CO2 and Compressed Air Tanks
Once you’ve purchased your paintball gun you’ll need a paintball gas tank. Tanks are available in two main gas sources, high pressure air (HPA) and Co2. What you go for will depend on which gun (marker) you have and where you play. For those just starting out choosing a tank can be a hard decision, so hopefully this guide can help make that decision a little easier.
There are two main gas types used as propellant on a paintball marker. CO2 and HPA (which you'll also be referred to as compressed air). Which you decide to go for will depend on a number of factors.
- What marker you have? Some markers will only run on compressed air - these tend to be electronic markers, or mechanical markers with a more modern engine such as the Emek or Shocker CVO. Cheaper/olders tyle mechanical markers can normally run on either co2 or compressed air. Pistols normally run on pre-filled disposable co2 cartidges, usually 12 gram or 8 gram.
For information on paintball guns that can use both HPA and CO2 check out our blog post “Paintball Guns that can use HPA and CO2”
- Where do you play?
Your choice of which gas tank you go for will also depend on what gas is available to you. If your local paintball venue only fills co2, it would be pointless you geting a compressed air tank and vice versa, since you cannot put co2 into and air tank or air into a co2 tank. If you play on private property you could look into filling co2 paintball bottles from a bulk liquid co2 tank (similar to what a pub would use) with an adapter. Similarly, you can also use a scuba tank to fill a paintball air bottle with an adapter. Failing that, you can use pre-filled disposable co2 bottles with an adapter as an easy way to play straight away.
CO2 v Compressed Air
Co2 was used for the first paintball markers thus setting the standard for various years on what source to use. When carbon dioxide changes into gas from its liquid state it expands which creates pressure, this pressure is used to fire the paintball via the barrel. Co2 re-fills are relatively inexpensive and the tanks are compact yielding more shots than compressed air. However there are some issues, as the liquid expands it also cools and the faster it expands the more rapid the cooling, this can lead to inconsistent shooting. If you ever see white snow falling from the barrel, it’s actually dry ice and a sure sign the liquid is in the gun which could cause mechanical issues.
6 x 4oz Prefilled Co2 - https://www.bzpaintball.co.uk/6-x-4oz-prefilled-co2-tanks
20oz Co2 Tank - https://www.bzpaintball.co.uk/20oz-co2-tank-with-pin-valve
Compressed Air Tanks are usually pressurised up to the tank's pressure rating of either 3000 or 4500 psi, the pressure is then regulated through the tanks regulator, usually to 850psi or below, depening on the regulator and the operating requirements of the marker. HPA has consistent pressure and the ability to be used in all weather, resulting in improved accuracy, especially with higher rates of fire. However there are some drawbacks, if you don’t have a local pro shop getting your tank filled is an issue (we fill these for a cost of £1.00). The tanks are larger and are bulky in comparison to CO2 tanks and they do cost quite a sum more. Air tanks must also be hydro tested, usually every 5 years, and normally have a life span of 15 years before they must be destroyed.
48cu 3000psi Air System- https://www.bzpaintball.co.uk/48cu-3k-air-system
Eclipse E-Lite Series Air 68cu 4500psi System- https://www.bzpaintball.co.uk/planet-eclipse-e-lite-series-1-1-litre-air-tank
Paintball tanks can be pricey so it’s best to add protection where you can. We offer a vast range of grips and covers to protect your tank from dents, bumps and scratches. Check out the protection we offer at https://www.bzpaintball.co.uk/air-co2/bottle-protection
It really all depends on your style of play and marker, but if you can afford the HPA investment we recommend it. If you have an issues don’t hesitate to contact us on 01642 605000.