Can Paintball Guns Use Compressed Air?
If you are new to the world of paintball, you may have some questions surrounding pressure sources. Most paintball markers commonly found on the market are designed to be used with CO2 as a pressure source, however there will be times when you may want to play around with compressed air in lieu of CO2.
In theory, it is possible to fill a standard C02 tank with compressed air, but there are some safety considerations to bear in mind. Handled incorrectly, and filling a CO2 tank with compressed air can also affect the performance of your paintball gun. Instead, you should only really used compressed air when your paintball marker is designed to do so.
What is Compressed Air?
Compressed air is perhaps better known as high-pressure air, at least in paintball circles. It is rarely used with basic paintball guns, although more advanced markers tend to include HPA compatibility. You have a couple of options available to you when it comes to compressed air tanks.
A carbon fiber tank will allow you to store compressed air at around 4,500 PSI, while aluminum tanks hold air at around 3,000 PSI. Carbon fiber tanks are therefore more appealing, but you will have to spend considerably more on one than if you were buying an aluminum tank.
Benefits of Using Compressed Air
One of the main advantages of using compressed air is that provides you with far more consistent pressures than a standard CO2 tank. Unlike CO2, compressed air is largely unaffected by temperature and external weather conditions. As such, your tank will always perform at its best. A compressed air tank will also usually provide you with better levels of accuracy. By contrast, CO2 tanks can result in inconsistent performance when it comes to firing precision.
Paintball markers that use compressed air tanks also tend to provide the user with extended range. If you want to be able to clear considerable distances with your paintball gun, a compressed air tank is the way to go. This superior range performance is largely down to the stable conditions experienced within the tank.
Drawbacks of Compressed Air Tanks
A big downside of using compressed air for playing paintball is that it can be hard to find a suitable refill station. Although some paintball fields will offer compressed air refills, not every venue will. Those that do may also charge a premium for refilling with compressed air, while C02 refills will be far more affordable. Compressed air tanks are usually fairly large when compared to CO2 tanks. Despite the range and accuracy benefits, the extra bulk of a large tank may limit your performance.