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Gases for Airsoft GBB's


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34 replies to this topic

#1 The Vainguard

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 08:56 PM

DISCLAIMER: I DID NOT WRITE THIS COMPARISON. IT WAS TAKEN FROM AAPS-FEDERATION.ORG AND WRITTEN BY MEMBER: Chris Cord. ALL CREDIT GOES TO THIS INDIVIDUAL.

More useful info:
________________________________________________________________________________


"I've had lots of questions from people regarding gases to use in their airsoft GBB guns. There is a lot of misinformation on the Web related to this issue, so I thought it was time to present some hard science facts about airsoft gases.

The four gases most used for airsoft GBB guns are Green Gas, HFC-134a, Red Gas, and CO2. Green Gas is also known as Top Gas and is, in reality, nothing more than propane (with some perfume and silicone oil added). The main use for HFC-134a and Red Gas is in the refrigeration industry. Propane is also used as a refrigerant, but is primarily used as a fuel. In the refrigeration industry, propane is known as R-290 and Red Gas is known as HCFC-22.



The properties that make these gases good refrigerants is also what makes them good propellants for airsoft guns. At room temperature and atmospheric pressure they are all gases, but they can be liquified by putting them under pressure. When a gun's magazine is filled with one of these gases, what actually enters the magazine is a combination of liquid and gas (that's why you invert the can to fill the magazine). As long as there is still some liquid in the magazine, the pressure of gas above the liquid remains constant for a given temperature (this is called vapor pressure). As long as the temperature doesn't change and as long as there is some liquid in the magazine, the pressure of the gas propelling your BBs remains constant. Here are the vapor pressure vs. temperature data for all four gases.



It is easy to see from the data why guns with plastic slides need to use HFC-134a (stock TM Hi-Capa 5.1, Western Arms, etc.). The pressure of propane (Green or Top Gas) or Red Gas is simply too high for them to handle unless the magazine valve has been modified to limit the flow of gas. It's also easy to see why CO2 requires a special magazine and valve system. It's vapor pressure at room temperature is more than seven times larger than propane. Using CO2 in a magazine designed for Green Gas (propane) would blow the gun apart when it was fired.

If you are using an unmodified GBB pistol with a plastic slide, you should stick to using only HFC-134a. If you have a modified gun that includes a metal slide, enhanced recoil spring, and metal guide, then you can use Green Gas. From here on, we will stop using the term Green Gas and simply say propane. The long-term advantage of being able to use propane is cost. Propane is available through most discount stores and sporting goods stores for less that $3.00 for a 16 ounce can when sold as fuel for camp stoves (Coleman, Bernzomatic, etc.). Compare that to $15 for an 8 ounce can of Green Gas. Of course, you'll need an adapter to fill your magazines. The adapter can be purchased from Airsoft Innovations (http://www.airsoft-innovations.com/) for $25 and is shown below.



If you buy an adapter, be sure to buy some light-weight silicone oil (also from Airsoft Innovations). The oil is added to the propane to lubricate your gun and seals and also to reduce the flammability of the propane.



The adapter comes with instructions for adding the oil and filling your magazines. Another advantage to propane over commercial Green Gas is that the steel cylinders that propane fuel comes in are much safer to transport than the thin-walled cylinders that Green Gas is shipped in. The downside to using propane is that it doesn't contain the perfume that is usually added to Green Gas. Instead of smelling like petunias, your shooting area will smell a little like rotten eggs. (If your spouse complains, just remind him/her of the money you are saving using propane!)

A word about filling your magazines. If you've followed the discussion above, you'll realize that the pressure of gas in your magazine doesn't depend on the length of time you fill the magazine. As long as you get some liquid in the magazine, the pressure of the gas is independent of the amount of liquid present. The colder the magazine is when you fill it, the more liquid you will transfer to the magazine and the more shots you will get. However, if you get too much liquid in the magazine, then some of it will rush out when you fire the first few shots and spray you and your gun with liquid propellant. This wastes propellant and can damage parts of your gun (like the nozzle and piston seal) that weren't built to handle the pressure increase that results when the liquid vaporizes inside them. With a little practice, you'll find the right ""charging time"" for your magazines.

