Keep your tanks cool and out of the sun.

Have your tanks filled BEFORE you leave the field. Not only will your tank be allowed to warm up/stabilize from filling, but you'll always have a full tank the next time you play.

Store the tank in a cool, dry place. I find styrofoam coolers are ideal, and they're cheap.

Wrap your bottles in towels, to keep them from getting scratched in your gear bag.

Properly de-gas your paintmarker before removing the tank. If you have a remote system, have a quick disconnect that has an automatic shut off, when it is disengaged under pressure. Remotes without this feature have a tendency to whip around wildly, causing burns (frostbite) and severe lacerations.

Make sure that when you are unscrewing your tank, the valve is unscrewing from the paintmarker, not the tank. The valve and burst disk are supposed to be torqued to a specific setting. Only qualified and competent airsmiths should be doing this.

CO2 tanks need to be chilled before being filled. This usually involves partially filling the tank and then bleeding off the CO2 to coll the metal of the bottle down. This is done as you are trying to get liquid CO2 into the bottle. A warm bottle causes the gas to expand out of the liquid state.

Over filling your bottle puts stress on your burst disk, even an ounce over will cause the burst disk to stretch slightly. What this does is allow the tank to be over filled without bursting the disk. This is dangerous. The burst disk is designed to rupture and safely vent gas. If the burst disk does not rupture, the tank will. Which would you prefer?

I recommend a remote system, or at least mounting the tank California style (under a shoulder stock). Back bottle arrangements are convenient, but they put the tank right next to your face. I'd rather get frostbite on my arm or back than my face, if a burst disk ruptures.


The best advice I can give you is to buy a set-up pre-assembled by a reputable dealer or manufacturer. Don't try cobbling one together yourself. More people are killed by the concussive explosion of compressed nitrogen and high pressure air than any other compressed gas. There's a reason why those tanks are wrapped in Kevlar.

Having been a scuba diver, I know how dangerous high pressure gasses can be. Some systems have operating pressures up to 4500 psi, and if something goes wrong, somebody is going to the hospital, or the morgue. Even a leak, at these pressures, can be dangerous. High pressure gasses are used to cut metal, so they can cut flesh and bone, too.

Do not fill your tanks too quickly. Where there is pressure, there is heat. If you fill the tank too quickly, it can re-anneal the tank, making the metal brittle and prone to rupture. I have seen paint peel off of scuba tanks from such quick fills, due to the heat generated during a rapid fill.

Regulators are there for a reason, and have been designed to do a job. DO NOT take them apart to modify springs, gaskets, o-rings and other parts.

DO NOT fill your high pressure system with CO2. Most CO2 fill stations use industrial grade CO2 or food grade CO2. The cleanest is medical grade, but don't trust it. CO2 has a lot of dirt and contaminants in it and these particles will stay in the high pressure system, if it is not cleaned and purged by a professional. These particles will be forced against the inside of any surface carrying the gas and eventually they will weaken interior surfaces. They will basically act like sandpaper inside your system.

DO NOT make "cocktails". I have heard of folks mixing nitrogen and HPA, or HPA and CO2. There has been experimentation with helium. DON'T DO IT. Don't mix, or use gases that the system was not intended to handle.


I once watched a full, prematurely punctured twelve gram clear a stand of 25 foot tall trees, one hundred feet away. A half charged 12 gram will go though a goggle lens.

Point the paintmarker in a safe direction when changing twelve grams. Allow the twelve gram in the paintmarker to properly degas before removing it. We're talking about 900 psi, here. I know a goggle lense will stop a paintball, will it stop a rocketing 12 gram? Do you want to take that chance?

No matter what type of marker you use, there is going to be a source of high pressure gas attached to it someway. Respect the destructive power of your power source.