Air supply for PCP guns. Tank vs compressor

264win

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    Since there seems to be quite a few others who shoot pcp rifles, what do you use for air ?
    I have been using a hand pump for years, but have a new rifle coming with higher consumption and want to up my game.
    What are you guys running ?
     

    kthomas

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    I'm using an air Venturi nomad pump. It's a fairly affordable compressor that does the trick.

    Bottles are nice, but you need something to fill them up with. That means you are stuck with constantly having to go to a place that has an HP compressor and willing to fill it, have a buddy to fill it, or buy a large HP compressor to do it yourself.

    I didn't want to get dependent on so done else for my air, and couldn't afford a bottle + fancy compressor. So I settled for a Air Venturi nomad.
     
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    DaveCo

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    I used a pump for quite awhile (International Air Pistol), which means fairly small canisters. Wasn't a problem, but wasn't really fun either.
    Made a connection with a local Fire Dept to fill my tank, and bought a SCBA (not Scuba) tank, and they would fill it for free (well actually a couple of dozen cookies, or a quart of green Chile, etc.).
    One SCBA refill lasted about 6 mos., and I shot a lot.
    I'd never pump again
    Never messed with a compressor, but I do notice the price has come down.
    Pilkington Competition has anything you may need (nfi, but I have sent them a pile of money through the years), like fill adapters, tanks, etc. Aimed more at the Olympic style competitor (some of the guns are simply amazing, and shockingly pricey)
     
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    Skok3y

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    Pump gets old fast.

    A bottle and compressor should not be either/or because you still have to fill the bottle. You can have a compressor and bottle, and that way you can take the bottle with you when you go shooting. I would always have a bottle, for that reason.

    A compressor can be fairly cheap or can be several thousand dollars. I had a compressor for a while, but am currently using a 6k Nitrogen tank from Airgas.

    If you have a local dive shop or paint ball location, they can fill fairly cheap. Firehouses sometimes will, just make a donation.
     

    larry meyer

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    Since there seems to be quite a few others who shoot pcp rifles, what do you use for air ?
    I have been using a hand pump for years, but have a new rifle coming with higher consumption and want to up my game.
    What are you guys running ?
    I have PCP 22 cal, de-tuned Airforce Condor & I shoot squirrels, rock chucks (rodents) In farm fields S. E. Oregon, very target rich environment. For air, have a hand pump, but much prefer to use aluminum dive tank (3000 psi, mobile enough) good for several gun refills. (each refill good for 40 rounds). I also have a large nitrogen tank, (not very mobile, leave at home) filled to 4500 psi, & both of these are filled @ a dive shop. I also have a small carbon fiber SCBA tank (4500 psi, filled off the big tank) that I will carry in a fanny pack, regulated & tethered, w/very small air line, to the air rifle fill port. This arrangement will cover me for 150 rounds. Nice when covering a lot of ground & not convenient to go back for air fill. One fill on the big air tank will last me one season, which consists of 4 or 5 weekends, (6-8 hr. per day) in spring, shooting rodents.
     

    264win

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    I think I am leaning towards getting an extra 580cc tank for the gun and then a small compressor.
    Since COVID, the local places that would fill a big tank are closed up, I will check with the local FD though.
     
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    TxWelder35

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    Pump gets old fast.

    A bottle and compressor should not be either/or because you still have to fill the bottle. You can have a compressor and bottle, and that way you can take the bottle with you when you go shooting. I would always have a bottle, for that reason.

    A compressor can be fairly cheap or can be several thousand dollars. I had a compressor for a while, but am currently using a 6k Nitrogen tank from Airgas.

    If you have a local dive shop or paint ball location, they can fill fairly cheap. Firehouses sometimes will, just make a donation.
    Airgas is crazy expensive near me. If you have a local weld/gas supply try there first, or Praxair is better on pricing than airgas also.

    For example, local airgas wants $110 to swap my 120cf bottle of argon/co2 mix gas for welding, and Praxair does it for like $35.
     

    Near miss

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    I did not like the idea of compressor, just one more thing to maintenance and take space. My pump broke also.

    I use a 12l tank that I get refilled for 10.
     

    PJC

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    We run a hand pump and have several smaller PCP bottles for the rifle. Not optimal or fast but it works. Air rifles have been a nice aside from centerfire and is stretching out the life of my component stash.
     

