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Choosing a gas supply: CO2 vs compressed air

Saving on your home energy bills may not be the only time you find yourself thinking carefully about a gas supply. Choosing between compressed air and CO2 as a source of gas for your paintball marker can be difficult, especially as many people are unsure what exactly the practical differences are between the two. However, making the right choice can make a significant difference to your paintball experience.

Your gun

It is worth noting that some paintball guns are designed to exclusively use one gas supply or the other. It is definitely worth checking whether this applies to your gun. Even if it still works, using the wrong air supply with this kind of marker can seriously affect its performance and drastically shorten its lifespan. If your gun is set up for one kind of gas only, then the choice has already been made unless you want to invest in a replacement.

The advantages of CO2

Choosing a gas supply CO2 vs Compressed Air

CO2 or carbon dioxide was the standard choice for early paintball equipment, and remains decidedly popular. One of the key advantages is cost. CO2 cartridges can be purchased cheaply, and can also be refilled at little cost (though due to the low cost many are designed to simply be disposable). If there are no specialist paintball outlets in your area willing to provide refills, you may be able to find another company such as a welding specialist who will be able to help. Compressed air bottles, by contrast, can be hard and costly to refill without access to a specialist because most air compressors designed for things like tyres do not have enough power.

CO2 cartridges also tend to be lightweight and more compact than the equivalent compressed air bottle. This means that you get a much greater number of shots for the weight you carry around, and your overall marker setup will be less bulky than it would be while using compressed air.

The advantages of compressed air

Choosing a gas supply CO2 vs Compressed Air 2

Compressed Air or High Pressure Air (HPA) also has its advantages. One of these is the fact that it tends to deliver more consistent levels of performance compared to CO2. This is because CO2 becomes liquid when compressed, while air doesn't. As the CO2 is released and turns back into a gas, it absorbs energy causing your equipment to cool and performance to be hampered. Because HPA is already in a gaseous state, it does not have this effect.

This is the single main advantage of choosing compressed air, but the difference it makes can be significant. Rate of fire and accuracy can be seriously affected by the cooling caused by CO2, particularly when the weather is already cold. Over prolonged play, in particular, this can be a huge problem. HPA not only reduces this problem but removes it entirely, allowing you to play in all weathers and for prolonged periods with no deterioration in your weapon performance whatsoever.

Image Source:

Image One = www.walmart.com

Image Two = www.thebunkerpb.com


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