Midland diving air cylinders
- 7 Comments
- Last updated: 19/12/2016
These days, we tend to take technology for granted, and with better kit at our disposal there are a number of options at every turn. Charging a modern precharged pneumatic airgun is a case in point. You decide if you want to go down the route of dedicated pump or use the original method of filling the gun from a compressed air cylinder or diver’s bottle. Quality products await either way.
I’ve been an advocate of pumps for years, but even I have had to succumb to purchasing an air bottle to have as back up in my cupboard. In my case, it’s just there to fill the occasional awkward rifle on test that happens to have an unusually large air capacity or curious valving system, but many shooters favour a bottle-fed air supply.
Seeing the breakdown of how many PCP owners use pumps against air bottles would be interesting, but many stick to the bottles simply because they are perceived as the easiest way to charge the gun. The down side is that the vessels do need to be safety tested periodically, to check the integrity of the metal against corrosion. For us airgun shooters, if the air bottle is just to be used for surface use, (and not diving), then what’s called a hydrostatic test is required, every five years, from the date of the bottle’s manufacture.
As a basic observation, compressed air is not to be trifled with, so when purchasing an air bottle, it pays to stick to recognised manufacturers who we can trust. Midland Diving Equipment has built up an enviable reputation in the business, and is pretty well the market leader where airgun use is concerned. The cylinder bodies themselves are manufactured to MDE’s design, in Italy or the Czech Republic, to British and International safety standards, then shipped to the UK, where MDE set everything up, fit their own valving system, integrated dry gauge, and the option of 1/8BSP or 1/4BSP hose. The end-user just screws on their filling adapter, supplied with the rifle, and the bottle is ready.
Just connect the hose to the gun, slowly open the valve via the large knob at the top, and once the needle on the gauge has reached the desired pressure, shut off the valve, and open the bleed screw, to release the air from the line.
The new Jubilee 300 bar cylinder valve is designed to deliberately restrict the airflow, so that it is impossible to fill the gun too quickly. This means that it is not only safer, but also prevents excessive heat building up, leading to a more accurate end fill pressure. Overall quality with MDE kit is obvious and they come highly recommended.
My own seven litre bottle was purchased from MGR Guns, in Woodhall Spa (T: +44 (0)1526 351 750), but the main cylinders are available through the MDE dealer network nationwide. Most gun shops can supply them, but if you run into problems, give MDE a call, to find your nearest dealer.
Midland Diving Equipment guide prices are: 3l bottle, line and gauge: £165; 4l bottle, line and gauge: £185; 7l bottle, line and gauge: £198; 12l is also available, POA.