Admin"

Edited by The Vainguard, 05 March 2010 - 09:42 PM.

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Official 2011 Picture Thread
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QUOTE (MARSOCdoc @ Jan 14 2010, 05:15 PM)
please don't spread rumors that im poor and eat cat food. I eat it cuz its delicious, not cuz its cheap.

QUOTE (Night Striker @ Feb 17 2010, 09:02 PM)
u describe a p90 the same way a fat man describes a chocolate cake

#2 Sgt. Lai

Sgt. Lai

Posted 05 March 2010 - 09:18 PM

Very interesting and helpful guide, however I have a question.

You say that plastic slide guns can't handle propane, however there are people who tell me that the TM Meu can handle propane just fine on the plastic slide. Is this true? How long until the slide completely snaps on me?
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#3 The Vainguard

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 09:24 PM

QUOTE (Sgt. Lai @ Mar 5 2010, 06:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Very interesting and helpful guide, however I have a question.

You say that plastic slide guns can't handle propane, however there are people who tell me that the TM Meu can handle propane just fine on the plastic slide. Is this true? How long until the slide completely snaps on me?


This guide wasnt written by me.

The TM MEU CAN handle Propane and Green Gas on a plastic slide for a certain amount of time. I've never seen a slide completely snap, more or less the slide catch area gets worn down, cracks tend to arise, and the worst of all is that the front and/or rear sight will break off from the slide flying off. If you plan to upgrade your MEU to metal sometime, I would say you're completely fine using green gas or propane. But there is also a factor of how often you use your MEU.
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QUOTE (MARSOCdoc @ Jan 14 2010, 05:15 PM)
please don't spread rumors that im poor and eat cat food. I eat it cuz its delicious, not cuz its cheap.

QUOTE (Night Striker @ Feb 17 2010, 09:02 PM)
u describe a p90 the same way a fat man describes a chocolate cake

#4 RunnerGunner

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 09:27 PM

typo in the title

*Gasses
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#5 The Vainguard

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 09:43 PM

QUOTE (RunnerGunner @ Mar 5 2010, 06:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
typo in the title

*Gasses


Actually, it's correct either way.

Main Entry: 1gas
Pronunciation: \ˈgas\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural gas·es also gas·ses
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Official 2011 Picture Thread
-Kagami-Vainguard-MARSOCdoc-<3Bromance<3-
QUOTE (MARSOCdoc @ Jan 14 2010, 05:15 PM)
please don't spread rumors that im poor and eat cat food. I eat it cuz its delicious, not cuz its cheap.

QUOTE (Night Striker @ Feb 17 2010, 09:02 PM)
u describe a p90 the same way a fat man describes a chocolate cake

#6 Diamond

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 10:44 PM

You can't really over fill a magazine. Once the pressure in the magazine and the propane tank are the same its done, nothing is going to keep going into the magazine.

QUOTE
the pressure of the gas is independent of the amount of liquid present


It is based off the temperature. This is why when you use a gun in full auto and the magazine gets cold, that is because the pressure is dropping so fast causing the temperature to go down as well. This will in turn cause the output pressure to be less , giving it the 'cooldown' effect.


Also because using R-22 is, well illegal, a lot of people have been seeking out 410A. Which is fine to vent off and use, but beware that the pressures across the baord are almost double that of propane.
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#7 Hush02

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:08 PM

nice article, whether you wrote it or found it.

But yea, for clarification, before more people ask.

The question of whether or not a gun can "handle" propane is up to the user and how he defines "handle". "handle" could mean that it doesn't break within a few mags to one person while "handle" defined by another means that you can run it for years on propane with no adverse effects whatsoever.

