Can a Welding Gas Cylinder Be Used for PCP Rifles?
I don’t have a PCP rifle and never have. I don’t think I’ve ever even handled one. I have a break barrel Diana 34 Classic Pro in 0.177. It’s a nice rifle and shoots good now that I have found accurate pellets to feed her. I have found myself wanting a PCP though. Nothing expensive, a Marauder would do me just fine. I don’t hunt, just shoot at paper from 10 to 50 meters in my back yard.
What holds me back from getting a PCP is the cost of the tanks and accessories that are needed to shoot it.
In a previous job I ran the office for a guy that alwsys was getting cylinders from the welding supply shop.
That got me thinking....why couldn’t a guy just go to the local welding supply and get the required gas in one of their smaller....or large cylinders and just fill your rifle from it and when it’s out, load it up and take it back and exchange it for a full one?? From what I recall, it wasn’t that expensive at all. You wouldn’t have to buy a tank that costs $350 or drive 30 minutes each way to get it filled every 3 weeks or so.
Can you all please explain why this would NOT be a good way to go to get into the world if PCP Air Guns?
Onemore thing...pumping is totally out of the question for me. I have a permanent spinal disease that restricts damn near anything I want to do. I can’t even walk that much let alone stand over a pump and fill a rifle reservoir. I seriously doubt that I could fill a bike tire with a hand pump at this stage of my life.
Thank you all for your help.
Depends on what you mean by "welding gas". NEVER USE OXYGEN!!!! You can use air or nitrogen. The big problem is that a lot of the tanks are only 2200psi, or so. You really need at least 3000psi to fill 2000psi guns like the Discovery or Maximus. You need higher than 3000psi to fill 3000psi guns. Some people do use 6000psi nitrogen tanks, but they are special order, expensive, and too heavy to move yourself. Consider getting a used SCUBA tank if you're using a 2000psi gun. If you want a lot of fills on a 3000psi gun, you really need a 4500psi tank, or a compressor.
Filling high pressure gas cylinders can involve varying degrees of Man-Drama, depending on lots of things.
"Owner Tanks" is what you're looking at (hopefully) or leased, or distributor owned. Can you tell the difference?
Here is an example of poor customer service in the gas industry... EVERYONE who deals with gas distributors has had the hassle. 100K threads...
Nitrogen looks like the best candidate, I'd buy the tank at the place you want it filled and KEEP THE RECEIPT.
Scan that sucker, and print it out whenever you go to fill.
CHECK THE NECK RING before leaving!
DON'T let the swap your "owner" over to a marked (Airgas so now Praxair won't fill, vice versa, ad nauseum)
You'll be stuck by their underhanded "customer loyalty" strategy!
Edit to add... I've been happy with co2, mostly happy.
The tanks are aluminum, common ($179/owner full at distributor) and the MPG is great.
Tons of shots, not so good during winter.
Sorry to hear about your spine.
There you have it, the world according to John.
Thanks for the info.
As you can probably tell, I don't know a thing about these PCP tanks and filling the rifles. I'm just asking about the possibility of getting whatever gas is needed at the welding supply shop and having it in my garage to fill as I needed. I'm exploring what the most economical way to get into PCP rifles would be. I don't know one tank from the next or what gas is used in what platforms.
I didn't know if there were members that have done this or not so I thought I'd ask. It just seems like it would be so easy to get it all set up and just go in when you're empty and trade it in for a full one. I guess the tanks just don't have the capacity that is needed in these rifles though. So that puts me back to planning on getting a tank at some point in the future if I ever want to shoot PCP.
Thank you all kindly for your help and advice. I appreciate it.
Considering your back problems, a carbon fiber tank would be best. They are the lightest weight of the tanks. You can buy used tanks, but you MUST be aware of the date the tank was made, and the current state of the hydro test. The tanks only last for 15 years, and after that, you will not be able to get it fill at any commercial fill station. Your other option would be to get your own compressor. There are Chinese ones out there for a bit over $200, but the jury is still out on longevity and reliability. You can go with one of the smaller compressors, like the Nomad II (the best of the 12/120V group), but they are pricy!
Nowadays I don't think anyone has to struggle with air supply...
A Scuba tank is good for 3000 PSI, most guns use this pressure (200 BAR) but some other guns fill to 230 BAR...A BRAND NEW aluminum Scuba tank will cost you $120-150 and the filling station for that runs about $20-30 on eBay...Then there are plenty of basic compressors all over at prices from $200.00 up...For many years I used a SCUBA aluminum cylinder and filled it with a Shoebox F8 and my garage compressor, I shoot a lot and never had shortage of air...Nowadays there are plenty faster options...I wouldn't bother with leasing a Nitrogen cylinder, then buying the special regulator, etc. in my very own personal perspective it is Not worth it...
After many years I bought a new Bauer Jr. II that I customized with a Dial shut off pressure switch (like the Daystate T2), led lights, hour meter and Bauer maintenance computer and got a new 4500 psi Carbon Fiber Cyl. but I got all this equipment because I shoot a lot and because I fill the air cylinders of some friends on top of age which limits me from constant compressor overhauling.
I've been using a 444 cu ft 6000 psi nitrogen tank for about 5 years. They are extremely heavy, I would say about 300 lbs. If it wasn't for my tractor that has a front bucket, I wouldn't consider it. On top of that they are expensive. I just happen to know someone from my working days, and get a good rate. Normally they get around 600 a year rental, and 110 a fill. If you plan on filling the gun straight from the tank, you will need a regulated fill station. At 6000 psi you can't control the valve precisely enough to be safe. At those pressures it's an accident waiting to happen.
If Praxair or Air Gas would even rent one for PCP use, even with the correct filling equipment, 44-100cf 4500 psi bottles, regulator, etc. I might as well save $500 a month and buy a Alkin or Bauer.
I can get a, $7000 Oceanus refurbished from certified Bauer dealer for $3700.00. Or pay around $4200-4500 for a new Bauer JRII E1.
As much as I shoot (not that much) I may just get a Coltri, rebranded Daystate. $2500, but an Alkin starts at $2999.00.
Forget Nitrogen unless you know someone, want to lie, as the president issued a statement that they are not to be sold or rented for PCP use.
There's all size Bauer on ebay used. You've got 30 day return. Good luck and it'll need service, filter cartidges, etc. Plus 2 things guys do that ruin their compressors, well, 3 things. Don't run enough, don't run a cool down time after a fill to blow out moisture, or run continously at diving stations for many years not serviced on time.
There's a 50CFM 1986 Bauer (huge) for $1000.00 right now, 36 watching. There's a tiny Bauer I wish they'd bring back into production improved.
Any 3 stage compressor, you'll eventually need 3rd stage rebuilt first if running a lot.
4 stages are more expensive. I need a compressor as I'm going tethered. Otherwise, I pumped one gun 10 years, opened it and no rust problems. In the end, I'll probably get an Alkin to repack my own filters. I do NOT need E quality air. I'm not breathing it and 10 years of a Hill pump shows if you shoot enough, everything will be fine.