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Old 10-25-2018, 10:07 AM   #61
Alec
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

Safeties lose fish... haven’t used one in over 5 years. Then again I was shooting a 30-06 at 8yrs old
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Old 10-25-2018, 03:22 PM   #62
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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Originally Posted by Hpwatson View Post
Safeties are important because spearfishing can be such a chaotic environment. When your buddy is fighting a fish and you're swimming up to help him out and the seas are rough and now a shark just showed up and you're all knocking into eachother and floatlines are all over the place..... this is when accidents happen. A safety will prevent that 1 in a million accident where your buddy's dive belt touches your trigger just at the wrong moment.

It is totally worth accidentally missing that one shot on a single fish in exchange for not taking that one accidental shot at your buddy.

For those who say hey just don't point your gun at anything you don't want to shoot, I guess you don't wear seatbelts either then? Just don't crash, it's that easy right?
Never point your gun at your buddy, even if the safety is on. I say having no safety increases your muzzle awareness. If you have nothing to rely on, then you know you can never make that mistake.

Don't feel like it's OK if your gun briefly points at your buddy because the safety is on.

Your seatbelt analogy isn't relevant.

Never point your gun at your buddy.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:55 PM   #63
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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Originally Posted by Tyson Brown View Post
Never point your gun at your buddy, even if the safety is on. I say having no safety increases your muzzle awareness. If you have nothing to rely on, then you know you can never make that mistake.

Don't feel like it's OK if your gun briefly points at your buddy because the safety is on.

Your seatbelt analogy isn't relevant.

Never point your gun at your buddy.
Well with respect that is not the point, the safety is just to lessen the chances of an accident, not eliminate them and is a check on the gun's trigger mechanism operating as it should. If you read the thread then this is stated a few times because on a well-engineered gun the safety only engages when the trigger mechanism is properly locked. The much maligned Swimaster/Voit/JBL trigger mechanism despite its faults actually had this property engineered into the design. If the gun is not properly latched then the safety will not engage.

Other divers in an area can move through your gun’s potential spear trajectory if during loading of the gun the spear unexpectedly escapes. I have had a few shafts pass me under these circumstances, mainly with beginners who lack awareness and experience in handling their guns. The reason that the spear escaped was that in most cases the gun was not latched properly.

Last edited by popgun pete; 10-25-2018 at 05:15 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:24 AM   #64
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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Originally Posted by manoa matt View Post
Production guns always had, and always will have safeties, custom and home made guns...not very likely.

Euro gun user here. I just wanted to point out that this statement is not 100% correct.

I own a Picasso Cobra Rail gun (doesn't get any more commercial than that) and it DOES NOT HAVE A SAFETY.

I also have experienced safety jams with Sporasub Aspic / Viper / Black Viper / Viper Elite guns. They share the same mechanism/handle. If you squeeze the trigger with the safety on, there is no way to dissengage the safety under tension.

I used to remove the safety to avoid this.

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Old 10-26-2018, 08:13 AM   #65
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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Originally Posted by popgun pete View Post
Well with respect that is not the point, the safety is just to lessen the chances of an accident, not eliminate them and is a check on the gun's trigger mechanism operating as it should. If you read the thread then this is stated a few times because on a well-engineered gun the safety only engages when the trigger mechanism is properly locked. The much maligned Swimaster/Voit/JBL trigger mechanism despite its faults actually had this property engineered into the design. If the gun is not properly latched then the safety will not engage.

Other divers in an area can move through your gun’s potential spear trajectory if during loading of the gun the spear unexpectedly escapes. I have had a few shafts pass me under these circumstances, mainly with beginners who lack awareness and experience in handling their guns. The reason that the spear escaped was that in most cases the gun was not latched properly.
But even if you have a safety that you are 100% confident is properly engaged and properly functioning - even if you have a safety that you believe is absolutely fail-safe - you should never point a loaded speargun at something you would regret killing.

That's my point.

Never point your speargun at your buddy. That's the important thing I was trying to address in response to Hpwatson's comment above.