134a is the recommended gas to use in plastic slide pistols. Most plastic slide pistols can run propane through them for some time. However, as mentioned, parts wear out faster.


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#8 Sgt. Lai

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:49 PM

Alright, so I play every other weekend and I'll probably get a metal slide by the next year. That's feasible right? Thanks
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#9 The Vainguard

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:53 PM

How often do you use it? If you use it as a Primary, not sure, if just a sidearm it shouldn't be a problem.
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Official 2011 Picture Thread
-Kagami-Vainguard-MARSOCdoc-<3Bromance<3-
QUOTE (MARSOCdoc @ Jan 14 2010, 05:15 PM)
please don't spread rumors that im poor and eat cat food. I eat it cuz its delicious, not cuz its cheap.

QUOTE (Night Striker @ Feb 17 2010, 09:02 PM)
u describe a p90 the same way a fat man describes a chocolate cake

#10 Sgt. Lai

Sgt. Lai

Posted 06 March 2010 - 12:13 AM

QUOTE (The Vainguard @ Mar 6 2010, 12:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How often do you use it? If you use it as a Primary, not sure, if just a sidearm it shouldn't be a problem.



As a sidearm, although I plan on using it a lot. I guess I should try to get the metal slide sooner then huh. Which slide should I get to make sure that it's still as accurate as it is stock?
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Guess which one is me. Ten bucks if you can.

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#11 The Vainguard

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 12:14 AM

For 1911's they only make full metal kits, on a budget, I would recommend the PGC/ProWin kit.
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Official 2011 Picture Thread
-Kagami-Vainguard-MARSOCdoc-<3Bromance<3-
QUOTE (MARSOCdoc @ Jan 14 2010, 05:15 PM)
please don't spread rumors that im poor and eat cat food. I eat it cuz its delicious, not cuz its cheap.

QUOTE (Night Striker @ Feb 17 2010, 09:02 PM)
u describe a p90 the same way a fat man describes a chocolate cake

#12 Riflewizard

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 02:27 AM

You don't need a metal slide for a TM 1911. The plastic stock one will hold up fine. my TM 1911a1 is over 2 years old and has seen a lot of use exclusively on propane, with no issues at all. It's a very reliable pistol.
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#13 Sgt. Lai

Sgt. Lai

Posted 06 March 2010 - 02:37 AM

QUOTE (Riflewizard @ Mar 6 2010, 03:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You don't need a metal slide for a TM 1911. The plastic stock one will hold up fine. my TM 1911a1 is over 2 years old and has seen a lot of use exclusively on propane, with no issues at all. It's a very reliable pistol.


Are you sure? How much do you use it/how many magazines do you think you've emptied with it? How well do you take care of it?

I want a TM, but there's a SOCOM GEAR that's for less and made of metal, but it's not as accurate. Since 134a is so difficult to find, I'm going to use only propane, and I don't want my TM to break.
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Guess which one is me. Ten bucks if you can.

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To whom does this spleen on the ground belong?

#14 Riflewizard

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 04:04 PM

If it breaks I'll buy you a new one.... put it that way. Unless your shooting red gas or something or routinely skirmish at 110 degrees. I've never heard of tm 1911's breaking. My friend owns a WE meu and it's not as good as my TM 1911.

Edited by Riflewizard, 06 March 2010 - 04:05 PM.

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#15 soviet911

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 04:25 PM

QUOTE (Riflewizard @ Mar 6 2010, 05:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If it breaks I'll buy you a new one.... put it that way. Unless your shooting red gas or something or routinely skirmish at 110 degrees. I've never heard of tm 1911's breaking. My friend owns a WE meu and it's not as good as my TM 1911.


