Pre-charged pneumatic guns are a joy to shoot. They can be very powerful, yet all but the most powerful produce no felt recoil at all. For all of the fun and lack of recoil, there has to be an equal and opposite side and that is: charging these guns in the first place. Starting out, if you can only afford one PCP gun, you might opt for a hand pump to fill that reservoir. They are convenient, easily portable and take up little storage space. They work well and can last a long time with proper usage and care. The downside, as many of you reading this know, is the amount of work involved in hand pumping a reservoir with a capacity of around 200cc up to a pressure of 3000, or more, psi. If you are not familiar with the process, it can be a tedious workout. It may take hundreds of strokes, stopping momentarily at both the top of the stroke and the bottom of the stroke (for most efficient air transfer), to completely fill an empty gun.
Now, I certainly don’t want to discourage anyone from owning a PCP airgun. Luckily for those of us who enjoy owning and shooting them, there are options to a hand pump. Got an old scuba tank laying around that is still capable of passing the hydro test? If you were never into scuba or your tank is so old no one will fill it for you (old High Pressure Air vessels are nothing to fool around with), check out the possibilities from www.airgunsofarizona.com. AofA carries the Omega line of carbon-fiber wrapped aluminum air cylinders that are rated for 4500psi – higher than scuba tanks. Plus, they weight a lot less. The smaller tanks can easily be carried in a backpack for topping off your gun while afield. The bigger tanks like the 100 cubic foot model shown here will keep you shooting longer between refills. The only caveats: you must treat these tanks with care; protect them from scratching and gouges as that might weaken the tank, making it unsafe to refill, and they have a usable life of 15 years.
Along with the tanks and single gauge valve, a highly flexible hose comes as a marvelous little addition. It is longer (one meter) than most of the hoses that come with a tank. This is a big help when you have multiple airguns to fill and the fill ports on each gun will most likely be in a different place — anywhere from the front just under the barrel, to the rear under the buttstock and anywhere in between. The most remarkable feature about this hose is that it could literally be tied in a knot without kinking (although I wouldn’t recommend making a practice of that!). This valve and hose combination comes with a lifetime warranty.
Additionally, AofA offers options such as an “Adaptable Connector System”, allowing quick connections to various types of fill ports without the use of wrenches. AofA was the first to provide this adaptable system to the market and now others are following suit. They also offer a carry system that makes it convenient to transport the tank while providing protection from damage. Another option: AofA can fit the tanks with a dual gauge valve that provides more accuracy by showing the tank and fill pressure during the filling process.
Contact AofA for additional details and pricing at either: www.airgunsofarizona.com or (480) 461-1113.
If you don’t have easy access to a dive shop or other filling station, then you’ll want to check out the compressor options available through AofA. More on that in a future blog.