"How Many Shots Can I Get From a CO2 Cartridge" is yet another super common question I get on a daily basis which seems simple enough yet has a rather long winded answer…
The reason I can not give a simple answer is because there are many factors involved that determine how many shots you can expect to get not only from different guns but also on different days in different shooting situations.
I can tell you that one 12 gram CO2 cartridge can deliver as few as 30 shots to as many as 200 shots from an airgun. Let’s talk about why there is such a variation in how many shots you can expect from a 12 gram CO2 canister?
Here are some factors that will determine how much CO2 is used up while shooting a CO2 Airgun.
Temperature can greatly effect how many shots you will get from a CO2 canister, the reason for this is because CO2 requires heat to expand, if more heat is available then less CO2 is required from the CO2 canister with each shot. In very cold temperatures especially when the gun and CO2 canister are both very cold, a CO2 gun may not even function as the canister and gun can freeze up. Because of this temperature effect you will not only get more power in warm temperatures but also more shots from a CO2 cartridge. And likewise in cold temperatures you will get less powerful shots and less of them per CO2 tank.
CO2 Canister Size:
Since CO2 cools as it is used up, the CO2 tank will also become cold as you shoot and as discussed already a cold CO2 tank is less efficient. Smaller CO2 tanks will cool down much faster than larger CO2 tanks so when shooting rapped fire with a 12 gram CO2 cartridge you may only expect to get about 20-30 good shots before taking a break and letting your gun and the CO2 tank warm up again. Some CO2 airguns use 88-90 gram CO2 tanks which allow for a lot more rapid fire shots before having to allow for warmup time. Even a dual 12 gram CO2 airgun will operate better when shooting rapped fire than a single 12 gram CO2 airgun since it has double the CO2 capacity.
CO2 Valve Settings:
On pretty much all CO2 airguns there is a valve setup that when the hammer is dropped the valve is opened for a very short period of time allowing the CO2 to escape from the CO2 cartridge and enter the breach and barrel area of the gun propelling the BB, Pellet or Airsoft round. How long this valve is open for will determine how much power the gun will have and also how much CO2 is used up for each shot. More CO2 released by the valve equals more power and less shots per CO2 cartridge, less CO2 released by the valve equals less power and more shots per CO2 cartridge.
Another hot topic is Blowback operation, some people love it and some people hate it. Blowback operation simulates the slide action found in semi auto pistols and provides some recoil and also allows for the hammer to be cocked between shots which allows for true single action operation just like a real semi auto pistol. So what’s not to love about blowback operation? Well blowback operation steals a little bit of CO2 every shot to make the slide operate back and forth. This robbing of CO2 means you will get less shots from a blowback gun then if it where not a blowback gun. Because of this robbing of CO2, blowback guns are often less powerful, since the CO2 being released from the valve has to propel the ammunition and work the slide blowback operation.
Semi and Full Auto:
When shooting a CO2 airgun, you may be tempted to shoot fast and furiously! I know it’s fun, but as mentioned earlier shooting quickly will cool the airgun and the CO2 canister down leading to poor performance if you do not allow the airgun to warm up between shots. For this reason full auto airguns tend to be very ineffective when it comes to CO2 efficiency, especially when using a single smaller 12 gram CO2 canister. For instance the KWC Mini UZI can shoot in both semi auto and full auto and only uses a single 12 gram CO2 cartridge. When shooting in semi auto you can expect to get two 25 round magazine of shots as long as you allow the gun to warm up a bit between magazine reloads. When shooting in full auto with the KWC Mini UZI you will get about one magazine worth of shots with very noticeable cool down at the end and then will have to pretty much switch over to semi auto to get perhaps only another half magazine worth of shots to finish off the CO2 cartridge. Still worth the fun shooting in full auto in my books :)
Even when shooting in semi auto mode, you can shoot quickly or take your time and be more precise. The more time you take in-between shots, the more shots you will get from your CO2 tank and the more power each shot will have. So if you want to get the most out of your CO2 cartridge, then avoid the temptation to blast everything in sight as quickly as possible. Or give into it and simple stock up on CO2!
This year at SHOT Show 2017 in Las Vegas, I found there wasn’t a lot of new Airgun products but as always there are some that stood out for me. If you want more info on each Airgun Company then make sure to watch my full interviews for this years SHOT Show 2017. So without prolonging this video any longer let’s get right into it…
Umarex Legends MP CO2 Full Auto German MP40 Replica Machine-gun:
What’s not to like about the Umarex Legends MP? It has lots of metal parts weighing in at 7.7 pounds, a 60 round steel BB magazine with a dual 12 gram CO2 system. You also get your choice of shooting either in semi auto or full auto at up to 400 fps. Personally the Umarex Legends MP was the most interesting Airgun at the show this year for me and I really think it is going to be a hit!
