May 31, 2008 at 3:47 am #2234
I spent almost 3 months searching for an affordable regulator for 6000psi nitrogen tanks with no luck.
This past week my wife and I took vacation to the Lincoln City, Newport area on the Oregon coast. Found a little paintball shop there, asked the guy what he fills with and he brings out some scuba adaptors and a fill station designed to attach to hi-pressure nitrogen tanks.
Before I could even ask about the fill station, he tells us he would let it go real cheap because the Airgas distributor down there stopped letting him rent tanks, and they since bought a compressor and switched to scuba.
I say, “how cheap”?
He says, “$150”?
I damn near rip my pants in half trying to get to my wallet. Sold, done deal. Mine looks just like this one.
I get home yesterday, call my Airgas distributor in The Dalles, Oregon and they have 3 6000psi tanks in stock. Rent is .50 cents a day, gas is $48 every refill.
Chained the beast of a tank in my shed this morning, its somewhere in the neighborhood of 400cf in size, weighs about 250 pounds maybe a tad more. I set up the fill station on it, and have so far shot 3 fills from it. Tank pressure hasn’t dropped below 6k yet, haven’t seen the needle drop at all so I’m guessing I should be in business for months. I am only filling to 2700psi, and refilling after 30 shots. Ive got 2 bottles to use, so I’m not really worried about running out of gas when afield.
Each fill is ridiculously easy compared to that damned hand pump, hardest part is setting the fill pressure you want. All you do is open the nitrogen tank to pressurize the fill station, then turn a recessed setscrew until the output gauge reaches the pressure you want to fill to. Then attach the AF bottle, and slowly open the fill station until you hear gas moving. The output gauge will drop to the current pressure in your bottle, and rise to its set point. Close the fill station and it self-bleeds allowing you to remove the bottle.
Easy and simple. I think overall its cheaper to fill than a scuba tank, considering I would have to drive 145 miles one-way to the nearest scuba shop.
Best part about it, the guns velocity seems to be extremely stable using nitrogen. I shot the first 20 shots at 971.4 – 970.0fps, then over the next 10 it dropped to 965fps. The next refill I repeated the velocity’s almost exactly. Thats .25 caliber Kodiak’s.
Its all smiles here once again. The squirrels had a nice long break; starting tomorrow vacations over. 😈May 31, 2008 at 4:59 am #39845
Sounds like you got a great fill station going for you. I am going to airgas tomorrow to check the prices for a 4500 psi nitrogen tank rental. However, I am lucky enough to live within 20 miles of 3 scuba shops, and 2 airgas distributors, so I have many more options if it doesn’t work out. BTW, did you ever get your pump working?May 31, 2008 at 5:32 am #39847
Nope, never did get the pump fixed. I’m pretty sure mine has the same bad o-ring you described, I just couldn’t figure out how to remove the inner shaft to get to it.
Airgas told me they wouldn’t rent 4500psi tanks, but 6000psi was no problem.
Never got a good explanation why. Worked out good for me tho.May 31, 2008 at 5:47 am #39848
You need to grip the upper check valve(wrong name?) with a strap wrench and just twist it off, the valve with separate and it will come apart.
I am just thinking that a 4500 psi tank would be cheaper to rent, and fill than a 6000 psi. I’m also going to get a smaller size of about maybe 200cf, and i will also check how much they are to buy. I will tell report back with the numbers tomorrow afternoon. Later.May 31, 2008 at 8:15 am #39851AnonymousInactive
Sheez Rff….. you’ll be retired before that tank runs out of Nitrogen. Good score. 8)
HarryMay 31, 2008 at 11:30 am #39852shrpshotr28Participant
I’ve been looking at the same fill setup, would prefer the 4500psi as the tank is about 150lbs vs 250. From your description, that 6000psi tank should be 640cf +-, a ton of air. I seem to have the same availability problem here in AL; the 6k psi tank is easy to find, the 4500 is not.
Using the fill calculator that 6k tank should be good for 433 fills starting at 2700psi and refilling from 2000psi. Lots of pump free shooting.May 31, 2008 at 11:54 am #39853May 31, 2008 at 1:49 pm #39861savagesamParticipant
At $15.00 it will cost WAY more for rent than N2. Unless you shoot a boat load that tank will last a year. 15X12=$180.00 The thing that makes it worth it to me is that there’s virtually no moisture in it.May 31, 2008 at 11:31 pm #39881davedParticipant
I’ve been getting about 6 months on a 4500 psi, 443 cu. ft. tank, and that’s shooting a LOT! My costs are a little higher than you guys, I live 5 miles PAST the middle of nowhere :-), gas is about $60 and tank rents for about $10 a mo. Still, that means I’m paying about $20 a mo. to shoot as much as I want, and that’s a bargain in my book. Later.
DaveJune 1, 2008 at 12:15 am #39883
I stopped by airgas today and this is what the numbers came out to.
6000 psi tank is .40 cents a day and $175 to fill from empty, and the guy said the tank weighs 1000 pounds. WOW!
3500 psi tank is also .40 cents a day but $150 to fill from empty.
My other option is buy a 44cf 4500 psi carbon fiber scuba tank for $300. Or, for the same price, I could also buy a hill pump.
I think I’m going to go with the carbon fiber tank, because it is MUCH more portable that the other options, besides for the pump. I have not came to a serious decision yet.June 1, 2008 at 4:35 am #39891knifemakerParticipant
Now I’m really lost. The AirGas Shop in Belton Tx, said no 6000 tank, but a 4500 tank, 48.00 to fill, and 50 or 60 a year rental.
I wonder why the prices and avaliable sizes are all over the board. 😕
I just need to find a less expensive regulator!
MikeJune 1, 2008 at 4:40 am #39892
Why do you need a regulator? Just use a needle valve to carefully fill your tank. It is very odd how the prices and tank pressure change with what airgas you talk to.June 1, 2008 at 6:04 am #39895quote bikincrazy52:
That tank is a very large, about 3′ in diameter and 5′ tall. The one I got is no larger than any standard welding gas tank, about 48″ tall by around 8″ diameter. It was a handful even on a dolly, especially going up the stairs into the shed.quote bikincrazy52:
I chose the fill station route not only because I got a great deal, but because I’ve seen what happens when homebrew fittings fail.
If you go the 6000psi route, only trust stainless fittings rated for the pressure. Brass is just too soft, not worth the risk. Trusting your ability to stop gas flow before you go past 3000psi unregulated… just seems like something could go wrong too fast. I know it can be done, but I have a knack for having shit go wrong on me. I’m sure a bottle rupture would result in worse than new underwear.
6000psi coming from a very large tank into a very small bottle; you need precise control, or nerves of steel. My fill station is dummy-proof, which is a good thing. 😉June 1, 2008 at 1:30 pm #39903
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