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Old 02-12-2012, 12:34 AM   #46
Wood Guy
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

Of course other things can still happen- which is why I said we should always treat the gun like it has no safety. I should have said "no misfires from malfunctioning safeties" My question was why Deep Quest always used the safety on a firearm, but never used it on a speargun. Deep Quest answered that speargun safeties were much more likely to malfunction than firearm safeties, and gave examples. You're right in saying that the gun probably would have misfired the next time the shaft was loaded, but not from a malfunctioning safety. Deep Quest's comments were about safeties malfunctioning, not shafts breaking. My point was that safeties can be installed on spearguns and not malfunction. They aren't going to prevent a weakened shaft from breaking, and they aren't a substitute for good gun safety.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:49 AM   #47
phil herranen
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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Of course other things can still happen- which is why I said we should always treat the gun like it has no safety. My question was why Deep Quest always used the safety on a firearm, but never used it on a speargun. Deep Quest answered that speargun safeties were much more likely to malfunction than firearm safeties, and gave examples. I don't see what the broken shaft has to do with using a safety or not using one. You're right in saying that the gun probably would have misfired the next time the shaft was loaded. When the first band was loaded the shaft would have broken between the band and the shaft notch, but that has nothing to do with whether the gun had a safety or not. Deep Quest's comments were about safeties malfunctioning, not shafts breaking. My point was that safeties can be installed on spearguns and not malfunction. They aren't going to prevent a weakened shaft from breaking, and they aren't a substitute for good gun safety.
you said " No misfires when the safety "pin" is in" ,and my point is that things can still happen ,and someone with a gun with a safety might be less likely to pay attention to where it is pointed since it is safe ,and think like you stated "No misfires when the safety "pin" is in"
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:08 AM   #48
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

First,let me say that is a nice looking gun.and the safety idea is a good one.
Second when a soldier patrols,he dose not do so with the safety on.he keeps the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.and his finger off the trigger until ready to fire. Swat teams do not enter a room with the safety on,again proper training keeps fingers out of trigger guards until you are actually going to fire.
If you train in a realistic environment ,your guns will be exposed to dirt ,sand , water and a lot worst. Some guns handle this better than others.
Range is of course a much bigger problem with a fire arm. You must know the range of your weapon, and your back ground. Though if the guy getting into the water at the same time I am shoots me with his spear gun ,damn it's gonna hurt.
Depending on the type of spearfishing you do. There are lines in the water that could possibly entangle in your gear and cause a discharge. Float lines, dive flag line ect...
That all being said,use your safety when it is wise to do so. Do not trust it with your life or the lives of those around you.
A powerful ,heavy loaded speargun has great potential stopping power. And that power must be respected.
As always ,common sense should rule the day.
Shoot straight.
Eddie
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:29 AM   #49
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

i dont remember the date of the post but William Kitto post long time agoo a picture of a safety that blocks the spear , not the sear,
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:45 AM   #50
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

As I have shown Jack Prodanovich's speargun safety (in his two-piece trigger mech) I guess that I should now show the one that Wally Potts developed for his own guns. It is a sliding draw bolt, like a door security bolt as it moves in a metal tube with a right angled dogleg gate to lock it by rotating the slide control knob through 90 degrees to either side. When moved forwards the nose end of the bolt fouls on the trigger just behind the pivot pin so that it cannot move, hence that is the "safe" position. Slide the bolt back and the trigger can be fired as the bolt no longer touches or is above any part of the trigger. The bolt is always biased forwards by a spring in the rear part of the sear box tube extension "sleeve", rotating the knob to either side in the gate's transverse slots holds the bolt back against the spring tension.

