What’s The Difference Between Co2 and Compressed Air?


Both CO2 and compressed air are used as propellants for paintball guns. These propellants are used to send each fired paintball downrange towards their target, and in most cases, to re-cock the paintball gun and prepare it to fire another paintball. CO2 has been used as a paintball air source since the earliest days of paintball, in the form of 12-gram CO2 capsules, while larger CO2 bottles holding 9, 12 or even 20 ounces are also used. CO2, when used for paintball, exists in both gaseous and liquid forms and is very susceptible to outside influences that affect its pressure and performance, including temperature, rate of fire of the paintball gun on which it is used, and even how the player holds their bottle. Compressed air, used in regulated air tanks for paintball use, is a much more reliable power source for paintball guns, as it is used in air tanks equipped with pressure regulators that ensure air is constantly delivered at consistent pressure to the paintball guns on which they are used, and is not susceptible to temperature or rate of fire. While many players begin their paintball playing days using CO2, many large parks and most serious players have switched to compressed air to power their paintball guns, and many mid to high-performance paintball guns recommend or require compressed air in order to operate.

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