Bite The Bullet
Gas it up! (1999-11-10)&orderbyAs if we haven't stressed it enough, maintenance is of utmost importance to keep your favorite (and often expensive) airsoft functioning smoothly for years of enjoyment. This is especially true in the case of gas blow backs which require lots of care to keep them running.
For starters, you must use the right gas for the right gun. We've noticed a lot of our customers using HFC22 gas and destroying perfectly good pistols which were only designed for HFC134a. Simply put, there are two major types of gas out there you should be aware of; HFC134a and HFC22 (sometimes referred to as Top Gas, Omega Gas or ToyJack Gas), with the latter having a much greater pressure. There is also another type of gas called Red Gas which has the highest pressure of all but very few pistols can take this gas even after modifications. And yes there is something called Black Gas but let's not go there. Only after extensive modifications can a gas blowback take such a gas and even then, don't expect any kind of durability.
Most Japanese made pistols are by default designed for HFC134a gas and only a limited few can withstand the pressure and shock of HFC22. While use of HFC22 will provide significantly stronger blowback and power, these pistols usually end up breaking some major component after several (and sometimes after several magazines worth of) rounds. How can you tell whether a pistol that you like or own can take HFC22? The answer is from experience. All Japanese pistols claim to work only with HFC134a but trial and error has told us which are over-engineered to withstand the higher pressure gases. As a side note, most Taiwanese gas guns are designed to withstand HFC22, which incidentally is mostly manufactured in Taiwan. If you're not sure, check out our gas pages where we list whether a weapon is capable of using higher pressure gases. If you have any doubts, email us. Note though that use of HFC22 is at your own risk and if you are a collector who doesn't mind the lower power and values a functioning weapon in the long run, always use HFC134a. No matter how well a gun is engineered, the stronger gas will no doubt reduce it's lifespan. Many pistols can be modified to take higher pressures; sometimes a metal slide will do, sometimes you need to install a stronger blowback piston, stronger valves, etc. With some, it just isn't worth it.
Even with the right gas, your gas blowback still needs lots of lubrication to keep things running, especially in the area of O-rings which are prone to drying and cracking in dry climates such as North America. Once an O-ring dries, it will be unable to make a tight seal and gas will escape from valves, blowback pistons, etc. Drying often happens when you put a gun aside for a long time without any use. When you know you're not going to be shooting for a while, squirt generous amounts of silicone into valves, nozzles, and the magazine gas port (the rubber part which makes contact with the blowback piston). Then place the gun back in the box and keep it in a cool dark place to minimize evaporation. Better yet, wrap the gun in a plastic bag to keep the moisture in. But be careful not to drown the gun in silicone - you only need to apply generous amounts to the right places. For some of you overseas folks who use PC dusters to propel your guns, note that PC dusters do not have silicone content like the HFC134a or HFC22 gases designed for airsoft. PC dusters are very dry and can quickly dry out your O-rings. If you must use PC dusters, then constantly spray silicone into all parts of the gun which the gas is likely to touch.
With periodic maintenance, your gas blowback will last much longer and provide years of enjoyment.