Being familiar with the safe operation of firearms really helps in this regard. If you know how to handle a rifle safely, then safe speargun handling is instinctive.
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:21 PM   #66
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

Just follow the 4 rules of firearm safety. Safeties are a hazard.

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Old 10-26-2018, 07:46 PM   #67
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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Originally Posted by Tyson Brown View Post
But even if you have a safety that you are 100% confident is properly engaged and properly functioning - even if you have a safety that you believe is absolutely fail-safe - you should never point a loaded speargun at something you would regret killing.

That's my point.

Never point your speargun at your buddy. That's the important thing I was trying to address in response to Hpwatson's comment above.

Being familiar with the safe operation of firearms really helps in this regard. If you know how to handle a rifle safely, then safe speargun handling is instinctive.
I never said the safety was there to allow the gun user to be careless, but my main point, and seemingly missed by many, is that it should ensure that the trigger mechanism is properly locked. That does not mean the gun will not shoot as spear tails can break off and the shaft can escape leaving the back end of the spear still in the gun. Very unlikely, but it has happened. Another aspect is that if you are ever involved in a spearfishing accident/fatality the first thing the authorities will do is confiscate your gun and hand it over to an expert for examination. Then at a later date you can explain at the inquest, or to the jury, why you removed the safety from your gun. Some years back a well-known speargun maker, an icon in the industry, had to sweat it out when there was such an accident, but at the very least he could point to all precautions being in place that could reasonably be expected of a manufacturer. A colleague stated that having a safety on the gun saved his business.

As far as I know this case did not appear in the media, but those in the industry will know of it and if nothing else it is a good reason to leave the safety on your gun, but make sure it works properly as some don't!

Last edited by popgun pete; 10-26-2018 at 11:41 PM. Reason: turned out the victim lived, but was paralyzed
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Old 10-27-2018, 05:23 AM   #68
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

This is an old thread, but recently I have been working a lot on trigger design so will share my thoughts on this issue. One thing for sure is that all safeties on spearguns today do not work or at least will not give you the safety factor that people expect. The thing is that most people are used to firearm safeties … and they expect their speargun safeties to be just as robust. THEY ARE NOT !!! A firearm only has to prevent a sear with a 4lb spring from igniting the firing cap of a bullet. The real energy is stored in the unignited powder. That really is not that difficult to do and you can drop the gun from 100 feet onto concrete and it will not go off. A speargun is different … the entire load is held on the sears … if you want to compare it to a firearm … it is as if the gun has already fired and you are trying to prevent the bullet from coming out. Simply blocking the sear will not work if you drop the gun on a hard surface (something very possible in a boat jumping over waves). Another thing is that the front end of the gun only has a line over shaft arrangement … with a proper hit there the shaft can easily snap the back end of the shaft sear and the gun will go off.

I understand that for some types of spearfishing you need to have a loaded gun and then you jump in the water and don't have time to load the gun. In some areas when hunting tuna, you spot tuna on the surface and have only a few seconds to jump in and shoot a fish. But you need to understand the dangers involved and take the proper precautions. A speargun with heavily loaded bands can pack a powerful punch … not on the shaft end … but also on the butt end. Especially if this happens out of water. There has already been a fatality with a speargun going off and what killed the spearos was not the shaft, but rather the back end slamming into him.

If a safety needs to be developed for a speargun, then it has to be designed as a speargun safety … not just some copy and paste concept from a firearm safety that will only give you a false sense of security. A proper gun safety would need to have a pin through the shaft at the back end and a pin over the shaft on the muzzle end. This can then be incorporated with a sear blocking normal safety that is being currently used. Anything less than that is just stupid and probably is more dangerous than not having a safety as again … it gives you the impression that things are safe. Of course even with such a safety, just like with a firearm … you should always assume that the gun is a continuously shooting laser that vaporises everything in its path. Thus it should never be waved in front of or pointed at anything you don't plan to kill. At the moment safeties on spearguns are a half baked system that keeps lawyers happy. They are not there to protect spearos, they are there to protect the manufacturers from liability. The reason being that most lawyers and judges simply don't understand how a speargun operates and assume that they work similar to a firearm safety.
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Old 10-28-2018, 05:17 PM   #69
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

