Getting the right shooting equipment for your team or new shooter is important, and for new coaches it can be a bit intimidating. A sleek new competition airgun is a beautiful thing, but without a way to fill it, it’s just a pretty paperweight. Here’s what Daisy’s Quality Assurance Manager Tony Stratis says you will need in addition to the gun.
“There are three ways to fill your PCP airgun – with a SCUBA tank or other specialized air tank, a 3,000+PSI compressor or with a hand pump,” Stratis said. “Each method has it’s advantages and disadvantages.”
SCUBA tanks or specialized tanks made for airgunning are extremely convenient, don’t rely on electricity and fill the gun’s tank very fast. However, there is a limited amount of air inside, and when it runs out the tank must be taken to a SCUBA shop for refilling. The same goes with a smaller, portable tank. Unless you also own a specialized compressor, when it runs out of air it’s useless until refilled.
Final considerations on SCUBA tanks. You must label the tank “For Airgun Use Only” to fill the tank without a SCUBA license. You also will need a fill adapter that fits onto the SCUBA tank yolk valve to fill the rifle.
Links on where to buy all of the products mentioned here are at the end of this feature.
The second method is with a specialized 3,000+PSI compressor. Disadvantages – they can be loud and expensive, although prices have come down a bit in the last couple of years.
“Compressors are nice and fill the gun in a few minutes,” Stratis said. “And, you’re self-sufficient, which I like. You can use a compressor to fill SCUBA tanks or portable tanks, but you need access to electricity and these units require regular maintenance of the air filters/dryers.”
Last on the list of filling options is the hand pump. These are not bicycle tire pumps, but ones made specifically for airgunners. Using a hand pump is the ultimate in self-sufficiency, and they’re comparatively inexpensive. However, it’s also labor intensive. If attached and pumped every 10 or 15 shots it doesn’t take that many pumps to get the gun back up to maximum, but if the gun is very low and you’re going to pump it up, it’s a workout. It can take several hundred pumps, and each pump is not equal – as the tank fills the air pressure is greater, requiring more downward force on the pump.
“I’ve never counted how many pumps it takes – I’m usually cursing it by then,” Stratis said. “Hand pumps do let you get into PCP type airguns at a cheaper cost than the other methods, though, and then you can decide whether or not you want to invest the money into a less manual labor type of refill.”
For Portable Tanks and Airgun Compressors, three good websites to check are www.airgunproshop.com, www.pyramydair.com and www.airgundepot.com.
For Hand Pumps, go to https://gamousa.com/product/hand-pump-for-pcp-rifles/.
For a SCUBA Tank fill adapter, go to https://www.pyramydair.com/product/air-venturi-scuba-tank-yoke-k-valve-adapter-hose-assembly-1-8-bspp?a=534