What is an ASA? What is a Drop Forward?

What Is A Paintball ASA?

ASA is short for Air Source Adapter. This is the threaded port on a paintball marker where you screw the CO2 or compressed air tank into. It is usually located at the bottom of the grip frame (known as a bottom line set-up) , though it can be in other locations depending on your marker’s style. The ASA has a post in the base. As you screw in your air tank this post pushes on the depressing pin of the valve, opening it to allow pressure into your paintball marker. The tank o-ring on the lip of valve forms a seal to prevent air from escaping the ASA.

The simplest Air Source Adapters are one piece. Care must be taken when removing the air tank from the ASA to avoid cutting or blowing out the o-ring. See below for instructions on this procedure. This is why a popular paintball gun upgrade is an On/ Off ASA. These Air Source Adapters feature a thumbwheel, push button, or lever design that extends and retracts the depressing pin post. You can shut the tank’s valve off, dryfire to depressurize, and then take the tank off smoothly. Some On-Off ASAs have a ‘purge’ or a ‘bleed’ feature. When you turn off the pressure it also vents the pressure in the airline between the ASA and the marker. This makes degassing and taking your tank off the marker much more convenient.

What Is A Paintball Drop Forward?

The ASA is usually mounted directly to the bottom of the grip frame or attached to it via a dovetail or T-rail that gives some options for length. This is the preferred method for tight and compact set-up as seen in use by tournament players. However, sometimes this configuration does not fit youth players or those smaller in stature with shorter arms. This is where a Paintball Tank Drop Forward comes in handy. Drop Forwards are a bracket or arm that positions your air tank down and forward of the grip frame. They were originally designed when compressed air tanks were only 3000 psi and very large in size. It helped balance a loaded marker and shorten it at the expense of making it rather tall and cumbersome. As HPA tanks got smaller so did drop forwards, until they became unnecessary for most players. Regardless of what ‘pro’ players tell you, if you need to shorten your marker’s length then consider a drop forward!

How To Properly Remove A Paintball Tank From Your Paintball Marker

  1. Keep your goggles on. Be sure to clear all paintballs from the marker including the breech! Put your barrel cover on.

  2. With the cover on and barrel pointed up and away from others, slowly untwist the air tank from the marker while dry firing (pulling the trigger to only fire air) as fast as you can.

  3. When you hear the shots getting quieter, stop twisting and keep dry firing until all air is expended and marker no longer cycles.

  4. It is now safe to remove the tank the rest of the way.

  5. If you have an On/Off ASA with a purge/ bleed you can simply turn off the tank and remove.