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Seems a bit extreme to consider using the 12 gauge. I've found that a .22 works quite well. (Humour)
Hint! Pressurized tanks must have the pressure relieved BEFORE the lid can be removed.
If the lid has been over tightened or has stuck, you'll need to get more leverage to unscrew it. Sometimes a rag wrapped around it is all it takes.
You can also try pouring hot water over the cap. Lay the tank flat so the rim of the cap gets the heat. Wrap an old towel around it first so it gets a good hot soak.
Should come off without the artillery.
Jim: There is a leak somewhere... Use a soapy solution at the air tube from the compressor head to the tank (both ends) and at all air hose connections. The bubbles will tell you where the leak is and you can repair the connections from there...
the darker Seal has come off the plunger at the bottom of the unit , easy 5 min fix , just unscrew the allen keys at the bootonm take off the cover and remove the plunger , you'll see the plunger seal still inside you can fish it out with an allen key or similar tool clip it on again and reassemble