Oxygen tank at the range?


August 4, 2004, 06:17 PM
I want to take my dad to the range and teach him how to shoot. The problem is that he has pulmonary fibrosis and has to be on an oxygen tank.

Is this dangerous? The warnings say no open flame.

If it is a hazard to have him fire a weapon with the hose on could he leave the tank 10 feet behind at the chair and take off the nose piece when he goes to fire? He can go 5 minutes with out his oxygen but he shouldn't do more than that.

Any input or experience would be helpful.

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August 4, 2004, 06:30 PM
should be a vanishingly small risk with modern centerfire arms.
Even so, best to leave it off while at the firing line, I would say.

August 4, 2004, 06:34 PM
I guess I haven't heard of or had to face this problem. I assume this is an outdoor range and if so I don't think it would be a problem. I would think that whatever oxygen that would be out in the open and not to your father would disapate quickly and therefore wouldn't be likely to cause any fire.

Mark whiz
August 4, 2004, 06:39 PM
The odds of this being a problem is slim to none - as long as the tank doen't get penetrated by a stray shot - which shouldn't ever happen at a supervised range anyway.
In Fact at one range I shoot at, one of the range officers is on similiar breathing equipment - must not be too much of a risk. :)

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
August 4, 2004, 08:11 PM
I know a shooter with PF who uses a Helios portable liquid oxygen unit ...looks like a Thermos with a nasal cannula attached to it


I've seen him shoot several times while using it without any comment aside from 'nice grouping!'

I figure it's safe enough. He may have problems with people who are phobic of the disabled, though.


chicago jerry
August 4, 2004, 08:49 PM
The Oxygen itself is not flammable. Anyone who has used a acetylene torch set can tell you. You cannot light Oxygen by itself and the Oxygen used in torches is much more pure from what I have heard. The problem is Oxygen aids combustion, if sheets or clothing become saturated with Oxygen they will ignite and burn very rapidly. This is why Hospitals warn against not smoking. The sheet become saturated with Oxygen and will burn very rapidly. Remember you need three things to produce fire Fuel, Oxygen and an ignition source.

August 4, 2004, 09:57 PM
If it's an outdoor range, you're OK. If it's an indoor range, they're required to have very good ventilation due to potential risk from airborne lead compounds, etc., so you're still OK.

BTW, my son was on full-time oxygen for a couple of years (serious congenital heart malformation), so I know all about home-oxygen issues.:) He had a concentrator for at-home use (later a really big LOX tank), and large and small gaseous-oxygen tanks for out and about. We rigged up about 25' of cannula tubing so he could have enough latitude to play around the house; we even went to the playground on occasion and let him go down the slides, among other things (which does take some forethought). BTW, he's now five and doing fine, thanks to the wonderful surgeons at Children's Hospital Boston (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3448).

August 5, 2004, 12:44 AM
I'd be more concerned about the airborne lead vapor and mercury salts, but the exposure should be so minimal as to be inconsequential at an outdoor range. I would have him cover up or wipe off any masks or cannulas afterwards.

August 5, 2004, 12:53 AM
It's an indoor range actually. I figure he could wear a mask to protect him from the particals etc.

I called the range and they wern't sure and told me to call the oxygen people. I think I'll do that tomorrow.

August 5, 2004, 11:03 AM
chicago jerry is correct. O2 by itself is NOT flammable. It is a catalyst, one component of the fire tetrahedron. In other words O2 saturated combustible fuels will burn faster because of available O2. There is nothing on a firing range that would pose a danger from a person using O2 at the levels and in the manner that your dad is using it.

August 5, 2004, 11:18 AM
I used to deliver O2 with Roadrunner oxygen. A 25 ft tube is about as long as you want to go with a prtable unit, though I have seen a customer use an e tank and a 50 ft tube, cranking it up to 4LPM instead of 2, to make up for the length. What LPM is he on?
The reason I bring that up, is keep the tank off the range, especially an indoor, due to bounce back damaging the tank. Same reason to take an extra tube and cannula.
Medical O2 is as pure as welding O2, at 99.5% or better, unless it comes from a concentrator, which gives roughly 92% or better. (My experiance was about 9 years ago, so recollections are starting to get a little hazy, if there are any current drivers on this board)
O2 has a very low risk of harm while shooting, unless you are both saturated in it, wearing petroleum jelly for nasal lube (very bad idea - petroleum and O2 make a bomb), and shooting black powder.
Double check what he uses for nasal relief, and if isn't petroleum based, I wouldn't worry much. Use long tube, park the tank on the other side of a bullet resistant cover, and enjoy!

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