Best Fittings Air charging
By: Pete Wadeson
Seems Best Fittings have been in overdrive recently in both manufacture and development with some very interesting goodies. In my opinion all must haves for PCP air rifle users. First up, the Anti-Roll Kit, which is simple and essential. As the name implies, it’s designed to stop your air cylinder rolling around anywhere. It consists of two semi rigid foam rods connected by one or two pairs of wide, Velcro-adjustable straps. When adjusted to the width of the bottle it will stop it rolling, so good for when carrying in your car or even on a table!
With a fixed reservoir PCP we all forget to keep it topped up and nothing is more annoying when you start to loose pressure and how many of us would bother carrying a pump? Now Best Fittings have introduced 400cc and 500cc mini-charging cylinders and mini gauge for rifles without on-board pressure gauges. So all you need to do with these handy tanks is to plug in and fill your rifle.
The 400cc is filled to 230-bar and the 500 a recommended 250-bar. The minis charge directly from a host 232/300-BAR DIN cylinder, by mating directly to the DIN connection and then being sealed using the large knurled edged hand-wheel. Charging the smaller bottle is very much the same as charging a buddy bottle, however, as this is in actuality a charging bottle itself, you need to fully open the top valve of the mini-cylinder first.
The pressure gauge on the main larger charging bottle will now rise to the same pressure as the mini-cylinder. Now slowly open the main cylinder control valve. The air will start to fill the mini cylinder being charged up, watch the large bottle’s air gauge until it arrives at the desired pressure for that size of mini-cylinder. When filled, close the main bottle valve, then close the mini-cylinder valve. Unscrew the bleed screw from the larger bottle and this releases the air between the valve heads. You can then disconnect the now filled mini-cylinder from its host by unscrewing the hand wheel.
Mini-Cylinder Pressure Gauge Assembly
Both mini-cylinders come with a fitting for charging guns with on-board pressure gauges but it never does any harm to double check with a separate gauge. For a superb set-up that will cope in almost every eventuality the unit needed is the Mini-Cylinder Pressure Gauge Assembly. This allows filling from a larger bottle but is mainly designed for you to use a Best Fittings mini-cylinder to top up a rifle that doesn’t have an on-board air gauge.
As an all in one unit, ready fitted and ready to be attached to any mini-cylinder the Pressure Gauge Assembly has a main inlet valve, Bleed valve, high quality air gauge and 100mm of Micro-bore Hose, ready to fit with your 1/8” BSP filling adaptor. A Best Fittings’ Quick Coupler Set could be used if a few of you were out with different makes of rifle, but if you are only taking one type of PCP then use a bonded washer and screw in your rifle’s usual fill adaptor. A hex head Allen key (supplied) is used to carefully unscrew the centre retaining fitting from the DIN hand wheel. Now you can install the Pressure Gauge Assembly using a few small adjustable spanners. Once all is assembled, they’re still small enough to be slipped into a pocket of a gun bag or rucksack for transportation into the field when carrying a large cylinder.
As a ‘benchmark’ guideline, the charging bottle will give an Air Arms S410K or similar specification PCP two full re-fills and one partial fill. We’ve seen similar smaller ‘charging bottles’ on the market in the past but they didn’t work half as well or as efficiently as the BF mini-cylinders with the recommended Pressure Gauge Assembly.
Also worth a mention are the Pressure Check/Test Plugs manufactured from high grade stainless steel available for attaching to 1/8 BSP standard fill line, ¼ BSP for any standard cylinder using a ‘buddy bottle’ adaptor outlet; there’s also one for the quick coupler set. Another simple accessory I found very useful is the 3L Cylinder Boot - made of a very high grade rubber it allows the bottle to stand upright and protects against ‘dings and dents.’
|Prices||Anti-Roll Kit POA Mini-Charging Cylinders 400cc (£105) and 500cc (£110) Mini Cylinder Pressure Gauge Assemble £22.50 Pressure Check/Test Plugs £3.50 3L Cylinder Boot £9 All orders over £15 post free, under add £2.50|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates