Writing a textbook on paintball, one page at a time
Thursday, December 30, 2010
A CAUTIONARY TALE: Of Unscrewing CO2
Once upon a time, in the very early days of paintball, I was exiting the field on a beautiful sunny day with my first marker: the BT-4 Combat. Like most people at the field during that season I had my 20 ounce CO2 tank screwed right into the back of my marker as I was not yet using a remote line and began to do what I did on most occasions involving degassing my marker, placing the gun between my legs to get some leverage on the tank for when I began to unscrew it, getting a good grip, and commencing. I had not yet realized a person could depressurize the gun by giving the tank a half turn and then the gun a few dry fires and thought the difficulty I had wrenching off the tank came from pressure between the tank and Air Supply Adapter only. I'd also always though that the little point that depressed the tank's valve in the ASA intruded into the tank much further that it actually does, and that the jet of cold CO2 I'd become accustomed to seeing when unscrewing the tank thus far could be avoided by unscrewing it as quickly as possible. This was not the case I now realize, as the jet of CO2 I'd seen was left overs from the games, extra gas left sitting in bottom line since I had not dry fired the gun to depletion. I'd been testing different ways of unscrewing the bottle from the gun for awhile, see which was quickest for me and this gun between the legs position was not one I was accustomed to. I got a grip on the CO2 tank and gave it a twist. A very cold and visible jet of CO2 came hissing out of the connection between the tank and the ASA as the gun depressurized directly into my crotch, terrifying me and garnering looks from those around me. Though no damage was done, it was still a sight to behold: my clothing absorbed a great deal of the gas (saving me for sure) and when I looked down I could see it evaporate before my eyes, simply put, it looked as though my 'gun' was 'smoking.' A lot of people saw and made comments like, "don't touch it, it may shatter" and "Cryogenics eh? Saving it for the future?" I was more than a little embarrassed and never forgot the incident. I should have known better having been messing with the tank earlier that day and giving myself a blister from another jet of CO2 coming in contact with my bare skin. Moral of the story? Wear some kind of protection or you'll get a blister boys and girls! That or get yourself one of those handy on/off ASA's!