How to Tell if a CO2 Cartridge is Empty?

How to Tell if a CO2 Cartridge is Empty?

Using carbon dioxide (CO2) cartridges are a popular and convenient way to pressurize airsoft guns, paintball guns, and other devices. While these cartridges can be refilled with fresh CO2, it’s important to know when one is running low or empty.

So that you don’t end up in the middle of a game with an air gun that won’t fire. Knowing how to tell if a CO2 cartridge is empty can save you time, money, and hassle. In this article, we’ll discuss the various methods for determining how to tell if a co2 cartridge is empty.

Check the Weight

One of the simplest methods for determining if a CO2 cartridge is empty is to check its weight. Generally, a full CO2 cartridge should weigh around 16g. If it feels significantly lighter than this, it is likely empty and needs to be replaced. A digital scale can be used to ensure accuracy in measurement. Simply feeling the cartridge can provide a good sign of how much gas remains within the container. If you have access to it, an air pressure gauge can also determine if a CO2 cartridge is empty.

Generally speaking, an empty CO2 cartridge should read zero PSI on the pressure gauge, while a full one will read between 800-900 PSI. Once all other methods have been exhausted and you are still unsure whether your CO2 cartridge is empty. You can try activating the device and listening for any sound that indicates gas escaping from inside the chamber. If nothing happens when actuating and no sound is heard, then it’s highly likely that your CO2 cartridge is empty. It needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

Check the Pressure Gauge

Look at the top of the tank to check the pressure gauge on a CO2 cartridge. The pressure gauge should be located at the top and usually has a needle or display showing how much pressure is inside. If there is no needle or display, the tank may already be empty. The pressure gauge should read between 0-2500 psi for a full CO2 cartridge. If it reads below 0-2500 psi, then it means there is not enough pressure left in the tank and it needs to be refilled or replaced.

When checking the pressure gauge, make sure to do so in a well-ventilated area, as exposure to high levels of CO2 can be hazardous. It’s also important to remember that CO2 cartridges are consumables and must be replaced after a certain amount of use. This means that even if the pressure gauge isn’t showing an empty reading, it still may need replacing due to wear and tear from use over time.

Identify the Sound or Lack Thereof when Actuating the Cartridge

One of the simplest ways to tell if a CO2 cartridge is empty is by listening to the sound. If there is no sound when acting on the cartridge, then it is likely to be empty. The lack of sound will be due to gas pressure within the cartridge. To test this, simply activate the cartridge to an air compressor or other similar device. If the cartridge does not produce any sound, it can be assumed that it is empty.

It is important to note that even if a CO2 cartridge produces some sound when actuated, it may still be empty or close to being emptied. This can be determined by attaching a pressure gauge to the cartridge and monitoring its pressure levels over time.

Examining the Cartridge

When examining a CO2 cartridge, it’s important to check for any signs of damage or wear. Look closely at the cartridge’s surface and ensure there are no cracks or other visible signs of damage. Additionally, inspect the threads on either end of the cartridge to ensure they are not damaged or worn down. If you notice any damage or deformity, do not use the cartridge, as it may not work correctly.

Also, check for any leaks in the cartridge by submerging it in a bowl of water and looking for bubbles. If any bubbles are seen coming from the cartridge, discard it immediately, as this indicates a gas leak. Lastly, make sure to check the expiration date printed on the side of the cartridge. Only use cartridges that have not expired.


Determining if a CO2 cartridge is empty can be done with a few simple steps. First, check the weight of the cartridge to see if it is lighter than when it was first filled. Next, use a pressure gauge to measure the internal pressure of the cartridge and compare it to what it should be. Lastly, take note of any sound that occurs when you actuate the cartridge or any lack thereof. By implementing these steps, you can ensure that your CO2 cartridge is empty before replacing it.

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