Well you beat me to it on the major difference between spearguns and firearms and what you say is exactly right. However the problem that can occur with spearguns is that they are jammed rather than locked and that the trigger mechanism cannot do its job because something is preventing it from reaching that fully locked state. One of the major culprits was the dipping sear tooth class of trigger mechanisms as in a sense they are always latched and release only occurs when you actually pull the trigger, when you let the trigger go the mechanism relatches driven by springs. (N.B. latched does not necessarily mean locked). What happens is the sear pivot pin is mobile in slots in the sear case walls or the sear lever has an elongated slot that allows it to move around on a fixed sear pin. This degree of mobility is to allow the spear tail to push the sear tooth aside so that the spear can enter the sear box and then be caught by the reascending sear tooth. Only at times the sear tooth never came right up, but just enough to hold the spear on the first band and possibly let go when the second band was applied to the shaft, or it just let go as the forces made the “nip” open up between the sear box roof and the top of the sear tooth. This shaft tail escape was aided and abetted by the ramped nature of eurogun spear tail notches which gradually help-to force the mechanism housing to spread, whereas square cut spear tails tend to hang on better. For example I saw a US square cut mechanism which was still holding with a cracked plastic sear box roof, a dangerous situation that in a eurogun mechanism would have been a scenario for an imminent shaft escape as the roof loading blew the top off the housing. Similarly when long spears fall off open muzzle guns during reloading the length of the shaft can lever on the sear box roof and gradually force open the tolerances that can cause later problems with the “nip” and the high roof loading imposed by eurogun shafts can gradually exacerbate the situation in which case no trigger safety will inform you of the dangers made more of a problem with short sear box roofs as the tooth is too close to the sear box mouth.

Now when speargun trigger mechanisms relatch they always move the trigger around as sear levers are over pushed and then move back or rebound to the lock position. A Sea Hornet/Biller trigger mechanism does not because the trigger and sear lever are caught in a second lock once the trigger mechanism is discharged, however in all cases a safety that backs tightly on the trigger and only engages when the trigger hits the lock position is what is required. Unfortunately many speargun safeties were so sloppy that discriminating between locked and not quite locked was impossible, so that a slide button safety working high up on the trigger, where there is little angular movement, would engage on a not locked trigger mechanism. This set the scene for misfires and potential disasters, particularly as plastic parts did not hold the required tolerances. There is no doubt that a few accidents have occurred when these not quite locked mechanisms let go at the worst possible time.

Over forty plus years of spearfishing I have seen a few dangerous (to their users) spearguns enter and leave the market, fortunately government regulators have not been watching or the freedoms we have now and take for granted would disappear in no time at all.
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Old 10-28-2018, 08:31 PM   #70
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson Brown View Post
Never point your gun at your buddy, even if the safety is on. I say having no safety increases your muzzle awareness. If you have nothing to rely on, then you know you can never make that mistake.

Don't feel like it's OK if your gun briefly points at your buddy because the safety is on.

Your seatbelt analogy isn't relevant.

Never point your gun at your buddy.
The point is that it happens accidentally. Obviously nobody points a spear at their buddy on purpose, but even the best spearfishermen in the world do it every once in a while. Because when chaos happens one of the first things you lose awareness of is your speartip. Anyone who says they've never accidentally sweeped their buddy with their speartip is either lying or totally unaware. It happens, even to the best of us, and safeties will prevent that one in a million accident.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:20 PM   #71
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

Quote:
Originally Posted by spearq8 View Post
This is an old thread, but recently I have been working a lot on trigger design so will share my thoughts on this issue. One thing for sure is that all safeties on spearguns today do not work or at least will not give you the safety factor that people expect. The thing is that most people are used to firearm safeties and they expect their speargun safeties to be just as robust. THEY ARE NOT !!! A firearm only has to prevent a sear with a 4lb spring from igniting the firing cap of a bullet. The real energy is stored in the unignited powder. That really is not that difficult to do and you can drop the gun from 100 feet onto concrete and it will not go off. A speargun is different the entire load is held on the sears if you want to compare it to a firearm it is as if the gun has already fired and you are trying to prevent the bullet from coming out. Simply blocking the sear will not work if you drop the gun on a hard surface (something very possible in a boat jumping over waves). Another thing is that the front end of the gun only has a line over shaft arrangement with a proper hit there the shaft can easily snap the back end of the shaft sear and the gun will go off.