Gah WE stock internals are such crap! ( trust me I own one but now its mostly upgraded (thanks to vain) or has TM internals, now still need to tune it)


To person who asked get tm the plastic slide should hold up fine as long as you take care of it...and even if it breaks you can get a replacemnt metal body and slide for 100$ and have an awesome gun in the end or just a slide...don't bother with any of the clones unless its a WA ( they have their own system not clones) or you got time and skill to work on a clone to make it perform like a TM (need to find some one with a TM to compare my 1911 to it...) and then go with KJW as they are much closer clone copy then a WE, but then again WE 1911 uses WE Hicapa style internals so with a lil modification you can fit any TM compatible Hi-Capa slide onto it...and as far as I worked on mine it seems all internals are TM hi-capa compatible...
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#16 Ronin-V

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 01:15 AM

Just to let you all know, I've used a TM Hi-capa 5.1 stock and shot through at least 2k rounds in it and the slide never snapped or cracked or whatever. However, the slide pit where the slide catch catches did wear out and it no longer locked back when empty.
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#17 aznriptide859

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 04:52 PM

Agreed, the OMG-propane-will-blow-your-plastic-slide myth is a bit unreasonable. I've run multiple guns that have plastic slides and have never seen a failure - however most people get metal slides just for peace of mind/specific trademarks. I have, however, seen a G34's slide run off it's guide tracks.
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#18 Aeddan1

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 09:47 PM

If you ask me CO2 is the way to go...
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#19 yayapfool

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 04:32 PM

yeah I use propane in both my sniper rifle and pistol, it works fine, you just need to lube things yourself
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#20 Haloll

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 03:28 PM

My question is how many shots can you expect out of 16 oz of propane? Im going to be getting my first GBB pistol soon (Finally decided on which one). I am wondering how many shots to expect since Im not sure how many 16oz propane tanks to buy.
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#21 skidoo5

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 09:56 AM

QUOTE (Haloll @ Sep 5 2010, 03:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My question is how many shots can you expect out of 16 oz of propane? Im going to be getting my first GBB pistol soon (Finally decided on which one). I am wondering how many shots to expect since Im not sure how many 16oz propane tanks to buy.


A long time. I hear a can of green gas will last a few thousand shots. So double that, like 6-8 thousand shots. which is plenty... I may be wrong though so no quotations. I am also new to GBB and ordered a KJW M1911 Tactical Hi-Capa and faced this same question. In the end I just got Green Gas since it is easier to use, and doesnt stink. I will only have 1 gas gun, and use the gun maybe every other weekend so I am not going to be blowing off 500 shots a day, so the money I could save with coleman propane+adapter will not be much over straight up green gas over time.

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#22 Disco_Dante

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 10:55 AM

QUOTE (Haloll @ Sep 5 2010, 04:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My question is how many shots can you expect out of 16 oz of propane? Im going to be getting my first GBB pistol soon (Finally decided on which one). I am wondering how many shots to expect since Im not sure how many 16oz propane tanks to buy.


A few dozen mags worth at least. I always buy propane when it's on sale in packages of two or three, saves me even more money and I don't have to go back as often. Any good man store will occasionally put the cannisters on sale.
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#23 skidoo5

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 11:43 AM

So an entire can of green gas will only last like.... 500 shots?
I got a KJW 1911 and was expecting 1000 shots per can, is this to much to expect?

Edited by skidoo5, 08 May 2011 - 11:49 AM.

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#24 Guges Mk3

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 07:42 PM

Except that he has the concept of Red Gas wrong.

Having actually sold Red Gas and Green Gas back in 2003. Green Gas is Not propane. GG was originally branded as HFC122A, this whole concept about GG being propane only started getting convoluted after AI started marketing a product for using propane.

HFC122a was a "Green" alternative to the old gas gun standard of Freon and a propellant gas.

HFC-122 is synonymous to ET-1000 - TOP Gas



Red Gas is ET-1600 and ET 2200

Even the bottle says ET-1600 not HFC122



And ET2200



A German company does it best with gas pressure.


Edited by Guges Mk3, 22 May 2011 - 06:12 PM.

