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What are your opinions of available airsoft grenades? I'm developing a good one!

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Old April 12th, 2007, 04:28   #1
MadMax
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What are your opinions of available airsoft grenades? I'm developing a good one!

I've managed to develop two functioning grenades which are very combat effective.

I am currently in the midst of patent filings so I am not releasing pics or design details. I hope to complete my applications this week so I can start wider field trials. If you've seen my grenade either on trial or at the ASC Armoury, please help me keep my design a secret.

The costs of tooling up for my pilot release run are quite significant as I will have to invest in injection moulds and have a large run of parts machined. Consequently it is very important for me to have an accurate idea of how my competitors products perform.

If you have direct experience with a widely manufactured airsoft hand grenade (throwable type, not bb shower) please share it with me so I can better assess the market I'll be entering. Please indicate the make and model of the grenade you're reporting on.

I am only considering reusable non pyro grenades. It seems to me that chemical grenades (vinegar and baking soda type) are limited in their power due to the low reactivity of their ingredients. I am not going to enter the pyro market because of the import/export complications and the issue of bulk storage of explosive charges not to mention safety issues.

So far I have had direct experience with three airsoft hand grenades some of which I currently own:

DEEPFIRE M26

pros:
-
looks good
-holds a heap of bbs (180!)

cons:
-
very inefficiently propels bbs (terrible eff', in trials most of the bbs ended up in a pile around the grenade)
-inconsistent timer (about +/- 2s on 7 deployments out of 10, the other three either failed to trigger or blew up in the hand)
-3 separate shell segments, and removable spoon to lose


PFI

pros:
-looks ok

cons:
-
low bb capacity
-very low power
-very inaccurate timer (+/-3s)
-a bazillion loose parts which get scattered when it manages to go off
-shell broke at about 15th deployment


ESCORT MKII:

pros:
-looks good
-solid design seems robust
-no loose parts except the pin

cons:
-directional bb spread (only discharges in one direction)
-inconsistent timer (+/- 2s)


Please add your impressions of grenades you have actually deployed. A report about a really amazing incredible product that you haven't loaded or thrown yourself but heard good things about doesn't give me a very reliable sense of a product.


Thanks for your participation!
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Last edited by MadMax; April 12th, 2007 at 04:50..
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Old April 12th, 2007, 06:53   #2
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Thumper TG6

Pros
NON-pyro
Adjustable timing (newer model)
Solid aluminum
Hella loud
Replicates real steel flashbang in size and weight
Able to carry a payload
Kit available to set it up as a static tripwire device

Cons
Grenade is expensive to purchase
Requires expendable reloads at ~$4 per shot
Dangerous to pitch overhand due to weight
Adding BBs gives unpredictable burst times, semi-directional spread
Loud hiss of escaping gas somewhat detracts from effect
Not exactly something you want to lose in the bush; practically CQB only

Regardless of the cons, this is the best simulated grenade I have ever seen and used bar none. You can pitch it into a room without regard for how it will land or what it strikes because you just can't break it.

I use this exclusively at Xtreme Tactics' 12K sq.ft. indoor facility. When this goes off it makes people on the other side of the arena jump. When I strap it on people literally fear it. "Oh no not THAT thing again!" I had one buddy stacked up behind me and I lobbed the grenade around a corner. When it exploded we rushed around and opened fire. He described it to me as one of the best experiences he'd ever had because it was so cool.

THAT'S how good this grenade is.

IMHO if it wasn't quite so expensive, both in the initial investment and in the reloads, this would be THE de facto standard wargaming grenade.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 09:34   #3
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Well Carl, if your grenades are as well engineered as your AI Adapter, you'll find a ready market with the Wolves. The one thing we're missing in this game if you really truely want a milsim experience is a grenade. I mean who in his right mind actually does a room entry or storms a trench without lobbing a grenade in beforehand?

The only successful grenade we were ever able to make was a combination of BBs, cork, latex and a powder charge in the center for a fuse. We never actually used them in a game as they use black powder as a propellant and thats a huge no-no, but, it was a very effective design.

Characteristics we value:
-inexpensive
-disposable/one time use
-good shelf life
-lightweight
-has concussion effect
-has a smoke effect
-is safe to wear and transport when not fused
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Old April 12th, 2007, 10:08   #4
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I'm going to go against what Scarecrow says on the disposable...