I understand that for some types of spearfishing you need to have a loaded gun and then you jump in the water and don't have time to load the gun. In some areas when hunting tuna, you spot tuna on the surface and have only a few seconds to jump in and shoot a fish. But you need to understand the dangers involved and take the proper precautions. A speargun with heavily loaded bands can pack a powerful punch not on the shaft end but also on the butt end. Especially if this happens out of water. There has already been a fatality with a speargun going off and what killed the spearos was not the shaft, but rather the back end slamming into him.

If a safety needs to be developed for a speargun, then it has to be designed as a speargun safety not just some copy and paste concept from a firearm safety that will only give you a false sense of security. A proper gun safety would need to have a pin through the shaft at the back end and a pin over the shaft on the muzzle end. This can then be incorporated with a sear blocking normal safety that is being currently used. Anything less than that is just stupid and probably is more dangerous than not having a safety as again it gives you the impression that things are safe. Of course even with such a safety, just like with a firearm you should always assume that the gun is a continuously shooting laser that vaporises everything in its path. Thus it should never be waved in front of or pointed at anything you don't plan to kill. At the moment safeties on spearguns are a half baked system that keeps lawyers happy. They are not there to protect spearos, they are there to protect the manufacturers from liability. The reason being that most lawyers and judges simply don't understand how a speargun operates and assume that they work similar to a firearm safety.
Ermes-Sub seem to think a safety is worth having on their double roller mech as these photos from their website show.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:34 PM   #72
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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Originally Posted by Hpwatson View Post
The point is that it happens accidentally. Obviously nobody points a spear at their buddy on purpose, but even the best spearfishermen in the world do it every once in a while. Because when chaos happens one of the first things you lose awareness of is your speartip. Anyone who says they've never accidentally sweeped their buddy with their speartip is either lying or totally unaware. It happens, even to the best of us, and safeties will prevent that one in a million accident.
I agree completely and have seen guns, unobserved by their owners, traverse a group of other divers while they, the owners, were absorbed in some other activity or changing direction on a dive and I have done so myself even though I make an effort not to do so. Once a guy swum unexpectedly through the sights of my "Black Sea" gun and I quickly lowered it, if it had gone off unexpectedly both of us would have been history, but for different reasons!
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:19 AM   #73
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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Originally Posted by popgun pete View Post
Ermes-Sub seem to think a safety is worth having on their double roller mech as these photos from their website show.
Yes I am aware of that safety add on and I don't recommend it. It is an add on and doesn't come default with the DR trigger. I know for a fact that Mario (the owner of Ermessub) doesn't use it on any of his guns. But this type of safety makes a lot of sense in places were lawyers have free reign and the gun builder wants to reduce his liabilities.
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Old 10-29-2018, 08:31 AM   #74
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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Originally Posted by Hpwatson View Post
The point is that it happens accidentally. Obviously nobody points a spear at their buddy on purpose, but even the best spearfishermen in the world do it every once in a while. Because when chaos happens one of the first things you lose awareness of is your speartip. Anyone who says they've never accidentally sweeped their buddy with their speartip is either lying or totally unaware. It happens, even to the best of us, and safeties will prevent that one in a million accident.
Remind me to never go shooting or diving with you.
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:23 PM   #75
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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Remind me to never go shooting or diving with you.
Why such a personal comment? I had hoped for intelligent and thoughtful debate leavened by experience, not personal put downs or slurs. Many of us here have decades of spearfishing experience, even in the most adverse of circumstances re surface conditions and at times gun control can be lost, even with the best of intentions, but effort is always expended to regain it.
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