Special Ops Paintball: The Fall of CO2? - Special Ops Paintball

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The Fall of CO2? Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   laxkid101 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 08:25 AM

Anyone noticing how CO2 seems to be disappearing? Or at least becoming much less popular. Almost all players who own equipment now are using HPA, and Im noticing alot of fields picking up HPA as a standard. Although I guess CO2 will always exist in the form of 12 grams though.
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#2 User is online   Puzuma 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 09:36 AM

Thank Smart Parts for that. Releasing an inexpensive "tourny" marker that fries on CO2 made fields and stores bring HPA in. It was just a matter of time before the tables turned on CO2 and it fell out of the number one spot.

I doubt that CO2 will disappear completely simply because of out law ball. Ounce for ounce CO2 delivers more shots per volume than HPA.
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#3 User is offline   Dark Shadow Hunter 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 09:48 AM

At my home field there is still a good mix between CO2 and HPA. They actually end up filling more CO2 tanks than HPA because outlaw play is gaining in numbers. Thanks to the economic situation many players who used to come to the field all the time are playing more outlaw because they can get paint cheaper at Dunham's than at the field. They still come to the field though because CO2 fills are cheaper.
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#4 User is offline   Krazy8 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 09:48 AM

It is a matter of cost and consistancy with a huge helping of ease of use thrown in for good measure.

When i switched from co2 it was to save money. An average 20 oz co2 fill is $5, and that was a typical day of play for me back then. But the field I was playing at offered free HPA with paid entry. I was paying the entry fee to start then paying for co2, the switch to HPA paid for it self in 6 visits to the field...and at that time I was playing three times a week so it just made economical sence.

But many players are also weighing the bennifit of a consistant release of air with each trigger pull. While co2 does offer a higher yeild of potential propulsion per volume the variable that can effect that output are just too hard to control. We end up playing our sport in some very hostile weather conditions and HPA is just effected far less noticably in dramatically tempuature fluctuations.

And with the advent of more and more affordable high performance equipment that need the kind of consistancy HPA offers being made available to new players the move to HPA just seems like a natural one.

Yes I suspect co2 will always have a niche market in the paintball world especially with players like myself who periodically like to play pump. My tank is just that much smaller on my pump if I use the co2 over the HPA...and it seems to work better in the summer as well.
I would not be at all surprized if fields stop offering co2 in the near future. That is ok though, those of us who have been using it forever still know where to get our bulk tanks filled and we will be there in the parking lot to help out the next generation with the knowledge needed to keep the sport alive.
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#5 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 10:07 AM

HPA may replace it as the primary air source at commercial fields and the players that frequent there, but at the end of the day outlaw players in the middle of nowhere, hundreds of miles from any field, will need an air source. Generally speaking, only scuba type shops and paintball specific shops carry HPA or have the needed compressor.

Bulk CO2 makes much more economic sense than bulk HPA tanks.

CO2 will always be around.

At least, it will until somebody decides to go revisit the C3 and find a better way to control the heat given off / offer a semi-auto type firing rate (thinking 5-8/sec, not electro fast)
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#6 User is offline   Iron__Man 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 11:12 AM

the cost of hpa tanks to begin with is why c02 will never die. not to mention that c02 tanks have a longer life between hydro. also, volume per shots. the only real differences between hpa and c02 systems is the gauge that allows hpa users to see exactly whats in their tank. consitency is arguable, as systems like expansion chambers, regulators, remote lines, lpk's, stabilizers, etc. can be used to make c02 just as consitent as hpa.
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#7 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 11:23 AM

View PostIron__Man, on 11 August 2010 - 01:12 PM, said:

not to mention that c02 tanks have a longer life between hydro.


No longer true. Most of the HPA tanks out today are 5-year hydro, just like CO2 tanks.

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consitency is arguable, as systems like expansion chambers, regulators, remote lines, lpk's, stabilizers, etc. can be used to make c02 just as consitent as hpa.


