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How to Load CO2 Into an Airsoft Pistol

How to Load CO2 Into an Airsoft PistolLearning how to load CO2 into an airsoft pistol is a crucial skill, when you have a CO2 pistol to begin with.

After all, it doesn’t make much sense if you’re unable to do this task. What are you going to do—buy a new airsoft pistol every time you run out of CO2?

That doesn’t make sense at all. It’s like selling your car once you run out of fuel.

It’s a good thing that loading CO2 into your airsoft pistol is just as easy as filling up your gas tank in a gas station. That’s especially true after you read this step-by-step guide.

When Do You Need to Load Fresh CO2 into Your Airsoft Pistol?

gas cans for gunSome airsoft veterans say that when your pistol accuracy suddenly becomes erratic and your BBs go all over the place, it’s time to put in a fresh load of CO2. That’s because the CO2 tank doesn’t have enough pressure to maintain consistent power levels.

You may also want to put in fresh CO2 just before a serious airsoft event. Put in new CO2 right before a battle simulation, or even before a “serious” target shooting contest in your backyard.

But others maintain that you should only take out the CO2 tank in the airsoft pistol once it’s completely empty. If there’s still some pressurized CO2 in the tank you’re taking out, the residual gas can be very dangerous.

So, what should you do? The common-sense answer is you take both tips into account.

You should put in a new CO2 tank in your airsoft pistol before any serious competitive event. If your pistol is shooting inaccurately all of a sudden, it’s also time for reloading the CO2.

It’s just that you should keep using that current, partially filled CO2 tank until it’s completely empty. Have a bit of fun hitting things in your backyard, even if you keep missing a lot.

Then when it’s completely empty, put in a new CO2 tank in the pistol.

What Should You Do with Your Old CO2 Tank?

Small CO2 cartridges can be treated like any other piece of trash when you’re sure it’s completely empty.

But what if you’re not sure?

In that case, try to find a free facility that disposes of household hazardous waste.

Additional Tips

  • Always—as in ALWAYS—make sure that you take out the mag and any other BBs from the pistol before you even think about putting in a CO2 tank. What you really don’t want is to accidentally fire BBs from the pistol while you’re trying to put on a fresh CO2 tank.
  • Treat all CO2 canisters carefully, even the supposedly “empty” CO2 tank you’re replacing. Sometimes these things can explode, which is why you should wear protective goggles when you do this task.
  • Do try to make sure that your replacement CO2 cartridge is compatible with your airsoft pistol.
  • Some vets recommend that you apply a light coating of pellet gun oil on the end and sides of the cartridge cap (which is the part of the CO2 cartridge that gets pierced). This helps to keep the CO2 from leaking when you’re not using the pistol.
  • Get all your tools ready first before you change the CO2 tank. That way, you can replace the CO2 tank safely and efficiently.
  • It’s not really recommended that you replace the CO2 tank while you’re in the middle of a battle simulation. That’s why you need a fresh tank before battle begins, so you’re unlikely to lose CO2 power in the middle of a fight.

CO2 Pistol Loading: A Step-By-Step Guide

find a CO2 or compressed gas pistolMake sure you follow the steps laid down here properly, as it’s just too risky otherwise.

If you don’t, consider yourself lucky if your airsoft pistol merely stops working right.

But improper CO2 loading can cause airsoft pistol damage, or even injuries.

Here are the steps:

  1. Make sure you’ve got your goggles on, and a screwdriver and the new CO2 canister by your side.
  2. Take out the magazine and all of the ammo. Yes, we keep mentioning this, but it bears repeating because it’s that important.
  3. Turn the safety switch on. It’s always best to consider any pistol as loaded, which is also why you don’t aim your pistol at anyone you’re not actually trying to hit.
  4. Check the base of the pistol grip, and find the screw there for the CO2 tank.
  5. Use a screwdriver to unscrew this screw, which holds the plate secure. Sometimes there are a couple of these screws, and you need to take both out. Do this very carefully.
  6. Place these screws in a safe container, like a small cup or a clean ashtray. Some of these screws are so small that you may lose them easily.
  7. Take off the grip cover from the pistol.
  8. Take out the CO2 tank inside the pistol.
  9. Put in the new CO2 tank into the empty slot, with the neck first.
  10. Put back in all the studs and put back the grip cover. Do this carefully as well, so you can make sure you’ve aligned the grip with the case.
  11. Replace the screws back to lock in the CO2 canister, then tighten the screws. Generally, this means turning the screws clockwise until you’ve got the screws fully tightened.
  12. Tightening the screws pierces the cartridge end cap, and the pistol is now ready for use.


CO2 pistols are fun to use, as they’re reliable and can give you lots of range, power, and accuracy.

Most of these pistols use small CO2 cartridges, so it’s merely a matter of taking the spent CO2 cartridge out and putting in a new one.

With this guide, you now know how to load CO2 into an airsoft pistol without any fuss and without any risk. Now go out there and have a lot of fun!

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