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Paintball CO2 Tank VS Compressed Air Tank: Which One is better?

359 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Guges Mk3
Playing with a paintball is fun. However, there are certain questions that come into the mind of a beginner. Especially, the most common one of these questions relates to the difference between a paintball CO2 tank and a compressed air tank. These tanks are used with paintball guns.

In order to assist you while choosing the right tank, we have comprehensively discussed both these paintball tanks.

So, let's see what we got here!

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What is the Difference between Paintball CO2 Tank and Compressed Air Tank (HPA paintball tank)?

Technically, both the paintball CO2 tank and compressed air tank serve a similar function that is powering a paintball gun. However, these tanks differ in a variety of ways including structure, materials, pressure sustainability, and size.

Besides, the paintball CO2 tank contains CO2 in liquid form. These tanks are filled via a valve that is located at their neck. On the contrary, compressed air tanks can be filled through a nipple, which is usually attached to the tank regulator.

Refilling an air tank is easy, especially when compared to the paintball CO2 tank. You just need to detach the air tank from your gun and fill it. Furthermore, it is not necessary to empty the HPA paintball tank before refilling it.

However, this isn't the case when it comes to refilling a CO2 tank. You have to empty your CO2 tank before starting the refilling procedure. Talking about the cost, CO2 tanks are cheaper than paintball air tanks.

In addition, HPA tanks are relatively larger and heavier than CO2 tanks. Hence, most beginners prefer paintball CO2 tank, as it is compact and lightweight.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Paintball CO2 Tank and Compressed Air Tank

Paintball CO2 tanks serve as a common pressure source for paintball guns. There are two types of CO2 tanks including disposable CO2 tanks and refillable CO2 tanks. These tanks are suitable for low to mid-range paintball guns. On the contrary, a compressed air/HPA paintball tank is a viable choice for high-range paintball guns.

Both these tanks have certain pros and cons. To know which one is more suitable for you, let's take a look at the most common advantages of disadvantages of both these tanks.

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Advantages of Paintball CO2 tank

· The first advantage of aluminum paintball CO2 tank is familiarity. This is so, as most of the players are familiar with a CO2 tank. They know how to use and refill this tank.

· CO2 tanks are affordable, allowing the players to buy several tanks for a consistent supply during the game. This is why CO2 tanks are so popular among beginners.

· Getting a CO2 tank refilled won't be a trouble. A shop selling paintball guns in your area can refill a CO2 tank.

· These tanks are compact and lightweight, making them an ideal choice for beginners. Besides their small size, CO2 tanks offer more shots as compared to HPA tanks.

Disadvantages of Paintball CO2 tank

· The chilling of a paintball gun or tank is among the most common disadvantages of a CO2 tank. Depending on the weather and firing speed, the temperature of a paintball CO2 tank and paintball gun can go below freezing. This lowers the pressure, which affects the performance of a paintball gun.

· Can't top up a CO2 during the game. You need to completely empty your tank before refilling it.

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Advantages of Compressed Air Tank

· An HPA paintball tank offers consistent pressure irrespective of the weather or operating temperatures. Hence, the player can enjoy a much better shooting experience when using a compressed air tank.

· Since a compressed air tank offers consistent pressure, it ensures better accuracy. Hence, players can perform better when playing competitive games.

· Compressed air is a great choice for long-range shooting, which definitely improves the gaming experience.

Disadvantages of Compressed Air Tank

· Refilling a compressed air tank can be difficult. You need a high-pressure air compressor for this purpose.

· Compressed air tanks are expensive

· These tanks are bulky, adding more weight to the paintball gun

Can you fill a Paintball CO2 Tank with Compressed Air?

Technically, it is possible to fill a paintball CO2 tank with compressed air. However, cross-filling a paintball tank is not recommended. Doing so may turn out to be a safety concern. Besides, it can also affect the overall performance of a paintball gun.

It won't be a good idea to fill such gas in a tank that wasn't made to hold the pressure of that gas. Hence, it would be a wise decision not to fill a paintball CO2 tank with compressed air.

How to fill Paintball Air Tank and what to consider when doing so?

When filling a Paintball hpa tank, you need to follow a specific procedure. Listed below are the steps to follow when filling a tank.

Step 1: Empty your Paintball Air Tank

It is necessary to empty your hpa tank before refilling. There is a valve attached to each tank. Open it to release the air.

Step 2: Check the Integrity of a Air Tank

Before going any further, you must check the integrity of your tank. For this purpose, look for the hydro-testing number mentioned on your tank. If there is no such number, it is imperative to perform a hydro test before filling the tank.

Step 3: Check the PSI Rating

The PSI rating gives you an idea about the key specifications of a particular tank. You should fill a tank depending on its PSI rating. However, it is better to fill a tank lower to its capacity. This ensures the safety and integrity of a tank.

Step 4: Choose an Appropriate Fill Adapter

You must take into account this aspect when filling a paintball hpa tank. It will prevent any accident due to gas leakage. Using a good quality adapter helps you to fill your hpa tank without any issue.

Step 5: Rely on a High-Pressure Compressor

To fill a paintball hpa tank, you need a high-pressure compressor. Carefully attach the compressor and fill your tank with air.

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Final Words

To conclude, both the Paintball CO2 tank and compressed air tank have their pros and cons. The CO2 tank is known for its affordability and compact design. On the contrary, a compressed air tank is preferred for long-range shooting and precision. Besides, the choice of the most appropriate paintball tank depends on the skill and performance level of a player.


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This part of your overview is "incorrect" and lacks a level of details:

"Can’t top up a CO2 during the game. You need to completely empty your tank before refilling it."

By your statement if you have a 12 oz tank and you use up say 2.5oz of CO2 and you want to top off. You can do it until you release the other 9.5oz left in the tank.

This is very "wrong". You can release .5 oz to chill it down and then add in 3oz. No issue what so ever. In fact back in the day. When a player came in from the field after a big shootout out, we refilled the partially empty tanks immediately without having to release any gas.....and do you know why this is?

The key info you only touched on is "consistency". You should go more into that instead of the tank.

We used to run expansion chambers in CO2 paintball guns...and that brought up "consistency".
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