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Bison tubes getting larger?


The VanDucks
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I ordered some bison tubes last week. We have several hides using bisons, so I like to always have some extra ones to use for replacements. When the new ones came, they were much larger than the old style ones I purchased a few years ago. These new ones are 2" by .75"; I think the older ones were about the same length but much thinner and less obvious when hidden.

 

I've looked on-line for the suppliers I used before, but sadly, many of them seem to have gone out of business. Does anyone have a source for the old "skinny" bisons?

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The larger bisons will be fine for new hides, where I have that size planned to match the location ... but I need the thinner ones for our older caches where only that size will fit! One cache, for example, is hidden inside a sign post, where the thin bison can drop down to be concealed within the metal post; the new thicker bison won't fit there.

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Try your local head shop. Those tubes have been used to hold small amounts of cocaine for years and years. In fact, that may have actually been their original purpose. The head shop will only recommend them for holding tobacco of course.

 

You can get those little vials but the hundreds and very cheap from police auctions

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I've bought quite a few sets from http://myworld.ebay.com/crazyhcactus/?_trksid=p4340.l2559 on ebay. Most of his deals come out to a little less than a dollar per tube. Note that he sometimes counts the little plastic container that comes inside the bison tube in his total, but in the text of his offer, he makes it clear how many bison tubes you're getting. The ones I've been getting are about 1/2 inch diameter by 1 3/4 inches long. I've had very good experience with them out in the wild.

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Thanks for the helpful links posted above. I was able to find some smaller bisons at World Caching, a Canadian company; I hope they will be the right size when they arrive! Thanks, Clan Riffster for your comment; I wish I had thought to just google "Bison tubes!"

I will keep that link bookmarked for next time!

 

I have had to replace O rings a few times on the current bisons, and I was able to find replacement O rings at our local Home Depot; I took one of the old ones along to check the size. The store had quite a few different sizes; I think they were in the plumbing section.

Edited by The VanDucks
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Rather odd, and kind of sad. Not a single link posted here had Bison Tubes even remotely associated with them. Just imitations. Mostly "Made in China" imitations, created using a pressing process, as opposed to a milling process, with a poorer quality overall as the end result. Has our hobby become so inundated with crappy copies that "Bison tube" is now a generic term?

 

Go ahead and pay 2 1/2 times as much for a cache container as I do. The kind I use work just fine, probably because they're spun, not pressed. I replace the original o-ring with a silicone one for an additional cost of 10 cents. Still quite a bit cheaper.

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Rather odd, and kind of sad. Not a single link posted here had Bison Tubes even remotely associated with them. Just imitations. Mostly "Made in China" imitations, created using a pressing process, as opposed to a milling process, with a poorer quality overall as the end result. Has our hobby become so inundated with crappy copies that "Bison tube" is now a generic term?

 

I hear ya. I've been wondering the same thing since this thread started. I've seen some of the cheap imitations where the cap got cross-threaded and the threads turned into nothing more than a spiral of thin wire. I have a friend that swore the newer ones were plastic because they feel so light and cheesy.

 

Too fat to hide in a sign post sounds like a great thing to me, though!

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Rather odd, and kind of sad. Not a single link posted here had Bison Tubes even remotely associated with them. Just imitations. Mostly "Made in China" imitations, created using a pressing process, as opposed to a milling process, with a poorer quality overall as the end result. Has our hobby become so inundated with crappy copies that "Bison tube" is now a generic term?

 

I hear ya. I've been wondering the same thing since this thread started. I've seen some of the cheap imitations where the cap got cross-threaded and the threads turned into nothing more than a spiral of thin wire. I have a friend that swore the newer ones were plastic because they feel so light and cheesy.

 

Too fat to hide in a sign post sounds like a great thing to me, though!

So are the leaky bisons the imitation ones, and the good bisons the genuine ones?

BTW, how do you like my new avatar?

Edited by TheCacheSeeker
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Rather odd, and kind of sad. Not a single link posted here had Bison Tubes even remotely associated with them. Just imitations. Mostly "Made in China" imitations, created using a pressing process, as opposed to a milling process, with a poorer quality overall as the end result. Has our hobby become so inundated with crappy copies that "Bison tube" is now a generic term?

 

I hear ya. I've been wondering the same thing since this thread started. I've seen some of the cheap imitations where the cap got cross-threaded and the threads turned into nothing more than a spiral of thin wire. I have a friend that swore the newer ones were plastic because they feel so light and cheesy.

 

Too fat to hide in a sign post sounds like a great thing to me, though!

So are the leaky bisons the imitation ones, and the good bisons the genuine ones?

BTW, how do you like my new avatar?

 

Actually, only the Bisons are the genuine one. I am amazed that Bison Designs has not attempted to protect their tradename.

 

It isn't a matter of leaking, by the way. I haven't seen any of them leak unless the o-ring has deteriorated or the threads get crossed. In my experience, the threads are the weak point in the cheaper tubes.

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They look the same to me. How do you see the differences?

Buy a real one. Then buy a fake. Look at the fake and see how metal fatigue from the pressing process creates a sheen like effect where the metal was forced from one "grain", (for lack of a better word), to another grain. (The heat generated from the pressing process causes the molecular structure of the metal to change... I think?) Then compare this with a tube that has been milled. Side by side, the difference is blatantly obvious. Once you recognize the effect, it is easy to spot.

Edited by Clan Riffster
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They look the same to me. How do you see the differences?

Buy a real one. Then buy a fake. Look at the fake and see how metal fatigue from the pressing process creates a sheen like effect where the metal was forced from one "grain", (for lack of a better word), to another grain. (The heat generated from the pressing process causes the molecular structure of the metal to change... I think?) Then compare this with a tube that has been milled. Side by side, the difference is blatantly obvious. Once you recognize the effect, it is easy to spot.

 

I am a Bison Believer... they do make the quality item. BUT... when it comes to a geocache container... what difference does it make that one shows metal stress on the bends? The threads are quite another matter, but I have never seen a bison-type tube fail in any other ways than the o-ring or the threads.

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what difference does it make that one shows metal stress on the bends?

It's not really the bent metal that makes a difference. That is just an indicator of the process utilized. Those tubes which are spit out of a press a few zillion at a time are the ones with the crappy threads. If you can spot the stress marks left by the pressing process, you'll know which ones have threads which can easily cross.

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