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Old 01-21-2013, 11:28 AM
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The Art of the Precision Airsoft Grenade Launcher

OKAY, I admit I steal the title from Magpul and I am exaggerating, but I canít think of a more fitting one.

Also, I did not use the party snaps at Irene X because I didnít have time to get approval from the organizer, and I wasnít sure itís going to work at that time. I hope the video below will convince people of its safety. Please get approval from your field owner and even organizer before using it nonetheless.

Video Link: http://youtu.be/7eJhs5I0U0c

Script:
Airsoft grenade launchers have been around for a while. They are mostly used as shotguns, and most people just use them to shoot each otherís *** for fun. Although there are buckshot rounds for real grenade launchers, they only serve a secondary purpose. The primary purpose of grenade launchers is to fill the gap in range between hand grenades and mortars. Grenade launchers are also quite useful in urban operations.

Airsoft grenade launchers can be useful in Airsoft urban operations as well, especially when the ability to maneuver is limited by the urban structures. However, to achieve this role, we must A. Attain a certain precision in usual Airsoft engagement range. B. Produce some light or sound effects to alert the opposing players.

Currently, Nerf Vortex Rockets are the most common 40mm projectiles. They are easy to get and could get as far as 150 feet. However, any damage to the rocketsí fin affect the precision greatly. Also, they are quite cumbersome to carry.

Besides Nerf rockets, Milsim Labs produces 40mm foam projectiles in the shape of real grenades. They are well-made and have a range of about 70 feet, but they are costly. There are also foam stress balls that can fit in grenade launchers, but they have the tendency of curving sharply the moment of leaving the barrel.

There are also rubber projectiles made specifically for Airsoft grenade shells, but they are dangerous to skirmish with, as they are similar to the materials used in baton rounds for riot control.

Tactical Game Innovation came up with a unique system that consists of a grenade shell with a rifled barrel and a pyrotechnic projectile. The projectiles explode upon impact with a loud bang and bright flash, and have good precision due to the rifling in the grenade shell. The projectiles are disposable, but for the cost of 6 U.S. dollars each, they are not a bad deal. However, safety may be the deal breaker for this system. The materials used in the projectiles are plastic, and their unyielding nature combined with the combustible fillings can hurt someone badly if the projectiles hit their heads. Although if ALL players wear helmets, goggles, and hard masks, I think it may be safe to use.

I have come up with an Airsoft grenade launcher system that is precise, effective, and most important of all, safe to use. The system consists of the VFCís EGLM grenade launcher, Matrixís Eagle Force Mutli-purpose 40mm grenade shell charged with CO2 , a modified vortex football with a large party snap attached to the front. The modified vortex football can also be picked up and reuse.

The VFCís EGLM grenade launcher features a rifled barrel that spins the projectile when firing. There are a few other Airsoft grenade launchers that also have rifled barrels, such as Lancer Tacticalís EGLM, G&Pís rifled barrel M203, and Guarderís M320.

The Matrixís Eagle Force Mutli-purpose forty-millimeter grenade shell is built to withstand CO2. Other grenade shells can be used as long as they can use CO2. This is important because green gas and propane only provide pressure up to 200 psi, which can barely move the foam projectile. I found out 700 psi is the ideal pressure for my system. If higher pressure is used, the grenade shell will get stuck. I use Madbullís portable CO2 regulator to charge my grenade shells.

The modified vortex football is a bit hassle to make, but it will be easy with practice. First, cut off the tail of a vortex football. Cut a small circle from a foam sheet to cover the bottom of the tail-less vortex football. Use resin glue to attach the foam cover. This will prevent the gas from tearing the vortex football apart. Second, use a half-inch wide electrical tape to wrap and shrink the vortex football. Try keeping the top of the tape from forming bulges, and overlap the tape as little as possible while you work the tape from top to bottom. Third, adjust the tension of the tape so that when you put the projectile into the grenade launcherís barrel, it wonít fall out. However, if you blow hard into the barrel with your mouth, you should be able to shoot the projectile out. Lastly, drill a hole at the top of the projectile just wide enough to accept the party snap, and deep enough that about a quarter inch of the party snap comes out. It will also help to wrap a piece of double sided tape around the party snap to stabilize its position. The party snap is different than one little kids play with. It produces a bang almost as loud as a Thunder B. grenade, but is safe to use on human skin according to the test on myself.

