View Full Version : 'Bang Sticks' in-shore.

October 31, 2009, 02:16 PM
I do not know if this is the correct sub-forum. If not, please put this post where it belongs.

Are 'Bang Sticks" legal inshore? I know some fishing charter boats have them onboard.

Supposedly, they are not exactly unheard of by folks who harvest 'gators.



October 31, 2009, 03:11 PM
I'm rather confused here. What kind of weapons are you asking about?

Sasquatch in MN
October 31, 2009, 03:18 PM
bang stick....its a short pole with a cartrige on end (12 ga?) that is used by scuba divers to ward off sharks.

The ones I've seen use compressed gas rather than a cartridge though and would presumable be unregulated.


October 31, 2009, 03:31 PM
Its a stick of metal with a chamber for a loaded round on the end. No rifleing, no barrel, just the chamber. No over-pressure when fired underwater. Its fired by forceful contact.

Not to be confused with 'pen guns' or 'cane guns'.

At one time, bang sticks were fairly common in .303 flavor with Aussie shark hunters, don't know about now.

The expanding gas does most of the damage. Maybe a blank cartridge would be just as effective. I dunno. A bang stick is safer on a fishing charter boat that a single shot, break top .410 should a client hook one of 'Jaws' relatives.

I was just curious if they were legal inside the 3-mile limit.

Maybe jurisdiction issues get involved. I don't know.

Am I making any sense now?.



October 31, 2009, 05:30 PM
Bang-stick weapons are old school fishing devices but have gone from garage device to "bought items"... I don't know of their restrictions etc. but they are predominately a "power head" device.

October 31, 2009, 08:10 PM
Don't know about old, or new, fishing devices.

When I was a kid, fish could be 'telephoned' with minimum fuss and in short order. It was about putting food on the table, not sportsmanship.

...which has absolutely nothing to do with my 'bang stick' question.

Some hooked and gaffed critters are made non-threating before they are hauled into the boat. The 'bang stick' can do that safely.

Just curious about legality and various jusisdictional rules.



November 1, 2009, 04:03 PM
My pop has putting the bang stick to sharks since '67 and they were common place "Keys" boat equipment well before he arrived there.

Don H
November 1, 2009, 05:56 PM
I was just curious if they were legal inside the 3-mile limit.
If they were illegal inside the 3-mile limit, then the boats that have them could never legally make port.

November 1, 2009, 06:50 PM
If not legal inside the 3 or 12 mile limit... The gator snatchers couldn't use them in the rivers and lakes where they are the common method of kill.

November 1, 2009, 07:01 PM
I don't think they would be anymore dangerous then a big knife.

The only way they go off is direct pressure and full contact.

If you set one off without a barrel for the round to build pressure it would fall to the floor in a few feet.


November 1, 2009, 10:22 PM
Around here, bang sticks are typically in 357 or 44 mag for gator hunting, applying the coup d'grace to one of those prehistoric giant lizards

November 1, 2009, 10:23 PM
However, because of the inherent stupidity of current regulations stemming from our American Gestapo, a "bang stick" which can chamber a 12 ga. round would be considered a "short barreled shotgun, and thus would be an NFA weapon.

Probably nothing has come of this as of yet because it hasn't occurred to the mental midgets in Washington so far.

Lawyer Daggit
November 1, 2009, 10:31 PM
Is it a short barreled shotgun? back in the days they were unregulated in Australia I had a power head in .303 I carried spear fishing. It had no barrel at all.

It is simply a chamber that holds the case above a firing pin. As reported earlier it is the gas that does the damage not the projectile- which does not travel far under water when discharged.

November 1, 2009, 11:16 PM
If you had one in .303 in the U.S., it would be considered an NFA weapon (short barreled rifle), too, most likely.

In the U.S., the regulations have gotten so profoundly stupid that an armorer's cutaway is considered an NFA weapon if the barrel has an intact chamber and is less than 16" long, even though the receiver portion is so seriously weakened that firing it would result in disaster.

November 1, 2009, 11:51 PM
It wouldn't be a SBS or SBR as it doesn't meet the definition of Rifle or Shotgun to begin with.

November 2, 2009, 03:55 AM
It wouldn't be a SBS or SBR as it doesn't meet the definition of Rifle or Shotgun to begin with.

