Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The Killer TANK!
The Killer Tank! I thought this topic can be very interesting since many people who plays paintball often overlook this part of the game. We have been talking about which markers to use, which gears to get, what masks to buy but when it comes to tanks, most of the people are left clueless. I am not so much of an expert myself but thought it will be good to share about the mechanics of paintball tanks and the dangers involved when it comes to handling one of these...
If you have a paintball magazine at home...flipped it again, you will surely see it somewhere that there is a warning page instructing people about the hazards of mishandling a paintball tank. Yes, its true, people get serious injuries from mishandling these... I have personally witnessed at least 5 counts of mishandling. One of these misfortunate victims had to be sent by an ambulance to the hospital to get a facial reconstruction done!!!
Here's how you can get injure (some of the most common ones, in random order):
1) Screw the killer tank into the marker without realizing that the threadings do not fit. By doing this, you will not only spoil the threadings of the tank and the marker, you simply do not get a perfect fit. Usually, it tends to be harder to screw as you screw further in. By the time you realize this, you will most probably end up with a badly scratched threading. To prevent this, a good practice is to ensure that the marker is tuck in between your legs as you screw in the tank, make sure that the marker and the tank is straight before turning the tank in. Attempt to clean the threadings of the marker and tank with a dry cloth to get rid of the residues from oxidation or sand particles.
2) While filling the killer tank at the distribution outlet, ALWAYS hold onto the valve while filling and look away from the marker. Make sure that the valve unit is fitted into the killer tank. You can do a simple test by pulling the valve and making sure that it holds before filling. Most players do not hold onto the valve and when the air compressor is turn on...you will have a flapping/swinging valve which might possibly hit you in the face! Its okay if it hits you...but if it hits another mate standing next to you...Good luck.
3) When removing the killer tank from the marker (if you do not have the luxury of having a ASA attached), make sure that you "shoot the tank off". By shooting the tank off, I mean pull the trigger while trying to remove the tank in an anticlockwise motion. By pulling the trigger as you turn the tank, allow you to remove the tank in an easier way as there is less pressure at the pin valve forcing the tank to the marker. If unsure, just invest in a decent ASA.
4) Always look at the regulator when you are turning the tank. Often, the regulator can be loosen due to prolonged usage of turning in and out from the marker. If the regulator is loosen from the tank and is stucked in the marker, by turning the body of the tank, you will dislodge the regulator from the tank. This is extremely dangerous...if done slowly, you will see the O-ring that is inside the tank bursting...if done in a fast motion, the tank might hit you directly at your face. I have seen this happen many times to a teammate of mine. Good gracious...he is still alive.
5) Take note of the tank usage... there is a life span when it comes to using a tank. Always take note of the frequency of usage and the timeout date, especially if you are buying a second hand tank. Make sure that you do a regular visual inspection of the tank (though this doesnt really help with micro cracks...but hey...at least you are doing some checks).
Lastly, do not "monkey see monkey do". You have to understand the danger and the basic handling of the killer tank. This part of the training is often overlooked...so until the next injury...not too sure how to fill a tank, just ask. Safety first...