I had used my Airsoft grenade launcher system without the party snaps at Irene X. The Airsoft grenade launcher firing Nerf rockets was the only method to take out tanks at Irene X. I am glad to have one tank kill in the first morning. Before I get to the details, I want to first salute the Deltaís tank crew. They not only put together a fine Airsoft tank with two machine guns, a full-sealed rotating turret, a loud speaker, and a sexy paint job, but also drove fear to every Charlie guy. I found it demoralizing when the Deltaís tank approached while playing that stupid ice cream vendorís music. My team, the Gun Devils as a squad in Charlie, first encountered the Deltaís tank when we were defending the Building 7. The tank kept circling around the building and forcing everyone to keep his head down. I was ordered to fire at the tank when it passed the doorway. When it came closer, I was met with a hail of BBs from the tank, so I quickly ducked deeper into the building. But as the tank went by the doorway, I was presented with the perfect opportunity to attack since I was no longer under fire. Even so, the shot was not easy Ė I had a full deflection shot at a distance of 60 feet. I pulled the trigger the moment I had the tank in sight. My grenade launcher gave out a loud bang, and my foam projectile darted out and hit the tank right by the driverís window! The crowd around Building 7 went wild Ė there were people hopping up and down. Unfortunately, none of this was captured on tape.
Another thing I want to point out is that the grenade launcher was rarely used as an area-effect weapon at Irene X. I have a possible explanation for that. The common Airsoft grenade launcher system is not accurate and precise, and even if the projectile hit a player, the impact force is so light that the player can hardly notice. With my system, the projectile is more likely to hit the target, and give out a loud noise to notify the enemy that he is hit.

Hereís a possible scenario suitable for the deployment of my Airsoft grenade launcher system. Your squad is coming down a street and making contact with an enemy in a covered position. There are no side streets and little cover. You first have a fire team lay down a base of fire. While the enemy is busy trading shots with your support team, you maneuver your grenade launcher to a different position, and launch grenades to eliminate the enemy.

Gordon's Airsoft grenade launcher system:
Evike.com Airsoft Guns - Airsoft Guns | Evike.com Airsoft Guns - Grenade Launchers | Evike.com Airsoft Guns - EGLM Type 40mm Grenade Launcher For SCAR ASC MK16 MK17 Series Airsoft Rifle (Dark Earth) |
Evike.com Airsoft Guns - Airsoft Guns | Evike.com Airsoft Guns - Grenades & Mines | Evike.com Airsoft Guns - Matrix Eagle Force Multi-Purpose CNC 40mm Airsoft Grenade Shell - Short / Set of 6 |
Evike.com Airsoft Guns - BB & Gas | Evike.com Airsoft Guns - Airsoft Gas | Evike.com Airsoft Guns - Mad Bull Portable CO2 Refill Charger for 12gm Cylinder. |
Vortex Football - 6 inch | Sports Stress Balls | Stress Balls
1 Qty=20 pcs ADULT snapper clappers

References:
Robotech's M203 Grenade Launcher Guide
FM 3-22.31 TABLE OF CONTENTS
FM 90-10-1 Default
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:13 PM
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I want to first salute the Deltaís tank crew. They not only put together a fine Airsoft tank with two machine guns, a full-sealed rotating turret, a loud speaker, and a sexy paint job, but also drove fear to every Charlie guy.
Ya, that was me. Thank you, Thank you very much.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:32 PM
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Great post and great video, well done sir.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:33 PM
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Has anyone given any serious thought to airsoft rockets/grenades that actually 'explode' on impact? I'd like to be able to fire a grenade/rocket through a window and have it eliminate the people inside the room, or fire it into a crowd and take out several people without stopping to figure out who all is within a 10' blast radius.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:01 PM
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Gordo, did they actually chrono your rocket at Irene?
curious to see what they got.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blade View Post
Gordo, did they actually chrono your rocket at Irene?
curious to see what they got.
No, they did not ask to chrono my grenade launcher, but chronoed it myself before the event. I got about 240 fps with 700 psi, which is within the limit in the rules (Rule 3-5.8): http://www.oplionclaws.com/phpBB/vie...p?f=126&t=4942

I did a bit research on how they come up with the number, and I couldn't find much info on this. But according to one source, it was originally developed by the paintballers using themselves as guinea pigs. They kept increasing the fps of the Nerf rockets until they couldn't take it anymore, and the insurance companies use that number as the safety standard: http://www.texasairsoft.org/showthre...=3262#post3262

A better way to determine the safety of a projectile system is to utilize the research in kinetic non-lethal weapon. Lyon et al. [1] demonstrated the lethality of projectiles of different size and weight using the graph below:

First, we need to find the dash line saying 40mm projectiles. The dash line was separated by two solid lines, and the areas separated by the them represent low lethality, mixed results, and high lethality. Next, we need to calculate which area our projectile system falls in, using the equation: Ln(m*V^2), where m is the mass of the projectile in gram, and V is the speed of the projectile in meter per second. Using m = 32 gram and V = 250 fps = 76.2 m/s, we'll get 12.1, which is well within the low lethality region. However, the authors assumed that we are using solid projectiles, so the real danger of the Nerf rocket or foam projectile system should be even less. Because these projectiles are highly deformable, so they transfer a lot less energy to human bodies.[2]