Also untrue.

Expansion chambers - End up making the shot more inconsistent, as you may or may not have the expansion completed at time of firing. Since the output can vary depending on when you shoot, the variation is still there.

Regulators/Stabilizers (Since a stab is just a specific regulator) - This is the only viable means of possibly getting the same consistency.

Remote lines - Sure, they could work like an expansion chamber... if they were many many feet longer. The volume inside them is rather small, and won't make a difference for or against consistency.

LPKs - Only function because a reg is needed for them. And it is generally recommended to use HPA with LPKs.
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#8 User is offline   Riddler 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 11:49 AM

Yes, there's definitely been a trend in that direction, particularly as the 'high-end' guns have gone to HPA-only and costs have come down on bottles and compressor units.

For a field that has already invested in a compressor, it is cheaper to pay for the electric of running the compressor than it is to continue to bring in the bulk CO2 tanks. Many of these fields are phasing out their fleets of rental CO2 tanks for 48ci/3k or 62ci/3k bottles, which can be had for ~$40 and perform more consistently year-round. Some of these fields opt not to include CO2 fills in their 'all day air' programs, which is extra incentive for players to make the switch.

As for people continuing to use CO2, sure, it works great on many markers when properly configured, and it will likely always be used in moderation.

This post has been edited by Riddler: 11 August 2010 - 11:51 AM

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#9 User is offline   Krazy8 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 11:50 AM

View PostIron__Man, on 11 August 2010 - 11:12 AM, said:

the cost of hpa tanks to begin with is why c02 will never die. not to mention that c02 tanks have a longer life between hydro. also, volume per shots. the only real differences between hpa and c02 systems is the gauge that allows hpa users to see exactly whats in their tank. consitency is arguable, as systems like expansion chambers, regulators, remote lines, lpk's, stabilizers, etc. can be used to make c02 just as consitent as hpa.

I will also point out that you can get into a HPA system for $50 or less now. CO2 tank are pushing the $30 now so not a huge difference for an entry level player.
Differences beyond the guage...easier, faster and safer filling of HPA vs CO2.

As for the hydro testing requirements...they are the same exact rules for both HPA and CO2 tanks. They are both considered pressure vessels and are treated as such. Currently all metal tanks are on a tree year test requirement unless the tank has a diameter 2" or less. Both co2 and HPA fall into this catagory.

HPA and CO2 can be used in either fiber wraped or metal tanks and the tanks for both are compatable for both, the main requirement for safe use is the valve on the tank. HPA valves do not work with CO2 due to the liquid CO@ damaging the seals of the regulated valve...and the higher internal pressures of HPA are too high for a CO2 valve to handle.

Another huge factor is the weight. CO2 simply is heavier. If you were to fill a 68ci HPA tank with CO2 you would be very surprized at the difference. HPA does not have this added weight.


As for external add ons making CO2 just as consistant...sorry not going to happen with todays paintball guns. 15 years ago you could say this. Electros were just hitting the scene and rates of fire were in the teens for high end guns. CO2 had the ability to keep up in this enviroment.
Now...cheap guns are hitting the low 20's in BPS. With rates of fire that high CO2 simply can not warm up fast enough to effectivley operate...you are actually costing yourself more money trying to make CO2 work in a situation it will not. Cheaper to simply buy a HPA system and stop fighting the natural reaction for a liquid converting to a gas via pressure and tempurature and use a relitivley stable platform in the first place.

