What is the difference between compressed air and CO2?
When considering a gas source for your paintball marker, there are two types to choose from: compressed air and CO2. CO2 is the most widely used gas for paintball markers. CO2 tanks are cheaper than compressed air tanks and are available in a variety of sizes from 4 to 24 ounces. Many sports supply stores and most all paintball fields are capable of filling CO2 tanks and generally charge by the ounce to fill them. Compressed air tanks are more expensive than CO2 tanks and can only be filled by fields and paintball specific shops. They do however provide a significant performance increase for your paintball marker. Compressed air provides a more consistent gas source and will not freeze internal seals like CO2 under higher rates of fire.
Which should I purchase?
There are a few main points to consider when choosing between compressed air and CO2. One of the most important factors to consider is the type of marker you will be using. Higher-end brands such as DLX, Dye, Eclipse, Bob Long, DP, and Empire strongly recommend compressed air as a gas source for their electronic markers. These markers many times are not compatible with CO2 and can be damaged if CO2 is used resulting in expensive repairs. Mechanical, blowback and most milsim style markers from companies such as BT, Tippmann, and GOG are capable of using CO2 or compressed air as a gas source.
The second factor to consider is the availability of a certified fill center. CO2 is more widely available than compressed air in most locations. If you frequently play paintball at an established field, many times it is cheaper in the long run to purchase a compressed air tank, as fills are usually free. If you play paintball in the woods with your friends and are far from an established field, CO2 is recommended as a gas source.
What is the difference between compressed air tanks and brands?
We carry a variety of brands such as Crossfire, Ninja, Guerrilla Air, and Pure Energy. Compressed Air tanks come in two pressure ratings: 3000psi and 4500psi. 3000psi tanks are much cheaper than 4500psi tanks and are made of aluminum. They are heavier and provide less shots per fill than 4500psi tanks. The 4500psi tanks are made of carbon fiber, are much lighter than aluminum tanks and provide more shots per fill. 4500psi tanks come in a variety of sizes from 45 cubic inches up to 110 cubic inches. The larger the tank, the more shots per fill. When considering brands, the tank regulator is many times the deciding factor. Guerrilla Air regulators are very small and provide a shorter tank length, great for small players. Ninja and PMI regulators are somewhat longer and are perfect for larger players and those that prefer a long marker setup. Ninja regulators are easily rebuildable and are able to be converted from high to low pressure. Most all markers operate on high pressure but for markers such as the Bob Long G6r this is a convenient feature to have.