Once you have your launcher and how thoughtfully considered how to safely use it, loading your barrel with a properly wrapped t-shirt is next.
Here is video guide to show you how to roll and wrap a shirt.
REMINDER: Test your wraps and rolls before your shoot shirts to fans to ensure they wrap holds. Launchers are powerful and can burst tape and rubber bands, unfurling your shirts prematurely and minimizing your launch.
Also see this page for another video demonstration – Rolling Shirts Made Easy
CO2 Tanks, typically 20 ounce canisters will power your shirt launchers. These canisters are reusable and can be filled locally or even in-arena with the right tools.
While the units generally last up to 15 years tanks do “expire” in that they need to be retested with a hydrotest every few years. A hydrotested tank will be noted by a stamp on the tank or a label noting the test date. If it has been more than five years since the last time it was checked by a professional, you can assume it’s expired. A hydrotest can cost anywhere from $25 to $90 depending the provider and service needed. Many simply opt to dispose of tanks and buy new tanks (which are a similar price).
Tanks from The Store on Gameops.com are rated 3AL which means “unlimited life and five-year hydrotesting cycle”.
Testing requires a professional service from a source like paintball stores, Scuba diving shops, or Specialized pressurized gas sellers. These professionals can put tank into water until it is pressurized at a level higher than what it’s supposed to withstand. This makes sure it can stand the rapid pressure changes of being filled and emptied of compressed CO2. The tank swells slightly from the pressure, and if it’s not structurally sound, will rupture and you will need to purchase a new tank. If structurally sound, you can get it refilled and keep it until the next hydrotest.
When your tank needs to be filled, we recommend you fill at a local paint ball store (Google “paintball stores in my area). Some big box retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods also fill tanks. The fee is usually less than $5 and the professionals usually achieve a full tank of CO2. Note that most professionals will not fill tanks that are damaged or expired.
The number or shots you will get per tank varies, the best measure is to keep track based on your usage. Of course running out in the middle of a time out is less than ideal, so we recommend filling often (every 20-40 shots or so) or just using a full tank each time.
The Number of Shots you can expect from a 20oz. CO2 bottle can vary with your conditions and use. Note that the weight of the t-shirt, temperatures & weather conditions, and the angle at which you launch affects the distance and # of shots. Also, when you get your CO2 bottle filled, make certain they are filling it with 20 ounces. The optimum launch angle is 32 degrees. You should experiment with your launcher to obtain the optimum distance and air usage for your individual setting. (thanks War Machine)
CO2 is the carbonation in fountain drinks, so if your venue has drink dispensers at your concessions, you probably have large CO2 tanks onsite and have the ability to refill your own CO2 canister. Insure that your tank is a NON-SIPHON tank (which is what is used for carbonating drink at concession stands).
Tank Note: Older launchers (before 2010) sometimes use a CO2 Tank with an ON/OFF VALVE. We do offer these tanks, here. These are the same CO2 tanks with an added ON/OFF Valve at the top.
Most new launchers use a PIN VALVE tank, where the pin is depress as you screw the tank onto the launcher opening the pressure of the tank. Check with your manufacturer or sales representative to confirm which tank you need.
See this video for directions on filling a tank.
OILING AND MAINTAINING YOUR LAUNCHER
Caring for your launcher will help keep thing running smoothing and prolong the life of your launcher.
These engineered machines need to be oiled on occasion to keep the inside free of debris and water. Keeping a schedule of using oil and checking connections and hoses will improve safety and extend the life of you launcher. Most manufactures recommend lubricating your launcher after 50-100 shots, see your user manual for details.
The Launcher regulators require silicon grease and must be kept clean – recommended every 50-100 shots. Always use replacement parts from your launcher manufacturer and follow the manual and direction.
- T-Shirt Launcher Safety – T-shirt launches can be a safe part of your presentation with consideration to the risks. You can provide entertainment for the Homer Simpsons in your crowd, while minimizing the risks for the Maude Flanders.
- Chip takes one in the Chips – Launcher Safety usually concerns the fans…but the user needs to use caution too.
- T-Shirt Safety with Toro – A reminder to be safe out there….this is a dangerous business.
- Bears Shooting T-Shirts in Hershey – Bears unearth unused video as social media treat.
- Leave the Burrito Tossing to Professionals – A soft reminder that training is everything, even with the simple things. We (playful) poke at a reporter who might need some safety training before her next shirt toss.
- Rolling Shirts Made Easy – Rolling shirt tutorial….see how to quickly wrap a shirt with no tape or rubber bands. Just like Ranger Vince would do it.
- Digital Scale (Amazon) – The scale has a backlight high quality LCD display in different weight units: g, kg, lb and oz. The weight of the scale is light, small in volume and convenient to carry. With a button operation, you can turn on the scales and replace the weight units. It has a high precision strain sensor system. This scale is suitable for family, tourism or outdoor activities.
- Air Gun Oil (Amazon) – Super Lube Air Tool Pneumatic Lubricant is formulated to meet the special requirements for industrial, household and agricultural tools. It absorbs water and eliminates any ice buildup and frost in air tools. Blended rust and corrosion inhibitors and a special base fluid oil minimize wear and allows operation of air tools at temperatures as low as -40°F
- Shirt Launchers and Launching accessories are available at The Store at Gameops.com. We also have slingshots if this seems overwhelming.