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CO2 + Winter Whats the difference in weather do? Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   bitboy12 

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 09:55 PM

Alright first let me inform you of my dilemma... Me and my friends have been, and enjoy, paintballing in one of their snowy woods for multiple years; we have encountered a few problems with this. The nearest place for where we can get and refill Compressed Air is a couple hours away so we are stuck with CO2 from our local sporting good/ outdoor store.

Ok, i have been on and reading around on this site for sometime now (over a year?). I have picked up that CO2 and winter time don't mix very well (correct me if i am wrong, if you may) and i would like to know why this is and what i can do so i can have an enjoyable woodsball game in the snow.

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#2 User is offline   Piller 

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 10:27 PM

This might be a bit long, but I don't think there's any simple way to answer completely.
here is a chart that show CO2 pressure at different temperatures: http://www.palmer-pu...AQ/co2chart.gif

Bascially, CO2 is a self-regulating gas. That is why (unlike HPA) it does not need a regulator. Due to compression when a tank is filled, it is stored in your CO2 tank as a liquid. A full CO2 tank is filled with about 1/2 liquid CO2. When you fire your marker, gas at the top leaves, pressure drops, and in the blink of an eye some of the liquid evaporates to restore pressure to what it once was. That process continues as you fire until there is no more liquid to evaporate. That is under ideal conditions.

However, the pressure of your CO2 tank is relative to the temperature it is at. As displayed by the chart, a cold tank puts out less pressure, and thus less velocity. The problem lies in that most generic blowback markers, like Tippmanns or Spyders, operate around 700-1000psi. When it gets cold, the markers loose velocity quite quickly. That problem is further compounded by the cooling effect that occurs when you shoot the marker. When liquid in the tank evaporates cools the tank even further. And even on top of that, when its cold out it is easier for liquid CO2 form the tank to get into the marker. Liquid CO2 that gets into the marker evaporates as it travels down the barrel - and since liquid CO2 is 30x denser than gaseous CO2, when it expands it supercharges the shot. The mix between the two makes it difficult to be consistent with CO2 in cold weather.

Without buying anything, the goal is to keep the temperature of your tank as consistent as possible. The means that your tank and marker should be the same temperature as what you are playing in- even if it is really cold out. Don't get it filled right before you play, don't let it sit in the sun. and try not to shoot long streams of paint. Many people make the mistake that the cold itself is the enemy when its really just the inconsistency that comes with it. Don't use any heating devices, nothing is warm enough to keep up with the chilling ability of CO2, and it only ends up adding to the inconsistency.

__

There are a few purchase options to deal with the issue though. Some people use expansion chambers. These are intended to give CO2 more room to expand before entering the marker, reducing the liquid CO2 getting into the marker and hopefully allowing CO2 to reach an equilibrium temperature before getting into the marker. These generally are not a good idea on most blowbacks. The Expansion chamber can flood, and its temperature difference sometimes only adds to in the inconsistency. They were first used on Automags in the early 90s. Automags were notorious for liquid CO2 issues, but they were self regulating so it worked well for them.

Palmer's stabilizers are another option. They're a CO2 regulator. They not only give room for CO2 to expand like an expansion chamber, but also regulate the CO2's pressure. This allows a lot of markers to operate well in cold temperatures. It is expensive though, and only so effective. Once it gets too cold, it can't do much to bring CO2's pressure up.

The BEST option for playing with CO2 in the frigid cold is to run straight liquid CO2 into the marker from a siphon CO2 tank. It's kind of a forgotten art form these days - which is a shame because it works really well and its quite fun. It requires that you be using a non-regulated marker like a pump or blowback. It also requires that the marker have a metal power tube and be relative durable, as pressure can get quite high. Basically the valve acts as a regulator, because it takes in a measured liquid amount of CO2 rather than a gas. There is a guide on how to do it here. It end ups making your marker about as consistency as HPA, and the colder it gets, the better it works!
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#3 User is offline   hibby 

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 11:07 PM

Get some hand wormer packets from your local sporting good store and put that in a sock and on your tank. that should keep the co2 worm. That or use a romote line. That will keep liquid from seeping in your gun. Hope that helps.
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#4 User is offline   DVLCHLD 

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 07:36 AM

To use CO2 in cold weather. Buy a pair of battery powered heated hunting socks. Put one sock on the tank and one around the marker. Wear the tank on a vest or belt with the tank vertical. Use semi and try to shoot slow.
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#5 User is offline   bitboy12 

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 02:40 PM

Thanks piller! Thats more i could have even asked for haha. But i am a bit confused you are telling me not to useba type of warming device because it adds to the inconsistency but the two others are saying too do so...? Hmm please clearify.

Thanks
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#6 User is offline   Thumper113 

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 12:18 PM

if i were you... i would..
get a scuba tank then...
talk to the fire department.. see where they get their air tanks filled up, or see if they can fill yours for you at a price...


the local PD gets their hpa tanks for the pepperball guns filled at one of the fire stations..

(they dont really use them that much so they dont keep a tank at the station)
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#7 User is offline   Piller 

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 10:18 PM

Yea. I would advise NOT to use any type of heating element. It's ok on regulated markers, but the problem with it on a blowback is that it just increases the temperature fluctuation. The whole goal is to keep the temperature consistent, and heating that can be used on the field are by no means powerful enough to keep up with the rate the tank chills. As you fire, the tank quickly overwhelms whatever heat source you're using. Metaphorically, the pendulum just swings wider. You want the tank and marker to meet and stay at an equilibrium, and even if its cold out, the easiest temperature to do that with is what you're playing in.

This post has been edited by Piller: 28 November 2009 - 10:19 PM

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#8 User is offline   kage83 

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 09:54 PM

View PostSO45615, on Nov 28 2009, 01:18 PM, said:

get a scuba tank then...


^^This^^

I doubt a firestation would fill your tank...at least around me they won't. Something about the high pricetag on the compressor that makes them only want to use it for their stuff. It'd suck to have the compressor go down and then have an emergency without the ability to fill their tanks.

Anywho, if you get a scuba tank (and needed fittings) you'll be able to fill a HPA tank off it. No you won't get a complete fill each time. But you'll be able to fill it enough to keep playing.

Otherwise we've played in 20 degree weather with CO2. We don't play long, and there's no walking the trigger...but it's fun as hell. Last time we played I made a break out from behind some brush to try and get an angle on a guy. Took two steps from my spot, leg sunk into the 2 ft snow drift...and then when i went to climb out before getting shot, my foot snagged on the wire that was burried under the drift. My sternum broke my fall. :ghillie: Luckily the guy i was playing against was a friend, saw the whole thing and decided to not light me up since my marker went flying from my hands. With the wind knocked out of me and my marker full of snow, I called myself out.

All that to say...WINTER BALL ROCKS!
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#9 User is offline   bitboy12 

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 03:59 PM

oh ya its for sure my favorate enviroment to play in! Me in friends go and play when we get snow closings from schoold :( Thats why im trying to get the lowdown on how my gear works in the cold, in hopes for a better game :)
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#10 User is offline   DVLCHLD 

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 10:11 PM

If you can't find a place to get a scuba tank filled just do what alot of paintball stores do. Get a bulk Nitrogen tank from a gas supply company. You will have to pay a deposit but once that's done you can get it switched out whenever it's empty for a small fee. Alot of people do the same thing with bulk CO2 tanks.
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#11 User is offline   Equivalence 

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 04:47 PM

Instead of trying to heat just the tank, wrap your marker, tank, and marker in some kind of thick cloth. It'll help keep the temperature consistent for a bit longer.
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