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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:21 pm 
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Location: San Antonio, TX
I have a bit of a conundrum and a host of possible solutions. I recently got my first PCP AP. It was a great condition used Hammerli 480K2. The reason I went with this pistol is because it was at a price I could afford. I can't afford the 4 digits of new or used current model PCP guns. I had been away from the sport for some time so I was unaware of the rule limiting the age of cylinders to 10 years. Because my gun is no longer supported it has been a challenge to find current replacement cylinders. I absolutely love this pistol and would hate to dispose of an otherwise perfectly good gun. Because I am fiscally challenged I have an aversion to wasting things.

I am also a retired engineer and have thought of possible solutions that I haven't seen discussed on this board related to 10-year-old rule. I also understand and agree with the intent of the rule, but not its implementation.

1. Immediately before I started this thread I also sent an email to our hosts requesting information on the most likely solutions to my problem. I am waiting on a reply but also wanted community thoughts and input.

2. Are there any aftermarket manufacturers of compatible cylinders for this or other PCP airguns?

3. Are there any requirements for manufacturers of these cylinders set forth by the ISSF, USA Shooting, or the NRA?

4. Could it be possible for me to have a cylinder remanufactured to exceed OEM specifications and meet ISSF requirements? - My cylinders consist of a valve housing screwed into a machined and anodized aluminum cylinder. It is the cylinder that is the common mode of failure and the simplest to remanufacture. I would want to have one replaced with a machined copy out of titanium and reuse the valve assembly. This would increase the MTBF by orders of magnitude and ensure safety for decades if not centuries to come. It also wouldn't cost much more than a new cylinder and it also wouldn't dramatically increase the weight.

5. If No. 4 could be accomplished would it be possible to petition the ISSF to amend their 10-year rule for cylinders that are engineered for extreme MTBFs or add the option for a routine inspection similar to scuba and welding tanks?

6. How feasible would it be to change the cylinder interface on the pistol to accept more common current cylinders?

I look forward to hearing people's thoughts.

Best Regards,

David Finell


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:53 am 
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Great idea.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:19 am 
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Finelld

This topic has been discussed here many times before. And the answer is always the same... It's cheaper to buy a new one.
Let me try to address your questions:
Quote:
Immediately before I started this thread I also sent an email to our hosts requesting information on the most likely solutions to my problem.

Try will probably respond with, "It's cheaper to buy a new one."
Quote:
Are there any aftermarket manufacturers of compatible cylinders for this or other PCP airguns?

Yes, ten point nine is one of them. http://www.10pt9.com/ Buinger (Germany) also sells them http://www.schiesssport-buinger.de/shoo ... or-200-bar
Find out if the current cylinders for the Hammerli pistols will fit yours. They usually do within a brand...
Quote:
Are there any requirements for manufacturers of these cylinders set forth by the ISSF, USA Shooting, or the NRA?

No, they are imposed by national (European) legislation regarding pressure vessels. It´s in Europe that most the cylinders are made...
Quote:
Could it be possible for me to have a cylinder remanufactured to exceed OEM specifications and meet ISSF requirements?

Yes it could but, it would be more expensive than a new cylinder and would probably be heavier.
Quote:
If No. 4 could be accomplished would it be possible to petition the ISSF to amend their 10-year rule for cylinders

No, because ISSF is only complying with European legislation.
Quote:
How feasible would it be to change the cylinder interface on the pistol to accept more common current cylinders?

It's a strait forward peace to manufacture, but the tolerances are pretty tight.
Also, it would have to be manufactured from a decent piece of metal... "It's cheaper to buy a new one."
Find out if the current cylinders for the Hammerli pistols will fit yours. They usually do within a brand...

All this only matters if you are going to compete at national or international level were the organization checks that date. Otherwise don't bother...

Hope this helps


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:55 am 
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You really only need one cylinder. If you have a working one, it's generally safe to say that in the US, almost no one cares about the expiration date except some anal putzes.

As far as I know there have been no problems with cylinders except one or two fluke occurrences.

I like your ideas, and you have the potential for a good small business.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:12 am 
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Our club has many aged cylinders. Nobody shoots at national level so nobody cares. I changed mine because I didn't want to lose my face filling it, but then the FWB P44 fits the P34 so no spares problem. I guess Hammerli is now no longer Hammerli so no spares made?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:34 am 
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Usually they start leaking somewhere first. Both of the fill end caps started leaking on the tanks for my MG1. I was able to get new caps from Match Guns. Solved my problem. They were out of date. The pressure gauges will leak on tanks with them eventually. MY MG1 tanks don't have a guage. My personal opinion that it is nothing but a cash cow for the air pistol makers. I have never had mine inspected.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:43 am 
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PFribley wrote:
My personal opinion that it is nothing but a cash cow for the air pistol makers.