The trigger has been moved to the exterior of the housing for these images in order to more clearly show how the safety operates on the trigger. This trigger mechanism is from the Scubapro tracked barrel alloy tube gun, it was also used in the timber "Safari".
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:16 PM   #51
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

Great to have you sharing all of the historical info you know, Pete. Is the notch seen in the upper left what holds the spear shaft, in effect making the piece shown both the trigger and the sear? Keeping things simple is usually better. A nice touch is that, if I understand your explanation correctly, the knob sticks up when the gun is on "safe", making is more unlikely to forget moving the bolt from the "safe" to the "fire" position, since you would see it sticking up when you looked down the barrel. Nice! Sometimes older is better. Any downsides to the design?
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:58 PM   #52
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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Originally Posted by Wood Guy View Post
Great to have you sharing all of the historical info you know, Pete. Is the notch seen in the upper left what holds the spear shaft, in effect making the piece shown both the trigger and the sear? Keeping things simple is usually better. A nice touch is that, if I understand your explanation correctly, the knob sticks up when the gun is on "safe", making is more unlikely to forget moving the bolt from the "safe" to the "fire" position, since you would see it sticking up when you looked down the barrel. Nice! Sometimes older is better. Any downsides to the design?
Well it is a single-piece trigger. I also discussed this on the "Addicts Speargun Plans" thread. The problem with single-piece triggers is that there is an upper limit on the band load that you can still pull the trigger without using extra fingers on the trigger! The bands create a restoring torque to oppose your trigger finger's pull and eventually you cannot shoot the gun. If you gear it with a remote trigger to provide extra mechanical advantage then you can squeeze a bit more out of it. The cam lock, two-piece triggers don't have this problem because the sear pivot pin is low in them, below the line of the sear tooth, and that makes the sear lever roll once the sear lever is freed by pulling the separate trigger. Speargun power went up once cam lock trigger mechanisms appeared as they had better mechanical leverage as well which provided a reduced trigger pull. With three lever mechanisms you can go to higher band loads and four levers allows you to use band loads which will destroy the gun and you too if the stock splinters under the strain. Plus reloading will be slow when cocking all those bands, then you really need a lock-out safety or the recoil will knock you out if the gun discharges too soon.

Wally Potts, along with Jack Prodanovich, built some of the first spearguns in the US. Wally's first "production" gun, where he pretty much finalized the layout, uses a trigger finger guard shape very much like this folded metal plate trigger mechanism cassette construction, but the safety came later. Those early guns have stainless steel grip handles and short body tubes all soldered together as the rear grip section with a round timber stock and a metal plate muzzle vertically inserted in the nose of the timber barrel. They are the "Bottom Scratcher" guns that Dr. Sam Miller talks about here. Chuck Blakeslee had one which is now owned by Ron Mullins. Jack had his own guns which most people here have seen, a hand-made gun that looks like it was factory built with sand cast alloy handle and muzzle. Jack's single-piece trigger and two-piece trigger "balanced sear" guns have safeties fitted.

Today company bean counters would faint at the thought of all the metal used in these Wally Potts mechanisms, but they are a beautifully thought out construction, spot welded and assembled in a logical sequence that is both geometric and elegant. What many people do not know is that Wally produced this mechanism in a two-piece trigger cam lock version. He followed Jack's lead in using an angled sear tooth to create a balanced sear lever which was cam locked by the trigger. The mechanisms are identified by a second pivot pin forward of the existing one, but otherwise look the same. There is probably a bin of them somewhere sitting behind that bin marked "hen's teeth".

In summary, have the "Fathers of Spearfishing" got it wrong in incorporating well engineered safety mechanisms in their guns, or are we all seeing different facets of the same prism by talking about slightly different things, depending on our point of view?
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:42 AM   #53
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

I use my safety on the surface, (in the water) clicking it off is part of my routine before I dive and I click it on as I surface.

It "should" be rule of thumb not to point your gun at anyone, if your buddy dives or comes up in your aim you need to move your gun, he/she is the one hunting.

A "false sense of security" would only apply to someone who lacks any and trigger does provide a level of security.

The safety simply helps keep the trigger from firing the gun. Not pointing a gun at anyone is for anything else that might cause the gun to fire.