Are you absolutely sure about that? (And I mean that as an honest, sincere question, not a smartass comeback.)

November 2, 2009, 09:50 AM
The definition of a rifle and a shotgun both contain the description that the firearm is shoulder-fired. A bang-stick is not shoulder fired, thus not a rifle or shotgun to begin with. If it wasn't a rifle or shotgun to begin with, it can't be a short barreled rifle or shotgun.

An example that comes to mind is the Serbu Super Shorty AOW. It is an AOW and not an SBS because the host weapon never met the definition of a shotgun to begin with because it was not shoulder-fired (as evidenced by it's lack of a stock).

November 2, 2009, 11:09 AM
Folks, I simply do not know. There is no barrel, thus no rifleing, no stock, and the firing pin/striker is tripped by forceful contact.

What is legal in Boise, ID may not be legal in Brooklyn, NY. Thus the comment about jusrisdiction. State, City, County, Federal..I don't know. Biloxi may be different than San Diego.

From what I gather, bang sticks are fairly common on fishing charter boats.

Realistically, there isn't that much difference in a bang stick and a Hilti or Ramset tool that shoots (they are primer/powder actuated) anchors into concrete.

I dunno, just asking.



November 2, 2009, 11:30 AM
It may be an AOW. It doesn't really fit into the SBS/SBR category.

My gut says the BATFE would call it a firearm, since it uses shotgun/rifle ammunition.

Double Naught Spy
November 2, 2009, 12:18 PM
Here are some examples...
power head and bang stick


November 2, 2009, 01:20 PM
I'd say it's an AOW, similar to a zip gun or pen gun. I think somewhere in the NFA regulations there's an exception for shark bangsticks so long as they're being used for that purpose. Could be wrong, but I recall reading a little on this topic maybe 10 years ago or so.

November 2, 2009, 01:44 PM
There's no wording in US code (NFA section) about a "shark bangstick"

November 2, 2009, 04:45 PM
Here - from Wikipedia:

Revenue Ruling 55-569, C.B. 1955-2, 483 says:

"A device ostensibly designed for submarine spear fishing, but capable of chambering and firing .22 caliber rimfire ammunition, is a firearm within the purview of the National Firearms Act. However, such device, if permanently attached to the speargun shaft by the manufacturer, would not be a firearm."
Note that this ruling is with regard to the National Firearms Act, and not to the 1968 Gun Control Act. (The National Firearms Act defines 'firearm' as machine guns, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, and concealable firearms that are neither pistols nor revolvers.) This means that powerheads may still be under the authority of the 1968 Gun Control Act with regards to shipping them and purchase of them from licenced dealers.[

November 4, 2009, 11:32 PM
I own a commercial fishboat, never seen a bangstick. We all carry shotguns, or an sks.
When I fish Alaska the charters up there keep a shotgun handy for the barn door halibut. You don't bring a 300 lb. halibut on deck w/o making it dead first!!

November 5, 2009, 01:41 AM
When I fish Alaska the charters up there keep a shotgun handy for the barn door halibut. You don't bring a 300 lb. halibut on deck w/o making it dead first!!

i saw a 70 lber i cault do some damage to a boat i was on once.slipped rite down into the cabin and thrashed around... ide shoot any thing over 50 i think

my grandpa talks about having homemade "bangsticks"that he took spear fishing and crabing off the orgon coast forever. shot 12 blanks he made and stuned the fish....then again hes told me about breaking nfa laws many times....

November 9, 2009, 02:45 AM
I just watched a show on the Military Channel where two guys used a Bang Stick shot from an Archer's Bow or "Atlatl ancient weapon" into a Armored Breast Plate -- the kind from Mid-Evil Knights Days ie 1400-1700s!!! They used several different calibers and it was pretty damn effective. It was filmed in upstate New York and also in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I just found the show but they did not show their modern day scientist and his creative weapon using the "Bang Stick" explosive heads -- too Bad !!

Weapon Masters Shorts: Atlatl vs. Steel

Mike tests the Atlatl might against Spanish armor.


Hopefully the videos will be updated or you'll can see it on TV later this month.

GA Limited GM
December 13, 2009, 11:29 PM
Interesting as I just read "Without Remorse" by Clancy. The character John Clark killed a drug dealer with a bang stick.

I too wondered about how it would be classed.