Why Do Pellet Guns Need CO2?


Quick Answer

Some pellet guns rely on CO2 cartridges to propel pellets, an action that occurs when the trigger is pulled and pressure within a cartridge is released behind a pellet in the gun's chamber, according to Airgunner.com. Other CO2 pellet guns operate with CO2 from a large tank added to a reservoir inside the guns.

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Full Answer

Pellet guns operating with disposable CO2 cartridges tend to be more popular in the United States than in other countries, according to Airgunner.com. Many older pellet guns operated with small CO2 cartridges originally used to make seltzer water. However, modern pellet guns use cartridges specifically designed for shooting. Daisy and Crosman are among the manufacturers that sell the latter type of pellet gun.

Paul Giffard of France first used CO2 to power 6mm and 8mm gallery guns in the 1870s, according to PyramidAir.com. He began manufacturing and selling such guns on a larger scale after using them personally for a time. At that time the method of powering guns was so unusual that those who used CO2 cylinders for the purpose were required to return the cylinders to a central station to be refilled and then pick them up or have them shipped back to them.

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