Special Ops Paintball: Is HPA worth it? - Special Ops Paintball

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Is HPA worth it? Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Villid 

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 04:41 PM

Ive been debating switching from CO2 to HPA for a while now. After reaading the sticky thread about the equivalencies in performance of the 2, it seems that you need a much larger tank to even remotely match the output of a CO2 tank. and if your playing a field thats no big deal, but i play a lot on private farm land, were refills are a 30 minute drive each way.

So i guess, my question is what are the true benefits of HPA over CO2? Keep in mind i live in SC, so the average low temps in winter are only about 45 degrees, and i am using a remote line with my setup (98 Custom). And what are the benefits of CO2 over HPA?
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#2 User is offline   UWANNAGO 

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 04:45 PM

A co2 tank is cheaper and you dont have to worry about hydro...thats about it.

If you are getting larger bottles and refilling at field then a scuba tank is something youll have to buy...when you can just rent co2 from a place like airgas but the costs will even themselves out since co2 fill are more expensive.

Basically get hpa its worth the initial investment.
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#3 User is offline   Maj Tom 

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 05:13 PM

Depends, can you easily get HPA fills?

If so as Teddy said costs are about the same over the long run (depending how you go about it). But if you can easily get it hpa would save you a couple of headaches.
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#4 User is offline   Villid 

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 05:24 PM

View PostTeddy K, on Dec 28 2009, 06:45 PM, said:

A co2 tank is cheaper and you dont have to worry about hydro...thats about it.

If you are getting larger bottles and refilling at field then a scuba tank is something youll have to buy...when you can just rent co2 from a place like airgas but the costs will even themselves out since co2 fill are more expensive.

Basically get hpa its worth the initial investment.



Hydro? what do you mean?
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#5 User is offline   UWANNAGO 

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 05:33 PM

HP tanks like that have something called a hydro date...which basically means that on a date specified...either 3 or 5 years from when the tank was first MADE they need to go testing to make sure they can still safely hold the high pressured air they will be filled with.

Only certain places enforce co2 hydro dates because normally there arent any issues with them that cannot be visibly seen...and if your renting large tanks 20-50 lbs they will make sure they are in hydro...but again hpa is easier to fill and normally easier to aquire than co2.
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#6 User is offline   Mobles 

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 05:43 PM

20 oz co2 tanks do to
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#7 User is offline   Piller 

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 10:04 PM

I personally like CO2, but it comes down to preference.

One nice thing about CO2 is that it is inexpensive. Tanks are ~$15-$30, and the fills are generally only a few dollars. The shot capacity to size ratio is also better. Larger CO2 tanks do require hydrotesting, but in reality at the end of 5 years it is cheaper to just get a new tank. You can easily purchase multiple CO2 tanks, fill them all up, and have them on reserve for when you need them. Alternatively, for HPA you can purchase a scuba tank, buy an HPA tank, and do fills yourself.

CO2 cannot be used on the majoriy of higher end electric markers. They also tend to be less consistent. But to be fair, CO2 is a self regulating gas, where as HPA relies on a regulator placed on the top of the tank. CO2's pressure varies depending on the temperature of the tank. If you shoot a lot quickly, play in the cold, let your tank get warm in the sun, get it filled, it will change temperature and your shot consistency will be lesser until your tank reaches an equilibrium with what you are playing in. Liquid co2 can also enter the marker if you frequently tip your marker down with the tank attached in a bottomline setup which also contributes to inconsistency. CO2 under ideal conditions can get around +/- 5 fps, and that's what I generally get with my Pro/Carbine. But most people get around +/- 10 fps using CO2. HPA tends to stay around +/- 5 fps or better depending on the marker no matter the conditions. In my opinion the consistency of CO2 is good enough - especially when once you get an idea of how it works, you can work better with it. Though many people are not satisfied with CO2 consistency, or experience very poor consistency due to improper use.

This post has been edited by Piller: 28 December 2009 - 10:06 PM

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#8 User is offline   Jaron 

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 10:20 AM

Piler hit most the basics. Read this for more detail.

