If you have ever owned a boat, a motorcycle, surfboard, or firearm, the question you end up with is "which boat, motorcycle, surfboard, or gun is the perfect one?" The only answer that most satisfies that question is "more than one." And for us spearfishermen that spend our time in the ocean or fresh water hunting for the next tasty meal the question, and it's inevitable answer, is the same..."which gun is the perfect gun?....The perfect gun is more than one!" Sometimes we go and hunt only to come back frustrated that our gun choice just wasn't good enough for the conditions we found. Especially if you have access to a wide variety of spots that have the potential for different fish species and conditions; shallow reef, deep reef, open blue water, ledges, holes, clear visibility, or low visibility. Or if you travel you do the research, select your quiver of guns and rigging, only to be told by those pesky airline people that your bag is over weight! So the"more than one" issue, while being the usually perfect answer for the "perfect gun," ends up not so perfect. Having travelled to many locations far from home to spearfish with my sons has always been a case of hauling an impressive arsenal of guns for every possible condition. It totally sucks to "need and not have" when you are remote and the conditions are perfect for the one gun you left behind hanging on the the gun rack. Conversely, we've hauled an entire quiver of guns for every possible condition only to end up using one single gun the entire time. That sucks too. So we've hauled gun bags all over Mexico, Caribbean, South Pacific, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Paific and Atlantic coasts of the mainland US. And of course many of those pacific rim and south PAC destinations require connections in Hong Kong, Narita, Auckland, with plane changes, visits to customs, and carrying your gear back to the airline check in counter...a true hassle, but one we're willing to put up with because in our minds we know we're in for an epic dive experience. BUT...what if there was a solution to have the "more than one" perfect gun without having the overloaded quiver of guns? Like maybe the perfect gun is "ONE!"
Rewind a couple years...I originally saw the Riffe travel euro gun at a dive shop in San Diego and thought that it would be a great gun for hauling on our duel sport motorcycles (yes, I have "more than one") when in AZ and headed to Mexico for a fun weekend of riding and spearing. But while the concept seemed like a great idea, the ridiculous price of that gun didn't seem so great. Then last winter I read a post by hometown spearo Akira dkt where he mentioned he had a home built "take-down" gun...or travel gun. So I contacted Josh and while standing in front of Tokunaga's in Hilo, I asked him if he would build me a travel gun. And he did. It's a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, and a very accurate shooting gun. It's a 100-105 cm roller...a great all around length for a roller. And it breaks down to no longer than my long bladed fins, perfect for packing on a motorcycle or in a back pack. But after traveling to various Indonesian destinations with one of my sons this summer and going through that hassle of hauling the quiver of several guns, it occurred to me that if the gun is able to break down and be disassembled, I should be able to have multiple barrels of varying lengths that could be interchanged depending on the conditions...so Josh and I corroborated on what lengths would cover the needs of my hunting. I decided a 75 cm roller, a 100-105 cm roller, and a 135-140 cm conventional gun would be "the perfect gun." So I got on line and purchased a C1 carbon barrel from Speardiver (since Josh used that same barrel for the original build) along with one of Speardiver's new stainless roller muzzles, and had Dan cut and plug the barrels. As always Dan was on top of it and helped me get my set up perfect for my project. I had a few issues with fit etc, but he helped me work through it. I've found that he is more than a "store." He is a solution guru! :cool2: Most places will send you what ever you pay for...even if it's the wrong stuff. Dan at Speardiver takes a personal approach to making sure you're getting exactly what you think you need.
So now I have one stock, but three carbon barrels giving me the "perfect gun as ONE." Carbon barrels weigh a lot less than three complete guns. I haven't bought Riffe travel shafts (which I'll have to do if I travel by motorcycle), but I have 7.5 mm shafts to fit all three lengths...and the weight I save can help accommodate spare shafts when traveling. I've shot the 75 cm, the 105 cm and the gun is perfect. I'll shoot the 140 cm back in Hawaii this fall and will report on it then. I can't express how stoked I am on this build. Akira dkt...Josh...produced one of the nicest looking guns I own! Hopefully he'll post on the build from the beginning to the finish with the pictures he took during the build. Below I will post the pictures of the completed gun minus the rigging.
I know every spearo has personal preferences that differ. This gun is the result of what I wanted in a gun. I'm sure there will be some tweaking to get the characteristics of the gun just right. Like maybe a three band muzzle on the 140 instead of the two band muzzle I have on there now. All bands, including the rollers, will be Speardiver's small id 14 mm rubber, or the "no hole" 14 mm rubber that I have saved for this build. I can't wait for the next trip somewhere distant when my gun bag will be lighter and smaller! And the great thing is that as long as you have shafts that fit, there is no limit to how many barrels you can have! And one great advantage to this set up is that I will always be shooting the same gun no matter what length of barrel I install. Kinda like the interchangeable 9 mm barrel Glock has for the .40 cal...same gun, different bullet. :thumbsup2: Now to have a couple more of these builds made for my boys!
Mahalo for reading!