At our field, and in the paintball industry in general, CO2 is being phased out or already has been. This is because of several reasons:
1) CO2 is more expensive in the long run
While CO2 tanks themselves are cheaper initially, that is not the only cost you have to worry about. CO2 needs to be made into a liquid state, then transported to the field / store, the old used tanks picked up, and fittings all transferred over. An average CO2 fill costs more per fill, and a single tank provides about 400-800 shots (assuming it’s a 20 oz CO2 tank, the most common). A Compressed Air tank fill is usually free, and average size tanks provide about the same amount of shots per fill, with different pressure, sizes, and colors of tanks possible.
2) CO2 fills are more time consuming
To properly fill a CO2 tank, first you need to make sure you have specialized fitting & other equipment. In addition to that, you need a trained employee who can fill a CO2 tank safely. This consists of draining any old CO2 still in the tank, then slowly filling a tank to the proper weight, and re-draining the lines to prevent any freezing. This process can take a few minutes from start to finish. Doesn’t sound like much, but then imagine having to do 80 fills…several times a day!
3) Compressed Air performs more reliably
As we mentioned earlier, CO2 tanks actually hold liquid CO2. In order to propel the paintball down field, that liquid needs to expand into a Gas state. Sometimes, that process doesn’t occur easily – especially in colder weather. This results in inconsistent results, ranging from velocity issues to firing issues and in many cases even destroying internal parts. Conversely, Compressed Air is usually already at an operational pressure, and has no phase change.Additionally, temperature and other environmental factors have a much more diminished effect upon Compressed Air as compared to CO2, so the end result is that Compressed Air is more ‘stable’ for usage in paintball applications.