First off put him in your prayers. It is really the first time I have heard of a failure. I hope it is the last. I know there is always a risk in about everything and its my choice to take it. These things are under alot of pressure and maybe we have to start to think they have a limited life span or need hydro testing. I have made my own titanium tubes and do overkill on everything. Thicker wall, longer threads and have hydro tested them to 12,000 psi on the test part. But I still kringe that first time I put air in it. I wonder if this will change our sport
My prayers are with him and his family. I don't know what kind of metal the tank was made out of or the knowledge and skill of the person who made it, but I do know people who work with titanium parts on military aircraft. They tell me that hydraulic lines made out of titanium are prone to failure and also that titanium rotors will break at surface scratches if these are not polished out. My thoughts are that you put yourself and others at risk unless you have the correct training and skill set to build air tanks.
This event is a sad reminder that those of us that have a PCP gun have a grenade in their hands every time we fill or even handle the gun. Accidentally dropping or careless handling of these guns can be a disaster in a split second. Everyone, please take extra care with your PCP's.
Antonio, you are in my prayers.
"What, me worry?"
"If I were two faced would I be wearing this one?" - Abe Lincoln
The constant pressure cycles can result in fatigue failure. I'm sure airgun manufacturers don't use the best quality materials for their tanks or do any non-destrutive testing (magnaflux/zyglo) to ensure there are no cracks or subsurface defects because this would raise the cost substantially. Best advice is to pressurize the tank in a container.
That's pretty bad. It is a wonder why PCP guns are not subject to hydro testing standards. For example, I just learned the other day, while at a scuba shop getting things filled, that there is the 2x2 rule. Anything less than 2 inches in diameter and less than 2 feet long is exempt from periodic hydro testing. Real shocker to me! The shop owner told me that the hydro data on bottles is there for compliance reasons and are only required for the factory prior to consumer use and sales; ASTM standards.
At any rate, that is too bad for him and his family. Hope he pulls through it all.
"The majority of things in our lives are created by folks no smarter than the rest. Afterall, the world is comprised, and operated by C average people intellctually, academically, and morally. These people are often the great pioneers that set the precedent for what excellence should be."
I am SO SO sorry to hear this, and will pray for him. I, too
December 30 2011, 1:06 PM
have wondered about this MANY times.
I only have one pcp that goes to 3000 psi fill.
My resolution has been to fill to around 2800, and keep it as close to that as possible by refilling often. Hopefully this reduces "expand and contract". I fill from a scuba tank filled at a scuba outfit, but have wondered about rust and corrosion.
The The Sportsmatch GC2 - designed by Gerald Cardew and manufactured by Sportsmatch - was one if the very first - and finest - PCPs ever made. It was built expressly for FT and featured a regulator (very new in the late 80s) and was hand built of the best materials available. The 200 BAR air cylinder is constructed of the best Swedish steel and every aspect of the rifle is top of the line.
However, the tube of one rifle burst a few seconds after filling by a very experienced shooter. He was injured and Sportsmatch did the responsible thing and immediately ceased production. Only about 450 rifles wer ever built and, IMHO, they are much more finely crafted than 90% of the present day offerings.
For several years I worked as a divemaster in the Bahamas and was certified to VIS, clean and repair tanks and regs. I was also certified to use mixed gasses - including pure O2 - and fully appreciate the risks involved in using even tanks that require a hydro (expansion/water displacement ) test for metal fatigue. The DOT does not require rigorous testing of small tanks such as used on airguns and many hydro facilities do not have the fittings necessary to test airgun cylinders - although some airgun manufacturers recommend annual inspections.
Bottom line - never underestimate the possibility of a catastropic failure. They have and will occur. With the cost of some rifles being lower that a single tube for a GC2 - it is inevitable. Working pressures for modern PCPs are as high as 240 BAR - and a flash fill from a 4500psi tank can be particularly dangerous. And don't forget the fill hose. It must be rated for the appropriate pressure (unlike one shown recently on this Forum)and the fittings must be correct and tight. I have seen many hose failures. The hose breaks and the end whips around at incredible velocity. Many folks in the dive industry have been injured or killed by a "whip". Always remember to fill VERY slowly - and, if possible, have the bottles or cylinders checked at regular intervals. It could save your life or the life of a bystander.
This has made a believer out of me and cheap insurance
December 30 2011, 1:59 PM
Yeah I know the bursts are few and far between.
I fill one of my guns to a rated 4300PSI, the Ranger 45, but frankly they all scare me.
