In the UK and similarly colder climates, we’re often torn between the use of CO2 in our airsoft weapons and using Green Gas. Assume that, for this entire article, when we mention “green gas”, we’re also talking about other similar gas, such as red and duster, for example.
In the UK, we have a problem with temperature. The summers can be rather warm if we’re lucky and the winters can be quite cold if we’re not. The question of whether you can use CO2 instead of Green Gas comes when people are trying desperately to get the most out of their airsoft guns during the colder months.
CO2 VS Greengas
Firstly, you need to understand the difference between the two. It’s true that they’re both gasses stored as liquids under pressure. However, that’s where the similarities end. Whilst green gas is stored at a max pressure of around 8 Bar (120psi), CO2 is stored at around 60+ bar (900psi).
Using CO2 in something designed for Green Gas
With the recent availability of CO2 “adapters” that allow you to charge a gas magazine or grenade with CO2 bulb, this presents a very real danger. These adapters output unregulated CO2. That’s over 60bar entering a container built to withstand 1/7th of the pressure.
What you’ve created here, is a bomb.
In the best-case scenario, where the magazine or grenade doesn’t explode in your hand, when it comes to operate it will break in some way. We’re not going to go through all the ways in which a gas pistol, rifle or grenade may break when used with Co2, but the list is extensive.
Can I use regulated CO2?
There are however, CO2 adapters which output regulated CO2. This allows you to bring the pressure of the CO2 down to a pressure safer to put into green gas magazines.
Whilst this is inherently safer, it’s not as efficient as it may sound. It has to do with some science stuff called vapour pressure and vapour points. Since the CO2 is now a lower pressure, it’s no longer in its liquid state. Which means that there’s less potential gas within the magazine. It would be like filling a magazine with compressed air (You could safely get it to a high enough pressure to start filling it with liquid oxygen).
You will more than likely get less shots from your weapon when filled with CO2 vs Green Gas.
Using CO2 Magazines in a Green Gas Gun
Using a CO2 magazine in a gun designed for green gas is a difficult one to estimate (such as CO2 Hi-Capa Mags in a TM Hi-Capa). The Co2 is stored safely in the magazine, since it’s designed to be used with CO2. However, the rest of the gun is not designed for it. The Hammer may not be strong enough to depress the valve and initiate firing, the slide may not be strong enough. The blow back housing may not be able to route the gas fast enough. Best case scenario is that your weapon now shoots with an FPS too high for use.
There are a few airsoft weapons which tout the ability to use both green gas magazines and Co2 magazines, whilst maintaining a skirmishable FPS and reliability. If you’re an airsofter that plays all year round and doesn’t want to start developing different weapons platforms for both winter and summer use, then we suggest you go with a dual capability pistol, or tether yourself to your weapon using HPA.