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Grenades and grenade launchers in airsoft


Airsoft grenades

Once upon a time, in distant Japan, airsoft was created. Since then, the world has not been the same as before. From the beginning of this hobby, it was important to reproduce the activities of armed formations. Of course, the greatest emphasis is still placed on the airsoft guns themselves. Do not kid yourself. They are most often used in airsoft. However, military and even police formations often have much more extensive arsenals. The coercive means they may have include grenades, which are the subject of this article.

Just like in real force formations, airsoft grenades can perform various functions in airsoft. We can also find ones with different structures and power supply methods. There are disposable and reusable grenades. Like many things in our hobby, here we will find a lot of solutions, and the only limitation is the users' budget and the designers' imagination. An indispensable element of considerations about this type of weapons are all methods of throwing the described devices. We will also mention them.

green grenade airsoft 360

Grenades: hand-held or fired from a grenade launcher

The first type of division we can propose is whether we set the grenade in motion ourselves or using some device. In my opinion, this is quite an important division that has several consequences. However, let's not get ahead of ourselves. I will mention the advantages and disadvantages of specific solutions when discussing each one separately.

Hand grenades

This is the simplest way to send a surprise to our opponents. There's probably not much to explain here. We take item A in our hand. We throw. We see the effects of our actions. Easy. This simplicity is the greatest advantage. We don't need additional devices. We have pretty quick access to our missiles. We are also flexible when it comes to the selection of bullets. We do not have to match them to the standard of our barrel or propelling device. We can throw weaker, high above the obstacle or stronger and far away from ourselves. However, the range of such a throw depends on our skills and strength. And this may be different.

airsoft GBR hand grenade

Suspended grenade launcher

This is a device that is most often mounted under the barrel of our airsoft gun. They have different principles of operation, but generally they set our grenades in motion. They often have much better range than the average player's throw. Additionally, they allow the use of more complex grenade drives, such as gas or even a small pyrotechnic charge. Unfortunately, we are limited by the shape of the grenades we use. They also usually do not allow the load to be easily thrown over the barrier or sideways around the corner of the cover. They allow for a straight shot. Additionally, they often constitute a significant additional burden on our airsoft gun.

Specna Arms suspended grenade launcher

Above: M203 Long grenade launcher replica

Stand-alone grenade launcher

Here we are dealing with a situation similar to that with a grenade launcher attached to an airsoft gun. There's some system here that fires grenades. All this in the form of a separate ejector, either in the form of an oversized revolver or something else. We have similar advantages, but also disadvantages, to suspended grenade launchers. Additionally, it cannot be ignored that this is another piece of equipment to carry with you. This is basically only a solution for the most determined players. Those who don't mind the additional ballast, because, for example, they are reconstructing a unit using such a gadget. This may be the reason for their low popularity.

CYMA airsoft pistol grenade launcher

Above: ASG M052 40mm Pistol Grenade Launcher

Functions of airsoft grenades

Now that we have discussed what methods we can use to send our cargo towards the opponent, it is worth considering what effect such a toy can have. To be honest, such a list will probably always be open, because it cannot be ruled out that over time, designers will come up with some new uses for airsoft grenades. Let's check what the most popular types of these loads are currently.

dark green airsoft grenade

BB grenades. This is the most common solution. Depending on what drives our fragments, it may have a different range of action. However, this type of projectile always assumes that a small cloud of BBs is flying towards our opponents. We'll talk about how to set them in motion soon. This is a popular solution. For example, it allows you to clear a room or persuade opponents to come out from behind an obstacle. Moreover, it is quite simple in operation. Just send a grenade towards the opponent using one of the selected methods.

Smoke grenades. This is one of my favorite types of loads. When fired, they release a cloud of smoke. Their main use is to create a cover, for example when retreating. And I must admit that performing such a maneuver when everything goes well is very satisfying. Smoke grenades are also sometimes used to mark locations. Most often, however, I see them in photos in airsoft. Unfortunately, they are often prohibited for security reasons. Additionally, they are quite unpredictable. All it takes is a small gust of wind and the smoke flies towards us instead of towards our opponents.

Noice and flash grenades. This type of payload is sometimes used in CQB games. I treat them unambiguously because they basically have the same application. Their goal is to stun the opponent. I guess anyone who has played games like Call of Duty or the newer Ready or Not knows how they can be used. This type of airsoft weaponry is also often prohibited. Personally, I am a supporter of this solution. Not every player wear hearing protection, and the explosion of a stun grenade can be a really unpleasant experience.

Drive is the basis

Finally, let's go back to BB grenades, because they can be divided into further groups depending on what sets our fragments in motion.

Gas. Gas-launched grenades are common. The same thing is used here as in the case of, for example, guns, i.e., green gas or CO2. This is a popular solution, especially in grenades for suspended launchers. They are also available in a throwing version.

40 mm airsoft grenade

Above: 40mm green-gas grenade – 72 BB pellets – SHS

Kinetic ejector. These types of solutions can be very simple or extremely complex. There seems to be no middle way. Their principle of operation is that upon impact, a spring is released, which ejects the BBs from inside the grenade shell. These simplest structures are not very effective. In turn, the more complicated ones are usually quite expensive. However, their common feature is that they are often quite easy to use.

Pyrotechnic charge. This is probably the only type of charge drive that can be found not only in fragmentation grenades, but also in smoke and flash grenades. While in the latter case it is simple. The effect is caused by the combustion of chemicals with appropriate properties. In the case of fragmented ones, the matter is a bit more complicated. There are companies that produce airsoft grenades with a small firecracker surrounded by BBs inside. As a result of the explosion, fragments are carried some distance. Personally, however, I have encountered homemade versions of this solution more often.

Are grenades needed in airsoft at all?

There is no denying that the use of pyrotechnics in airsoft is satisfying. However, it must be remembered that this involves the need to ensure safety. However, if we remember the rules of safe use of the above-mentioned means and follow the recommendations of the game organizer, this is a very good addition to the shooting game. If you are considering purchasing an airsoft grenade, I suggest you first check what the restrictions are on their use in your local skirmishes.

I always keep a couple of smoke candles in case the organizer allows their use. Additionally, I am considering purchasing a fragmentation grenade for CQB games. I think it's a small investment that can introduce some new things to the games.


Author: Boreq

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