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Nitrogen Tank

September 23 2011 at 9:41 PM
Darrell  (Login dt3)

Still looking at fill options for my PCPs, currently I am comparing the cost of a nitrogen tank and the required regulator and charging set up to that of the Shoebox compressor. Anyone using a large 6000 psi nitrogen tank to fill their SCUBA tanks? To help control cost a friend and I are considering going 50/50 on a large nitrogen tanks and the associated filling equipment. I already have a SCUBA tank so I was wondering if I could safely fill my SCUBA tank so that he could store the large tank at his house, I dont have room for it at mine anyway.


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Mike Piantanida
(Login Mike_Piantanida)

Re: Nitrogen Tank

September 23 2011, 10:00 PM 

If you check, you'll likely find that you can't own the 6K tank, but have to rent it.
My local source quoted me $90/month rent!
You may need to get that part worked out first.
Joe Brancato sells the filling rig for the 6K Nitrogen tank.

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Buzzard Lunchyear
(Login buzzardslunch)

sure he didnt mean $9/mo? is more like typical rent

September 24 2011, 1:11 AM 

i believe i may [should] have the most expensive Ntwo in America because i'm at the end of the supply line; Hi.96743
Air Liquide is global supplier of Gas & COtwo for restaurants etc. They Are Everywhere.
I get their 445cuft 6000psi tank delivered to my door full for $233- [rent free 6 months, 9/mo after].
they also supply Ntwo to the local brewer, for a slurpy local treat.
My tank will fill an Mrod 463 times before it fades below 3Kpsi, about .50 cents per
that would take 46.3 trips to the diveshop for 10 fading fills off a single 3000psi scuba bottle, w/ only 1st at 3K.

the initial setup is the only cost you can compare; the fittings, hose gauge & regulators are $500-
[same as a shoebox, or a single 4500psi CFRP bottle before any hardware. and good luck finding a fill] .
after that its remarkable what else you DONT need to buy,
There is nothing to break or plug in or wear out or turn off on time or wait to fill, or filter for moisture or fan to keep cool. no parts.
just unlimited dry gas that wont expand and stretch your seals or allow any moisture.

and you can leave it out and tied to a tree, for best maintenance practice, someplace the backhoe wont go.
[linked image]

This message has been edited by buzzardslunch on Sep 24, 2011 1:21 AM

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(Login shooter14)

split the cost of a shoebox, you will

September 23 2011, 10:01 PM 

come out ahead in the long run

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Brian P
(Login bsplinker)

Nitrogen or cascade air tank.

September 23 2011, 10:40 PM 

I have been looking at the same conundrum since I picked the rogue up.

I could get a nitrogen tank for around $100 yearly and $48 to outrageous for a fill depending on grade of the nitrogen . Our shop tends to get lab grade nitrogen in 6000 psi. This price is on the company account for my welding stuff. The private price quote was ridiculous.

Like one poster said Joe has the fittings for a nitrogen tank. The tanks are CGA677 fittings for 6000 psi from our shop. The paint ball guys on eBay often have these as well as regulators if desired.

My paint ball guy can get both 4500 (5000max) and 6000 PSI bulk tanks that you can buy. The 4500/5000 450 Cubic foot was around $520 plus ship. The 6000 tanks are well over a grand. Paint ball guy is cool so he said he would even stop out and fill the bulk for $45 since he has the compressor on the truck going to the field often.

You might check around for the bulk or cascade system tanks, since the paint ball users are going heavy into the 4500psi air tanks the fill equipment is getting more common.

You can as easily fill a small tank from the big one. Same rules apply, good equipment fittings no cheap stuff, safe slow fill no tank heating or undue stress. Regulator highly recommended if you are dropping way down say 6000 to 2000 its easy to overfill if you get in a hurry.

Thats the best I have found so far.


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(Login FVA)

I'd add that "lab grade" offers no benefit...

September 24 2011, 1:17 AM 

....but does add expense. Lab grade only certifies that every tiniest minuscule of a percent is nitrogen and not "cleaner" as in particles. It offers no benefit for PCP use.
I pay $140- year lease and actual product cost when I exchange.

edited to add this was meant to go below my below post(grin)

This message has been edited by FVA on Sep 24, 2011 1:19 AM

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(Login FxAirGunner)

Re: Nitrogen or cascade air tank.

September 24 2011, 1:56 AM 

Northshorecompressor had used 4500 psi steel tank for around $450 or so awhile ago, they may still have some left. They also have the cga fitting for the 6000 psi tanks, plus hpa hoses, regulators and foster fittings. The best price I have found and fast cheap shipping as well.

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(Login FVA)

I've a 6000 PSI tank.

September 24 2011, 1:10 AM 

You can do a LOT of shooting before you have to worry about refilling. Yearly lease. The tanks are very heavy as I believe they are 1" thick steel but if you can handle moving/exchanging they are a good option. They value of my tank on my lease is $900-.
I fill a carbon tank from Air Hog and use that for my gun. I've fittings/hose assembly from Joe without a regulator and after use am happy with my choice not to go the regulator route.FWIW.

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(Login oldgoat1)

N2 tank

September 24 2011, 4:30 AM 

I did the N2 tank for 1 year. I got mine from AirGas. You don't need a regulator, just watch what you are doing! My 470 cf tank started out at $75 a year lease and $70 for a fill. Every time that I took it back for an exchange, the price for the fill went up. At the end of the first year they said that the lease had went up to $370 a year and refills were $90. That tank was one heavy SOB! They told me that it weighed 420 pounds.

If you have access to N2 at work, you will be good to go. It just started to cost me too much.

