Airborn Preset bottle regulator review.

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by ollytheosteo, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. ollytheosteo

    ollytheosteo New Member

    Not that long ago there was a big shift in the way UK paintballers view high pressure air; a couple of high-profile bottle mishaps and a lot of shouting about the legal situation involving filling, regs and bottles. Some things have changed, some less so, but one thing that did come out of the whole mess was that it’s a very very good idea to have a reg marked with the Pi mark and with burst discs for both high and low pressure sides of the regulator. That way if the tank pressure is too high the HP burst disc will pop, but also if the reg fails in some way and starts sending too high a pressure to the gun the LP burst disc will go, preventing potential damage to your marker or worse yourself as bits of your pride and joy fly in all directions.
    In response to this some manufacturers redesigned their regs, others did nothing and some just wrote a Pi mark on the side with a felt tip. One company to respond to the changes with a new, purpose designed and UK built bottle reg was Arrow Precision, who brought out the Airborn system which is available from Powerball. I’ve been using one for a while and recently decided to upgrade all of my bottle regs to this unit, and as part of the process thought I’d write a review. I still have to pay for them so this isn’t one of ‘those’ reviews but hopefully just a good look at the system. The reg is available set up for 3000 or 4500psi use, with both outputting 800psi to the marker. I’m looking at the 4500 version, they normally come fitted with larger gauges but micro sized can be fitted on request.

    I know it’s fashionable at the moment to play Top Trumps with the lightest setups, and up to point that’s great, but when you’re dealing with 4500psi of pressure I personally feel the way forward is durability and safety features rather than shaving another few grams of metal from something that can keep you alive and pretty. One look and especially handling the Airborn tells you that this is a heavier reg than most of the new breed of teeny tiny bottle regs, and indeed it’s not the smallest unit ever, especially with the filtered fill nipple that does stick out further than other designs. If the though of adding an extra couple of ounces to your supergun is a turn-off then this won’t be of much interest, but as a real grown up safety device for dealing with HPA the Airborn has a lot to recommend it. Features include a solid alloy body with wrench flats for proper fitting, a stainless steel bonnet, threads and internals instead of plated alloy and dual burst discs fitted under colour-coded caps. The pin that your OOPS will press is a solid piece of stainless steel that looks a lot more durable than some, and the fill nipple is fitted with a 50 micron filter that is easily changed and will keep crap out of your bottle and indeed your precious marker’s delicate innards. Here are some pics for a closer look;

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    You can see the alloy body, stainless steel bonnet and dual burst discs. The 3000psi version has a blue cap instead of the red. Also visible are the Pi markings, bit surprised to find a sticker here, especially as Sloth has such a nice laser engraving machine ;)

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    Here we see the micro gauge and also the fill nipple, it’s a bit longer but the filter is worth it I think, and it can be replaced by a smaller one by the user if needed.
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    More fill nipple, here you can see the white filter, the stainless steel body and cap and if you look closely you can see the nipple is broached for an allen key and the body has generous spanner flats for easy maintenance. The back-check was originally a delrin plug but is now a stainless piston and o-ring assembly.

    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the sturdy pin and machined stainless bonnet, should last for a while without issues and no flaking plating.

    [​IMG]

    A nice long threaded portion into the bottle for strength with full length flats for pressure relief if the reg starts unscrewing from the bottle.

    So there you have it, a heavier design but built for safety first, and whilst the fill nipple is longer a bit of fiddling finds a comfy position and there’s less worry about bits getting in the works. The whole reg can be stripped and serviced by the user and spares are available in the UK direct from the factory, as is service and help if needed or if you’d rather not take chances fiddling with your reg. You can find a manual here; http://www.powerball.co.uk/PIcs/Airborn_reg_duel_burst.pdf to give you an idea of what’s involved. Personally I’d recommend getting the reg fitted to the bottle by the pros for less worries.

    As for performance, the only time you really notice a duff reg is when it doesn’t work but I’ve been using one of these for several months now with no problems, good consistency and the comfort of having all the right safety features. One thing I do notice with the Airborn is that it seems to hold air over time better than my other regs, which is most handy when coming to tech a gun and finding I still have the fill I put in at the last event.

    All in all I’d strongly recommend the Airborn reg to anyone who puts performance and safety over weight and size, with the added bonus that problems can be sorted in the UK by a company who have been around for years. The Airborn retails at £40, excellent value for a quality bit of kit and feeling better about having 4500psi next to your face.

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    2 people like this.
  2. Richie

    Richie Administrator Staff Member

    Great review, rep for you.

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