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SCUBA tanks for PCP rifle

Discussion in 'Air Guns' started by hk940, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. hk940

    hk940 Member

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    I am thinking of getting a PCP rifle. I would like to use a SCUBA tank to fill it,as I can get one for nothing (It is certified) do I need a dive certification to get the tank filled?
     
  2. George P

    George P Member

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    tagged for response as I am thinking of that as well.
     
  3. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Call refill station and ask.
     
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  4. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    I have a PADI cert. and Scuba but my PCP air rifle has an on-board pump (FX Independence .25 cal.) bc. I didn't want to mess with going to a refill station. Personally, I don't see any technical reason you would need to be certified. Basically, the only instruction involved with filling a tank while getting a PADI cert. is that

    1. Pressure can hurt so stay within limits,
    2. Have your equipment (incl. tanks) periodically inspected and
    3. Use certified refills to avoid noxious gasses.

    However, laws and financial interests may require you to be certified.
     
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  5. Gadsden2A

    Gadsden2A Member

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    Legally no, but it depends on where you live and who you know. I live in South Florida where scuba diving is very common. You would probably have a hard time getting your tank filled at a dive shop without your card. If you can convince the person where you trying to get it filled that you are not a scuba diver then you might be able to get it filled. Scuba certification is strictly voluntary, there are no statutes mandating it in Florida, but all of the dive shops, probably for liability purposes will only fill tanks if you have a card. You can get tanks filled by people who are in the paintball business, without a dive card. That might be your easiest path. I have also heard of people who live in rural areas or small towns they get their tanks filled at the local fire departments. They have compressors for their air tanks.
     
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  6. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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  7. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    It all depends on the store. Find one, and ask before you buy....
     
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  8. hk940

    hk940 Member

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    Thanks for all the info. I just moved to the western part of NC so I don't know how many dive shops are here. I do have two very large lakes close by. If there are none I will check into the paint ball shop.
    One thing I just remembered is there is a welding supply real close to me, don't know if they would fill air tanks though.
     
  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I don’t use scuba tanks neither the aluminum or steel ones can hold as much pressure as the carbon fiber SCBA tanks.

    This is a good resource to have if you are looking for a place to fill.

    http://www.warpig.com/forums/fields/

    Click on your State and you can go through the list, pay attention to the legend/what they offer.
     
  10. joed

    joed Member

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    I was involved with scuba for 15 years and my best friend owns a shop. Some will not fill them if you can't present a cert card. There are also yearly inspections and pressure tests that need to be done to the tank every 5 years. I noticed many shops will also not want to fill a tank if some other store has their inspection sticker on it.

    Best advice I can give is call them and explain to them what you want to use the tank for. My friend would fill the tanks for those that wanted to use them for what you want.
     
  11. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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    I've had no issue getting tanks filled, but like @jmorris, I switched to scbas just because they are smaller and will comfortably take more pressure.
    Eventually I started looking at getting aacompressor of my own, at which point I got out of pcps lol.

    Larger Paintball fields, and shops may also have on site hpa, or if not they will know where to get fills.


    Ya know, I think I still have a couple scbas I bought a year or two ago when I was considering getting back into pcps.
     
  12. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I went a couple of differen directions on that as well.



     
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  13. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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    Like

    Yeah u need to be my neighbor......
     
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  14. Chevota

    Chevota Member

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    Even when I filled actual scuba tanks to go diving I wasn't carded, but since pcp and painball are big now I think they'd do it no prob. Plus they don't generally use carbon fiber for diving b/c they can get destroyed pretty quickly if salt water gets between the alum and wrap. So I'm told, but the point is that if filling a cf tank you're using for non scuba use, as a general rule
     
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  15. syntaxerrorsix

    syntaxerrorsix Member

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    Aluminum 80 tanks older than 1988 use the 6351 alloy which can suffer from sustained load cracking. Many if not most shops will turn you away. Most of the shops in Florida will require a C card to fill tanks unless you can establish a relationship and trust with them. It's how the dive world self polices, it has nothing to do with any legislation or regulations.

