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Old 09-29-2016, 11:28 AM   #1
Chuuken
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Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

I'm interested in switching to a pneumatic for my main gun. I've been reading up on the information throughout some of the past threads here, and I have some questions if you guys don't mind:

* What would you recommend for someone who wants to enter the pneumatic scene, who lives in the US? I've heard a lot of praise for Salvimar and OMER, but in the 20 minutes of Googling I've devoted to the task, I haven't found much for sale here. Everything would be overseas.
Would you recommend sticking with an easier to find brand like a Mares Cyrano, or what? Also, should I worry about parts availability, or just get a damn gun and worry about parts if it becomes an issue down the road?

* A common sentiment was that you should try to get a better shaft immediately and, if possible, a dry barrel kit. Does that hold true in AD 2016?
If so, are the Tombo or Mamba kits still being made? I couldn't find anything for sale in my (limited) searching.
Also, who makes spare shafts for common pneumos? I assume you can get them threaded or floppered?

* My main has always been a 65cm Mako Predator Pro. It's perfect on a shit day, (read; Michigan in Fall), but on the odd chance the weather is actually cooperating, (or I get out in the summer), I could stand to have a bit more reach. Is a 70cm pneumo a good step? Particularly if it has a power selector for high/low power? (I'm not entirely sure what I'm talking about yet, so correct me if I'm obviously clueless here).

Thanks for any help!

Mike
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Old 09-29-2016, 04:11 PM   #2
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Re: Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

I don’t recommend guns as such, but the best advice is to work back from what you need the gun for. Most of the pneumatics are like peas in a pod with respect to inner detail, but different problems have occurred in recent times due to manufacturers handing their destinies to sub-contractors in China. Salvimar grew out of "Salvis & Figli" who made the small metal pneumatic gun parts for everyone else in Italy, so they know what they are doing. Their Salvimar "Predathor" is a rework of their "Vintair" which in turn is a rework of the Scubapro "Magnum" made and designed for the USA. So the choice is pretty obvious in my view. Dry barrels are a fad and really if you want a user gun that never gives trouble use a wet barrel version, which I do. If you are prepared to keep an eye on your spear's surface condition, then use a vacuum barrel. I have tried nearly all of them in the “interests of science”, but use a Scubapro "Magnum" for my everyday pneumatic gun, or more accurately when I don’t use my band gun.

High or low power depends on the proximity of rocks, you only use low power if it looks like you will smash the spear tip if the shaft misses or drives through the fish into the rock. I have smashed many tips, so hitting rocks is inevitable when shooting in a reef complex as fish seek to lose you in the structure.

As for the reach required, use this criteria,
http://www.spearboard.com/showthread...loading+length

Last edited by popgun pete; 09-29-2016 at 04:27 PM. Reason: found my reading glasses and saw the typos
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Old 09-29-2016, 05:38 PM   #3
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Re: Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

I can strongly recommend you a Mares Cyrano EVO HF. You can get it for less than 300$ at Leisure Pro and the stock shaft is a good one. For the conditions you mention, I think that a 90 would be a good choice. Its overal lenght will be pretty much the same as your 65 cm Mako (105 cm including shaft).
This particular model doesn't need a vacuum kit at all, as it shoots very nice as it is.

Take a look at this video. Almost every fish has been shot with a Cyrano EVO HF 100.

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Old 09-30-2016, 12:00 AM   #4
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Re: Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

I scored a 100cm Salvimar Vuoto on amazon for under $200. They keep changing the price. Right now its $396 with the same 3 guns left. The 130cm is $208, it was over $300 a few days ago. I thought about buying the 130cm to have a bigger second gun but haven't even gotten my 100cm wet yet! Will take it out Saturday and see.

The vuoto is a dry barrel gun. Mine came with a reel, shaft, mono line (not for the reel), and pump. It also came pre pressurized to a ridiculous pressure I couldn't even push the spear down at all without taking some air out. The instructions say to pump it up, check if it's full first if you get it.

Did I mention it has prime shipping?!

https://www.amazon.com/SALVIMAR-Pred...salvimar+vuoto

Ditto on where to find more shafts. I assume any 7mm pneumatic shaft in the same length would work, nothing special for the dry barrel?

Last edited by CyborgDroid; 09-30-2016 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:00 AM   #5
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Re: Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

Chuuken,
Get a gun, start hunting;-). There is minimal differences between the brands. If you wanna go down the path of modifying or improving performance, then I agree that you should go with a vac muzzle. Tomba still makes very nice custom ones. Mamba does not. Commercially available ones are eg. STC (expensive) and Salvi Vuoto (cheapest).

