So what is CO2 and how do I use it with paintball marks?
CO2 is the chemical element for carbon dioxide. That is the stuff we exhale. This gas is then highly compressed in a CO2 tank, and when the marker trigger gets pressed a small amount of the Co2 is released and forces out the paintball at a very high speed. Occasionally the tank will need to be re-filled with CO2. The CO2 tank is attached to the marker and allows the it to be fired.
Where can a tank be bought?
Paintball Stores not only sell paintball guns and paintball gear they sell tanks and they re-fill the empty tanks. Find a store online or in the phone book.
Once a tank is purchased where can it be re-filled?
Many gun and fire arm shops will fill up your CO2 tank. For many people a fire arms store is more handy than a paintball store.
Bass Pro Shops .
This mega store will fill up your CO2 tank Bass Pro Shops will sell you new tanks as well as fill your tank.
Fire Extinguisher and Fire Stations .
Fire extinguisher stores will have no problem filling your tank and they also will have the correct tools to handle the job. Some fire stations will not have the correct tools for your tank.
Here is something to consider. Although rare CO2 may condense into a liquid form. This causes velocity spikes and it leads to O-ring deterioration. To prevent this from occurring an anti-siphon tube or expansion chamber / regulator needs to be installed.
To prevent from running out of CO2 while playing on the field, many players carry an extra CO2 tank on them. But be careful switching tanks on the fly. Because if there is a sloppy exchange, leaks of CO2 may occur.
How many types of tanks are there out there to buy?
For recreational use the sizes range from the smallest at 30 grams of CO2 to the largest tank that holds 20 ounces.
Determine if the tank you are thinking about buying will be compatible with the paintball gun you own or intend to buy. Some paintball marks run on CO2 and some run on nitrogen. And some run on both.
Decide on how much money you are willing to pay for your tank. CO2 tanks are much cheaper than nitrogen tanks. Depending the size you want Co2 tanks run from $ 15.00 to $ 30.00. The nitrogen tank will cost between $ 70.00 and $ 500.00. The difference in price is due to the construction material of the tank. Carbon tanks are the most expensive.
You need to make a decision on the size and weight of the tank you are going to carry. If you need to be mobile you will want a smaller and lighter tank. If you can afford the carbon nitrogen tank, these tanks are the lightest. If your goal is to shot as many rounds with you paintball marker as possible than you want a larger tank. Then you need to know how heavy a load you want to carry with you.
Even though nitrogen tanks are more expensive to buy, refilling these tanks cost you a lot less money. Nitrogen tanks can be refilled by yourself with a scuba tank. What is a pain with the CO2 tanks is having to take them someplace else to get filled at the cost of 30 cents an ounce. If the plan is to shoot tons of paintballs than having a nitrogen tank will save you money in the long run.
One more thing, if you do not mind in a rapid fire situation getting velocity spikes, then CO2 tank will be alright. If that is an issue then you need to invest in a nitrogen tank. This will prevent balls from breaking in the paintball gun.
A tip for the newbie, try out paintball first. See if you like it before going out and spending hundreds of dollars only to find out you do not enjoy the game.
Shop around for tanks. There is a big difference in prices between different stores and on-line stores.
Be very careful in buying used tanks. Even though they may look good on the outside, they may be cracked on the inside. That is a safety issue for sure.