Spearguns, when loaded are under tension like a crossbow. Not as lethal as a gun in my opinion but far more dangerous for the user. I dont think it wise not to use it.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:23 PM   #54
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood Guy View Post
Great to have you sharing all of the historical info you know, Pete. Is the notch seen in the upper left what holds the spear shaft, in effect making the piece shown both the trigger and the sear? Keeping things simple is usually better. A nice touch is that, if I understand your explanation correctly, the knob sticks up when the gun is on "safe", making is more unlikely to forget moving the bolt from the "safe" to the "fire" position, since you would see it sticking up when you looked down the barrel. Nice! Sometimes older is better. Any downsides to the design?
I just found this photo of a two-piece Potts type trigger mechanism. Note the second pivot pin for the separate sear lever. This mech retains the Potts sliding bolt safety device that backs onto the trigger and prevents it from turning and that then blocks the sear lever as well.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:09 PM   #55
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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Originally Posted by phil herranen View Post
for me its the environment that is the problem, too many things that can go wrong in a ocean environment , the only firearm i ever use a safety on is a 1911
and occasionally my shotgun .i was taught to keep a gun ether uncharged with a round in the chamber (bolt action) ,unloaded, or ready to use , never loaded with a safety on .
phil
I was taught the same for all guns never trust the safety. The only safety is unloaded and then you still never mishandle the gun. The safety has its uses, but none of those uses includes making it safe to mishandle the gun. I think the biggest issue is many new divers have not learned how to handle a firearm safely on land, and have not accepted or not been offered any form of mentorship in the water (or it’s the blind leading the blind issue). They just go make or buy a 60-70" gun and have at it. This is where the sport goes from fairly safe and fun to a horror show really quick.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:42 PM   #56
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

Well it is clear from reading the various posts here that people have different positions on this and they have often hit the keyboard running without fully reading what everyone else before has said. When I first started spearfishing I used a handspear, but once I got a gun it was drilled into me to treat the gun as if it could discharge at any time and never point it anywhere that could cause a problem when it was powered up ready to shoot, especially if I was not fully in control of it, as in holding it by the grip handle where I could brace against the shot. The safety was just extra insurance, it was not a guarantee and primary safety relied on my actions when handling a loaded gun. However it was pointed out to me that safeties that refused to engage were a warning sign that all was not right with the gun, so it paid to engage them after spear tail insertion in the sear box, perform the banding up and line wraps and then remove the safety only when the gun was ready for the hunt. If the safety failed to engage then I was to pull the trigger and yank the spear out and try the relatch again. If the safety still did not engage (there may have been grit in the gun before which had subsequently been flicked out by the moving levers) then the gun had to be put aside for inspection and another gun brought into service. This all depended on the safety being well engineered which required discovering how it actually operated inside any new (to me anyway) gun before I actually used it.

One type of speargun where the safety is of no assistance in checking the mechanism for proper operation is the pneumatic guns with the tipping "see-saw" type sear lever (which is most of them). There the trigger only pushes the sear lever over to shoot, it does not hold it back, there is no interlocking action of the trigger with the sear lever. The same could be said for remote trigger guns, unless the push/pull rod is hard linked to the components at either end, such as in the "Ultimate" bullpup guns (the pull rod is "all thread" with clevis pins at each end connecting the components). However by being drilled into developing a "safety habit", even with a pneumatic gun, I never forget to methodically engage the safety and then remove it once the hunt was on.

