Building out your first loadout is one of the most exiting parts of playing airsoft, but put the wrong gas in a gun and it can cost you hundreds of dollars in broken equipment.
Read the following post carefully so you know how to get the most power from your weapon and more importantly, not kill it!
You will certainly be faced with several questions regarding which kit is suitable. In this guide, I am going to cover one of the most debated question, should I buy a green gas or a CO2 gun as part of my airspft starter kit.
Green Gas Pros & Cons
Green gas is basically just a propellant and has the same chemical makeup as propane, with one small difference, which is that it has added silicone.
Propane is great but used (dry) has a hard wearing effect on the weapon and so the addition of silicone is necessary in order to keep your sidearm in good smooth working order.
It's worth noting however that you WILL still need to perform routine maintenance on your gun as the gas does not replace correct cleaning.
The green gas will keep the moving parts of the magazine and the mechanical parts of the blowback system lubricated but it will not negate the need for you to properly disassemble the unit in order to clean and correctly lubricate other parts of your sidearm.
I do know of players who just use propane and omit the silicone in order to make it more cost effective, however, they are fastidious (look at me using big words!) about cleaning and correctly oiling their gun after every skirmish.
This is however a far more cost effective option considering that an 8oz can of green gas will set you back around $11 - $15 depending on where you shop, whereas a 16oz can of propane comes in at around $3!
How To Make Your Own Green Gas
A good workaround is to effectively make your own green gas.......
This is done by using an adapter. I use one called a Mad Bull and can be picked up from most places such as ebay or the place I tend to use is Patrol Base as I am based in the UK but for those of you across the pond any reputable store such as Amazon or Evike.
The idea here is that the adapter has a small reservoir in the side where a small amount of silicone can be added, which means when the propane is added it takes with it a small amount of the silicone. The result is a propellant every bit as good as shop bought green gas but at a fraction of the cost.
So thats all good, but what about the bad!?...
Well first off, propane is highly flammable. It is after all the gas used to power BBq's, run camping stoves and even power some cars, so as a result of its flammability caution must be used not to burst or dent the can. It must be stored outside and away from any naked flames or heat sources.
Secondly, propane does smell like fart! Theres no pretty way to put it......
This comes from the fact that as a result of its flammability an additive is used in order to recognise its smell in case of a leak, either that or Uncle Bob has been on the beans again!
These are issues you will not get with green gas as it eliminates the need for the foul smelling additive as its only use is in airsoft guns.
Performance is also another issue that can be encountered with green gas......
In cold temperatures, any experienced airsofter will tell you that the gun looses velocity whether using CO2 or otherwise, however experienced has shown me that the performance decreases significantly when using a propane typed propellant over a CO2 gun.
Can I Use Green Gas In A CO2 Gun?
Well, it depends. There are some guns available that are compatible with both types of propellant such as the M190 full metal pistol. But its also fair to say that most guns are one or the other.
Bear in mind that if you do find a weapon that will take both magazines it comes down largely to how the weapon was engineered, meaning if a gun was designed to take green gas and you start to run CO2 through it you will putting large amounts of extra strain on the mechanics.
As CO2 has a higher velocity to green gas a gun manufactured for green gas is going to wear much quicker.
Therefore if looking for a multi purpose weapon I would always go with a CO2 gun and run Green through it rather than the other way around.
In the next section we will take at look at some of the pros and cons surrounding CO2.
CO2 - Pros And Cons
Ok, so lets cover the good first.....
Well, for a start CO2 tends to have around 40 FPS ( feet per second ) more than a propellant. So, for the power conscious it does have the edge over gas.
Whenever I have used a CO2 weapon it always feels as if it has far less drop off compared to green gas. At the end of a full mag test it felt as if I could shoot another whole mag whereas when using a propellant weapon, by the end of the mag it was running out of steam.
Secondly CO2 is far easier to come by. you can find it in any decent department store like Wallmart or online at Amazon or Ebay.
The downside to CO2 is the cost.......
Now dont get me wrong, in the big scheme of things you can pick up 20, 12g CO2 cartridges for around £10 or $12 US if purchased from Amazon. This will give you roughly a full mag of shots per cartridge, depending on whether you are using a blow back or not. You can of course opt for a 16g cartridge which obviously will last a little longer and comes in at around £15 or $18 for 20 cartridges.
How Many Shots Will I Get From CO2
When you compare this to green gas there is not actually a great deal of difference.
Its very hard to give an actual figure as the amount of shots you will get will depend on so many different factors, from things like the specific gun being used, rate of fire and temperature.
What I have found from testing various different guns is CO2 typically gave around 45 shots before the power started to drop whereas green gas or propane gave around 40, so not a big difference.
Whether you end up using green gas or CO2 a lot will come down to personal preference....
My honest advice for anyone wanting to get into airsofting is probably to go with the CO2, for the simple reason that there is no point in spending out money on adapters etc if it turns out that its not for you.
I would love to hear your take on it so feel free to hit me up on social.
All the best