Airsoft Beginners Guide To: Gas
This latest new player video features Patrol Base Pete and Patrol Base Mike, who are here to discuss one of the most important topics to anyone who owns a Gas powered Airsoft replica: The differences between all the main Airsoft Gas Types. Hopefully this is the information you don't really hear a lot about through regular social media channels like YouTube or Facebook. We're going to be trying to hit the questions which people feel too stupid to ask, but don't worry, there is no such thing as a stupid question in Airsoft: we were all new players once!
In the video we will discuss various types of gas. Although there are many variants of propellant for airsoft guns they all fall under three main categories: Co2, HPA, and the most popular Green Gas and Propane.
If you're thinking about getting yourself a Co2 powered weapon chances are it's going to be powered by a co2 bulb. These are usually inserted into the bottom of the magazine or into the pistol grip and are screwed into the gun until the top of the cartridge is pierced therefore releasing the co2.
Co2 is usually favored during the colder months of the year because it's less affected by temperature, but just bear in mind that if you try and use it in the warmer months of the year it could actually produce more power in the gun than your game site will allow. This is due to the increased gas expansion due to the heat, which will produce more power when fired.
One of the things to look out for when using Co2 bulbs is to make sure that it pierces completely when inserting it into the mag and also make sure you don't over tighten it otherwise you could cause damage to the valve.
Always make sure the bulbs are fully emptied before trying to take it out of the magazine otherwise you'll have yourself a homemade co2 launcher. Since the Bulb Cap / Screw is the only thing holding it in place then the bulb will try to escape any way it can, usually towards you if you're not careful.
Another type of gas is 'HPA' which stands for High Pressure Air. These types of guns are usually powered by a pressurized bottle which is fed into a regulator which controls the amount of air or gas escaping from the bottle in a very consistent manner and then that feeds into the rifle and pushes the BB through the barrel. The release of air is controlled inside the weapon either by a mechanical system, or more popularly via a digital Fire Control Unit which can be programmed to various different modes.
HPA replicas are usually very consistent, and they're less effective if at all by temperature which means you can run it pretty much all year round.
The only disadvantages to HPA is that you might be carrying a big bottle around with you at the same time, the fact they have to be specially filled, and that they can be an expensive outlay. But, if you want performance, and the best kit money can buy, HPA is the way to go, and is sometimes even more consistent than AEG replicas!
Typically as a beginner you probably won't encounter this kind of system unless it's other guys at the field. Generally it's either a gas rifle that's been modified to accept a remote line or an out-of-the-box solution such as a mechanical Tippmann M4 or a digitally controlled PolarStar to name a few.
Now for the slightly more complicated topic of Airsoft Green Gas. Whilst Airsoft Green Gas are available in various different varieties they are essentially just Propane with varying amounts of Silicon Lube or other Additives contained in the mixture to vary the potential power output provided. The additives are used to stabilize the gas, to inhibit it from rapid or increased expansion from temperature. Generally the more additives the less powerful the gas is due to the decreased volume of propane, and the less additives the more powerful it becomes.
Green Gas guns typically store the gas in the magazines, and can be easily filled simply by depressing the cans nozzle into the fill valve on the base of the magazine. It's very easy to do and the gas itself is very easy to store as its in a simple metal can with a push to release nozzle. An added bonus of Green Gas Magazines is that they can be topped up at any time, this makes them very easy to use, however, due to the limited gas storage space, and being surrounded by thick metal in the magazine, the gas is easily affected by temperature.
Weaker gas is more affected by lower temperature, with a common gotcha being trying to use weak gas in colder weather rendering them useless, with the inverse also being true, of using too powerful gas in high temperatures and making it too powerful for UK Sites.
Green Gas Types
As it can be quite confusing we've put together a couple of examples just to help guide you through it all. Spoiler alert: 99% of the time you're going to be using NUPROL 2.0 or ASG Ultrair.
In range of power we have the following:
144a Duster Gas / Summer Gas
The lower power gases are most likely to be used with polymer slided pistols like Tokyo Marui pistols and rifles or if you've got a gas gun which is running too hot to be used at your site it can help you bring down the power somewhat.
Standard Green Gas
95% of the time Green Gas is what you're going to be using. We blanket recommend that for pretty much every gas pistol and rifle we sell in-store and on our website. Some guns do require more powerful gas, but we'll usually tell you in the product description or in-store if you pay us a visit.
Low Temperature Red Gas
You've got the red gas which is a little bit more powerful again it's generally used for lower temperatures however it is missing that silicone lubricant component so just bear that in mind. You'll usually be using this gas in winter in larger gas powered replicas. We would recommend avoiding just simply sticking this in a gun to increase its FPS, it will work, but it's like driving your car around everywhere in 2nd gear.
High Powered Black Gass
You can go all the way up to black gas, which is a super power up gas which is most likely to be used in the coldest temperatures or if you've got a gas rifle with a particularly heavy bolt or something like that in there just to help it cycle properly and it's also the most common gas used in competition shooting where power output is less of an issue.
The most powerful was always going to be pure propane. This is exactly the same stuff that you're using barbecues and portable cookers but with a special adapter to allow you to fill gas magazines via the valve. It's the base of what makes up your standard airsoft Green Gases except it doesn't have any lubricant in it so users need to add their own from the neck of the bottle.
If you are looking at using pure propane in your pistol or rifle then just bear in mind that you're gonna need to spend more time lubricating the internals just pay a bit more attention to that as it does run very dry but that's your trade off for more power and consistency.
So there you have it guys that's our beginner's guide to the various gases available for airsoft replicas, remember 99% of you are going to be using standard green gas anyway, but hopefully it's provided you a bit more information and busted some of those myths that may surround the genre.