As I understand it, and has been discussed on TT MANY times, they are merely complying with European law.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:23 am 
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Location: San Antonio, TX
Requesting and giving clarification on a few things.

For those who said it would be cheaper to buy a new one, are they referring to my pistol or the cylinder?

I have no problems buying a new cylinder if I could find one. The current Hammerli cylinders are not compatible.

If I would need to replace the pistol I would like to replace it with one that has the best chance for continued support. I have heard that some manufacturers share cylinder compatibility. I would probably like to go with one of these. Does anyone know what current brands are compatible/interchangeable?

I currently have two working cylinders. They don't have integrated manometers. They are working perfectly. I intend to use these for the time being but they are at the decade mark.

For those who advocate playing ostrich about dated cylinders, I would be very cautious. There are legitimate safety concerns for many pressure vessels. This is determined by design and metal fatigue. This is why I said I understood the reasoning, but disagreed with the implementation of the rule. There are also other ways to test the integrity of pressure vessels beyond hydrostatic testing that don't involve submersion. One method is holographic stress testing.

Lastly, I am trying to figure out what my most economical solution would be.

I doubt that I would ever seriously compete, and if I did it would be strictly for fun. With the information that I currently have, I would want to eventually replace my venerable Hammerli with a Steyr LP2 standard. I believe that our hosts are the only US distributor for this in the US and I am concerned that they would only be willing to sell me a stubby version. Currently, the only matches I can compete in are postal because I can't afford to travel and there is no interest in San Antonio,TX in 10M AP.

I hate San Antonio. It is the largest one horse town in the US and Possibly the world. There is virtually no local support for any of my hobbies or interests, precision airgun or otherwise. I can't wait until I can afford to move!

Best Regards,

David FInell


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:41 am 
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David Levene wrote:
As I understand it, and has been discussed on TT MANY times, they are merely complying with European law.


Canadian and American laws have requirements for regular hydro-testing of pressure vessels as well. And those regulations exist because people have been seriously injured and killed by all manner and size of pressure vessel. So it's not just "merely" European law.

Not going to do an extensive search, my experience with cylinder rules is from a few years ago. But here's a quick link:
http://www.c-f-c.com/gaslink/docs/dot_cylinder.htm
And look under: Retest and Inspection of Cylinders Table

As long as you are personally filling your own cylinders, and are the only person standing around them, you're free to take the risks. But as soon as you're expecting others to safety check your pistol or rifle, or up at the firing line with others, or perform fills for you, expect the safety rules to be enforced.

Unless the AP and AR cylinders fall under some DOT exemption, they will have some specification for testing pressure and interval in the regulations and how many time they can be tested before requiring to be disposed of. Considering the size of the AP/AR market the cylinders imported might not have the requisite DOT evaluation and markings. But if there's a European marking, the DOT equivalent can probably easily be found.

There are quite a number of speciality manufacturing companies already making HPA systems for paintball equipment. And there are many cylinder manufacturers. I've pointed out in another thread that paintball tackled the issue of how to correctly fill HPA tanks with regulated fill stations.

If there is enough of an AP/AR market for it, teaming up with one of the regulator manufacturers and tank manufacturers might be profitable.

David FInell wrote:
For those who advocate playing ostrich about dated cylinders, I would be very cautious. There are legitimate safety concerns for many pressure vessels. This is determined by design and metal fatigue.


I'd like to congratulate your respect for the safety concerns. You mention alternate testing methods. But I I understand the classification of AR and AP cylinders, they're being disposed of at 10 years without being tested.

The steps to take would be to investigate the availability, applicability, and cost of those alternative testing methods.

As I mentioned, there are many speciality shops making regulators and adaptors for the paintball industry. The pressures involved are the same as those for AR/AP. I'd recommend someone like Palmer's Pursuit Shop. At the very worst, a "constant air" adaptor could be made to attach a non-compatible tank to a pistol or rifle with a flex hose.

But the manufacturers that make tank regulators should be able to easily make a regulator with the required threading for any AP or AR and a tank (if available) from a tank manufacturer that would fit. The big question is how much they would charge for a one-off job or whether there's enough of a market to make enough to bring the price down.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:48 am 
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Finelld wrote:
I believe that our hosts are the only US distributor for this in the US and I am concerned that they would only be willing to sell me a stubby version.

Scott said this in a post from 2014:-
"We tell people all the time that if they truly want a long gun despite our advice, that they can buy the long one from Champions Choice, who is our largest legitimate retailer. Yes I know I am not making as much money on the sale, but I am doing what I believe is best for the sport."


