I primarily used CO2 as a beginner.
There were two reasons. First, the auto shop down the street for me filled my tank for $2. Second, they sold CO2 tanks for paintball guns at my local big box retailer. Growing up, I had to travel 60 miles to get to a paintball specialty store and this was exactly the era of ordering things online.
Now you have the benefit of ordering from us. If you are looking for a high pressure air paintball tank, all you have to do is head over to our website. You can just get it over with right now and order the Ninja SL HPA Tank, or you can continue reading to learn a bit about the differences between CO2 and HPA in paintball.
CO2 In Paintball
It used to be all we had. Until the late 1990s, if you wanted to play paintball, you were using a CO2 tank.
You’ll see CO2 in two formats—tanks and 12 gram cartridges. My first paintball gun was a Brass Eagle Talon pump. I got it at Wal Mart. It used 12 gram cartridges. I got a 12 gram adapter for my Brass Eagle Stingray too. You could shoot like 30 rounds out of your 200 round hopper before you had to reload the 12 gram cartridge.
CO2 tanks and cartridges are filled with a liquid that expands into a gas that operates your marker’s bolt mechanism. The expansion from liquid to gas makes the tank cold to the touch. On certain days, my tank used to get frosty.
Your Paintball Gun Doesn’t Like CO2
Plain and simple—your marker isn’t “happy” when you run CO2 through it. Your o-rings don’t like the changes in temperature. It’s just not awesome unless you have an old marker designed to run CO2 only.
Yeah. There are plenty of things you can do to make it easier on your marker. You can add an expansion chamber like the one my Kingman Spyder Shutter from 2002 had. An expansion chamber gives CO2 some room to expand from liquid into gas before it freezes the insides of your paintball gun. You can also get a regulator designed for use with CO2 and a remote line to allow for even more expansion room.
But CO2 Is Cheaper
It’s inexpensive. It also takes up less space. You aren’t storing gas to fire your marker, you are storing a liquid that expands into gas—that takes up less room. That means that for tank size, you’ll get more rounds per fill out of your tank. Also—everyone and their brother can fill CO2 tanks. At least it seems that way. Like I mentioned before, I used to be able to walk 30 seconds to get a fill from an auto shop.
High Pressure Air: Better For Your Marker
Go ahead and buy an HPA tank.
It provides more consistent gas, more stability with temperature changes, and it doesn’t freeze your paintball gun up.
HPA is better for high fire rates and electronic markers.
You also get a gauge on the tank regulator so you know exactly when you are about to run out of air.
Yes. You have to pay more. Likely above $200 to get a quality, durable tank that doesn’t weigh a ton. You can’t bang an HPA tank around—they are fragile and they will break.
Just Get An HPA Tank
Seriously. Unless you are shooting an old-school marker from 1993, you should be using HPA in your paintball gun.
Just about everyone started with inexpensive CO2 tanks.
Now’s the time to move on up.
Go ahead and make the investment. Head over to our website and check out one of the Ninja HPA tanks. The 68cu 4500 PSI Ninja SL Carbon Fiber Tank is a great choice.