Understanding the Difference Between CO2 and Green Gas for Airsoft

green gas vs co2

Now that you have decided to give airsoft a try, you will start researching on the different blowback guns that are best for this sport.

But, more than the guns and pellets, another crucial factor that you need to keep in mind is the gas that powers the gun.

You have two choices: CO2 or green gas. But how do you know which one is better?

There are a few things to know before you decide.

Whats The Difference?

Green Gas

Green gas, also known as propane, is a popular choice for airsofters.

Green gas contains a liquid which is a combination of silicone oil and propane. This combination creates a powerful gas that is capable of shooting BB’s at a huge distance.

What Is Green Gas

It is not actually a green-colored gas that you should expect, nor is the other variant, red gas.

The lubricating oil is crucial for the airsoft gun because it not only helps to maintain the pistol but the magazine as well.

The life of the gun increases when you use green gas.

Even though green gas is essential for the maintenance, you should clean the gun regularly.

man holding green gas canister

The blowback gun you choose is another factor that decides how much green gas is required to power the gun while firing.

Airsoft-treated green gas is available under various brand names with different prices ranges.

But, there is hardly any difference between the qualities of the gases.

If you are one of those who love to go out with your kids for a game of airsoft, you can get green gas from your local supply store.

It is less expensive than ready-made gas used professionally for airsoft guns.

You may end up saving hundreds if you have the right gun powered by green gas.


Many airsoft guns come with small stainless steel tubes.

These tubes contain carbon dioxide that powers the gun.

However, the cartridge containing CO2 doesn’t have any lubricating additives that can help in the maintenance of the magazine or the pistol.

That is why CO2 powered airsoft guns require extra care.

You will need to lubricate the valves and seals on the magazine whenever you change the cartridge between rounds.

CO2 gas used in airsoft guns is also known as red gas.

They are available in cans similar to green gas.

dual co2 cansisters

The most common variant of CO2 gas is found in .12 g cartridges.

One advantage of using CO2 gas is the can fits in the airsoft guns that use green gas.

So, you can switch between the two whenever you want.

However, you need to buy a high-quality gun if you’re going to use both green gas and CO2.

Usually, the seals of green gas powered guns fall apart when you run them using CO2 gas.

Since CO2 applies more pressure than green gas, the seals become loose after a few weeks.

Which gas is better?

Apart from the difference in maintenance, there are several other points where CO2 and green gas in airsoft guns differ:

• Loading the magazine

One of the crucial differences between the two gases is how you fill the magazine.

Green gas provides a quicker refill because all you have to do is top off the gas supply of the magazine between rounds.

On the other hand, if you are using CO2, you will have to replace the tubes every time they finish.

This is a time-consuming matter, and your opponents won’t consider whether you are reloading your gun and will fire BB’s on you while doing so.

• Performance

If you are considering performance over reload time, then CO2 has a clear edge over green gas.

It provides harder pressure in the cartridge.

However, green gas is not as powerful.

When it comes to raw performance, CO2 wins this round.

With harder pressure, your gun will have higher muzzle velocities per second, so have your hop up installed for better performance.

It doesn’t matter if you are using an expensive airsoft gun or a cheaper version, if CO2 powers the pistol, you can expect it to fire with all its ability destroying your enemies left, right, and center.

• FPS ratings

CO2 powered airsoft guns have consistent FPS ratings.

Since the system can cool down quickly with rapid firing, airsofters believe that CO2 is a better choice.

But, green gas powered guns are also not far behind. In fact, their FPS ratings are almost similar to guns using CO2.

If you consider your budget and FPS ratings, green gas will have a slighter edge over carbon dioxide.

Since the price per shot of green gas is lower than CO2, it will be a cost-effective alternative if you don’t consider the performance of the gun.

• Cost involved

There are a few factors that decide the total cost of CO2 and green gas, and a lot of people always ask me which one is more expensive?

Considering both CO2 and green gas cartridges last for 2.5 magazines, if you buy 40 cartridges of CO2, that will mean 100 full magazines.

On the other hand, if you get a can containing 8 ounces of green gas, it will last 50 full magazines.

Keep in mind that green gas is less powerful but more efficient.

So, you will have to buy two packs to cover 100 magazines.

green gas and airsoft gun

According to this calculation, green gas will only be cheaper than CO2 by a few bucks, but when it comes to long-term performance, green gas is way ahead of its competitor.

The maintenance cost is another factor that you should consider while choosing between the two.

Since the latter requires less maintenance, it is a cheaper alternative.

But, again, it depends whether you want efficiency and low maintenance or simply raw performance from the gun.

Final verdict

They both have their pros and cons, but if you want to outlast your opponents team in the game, you should choose green gas.

Reloading is crucial when you are out there battling to survive.

Green gas magazines have a quicker reload time compared to CO2.

Plus, the overall price and FPS ratings keep green gas marginally ahead.

But, if you are only focused on performance, CO2 should undoubtedly be your first choice.

These magazines don’t compromise on pressure, and that makes them a deadly option.

General FAQ

Is Green Gas better than CO2?

Green gas is actually less powerful than CO2, but green gas is cheaper than CO2 and is much quicker to reload into the gun itself.

What is Red Gas?

Red Gas is essentially a propane based gas the same as green gas, except it has higher compression and is more powerful than green gas, allowing for a higher FPS.

Is Green Gas more expensive than co2?

No, Green Gas is cheaper than CO2 but doesn’t have quite the kick of CO2 cartridges and their gun counterparts.


  1. This article is really misleading. You say in it that green gas has an edge over co2 when it comes to fps when clearly it does not.

    1. @ wesley A olsen – That exactly the opposite of what this article said.
      “CO2 powered airsoft guns have consistent FPS ratings”
      “But, green gas powered guns are also not far behind. In fact, their FPS ratings are almost similar to guns using CO2.”

  2. Can a airsoft pistol be dry fired (no BBs) and still have the slide reciprocate? I’m thinking of getting one to allow my wife to get comfortable with shooting.

    1. No, like a real gun, when the magazine empties the slide locks back. So you do need to have BBs in there to get that feeling of recoil! But a pistol is great for shooting close range in a garage for example. And technically in your house would work. I use a thick moving blanket as the backdrop to my targets to make sure nothing around it gets damaged. Go for it! Tons of techniques to work on once you have one!

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