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Old 21-01-2011, 20:44   #1
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Not a Gun Thread . . . I Swear

Gudday!

I was wondering about Powerheads / bang sticks and if they are widely considered as firearms by customs officials, etc. in various parts of the cruising world?

I'm an avid snorkeler but have never used one myself and not sure that I want one anyway but thought I'd ask this question. (please, no to gun or not to gun debates.)

Much thanks.
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Old 21-01-2011, 21:38   #2
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Each area have there own rules.

I've seen where you have to declare firearms, flare guns and spear guns. So I would guess if it goes bang, thet'll probably pi$$ all pver themselves.

Try a Shark Dart instead, it just hisses. Better than a bang stick, but messier though.
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Old 21-01-2011, 21:42   #3
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I'd never even heard of a shark dart so much thanks Unicorn Dreams.
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Old 21-01-2011, 23:43   #4
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Bang sticks require conventional ammunition, and most customs regulations will require you to declare ammunition as well as firearms.

Honestly, bang sticks are a holdover from an earlier era of diving when we didn't know better. A bang stick presents more danger to the bearer than any of the sharks he imagines that it will protect him from.

The best thing about bang sticks is that you can't buy them anymore. Modern product liability laws and regulations have made toys like that obsolete.
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Old 22-01-2011, 07:18   #5
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Shark Darts were used like a bang stick. Old technology, also. It was just a big CO2 cartridge with a very heavy duty hypodermic type needle on the end of it. Hit the shark and it empties the CO2 instantly into the shark blowing him up sort of like a balloon, not that big of course, but up to about 8-10' shark, it would go to the suface and drown.
I'd hate to see what that would do to a human.
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Old 22-01-2011, 08:03   #6
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It was just a big CO2 cartridge with a very heavy duty hypodermic type needle on the end of it. Hit the shark and it empties the CO2 instantly into ....I'd hate to see what that would do to a human.
You need to watch more old James Bond/007 movies.
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Old 22-01-2011, 09:15   #7
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Honestly, bang sticks are a holdover from an earlier era of diving when we didn't know better. A bang stick presents more danger to the bearer than any of the sharks he imagines that it will protect him from.
That was always my thought, bang sticks were silly, macho nonsense, until I started doing some deep ocean diving. Had heard from friends that doing deco in open water brought unwanted attention from our toothy friends but didn't hit home until I saw it in person.

Did a dive on the wall off Bimini. Not the "Road to Atlantis" which is in shallow water but a vertical cliff about 8 miles off Bimini in the edge of the Gulf Stream. Top of the wall starts at about 140-150' and drops down to 400'+. We did a dive to the middle of the wall (on trimix of course, not air), maxing out about 260' so incurred a pretty good deco obligation.

At our 70' stop starting seeing occasional bull and reef sharks swim by in the distance to take a look. By the time we got to our 20' stop they were getting way too curious for comfort. One bull shark was starting to get in circling mode, moving closer with each pass. We decided to blow off the last 8-10 minutes of in water deco and do a bit of O2 in the boat. Figured I would rather be a little bent than a little bit.

First time I wondered about the wisdom of a bang stick.

By the way the dive is incredible but pretty advanced. You should do it on mix, bring deco gas, tow a float and have a good chase boat on the surface with a safety diver on board.
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Old 22-01-2011, 10:37   #8
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Minggat - that's right! I totally forgot about that Bond movie.

I come from a land down under and just got back from snorkeling in Fiji so I've spent time in the water with our bitey little mates and they don't make me skittish but have considered getting a bang stick or something similar for when cruising and snorkeling in ultra remote places. Haven't made up my mind yet but the shark dart sounds like a pretty good option to me.
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Old 22-01-2011, 11:08   #9
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Sounds pretty dangerous to your dive buddy.
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Old 22-01-2011, 12:15   #10
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Ha, you will never see the shark that takes you leg off.. :-)
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Old 22-01-2011, 12:37   #11
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Capcook - I actually totally agree with you which is why I've never bothered with bang sticks.
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Old 22-01-2011, 14:34   #12
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A dive knife is dangerous to your dive buddy if you take it out of the sheath and stick your buddy with it.
Same with a bang syick or shark dart, have to arm and release the safety then stab your buddy with deliberate force.
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