Omer discontinue their pneumatic guns

  • One way to remember to swing the line release lever back on these "Airbalete" family guns is to apply the safety lever after a shot and the victim has been collected and dispatched. This is because the safety will not move fully forwards to be "on" until the trigger is swung forwards, and that requires the line release lever swung back. You can then muzzle load the gun, complete the line wraps and when ready to resume hunting switch the safety lever "off" by swinging it back to lie horizontally. Personally I don’t like the safety on these guns, but here you can put it to good use.

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    I was looking at the piston nose which has a ring of small hemispherical bumps on the face of the piston. Mares was one of the first to do this and I think their purpose is to align the piston as it presses on the shock absorber anvil by the bumps sitting just inside the bore hole (although in my original Cyrano those bumps are positioned well inside the hole, so there they seem to do nothing). Therefore the ring of bumps may have a piston centralizing function.

    Thus it was with some surprise that I noticed the similar bumps on the Omer/Sporasub piston nose actually sit on the face of the shock absorber, not inside the bore hole, which means a high contact pressure when the bumps slam into the shock absorber face. This would seem to be a recipe for cracking pistons and shock absorbers until those bumps flatten off as it concentrates the impact on small contact areas. I noted that the “Air XII” had what looked like a spare shock absorber in the bag that contained the hand loader and the gap between piston and shock absorber could be easily seen by looking through the relief ports as the piston was sitting on the bumps!

    Due to the STC vacuum type muzzle on the "One Air" it is not easy to see the piston nose even with the front end cap unscrewed, but there the piston seems to be sitting on the front ring of bumps. Now this allows water to drain that would otherwise be trapped between the anvil face and front piston seal by the piston pressing hard on the anvil, but I doubt that is why it was done this way.

  • If you have problems with the small sliding pin and its "O" rings that cross the gun's pressure boundary in order to operate the release mechanism then you can purchase this part as a sub-assembly. The item is referred to as the "Main Cork" and seems to be a better proposition than levering out the brass inserts that hold the "O" rings in place if you need to replace them as most likely the chrome plating on the pin would be damaged unless you were very careful. Of course if the plated pin is already corroded then you can replace the original part and just put it aside in case you may need it. With the guns discontinued I would advise not throwing anything away.

    Main Cork.jpg
    Main Cork fitted R.jpg

  • Pete: those guns were a total fail. If I had one, I would use it until it lasts and then buy something else.

    But thank you for all the information you share here.

    Marco Melis

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

  • Well you are right, they made a mess of it as the Airbalete should have had a bulged tank at the rear near the handle and not up front behind the muzzle. They had to add air volume somewhere as otherwise the tank volume was too small. Then they made a handle out of the sort of plastic that seems to be found on most Asian sourced guns which is hard and dull with a sort of surface bloom and feels cheap (like the stuff used on plastic toys) with a tiny line release finger poking out of one side. After the initial hoopla and enhanced publicity photos the real thing was a disappointment. Then the quality which seemed a bit below par was explained by the guns coming out of Taiwan, something Omer had been keen to keep under their hat.

  • The Omer Airbalete/One Air/XII removable grip handle drain fix. Use a small drill and follow the outer edge of the well in the back of the handle. With three extra holes you then have four drains as at the top the trigger push pin already has its own hole. Now at any angle water will drain out with the butt down and you definitely need to get rid of any saltwater trapped in there. Quick to do, it has taken longer to type this up.

  • While drilling these holes it is best to use a small drill, I used a 3/32" diameter drill bit. Basically you drill one at the bottom and two either side just above the alignment of the fat diameter grip attachment pin, all holes lying on the annular well in the back of the gun. The spigot in the centre of the well is essentially the inlet valve cap, so don't scratch it. The three new holes may come out in not exact alignment due to the angle you hold your power drill on, but don't worry about that as it fingerprints your gun as no two guns will be exactly the same. Originally I only planned to do two holes, but there is enough meat in the bottom of the handle connection so that it will easily take three. Omer should have done this themselves, but then they probably never thought about it.

  • Just reviewing the Omer detachable handle guns as I now own all three versions picked up brand new for bargain basement, no name band gun money. The design was rather ambitious as they relied on using nothing but the inner barrel tubing from existing pneumatic speargun production. Most brand name spearguns are made by subcontractors, they are not in-house products, although the design parameters are no doubt drawn up by the company if they want something different.

    My guess is Omer sketched out the guns, the Airbalete comes first, and having done their sums figured they would not be making enough money if they made them in Italy. They could either abandon the project or find a cheaper alternative. Given the long delay between when the Airbalete was announced and actually ready for sale I suspect this was because they handballed the job to Taiwan and possibly asked them to make the guns as cheap as possible, but without going overboard. Given a free hand the Taiwanese factory began to look at cutting corners and that is how the guns turned out.

    I expect that the Airbalete production line was troubled by the need for a unique tank for each gun size as it is not like you can slice a length of tubing to the correct length as hydroformed barrels are made to size. No doubt looking for a way around this the Sporasub One Air evolution meant they could sell the same gun and just chop the triple hollow tube extrusion off to the required length. Another cost saving was these tanks are painted, probably powder coated,
    they ain't anodized and they have a rough texture as they are not entirely smooth. To provide a point of difference they also used a vacuum barrel muzzle using the STC system, that was a mistake as these use front tied spears, you can go back over half a century when those were used before.

    The last and best gun of the set is the Omer Air XII, it has a tubular tank of greater diameter and has dispensed with pretending to be a band gun based on the Omer Cayman handle design.

    Another fundamental flaw is the spiky bumps on the piston nose, they allow a gap to be seen through the relief valve ports. If you want to smash up plastic shock absorber anvils then you need a meat tenderiser mallet, Omer put it on the nose off the plastic piston! An admission of "we done wrong" is the spare shock absorber anvil supplied with the guns in later years. What to do about it is take the piston out and flatten it off ensuring that at rest the piston seals don't poke out the front of the end of the inner barrel tube. This last boo boo is handy for letting formerly trapped water out of the space in front of the piston with the gun discharged, but not at the expense of smashing shock absorbers and possibly the piston itself.

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