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#25 Baller12

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 08:48 PM

Great guide! Thank you, I will now buy an adapter instead of wasting money on the green gas cans.
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#26 daxma6270

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:59 PM

QUOTE (The Vainguard @ Mar 5 2010, 09:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
DISCLAIMER: I DID NOT WRITE THIS COMPARISON. IT WAS TAKEN FROM AAPS-FEDERATION.ORG AND WRITTEN BY MEMBER: Chris Cord. ALL CREDIT GOES TO THIS INDIVIDUAL.

More useful info:
________________________________________________________________________________


"I've had lots of questions from people regarding gases to use in their airsoft GBB guns. There is a lot of misinformation on the Web related to this issue, so I thought it was time to present some hard science facts about airsoft gases.

The four gases most used for airsoft GBB guns are Green Gas, HFC-134a, Red Gas, and CO2. Green Gas is also known as Top Gas and is, in reality, nothing more than propane (with some perfume and silicone oil added). The main use for HFC-134a and Red Gas is in the refrigeration industry. Propane is also used as a refrigerant, but is primarily used as a fuel. In the refrigeration industry, propane is known as R-290 and Red Gas is known as HCFC-22.



The properties that make these gases good refrigerants is also what makes them good propellants for airsoft guns. At room temperature and atmospheric pressure they are all gases, but they can be liquified by putting them under pressure. When a gun's magazine is filled with one of these gases, what actually enters the magazine is a combination of liquid and gas (that's why you invert the can to fill the magazine). As long as there is still some liquid in the magazine, the pressure of gas above the liquid remains constant for a given temperature (this is called vapor pressure). As long as the temperature doesn't change and as long as there is some liquid in the magazine, the pressure of the gas propelling your BBs remains constant. Here are the vapor pressure vs. temperature data for all four gases.



It is easy to see from the data why guns with plastic slides need to use HFC-134a (stock TM Hi-Capa 5.1, Western Arms, etc.). The pressure of propane (Green or Top Gas) or Red Gas is simply too high for them to handle unless the magazine valve has been modified to limit the flow of gas. It's also easy to see why CO2 requires a special magazine and valve system. It's vapor pressure at room temperature is more than seven times larger than propane. Using CO2 in a magazine designed for Green Gas (propane) would blow the gun apart when it was fired.

If you are using an unmodified GBB pistol with a plastic slide, you should stick to using only HFC-134a. If you have a modified gun that includes a metal slide, enhanced recoil spring, and metal guide, then you can use Green Gas. From here on, we will stop using the term Green Gas and simply say propane. The long-term advantage of being able to use propane is cost. Propane is available through most discount stores and sporting goods stores for less that $3.00 for a 16 ounce can when sold as fuel for camp stoves (Coleman, Bernzomatic, etc.). Compare that to $15 for an 8 ounce can of Green Gas. Of course, you'll need an adapter to fill your magazines. The adapter can be purchased from Airsoft Innovations (http://www.airsoft-innovations.com/) for $25 and is shown below.



If you buy an adapter, be sure to buy some light-weight silicone oil (also from Airsoft Innovations). The oil is added to the propane to lubricate your gun and seals and also to reduce the flammability of the propane.



The adapter comes with instructions for adding the oil and filling your magazines. Another advantage to propane over commercial Green Gas is that the steel cylinders that propane fuel comes in are much safer to transport than the thin-walled cylinders that Green Gas is shipped in. The downside to using propane is that it doesn't contain the perfume that is usually added to Green Gas. Instead of smelling like petunias, your shooting area will smell a little like rotten eggs. (If your spouse complains, just remind him/her of the money you are saving using propane!)

