Rob Allen new shafts. Very poor quality

  • I just posted this on SB:

    Just in case they erase the post for "Sponsors reasons", I would like to leave a copy here:

    Since I bought my first Rob Allen railgun, 3 years ago, I had nothing but good words to that manufacturer. I have ALWAYS recommended to my friends to buy their "Tuna" railguns, since they are well made, simple, powerfull, easy to handle, accurate and reasonable priced. I also changed all the shafts on my Euro guns by Rob Allen's.

    But the truth must be said and since they changed the shaft plating color from black to gray/silver (and probably the supplier), the quality of that "Quatro Phase coating which ensures corrosion protection four to five times better than conventional Electrogalvanising", as they state in their web site is (way) less resistant to corrosion than the old one.
    The same thing happened to a couple of friends, so I don't think my case is just casual.:(

    The original shaft (black) lasted two years without mayor corrosion; just the tip and the notch that goes into the mechanism, not a big deal. The new one I changed two months ago is badly corroded all over. I wash all my gear with fresh water after each dive, let it dry in the shade and then store it in a ventilated/dry place. All my diviing gear is in great shape and I always have it ready for the action :cowboy:

    I now own an Aimrite Venom, which "original" shaft is a Rob Allen and it is also starting to rust in an area it is not supossed to (in the middle of the shaft).:mad:

    I don't intend to use my gear for a beauty pageant o something like that. I just want to kill fish! But when quality goes down so bad, maybe to save a few pennies on every gun, a bell must be ringed.

    That is the reason I stopped buting Omer few years ago (they started to manufacture everything in China and the quality went down). I don't want to stop buying RA, but something must be done quickly to correct the poor quality of the shafts plating. For the moment, I won't buy a single shaft from Rob Allen until I see a change in the quality of their plating/galvanizing.

    I know this Forums has sponsors and they take huge advantage of the Internet, but a Forum is also to discuss openly between users from all over the world. As well as they sell their products to us through this way, they must take our feedback the same way.


    Marco Melis

    A bad day fishing is ALWAYS better than a good day at work.

  • Marco, I found all your opinions with regards to gear to be solid and consider carefully when you have something to say. You shouldn't feel the need to be apologetic about disclosing some issues you have with gear from a particular manufacturer. The forum is supposed to be a place to benefit us first and then the manufacturer by using the forum as a resource to better their products. Your post on SB is indicative of how stifling a place SB is. You're most welcome to give a heads up with regards to gear here. BTW I had a similar experience with the RA shaft…e-with-american-guns.html

  • I know what you said Dan. I just didn't wanted my post to be erased from SB.

    The one you see here is just a copy/paste from that one. ;)

    With the old RA shafts I never had a single issue. Is now with these crappy silver ones that the rust is coming all over....

    BTW: Just regarding the gear? :rolleyes1:

    Marco Melis

    A bad day fishing is ALWAYS better than a good day at work.

  • Marco,
    from the response I've seen, I think you just voiced what many were thinking and some had said. I don't know if the whole"It was a bad run", is true or not, but at least they acknowledge it and will fix it. Job well done.:thumbsup2:

  • When I did hardness testing on the shaft that I welded for Dan, I found the coating to be harder than the underlying steel. I don't know what the plated coating is, but it ain't galvanized. Galvanizing is mostly zinc, which is very soft.

  • The hardness tester that I use is called a "micro hardness" tester. It uses a controlled force to push the point of a very small diamond tipped probe into the steel, and determines hardness by how deep the probe goes. We're talking thousandths of an inch. You can barely even see the little spot where the probe was. Most platings are a few thousandths of an inch thick. I noticed that the hardness of the shaft was considerably higher in an area where the coating was intact, and considerably softer where I had belt-sanded the shaft surface flat. It didn't get hot in this area, so I don't think that I softened the steel.

    The only other explanation that I can think of is that the sanding may have left the shaft surface rougher when viewed with a magnifying glass, which could possibly have affected the hardness readings.

  • Ok, then I retract my statement. Perhaps the new coating is some form of galvanizing. But I doubt it.

    Dan - Very common in my line of work to take relatively soft piece of steel which is tough and resistant to cracking, and then coat it with something very hard to prevent wear. Chrome is one such coating, as is Boron Nitride (the gold coating on some drill bits). And increasingly, ceramics.

  • The new coating looks like galvanization. I've seen the old ones and that looked more like a hard coating, I think it's like case hardening.

    The new one looks like galvanization. Very different altogether. It's the color of zinc and seems pretty soft. I just assumed that's what they were all like when I bought it.

  • Hmmm. I don't think that it's case hardened. When I welded the tab on Dan's shaft, the heat burned the coating and left a chalky yellowish residue. I have welded hardened gears before, and they left no such residue, presumably because case hardening infuses such a small amount of carbon, nitrogen, or whatever, that there isn't enough to burn and produce any noticeable residue. Case hardening also would provide no corrosion protection.

  • Start a new thread in the spearguns section titled "Pepe Yola's guns" :)

    I want to say something about the RA shafts. IMO the only good thing about them is the price. The flopper is not bad and comes well tuned but rust on a shaft will make a flopper function poorly. Thanks RA for choosing to make at least the flopper out of stainless steel :rolleyes1:

    The RA shafts are not the bend resistant miracles people make them out to be. I know because I straightened SS shafts enough times to know what it takes to bend them. I bent the RA 7.5mm shaft with my hands over my knee and it bends just like any other shaft. Anyone that comes to my house is welcome to bend it and see for themselves.

    The Polynesian Marco also made a valid point. If the steel of the shaft is harder than the steel of the sear you can create a point of failure without being aware of it. At least with the SS shafts the notch will deteriorate first and you can see it.

    Between rusting shafts, plastic trigger mechs, closed muzzles that need to be swapped for open ones, and reels that break at the mounting plate, I think I'd choose another gun if I had a little more cash. Just my :twocents:

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