If the gun was being swum over a relatively barren transit zone where there was no likelihood of a shot then I would engage the safety whilst holding the gun at mid-body (soldier at arms position) or letting it trail backwards beside me and at a downward angle. If the passage was through turbulent water with a lot of bobbing around wave action due to surface chop amongst rocks then I would consider debanding the gun as being tossed on the rocks with the gun cocked may have been the start of even more problems, even with the safety engaged. Hence safety is primarily with the judgment and the vigilance of the user, but you need to take advantage of any opportunity to check your gun's correct operation, particularly in a gritty environment where that operation can be compromised quickly without you realizing it. A dropped loaded gun on a sandy bottom can have sand swirled over it and into it even at some depth as wave surges pass through overhead. You never take your gun's operation for granted, things can change very quickly, especially in near shore diving with plenty of suspended fine particles in the water column and weed floating around. The safety is just an extra checking device, provided that it works effectively, as on some euroguns it doesn't because some of them are, or were, poorly engineered as evidenced by past threads. No names, no pack drill, but beware of clone guns that have made internal layout changes that don't always work as intended, but have done so to wiggle their way around a patent held by someone else.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:58 PM   #57
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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Originally Posted by popgun pete View Post
One type of speargun where the safety is of no assistance in checking the mechanism for proper operation is the pneumatic guns with the tipping "see-saw" type sear lever (which is most of them). There the trigger only pushes the sear lever over to shoot, it does not hold it back, there is no interlocking action of the trigger with the sear lever. The same could be said for remote trigger guns, unless the push/pull rod is hard linked to the components at either end, such as in the "Ultimate" bullpup guns (the pull rod is "all thread" with clevis pins at each end connecting the components). However by being drilled into developing a "safety habit", even with a pneumatic gun, I never forget to methodically engage the safety and then remove it once the hunt was on.

I have a older major name brand pneumatic like this. It will randomly unload its self with the safety on or off.
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Old 10-22-2018, 10:35 PM   #58
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

An old thread, but I figured that this was the best place for this diagram of the Prodanovich "active safety", seen here in a remote trigger pushrod application. The design was discussed here in post #32 on page 3.


I gain the impression that some people may not understand how the jiggle pin works in the Prodanovich mechanism, so at the risk of offending anyone I will provide a brief explanation. The jiggle pin free floats in the trigger piece, it cannot fall out because it is set up at either end with a small bump or mushroom head created after the pin was fitted into the trigger piece. The function of the jiggle pin is to temporarily change the shape of the rear of the trigger piece, however unless the small jiggle pin is pushed flush with the forward face of the trigger piece by your finger sitting on top of it then the small pin just slides back the other way and can make no driving contact on the safety cam. The rear of the trigger cannot provide a sufficient turning torque on the safety cam with the safety cam laying horizontally. When you place your finger on the trigger you cause the jiggle pin to easily slide back and touch the curved cam face of the safety lever which lifts the safety lever up and changes its orientation to the rear of the trigger. Now in that slightly lifted position the rear of the trigger can provide the torque to turn the safety lever, but it cannot do it without the safety cam being lifted first. That is the genius of the design, simple to look at, but with some complex thinking behind it. Jack said that it took him a long time to figure it out.

If someone as experienced and knowledgeable as Jack Prodanovich and his fellow "Bottom Scratcher" Wally Potts put a very big effort into engineering safety mechanisms that enabled improved gun control when operating their respective underwater weapons then who could question the need to have one on their gun and make sure they both understand its workings and engage it when the situation requires it? These two watermen spent thousands of hours underwater and witnessed the evolution of spearfishing from a handful of participants to the numbers that practice the sport today.

One thing to remember is that we cannot control our environment and the actions of other water users, at times I have had to curtail my hunting activities when others unexpectedly arrived on the scene, particularly when I was using my ultra-powerful “Black Sea” gun which has no safety at all. On that gun if things are looking bad if a charged to shoot gun is still being carried then there is at least the option of pulling the shaft out of the gun as only a vacuum and spear tail seal friction holds it in. A “dummy shot” with no projectile in the gun then clears the way for a later reload when the situation has improved.
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Last edited by popgun pete; 10-23-2018 at 05:55 PM. Reason: Added comment from an earlier thread
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Old 10-24-2018, 02:13 AM   #59
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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Originally Posted by popgun pete View Post
I just found this photo of a two-piece Potts type trigger mechanism. Note the second pivot pin for the separate sear lever. This mech retains the Potts sliding bolt safety device that backs onto the trigger and prevents it from turning and that then blocks the sear lever as well.
And here is what is inside that two pivot pin version of the trigger mechanism. The attached diagram is a Wally Potts document showing the main parts of the augmented trigger mechanism, which is good for 400 pounds of band pull, plus instructions on how to disassemble and reassemble it.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:52 AM   #60
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Re: Trigger safeties: To have or not to have

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?
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