I've been doing some reading on spearguns lately. Most of them out there now appear to be powered by rubberband or pneumatic system. I did, however, find that there were some produced in decades past that were powered by what appears to be a blank cartridge.

Out of curiosity:

  • How common was this method and are they still made?
  • What is the legal category these fall into?
Thanks much.
 

Alexx1401

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I've been doing some reading on spearguns lately. Most of them out there now appear to be powered by rubberband or pneumatic system. I did, however, find that there were some produced in decades past that were powered by what appears to be a blank cartridge.

Out of curiosity:

  • How common was this method and are they still made?
  • What is the legal category these fall into?
Thanks much.

Yes, commonly known as "Bang Stick". Most I have seen used a shotgun round. Some I have seen for sale used pistol rounds. The last was in .44 mag. They did not use blanks, they used live ammo. Modern powder creates it's own O2, so it burns under water. The idea of the Bang Stick was to blast a hole in a fish and fill it with hot gas. Used for protection from large sharks when invented. Divers who wanted to go after Grouper also found they worked well. Often a rather pricey spear was lost to them. Shoot a Grouper and they often took off spear and all. Have not looked for a while but I am sure the sticks are still sold. While back a guy invented one that used CO2 to do the same thing. Blast the fish with a huge bunch of gas to kill them.
The Bang Sticks were spring loaded and would fire by pushing hard against the fish.
 

Boboclown

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E02914F8-A065-42F8-BFA7-58378CD844A0.jpeg
Does this APS underwater rifle count? Russians designed it in the 70s, kinda wish there was a civilian export model, though I doubt it would have been legal or remain legal for long.

Yes, commonly known as "Bang Stick". Most I have seen used a shotgun round. Some I have seen for sale used pistol rounds. The last was in .44 mag. They did not use blanks, they used live ammo. Modern powder creates it's own O2, so it burns under water. The idea of the Bang Stick was to blast a hole in a fish and fill it with hot gas. Used for protection from large sharks when invented. Divers who wanted to go after Grouper also found they worked well. Often a rather pricey spear was lost to them. Shoot a Grouper and they often took off spear and all. Have not looked for a while but I am sure the sticks are still sold. While back a guy invented one that used CO2 to do the same thing. Blast the fish with a huge bunch of gas to kill them.
The Bang Sticks were spring loaded and would fire by pushing hard against the fish.
Bangsticks were used on gators too. Can still get em, even on amazon. In 5.56 too apparently.
 

Alexx1401

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View attachment 516594
Does this APS underwater rifle count? Russians designed it in the 70s, kinda wish there was a civilian export model, though I doubt it would have been legal or remain legal for long.


Bangsticks were used on gators too. Can still get em, even on amazon. In 5.56 too apparently.

Yep. Out of curiosity I just looked and right away a site popped up that sells them for harvesting Gator. Offered them in a large array of calibers. Did not bother to see how they are sold, if they are considered a firearm.
 

Boboclown

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Yep. Out of curiosity I just looked and right away a site popped up that sells them for harvesting Gator. Offered them in a large array of calibers. Did not bother to see how they are sold, if they are considered a firearm.
Attached to the pole, they aren't. Without, they're an AOW. Funny rule ain't it?
 

Capn Jack

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Bang Stick really was kind of misleading. What it really was is a short chamber with a cartridge inside, (mine was 12ga.) that fit on the end of a spear, or a pole. When it struck something, a firing pin inside the chamber struck the primer and detonated the cartridge. With the end of the chamber/barrel up against the target, when fired, the expanding gasses actually did more damage than the projectals. This was so effective that large numbers of sharks were killed for "sport" before divers stopped their indiscriminate use.:eek:
 
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ilikegunspdx

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I've been doing some reading on spearguns lately. Most of them out there now appear to be powered by rubberband or pneumatic system. I did, however, find that there were some produced in decades past that were powered by what appears to be a blank cartridge.

Out of curiosity:

  • How common was this method and are they still made?
  • What is the legal category these fall into?
Thanks much.

Didn’t hk make some 4 or 5 shot ones for special services? I remember they had to go back to hk after fired for them to reload. There are some videos on them somewhere but can’t remember where.

Edit: found wiki page: Heckler & Koch P11 - Wikipedia

CA35D3FB-954C-4B24-B7CC-DAA788246B6F.jpeg
 
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@BillM. The Tapmatic pattern was the type I referenced in the original post. I don't recognize the single-shot on you posted in #12. Do you know who builds them?
 

BillM

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bbbass

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Well, the wiki is kinda interesting: Powerhead (firearm) - Wikipedia

United States
A powerhead may be considered a firearm under some circumstances. In the US, the BATFE considers a powerhead a firearm if it is not permanently affixed to a shaft; generally powerheads are sold spot welded to a temporary steel shaft giving an overall length of greater than 18 inches (45 cm). After installing permanently on a spear shaft, the spot weld is cut, and the temporary shaft discarded.[3] Revenue Ruling 55-569, C.B. 1955-2, 483 says:


A device ostensibly designed for submarine spear fishing, but capable of chambering and firing .22 caliber rimfire ammunition, is a firearm within the purview of the National Firearms Act. However, such device, if permanently attached to the speargun shaft by the manufacturer, would not be a firearm.
— Revenue Ruling 55-569, C.B. 1955-2, 483

This ruling is with regard to the National Firearms Act, and not to the 1968 Gun Control Act. (The National Firearms Act defines 'firearm' as machine guns, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, and concealable firearms that are neither pistols nor revolvers.) This means that powerheads may still be under the authority of the 1968 Gun Control Act with regard to shipping them and purchase of them from licensed dealers.[3]

Laws may also prohibit the use of powerheads in sport fishing. They are allowed in US federally controlled waters, but many states prohibit their use in state controlled waters. One can be easily in violation of state law despite being compliant with federal regulations.
 

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