The recent hose failure happened just as one my cascade hoses rated at 6000 PSI without strain ends started to hiss slightly at the ferrel.
So Joe filled my order and in just a couple days I installed two new fresh hoses. I have to say that made me feel a lot better. Next will be my SCBA tanks. I already have planned the video of shooting a filled one at 100 yards, from the safety of cover in a isolated area.
Water, fatigue and whatever can cause these tubes to fail. But considering the cost of what has happened to Antonio, perhaps replacement tanks on my Condors, Ranger and Royale 400 every two years or so may be in order.
Tubes and tanks really are cheap when compared to the alternative.
Would some of the super-experienced ones here put together a "guide" of recommendations
December 30 2011, 2:31 PM
This is really bad news and hope the best for him and his family. Without knowing the circumstances behind do not want to jump into conclusions that we are all in grave danger, but there are some things that are common sense, which may not be so apparent to many of us in this hobby.
Would some of the super-experienced ones here put together a "guide/standards" of recommendations concerning PCP tank safety, inspection, handling, and parts source? I know there are diverse types and makes of PCPs out there, but there must be many things that are common and many things that the airgunner can do for safety before asking a "professional".
For example: "If you have an Air Arms 400/410 and fill it up 20 times a year, should visual check for this and this... Next: after 2 years of use at 20 x times fills a year, recommend sending in for a hydro. Here are some known hydro locations: A, B, C. Recommend replacement of PCP tube every X number of years, if total lifetime fill reaches XX.
The AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) was established partly for a similar reason, to help standardize the hobby; set standards for performance, safety and competition; safeguard the hobby from undue legislations\regulations (by lobbying).
Could some companies in the hobby, like JDS Air Man (just an example) or a certified filling place, offer some discount service inspections (ok, make the owner sign a release of liability if can't guarantee another manufacturer's product). Yeah, they may not make a killing on these inspections, but may make money on volume or by selling replacement PCP tubes? Or should we start asking that the manufacturers publish some practical standards of safety that the gun owner can do without having to turn to a professional? My Air Arms has a stamp on it that says I should check it every so often. Where and how can I do that, and can we help ourselves staying safe? Without any real solution for doing it, that stamp on the PCP tube becomes only a legal statement to protect the manufacturer from future liabilities.
I recall a Mythbusters episode where they were trying to prove/disprove the final scene from Jaws where Roy Schieder shoots the SCUBA tank in the sharks mouth, resulting in a huge explosion.
They used aluminum 3000psi (I assume) tanks, but I don't recall what caliber rifle was used. They did a few tests and the result was the same each time, the bullet pierced the tank resulting in a sudden loss of pressure and the tank being propelled violently around the inside of their safety enclosure. However there was no violent explosion with shrapnel and such.
Will a SCBA 4500psi CF wrapped tank react the same? I thought one of the purposes of the CF wrap was to contain the metallic inner tank in the event of a failure while letting the high pressure air inside escape.
This is terrible - Everybody try to be as safe as possible
December 30 2011, 4:22 PM
I do not know this gentleman but I hope he pulls through ok and makes a full a swift recovery.
I used to weld a lot back in the day and everytime I was near a high pressure vessel whether it be Oxy, acetylene, or argon tank or whatever it was I always feared and respected the potential energy involved. I only have one PCP (daystate) but I treat that tube like if it fell over it could explode. I also try not to get any scratches on it and I leave it stored pressurized either fully or at the point where I would refill it like at the bottom of the fill range. I normally fill from a pump but when I do have access to a tank I fill very slowly and carefully. I also store it someplace as safe as possible so that if it did go boom chances are neither I or anyone else would be near it. I do not fear it when I use it but I respect what those kind of pressures can do. Hopefully anyone reading about this tragedy will keep these things in the back of their head while working with high pressures of any type. Also with all the talk of lower quality cables lately hopefully everyone will not be in the save money mode but more in the whats the best safest way to go with cables/tanks or DIY projects.
I hope he recovers . It would definitely help the airgunning community if we could have some of the details behind this tragedy. maybe some good can come of this if we know the cause of failure and avoid anything like this in the future.
man that is an eye opener... I am thinking that after a few years if thee are no hydro
December 31 2011, 3:34 AM
testing readily available, we should demand that all dealers have replacement bottles to install and maybe even a trade in of the old ones for re furbising and full testing would then become a reality.. recycling the bottles would accomplish that : bring in your old one and pay some price for a new one.. returnt that one for a new one... cheaper than a new one with no return.. like the propane bottles in a wqy..
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