The only gun I would recommend slightly against is the Seac Asso solely cuz it has a 3mm trigger pin which gives it a pretty hard trigger pull. It is an old an proven design besides that. Mares Sten is as much a work horse as the Asso, but has a much smoother trigger. For a no nonse gun, get a Sten (though the shorter lengths have crap spears).
The Evo HF is Mares' own take on a newer generation gun and if you can find one at a good price it could be worth it. Marco praising it is pretty much as good a recommendation as a gun can get. But I have to say that at least a handful of them have had line release issues. Personally, I wouldn't mind taking the chance, though.

All these guns can be upgraded later on with vac muzzles.

The joker, as you know, is the Salvi Predathor Vuoto which comes as a vac muzzle gun already. I just got one but have not shot it at all. The only thing I can comment on is that the shaft seems as stiff as most other ones (supposedly they used to be softer?).

In regards to shafts, Devoto and Sigalsub makes good ones. I used to say that the Sigalsubs seem more finessed with their nicely done countersunk floppers and that the Devotos were tougher with thick hardened non-recessed floppers. But I actually just realized that I do have some Devoto shafts that are recessed, too. I think for your river hunting they are both totally fine and I'd just get which ever one was cheapest and/or easiest to get.
Also, bear in mind that you can get any oversized regular shaft and cut it down in front of the sharkfins, then cut an M6x1 thread, add the tail end and make it into a pneumatic gun shaft. Just not the carbon steel ones as they would rust and you don't want small rust particles messing with your piston (and possibly vacuum muzzle) seals.

[EDIT]
I found some measurements I did on my Salvi Predathor Vuoto 85, in case it would be of interest to you:
Gun Length: 924mm (muzzle to upper end of handle)
Gun Length loaded: 1103mm (spear tip to upper end of handle)
Original spear length: 970mm
Overhang: 180mm
Weight w.o. reel: 1269g (incl. spear, w.o. reel, w.o. mono), 980g (w.o. reel, w.o. spear, w.o. mono)

Last edited by Diving Gecko; 09-30-2016 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:51 AM   #6
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Re: Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

I know zero about this gun, but the price is right ($176) and it is no doubt a clone of the "Sten/Cyrano" family and made for Beuchat, which is a top quality French brand name. Very few manufacturers actually make pneumatic guns themselves and the big "brand names" just order a style variation from the main sub-contractor factory in Italy. At one time Beuchat offered a more or less "badge engineered" clone of the Cressi-Sub SL with a slightly different grip shape, but here this one has a concentric barrel of unknown diameter. I would guess that it is a 13 mm ID judging by the shape of the nose cone and it is great value for a dual power gun if you only need a 70 cm. Plus by the merest coincidence the colours are "right" as they mimic those of the Scubapro "Magnum" and thus you can bask in the prestige of those guns without paying the previous premium (really just joking here, but in my view this is a very attractive gun).

http://www.spearfishingworld.com/beu...-speargun.html
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:56 AM   #7
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Re: Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

Thanks for the advice guys, it all helps put this in perspective. Marco, I'm not sure when the last time you checked leisure pro was, but they're currently listing those guns at a bit shy of $500. Volatile prices indeed!

Pete, when did ScubaPro stop making the Magnum line? There are a myriad magnum 45s on the net, but not much bigger than that.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:10 AM   #8
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Re: Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

20 bucks more will get you a Mares Sten in the same size here, though I don't know if that shop ships from within the US.
With luck, 70cm is the size where their spears start changing from a horrible 8mm galvanized shaft with fat screw-in tip to an almost OK 7mm SS tahitian spear. It might be the next one up, can't recall.

I don't know what sort of trigger the Beuchat gun has (I am fairly certain a Cressi SL gun has a 3mm trigger), but the Sten has a 1.5mm trigger which is an advantage.

BTW, if you don't ever intend to upgrade to a vac muzzle, then you possibly choose a gun with an 11mm inner barrel instead of a 13mm one. The smaller barrel will allow less water to enter and thus, less water will have to be expelled during the shot. If you add a vac muzzle, there will not be any water in the barrel and it doesn't really matter whether you went with 11 or 13mm.

Scubastore looks to have some affordable guns, too. But again, I don't know if they ship from within the US:
Mares Sten 13mm
Mares Sten 11mm

BTW, not saying you should go for 70cm over 90cm. I just chose it for an apples to apples comparison.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:28 AM   #9
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Re: Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

I have bought a few second hand airguns unsighted and wouldn't hesitate to do it again. In the US, I mostly see the smaller sizes for sales, though. Likely cuz they were favored by scuba divers.
But a cheap old Sten (or something similar) and a USD 10 pack or replacement o-rings and possibly a new spear could get you up and running without too much of an investment:

10 bucks for a Magnum 95 on Craigslist.

