How to Load CO2 Into an Airsoft Pistol

Updated November 2020

At some point you’ll try airsoft milsim and fall in love with it like the rest of us. I also thought i’d only ever play paintball but the first time I held a super-realistic airsoft gun in my hand…i knew i was hooked. But as any experienced player will tell you, you need to really be handy with your gun in this game…Which is one of the reasons loading CO2 is so important.

Table Of Contents

However, it’s not only a matter of pointing and shooting even if you do have the best airsoft gun on the market. There are all kinds of mechanics to the proper usage of an airsoft weapon. And some of them are basic and sound simple enough, but you need to learn how to perform them in the beginning nevertheless. For example – how would you load CO2 into your airsoft pistol?

Don’t worry – we’ll tell you everything that’s prerequisite knowledge right here. So, lock and load – and prepare to do the same with your airsoft pistol!

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Airsoft Pistol Parts

Before you can get started on loading CO2 intoyour pistol, you need to be aware of all the intricate mechanisms that arefound in an airsoft pistol. Luckily for you, most of these pistols have prettymuch the same basic internal parts; external attachments notwithstanding. So,this makes it quite easy to learn how everything works – once you’ve seen oneinternal mechanism, you’ve seen them all.

With that in mind, you should know that all ofthese pistols have a spring that’s used to power the weapon. And this isprecisely the part that determines how quickly your BBs will be launched out ofthe gun’s barrel. Apart from that, the other main parts are:

  • Gears
  • Air Nozzle
  • Cylinder Head
  • Piston Head
  • Piston
  • Cylinder
  • Motor

The abovementioned motor represents yourairsoft pistol’s beating heart. If you want to get more performance out of yourpistol, this is precisely the part you’ll want to upgrade in order to achievethat.

Your ammo will be loaded into the pistol’smagazine. Then, you load that magazine into the gun itself. Once this processis completed, all that’s left is to pull the trigger – and your BBs will beginflying at your target, in either semi-auto or auto-style; depending on your gunand personal preferences.

Loading Basics

Of course, regardless of how well you show tounderstand the internal mechanisms of the gun; if you don’t load the CO2properly, you won’t be able to fire. And not only that, but a badly loaded CO2magazine can be dangerous as well.

That’s why we’ll give you a set ofinstructions to follow while loading the CO2 canister into the pistol. Beforethat, though – check if the tank you’ve purchased corresponds to your airsoftpistol. Once you’re certain of that:

  1. Begin with a pistol that’s empty, and without a loaded magazine inside.
  2. Turn the safety switch on, so that you’re completely secure while loading it.
  3. Inspect the base of the gun, and you’ll find a couple of screws holding a plate in place. Unscrew them carefully, and put them somewhere where you won’t misplace them during this process. They’re generally incredibly small and easy to lose.
  4. If there is a previous tank of CO2 present in the pistol, take it out.
  5. Now that you’ve got an empty slot, push the CO2 tank inside, neck-first.
  6. Insert all of the studs and put the grip cover back in place. Be careful while doing this, as you need to be sure that your grip is aligned with the case.
  7. Put the screws back on in order to lock the canister in place, and turn them clockwise. Do so until they’re fully tightened.
  8. Now your airsoft gun is fully loaded and ready to be used on game opponents!

A Couple of Notes

So, now you’ve learned everything that youneed to know about loading CO2 into your pistol for airsoft. However, whilewe’ve already mentioned that the safety switch needs to be on while you’redoing this – there are also a couple of other considerations to make in termsof user safety.

For example, you need to be absolutely certainthat any BBs and the magazine are out of the pistol before you begin loadingyour CO2 tank inside. Not doing so may cause accidental stray BBs to flyaround, and potentially cause you or bystanders serious harm.

Also, when handling the CO2 tank, you need tobe quite careful – make sure to wear the proper protective gear in order tocover your eyes and prevent hypothetical damage. Furthermore, only replace theCO2 tank if you’re sure that it’s completely empty. Otherwise, there’s a chancethat you could end up with residual gas causing extreme injuries.

As we’ve mentioned above, only try to put in aCO2 tank that’s guaranteed to fit your gun; don’t attempt to make any DIYalterations in this regard. Apart from that, dispose of any leftover cartridgesof CO2 safely once you’re done. And perhaps most importantly – when you set outto do this task, we advise being certain that you’ve got every tool you need tofinish this safely and quickly.

Understanding everything about your personalsafety while handling an airsoft pistol is equally important to knowingeverything about the loading process.


So, now you’ve got all of the theoreticalknowledge required to both successfully replace a CO2 canister in your airsoftpistol, and handle it safely and with care. Understanding the gun’s mechanismsis also important to make this process and effective and secure as possible.

Right now, all that’s left is to do the stepswe’ve described accordingly, and always have safety in mind. Soon enough,you’ll be charging across the airsoft field and having a roaring good time withyour buddies!

Chris Chamberlain Administrator
I am an outdoor nut and love researching and testing new gear. For me its about finding that diamond in the rough…not just shelling out $$ for the sake of it. Its tough to decide between the mountains and the ocean so I try and travel alot and bring my Australian Cattle dog where I can (but he does not like boats).

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