The Great CO2 Debat...

The Great CO2 Debate - It's a Dirty Business !  


Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 41
2019-09-08 15:21:10  

Greetings my fellow Air-gunners!

I have read many statements about how various CO2 canisters have various amounts of dirt inside.  Well, after target practice today, I decided to do a simple test of this long standing urban legend.  One spent canister of each brand, a hacksaw and 3 Q-tips later, we have some results.

The test :: Crosman versus Swiss Arms versus Asura brands of CO2 canisters - which one has more dirt inside?  Each spent canister was sawed open, the loose filings were tapped out, and the inside circumference was wiped 10 times around with a dry Q-tip.  The cleanest Q-tip wins!  Yeah, I could have used solvent, but I think there is no solvent "carrier" for the dirt in the gas pathway, so a "dry" test seemed most appropriate.  I also only tested 3 random canisters, so my "n" is one for each brand ... hardly definitive, nor double blind, nor any control group. 😀 

Cost :: as of this writing, if you buy in bulk --> 12g CO2 for ~$0.50 each - no difference - so then the dirt factor becomes a little more relevant when buying one brand versus another.

Results :: The Crosman is on the left, Asura in the middle, and Swiss Arms on the right.  I placed the dirtiest face of the Q-tip forward for the pic.  To my eyes, the Crosman is the dirtiest, followed by the Swiss Arms, and the Asura is actually quite clean, and substantially cleaner than the other two.

IMG 0453

Now, if you fine folks know of a more definitive study, I'd surely love to hear it!  For example, does dirt inside the CO2 canister even matter?  If the dirt stays put, then who cares which one is cleaner?  If, on the other hand, the dirt does tend to foul the inner workings and/or barrel, then we should care.  Plus, other brands, like Umarex, could be tested for a more comprehensive data set.

Go in peace people!  Keep it safe!

Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 238
2019-09-09 16:29:55  

HAve had some cursty ones....but never sure of the internal black/gray is from Graphite (for the shape forming process) or from actually "filth". Am pretty sure the times I've cut them open and found bronwish crusty stuff,it'snot suppose to be there.

( time...get the weight of them full.unpopped....marks-a-lot it on the side...then get the weight empty.Been awhile,but once in awhile there is one that ceriously short changes you.)

12gr. are an "open system". Basically you have to open the air tube to put in the 12gr....anything hitch-hiking along with the 12gr. gets injected into the air tube.

I've had a lot fewer valve stem failures with three simple rules:

1. Clean/wash the 12gr.
2. Put them inside a clean bag/tube/or other carry device. I think they still make cigar pocket great with spare 12gr.).
3. Do what your momma likely did when you were a iid: turn you pants pockets inside put when you wash your jeans.


Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 291
2019-09-09 16:58:45  

Been using Redrock CO2 carts for a while now.  Never cut one open, but they always work, always fit, always seal, and the price can't be beat!  I put a drop of ATF fluid on every cart when I install.  That's my ritual.  Been workin'.

Member of Trade
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 50
2019-09-09 17:00:39  

In the many years spent within the PAINTBALL industry that used Co2 exclusively for many years before HPA got traction ... had read, Co2 was a very dirty gas and the black residue it leaves within the pneumatic system was Carbon. Who-Da-Thunk ... Lol


truth or not i can't say ?

................... @ Northern California USA ....................
Sacramento Valley Field Target Club SVFTC Scott S

Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 41
2019-09-10 21:24:24  
Posted by: @jiminpgh

Been using Redrock CO2 carts for a while now.  Never cut one open, but they always work, always fit, always seal, and the price can't be beat!  I put a drop of ATF fluid on every cart when I install.  That's my ritual.  Been workin'.

Dang!  That is good pricing!  I went to their website.  You have to buy 300 for $102, and you get free shipping, so that is $0.34 each! 

Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 8
2019-09-10 22:35:53  

Never had a problem using Crosman CO2.  Usually a Wallmart - on sale buy.  I do lube with Tims secret sauce.  Probably close to a 500 carts over the years & no valve plugging problems or excessive "dirt".  

Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 263
2019-09-11 07:05:14  

Likely graphite or some other lube from the forming process.

I do remember seeing the same residue inside N2O cartridges used for blowing whipped cream. Must be food grade?


There has been no black dust from my 20Lb when inverted to dispense liquid.

There you have it, the world according to John.


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