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Differences Between Co2 & Compressed Air

When a Co2 tank is filled, it is actually filled with liquid Co2. As this liquid Co2 changes into a gas, a few things happen. The pressure in the tank will increase to approximately 850 psi and as a result, the temperature will begin to drop. The faster you shoot your paintball marker the faster the liquid Co2 will change into a gas and the colder everything will get. Have you ever seen a white cloud of what looks like smoke leave the end of your barrel? That Co2 is still changing from a liquid to a gas resulting in the cloud. If you were to let all of the Co2 out of your tank at once, the tank would get so cold that frost would form on the tank. If you had a large enough tank, you would actually begin to create dry ice. The same dry ice you see at Halloween parties.

Co2 tanks range in size from 9 to 24 oz with the 20 oz tank being the most popular. Co2 tanks are unregulated which means the output pressure to your paintball marker will vary depending on the amount of Co2 left in the tank and the outside temperature (the hotter the day the higher the pressure will be).

When a Compressed Air tank is filled, it is filled with exactly that AIR. Everyone knows what air is, it is all around us and we breathe it on a daily basis. On a molecular level the air around us is approximately 78% nitrogen, 20% oxygen, and 2% other gases. When Compressed Air tanks were first introduced to the sport of paintball it was very popular to call them nitrogen tanks. The terms are synonymous although the term “nitrogen tank” has lost popularity.

Compressed Air tanks come in a variety of sizes ranging from 13 cubic inches to 114 cubic inches  with 68 being the most popular size. Depending on the tanks construction a Compressed Air tank can hold a maximum pressure of either 3000 psi or 4500 psi. All Compressed Air tanks are made up of two very distinct parts. (The bottle and the regulator) The bottle is made out of aluminum and its size determines the volume of Compressed Air that can be stored. The higher end Compressed Air tanks are aluminum bottles wrapped in layers of carbon fiber that allows a higher pressure to be stored. The regulator attaches to the bottle and is what allows us to screw a Compressed Air tank into our paintball markers. The regulator has a very important task as it reduces the air pressure down to a useable level of approximately 750psi.

Want to know how switching to Compressed Air will save you money? Click Here.
Want to know why Compressed Air is better for your paintball marker? Click here.
Want to know the difference between Co2 and Compressed Air? Click Here.
Need help identifying what type of tank you have? Click Here.
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