If you like to shoot PCP airguns, you already know that having access to high-pressure air is key. While compressors capable of hitting 4500 PSI were few and far between several years ago, that’s not the case now. Today, airgunners have various choices ranging from entry-level to commercial, each with unique benefits and shortcomings. So let’s take a look at some of the most common use practices and what compressors are best suited for each.
I Just Need to Fill One Airgun, and I Shoot a Couple of Times a Month
If you have just one airgun and shoot every so often, any of the entry-level compressors will work for your needs. The Air Venturi RovAir is a great example. This $500 compressor is ideal for topping off any airgun. It’s maintenance-free and can run off of 100v or 12v, depending on your needs. The auto shutoff is very easy to adjust and has a respectable fill rate for such a small unit. There’s also the JTS which has advanced cooling and the Air Venturi Nomad III. These will work fine for filling your airgun up to 4500 psi.
I Have Several Small Bore Airguns, and I Shoot Every Week
In most cases, the compressors listed above will continue to work well for most shooters directly filling their airguns. Newer units like the RovAir and JTS don’t require oil or water to operate, giving them an advantage over other options. The average fill rate is reasonable for the casual shooter. For example, topping off a small bore airgun like the Air Venturi Avenger from 3000 PSI to 4325 PSI takes about 3.5 minutes. If you are filling it from empty, then it’s about 9 minutes. In the scheme of things, that’s pretty quick and certainly much better than filling by hand with an HPA Hand Pump. But what if you shoot every day or have a big bore that needs air after 3 or 4 shots?
Topping Off Your Big Bore Airgun
Here’s where things start to get more complicated and more expensive. The more volume you need, the more expensive the compressors become. You can still use the entry-level units to top off your gun, but you’ll spend a lot of time waiting for the little compressors between shooting sessions.
You could jump straight up to the new Air Venturi Krypton, but you may want to look at the Hill EC-3000 too. The Hill is an interesting offering centered around a “smart” fill system. Long fill times generate a lot of heat, and running anything at redline for extended periods will cause it to wear out quickly. The Hill EC-3000 overcomes this by automatically stopping the fill session once it reaches the “too hot” level. The Hill Compressor continues to run, cooling down until it hits the “ok to start again” temp and starts to fill again. It will cycle intermittently until the unit reaches the desired fill pressure. The fill rate is generally better than the entry-level units, even with the start and stops. The one downside to the Hill EC-3000 is its max 300 bar fill pressure. If your airgun needs a full 4500 PSI, then the Hill can’t get you there.
I Need Ultra Portability and Fast Fill Times
A carbon fiber tank is a great way to have air on the go, but filling them can be an issue. None of the compressors mentioned above are designed to fill bottles. If you use carbon fiber bottles to fill your airguns, then you need to look at the Air Venturi Krypton. This system can directly fill airguns and up to 98 Cubic Foot carbon fiber tanks. Shooters can then take their tank and gun into the field and have plenty of air on tap for a long day of shooting or hunting.
The fill rate is a little over one cubic foot per minute. To put this in perspective, it takes about 40 minutes to fill a 100 Cubic Inch pony bottle from empty to full using one of the smaller portable personal compressors. This is not recommended, as they can’t handle the heat and moisture generated by longer runtimes and will wear out much more quickly. The Krypton can do it in under 19 minutes and can do so safely and reliably. If you have a larger 98 cubic-foot tank, it will take about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Short of going for a commercial compressor like the Alkin, which has a 3.7 cubic foot per minute fill rate, the Krypton is a great option.
Let’s Wrap It Up
If we were to try and summarize things for you, any of the personal portable, entry-level compressors would work just fine for most shooters But, if you plan on shooting a lot or have an airgun that chews through a lot of air per shot, or if you to fill tanks, then you need to step up to a bigger, better, and more robust unit like the new Krypton.
We carry a wide variety of compressors and PCP accessories. If you want to make sure that you are getting the best unit for your needs, just give us a call. We are always here to help.