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The Key Differences Between Airsoft CO2 and Green Gas Airsoft

Differences Between Airsoft CO2 and Green Gas AirsoftOnce you go with gas-powered airsoft weapons, you still have to choose between CO2 and green gas. Discover the key differences so you’ll make the right choice.

For airsoft newbies, here’s one of the most commonly asked questions when discussing gas-powered airsoft options: What are the differences between airsoft CO2 and green gas airsoft?

Here’s a quick overview on the 2 options:

CO2 and Green Gas Similarities:

  • Both are propellant gasses that launch your BBs or pellets.
  • These are placed in the magazine or the grip of the gun.
  • Once you run out of the gas, you need to buy more of it.

What’s Green Gas?

Green gas is a mix of propane and silicone oil. You can buy a bottle with premixed green gas, which is rather convenient.

A bottle costs about $15, and with the entire bottle you can fire off about 1,500 to 2,000 shots. You can then charge your magazines through the fill valve.

A cheaper, though more labor-intensive option, is to buy a propane adapter and some silicone oil to go with your propane tank. You can then just add a few drops of silicone oil into the tank and you’re good to go.

What’s CO2?

If you remember your high school chemistry class, this is carbon dioxide. You’ll find compressed carbon dioxide in the cartridges.

Most CO2 cartridges are smaller metal cylinders, with 12g cartridges no bigger than your thumb. Each of these cartridges will cost you about $1 (though some cost only 75¢ each).

However, each cartridge also gives you only 50 to 60 shots.

Benefits of Green Gas

Here are some of the reasons why folks like green gas:

It’s the Cheaper Option

Your $15 gives you 1,500 shots (at least), before you need to buy more green gas.

CO2 cartridges are more expensive, even if you can get 20 cartridges worth 75¢ each and get 60 shots from each cartridge. That’s a total of just 1,200 shots.

It’s Easier on the Weapon

The green gas only comes with a pressure level of about 300 psi. It doesn’t produce as much kick as the CO2, which has a pressure of 12,000 psi.

The milder kick won’t be as hard on your equipment as with the CO2. That should keep your airsoft weapon from wearing down more quickly, especially with the seals.

The silicone oil in the mix also helps to lubricate the weapon. While this doesn’t absolve you of the need to clean your airsoft weapon regularly, it still helps with the durability of the airsoft gun.

Benefits of CO2

Green gas was the first gas option for airsoft, and CO2 was meant to be an improvement.

That’s true when you focus on the performance.

Better FPS

The CO2 pressure means you can get a lot of power to launch your pellets. That translates to greater fps ratings, which generally means greater range and accuracy.

Most of the high-end gas-powered guns use CO2 instead of green gas due to this power advantage.

Better Winter Performance

If you’re playing with airsoft in the cold, your weapon will work better if you’re going with CO2 cartridges. The self-contained cartridge design is less apt to be affected by the colder temperature.

Realistic Function

Lots of airsoft fans like gas-powered pistols because they can get that sense of recoil you can’t get in another type of airsoft weapon.

And to get that powerful recoil, you need the high-pressure CO2. The green gas simply doesn’t give you enough recoil to match.


So, which one is better? That’s up to you.

Go with the CO2 if you’re only interested in the power and performance. If you’re upgrading your weapon to perform better, then it ought to be a CO2 weapon instead of a green gas airsoft gun.

Just make sure you don’t mind the extra expense. After all, with all things equal then your CO2 gun will wear down faster than your green gas weapon.

Go with green gas if you prefer to take it easy. Green gas weapons are cheaper to power up, and they tend to last longer.

Then again, who says you can’t get both? Buy a CO2 weapon for airsoft battles, and go with a green gas option for backyard plinking!

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