Spearguns; pneumatic versus banded

There are two main types of spear gun; banded and pneumatic.

Banded guns are between 40-140cm long and are powered by one to four rubber bands (perhaps 10mm tubing). They have the advantage of being cheap (you can still get a great sommap 75cm gun on eBay for £36 last time I checked), and simple to fix (or replace rubbers).

Pneumatic guns use compressed air to fire the spear, and are shorter (40-90?cm). They’re not like air guns that use a spring to compress the air (actually I think they are like the ‘gas spring’ airguns that gamo make), or even like pneumatic air rifles that you fill with a pump or scuba tank. there’s a chamber of air (which is already compressed in the factory) that gets compressed even more when you drive the spear down the barrel, literally backing it into the muzzle. That’s the hard part, they can be really difficult to load. When I first got my Cressi 55cm gun I thought it was faulty because it felt impossible to get the spear in. But it’s just hard, and with practice it became second nature.

People say pneumatics are overcomplicated and give troubling breakdowns, and it’s true that you could probably get a banded gun fixed in a far flung village where it might be harder to fix a pneumatic.

Mine never gave me any problems until it was swallowed yesterday by the Indian ocean.

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