I visited the nice folks at Paintball Charleston to get some tanks filled and discuss their filling
Got a fancy new Pre-Charged Pneumatic airgun? Thinking about moving into the PCP arena? If so,
then you’re going to need lots of compressed air. Without getting into the more unusual
solutions, there are five different ways to refill an air cylinder.
- Use a high-pressure hand pump. It works and offers the extra bennie of getting you ripped in
- Get your own air compressor. While prices are coming down, these ain’t cheap. Yet.
- If you’re well-connected to a local firefighter, and if his or her boss allows it, you
might be able to get tanks filled at a local fire station.
- Many local dive shops fill SCUBA tanks anyway, so there’s a good chance they can fill your
airgun cylinders too for a nominal fee. However, most dive tanks only hold 3,000 psi give or
take, so if you need 4,500 psi, you’re out of luck.
- Finally, you can go to a paintball center. Those folks might just burn through more air than
us, so they’re usually well equipped to provide quick and easy fills. They also like
big-time pressure, so 4,500 psi fills aren’t likely to make them nervous and twitchy.
In previous issues of the airgun wire, we’ve talked about some of the other methods of getting
your cylinders topped off. Today, we’re going to explore how easy it is to get your air
at a paintball center.
The folks at Paintball Charleston have geared up to fill lots of tanks at a time. A couple of
these multi-point stations are always available.
As a case study, and because I was desperate for big air to charge a
Benjamin Pioneer Airbow,
Airforce Airguns Condor SS .25 caliber, and
Benjamin Bulldog .357 I’m currently testing, I visited my local professionals at
Paintball Charleston. This facility is serious, often having 200 to 300 paintballers out
there marking up the joint on weekends. As a result, they’re well-equipped to dispense
air – lots of it.
So, what do you need to know about getting air cylinders filled at paintball centers? Most paintball
marker tanks use the same type of Foster connection that’s common to the airgun world.
The only gotcha is that we’re slightly opposite on the whole male / female thing. Unlike
airgun cylinders, most paintball tanks have a male Foster connection. That means most paintball
center fill hoses end in a female Foster fitting. Fortunately, that’s not a big deal. In
fact, the folks at Paintball Charleston were well-equipped to handle the situation. They had
a box of adapters pre-configured to connect for their female Foster fill hoses to a variety of
things including SCUBA K-valves and 300-DIN connections.
Most paintball tanks have a male Foster fitting so you'll likely need an adapter to get your
airgun cylinders filled.
Since airgun cylinders usually have different fill connection points than paintball tanks, you
can take one of two approaches: find a paintball facility that has adapters that match what you
have or buy the appropriate adapter to connect your cylinders to the center's female Foster
fill hose fitting. At my recent gas up at Paintball Charleston, we ended up using a bit of both
It took just a minute or two to top off these two cylinders from 3,000 to 4,500 psi