CO2 BB Guns – What Are They And How Do They Work

What are CO2 BB Guns?

Co2 BB GunsSimply put, there are several ways a gun could possibly work. Some are spring operated, where the tension of a coil is released by cocking the hammer and firing the gun. As the pressure from the spring releases, it projects whatever bullets, BBs or pellets are in the chamber.

Several factors will impact the overall range, such as the capacity of the magazine, the strength and size of the spring and the velocity of the bullets. Another type of gun works by pneumatic principles. Most of the original American model guns were the pump and shoot type of pneumatic rifles.

Smith Wesson bb co2 pistol

These models were effective and the user could certainly improve range and accuracy over time, but the physical labor to make them shoot was intense. Finally, gas powered air rifles were among the newest technologies introduced to gun manufacturing. As a result, the current trend for new users are towards CO2 BB guns and similar gas powered models.

In this article, several types of CO2 BB guns will be discussed and rated according to several criteria. Specifically, accuracy, upgrade potential, weight, ease of use, and price will be compared among the most popular models. To keep an accurate standing on these subjective weights, only CO2 powered BB guns will be rated.

The rating system is straightforward, zero to five with zero being the least desirable and five being the most desirable. We have reviews of Powerful Air Rifles here

CO2 Ignition – How it Works

The beauty of CO2 BB guns is that they combine the theory and principals of several different types of weapons in one neatly wrapped package. Although other gases can be used in place of the standard CO2 canister, this is not recommended and in fact could be dangerous.

Not every gas as the same weight or properties, and each will react differently under pressure. The compressed gas is released precisely as the hammer is cocked (on a spring loaded gun) or as the gun is pumped (in a pneumatic gun).

However, with a CO2 air gun, no hammer is cocked and no manual pumping is required on the automatic versions.  The change in air pressure from the compressed to ambient air causes a violent explosion in the chamber, resulting in a shot being fired.

Now that the inner workings are relatively clear, let us take a closer look at the types of CO2 guns available on the open market.

Popular and well reviewed CO2 BB Guns

PreviewNameStar RatingMore Details
H&K USP (CO2) - Clear .6MM BB by UMAREX4.2 from a couple of reviewsAir Rifle Airsoft sniper
Tanfoglio Witness 1911 CO2 BB Pistol, Brown Grips air pistol4.3Air Rifle Airsoft sniper
Swiss Arms 941 CO2 Pistol air pistol4.5Air Rifle Airsoft sniper
Undead Apocalypse Z11 Zombie Eliminator4.0Air Rifle Airsoft sniper
Dan Wesson 4" CO2 BB Revolver, Black air pistol4.4Air Rifle Airsoft sniper

Reviews of Popular CO2 BB Guns


Smith & Wesson 327 TRR8 CO2 BB Revolver, Black

Smith & Wesson 327 TRR8 CO2 BB Revolver

Smith & Wesson 327 TRR8 CO2 BB Revolver – Click Here for Reviews & The Best Price

One of the greatest features of this model is the non-blowback effect, which produces a more accurate shot. Users are able to have flexibility with the type and size of BBs used.

The realistic weight and feel of the gun encourage many users to simulate target practice and attempt to increase range and accuracy. Beginners can expect decent accuracy, and to enjoy the approximate 400 FPS. One drawback with the weight of the gun is that the magazines are also heavy and can become cumbersome for inexperienced users. Magazine clips and many other upgrade and kits options are available with this popular model.

Accuracy: 5
Weight: 2
Upgrade Potential: 4
Ease of Use: 4
Price: 3

Click Here For more Details And the Best Price

Swiss Arms SA941 CO2 4.5mm Airgun

Swiss Arms SA 941 CO2 4.5mm Airgun

Swiss Arms Air Pistol – Click Here For Reviews & The Best Price

This bulky model has a superbly realistic feel and has a bit of weight to it. Available in many different calibers, the 4.5mm is one of the most popular, and pricey. While other CO2 BB guns are available for well under $100, this model can run upward from $125 depending on the retailer. For the best pricing and more details and reviews clink on the image. Users can expect 312 FPS and a standard 19 round magazine. There is some blowback, and CO2 blowing in the face can become irritating and result in loss of accuracy. The range and accuracy of this model are comparable to other models in the same category. The cost is largely for the look and feel of a real gun.

Accuracy: 5
Weight: 2
Upgrade Potential: 3
Ease of Use: 3
Price: 2

Tanfoglio Witness CO2 BB Airgun

Tanfoglio Witness CO2 BB Airgun

Tanfoglio Air Pistol For Reviews & The Best Price Click Here

Another more expensive, but wildly popular CO2 gun, the Tanfoglio Witness commands attention and respect.

Users can expect an impressive 320 feet per second velocity from this small .177 caliber. This model is easily upgradeable, and many past users recommend having an extra magazine clip since the maximum capacity is on the low side, especially for a day of target practice or recreational shooting.

After more than two years, there was a very low instance of problems with the gun, and a very minor report of the barrel jamming.

Accuracy: 5
Weight: 4
Upgrade Potential: 4
Ease of Use: 3
Price: 3

Undead Apocalypse Z11 Zombie Eliminator


Eliminate Zombies Reviews & The Best Price – Click Here


Of course no review would be complete without at least one reference to the impending zombie apocalypse.

The eerie black and green design make this playful yet serious model very popular, especially with the younger generations. In fact, this affordable gun is often used for camping trips, hiking, outdoor parties and strategic planning outings.

The accessory rail is detachable and can be replaced or upgraded with ease. For the price, this little model is quite impressive and features up to 400 FPS and a quick release 16 round magazine. A mock silencer and rear sight come standard.

Overall, this has a lot of bang for the buck.

Accuracy: 4
Weight: 5
Upgrade Potential: 5
Ease of Use: 5
Price: 5

Final Thoughts

Many models have been introduced and reviewed here. Hopefully, the advantages of CO2 BB guns have become clear. In many ways, they incorporate the best of both worlds between airsoft, pneumatic and spring loaded guns. There are many affordable choices, and most models are somewhat upgradeable.

For the most part, there is little to no maintenance requirements for CO2 models. Most models are durable and well-constructed. One drawback could be that CO2 canisters can be a bit expensive and are of course required to operate the guns. Online retailers usually offer steep discounts on CO2 canisters, but shipping may not be available in all areas. BBs and pellets range in price depending on the construction material and quality. Multiple styles of BBs and pellets available and comparable with most CO2 models.

Review Date
Reviewed Item
CO2 BB guns and similar gas powered models. The best & affordable available are reviewed
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