Hurricane Vintage Rollergun
Ron Mullins notified me that he had acquired a vintage speargun sold as the HURRICANE. As there is a group of us spearos interested in this type of speargun, Ron invited me over to photograph this rare and unique piece of spearfishing history. This gun uses a single band that travels over a pair of rollers on the nose of the speargun. The band is tensioned with a cocking lever. It is an intriguing concept. This design motivated me to investigate application of the cocking lever to my prototype mock-up rollergun. Please see the images of Ron Mullins' vintage Hurricane rollergun below.
This is a fine antique speargun. It was a very advanced piece of equipment. The rollers on the front are blue plastic, possibly polyethylene. The bands have Arbalete-type ferrules which hold the metal wire wishbones. Note that the cocking lever has the same ferrules and half-wishbones attaching to a ring. The single blue rubber band is badly corroded due to effects of years of atmospheric ozone. As this gun is a collectors item, the original rubber should be preserved and not replaced with new material. Please see the next image of the cocking lever partially deployed. Note that one blue band is broken completely. You can see how small this speargun is by the scale of Ron's hands.
The close up of the nosepiece reveals that it is based upon an aluminum casting which has a tube for the spear shaft and a tube for each rubber band. The Arbalete-type slide ring keys over a bump in the casting. The line keeper is also built into the nosepiece casting.Note that the line is deployed from the left side of the speargun although the slide ring deploys from the center of the nosepiece. From a design standpoint, it is important to keep the line from possibly tangling in the bands. The speartip is an elegant double staggered barb. Many older spearguns use hardened alloy steel spearshafts rather than the heat-treated stainless steel that is in use today.
The next image shows the nosepiece casting from the top. Please note the blue resilient plastic tubes which fit over the band next to the aluminum ferrules. These plastic tubes are the shock absorbers which keep the ferrules from slamming into the nosepiece. Remember that the band is still in tension and the shaft is being powered when the ferrules stop at the nosepiece.
The steel spearshaft rides within a formed groove in the top of the aluminum tube that is the gunbody.
The cocking lever of the Hurricane sits upon an elevated post under the gun body. I did not analyze the stretch ratio of the band, but by measuring the lengths it would be possible. The spearshaft has two notch locations cut into it for the single wishbone. You can see the stainless steel clip which retains the lever in the cocked position. Please be aware that if this gun was actually cocked, with new rubber, there would be an over-center force which would tend to keep the lever in place. The ring which holds the ferrules is secured by a single screw in the aluminum tube.
In the above image you can see the notch which holds the wishbone. I did not observe a 'safety' on this speargun handle. This gun was manufactured in France.
The Hurricane cocking lever is an intriguing concept. I decided to model it in an effort to explore the forces and dynamics of the mechanism. I built a mock-up of a rollergun without a mechanism, handle or spearshaft. The mock-up is just a piece of rectangular tube designed to simulate a gunbody. This tube also has tandem rollers, another experiment I have performed earlier. The nice aspect about a steel tube model like this, is that I could isolate elements I chose without having to worry about building a complete and functional gun. Please see page called MOCK-UP to view my struggles with the cocking lever.
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