Technology is phasing CO2 out of the main stream paintball game. It will always be around, just in smaller and smaller amounts as the game evolves.
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#10 User is offline   Dark Shadow Hunter 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 11:59 AM

I still don't see HPA taking over in the outlaw play arena. Most outlaw players in my area use some form of blow black mechanical marker. The ROF they see will not out shoot a CO2 tank to the point where it won't be able to warm up enough. Well, if they are playing in late fall to early spring they may have issues. During the warmer months the CO2 does have enough time to warm up.
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#11 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 12:22 PM

View PostKrazy8, on 11 August 2010 - 01:50 PM, said:

As for external add ons making CO2 just as consistant...sorry not going to happen with todays paintball guns. 15 years ago you could say this. Electros were just hitting the scene and rates of fire were in the teens for high end guns. CO2 had the ability to keep up in this enviroment.
Now...cheap guns are hitting the low 20's in BPS. With rates of fire that high CO2 simply can not warm up fast enough to effectivley operate...you are actually costing yourself more money trying to make CO2 work in a situation it will not. Cheaper to simply buy a HPA system and stop fighting the natural reaction for a liquid converting to a gas via pressure and tempurature and use a relitivley stable platform in the first place.


Devil's Advocate moment.

While many guns are capable of hitting the low 20s, many fields also have posted ROF limits. 15 BPS is a common one, and my home field has even lowered it down to 12.

Putting us right back in the ROF realm where CO2 could be regulated.

That said, I completely agree that HPA is the more cost effective and overall best route to go. You can make CO2 work in the 12 BPS range, but it's not necessarily cheaper to do so anymore.

I made the switch in late 2004 and haven't looked back. Today, only my pump could even run on it in theory and my T8 is the only thing touching CO2 at all (12 grams).
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#12 User is offline   Krazy8 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 12:36 PM

I have been on the devils advocate side of this issue.

Simple truth is go ahead and shoot half a hopper of paint at 12 BPS. No matter what you are doing to control co2 pressure output you are still going to see a visible drop in accuracy and performance.

That much draw of co2 from the tank cools the operating system down to a point of negative returns in pressure output...relating to loss of velocity and accuracy.


Dual regulation you say! Ha! To properly use a dual regulated system you nedd a 400psi varience in pressures between regulators. So your first reg will be seeing the 600 to 1500+ psi from the CO2 tank and typically reg that to the 800 range. The second reg then needs to sit around the 400 psi range and quite honesttly most blowbacks do not like this pressure range for operation so you are effectivly starving the gun for air forcing you to increase main spring tension and negate the whole point of controling the pressure input.
I will also mention that a good reg will show a 10psi varience in the output for every inrcese or decrese of input pressure of 100psi. So CO2 can really change the whole syustem no matter how hard you try to stop the fluctuations.


Now of course the more refined players out there will never do such a thing in game and will not suffer these symptoms...but try to explain this concept to Jonny Newballer and you will see the glazed look of cream filled pie contemplation while you blather on about trigger conrol under duress.

I like having the choice though. And I choose to use co2 on my Phantom in the summer and HPA on it in the winter.

This post has been edited by Krazy8: 11 August 2010 - 12:47 PM

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#13 User is offline   Thumper113 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 12:44 PM

Propane will totally own the market some day =P
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#14 User is offline   sousey 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 01:00 PM

I may have gotten some bad info here but another reason for fields going towards HPA; a ref at Skirmish told me that they are being charged a new tax for CO2 and that is why they are now charging players additional for CO2 fills. Something about CO2 not being "Green".

Or he was full of crap...!

This post has been edited by sousey: 11 August 2010 - 01:00 PM

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#15 User is offline   Maj Tom 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 01:05 PM

View Postsousey, on 11 August 2010 - 04:00 PM, said:

I may have gotten some bad info here but another reason for fields going towards HPA; a ref at Skirmish told me that they are being charged a new tax for CO2 and that is why they are now charging players additional for CO2 fills. Something about CO2 not being "Green".

Or he was full of crap...!

Funny, my bulk tanks still cost the same to fill. And considering most bottled CO2 is siphoned off from other processes where it is a major by product. Wich otherwise would just go up the stack and into the atmosphere anyway.

This post has been edited by Maj Tom: 11 August 2010 - 01:05 PM

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