by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Air Venturi Power Booster
Air Venturi Power Booster.

This report covers:

  • Higher price
  • Video
  • Early talk
  • What it is
  • Need a shop compressor
  • Can a gun be filled from empty?
  • No electricity
  • The parts
  • Can it fill a tank?
  • Specs
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the new Air Venturi Power Booster 4500 psi unit. I reported seeing a pre-production model of this at the 2017 SHOT Show. That one didn’t have the outer skin on, so this one looks more finished.

Higher price

The anticipated retail price has risen over time. Pyramyd Air looked at the prototypes and made improvements that made operation easier, but did add to the bottom line. It is what it is, so let’s take a look at that right now.

Video

The best way to see how this unit works is to watch the excellent 6-minute video on the Pyramyd Air website . You have to scroll down the page for this video. I can’t show you the kind of detail that is in that video, so if possible I suggest you watch it before reading the rest of this report.

Early talk

There has been a lot of discussion about the Power Booster on this blog over the past few days. The thread of that discussion has not been clear, and the conversation has gone something like this.

“Pyramyd Air has a new compressor.”

“It’s not a compressor; it’s a booster unit like the Shoebox.”

“I like the Shoebox, but it costs too much!”

“You have to buy another compressor to feed into this compressor! That’s another thousand bucks!”

“Speaking of feeding, I’m having lunch.”

“Me too! I’m also having dessert.”

“I like ice cream!”

Okay, there is a lot of excitement and some confusion about this new unit. Let’s start the report by saying what this is and who it’s for.

What it is

This new unit is not a stand-alone air compressor. Air Venturi just brought out their new stand-alone 4500 psi air compressor a few months ago, and we are already looking at that. This is a power booster, which means it takes air that has already been compressed by a common shop air compressor (60 to 90 psi output capable of delivering 5 standard cubic feet per minute {sfcm} of compressed air) and boosting it up to 4500 psi. Booster pumps are not new. They have been around for decades, used in other industries like aviation, to pressurize landing gear struts up to 5,000 psi. Now they are available for airguns, with the Shoebox being the best-known of all.

Need a shop compressor

Here is something that has not been discussed very well. People are getting confused because with the Power Booster you also need to have a shop compressor to feed air into it. If you don’t own a shop compressor already, maybe the Power Booster is not for you. Maybe you need a stand-alone compressor like the one we are now testing from Air Venturi. But many airgun owners do own shop compressors. For them, the Power Booster may well be the best way to go. If you watch the video I’ve linked above you will see a Sumatra filled in under 4 minutes — not from empty, but from where the air pressure was when someone stopped shooting it.

Nobody fills a PCP from empty unless it’s either a new gun or one that has been repaired. We shoot PCPs until they need to be filled again, so there is usually a lot of compressed air in the gun when the fill begins. The time it takes to fill a gun is from where the pressure is when the fill starts until the fill is complete — not from empty.

Can a gun be filled from empty?

Yes, the Power Booster will fill a gun from empty to full. It just takes longer. Some guns may need to be cocked to be filled from empty — the same as if you were using a hand pump.

No electricity

The Power Booster does not run on electricity. All it needs is an input of compressed air at 60 to 90 psi. Please watch the video.

The parts

Let’s look at the external parts of the Power Booster.

Air Venturi Power Booster parts
These are the external parts of the Power Booster.

Can it fill a tank?

This is another big question people have about power boosters. Not just this booster, but all boosters. They have been asking this about the Shoebox compressor for years. Yes, it can fill a tank. But allow me to illustrate with an analogy. Elsewhere in the world, some farmers do not own a car. They hitch their self-propelled cultivators to carts, to take whatever they need wherever they need to go. Using a booster compressor to fill a large carbon fiber air tank is like driving your family on a wagon pulled by a Gravely cultivator. You can do it and it does work, but it will take time to get where you want to go.

Air Venturi Power Booster transportation
Yes, it will get you there, but is it practical?

Specs

The pressure at which the Power Booster shuts off is adjustable from 2000 psi to 4,500 psi. Yes, it does go to 4,500 psi, but only a few airguns get filled that high. The Power Booster comes pre-set to stop at 3,000 psi. If you want to change that, a Allen wrench is provided. The settings marked on the booster are approximate and should be refined by the owner when the booster is used. Then make a mark with an indelible felt-tipped pen to remember the exact setting.

The unit weighs 23 lbs., which is light enough to move easily. Handles are provided for this.

The input end accepts a standard pneumatic quick-disconnect fitting and the output hose ends with a female Foster quick-disconnect fitting. So you need to match the connections on what you are filling to the female Foster. Pyramyd Air has plenty of adaptors for just that.

Summary

This is just our first look. I bought a shop air compressor so I could test this unit for you. I plan to do just that over the next weeks and months.