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:20 am 
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As I mentioned earlier I am an engineer and that is why I understand the intent behind the 10-year rule. I understand the safety concerns probably more than most. But that is also why I disagree with its implementation.

The rule makers chose to go with the simplest solution without taking into account viable alternatives. This is not just the ISSF and National Shooting organizations, but the lawmakers of the various countries that impose similar requirements.

It would be easy to design safety failure modes into cylinders that could effectively negate the need for replacement or inspection. These include overpressure release valves and safety failure area where the cylinder is designed to rupture in a safe manner should a failure occur. The additional cost of these would be negligible and many cylinder manufacturers already include them.

Engineering like anything else is a balancing act. You need to balance cost, weight, complexity of design, safety, and chance of failure. Statistically speaking it is more likely that I will be in a serious car accident than experience a cylinder failure that would cause similar damage. When cylinders or any pressure vessel fails it can be spectacular and disastrous. It is all just weighing the risk. A few decades ago a compressed nitrogen tank fell over and broke the stem off at an AF base. The cylinder proceeded to propel itself thru a 1' thick steel reinforced concrete wall, across a tarmac, hitting a berm and going vertical for several hundred feet. Pressure vessels can be very dangerous. Vacuum tubes can be similarly dangerous. During the dawn of industry, steam engine boiler explosions were common. Hense the development of the sterling engine. It is all about weighing the benefit vs the risk.

For now, I plan on using what I have until I learn all of my options. Then I will make a decision on how to proceed. I will probably need to save the money for a new pistol. I just hope that I can get what I want without having to try and get it from overseas.

Best Regards,

David FInell


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:30 am 
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Finelld wrote:
For those who said it would be cheaper to buy a new one, are they referring to my pistol or the cylinder?

Cylinder. A replacement cylinder will set you back around 180€.
I doubt you could resolve your question for less than that with the other options you gave, but I've been wrong before ;)
Finelld wrote:
I have no problems buying a new cylinder if I could find one. The current Hammerli cylinders are not compatible.

I would email Buinger and 10pt9 and ask them if they have any for your pistol, even if it's not listed in the site.

Hope this helps


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:49 am 
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Finelld wrote:
I have no problems buying a new cylinder if I could find one. The current Hammerli cylinders are not compatible.


Contact Larry's Guns in Maine. They have a 480K that has been converted to use the AP40 cylinder and might be able to help you with the conversion.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:52 am 
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One thing that might be being missed is that IIRC, the condemning age is for the cylinder. Not the regulator or end fitting.

Cylinder threads surely have greater compatibility than the end that screws into the pistol.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:55 pm 
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David Levene wrote:
PFribley wrote:
My personal opinion that it is nothing but a cash cow for the air pistol makers.

As I understand it, and has been discussed on TT MANY times, they are merely complying with European law.

Utter B.S. Show me a law that requiring the ISSF to promulgate and enforce rules incorporating these arbitrary time limits.
If anything, it might specify design minimum standards for manufacturers or for limits for users, but I would be money there is no law requiring an international organization to assume the liability of setting a standard for "safe" cylinders by incorporate any such arbitrary specifications.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:02 pm 
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Sparky, even assuming you are correct and European nations don't have the authority to "force" (not getting into that one) the ISSF to do something, it does not matter. The ISSF has the authority to set the standard, and has done so. We can comply or not compete. End of story.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:34 pm 
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sparky wrote:
Show me a law that requiring the ISSF to promulgate and enforce rules incorporating these arbitrary time limits.

I doubt that there is one, but if the manufacturers say that the cylinders shouldn't be used beyond 10 years, because of the European regulations then it's a perfectly reasonable step for anyone involved in running a match to cover themselves by enforcing that limit.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:11 pm 
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David Levene wrote:
I doubt that there is one, but if the manufacturers say that the cylinders shouldn't be used beyond 10 years, because of the European regulations then it's a perfectly reasonable step for anyone involved in running a match to cover themselves by enforcing that limit.


The limits DO exist. Pressure cylinders ARE dangerous when untested or handled improperly. I linked to a page that clearly states the DOT requirements for testing for different classes of cylinder. The EU and every other jurisdiction has similar rules if they have any concern about the safety of people using pressure cylinders.

The ISSF and anyone else running competitions or facilities has every right and obligation to enforce the equipment safety regulations that exist.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:41 pm 
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OK guys, has any of you heard of a SINGLE burst cylinder?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:42 pm 
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I have heard of burst cylinders, but not under normal use. They have either been physically damaged or failed QC checks when they are tested to 150% or more of rated value.


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