The C3 released in 2005 is yet another example of Tippmann’s creative thinking. It may have been a commercial failure but it definitely cemented itself a place in paintball history. This was the first and only paintball marker designed to run on propane. It was claimed by Tippmann that 50,000 shots were possible from one 16oz bottle of propane.
So how does it achieve this? In essence the Tippmann C3 is an internal combustion engine. Propane is mixed with air behind a piston and then fired using an electronic igniter. When fired, the piston moves forward compressing the air in front of it which propels a paintball down the barrel. The combustion mixture doesn’t make any contact with the paintball. To reset the C3, you pump the action back to expel the exhaust gases. And then pump the action forward again to draw in fresh air, inject a measured amount of propane and load a paintball. The C3 is now ready to fire again. As a side note the C3 did get warm during use.
This particular C3 is pretty much new in the box and in excellent condition. I have taken it to the field a few times and players are always intrigued by its method of operation. It’s a real novelty and a bit of a show stopper.