    Skok3y

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    Airgas is crazy expensive near me. If you have a local weld/gas supply try there first, or Praxair is better on pricing than airgas also.

    For example, local airgas wants $110 to swap my 120cf bottle of argon/co2 mix gas for welding, and Praxair does it for like $35.
    This is all location dependent. I have heard many people say the same, but their quotes have been much higher than mine. Definitely get quotes from several places, but don’t assume it is the same as anyone else’s.
    My N26k tank is probably 5ft tall and 300lbs. Rent is $75 per year and $75 per fill. I have heard people get quotes for several times that.
     

    woogie_man

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    Get a used fire tank from ebay. Bought a compressor and been using that. Being as the tanks are out of hydro you need to fill yourself.

    I have a cheaper compressor, a tuxing 4500 compressor. It is a cheaper one, but to start filling it works great. Actually filled my 30min tank from empty with it. Took quite a few days, but it got there.

    With my Mk3 and RedWolf it fills them just fine. So daily shooting isn't an issue
     

    theLBC

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    the only reason i don't have a pcp rifle is the air. i have scuba tanks but i don't want to have to have them filled.
    i might go all in for a pcp, cf tank and portable compressor one of these days.
     

    Fritzfritz

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    I found that I could get used tanks with about 5 years left on the tank life date in the $100 range when I bought mine. As soon as I got them I found a commercial fire fill company near me, and they fill my 90 and 60 min tanks for $6.50. I got 3500 or so shots from the big yak using a 177 Marauder, and my field target pistol.
    I still have a hand pump, but don’t use it often...
     

    jbell

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    I almost bought a compressor to fill my FWB but I live 5 minutes from a dive shop who sells used tanks for like $100 and fill them for $7. I may end up with a compressor but my rifle uses a DIN valve so I need to sort out an adapter or new hose to connect to my air cylinder.
     

    Frankr

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    I use the nomad for fill the FX but use a hand pump to top off the Hatsan (only takes 45-90 seconds to top off with a hand pump).
    I have 4 tanks (SCBA) so I get it up to 200 bar and then nomad or hand pump the rest of the way
     

    steve123

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    I've been shooting mostly 6fpe to 30 fpe pcp's for 24 years but the last couple years I got into 55-80 fpe rifles which munch air like crazy.

    It wasn't bad before because fills were $5 and a tank would last for a month or two. Now they only last a week if I'm shooting the more powerful rifles much. Also my 4500 psi tank costs $10 to fill now. Plus since it's winter and I keep my tanks in the cold garage, AND they get filled in a warm scuba shop, I end up with 4300 psi by the next morning just because it's cold in the garage. Next morning after that it's 4100 psi just filling my gun two times, and downhill quickly from there.
    My new rifle takes a 4000 psi fill and is off reg by 2300 psi, so what it all comes down to is I finally needed a compressor.

    I have a new fully outfitted 4500 psi Tuxing coming my way next week through Brian at Veradium Air. I like that he does his special mods, breaks it in, tests it, and sends good quality oil specially formulated for these types of compressors!
     
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    kthomas

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    I've been shooting mostly 6fpe to 30 fpe pcp's for 24 years but the last couple years I got into 55-80 fpe rifles which munch air like crazy.

    It wasn't bad before because fills were $5 and a tank would last for a month or two. Now they only last a week if I'm shooting the more powerful rifles much. Also my 4500 psi tank costs $10 to fill now. Plus since it's winter and I keep my tanks in the cold garage, AND they get filled in a warm scuba shop, I end up with 4300 psi by the next morning just because it's cold in the garage. Next morning it's 4100 after I've used it once, and downhill quickly from there.
    My new rifle takes a 4000 psi fill and is off reg by 2300 psi, so what it all comes down to is I finally needed a compressor.

    I have a new fully outfitted 4500 psi Tuxing coming my way next week through Brian at Veradium Air. I like that he does his special mods, breaks it in, tests it, and sends good quality oil especially formulated for these types of compressors!

    That Tuxing looks really similar to the Air Venturi Nomad. What does it go for?
     

    woogie_man

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    I have one of the smaller tuxings and it is a decent compressor. Though honestly if I would do it again I would get the bigger one.
     

    oldiephrt

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    anybody see a difference in seal life air vs nitrogen?
     