I have a 44 and 66 cf SCBA tanks. The 2 local fire houses are happy to fill them any time I walk in with them. The only downside with that is, they want to talk for 1/2 hour or so!

I ordered a Shoebox and told the firemen that I was getting it ready to go. They wanted to know why I spent the money when they were happy to fill my tanks for free?

Check out your local fire houses.

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(Login dt3)


September 24 2011, 8:57 AM 

Thanks guys I am still undecided however I am getting a little closer. Thus far here are my options.

Use my hand pump and pay nothing extra to shoot my PCPs except for the labor and an occasional rebuild kit for the pump.

Stay with the two SCUBA tanks I have which I fill at my local dive shop for $6.00 and pay $18.00 a year for annuals. His maximum fill pressure is about 3400 psi and the local firehouse is unwilling to fill a CF tank so thats really not an option.

Purchase a 485 cub ft. nitrogen tank and the fill equipment with regulator total investment $800.00 and $25.00 for refills. As I stated earlier the tank would stay at my buddies house which is about 20 minutes one way from my house, however I go there often anyway. I would fill my existing SCUBA tanks from the big tank.

Rent a 485 cu ft nitrogen tank for $99.00 a year plus $125.00 for the initial fill and refills. Add the purchase of the filling equipment (regulated) and the total initial investment would be close to $700.00 or just a little over with a minimum annual cost of $224.00. Again I would be splitting this cost with my buddy.

Rent the same tank for five years for $199.00 (initial fill and refills same price) add fill equipment and the initial investment go to about $800.00 with a minimum annual cost of $164.80.

If I remember correctly I can fill my AA S400 ETRA somewhere between 425 and 450 times prior to needing a refill. At 40 shot per fill thats 17000 pellets down range on a single fill of the nitrogen tank, I shoot a lot however I thing the both of us could make it a year on a single fill.

Go with the Shoebox for which I have not priced everything out yet however it looks to be somewhere between $550.00 to $600.00.

I should tell you that in general I am a tight wad; I think that part of my difficulty in making this decision is that I feel very lazy and spoiled considering purchasing any of these options as opposed to just using my hand pump.


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Doug Owen
(Login DKOwen)

Look at the numbers a different way.......

September 24 2011, 11:24 AM 

Contrast high pressure N2 tanks to SCBA. A typical SCBA tank is 88 CF at 300 Bar so the volume is about .293 CF inside that tank, some 8306 cc.

Take those numbers to Steve's nifty fill calculator at the bottom of the page, input 500 CF at 6000 psi for the tank and 8306 cc for the 'gun' (in our case a SCBA tank) that gets refilled to 4500 when it drops to 3000 (just like you'd take it to the shop to get filled up). The answer is only four fills before you're getting short fills on the SCBA tank. You get some use out of the partial fills of course, but the bottom line is you're looking at $25 or so for that much gas if you can get fills easily.

Changing the numbers to filling a SCUBA tank to 3500 psi when it drops to 2500 (as a guy might) gives you ten fills and a bit before your 6000 psi tank starts giving short fills.

Those 400 pound tanks look attractive for sure, and they do solve gas problems when no other alternatives are available, but they don't really have all that much gas relative to 'normal fills' (if you can get them). In out of pocket costs they can make fills a lot more expensive in many if not most cases. Not to mention the seriously heavy steel tanks the Nitrogen comes in.

Doug Owen

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(Login FVA)

Good points

September 24 2011, 5:44 PM 

As you say,"Normal fills, when you can get them" are the way to go. I haven't been able to find any place locally who would do them and no luck with fire houses either.
That left me with a hand pump and likely not the driest air and little else.
I had a bit of a issue finding a place that was willing to lease me a 6000 psi tank. Ended up having to go almost a hour away and even that place called the "home office". Fortunately in these litigious and save people from themselves times the home office said there was no reason or law that a everyday Joe couldn't rent,buy or lease a 6000 psi tank and it wasn't their business what it was for.
Initially when I told the manager what I wanted to use it for he said,"That raises some eye brows sir." LOL.

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Buzzard Lunchyear
(Login buzzardslunch)

Never volunteer extra info & you wont need explain

September 24 2011, 10:03 PM 

Act like its normal because it is...or Tell him you want fill heavy equipment tires.
My N2 supplier didnt ask and i never said; previous explanations caused nothing but awkwardness at the dive shop.
When playing w/ powerful pcps, I have found the less i talk [non shooters] about them the better.
If peeps understand properly they are freaked we're not licensed.
I certainly wouldn't recommend telling your neighbors what up.
I'm on acreage & i aint told mine.
call me paranoid. i get that way whenever i'm having too much fun.

Air Liquide® has offices and depots all over the country. They are a major producer and retail supplier of industrial
gasses to restaurants and industry. Their company policies include supply to folks like us,
and Nitrogen is being used for many many small shop applications, including filling tires and shocks at costco,
and at performance auto tuners, bike shops etc. Its used for brewing beer, even,
Aircraft tires require it, Bulk carriers use it to smother fuel loads under transport, for safety.

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(Login austin870)

Re: Nitrogen Tank

September 24 2011, 1:57 PM 

No two vendors are even close to the same. I can't find any in my area that can make it even close to feasible. Some want a huge price difference going to a private residence, others want to rip you off for the tank, refill pricing can be all over the place. They won't let you pick them up in anything other than an open pickup bed. They can jack the pricing up on any of this after your contract expires assuming you have one.

In a huge major city you would have better luck because there are maybe a dozen or two dozen supply shops so someone will usually make you a deal.

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