40 bucks for a Magnum 70 on eBay.
Both would need spears and at least one of them a pump.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:45 AM   #10
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Re: Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

Ha, thanks Gecko. You're really making sure I don't have any excuses for not being able to find this stuff!

I am leaning pretty heavily towards the Sten/Mundial. Mainly because it's my first foray into pneumatics and I have to justify the budget... I'll have to check out those second hand ads.

I hunt pretty soft fish. Is there going to be any real big difference in practice between the 8mm and 7mm shafts? Is the 8mm going to be just fine or should I hold out for the 7?
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:50 AM   #11
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Re: Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuuken View Post
I hunt pretty soft fish. Is there going to be any real big difference in practice between the 8mm and 7mm shafts? Is the 8mm going to be just fine or should I hold out for the 7?
The standard 8mm shafts that most of these standard guns come with (except for Evo, Predathor, possibly longer Stens and some others) have this pretty big screw-in double floppered tip. It might sound OK but it is rather hopeless. The tip is probably 12mm or more in diameter and though it has twin barbs, they are tiny. I am quite sure a 7mm single barb has better holding power. Also, I do think the screw-in tips robs the shaft of a lot of speed.
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Old 09-30-2016, 08:15 AM   #12
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Re: Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

2 more questions:

1) Can you just put a 7mm shaft in any gun that otherwise comes with an 8mm? Or does it need to be designed to take both. (There's an ad for a Vintair on Nautilus spearfishing that says it can take either. Does that carry over to the ScubaPro?)

2) does anyone make an adaptor for those Scubapro Magnums? I've been looking at the possibility of jumping on one of those used ones, but the best answer I've seen about pumps was someone getting a mares pump and an adaptor. That thread was back in 2013, and the guy with the adaptors hasn't posted since 2014.
It only needs to be pumped up on the odd occasion, how hard would it be to get something that could screw into the gun, then just hooked up to a bike pump?
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Old 09-30-2016, 08:19 AM   #13
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Re: Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

http://www.leisurepro.com/p-mrseh/ma...o-hf-spear-gun

Less than 300$

Actually l ordered one for a friend just yesterday.

It comes rugged an ready to shoot fish out of the box
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Old 09-30-2016, 08:23 AM   #14
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Re: Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuuken View Post
2 more questions:

1) Can you just put a 7mm shaft in any gun that otherwise comes with an 8mm? Or does it need to be designed to take both. (There's an ad for a Vintair on Nautilus spearfishing that says it can take either. Does that carry over to the ScubaPro?)

2) does anyone make an adaptor for those Scubapro Magnums? I've been looking at the possibility of jumping on one of those used ones, but the best answer I've seen about pumps was someone getting a mares pump and an adaptor. That thread was back in 2013, and the guy with the adaptors hasn't posted since 2014.
It only needs to be pumped up on the odd occasion, how hard would it be to get something that could screw into the gun, then just hooked up to a bike pump?
1). Spears
Yes, you can put a 7mm in any pneumatic airgun. Putting an 8mm spear in gun with an 11mm inner barrel might be an issue as there is more risk of scratching the inside of the barrel.

2). Pumps
The issue at hand here is the pump inlet valve which has different thread sizes, and for some older guns even bayonet style to match the pump. Furthermore, the pump inlet valve screws into the rear end of the barrel and that thread has to match as well.
I don't know which thread sizes the Magnum uses, but Pete might know. Even if the pump size is a funky one, the one to match the barrel might be the same standard as the Mares. It's easy to swap that part for a Mares inlet valve and get a cheap Mares pump to go with it.

I found some info on these thread sizes for the pump inlet valve, but the Magnum is still missing.
The Pump Male Thread is the end that goes into the barrel. The female thread is the one that the pump itself goes into.
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Last edited by Diving Gecko; 09-30-2016 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 09-30-2016, 08:27 AM   #15
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Re: Another Pneumatic recomendation thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco View Post
http://www.leisurepro.com/p-mrseh/ma...o-hf-spear-gun

Less than 300$

Actually l ordered one for a friend just yesterday.

It comes rugged an ready to shoot fish out of the box

"Starting at $429.95. You save 80.05(16%) List $510.00"

I don't know if it changes the price based on user location, but I'm not getting your price. They must like you better.
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