“Redneck Science” – Shooting HPA Tanks

22Plinkser is at it with his latest video, tackling the question, “What will happen if you shoot charged, 3,500 PSI air tanks?” While we all know the general answer (awesome explosion), its nonetheless highly entertaining to see one shoot a high-pressure vessel with a high-velocity projectile.

For reference, the tanks hold around 3,500 PSI (pounds per square inch) of high-pressure air. HPA, as its commonly known, is simply standard “air” as we breathe compressed down. As a basis of reference, the detonation of a 5.56 NATO cartridge in a correct chamber produces about 62,000 PSI, or about 20x the pressure of these carbon-fiber wrapped vessels.

With an awesome sense of an irony, 22Plinkster forgoes his standard explosive 22 Long Rifle loads for an airgun, specifically the .45 “Texan” air rifle from Air Force. Sadly, the result is with the air rifle is rather anticlimactic as the tanks defeat the 500 ft-lbs slug with relative ease due to the metal internal container.

Stepping up to some proper firepower with a .308 Winchester the results are quite spectacular. The tanks fail in a spectacular manner managing to throw a tank almost 75 hit, hitting Plinkster himself. When containment is lost, the pressurized air lets loose with a fury.

If you want to see some “Redneck Science”, check our 22Plinkster’s video below:



Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Dude! Hold my beer!

    • Johnsmyname

      Famous last words, haha

  • Vhyrus

    This video needs a trigger warning for paintballers. He just blew up like $600 worth of tanks.

    • Edeco

      Well, paintball users can just console themselves with some Tostino’s Pizza Rolls, Mountain Dew, and an MMO gaming sesh 😛

      • Major Tom

        Hey now, leave the Pizza Rolls out of this! I have real guns and I like those too! I don’t dig Mountain Dew that much though so that’s fair dos.

      • El Duderino

        Some of those paintballers are in waaaay better shape than the usual gun range crowd, just sayin’. They actually have to run around a bit, something that’s discouraged on the firing line.

  • Seth Hill

    How about trying 7.62x54R or 30.06? I offer up my services (guns and ammo too) .

    • Major Tom

      .50 BMG or go home!

      • Seth Hill

        Ehhhh….. we know that will do it. Actually, I’d be curious if .223/5.56, 6.x, etc would do it.

  • Porty1119

    I prefer 1lb propane tanks myself, for reactive targets. Capable of exploding or flying, depending on how full they are and whether or not you supply an ignition source.

    • Dougscamo

      Yep, gotta have a flame close by or it won’t ignite….cheaper than tannerite….but someone will figure out a way to make it illegal, if it isn’t already….but I would say that you are from the South like me, so don’t have to worry too much…..

  • marathag

    the truly Brave Stupid can shoot at a small boiler superheated at 600psi and get more impressive results than the compressed air tanks.

    That said, not as cool as shooting the valves to make little mini missiles

  • DanGoodShot

    JAWS man JAWS!

  • FulMetlJakit

    “his standard explosive 22 Long Rifle loads..”
    Is this legit, like he makes his own or has a stash of pre-86 loads? Or hyberbole referencing standard .22lr that works on combustion/detonation compared to the compressed air of the Texan?
    Haven’t ever watched 22Plinkster so genuinely interested.
    And if true, how much HE could you possibly cram into a .22lr…

  • Dougscamo

    Was kinda funny when one of the tanks decided to pay him a visit….immediate displace on his part….

  • Kirk Newsted

    hitting Plinkster himself
    umm, no it didn’t.

  • 22winmag

    Look! Another 30 second video stretched out to 5 minutes.

  • Charles

    Not quite as dangerous as that @$$ that shot the mower deck crammed with tannerite but that tank came within 10 or so feet of him & in a bad luck situation just might have ruined his day.
    Hopefully Plinkster realizes the gravity of the situation…

  • El Duderino

    “Here we are at the local Fuel N’ Sip, and let’s see what happens when we shoot their big ol’ propane tank out front with this here .500 S&W from 25 yards!”

    • Dougscamo

      Uh….no thanks….I’ll wait to see that one on YouTube also….