Pistol Grip Nozzles
The pistol grip nozzle is a special type of hose attachment that resembles a pistol, and it is designed to provide extra grip and maneuverability to the user. This is a constant gallonage nozzle, which means that it delivers a constant flow of water. Most pistol grip nozzles available on the market allow the user to select the desired flow setting (this feature is referred to as “selectable gallonage”). The length of the nozzle varies based on the model and the application, but the average length is of 10 inches and it can weigh well over 3 lbs.
One of the most important features of this nozzle is that it meets the US and European standards in terms of safety and quality, and that the operating pressure is of up to 100 PSI (7 bar) or even higher – most nozzles can face a pressure of up to 500 PSI (over 35 bar). The nozzle is very easy to service and repair and most of the attachments are also compatible with the special foam used by firefighters to handle fires Easy to operate and versatile, the pistol grip nozzle comes with pattern identification and it is widely used by the OEMs (Offices of Emergency Management).
The modern pistol grip nozzle also come with a cushion for added comfort and flexibility, along with a nozzle that delivers up to 10 different spray patterns, from fog to steam. This attachment is made from brass or other heavy duty metal that can withstand extreme temperature and weather conditions, it ensures a safe and comfortable grip and it has a flow control option that allows the firefighter to easily control the water pressure – the pressure can be decreased or increased within seconds.
The interior of the nozzle is usually made from stainless steel, which adds extra durability and resistance to the attachment. The interior is important because it is immersed in water and it must not rust, otherwise the nozzle becomes thinner and weaker as the years pass. Fortunately, this is not the case with stainless steel pistol grip nozzles, as they are resistant to abrasions and rust, as well as to drops (the most common failure cause of this type of nozzles).
Generally speaking, pistol grip nozzles are made of plastic or metal, and the most popular materials in terms of metal are either brass or stainless steel. They are slightly more expensive, but durable and they come with a special powder-like coating for added safety. Plastic nozzles are no longer used in the firefighting industry as they are not resistant to heat, nor to UV rays or direct sunlight as it will dry out and crack within several months of use. The pistol grip nozzles made from plastic are designed mainly for indoor use (they usually come with a rubber or plastic wrapping around them, to prevent leaks).
Heavy, stainless steel nozzles are widely used by firefighters, as well as by specialists in deicing. Plastic pistol grip nozzles are used for household chores and other indoor uses.