For the PCP enthusiast, even if you only own one, a method to recharge your gun other than hand pumping is probably high on your Christmas list. For some, that will mean asking Santa to bring you a new, glossy carbon fiber wrapped air tank in one of the handy sizes that Airguns of Arizona sells (www.airgunsofarizona.com). And, for other gift-giving holiday occasions, you could ask for accessories to go along with that tank such as extra Foster quick connects and flexible HPA hoses or tank carrying straps, padded cases, tank rests, etc. But, the ultimate accessory is a do-it-yourself, at-home high pressure air compressor. For an article I was doing several manufacturers provided me with big bore PCPs. Taking them to the range would inevitably lead to questions about the Omega 100cf air tank I brought along. Most firearms shooters have little experience with PCP air arms and still equate airguns with their first .177 Daisy or Crosman. When observing me recharging the rifles from the air tank, the next question typically was: “Do you have a large compressor in your garage? They were genuinely surprised when I explained that the pressures the tanks and guns were utilizing were in thousands of psi, so your standard garage compressor really wasn’t up to the job. I further explained that for the serious hobbyist, a local SCUBA/Dive shop was the typical source for the HPA. For the uber-hobbyist (or airgun writer) the Omega Super Charger fits the bill. This self-contained little unit does some mighty big work. The unit is only 8 ½ x 17 ¾ x 19 ¼ inches so it doesn’t require much space but they are heavy (70+ pounds) because they carry out some pretty heavy duty work. Mine came wired for normal 110 volt house current. You have the option to go with 220V if you’d prefer. No noxious fumes or odors are produced when filling but you won’t want to try filling a tank in your family room while watching TV. It does produce constant noise while running and will need to run for several hours in order to fill a large tank from empty to 4500 psi. Plus, user configured settings control the release of accumulated moisture out the back of the unit. This purge can be set for time of delay and duration. I have to run mine in the garage because my wife jumps every time that purge valve opens up unannounced. I won’t be storing it in my garage when winter comes however. Deep cold is not good for the unit, and it is water-cooled. Even though you get a sample of special anti-freeze to be used in the coolant tank, you don’t want to take a chance the tank or lines might freeze and crack.
The Omega Super Charger is easy to use with well-marked buttons and dials. It has an auto-shutoff feature so it stops at your pre-selected pressure to avoid over-pressurizing the gun or tank you are filling. There is an hour-meter on the front so you can keep track of the amount of time the unit has run. Every four hours lubrication is applied by simply turning a knob near the back of the unit. The finish is a very nice woven carbon fiber look. In addition to a one year warranty, a nylon protective cover comes with it as well as a unique tri-spoke (think “Peace Symbol”) wrench to get inside to replace O-rings or for other maintenance. The Omega Super Charger is just one of several air compressors carried in the AOA line. An air compressor represents a serious commitment to the hobby as they start around $1400.00, plus taxes and shipping costs, and go up from there. AOA can even fix you up with a gasoline powered compressor if that fits your needs.