Rob Allen Snapper Railgun Review and Guide

Reviewing the Rob Allen Snapper Railgun

I am happy to be reviewing the Snapper Railgun. This gun has brought me more fish than all the other guns I've used combined. From Flounder to Grouper and everything in between. In my opinion this is the easier to use cousin of the Rob Allen Aluminum Tuna Railgun that I reviewed in a previous post.

Locations I have used the gun:

  • Point Judith, Jamestown, Newport, Narragansett, and Matunuck in Rhode Island
  • Marathon and Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys.

Species I have shot with the Rob Allen Snapper:

  • Striped Bass
  • Tautog
  • Summer Flounder / Fluke
  • Triggerfish
  • Scup
  • Sea Bass
  • Red Grouper
  • Black Grouper
  • Hogfish
  • Mutton Snapper

Black Grouper and Striped Bass shot with Rob Allen Snapper Railgun 800 series

Pictured above: 31" inch Striped Bass shot in Point Judith RI, and a 26" Black Grouper shot in Marathon Key, FL, both shot with my Rob Allen Snapper Railgun 800.

Here's a quick breakdown of the specs of the gun.
Coming stock with the gun is:

  • 120cm long 7mm thick Rob Allen Spring Steel Shaft
  • (2) 14mm / 9/16" Black Rob Allen Bands
  • Fully Rigged ready to shoot with mono, swivel, and shock cord bungee
  • Tuna Clip attached to the handle of the gun

My Impressions

Manueverability and Aiming the Tuna Railgun

I use the 800 series Snapper and for me it's the perfect size for what I go after. I shoot a lot of fish among rocks, and the 800 is small enough that I can make sure to not hit the rocks behind the fish. It also is quiet in the water which lets me get a great shot time and time again. 

Shooting Striped Bass is the biggest fish I have landed with this gun. A huge cow of a bass would probably be too big for the 800 series, but with the new slot rule for Striped Bass that isn't a problem. If you don't know, the new law requires you to shoot a fish between 28" - 35" nothing bigger or smaller. I shot a 33" Striped Bass 5 days ago right through the head with my Rob Allen Snapper without a problem.

7mm Rob Allen Spring Shaft

As I mentioned in my post about the Rob Allen Aluminum Tuna Railgun, the stock shaft that comes with these guns are awesome. The strength is unmatched. I have shot tons of fish, and rocks with them and never had an issue with bending the shaft.

The biggest issue is rust, but they are treated with rust resistant coating that is supposed to last about 500 hours in the water. This is quite good, but since I do hit rocks occasionally, I need to sharpen my shaft's tip which then is prone to rust. The rust isn't bad since it's contained to the tip area, but it requires me to always sharpen it to avoid hitting the fish with a rust tip and tainting the meat.

The Snapper Railgun Vecta 2 Trigger Mechanism

In terms of reliability, the vecta 2 trigger mechanism is perfect. I have used my gun hundreds of times and never had an issue with the trigger mechanism. Even when sand gets in it, it isn't a problem. The force you need to pull the trigger is the perfect amount. The trigger is also comfortable which is a plus.

Even though both the Snapper and the Tuna Railguns both have the Vecta 2 mechanism, the Snapper trigger is much better made, and easier to use.

 Rob Allen Snapper Railgun Vecta 2 Trigger Mechanism

The Safety

Similar to the Tuna Railgun, the Safety is my biggest complaint. The Snapper's safety at least works with spearfishing gloves on so you won't need a screwdriver. It is still very uncomfortable and could be so much better.

Just like the Tuna Railgun, I find my self rarely using the safety because I am afraid I won't be able to switch it to fire.

 Rob Allen Snapper Railgun Vecta 2 Trigger Safety System

Rob Allen 14MM Bands

The 14mm Bands that come stock with the Snapper Railgun have never let me down. Like all bands they seem to last me about a year and a half before showing too much signs of wear. 

I used the stock 4mm size for a few years, maybe 4 years before I "upgraded" and opted for the 16mm bands. I doubt I need them, but having (2) 16mm bands seems to give me the confidence to shoot the bigger Striped Bass and Grouper without worrying about the spear not making it through.

The 14mm Bands never let me down, but after using the 16mm bands on the Tuna Railgun I thought, why not?

Loading the Rob Allen Snapper

Compared to all the guns I have used before, I think the snapper is as easy as it gets. The Mono that comes stock with Rob Allen shafts doesn't get in the way at all, and the dyneema line for the bands slide right on the shaft when I'm loading them. Couldn't ask for an easier gun to load.

I also think if you're a younger or smaller person, the 14mm bands are easy enough that you can load this gun. The 16mm bands do require some strength, and are likely not necessary if you're not hunting big game.

Using a Reel on the Snapper Railgun

Personally I don't use a reel on my snapper. It has the classic rob Allen slot to attach a reel in a few seconds. But for the hunting I do, I never thought it was necessary. I do have a Reel on my Aluminum Tuna gun so I generally use that instead of changing the reels. 

I typically attach my gun to my float line using the tuna clip that come attached to the Snapper. Read more about my preferred float line and flag set up in my article Dive Flags - Spearfishing Floats and Float Line Set Up and Comparisons. This helps in those times when my shaft gets stuck in a reef or rocks and I need to go get some air. I use about 40 feet of float line attached to my gun, in the places I dive I'm typically in 30' or less of water anyway.

Final Thoughts on My Rob Allen Snapper Railgun

Overall this is the perfect gun for me. It is easy to load, incredibly accurate, and has never let me down. The 14mm bands were great when I was a teenager and didn't have the strength to easily pull back the 16mm Power Bands. Also the stock shaft is better than any other shaft I've used in the past. Most stainless steel shafts bend too easily to be worth it for me.

If you are looking for a gun that can do basically everything, the Rob Allen Snapper is a great choice.

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