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You could (theoretically) use any inert gas as a propellant. However - the availability of alternatives to the usual CO2 or compressed air might be hard to come by - or prohibitively expensive.

While there are (more expensive) gases that can be used instead of CO2; they are still going to be compressed air. Whatever air you choose is going to be forced into a chamber and released on demand.

Most other alternatives would be explosive in nature. Even real bullets create compressed air: the explosion of the gun powder creates an air pressure wave that forces out the bullet. Caps and blanks can be made without bullet tips but they create an explosive force and will still discharge whatever is in front of them; but using blanks to shoot paintballs risks rupturing the paint balls in the barrel; and even if it doesn't the target is going to be hit with a projectile being fired at potentially lethal speeds.

Other alternatives are springs and rubber band mechanisms; but these are typically easier to design for single fire and not machine gun style.

If what you are trying to do is avoid buying the CO2; you would need to design a compressed air system with a pump style where you are creating the air pressure yourself.

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Q: What can you use instead of CO2 for a paintball gun Im looking into making a mini gun version of a paint ball gun but I don't want to use co2 what can I use I want to use a machine not compressed air?
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