What are the differences between a compressed air gun and CO2?

Discover the differences between these two systems!

The lead gun exists with compressed air (or gun breaking) or with CO2. The air gun is generally more powerful.

The compressed air gun is operated by manually compressing air when the barrel is bent. Before being released, the compressed air is stored in a compression chamber. The energy produced by this type of gun depends on the compression system.

Conversely, the power of the CO2 gun is limited by the compression of the gas contained inside the cylinder. The firing force of the air pistol will therefore always be identical, while that of the CO2 model will decrease with the filling of the cylinder: the more it will be full, the greater the firing.

The gun breaking gun can reach a power of up to 8/10 joules, while the one operating at CO2 can only release up to 4 joules.

The CO2 gun can fire several shots without being reloaded

Single-shot, air pistol or gun-break, requires to be reloaded each time to be able to fire. Indeed, it is necessary to bend the barrel to manually compress the air contained in the chamber and thus release the projectile. Conversely, the CO2 gun can shoot 10 to 20 pellets with a single charger and about 30 shots with a carboy.

The air gun or gun break is more accurate

With a longer barrel, the barrel gun has better guiding of the projectile. Moreover, the distance of its sights improves the precision of its shots. In general, it is assumed that compressed air models are more suited to precision and sports shooting. Smaller, more aesthetic and handy, the CO2 pistols are suitable for a leisure shot on bottles or cans.

The CO2 pistol is a real weapon replica

More sold and more appreciated, the CO2 pistol is a quasi-perfect replica of a real weapon. Featuring more or less successful finishes depending on the budget allocated, it provides the feeling of shooting with a traditional weapon.

Ammunition is different

The air pistol only draws flat or sharp pellets. Conversely, the CO2 gun can be used to project steel balls or flat, sharp pellets. Some models are also designed to expel both types of projectiles.


There you go ! You know how to choose your future lead gun.