

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This old type LG muzzle could not be loaded submerged, only the latest new one - LG BLACK HEAD from 2019., as Pete told you.
It was explained also in a video in my post #9, by Claudio Basili.
Recent Tomba700X neither could be loaded submerged.
I think it could be changed pretty easily, replacing O-ring 15 x 2.5 mm in Tomba muzzle with X-ring 14.8 x 2.62 mm and some additional adjustment.
I found that X-ring here: https://www.metricsealsinc.com/nbr-quad/4114b-366y-b-s-q-14-8-x-2-62 but I can not order it from Croatia...
It seems they do not send worldwide...

Sorry, I did download Claudio's video but only gave it a quick glance (in Italian with very few close up shots...).

I might be able to get you some X-rings once I am back in China but can't find the exact size you are looking for. I think they are not a standard size.
I don't know if the 14.8mm is the ID or the OD, but I will hazard a guess and say it's the OD, meaning the ID should be 9.56mm. Had a quick look and the closest I can find in China is 9.19 x 2.62 (ID x CS). Next up is 10.78 x 2.62.

But perhaps best to move this to your Tomba thread - if you do, then I'm really curious about how an X-ring will change the ability to load submerged.
 
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