There’s no such thing as a free lunch. That bit of axiomatic wisdom has been, or should have been drilled into your head by this point. The truth is, if someone is standing on the street corner giving stuff away, there’s a catch to it. Likewise, there are hidden costs often associated with items on occasion. For instance, if you have purchased a higher-end trail camera you will have discovered that to get maximum use out of it, you will have to pay a monthly fee to get the images beamed through space and to your phone.
Traditional spring and gas pistol air rifles are essentially stand alone units that only require ammo in order to use. You buy the gun, you buy the ammo and you are set. However with Pre-Charged Pneumatic air guns, this is not the case. The rifle will come to you empty and you will need to find a way to fill it in order to use it.
Purchase A Pump
You can do it! Hand pumping for top-offs is easy-peasy. Pictured here is the discontinued Umarex High-Fill pump with the original Gauntlet perched on top of Hog Saddle’s Pig Saddle Tripod.
If off the grid is your thing or you just want to make the most of your airgunning money, a hand pump is the only way to go. At this time we do not have a stand alone hand pump in our catalog, but you can find quality units through various online retailers. A quality hand pump (one that can be serviced) can be purchased in the range of $150 to $200 easily. If you are like me and like things off the grid, a hand pump is a great option. And if you can discipline yourself to only shoot a few magazines at a time, pumping back up to your set PSI is a cinch and will only take a few minutes.
Portable Electronic High-Pressure Pumps
For ease of use and convenience sake, many people would prefer to pass on the hand pump. I get it. It is work to fill a tank with a hand pump. The trade-off for convenience is cash. There are electric pumps on the market that are pretty affordable. However, there are some precautions one must take when going for a low-end electric pump. Be sure to research your pump and know what your budget is before committing to a low-end pump. Our ReadyAir PCP pump does cost a bit more, but you do have a warranty and our service department is very responsive. And it’s located here in the middle of the USA in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Carbon Fiber & Commercial Grade Electric Pumps
Out in the field, a carbon fiber 4,500 psi tank is hard to beat. It’s quiet, it’s fast and it’s not all that heavy. Getting it filled can be a challenge, however. Tanks like this can be purchased from Joe at WWW.AIRTANKSFORSALE.COM
Beyond hand pumping and portable electric compressors are carbon fiber 4,500 psi tanks. When it comes to filling a PCP tank, there’s absolutely no faster way. The fly in the ointment, however, is getting the carbon fiber tank filled. Portable carbon fiber tanks come in many different sizes, from small “pony” bottles that are great to carry afield all the way up to 100 cubic foot tanks. The larger the tank, the more fills you can get from it. As alluded to above, filling this style of tank will require a commercial duty high-pressure pump. Buying your own commercial grade pump is possible, but these can be quite expensive. This cost added to the cost of the tank, can be well over $3,000. Even small carbon fiber pony tanks can cost several hundred dollars. Commercial grade high-pressure pumps start at about $2,000 and go way up from there.
Remote Filling & The BIG GUY
Umarex’s Eydin Hansen (@TXHOGDUDE) is The Big Guy and he needs 10%– seriously he’s just rocking the .25 caliber Origin after filling it from a 6K nitrogen tank with Ninja’s Fill Station close at hand. Though the picture does not show it, this tank is strapped to the pole with multiple ratchet straps.
Most people opt to purchase a carbon fiber tank and fill it at a commercial facility like a paintball field, dive shop, or, sometimes even fire stations. If going this route the best advice is to make sure the fill location in your area can fill your tank all the way to 4,500 psi. The fill location will charge for the service and that fee will vary depending on location. We would also strongly recommend having a selection of connections to connect from the various types of hoses that might be presented at these locations.
Still yet another option is to rent a 6K nitrogen tank from a company like AirGas or a local welding supply shop. A word of warning– 6K tanks are HEAVY. These tanks are hard to move and must be strapped into place when stored in your garage. You do not want this tank to fall over. Not only is it nearly impossible to pick up without assistance, but if the valve is broken, extreme damage is possible. However, even prolific airgun shooters can run several PCPs or fill portable carbon fiber tanks many times before the industrial 6K tank gets low enough to need a refill. Aside from the safety concerns already mentioned and the plentiful, fast supply of air there’s another positive– it’s pretty cheap. The yearly rental charge for the bottle itself and a fill of nitrogen is typically south of $200. You will need a regulated fill controller and that will set you back about 5 bills but precise easy filling is the result. What is that worth to you?
PCP airgunning does come with some financial caveats, but however you solve the problem, it is well worth it to shoot buttery smooth PCP air rifles on the regular.