How Many Shots Per CO2 Cartridge Depending On Your Type Of Gun?

If you don’t know how many shots per CO2 cartridge can produce, I am here today to tell you everything about this. It’s a common question from most people. Although there is no straightforward answer to this, I will try to give you all the necessary information so that you can get a crystal clear idea about it.

How many shots you will get per cartridge depends on many factors. It’s not all about the type of gun. However, based on my experience I can give you an idea about this. You may get a minimum of 30 shots and a maximum of 200 shots from 12 grams of CO2 cartridge while firing an air gun.

Stay with me throughout this article as I will discuss all of the related factors that affect the number of shots per CO2 cartridge.

How Many Shots Per Co2 Cartridge: Factors Involved

There should not be any doubt that the number of shots you can get per CO2 cartridge depends on the type of air gun you have. However, there are also some other factors which are responsible for this fluctuation. Due to those significant factors, you will see the fluctuation in the data of the number of shots a particular amount of CO2 cartridge can deliver while firing an air gun.

In this section, I will discuss those factors to give you a clear cut idea about the topic.


The most important factor that plays a role in this fluctuation of data is the temperature. Without any doubt, the temperature is the most significant factor which is responsible for the number of shots you can get from a CO2 canister.

The heat comes with the ability to expand the CO2. So, when there is enough heat available in the shooting area, the requirement from the CO2 from the canister will be less for each shot. That is why in a warmer environment you will get more shots. On the other hand, when it comes to cold environment the complete opposite phenomenon happens.

If both of the CO2 canister and the gun itself are cold, it may not function properly. Even they can freeze up. As we already know, CO2 needs heat to expand, in cold temperature the gun may not perform properly due to lack of heat.

Therefore, in that case, it will be so tough for getting powerful shots, and needless to say, the number of shots per CO2 cartridge will also be lesser than the warm temperature. So to cut the long story short, you can say, in warmer temperatures as the gun and the CO2 tank gets more heat, the number of shots will be more than the cold environment.

CO2 Canister Size

You already know that when CO2 tank gets cold its overall efficiency becomes less. Now, after being used up, the CO2 gradually becomes cold and of course, the CO2 canister will become cold as well. Here, the CO2 canister size plays a very significant role.

Typically, larger canister needs more time to cool down than a smaller canister. So, while you are using a 12-gram cartridge, it will become cold soon due to its smaller canister size. That is why a 12-gram CO2 cartridge may deliver only 20-30 shots in a rapid-firing session. Then you need to give it some time for warming up again.

Now, you may want to know how many shots from 88g CO2 you can get. In this case, if you use an 88-gram or 90-gram CO2 canister the number of shots will be more. Because of the tank size, it will take more time to cool the tank and the gun.

Then again, when it comes to a dual 12-gram CO2 air gun, you will get more number of shots per CO2 cartridge due to its large capacity.

So, if you want to get more shots per CO2 cartridge, try to go for an air gun with large size of a CO2 canister.

Semi or Full Auto Air Gun

Determining whether your air gun is semi or full automatic is important when it comes to counting on the number of shots per CO2 Cartridge. To understand this clearly, you need to understand the technical angle of this matter.

If you shoot a CO2 air gun faster, your gun will be cold within a short time and will need enough time to warm it up between the shots. If you don’t allow this warming up time, your favorite air gun may become inefficient as its efficiency increases with the amount of heat it’s getting from the environment.

That is why you need to be careful while shooting a fully automatic air gun. Because the faster you shoot the less efficient it will become, especially when the CO2 canister size is small. So, automatic air guns are not always efficient if the canister is small.

In this case, the semi-auto air gun may make your day shiny. But, no doubt shooting with a full-auto gun is real fun. But, sometimes you may need to switch to a semi-auto version of your air gun to get the full efficiency from it.

So, at this stage, it should be crystal clear to you that although the fully auto air gun is a fun thing to shoot, switching to a semi-auto mode periodically will increase the overall efficiency of the gun.

Amount of Shooting Power (FPS)

The amount of shooting power (FPS) which is controlled by the CO2 valve settings is important to determine how many shots per CO2 cartridge. Every kind of CO2 air gun comes with an exclusive valve setup in their mechanism.

During the shooting, after the dropping of the hammer, the valve opens for a short time so that the CO2 can escape from the cartridge. After that, he CO2 enters into the breach and also in the barrel area, and the pellet of a bb gun.

Now, the period, while this valve remains open, is crucial and it determines the amount of shooting power the gun will get. Besides, it determines the amount of CO2 which is used for each shot.

If more CO2 releases through the valve the gun will get more power, but the amount of shot per CO2 cartridge will be less. On the other hand, if the amount of released CO2 is less, the gun will get less power, but the number of shots per CO2 cartridge will be more.

Blowback Operation

The last but not the least important factor we will discuss here is the blowback operation. Basically, in semi-auto pistols, some kind of slide action is stimulated by the blowback operation. By providing some kind of recoil, it let the hammer some kind of flexibilities so that it can be cocked between shots.

However, there is a significant drawback of blowback operation. For making the slide operate in back and forth, the blowback operation takes out some amount of CO2.

Therefore, you will get fewer shots from a blowback gun. Due to this phenomenon, blowback guns are always considered as less powerful. Because in this method or blowback mechanism this back and forth slide action is done by the CO2 which is released from the valve.

I hope now you understand that the blowback operation is also responsible for determining the number of shots you will get per CO2 cartridge.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h3″ question-0=”How long do CO2 cartridges last in storage?” answer-0=”Here is a straightforward answer to this question. How long does a CO2 cartridge last depends on an important factor. If there is no leakage on the CO2 cartridges, you can use it even after a long time. If it’s punctured, rusted or leaked, you may not use it again. Here is a simple method for you to check whether you are still able to use it after a particular period of time. You can buy a new one and compare it with the old one. If there is a significant loss of weight, you should not use the old cartridge.” image-0=”” headline-1=”h3″ question-1=”Do Co2 canisters expire?” answer-1=”Yes, CO2 canisters expire and maybe they cannot be used forever. However, in reality, if the canister has CO2 inside of it, it can last as long as it can hold pressure. If you don’t do any changes in its pressure, it’s highly likely that it will not go through any changes. However, it may lose some pressure over time if the CO2 remains in the canister over the years. So, cut the long story short, if the internal pressure of the CO2 changes, the canister may expire over time.” image-1=”” headline-2=”h3″ question-2=”Can you refill CO2 cartridges?” answer-2=”Yes, you can refill CO2 cartridges for air guns. But, to do so you must own a refillable cartridge. Typically, tiny cartridges are not refillable. In most of the cases, large cartridges are easily refillable. ” image-2=”” count=”3″ html=”true” css_class=””]

Final Thought

Finally, I want to conclude this comprehensive article here by stating that some factors affect how many shots you can get per CO2 cartridge.

Although there are many factors, temperature and the size of the canisters are the two most significant factors that control the number of shots. I believe you already get an idea that a 12-gram CO2 cartridge can give you shots ranging from 30 to 100.

In this article, I tried to gather all the necessary information in one place for you. I hope this guide helps you to enhance your knowledge about different factors related to the CO2 cartridge of your air gun.

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