CO2 Vs PCP Air Rifle Differences, Advantages and Actions

The pellets of airgun have a power source behind them to shoot correctly. These power sources are attached at the heart of the gun, and 2 of them are co2 gas and compressed air. Pcp and co2 air rifles have different looks and functions, but they both use canister compressed air. Co2 rifle is less potent than PCP, yet it can compete with PCP in some places.

CO2 requires less time to fill up than PCP. Yet PCP is powerful. You will know the details here.

Comparison of CO2 Vs PCP Air Rifle 

CO2
Sig Sauer MCX Canebrake .177cal CO2...
CO2
Umarex USA, Legends Cowboy, .177...
PCP
Benjamin Armada BTAP25 PCP-Powered...
PCP
Beeman PCP Underlever Air Rifle,...
Sig Sauer MCX Canebrake .177cal CO2...
Umarex USA, Legends Cowboy, .177...
Benjamin Armada BTAP25 PCP-Powered...
Beeman PCP Underlever Air Rifle,...
-
-
-
CO2
Sig Sauer MCX Canebrake .177cal CO2...
Sig Sauer MCX Canebrake .177cal CO2...
-
CO2
Umarex USA, Legends Cowboy, .177...
Umarex USA, Legends Cowboy, .177...
PCP
Benjamin Armada BTAP25 PCP-Powered...
Benjamin Armada BTAP25 PCP-Powered...
-
PCP
Beeman PCP Underlever Air Rifle,...
Beeman PCP Underlever Air Rifle,...
-

Here are a few differences in the action, power, specification, and performance between CO2 vs PCP air rifles. 

How CO2 & PCP Air Rifle  Works

PCP (Pneumatic Airgun) Working Process

PCPs are available in many calibers. It is very adjustable and does not have recoil. The internal part of PCP has three major categories: unregulated mechanical, regulated mechanical, and electronic, different from Co2 rifle and spring rifle.

CO2 Vs PCP

The unregulated mechanical stored the air cylinder bottle. When you cock the rifle, the average spring pulls the cylinder back, and when you pull the trigger, the cylinder release and hits the valve for accelerating muzzle velocity. The air released and flows throw the transfer port and go to the barrel.

The power curve pressures the valve to close to get the same force, like a shot string. A regulated gun has a flatter power curve, ensuring the air pressure will remain the same.

An electric gun works differently like it has a tiny computer that reads the cylinder pressure and has a flatter power curve.

How CO2 Rifle Works

CO2 springer rifle does not power by pressurized air; it is powered by pressurized carbon dioxide. When you insert the pressurized carbon dioxide into the cylinder bottle, some of the gas turns into liquid. So the cylinder will have liquid and gas.

When you pull the trigger of a CO2 pellet gun, the cylinder valve opens, and some gas transfers into the barrel with great force, and the barrel shoots the pellet out of the gun. The liquid gas will remain the same until you shoot and then turn into gases for the next shot. CO2 requires less pumping effort than PCP. 

Specification for CO2 & PCP Rifle

The design of the CO2 air rifle is very tactical and ergonomic. It has a ventilated butt plate and fiber butt antihits inserted of rubber.

The trigger is two-staged, and you can load and shoot the pellet safely. Some model has optical fiber sight with a red dot and adjustable elevation. The rifle weight is 5.73 lb, and the length is 3.41 inches.

PCP air rifle has a multi-shot; you can do at least 30 high power shots without refilling. It has a side lever breech with a standard bolt action style. The rifle has antishock stock with a left and right-handed load system.

The design is also tactical and ergonomic and also has a bolt action load system. The rifle’s weight is 6.61 lb, and its length is 33.46 inches.

Performance: CO2 Vs PCP Guns

If you are shooting in your backyard, you should add optics if the distance is more than 20 meters. If you are practicing pest control or hunting, CO2 can go 650 feet per second, and PCP has 750 feet per second because PCP gets higher air pressure in the chamber.

Also, it has a longer barrel than CO2. They both have the same trigger and same breech, but PCP has the higher pressure in its chamber, so PCP airguns is a more powerful weapon.

The metal spring of the CO2 gun loses its power over time which reduces the performance. So, springers also suffer from spring fatigue.

Accuracy

They both are accurate at short range. Carrying co2 with two capsules is more accessible than PCP airguns, so it also affects the accuracy. You can also use a CO2 cartridge quickly without using any muscle power. So it is famous for replica shooting. However, they both have consistent accuracy.

co2 vs pcp air rifle

Usability

It needs two CO2 capsules to shoot at least 30 shots so you can carry the capsules anywhere. It is the only air source of the CO2 rifle.

PCP rifle needs an external air source for firing, so you need to carry a hand pump/stirrup pump

or scuba tank, which is heavy to carry around. That is why the CO2 rifle is very handy and easy to load. You can use it with different bipod devices.

Weather condition

Cold weather negatively affects CO2 rifle, and it is temperature-sensitive. PCP airguns do not have this problem.

Price

177 PCP air rifle starts at $100 to a maximum of $399.99. c02 rifle starts with $225. In PCP, we also have to add a pump cylinder which will cost you $250. In total, co2 cost at least 3rd of the PCP price as the price of co2 capsule is meager, $10.

What is Better, PCP or CO2?

Both CO2 and PCP pistols have some disadvantages. CO2 cannot perform much in cold temperatures, so you cannot shoot the same amount as in summer.

A significant disadvantage of PCP is its cost. The rifle is pricey, as well as the air source is. Also, it has various seals which can be leakage at any time. However, which rifle is better for you depends on your needs. A co2 rifle is better suited for small pest control and target shooting.

PCP rifle is best for competitive shooting, so they both are good in their sector.

Can I use CO2 for the PCP air rifle?

It would help if you did not use a CO2 springer for your PCP rifle as it is dirty, which decreases the velocity. Also, C02 does not have the same pressure that PCP needs; if you use it in your PCP rifle that is not designed for c02, your rifle will damage.

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