What are nitrogen paintball tanks?
Nitrogen paintball tanks are filled with compressed air from a hpa fill station.
What does hpa mean? Hpa stands for "high pressure air" and is exactly what it sounds like, air with more pressure. The reason why the air has more pressure is because the air is condensed.
In the old days of paintball, nitrogen tanks used actual nitrogen. Well this is really not the case anymore, and will through some of the newbies and veterans for a loop. The truth is, nitrogen paintball tanks are filled with the air we breathe… the only difference is that the air is condensed, so that it is predominately nitrogen molecules.
80% of our breathing air can be broken down into nitrogen molecules. For HPA, the other 20% is simply discarded. Some may think that this will decrease the quality, but this is simply not true. Modern paintball tanks are incredibly efficient at filtering out, and consistently producing an appropriate amount of nitrogen.
Some may say that condensed air (or HPA) will be cheaper than pure nitrogen… and those people are 100% correct. Pure nitrogen was way too expensive for the common folk that enjoy the game of paintball. And because HPA is cheaper, and just as good, HPA became the standard air provided at the paintball fields…. booyah!
So are they really nitrogen paintball tanks? or are the HPA tanks? These tanks can be classified as either, as of late many paintball players have been calling them HPA, which is completely valid. We, at co2 paintball guru, think that nitrogen tanks are a more suitable name because of their history, and the fact that the goal is still to use as much NITROGEN as possible. Yes, real air is used, but only to generate as much nitrogen as possible.
What nitrogen tanks can do for you!
Nitrogen paintball tanks are designed for consistency.
Unlike co2 (carbon dioxide), nitrogen molecules do not change form easily. In fact, there is not an environment on the planet that will cause inconsistencies for your nitrogen tank.
Nitrogen starts as a gas, and stays as a gas.
What does this mean for tank efficiency?
Well this means that every shot can be fired with the SAME amount of pressure.
If pressure varies, paintball can be lodged in your gun, and cause chopping. Most paintball players become incredibly frustrated when this happens, and to be fair, there is good reason. A paintball gun with a jammed barrel is game over. At least for the game at hand, and the paint left in your barrel can lower efficiency for many future games to come.
Because the pressure is consistent you will not experience very many problems in your paintball gun. It is so rare for a nitrogen tank to jam, that many paintball players would flock towards a nitrogen tank for this advantage alone.
There are many other advantages though… high consistency also means better accuracy.
The logic is simple… If your gun always fires paintballs at the exact same angle, and at the exact same velocity, you can be a better judge of where your paintballs will wind up.
If you want a higher level of control over the targets you hit, you absolutely need a nitrogen paintball tank.
Another cool advantage of nitrogen tanks is that they can hold more air than co2 tanks. Because the air is condensed, that means there is more air in your tank, which also means there is usable air for your paintballs.
Some paintball players will complain that more air also means heavier. Which is a legitimate complaint. Nitrogen tanks are ridiculously more heavy than co2 tanks. And if you decide to get a nitrogen tank, you should probably have the tank attached to your body rather than your gun.
There is some paintball equipment that is designed to hold a paintball tank. This works by connecting a tube from your paintball gun to the tank in your paintball equipment.
If a nitrogen tank is connected to your body, you will barely notice it. But if a nitrogen tank is connected directly to your gun, it may be a nuisance.
Another benefit – increased velocity!
The beauty of nitro tanks is that you can adjust the amount of pressure applied to each paintball. So if you want, you can make your paintball gun shoot faster.
There are limits to the amount of velocity a paintball field will allow. But the limits are set way above the capabilities of a co2 paintball tank.
If you want the option to have a higher paintball shooting speed, then nitrogen paintball tanks are your best bet.
Are nitrogen tanks worth the extra price?
It depends on how seriously you take your paintball game. Any player who is worried about the efficiency of their paintball gun, simply must have a nitrogen tank. They are a significant improvement to your accuracy, and provide consistent velocity.
And honestly, the fact that you're reading this page indicates that you care at least a little bit. In the long term nitrogen tanks are the go to option. If you're worried about the price increase, it will relieve you to know that you will not pay that much to refill a nitrogen tank.
A nitrogen tank will last a lot longer than a co2 one, and they are cheaper to fill.
YES, hpa is cheaper than regular air. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about paintball air systems. Tanks filled with air cost more because of the regulations on reselling air products. By law, air providers must include numerous filters, and treatments to their air product. However, condensed air does not fall under this jurisdiction. It really sounds like a complicated matter, but it really is not for a paintballers perspective.
All you need to know is that HPA is better, and less expensive.
So let's figure out whether it's worth it for you to buy a nitrogen tank. Well, a reasonable nitrogen paintball tank at a good price will cost you about 80-100 dollars. Of course, you can pay a lot more than that, and for serious players I would recommend the 200-300 dollar range. But for any semi-serious player, or just starting player, I would recommend an economical nitrogen tank.
You can purchase a co2 tank for about 15$ and yes, for many that is all that is needed. But for a 65-85$ price increase, you will very much improve the efficiency of your paintball gun, as well as lower the longterm cost of buying air.
So the answer is really how much you are going to play, and how serious of a player you are.
In all honesty, any dedicated paintball player's nitrogen tank will more than pay for itself in time, due to the cheaper price to refill.
A paintball player's first tank is usually a co2 paintball tank. Only because its the cheapest start to paintballing. However, the transition to a nitrogen tank ALWAYS occurs for any serious paintball player, and that is because a nitrogen tank is advantagous in way too many ways to pass up.
In fact, an astute beginner, will simply just start out with a nitrogen tank. Because over time, co2 tanks just cost too much to fill. And it is way better to learn paintball with good accuracy. Trust me! Co2 tanks provide little control over where your paintballs end up, and can lead to incredible frustration. Many of your hits are by fluke, and do not properly teach you how to aim.
feel free to read our page on co2 paintball tanks. But nitrogen paintball tanks are what the paintball guru recommends.
What Other Visitors Have Said
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page…
life of air in tank over long periods Not rated yet
with either co2 or hpa i am wondering what it takes to get a tank that will not leak out over time.
if you purchase a tank with an on/off valve does …
History Of Nitrogen Paintball Tanks Not rated yet
Compressed air tanks used to be filled with nitrogen, until paintball shops discovered that compressed air is significantly cheaper.
There is absolutely …
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