    GenericBadGuy

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    I went through this with both pcp and paintball which was a prior hobby.

    I decided to go FX Independence in .22 and Crossman American Classic in .177 instead.
     

    AManWearingAHat

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    I bought a SCUBA tank from my local dive shop, and they fill it for me for 8 dollars. I was out the door with the tank and DIN adapter for under 300. One fill is good for probably 1000+ pellets. I'll let yall know. Fill my Anschutz PCP cylinder right off the tank with a DIN adapter.

    Cheap shooting and I get to support my wonderful dive shop, win win.
     

    GenericBadGuy

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    Yeah but they'll make you hydro that tank to meet USDOT regulations. Hydro test isn't exactly cheap depending on where you go and it will be required either every year on scuba tanks or every 5 years on pcp or paintball carbon fiber tanks.
     
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    Blutroop

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    I hate supporting China but right now on Amazon you can get Chinese hand pumps for 25$. I got 2 shipped to Alaska for under 50$

    Take a Cheap chicom pump or two and mechanize it.

    With 4500 hand pumps so cheap you might as well try. I’ve seen a few videos.
    If you can do your own welding then looks like the hardest part would be finding a optimum motor.
     

    Doctorwho1138

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    Have a hand pump...that lasted a few months now my Air Force Condor sits in my safe unused for years. But this thread has convinced me to look at other options. Thanks!
     

    Big Bo

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    Compressor and tank. Top off tank, fill gun. Gonna do a lot of shooting or, own an air hogg, take the tank on your outing.
     

    jps2486

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    I hate supporting China too, but I feal all of the PCP compressors available come from there with a couple of exceptions. I bought a Yong Heng compressor from Walmart for around $350 and it's been working great. If you buy one, get the optional extended warranty. I origninally bought a $2000+ compressor designed specifically for airguns and it died after 17 hours. It was slightly beyond warranty. With shipping and repairs it would have cost me $600 to fix it. Horrible!! With the Yong Heng, repair parts are dirt cheap and if it dies, I'm not out much.
     

    alpine44

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    Yeah but they'll make you hydro that tank to meet USDOT regulations. Hydro test isn't exactly cheap depending on where you go and it will be required either every year on scuba tanks or every 5 years on pcp or paintball carbon fiber tanks.
    Hydro on SCUBA tanks is good for 5 years and cost about $70 at your local fire extinguisher place. I had my gaggle of SCUBA tanks hydroed several times over the years. SCUBA shops recommend an annual visual inspection because you are breathing the content and the tanks are kept in and around water, but that inspection is not required by DOT.

    I think that going with a SCUBA cylinder and filling at a SCUBA or paintball shop is the best route since any high pressure compressor under $3-4k (used) is a waste of money.

    Since airguns do not consume a boatload of gas you could look for a Walter Kidde compressor. These cuties were developed to charge flame throwers and for use in aircraft to actuate bomb bay doors. Very well made, small, and light. Filling several large SCUBA tanks with this compressor takes a lot of patience but that's not a concern for PCP. I may put mine up for sale soon since I am not doing much "remote" diving anymore. This compressor was in my van to dive in locations far away from fill stations.
     
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    GenericBadGuy

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    Hydro on SCUBA tanks is good for 5 years and cost about $70 at your local fire extinguisher place. I had my gaggle of SCUBA tanks hydroed several times over the years. SCUBA shops recommend an annual visual inspection because you are breathing the content and the tanks are kept in and around water, but that inspection is not required by DOT.

    I think that going with a SCUBA cylinder and filling at a SCUBA or paintball shop is the best route since any high pressure compressor under $3-4k (used) is a waste of money.
    Our local SCUBA shops all require that annual inspection cert for $30 in addition to the Hydro date being good still. My recollection is that for the Hydro test date, aluminum in general is 3 years while carbon fiber with USDOT manufacturer certification is 5. The reason the local shops do this is they want to avoid getting sued in case someone lies about how they were using the tanks. Of course I had no intent on inhaling it.

