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A Powerlet cartridge, commonly referred to as a CO2charger, is a small disposable metal container holding 8–12 grams (0.28–0.42 oz) of compressed CO2 and often a small quantity of oil, used as a power source for certain air guns, airsoft guns, paintball guns, and for quick inflation of various devices, such as a personal flotation device. Originally developed and the trademark owned by Crosman Corporation and introduced to the market in 1954, the Powerlet CO2 cartridge has become the dominant source of power for inexpensive, rapid fire air guns from many manufacturers.
A Powerlet container typically provides 20 to 40 shots in an airgun, depending on the gun and environmental conditions. The first 10 shots from a new bottle are consistent, with subsequent shots losing power. For paintball markers, expect fewer shots due to increased weight of the paintball compared to an airgun projectile.
For modern paintball guns, the technology is considered outdated, though some still use Powerlet cartridges for stock paintball, as they cannot fire as many shots as a modern CO2 tank could provide. They are also still favored for paintball pistols, for players wishing to run 'light' with considerably less weight.
- Luis E. Martinez; Luis E. Martinez Med (June 2008), Force-On-Force Police Training Using Airsoft: A Manual for the Law Enforcement Trainer on the Use of Airsoft Non-Lethal Technology, OUTSKIRTS PRESS, pp. 10–, ISBN 978-1-4327-2684-3