One of the first spearguns many people buy is an AB Biller. It’s a pretty good brand for beginners (or those just getting started in the sport), and if you ask around, – you’ll find the AB Biller Mahogany speargun is a decent choice. It’s American-made, packs more than enough power, and will suit anyone looking for a no-fuss speargun that’ll help them catch a nice feed of fish. Click here to get your hands on the AB Biller Mahogany speargun.
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AB Biller Mahogany Speargun: Reviewed for 2023
In this review, I’ll run you through a gun many love – the AB Biller Mahogany speargun.
It’s a tried and tested bit of spearfishing gear that you’ll find spearo’s using the world over. In addition to the clean and sturdy design, this speargun sits nicely in the water, has good buoyancy, and is surprisingly accurate for a speargun in this price range.
In our buyers guide to the best spearguns on the market, the AB Biller Mahogany speargun wasn’t the best in class, but it did impress me on a lot of levels.
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Why Get the AB Biller Mahogany Speargun?
Getting your hands on an AB Biller speargun is almost a rite of passage.
Yes, this particular speargun isn’t a top-of-the-line model, but that’s also reflected in the price. Most people who are just getting into the sport don’t (at least not yet) want to drop the kind of money we have into our spearfishing gear. And for what you’re paying, the AB Biller Mahogany speargun is one of the better entry-level spearguns.
You’ve got a nice solid stock in the mahogany barrel to soak up the recoil, and the track along the top ensures you’re getting an accurate shot. It’s great for all the smaller to mid-sized fish you’ll encounter as you start spearfishing. And what’s not to love about the beautiful wooden barrel? You’ve also got options for teak and padauk (though these are all virtually the same speargun, the critical difference is the material in the barrel).
Here’s why this speargun is a good buy:
- High-end mahogany barrel absorbs up to 80% of recoil
- Can fit 3x powerbands for added power and range
- Comfortable grip with nice, neutral buoyancy underwater
- Heavy-duty stainless-steel trigger mech you can rely on
- Extended loading butt helps to balance out the tip weight
- Great entry-level wooden speargun that’ll catch you fish
What type of spearfishing is it good for?
When I ran the AB Biller Mahogany speargun through the works, I was using their 42” model, which is a length of almost 107cm.
It’s not big enough to go into deep open water, but I’ve found that around this kind of length is pretty perfect for the spearfishing I do from the shore, exploring the caves, channels and rocky outcroppings around my local area.
Being an American design it’s a more heavy-duty speargun than the Euro models. This means you won’t need to worry if you’re pushing it to the limits in the shallow and rough wash by the rocks, or you are occasionally missing your shots and hitting the rocks behind. It’s a tough speargun, and I was able to bring home a tasty feed of 2 bream and 3 luderick in a quick dive over the last weekend.
Suppose you’re going to be close range spearfishing, in shallower water and around the rocks and caves. If so, consider the smaller 32″ wood speargun (that’s roughly 81cm for us on the metric system). The shorter spearguns are easier to poke into tight spots to see what’s hiding underneath. For me, the AB Biller’s 42″ mahogany speargun was just about spot on. I thoroughly enjoyed shooting with it.
How it feels to use the AB Biller Mahogany Speargun…
To run the AB Biller Mahogany speargun through the works, I actually got my hands on three similar models. The mahogany, the teak and the padauk versions from their wooden speargun range, all at the same size. I wanted to see if there was a noticeable difference in the barrel stock, or how they performed underwater.
In short, it was a close fight, and while the mahogany has a beautiful finish – if you’re choosing between the three, I’d actually recommend the AB Biller Teak speargun. It’s got all the right merits for a speargun, and one of the best natural qualities is that teak is resistant to warping in the water (unlike pretty much every other type of wood). You can read the full review of the AB Biller Teak speargun by clicking here.
What I liked most about the wooden mahogany barrel was its buoyancy. The natural floatation removes any strain in your wrist to keep the speargun nice and level in the water. The channel cut for the shaft in the AB Biller Mahogany speargun boosts the accuracy of your shots, and the 5/16 shaft (slightly under 8mm) is a tank that will stand up to whatever punishment you throw at it. Reloading is fast and easy, and all up, it’s an excellent entry-level speargun.
My favourite part of the AB Biller Mahogany Speargun
Considering that my very first speargun was an American-style, I’m kind of partial to the heavier shaft that you get on the AB Biller Mahogany speargun. As well as the removable tip – especially for one of your first spearguns.
Because (and if you’re like me, you’ll experience this first hand), you’ll probably miss a lot of your early shots. And spearfishing in shallower water, means you’ll be hitting rocks or reefs, which will damage the tip. With a screw-on tip this doesn’t become an issue, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper to switch out the tip instead of buying a whole new shaft.