A word about filling your magazines. If you've followed the discussion above, you'll realize that the pressure of gas in your magazine doesn't depend on the length of time you fill the magazine. As long as you get some liquid in the magazine, the pressure of the gas is independent of the amount of liquid present. The colder the magazine is when you fill it, the more liquid you will transfer to the magazine and the more shots you will get. However, if you get too much liquid in the magazine, then some of it will rush out when you fire the first few shots and spray you and your gun with liquid propellant. This wastes propellant and can damage parts of your gun (like the nozzle and piston seal) that weren't built to handle the pressure increase that results when the liquid vaporizes inside them. With a little practice, you'll find the right ""charging time"" for your magazines.

Admin"


Question- will silicone dry spray work or just the oil. I looked at walmart earlier for sum silicone oil but I didnt see any.

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#27 Disco_Dante

Disco_Dante

Posted 17 September 2012 - 02:08 PM

QUOTE (Guges Mk3 @ May 21 2011, 08:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Except that he has the concept of Red Gas wrong.

Having actually sold Red Gas and Green Gas back in 2003. Green Gas is Not propane. GG was originally branded as HFC122A, this whole concept about GG being propane only started getting convoluted after AI started marketing a product for using propane.

HFC122a was a "Green" alternative to the old gas gun standard of Freon and a propellant gas.


The university of Toronto performed a chemical analysis on different brands of "green gas" and propane, and conclusively demonstrated that what was being marketed as "Green Gas" was propane with lubricant in it.
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#28 ScintillatingMarauder

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:55 AM

Has anyone here experimented with using Mapp gas? I tried it in my KWA M11 and it got me roughly %20 more FPS and it recoiled harder. I have 3 mags for the gun and I'm only using Mapp in one of them as a test to see how it hold up. So far no leaks at all.

 

Anyone else interested in using Mapp gas? I know it cost more but its higher pressure. Using the NPAS system I can turn my FPS back down to normal and then have more shots per fill using mapp. I think its a great idea.


  • 0

AR-15 1.85J <AT> 30rps

KJW 1911 .7J

https://www.youtube....0fADQXzL_lKKMvg


#29 MP5User

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:11 PM

MAPP is (somewhat) popular for cold weather environments where the extra PSI can help make up for the temp difference.


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#30 Guges Mk3

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:16 PM

But, MAPP will eat low grade o-rings.  Make sure your rigs can handle the properties of MAPP before you use it.


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I rather use a "nightmare" that shoots like a dream over something that looks like a "dream" but shoots like a nightmare.

Don't fear the gun...fear the one that's wielding it!

#31 ScintillatingMarauder

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:47 PM

I put an O-ring from McMaster Carr in the fill valve. Other than that the mag is %100 stock.


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https://www.youtube....0fADQXzL_lKKMvg


#32 Guges Mk3

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 01:49 PM

Then you will suffer leaks...no stock mags can handle MAPP gas without eventual seal degradation.  

 

Do not oil your mags either.

 

Oil and MAPP are a one two punch for near term immediate seal failure.


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I rather use a "nightmare" that shoots like a dream over something that looks like a "dream" but shoots like a nightmare.

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#33 ScintillatingMarauder

ScintillatingMarauder
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 August 2014 - 08:47 PM

So you are saying that oil and Mapp gas chemically react forming a substance that degrades O-rings?

 

Mag is not leaking as of now.


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#34 MP5User

MP5User
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 August 2014 - 09:10 PM

Silicone as a whole is unhealthy. He's saying by adding one known degrading substance with another, means your magazines will degrade even faster.


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#35 ScintillatingMarauder

ScintillatingMarauder
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 August 2014 - 09:51 PM

Oh, I didn't know Mapp was degrading. I suppose they don't use any O-rings in the Mapp cans then? Sounds weird. Quick Google search didn't turn up anything about Mapp gas and O-rings.

 

I use Murder Oil, the light blue bottle, and the AI pump. 1 pump into a propane can. I have not put it in Mapp yet.


Edited by ScintillatingMarauder, 26 August 2014 - 09:53 PM.

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AR-15 1.85J <AT> 30rps

KJW 1911 .7J

https://www.youtube....0fADQXzL_lKKMvg





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