    We have a tester that will do it for $35+shipping which comes out to $50 plus tax. But why not avoid that hassle altogether.
     

    larry meyer

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    anybody see a difference in seal life air vs nitrogen?
    I am not sure there is much difference, air vs nitrogen. Atmospheric air is aprox. 77% nitrogen, (22% oxy. .97% argon, 380 PPM co2 & small PPM of a few other gases). I have 15 years & over 3000 rounds through my Airforce rifle using mostly compressed air & have simply kept the O'rings lubed w/silicone lube (used w/air conditioning o'rings), that does not cause swelling of the o'ring. To date, have not noted any seal problems. Nitrogen (from weld supply) & dive air are both dry, (necessary). I very seldom use the hand pump, (even w/water trap, can have moisture problems) but do keep the o'rings in it lubed the same. Hope that is helpful.
     

    oldiephrt

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    I am not sure there is much difference, air vs nitrogen. Atmospheric air is aprox. 77% nitrogen, (22% oxy. .97% argon, 380 PPM co2 & small PPM of a few other gases). I have 15 years & over 3000 rounds through my Airforce rifle using mostly compressed air & have simply kept the O'rings lubed w/silicone lube (used w/air conditioning o'rings), that does not cause swelling of the o'ring. To date, have not noted any seal problems. Nitrogen (from weld supply) & dive air are both dry, (necessary). I very seldom use the hand pump, (even w/water trap, can have moisture problems) but do keep the o'rings in it lubed the same. Hope that is helpful.
    Thank you !Just the type of information I like this site for.
     

    JG26_Irish

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    I use a tank and refill it at the local scuba shop. They are familiar with this since they also service the paintball and air-soft gamers. Cheap, fast and easy. One fill lasts a long time.
     

    SkyScrapin

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    Love that these threads keep popping up. Like some, I'm debating the same things.

    Nomad, Alkin, etc. I hate buying twice, but by the same token I haven't a clue what I actually need versus what I think I need.

    I'm starting off with a 9L tank, and if it's burdensome for me to get her filled locally in north dallas, a compressor will get a more serious look. May even buy two tanks before buying the compressor to avoid the maintenance requirements. Hard to say until my PCP rifle comes in and air sources become a burden.
     

    264win

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    I've been shooting mostly 6fpe to 30 fpe pcp's for 24 years but the last couple years I got into 55-80 fpe rifles which munch air like crazy.

    It wasn't bad before because fills were $5 and a tank would last for a month or two. Now they only last a week if I'm shooting the more powerful rifles much. Also my 4500 psi tank costs $10 to fill now. Plus since it's winter and I keep my tanks in the cold garage, AND they get filled in a warm scuba shop, I end up with 4300 psi by the next morning just because it's cold in the garage. Next morning after that it's 4100 psi just filling my gun two times, and downhill quickly from there.
    My new rifle takes a 4000 psi fill and is off reg by 2300 psi, so what it all comes down to is I finally needed a compressor.

    I have a new fully outfitted 4500 psi Tuxing coming my way next week through Brian at Veradium Air. I like that he does his special mods, breaks it in, tests it, and sends good quality oil specially formulated for these types of compressors!
    After reading this I decided to look up Veradium Air and call Brian.
    What a great guy. Besides being super knowledgeable and offering great products and prices, After talking with me about what and how I shoot, he suggested a less expensive option then what I was planning on buying.
    I would highly recommend anyone else who is shopping for air to look them up
     
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    Mark993

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    I bought a Shoebox about 10 years ago from the original manufacturer here in AZ, and it's been filling my two SCBA tanks ever since. It looks like they are up to version "F10" and available from several airgun shops, but my experience is only with the 1st or 2nd generation. It uses a shop air input and two stages to fill up to 4.5ksi.... takes a few hours to bring a SCBA tank back up from 3.0ksi that the guns fill to. Super easy to rebuild, but only needed that once in ten years... YMMV.

    I also think there is a Hill pump in the shop somewhere... tried it once then bought the Shoebox and tanks!
     

    Mark993

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    Shoebox quit selling to general public last year.. you should get some spare parts.
    Thanks for the heads-up.... I think I have a re-build kit, but will check and fortify. My new RAW does eat the air, so don't want to be without!
     

    Jager_Wombat

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    I have been using two hand pumps, one from Hatsan and one unbranded, both make shooting a chore. I have access to a facility for filling carbon fiber SCBA tanks so I am going to go that route now. Your local fire department might be open to refilling your tank if you ask.
     
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