I would much rather see something durable that would be able to be used over and over again without having to do expensive replacements for each throw. I don't like to be able to say 'That was a four dollar kill'. Something that makes a nice noise effect, throws BBs well, and is reusable. Initial price wouldn't matter to me if it was reusable.

I have to ask, although it doesn't matter and I'd buy one anyway, how's it look?
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Old April 12th, 2007, 10:20   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarecrow View Post
Characteristics we value:
-inexpensive
-disposable/one time use
-good shelf life
-lightweight
-has concussion effect
-has a smoke effect
-is safe to wear and transport when not fused
I have to concur. We use pyro grenades made by Zerodelay, and are quite satisfied.

As long the price is between $5-6 each, are consistantly available in large quantities, I could care less if they are re-usable or not, and in fact would prefer disposable.

Re-uasable means you have to find at least some major component. For outdoor play, it's not only impractical, but likely impossible. Then there's the re-assembly aspect, recharging if required, maintenance of parts, etc. that just doesn't work in the heat of battle and most guys out west aren't much into a $30 grenade + parts that will end up being one-time use when you lose and/or break it.

I prefer "fire and forget" so to speak. It's one less thing to worry about.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 10:21   #6
Brian McIlmoyle
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Grenades

One of the principle failings of existing airsoft grenades is that they are too wrapped up in form .. over function.

Real grenades look the way they do because they need to in order to work, the relationship of explosive charge to fragmentation materials defines the shape.

An airsoft grenade... because it functions differently by "throwing" bbs needs to take a different form that will by necessity be "ungrenade like" in order to achieve the functional requirements of good power and good dispersion of projectiles.

This is the failure of pretty much all of the grenades on the market save for the thumper ( which is a good simulator for a distraction device) in order to get something that looks like a grenade.. you have to settle for something that simply does not work very well.

I have seen Carl's prototype... I know what it looked like... and I also saw it take out 10 out of 14 people standing within 3 meters of it.
Function very grenadish... form.. who cares?
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Old April 12th, 2007, 10:56   #7
Blackthorne
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AHG V3 - Sodium Bicarb Grenade

I have used 10 of these.

Chemical reaction creates gas that overpressures plastic grenade body.

Water and half of binary are loaded into body with BB's, other half of binary is loaded into cap, which also functions as trigger.

ADVANTAGES:
Non pyro
No nasty chemicals
Relatively cheap
Weight not a safety issue for throwing
Single use - no hunting for parts and good for field use

DISADVANTAGES:
Poor BB pattern (indeed, they often don't move at all)
A bit delicate and sensitive to crush
Getting binary mixture right takes practice
No timer/Unpredictable detonation


These should have been marketed as distraction devices. For non pyro they make a really nice bang.

The real issues are the lack of power to drive BB's and detonation control.

To get BB's to disperse, you need to use so few you don't get coverage. Detonation depends on the chemicals mixing and can be flaky, and most times the grenade will not detonate until it hits something and gets punctured.


And X2 on Scarecrow's assessment of the market. I encounter at least one scenario per game where a good frag device would save me time and be a great psychological weapon. I could care less what it looks like as long as I can find a pouch for it.

Thats 30 a season for me, at least. Probably more if they worked well.

Hell...at $5-$10 a piece, I would suggest a short grenades only game! Cheaper than going drinking!
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Old April 12th, 2007, 12:07   #8
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Talk to Hazard SFD or LUTNIT.

They made about 80 for our team. They're loud and they are fuckin AWESOME.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 12:50   #9
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I have the escort MKII and they suck ass, I bought them last year and maybe used them twice before I decided I just had an expensive lesson.
They never go off when I want them to. So many times I have thrown them and the tangos are able to run away before it detonates.

The Escorts are truly ineffective and a waste of cash.

I do love the gernades from Zerodelay
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Old April 12th, 2007, 12:54   #10
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If it's non-disposable, would it be possible to incorporate some features that'll make it easier to find if someone tosses one in cluttered terrain? I dunno, something besides painting the grenades bright pink. Smoke effect through a powder payload might work, with the right kind and amount of powder.

