High Pressure Air is regular air. This air is compressed into a certified container. Air pressure then powers your BBs.
What are HPA Guns?
Some airsoft guns run on HPA. These are advanced designs that, in most cases, can be put inside an AEG gearbox to replace the internals. Alternatively, many people put it in their airsoft sniper rifles. This makes racking the bolt easier.
HPA: Advantages vs Drawbacks
This system is around for quite some time now. That brings certain advantages:
- HPA allows you to adjust performance – you just add more pressure. Great if you switch fields with different power limits.
- Sniper rifles’ bolts are easier to rack – compared to a regular spring system.
- Temperature stability – no matter if you play in freezing winter or hot summer. This system will always work the same.
- When built correctly, the system is basically maintenance-free.
- Shared parts. If you have 3 HPA guns, the system makes even more sense. For all of them, you can run only one hose, regulator and air tank – saving some buck.
On the other hand, the system is specific and has some feats that are not for everyone. For instance:
- The system is more expensive than reliable AEGs/Snipers. It is not uncommon for airsofters to pay 450 € (510 $) for this system + they have to buy the gun itself.
- Pressured air refilling is a hassle. It takes time, sometimes even money and you cannot do this everywhere/on any field.
- In most cases, there is a hose supplying your gun. This hose often gets in the way and limits your maneuverability.
- You have to carry the air tank around – you need a large pouch that gets rather heavy.
How do HPA Guns Work?
HPA Guns are typically powered by a paintball air tank. This air tank is stored in a backpack and a hose goes from the air tank into the gun. When the user shoots the gun, the air will work the mechanics of the internals & shoot a BB down the barrel.
What is Everything One Would Need to use HPA?
You’ll need several things to use an HPA gun. This does make HPA less accessible due to the cost of all the accessories.
- HPA Gun. (Custom, or with an internal HPA Engine)
- Paintball Air Tank (Filled with air)
- Airsoft Air Hose (Connects tank to the gun)
- Low Pressure Regulator (Lowers the pressure of the tank if the gun requires it.)
- Low power battery (If the gun is electronically controlled)
Common Misconceptions about HPA & HPA Guns
Misconception: “The tank is going to explode!!!”
Reality: The tank has many safety mechanisms. Even if you tried to make it explode, it can’t. You can watch professional paintball players dive tank first with all their weight on their tank & it won’t explode.
Misconception: “Oh, it’s just compressed air? I have an air compressor at home.”
Reality: Paintball air tanks require 3,000 or 4,500 pounds of pressure. Most home compressors designed for operating air tools, filling tires, or powering airbrushes can do a maximum of about 100 PSI. Yes, even the really big one your friend has at his car repair shop.
Misconception: “HPA hurts more than regular guns.”
Reality: HPA Guns are checked for energy the same as any other gun on the field. If it’s too powerful the user has to either turn the power down or not use it. When an HPA user sets his power, he will be required to lock it in such a way where he cannot change how powerful the gun is. The most common way to lock an HPA gun is to use a zip tie.