Switch To Compressed Air From Co2 In Paintball Guns

Switch to Compressed Air From Co2 in Paintball Guns

In paintball, there are two main types of propellant: carbon dioxide (CO2) and compressed air (also called high-pressure air or “nitro.”) CO2 was the original paintgun propellant used from the earliest days of the sport when all paintguns used 12-gram CO2 cartridges. It still is widely used, but beginning in the early 1990s, compressed air systems began to take their place in paintball, first with high-end expensive paintguns, and then into more general use as the cost of compressed air systems fell.


1. Obtain a compressed air system. The most common are screw-in fixed-pressure regulator systems. These have male bottle threads that mate up with a paintgun’s primary air input, the air system adaptor. Almost any paintball gun that can accept a CO2 bottle can accept a screw-in high pressure air system without any changes.

2. Move or replace the air input If the paintgun with the mounted compressed air system feels unbalanced or uncomfortable. This can be done with an aftermarket part that relocates the air system adaptor. Called “drop-forwards,” these parts come in various sizes and configurations. Another option is switching to a remote system. This relocates the high pressure air system into a pouch worn on a belt or pack, and a hose and adaptor to connect the tank to the paintgun.

3. Use a chronograph at a paintball field to check your velocity after you switch from CO2 to a high pressure air system. Adjust it up or down as necessary to make your gun field-legal. Once this is set, your velocity should remain consistent until your air tank begins to run low.

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