Difference Between Airsoft CO2 and Green Gas Pistols

Posted by Nobody on 05/12/24

Difference Between Airsoft CO2 and Green Gas Pistols

When stepping into the exciting world of airsoft, one of the primary decisions any player faces is choosing the right type of pistol. Airsoft pistols are powered by various means, with CO2 and green gas being two of the most popular options. Each type has its distinct characteristics, advantages, and drawbacks. In this blog, we will explore the differences between airsoft CO2 and green gas pistols, helping you make an informed choice based on your gameplay style and maintenance preferences.

Compressed gas is by far the most common method for propelling BBs out of the barrel within the world of pistols. Then again, you are talking about airsoft guns. Within the realm of repeating and blowback pistols, shooters will find two basic propellants: CO2 and green gas.

While both forms of propellant function quite similarly in the operation of the airsoft gun, there are a few variances in the gasses themselves which need to be considered.

What Are CO2 Airsoft Pistols?

CO2 airsoft pistols use carbon dioxide (CO2) cartridges to propel the BBs. These cartridges are usually 12-gram canisters that fit into the magazine or the grip of the pistol. CO2 is a compressed gas, which provides a high pressure that results in higher velocity shots.

CO2 powers virtually all BB pistols and most 6mm airsoft pistols. 12g CO2 cartridges are extremely common: nearly every department store and almost every outlet that is outdoor-centric, including your local airsoft dealer, will carry at least one brand of CO2. This propellant has been used successfully in airguns for many years.

Pros of CO2 Airsoft Pistols:

  • High Power and Performance: CO2 pistols generally offer higher velocity and shoot harder than green gas pistols. This makes them ideal for outdoor play where increased range and impact are beneficial.
  • Consistent Performance in Cold Weather: Unlike green gas, CO2 performs well in colder temperatures, maintaining its pressure better.
  • Ease of Use: CO2 cartridges are easy to replace, and they provide hundreds of shots before needing to be changed.

Cons of CO2 Airsoft Pistols:

  • Hard Recoil: The high pressure can result in a harder kick, which might be challenging for beginners to manage.
  • Higher Maintenance: The high pressure exerted by CO2 can wear down the internal components of the pistol faster, requiring more frequent maintenance.
  • Cost: CO2 cartridges need to be purchased regularly, which can add to the running costs of using a CO2 pistol.

What Are Green Gas Airsoft Pistols?

Green gas airsoft pistols are powered by a propane-based fuel mixed with silicone oil for lubrication. The gas is stored in the magazine from which it is released to propel the BBs. Green gas is less pressurized compared to CO2, which influences how these guns perform and feel.

Green gas is stored under pressure inside the gun, not in an external tank or other container. Green Gas is actually stored in the container as a liquid. The pressure created when a small amount of gas is allowed out of the container and quickly expands into a gaseous state propels a BB out of the gun. And, though propane is an obviously flammable substance that most propane-powered devices actually ignite to create force, that is not the case in this situation. Green Gas guns work exclusively from the pressure created when green gas expands from a liquid into a gas.

Pros of Green Gas Airsoft Pistols:

  • More Realistic Recoil: Green gas pistols often feature a blowback mechanism that mimics the recoil of a real firearm, providing a more realistic shooting experience.
  • Lower Maintenance: Since the gas is less harsh on the pistol’s internals, green gas guns typically have a longer lifespan with less maintenance required.
  • Easy to Refill: Refilling a green gas magazine is straightforward and can be more cost-effective over time.

Cons of Green Gas Airsoft Pistols:

  • Lower Performance in Cold Weather: Green gas loses pressure in cold weather, leading to decreased performance and reliability.
  • Variable Power: As the gas in the magazine depletes, the power and velocity of shots can decrease, which might affect performance consistency during gameplay.

Making the Right Choice

What will be the better choice for you will come down to your needs, the conditions under which you play, and whether you're playing in cold weather. So what is the best option for you: a CO2 or green gas airsoft pistol? If you are doing this in cold weather or need an extra powerful sidearm, then CO2 would be a better way to go. If you like more realism out of shooting or easier maintenance, then green gas could be the way to go.

Both these pistols have their place in airsoft. Probably, for a beginner, a try with both in a controlled environment would be best to gauge which feels most comfortable for them and which would naturally fit with their style of play. Also, consider the availability of gas and cartridges in your area as this may affect your choice.


Whether you choose a CO2 or a green gas pistol, both are excellent choices for engaging in airsoft. Each type offers unique benefits that can enhance your airsoft experience. For those looking to expand their airsoft arsenal, exploring options at a specialized retailer like Airsoft Station could provide additional insights and product choices that cater to both beginners and seasoned marksman alike. Remember, the right pistol is not just about power or realism—it's about how it enhances your overall gameplay.