Whether you are an old hand at air gunning or new to the sport, filling your air gun with a hand pump can get tiresome and you eventually might decide to switch to a high-pressure carbon fiber tank as a fill source. However, before you invest in a cylinder or if you already have bought one, you should make sure you have a local source of high-pressure air and confirm that the source is capable of servicing air at pressures up to 4500psi. To locate air fill sources, use a phone book or go online and search for nearby scuba shops, paintball shops, and/or fire stations. Make a list of all your options and proceed to call or visit them to find out if they can supply your needs. Once you have identified your high-pressure air source, you’ll then know which tank valve and fill accessories will be most appropriate to successfully fill your tank.
Regardless of whether you already own a tank or are contemplating purchasing one, you’ll need to know the class of valve your tank uses. This is because your valve type coupled with your air supply source will dictate the fittings or adapters needed to fill your tank. There are two kinds of valves typically used with carbon fiber tanks: the 300 Bar DIN and CGA 347 (pictured below – DIN on left, CGA on right). The standard Airhog tank comes with a Midland 300 Bar Jubilee valve with flow control. The advantage of the Jubilee is that its flow control mechanism enables you to slowly release air so you can control its flow and not overfill your gun. If you own a used fireman’s tank, odds are you have a CGA 347 valve. If you bought a tank from another retailer, you’ll need to identify the valve on your tank before determining which adapters, if any, you might need. If you are unsure of your tank’s valve, please feel free to contact us and we will gladly identify the type of valve and any fittings/adapters required to fill your tank from your particular air source.
To quickly get you on your way, listed below are the valves, fill adapters, and fittings needed to get your tank filled at the most common sources of high-pressure air.
If you would like to fill your tank at a local scuba shop, be sure to ask whether they are capable of servicing up to 4500 psi. If you own a 300 Bar DIN valve, congratulations; you won’t need any adapters to fill your tank. If the shop is only capable of servicing about 3300 psi using either K-valve fittings or the lower pressure 200 Bar DIN valve, you may need a scuba fill adapter (pictured below). On the other hand, if your valve is a CGA 347, you will need to inquire whether the scuba shop uses a DIN 200, DIN 300 or a K fill yoke to fill its tanks. Depending on their fill convention, you will need the correct CGA to DIN adapter or CGA to K-valve adaptor.
If they can only service up to 3300 psi, we strongly recommend you look for an alternate air source that can provide you with higher pressure air. Otherwise you won’t be taking full advantage of your carbon fiber tank’s high-pressure capacity. (If you use our fill calculator, you’ll discover that at 3300psi, you’ll be able to fill a 200cc air gun reservoir 14 times, while at 4500psi, you will be capable of filling the same reservoir about 50 times.)
If you decide to go the paintball route, you will need a paintball fill adapter (pictured below) to convert your 300 Bar DIN OR CGA valve into a standard paintball foster fitting (aka male quick connect). Just let us know your valve type and we can send you the exact paintball adapter you’ll need to fill your air bottle. Although most paintball shops can service 4500 psi, we strongly recommend you call first to confirm. We would hate for you to waste you precious time and gas if the paintball shop cannot accommodate you.
Finally, if you want to fill your tank at a fire station and you have a 300 Bar DIN valve, you will need a firehouse fill adapter (pictured below) to convert the DIN valve into a CGA 347.
On the other hand, if you have a CGA 347, you likely won’t need any additional equipment as it is the valve most commonly used by fire stations. Filling your bottle at a fire station is a good alternative since most air packs used by firemen are at 4500psi. Additionally, if you deftly approach the fire station, you very well might get access to cheap air. Firemen generally welcome visitors to take a look around the station and chat. They are an amiable group. If you don’t know your local firemen, we suggest you bring along a box of doughnuts or other treat. Offer them your goodies and socialize with them for a while. Be sure to ask about the air packs and compressors. This is important because some voluntary fire departments still use 2215psi air packs, which will do you no good. If the fire station has access to 4500psi, ask them if they would do you a favor and fill up your tank. Most of the time, they will be glad to do so. Why, you might even run into a fellow air gunner or tweak the interest of a potential air gunner.
USING YOUR OWN COMPRESSOR
Another convenient option is buying your own compressor and filling the tank yourself. However, be warned that the compressors that handle high pressures up to and exceeding 4500 psi are very expensive. Airhog is a dealer of the well known and trusted, Bauer Compressors, as well as the less-expensive, but equally powerful, AireTex Compressors, built here in the US. Visit our website for more information on our compressors or call us to inquire about our everyday low prices.
OTHER LESS COMMON VALVES
Although the most common valves used with air gunning are the 300 Bar Din and CGA 347 valves, you should be aware that there are other CGA valves that can also be used for air. So, if you are in the least bit baffled, please don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll help you identify the exact type of valve. Some of the more frequent ones we see are the CGA 346, CGA 580, CGA 677, and CGA 680. Whichever valve you own, be assured that we will help you create an adapter that will work for your specific needs.
Hopefully this guide has been both informative and helpful to you. If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to give us a call.