    SCBA may get you higher PSI but they will also get you FAR less fills and there aren't many dive shops that fill to 4-5KPSI, many compressors just aren't rated to that pressure and dive shops don't cater to it. Unless your fill station is close volume is probably more important than PSI. They also have service life of 15 years. After that they are condemned. ETA - you don't find people using SCBA in diving because they have horrible buoyancy characteristics and require a lot of lead to make them neutral in the water so you may find it easier to convince the shop if that's what you go with.

    As mentioned, paintball is a big game and you can just about bet you can get your fills there hassle free.

    Keep in mind that most cylinders required a visual inspection once a year and a hydrostatic pressure test mandated by law every 5 years.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
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  16. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    Maybe if you get rid of the medical valve on the tank it could be filled anywhere.?
     
  17. Charlie1022

    Charlie1022 Member

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    We have a local fire equipment store that can fill mine and I also have friends on local fire stations that will fill mine as other ideas to get your tanks filled.
     
  18. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    Check out a fire safety supply place (fire extinguishers, fire sprinkler installs, etc). They usually can do tank filling, some will outsource so you'll drop off and pickup a day or two later. They will want a current hydro-static test for the tank, but beyond that I've never had a single question (besides polite conversation), about what I'm doing with it.
     
  19. hmphargh

    hmphargh Member

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    Airgas near me sells high pressure air. Unfortunately, they basically require you to buy one of their tanks, and the smallest high pressure air tank they sell is 150 cu. ft.
     
  20. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    If that is a 300 BAR nonSCUBA specific tank it might be the size and weight of a standard aluminim 80 cu ft SCUBA tank.
     
  21. hmphargh

    hmphargh Member

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    I doubt it, the tanks I'm referring to are steel, weigh 60 lbs empty, and are 4 ft tall.
     
  22. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    Buy a tank that you can move easily and that can be filled to 4500 psi.
    Easy to move so that you can have it with you and replenish the reservoir on the gun when you need to (unless you are sure that you will never need more air than one fill of your gun.)
    PSI...a large volume tank at 3000 psi will very probably fill your gun’s reservoir a number of times to max before pressure drops (and then quite a few lower pressure refills) but large volume tanks often weigh a lot - like that 60 lb. 150cf tank mentioned. Even the common 80 cu.ft. Aluminum tank weighs nearly 40 lbs. filled.
    The trend nowadays is toward lighter, higher pressure carbon fiber tanks. Quite portable, even a moderate sized CF tank will fill your gun a number of times. The downside is the price. $$$.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  23. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Did you look at the link I posted in #9?

    It lists locations in every State as well as other Country’s.
     
  24. hmphargh

    hmphargh Member

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    I didn't, but Airgas works for me. I just didn't think it was quite what hk940 was looking for.
     
  25. Chevota

    Chevota Member

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    syntaxerrorsix; less fills? Or was that a typo? Generally pcp folks only buy the 4500psi tanks b/c a full 3kpsi scuba tank on a 3kpsi gun obviously can't bring the gun to 3k even once. If you spring for the 3440 tank then you get a few fills but still nothing compared to a 4500 tank.
    Optionally people can get an elect pump. I just bought the Shoebox F10 which easily pumps past 4500. It's slower filling a gun that using a tank, a few min vs a few seconds, but you never have to deal with driving to the fill place, waiting, hydro etc. Hardcore peep buy a 4500 tank and the pump so they can fill it themselves. I have a nice 74CF carbon fiber tank but it's been expired for ~5yrs now. Tempting to fill myself, and prolly fine, but that's just too much pressure to risk it.
    Another sweet deal w/ the carbon fiber or glass tanks is the weight. Mine only weighs 12lbs. A 3440 steel tank is a beast to take anywhere, especially since you get so few shots from it.
    A friend uses two 3k alum scuba tanks so he and a friend(s) can drive out in the sticks to shoot. He over fills them to get three fills from one tank, then to squeeze out an extra couple fills between them he'd use one tank until it can only partially fill the gun, then the other tank only to top off the remainder. So the shooting day is always very short due to air, and a extra pita to do all that. A single carbon fiber would've gave him ~50 fills, much less hassle and no risk.
    Fyi here's a fill calc if anyone wants to get an est of how many fills whatever tank will fill whatever gun: https://sye.dk/airgun/index.php
     
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