But no, CO2 is not a "self-regulating" gas. Yes, the vapor pressure in the system will reach an equilibrium, but that pressure level can easily change 150 psi or more during normal play conditions. As you live in So Cal, no you likely won't run into huge problems playing during the winter, but what about the hot summer? I've seen macrolines burst when people leaved a CO2 gassed marker in the sun and internal pressure spiked over 1200 psi.

Initial benefits of CO2 over HPA are the cost and availability. Paying $20 for a tank instead of $150 is easier on the wallet. But if you start adding things to make the CO2 behave, like a regulator, that price gap shrinks considerably.

Benefits of HPA over CO2 is the weight, consistency, and compatibility with more guns. Any gun that can use CO2 can also use HPA, but not the other way around. And yes, CO2 gets a lot of shots for the volume, but my 91/4500 tank will get just as many, if not more, shots as a 20 oz CO2 tank, and it weighs a lot less.

Like I said, for more in-depth info, read the link.
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#9 User is offline   UWANNAGO 

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 11:44 AM

I believe he lives in south carolina.

Also one thing to consider is filling co2 you will loose alot...you have to chill tanks which uses co2...and you have to bleed the tank when it gets low you arent able to fill till it goes dry...just something to consider if your going to be filling soley off tanks you will most likely get more off a scuba tank since you can pull everything out of it.
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#10 User is offline   Jaron 

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 12:15 PM

View PostTeddy K, on Dec 29 2009, 11:44 AM, said:

I believe he lives in south carolina.

Blast it all, that's the second time I've done that today. I must need some sleep or something so I read correctly.
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#11 User is offline   Villid 

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 03:59 PM

yeah im in south carolina, and playing in the heat of summer isnt really an issue that ive seen in the past. and ive just finally switched out and got myself a remote line, so pouring the liquid co2 into the marker shouldnt be an issue any longer. as for the high end markers, its unlikely ill be getting one any time in the near future, prolly stick with my 98 for now.

I hadnt planned on purchasing fill stations for either setup, as there are multiple local shops that can fill both types on tanks, so thats not a consideration, as far as my personal use is concerned. I may try HPA if i can can find a bottle 2nd hand or i can get someone to let me borrow theirs for an afternoon.
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#12 User is offline   Jaron 

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 04:03 PM

What exactly are you considering "high-end" that you won't get? A Mini or G3 certainly aren't "high-end" ( though they are very good for the price, ) but they don't work on CO2. I understand either not wanting to or not having the money to upgrade, but with the price of quality electros falling, you might end up with one sooner than you think.

As for finding a used HPA tank, now is the time to look. A lot of people clear out their gear bags in the winter so they can buy next year's stuff.
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#13 User is offline   ger 

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:58 PM

The advantages of HPA are the consistency w/ sustained rates of high fire & consistency regardless of low outside temperatures - neither of which apply to you in your situation. The advantage of CO2 is the (usually) lower cost & amount of shots per fill. If you are running remote on a stock 98 (no r/t or e-grip) - then CO2 should work pretty well for you in the South Carolina weather.

I run HPA because: 1. I play in snow during winter 2. I shoot a lot of paint... fast 3. I get free (w/ membership) air fills in the admin building 60' from our field entrance. No need to jump in the car & drive 1 hour round trip + pay $9 for every 1000 shots I take... which apparently is what you would have to do.
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#14 User is offline   Jaron 

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 01:46 PM

It's not just consistency at high rates of fire. I've frosted a CO2 tank using a bone stock Alley Cat back in the day ( in Florida no less, ) and that only took 20 shots at 5 bps. HPA is just consistent in all conditions, period.

The biggest thing I caution people about CO2 is proper safety. Be sure to re-chrono multiple times per day as the temperature changes. Never leave a CO2 tank in direct sunlight. Don't misunderstand, CO2 is great for rec players and is "good enough" for many people. If you're fine with you're shooting consistency, then you don't need to worry about it. But if you can, try to use an HPA tank once or twice and see if it improves your game a little.
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#15 User is offline   Villid 

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 04:18 PM

View PostJaron, on Dec 30 2009, 03:46 PM, said:

It's not just consistency at high rates of fire. I've frosted a CO2 tank using a bone stock Alley Cat back in the day ( in Florida no less, ) and that only took 20 shots at 5 bps. HPA is just consistent in all conditions, period.


I still rock the Alley Cat everyonce in a while, especially for CQB games.
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