Can You Ship a Paintball Tank – Complete Guide On Paintball Tanks!

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A lot of paintball players are concern when it comes to shipping a paintball tank especially those who live in third world countries. With the new security rules at the airports, it’s important to know all the details that govern shipping compressed air cylinders to prevent your packages from being seized while in transit.

Make sure the paintball tank is completely empty before you ship it.

Can You Ship a Paintball Tank

Yes, you can ship a paintball tank but first you have to make sure thats it is empty before shipping it. The only downside is that if it contains CO2 or pressurized air, it will be considered hazardous and might not be allowed on a plane or cargo carrier.

In this in depth article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about shipping a paintball tank so you can have a better understanding. You will also learn a few safety tips which you can put into effect when shipping paintball tanks.

Why You Cannot Ship a Pressurized Paintball Tank

Can You Ship a Paintball Tank

The main reason for this is because different shipping companies tends to have different standards. With that said, most companies around the world doesn’t allow pressurized air cylinders.

Even if you’re not a fan of the safety implications, you shouldn’t waste your time shipping a pressurized tank because the chances of it being confiscated is very high. Cargo inspectors usually open any packages whenever they have any form of doubts or suspicion about it.

Another thing is that they will check it using an X-ray scanner that normally reveals the canister to any shipment inspector, and this is when they will check to see if it is filled or not.

Now that you have an clear idea of what will most likely happen, you might be asking yourself, what are the potential consequences of shipping a pressurized tank? And what are the shipping companies so worried about?

Here are a few things you should know:

  • You should definitely keep in mind that pressure tanks can explode. This can be a danger everyone especially those who participate in the shipping of the tank.
  • Another thing is that the cylinder can be exposed to freezing temperatures while flying at high altitudes, if this does happen it can certainly affect the structural integrity of the tank.
  • One of the main reason is that the companies don’t want to risk shipping a tank that can eventually over-expand from the lower air pressure. The reason for this is because the package is loaded in an unpressurized cargo area that’s located underneath the plane.
  • One thing for sure is that you have to remove the regulator before shipping the tank by air. This is very crucial as the inspector will be able to easily verify that it is indeed empty. At times the gauges may even break or miread, but with the regulator removed, the inspector will know for sure that it can’t hold any pressure.
  • In addition, if the regulator is turned off, it means pressure change won’t be able to affect the paintball tank as it would with an airtight cylinder. The reason for strick security on a plane is the fact that a cylinder bursting on a plane is possible and because of this every measure has to be in place to prevent this from happening.

These days it’s not even possible to board a plane with a medical cylinder unless you get approval from TSA. They also inspect the cylinder to ensure that it can fly with the pressure changes.

How to Properly Ship a Paintball Tank

If you’re still considering to ship a paintball tank, well you have a few options at your service. These include FedEx, UPS, and USPS. These companies allow you to ship air cylinders without removing the regulator.

As mentioned earlier, you usually have to remove the regulator and release all content before shipping the tank. By doing so, the cylinder will no longer be considered hazardous, and you can ship it to any destination without experiencing any problem. Remember in order to remove the gas from the cylinder, you’ll need to remove the regulator.

If you are unable to remove the regulator yourself, then what you can do is visit your local store or paintball store for help by a professional.

Here is a informational guide on how to remove a regulator and you can do this I the comfort of your home.

Packaging of the cylinder is also considered to be one of the most important steps. When packaging the cylinder make sure to place it in a box with lots of padding and filler so that the movement during transit doesn’t damage the tank or box.

When re-installing the regulator, make sure you take the time to tighten the regulator in order to remove all the space between the neck of the cylinder and the bottom of the regulator. If you decided to hand-tighten the regulator, make sure to use the back of the cylinder when removing it from the marker. This step is very important in ensuring that the regulator doesn’t separate from the tank upon removal.

Can a Paintball Tank Explode During Shipping

As mentioned above, paintball tanks can explode during shipping transit. There have been a few reports of paintball tanks being exploded and causing injuries by the blast.

Here are a few reasons why a paintball tank might explode during transportation:

It’s a Pressurized Tank at High Altitudes

We don’t recommend taking a pressurized paintball tank on a airplane. The reason being is because a decrease in atmospheric pressure allows the gas inside the tank to expand causing a higher internal pressure due to the fact that there is little atmospheric pressure pushing on it. This will then decrease in atmospheric pressure causing the tank to explode.

Also, as the atmospheric pressure reduces on a pressurized tank, you can expect the gas inside to expand which will result in a higher internal pressure because there is little atmospheric pressure pushing on it, which then end in an explosion.

Having an Old Tank

Like many other things in your posession, paintball tanks lose structural integrity as they aged. I think the lifespan of a paintball tank is about 10 to 15 years that’s if they are well taken care of, so you should at least think before you decide to ship a tank that is older than that.

Poorly Made Tank

Another thing you should keep in mind is that not all paintball tanks are made equal. Some manufacturers always prefer to go the cheaper route so they tend to make low quality tanks compared to others and this reduction in quality can have a huge impact on the structural integrity. As mentioned before, if the paintball tank has a weak structure, it can explode while in transit.

Damage to the Tank

One of the leading cause of paintball tank explosion is physical damage to the tank. As you may paintball is a sport that involves lots of running, crawling, jumping and even diving around. As such, paintball tank will eventually take a lot of damage on the battlefield over their lifespan.

Small scratches on the tank may not be a big deal but have deep slit should definitely be a source of concern. If you make the mistake by shipping a pressurized tank with deep cuts, you’re basically setting yourself up for an explosion to occur.

Additional Tips You Can Take Into Consideration When Shipping Tanks and Other Paintball Accessories

Here are a few extra tips you can follow when shipping or traveling with a paintball tank or other accessories:

  • If you have read our guide and still decide to travel with a paintball tank, then you can visit the TSA website for the state or country that you’re planning on visiting and print out the TSA travel regulations. With all this information in your posession, you can make it clear to the TSA officials that you have clearance to travel with your paintball gear.
  • You should also make it clear with the person who will be checking your bag that you have a few paintball gears in your posession. By simply informing them, they can arrange for a quick check so that you don’t miss your flight.
  • In order to let the officials at the airport know it is paintball gear, what you can do is show them a few photos from your phone or pictures from a newspaper that includes all your gear, marker and other useful stuff.


Shipping a paintball tank is not as easy as you might think. First thing you have to do is released all the content from the tank before boxing it up and handing it over to your shipment facilitator. This step is very important because shipping a paintball tank that still as content in it can cause serious damage and may result in an explosion in the transit. Once you have remove the gas or air from the tank, the shipping process will be relatively easy.

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