Umarex SA10 Blowback Pellet and BB CO2 Pistol:
Another interesting product from Umarex this year was the SA10, I am not really sure what it is exactly styled after, it’s more of a futuristic looking gun with slide venting and a thread barrel for adding a mock suppressor or compensator. What appealed to me most about the Umarex SA10 was the new magazine design that incorporates a full size drop out metal magazine with 4 rotary 8 round magazines that can be loaded with either pellets or BB’s. When you empty one 8 shot magazine you simply drop the entire mag out and swap your empty 8 shot rotary magazine for a full one. The SA10 has a nice weight of around 2 pounds and shoots up to 426 fps.
Sig Sauer ASP P320 CO2 Blowback Pellet Pistol:
Sig Sauer introduced their new Sig Sauer ASP P320 CO2 Pellet Pistol this year that will be replacing the P250. Like the P250 the Sig P320 has a metal slide and polymer frame but instead of a double sided 16 shot rotary magazine, the Sig ASP P320 has a newly designed and very unique 30 round belt fed magazine. That’s nearly double the capacity without having to flip the magazine around part way through shooting. It’s great to see innovations like this happening in the airgun market.
Crosman Remington 1875 Shell Loading CO2 Pellet and BB Revolver:
Crosman introduced their own Single Action Old West Revolver this year in the form of the Remington 1875. Like the super popular Umarex Single Action Army Revolvers, the Remington 1875 is also shell loading and uses 12 gram CO2. You have the option of shooting either Pellets or BB’s out of its smooth bore barrel. I expect the Crosman Remington 1875 Shell Loading Revolver to be another popular Old West Airgun Revolver.
Crosman PSM45 Single Shot Spring Powered BB Pistol:
The Crosman PSM45 at first glance may not seem that interesting, after all it’s all plastic on the outside and only shoots about 200 fps! On the plus side it kind of looks like a Glock and we all know how hard it is to find airguns these days that resemble a Glock. I also like the fact that there is no need for any CO2, and most springers out there look like springers while the Crosman PSM45 looks like a real semi auto pistol. The PSM45 even has pretty decent weight to it since there are lots of internal metal parts and a full size drop out metal magazine which was a real surprise in such an entry level low cost pistol. If you’re looking for a fun inexpensive replica plinker than the Crosman PSM45 should fit the bill. On a side not the PSM45 would also make a really great low cost prop since the slide does work and it has that full size drop out magazine!
ASG Dan Wesson 715 2.5 and 4 inch Shell Loading CO2 Revolvers:
The ASG Dan Wesson Revolver has always been a popular choice, and then the Dan Wesson 715 came out improving on the design by adding extra weight and smoothing out the mechanics. How do you top that? Well by giving us some more options like barrel lengths. You now have your choice of a 2.5, 4 or 6 inch barrel for the Dan Wesson 715 and of course you will be able to buy your 715 pick in 4.5mm Steel BB, 6mm Plastic Airsoft or .177 Caliber Pellet ammunition versions. My personal choice may be the 4 inch Dan Wesson 715 since it has the addition of an integrated accessory rail machined into the outer barrel for lasers or tach lights.
Gletcher M1944 Mosin Nogant CO2 BB Rifle:
The Gletcher M1944 Mosin Nogant CO2 BB Rifle is not a new replica gun this year but it has been a hard one to get your hands on. In fact up until SHOT Show 2017 I had never seen one in person and so the Gletcher M1944 is new to me. I was very impressed with the quality of the Gletcher M1944 Mosin Nogant, it has a lot of metal parts including the swing out bayonet and even the simulated wood stock looks like real wood. I even had to take a second look and ask before confirming that the stock is in fact plastic on the Gletcher M1944 Mosin Nogant. I am looking forward to reviewing this rifle in the future when I do finally get one!
Of course there where other interesting products at SHOT Show 2017 this year but those are the products that stood out the most for me. Again make sure to watch my full interview videos to find out more about all the new products at this years SHOT Show.
Roses and chocolate are nice, but nothing says "I Love You" like a semi-automatic rifle. This year ditch the dinner reso and take your sweetheart on a romantic airsoft or hunting adventure. Couples who play together stay together, right?!
And finally my last YouTube video from SHOT Show 2017 in Las Vegas! Sorry there is no Interview this time with KWA but I did talk a lot with the KWA folks over at SHOT Show this year and I even got to test out their Laser Targeting System designed to be used with several specifi KWA guns by laser-ammo.com.
Unfortunately we don't carry the KWA brand in the replica Airguns store, a few models sneak in when being distriubted by another company like ASG in the case of the ASG MP9. I would love to carry KWA Airsoft Products in the future since they really do make very high quality Airsoft guns.
KWA has a great selection of Airsoft pistols and rifles in both Gas Blowback and AEG formats. The quality reminds me of the KJWors Airsoft guns we sell in the Replica Airguns Canada Store, you can really feel the quality when you pick them up and hold them for yourself.