My thoughts on disposability is this, airsoft basically has two hand grenade markets for financial and safety reasons (not so much functional reasons). One for offensive grenades, one for defensive.

If it's disposable, it's also generally also of a lighter design (no metal content) that'll allow you to throw it without worrying about beaning someone with it to the point of notable injury. So chuck it for all it's worth against more distant targets, hence the offensive (light) grenade analogy.

If it's not disposable, it'll generally have a significantly higher metal and hard plastic content, which will make it potentially hazardous to throw long (not just over top a wall) distances. So you roll or underhand it to clear obstacles/buildings, hence a defensive (heavy) grenade analogy. This also meaning it's less likely to fly out of your sight.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 12:56   #11
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Indoor test video. This is what we use and they are about $2.50 each to make. Originally developed by the Warmongers.

YouTube - Airsoft Grenade Test

In use at a game here in Quebec.

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Old April 12th, 2007, 13:44   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Deeds View Post
Indoor test video. This is what we use and they are about $2.50 each to make. Originally developed by the Warmongers.
Plans? Or are you gonna make me buy one from you and reverse engineer it?
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Old April 12th, 2007, 13:49   #13
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I believe those are the exact same ones that Hazard/LUTNIT has made.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 14:14   #14
MadMax
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Thanks for your feedback all.

I don't mean to deride idea of pyro grenades. It's very difficult to beat the spread and power of a well designed pyro charge with pneumatics. Aggressively scattering particles is really best done with explosives. If you want to accurately simulate a grenade in behavior, it's tough to beat an explosive charge because that's what a real grenade uses.

Unfortunately it is impractical for me to market pyro grenades in bulk quantities. There are significant issues with bulk storage and fire damage controls when you get up into warehouse lot sizes of product. There are also significant difficulties in transporting single or bulk quantities via air or even ground as they would classify under a hazmat category. A fireworks making company like Hands would be well experienced in these areas and probably already have the appropriate product liability insurance.

Saint hits some of my design concerns on the head (pun!) with considerations towards lighter offensive or heavier defensive grenade design. My product is intended to be a heavier defensive design. I have managed to keep total weight pretty low, but I will be encouraging users to use my product in a lobbed application in CQC only. Lobbed throws are easy to recover and much less likely to clock someone upside the head and knock their eye protection askew. Apart from going pyro, it is probably practically impossible to make an effective grenade light enough to not knock eye protection off with a direct overhand throw. While most of us wear strapped goggles, there are many players wearing unstrapped glasses internationally. The design goals of a light, small, and effective grenade pretty much need an explosive to provide power. Throw in reusable and you end up with conflicting requirements which eat each other. An aphorism I like in product design: "You can have it quick, cheap, or good. Pick any two."

I've been goofing around with a light brightly coloured 3' streamer to make a grenade easier to find. It's not very difficult to stow a grenade with the streamer folded up just before deploying it. It also helps to load up with brightly coloured bbs to mark an area hit by a grenade.

Any more experiences with other reusable grenades? So far we've got an additional report on the Escort and Thumper. Thanks Gryphon, I forgot to add the Thumper. ColinS kindly brought it by the shop where I got to load it and give it a go. We put bbs in the plastic top and found that the delay shortens considerably when you dump in bbs. We surmised the following:

-timer mechanism is based on a gradual increase of pressure in the plastic top via a leak through a controlled oriface to the upper chamber

-reduction in compressible volume in the burst chamber (BC) reduces the time delay because bbs are not compressible. BBs displace volume for compressible CO2 so the burst pressure is reached prematurely

-BBs displacing compressible volume in the BC also reduces the total amount of gas present in the BC when it ruptures which reduces the sudden energy release when the BC ruptures.

-Spoon clip is not well placed. It is possible for the grenade timer to start even with the clip properly installed. It was later noted that the clip is too close to the fulcrum of the spoon. A small amount of flex in the clip can allow enough deflection of the spoon to start gas flow. Unthreading the lower half by about 1 turn provides a gap in the body sufficient to mount the clip further from the spoon fulcrum. Because the oring seating surface is so long in the removable lower half pressure can be maintained in the lower half with it slightly unthreaded.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 15:42   #15
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http://www.guns.com.hk/images/storie...01Nassembb.wmv

thats my opinion.
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