I originally wrote this for an article in PBX3 Magazine for air systems:
Ninja Paintball / Rob Leary
Subject: Transporting and Shipping Air Systems
With the start of the new season, there are a lot of players that are concerned about how to properly ship or transport their air system to the events they are flying to. With increased security at airports, players should make sure to read all of the guidelines governing flying with compressed air cylinders to ensure your air system is not confiscated during transit. If you plan on flying to an event or you need to ship your air system, here are some useful tips you can use to ensure your air system will arrive safely at its destination.
If you plan on flying to an event, whether itís a big scenario event or tournament, you will need to be able to remove your regulator so TSA can inspect inside the bottle.
Here is a link to the latest official TSA rules for traveling with air systems: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...essed_gas.shtm
Any players traveling with their air system can go to the link above and should print two copies of the page. The page will print with the web site address and TSA logos so the TSA employees know this comes direct from their web site. I recommend that you attach this to your tank in case TSA inspects it and has questions or concerns. We also recommend that you keep a second copy on you, in case someone needs documentation right away.
If you plan on shipping your air system, you have several options. USPS, Fedex, and UPS allow you to ship an air system without removing the regulator. In order to ship using one of these freight carriers, you need to make sure to bleed all of the air out of the bottle before shipping. If you do this, it is no longer considered a hazardous material and can be shipped with no issues. Make sure to package the bottle in the box as best as you can so that it does not move around during transit and possibly damage the bottle.
As always, if you do not feel comfortable removing the regulator from your bottle, visit your local store or field for assistance. When you re-install your regulator, make sure that you at least hand-tighten the regulator on the bottle so that there is no gap showing between the bottom of the regulator and the top of the neck of the bottle. If you decide to hand-tighten and not torque the regulator down or use loctite, make sure to use the back of your bottle when you remove your air system from your marker. This will ensure your regulator does not separate from your bottle upon removal.
Rob Leary works for Ninja Paintball and has been playing Paintball for 23 years. Rob handles Sales, Marketing, and Social Media at Ninja and also assists players in the ďAsk a Ninja TechĒ thread on PBNation.com.