Got Gas? The best airsoft propellant; CO2 or Green Gas?

                                                           

Got Gas? The best airsoft propellant; CO2 or Green Gas?

By: Alex Kat

The question of what type of gas airsoft gun to purchase includes a good look at the propellants used. There is no clear-cut answer. Ultimately, it is a personal choice made by an informed decision which includes a good look at the type of gas used in your particular weapon of choice.

Let’s break down the common choices of propellants available to all airsoft enthusiasts. These include CO2, Propane, and Green Gas. The market may have some other variations of gas such as Red Gas or some by other names. For the purpose of this article we will stick with the three previously mentioned that are the most common.  CO2 or Carbon dioxide is an inert and inexpensive gas that is one of the most commonly used compressed gases for pressurized gas systems. For use in airsoft, CO2 is contained in easy to use 12 gram aluminum cartridge that is placed in the airsoft gun being used. These cartridges are easy to transport and carry on the airsoft battlefield. Propane and Green gas are supplied in a much different manner. To discuss this we must first provide and explanation stating the differences between the two. Green Gas is essentially propane pre-mixed with silicone without the distinctive scent of propane and packaged in individual cans (usually about 8 oz.). It is sold specifically for airsoft gas guns and available at most airsoft stores or sites. Propane by itself can be purchased at any hardware store in many different size bottles. It does contain the very distinctive scent that is added for safety purposes to detect leaks. When a straight propane bottle is purchased for use in airsoft, a special bottle adapter must be used to fill the guns. These adapters are made with a reservoir to hold silicone lubricant which is necessary when using straight propane purchased from your local store. Opposed to CO2; propane and/or green gas is filled into a magazine from an external bottle and not dispersed from a cartridge placed into the airsoft gun.

What is better for you? I can provide some pros and cons that will aid you in your decision-making.

CO2 advantages: - cartridges are easy to carry - there are a lot of shots in a cartridge (up to 200 in some cases) – most airsoft CO2 guns are cheaper than gas guns – CO2 responds better in cold than propane but is still negatively affected.

CO2 disadvantages: - CO2 usually provides a higher fps which can exceed those required for indoor use- CO2 is harder on the internals of your gun affecting its lifespan – CO2 is more expensive than propane – CO2 pistols are typically not as accurate as gas models.

Propane advantages: - Cheap propellant – easily accessible when purchasing - reliable, long-lasting and accurate weapons – realistic replicas of their real firearm counterparts.

Propane disadvantages: - Cannot fill in the field / requires extra magazines in the field opposed to cartridges of CO2 – typically under 50 shots per clip – requires silicone to be added using a special adapter – has a distinctive smell some feel is offensive.

Green Gas advantages: - All of the same advantages as propane with the additional advantage of the premixed silicone allowing you to fill and go with no additional silicone needed – does not have the distinctive scent of propane.

Green Gas disadvantage: - Expensive compared to propane – limited availability.

There are some airsoft CO2 guns that are able to use both CO2 and Propane or Green gas if you get the appropriate magazines for them. Typically airsoft gas weapons are specific to propane and/or green gas and cannot use CO2. As you can see, the variables are many when deciding which direction to go when it comes to CO2 versus Propane / Green Gas. Expense, availability, ease of use, life span of your weapon, and convenience all need to be considered and will bear different results and opinions. Only you can make that decision based on informative research. Take the time to do what works for you.