When I compare the AB Biller Mahogany speargun to others I’ve used, I have to be honest and say it feels a tad slow now I’ve more experience with other spearguns. The tradeoff of getting a more durable and thicker shaft means it’s also heavier in the water, so you don’t get quite as much range as I’d like for a speargun that’s over 100cm. There was also an odd spring to the trigger, which made it feel a little slow to fire as well. Not deal-breakers by any means, but it’s worthwhile that you know (before you buy) this speargun.
Changes I’d make to the AB Biller Mahogany speargun?
The main change you can make to get the most out of the AB Biller Mahogany speargun is an upgrade of the bands. To counteract the thicker, heavier shaft, you should slightly shorten the stock bands it comes with. It’ll make it a tad more challenging to load (shorter bands mean a harder stretch), but it’ll dial up the power and range in your shots.
If that’s not enough, you could even consider adding a third band (there’s space for it). Just keep an eye out for any shaft whip. Overloading a speargun too much can impact the accuracy, which isn’t going to help you land more fish. You’ve got to find the right balance, which you’ll need to experiment with yourself. As a rough rule of thumb, if you’re struggling to load your speargun, the bands are probably too short.
Breakdown of the AB Biller Mahogany Speargun
- Open muzzle that can fit up to three 16mm powerbands
- Handcrafted mahogany barrel offers great neutral buoyancy
- Stock with an 8mm (5/16) stainless-steel shaft and screw-on rockpoint tip
- Fitted with two 14mm powerbands for maximum power and range
- Silent safety switch with a patented design for one-handed operation
- Stainless steel trigger mechanism gives a smooth and reliable shot
- Heavy-duty plastic handle with protective finger cover gives better grip
The handle & trigger mechanism
The modified pistol grip has an additional knuckle cover on the AB Biller Mahogany speargun. Cast out of heavy-duty plastic, the cover makes it easier to hold onto in rough seas or the shallow waves of a reef chasing luderick or those other fish that love the wash. And while I like the lack of finger grooves so it can fit anyone’s hand, there could be a little more angle in the grip, so it’s more comfortable to hold at a full extension.
AB Biller’s stainless-steel trigger mechanism is a big win for this speargun. It’s rugged, reliable, and offers a smooth trigger pull that has you consistently firing accurate shots. Some people have complained about misfires, but I intentionally overloaded this speargun to test it (three 16mm bands). Unfortunately, I could not replicate the issue across the four different AB Biller speargun models we put through the works for this review. AB Biller likely has already fixed whatever component was causing that issue.
The barrel & muzzle
AB Biller uses three different wood types for the barrel stock in this speargun range. The mahogany is triple-coated with polyurethane to seal it against water damage, and it gives an elegant finish. The mahogany barrel is a beautiful piece of work, handcrafted from a single piece of wood with a slight groove along the top. The track improves accuracy while absorbing both the recoil and noise you get each time you fire. I particularly like the buoyancy of the AB Biller Mahogany speargun. It sits well without the tip falling, so you’re not having to fight the weight of your speargun as you line up your shots.
The unique muzzle design has guiding tabs on either side to boost your accuracy. These sit on either side of the shaft, and while AB Biller calls it an “open” muzzle for easy loading, to me, it feels more like a closed muzzle that’s had a top piece removed. Nevertheless, you get a great line of sight directly down the shaft, allowing for precise targeting of your fish.
The spear and tip
Straight off the shelf, the AB Biller Mahogany speargun comes with a heavy-duty spring steel shaft. At 5/16 diameter, otherwise known as 8mm, it’s stainless-steel that’s been heat-treated to Rockwell 44C in a technique first developed by the U.S. Navy. Incredibly hard, durable, and springy, so you can rest assured the shaft will stand up to any kind of punishment that you throw at it.
In true American style, the screw-on tip allows you to swap out and replace the shaft tips as they get damaged or worn. Stock you’ll get a double-barb tip, a style I like for smaller reef fish because it gives you the best chances of a catch staying on your spear. And there’s a ring that clips the barbs in place while you’re diving, so these will not rattle as you’re spearfishing underwater before taking a shot. The ring releases as your shaft hits a target fish, allowing the barbs to fly open and secure your catch.
To counter the heavy 8mm shaft, AB Biller offers the mahogany speargun with two 14mm powerbands as stock. These provide a decent amount of range, though there is space to upgrade and add either a third 14mm band or swap these out for two 16mm powerbands. The preference is up to you, but I found that the range on this speargun is a little limited without shortening the stock bands. In addition, the thickness of the shaft impacts how much “punch” you’ll have, especially at a more extended range. If this is the speargun you’re going with, I’d highly recommend an upgrade on the powerbands.
