Paintball is one of the fastest-growing sports today. For new players, deciding what equipment to buy can be a complicated task. Aside from choosing which paintball gun to buy, choosing a tank is probably the next hardest decision. Paintball guns use either CO2 or nitrogen to propel the balls through the air. The tanks that contain CO2 or nitrogen can be complicated and vary in type, price, size, weight, quality and style. Follow these steps to pick the tank best-suited for your needs.
1. Determine if the tank you’re buying is compatible with the paintball gun that you own or plan to purchase. Some paintball markers only run off of CO2, some only use nitrogen and some use both. If your gun isn’t compatible with both, you needn’t worry about Steps 4 and 5 below because they deal with choose the right type of tank when you have a gun that can use either.
2. Decide how much you are willing to pay for a paintball tank. CO2 tanks are significantly cheaper than nitrogen tanks and range from approximately 15 to $30, depending on the size. Nitrogen tanks can vary in price from $70 to $500, but the cost mainly depends on what the tank is made of; carbon tanks are the most expensive.
3. Choose the size and weight you want your tank to have. If mobility is important, you will want to buy a smaller, lighter tank. If you have enough money to purchase a carbon nitrogen tank, these are by far the lightest. If your main priority is being able to fire off as many shots as possible before you have to refill your tank, a larger tank of either type will probably suit you best.
4. Consider how much you plan on playing. Nitrogen tanks will cost much more initially, but they are cheaper to refill. You can even refill them yourself with a scuba tank , whereas you have to go to a fill station and pay about 30 cents per ounce to refill a C02 tank. If you plan on playing tons of paintball, investing in a nitrogen tank will save you money in the long run.
5. Decide whether or not velocity spikes during rapid firing is going to be an issue. Many guns are capable of shooting balls over 10 times per second, and CO2 tends to shoot balls at different velocities when they are fired at that rate. However, if you invest in a nitrogen tank the balls should always come out at a stable velocity. This reduces the amount of chopped balls (balls broken in the gun) and increases accuracy.