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Price of the AB Biller Mahogany Speargun
Now, with the length of the barrel having a noticeable impact on the price, the different types of barrel wood also matter. The AB Biller Mahogany speargun is the cheapest of the three wood spearguns they offer, owing to the difference in the price of the wood. Padauk is the next level up, and Teak (because of its incredible performance in wet marine environments) is obviously the top-shelf standard.
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The Bottom Line: AB Biller Mahogany Speargun
Getting your hands on an AB Biller Mahogany speargun is a great way to get started in the sport. It’s an affordable wooden speargun that’ll allow you to catch plenty of fish. The dual 16mm powerbands give a powerful kick, though if you want more range, you can shorten the bands or consider swapping to a thinner shaft once you’ve got the hang of it.
The AB Biller Mahogany speargun is an intelligent buy for entry-level spearfishing.
This review today is based on the 42” model, which is just under 107cm. A few months back I did try the smaller 36” barrel in teak, as a friend had one I was eager to try. But as I’d heard in the industry, AB Biller’s heavy shafts combined with a shorter speargun kills the range. And I felt this firsthand. It doesn’t shoot as far as it should. Personally, I’d buy nothing shorter than a 42” from AB Biller if you want to find a good balance between size and power.
So, what are you waiting for?
Click here and get the AB Biller Mahogany speargun for yourself. It’s a great way to get started on your first spearfishing adventure.
Why an AB Biller Speargun?
AB Biller is a prominent American company that manufactures spearguns.
Offering products built in the U.S.A. yet available the world over, they’ve focused on developing spearguns that perform. Considering AB Biller have created spearguns for many U.S. National and State Spearfishing Champions, you can see they’re constantly seeking new ways to stand out. There are noise absorption tracks, unique pistol grip handles, and ultimately – incorporating high-quality materials that’ll stand up to whatever spearfishing situation you encounter.
Uncompromising performance is how I’d describe AB Biller as a brand. Their spearguns are built like a tank, yet remain remarkably light in the water. You’d be surprised just how easy it is to manoeuvre once you’ve got an AB Biller mahogany speargun in your hands.
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Wait, why choose mahogany?
Sure – there are quite a few different types of wood AB Biller uses for spearguns.
Primarily, you want a hardwood with good buoyancy in the water, one that won’t warp from continued exposure to the elements and will hold its shape under pressure.
When it all comes down to it, teak is easily the best choice. Not only is it resistant to rot and warping in wet conditions, but the high silica content also makes it tough while giving it almost perfect buoyancy as a speargun. Because of this, it’s also the most premium option, and you’ll find teak spearguns are the most expensive by far. See our review of the AB Biller Teak speargun here.
Padauk is another option from AB Biller. A hardwood with an intense red colour after being finished is relatively inexpensive compared to teak. With a nice buoyancy and strength in the barrel, it’s a good alternative that won’t break the bank. You can oil it like teak to keep the water out, but it is softer. Be prepared that you will get chips and dents in your barrel stock over time. See our review of the AB Biller Padauk speargun here.
Finally, we’ve got AB Biller’s mahogany barrelled speargun. It’s the cheapest of the three because this wood doesn’t naturally repel water with just a coat of oil like the teak and padauk spearguns. Instead, mahogany needs to be sealed, which AB Biller does with a triple coat of polyurethane. The end result is that it adds a nice shine to your speargun and effectively protects the wood from any water damage. All up, it’s an excellent way to enjoy the benefits of a wood speargun barrel without it costing an arm and a leg.
AB Biller’s Different Spearguns
Much like any speargun manufacturer, AB Biller produces a range of different spearguns for all types of spearfishing. Where they really differ is the length of the barrel.
AB Biller produce spearguns from 24″ (61cm) to 60″ (162cm), however in the range we’ve been reviewing today, you don’t always have the option of choosing a longer model. For example, when I was sourcing the padauk, teak and mahogany spearguns to compare, Amazon only had the 42″ length available across all three barrel types.
To find a longer model, you need what AB Biller call their “Special” or LTD edition, or try the Floridian models of spearguns. They’re designed slightly differently, with the LTD models using an in-set handle into a single piece of barrel stock, though much of the trigger mechanism is the same.
One you should probably consider, is AB Billers Stainless Steel Pro speargun. I’ve done a detailed write-up you can read by clicking here, and it offers all the same tech at a lower price, along with the strength of a stainless-steel 1” diameter barrel. In fact, this model was one of the favourites in our round-up of the best spearguns on the market.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. The AB Biller Mahogany speargun is one of the most cost-effective wooden spearguns on the market, perfect for beginners to learn the ropes.
You’ll do well learning to spearfish with this bad boy.