There are still a lot of debate regarding the standards for the safety of non-lethal weapons. If anyone is interested, here are a few that you could download and read:

REF:
1. http://www.isofms.org/cms_uploads/Ki...ufker_Papy.pdf
2. http://tinyurl.com/asad86w
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt77 View Post
Has anyone given any serious thought to airsoft rockets/grenades that actually 'explode' on impact? I'd like to be able to fire a grenade/rocket through a window and have it eliminate the people inside the room, or fire it into a crowd and take out several people without stopping to figure out who all is within a 10' blast radius.
There is a Russian company called "Tactical Game Innovation" that produce the projectiles that you described, as shown in the video in the starting thread. According to the interviews (see the links below) at Shot Show 2013, the ICS is planning to sell their products this year. However, they probably won't sell the pyrotechnic ones for safety concern. The ones the are planning to sell have foam tips and chalk powder fillings. The ICS is also planning to sell the grenade shells that feature rifled sleeves, which means that if you have a smooth bore grenade launcher - do not worry - just buy a couple of those shells and you can enjoy the benefits of rifled barrel. I still have concern about the safety of the TAG projectiles even with the foam tips, but I do hope they pass the safety test.

http://youtu.be/bCGF-uIUJxk
http://youtu.be/u4BMpMGFI4Q
http://youtu.be/ck_oADG7mDk
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:55 AM
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this may be better.. while at 321 airsoft today, i was talking with Ray about his new ICS distributor. He mentioned something about a rifled grenade system that will actually fire projectiles!!! well i did some digging and found this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0zTy84rBxY

PS Ray said they may be getting these!
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:05 AM
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That was awesome! Looks like the projectiles aren't reusable, but I think I could live with that. I especially love the smoke rounds.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:20 AM
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Okay, just watched the other video now. What I was getting at is a single projectile that, on impact, delivers a shower of BBs.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:43 PM
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My grenadier load-out. The main advantage of tail-less Nerf rockets is the space saving.






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Old 01-24-2013, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Currently, Nerf Vortex Rockets are the most common 40mm projectiles. They are easy to get and could get as far as 150 feet. However, any damage to the rocketsí fin affect the precision greatly.
I have successfully launched Nerf Vortex rockets over 300ft using CO2 and a Madbull PB4 grenade shell from my CAW M79. The trick is to install the rocket BACKWARDS so the fins face AWAY from the grenade. The rocket rights itself immediately upon exiting the barrel and the fins stay intact. Try it. It works!
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:19 PM
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@ PMO Gorgo: Could you explain the vertical axis in a little more detail. Is the correlation between the "x"-axis and "y"-axis basically how much kinetic energy is transferred from projectile and the lethality of that energy?
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:29 AM
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@ PMO Gorgo: Could you explain the vertical axis in a little more detail. Is the correlation between the "x"-axis and "y"-axis basically how much kinetic energy is transferred from projectile and the lethality of that energy?
The graph is a depiction of live/die outcome using animals as test subjects. The y-axis is the product of Ln (subject mass (kg) x projectile diameter (cm)), and the x-axis is the product of Ln (projectile mass (gm) x projectile velocity (m/s)).

There were studies using high-speed cameras to calculate the kinetic energy transfer, but the most practical way of estimating it is using a 24 in x 24 in x 4in thick block of clay rigidly confined on all four sides and the rear. If the depth of impact from the projectile is above 44 mm, the projectile is considered potentially lethal.

Below are photos from tests conducted by Milsim Labs (http://www.milsimlabs.com/, manufacturer of many foam projectiles and foam knifes


2íX2íX4Ē block of ballistics clay in wood frame, Clay was held in a stable temature of 71f for 48hours and testing was limited to 10min to avoid temp variations


32 gram Milsim Labs' 303 @ 198 FPS
1.11mm indent @ 57.97J of muzzle engery
depression ratio of .019mm/J


33 gram Nerf pocket voterx @ 173 FPS
indent of 4.51mm @ 45.64J of muzzle engery
depression ratio of .105MM/J
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:11 PM
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One thing I did not mention about my Nerf rocket mod was that the electrical tape usually need to be replaced after 1-2 launches, so it is still not ideal. That's why I'm still eagerly waiting for the ICS / TAG grenades. From what I've heard, the base of the grenade is made of plastic, but the tip is made of foam. I found these ICS / TAG grenade review videos, and although the person didn't speak English fluently, he did provide more details:

http://youtu.be/s0mDLlF11r4
http://youtu.be/DUfPRFGGCsA

I've also been looking into the safety of these grenades. The law enforcement have been using sponge, OC or chalk-filled 40 mm grenades for riot control (http://www.defense-technology.com/ne...0Munitions.pdf).



The foam-tip grenade pass all-three main safety standard: 3-Rib ChestStructure, ballistic clay, and gelatin. As the riot control 40 mm grenade uses powder propellant, I'd imagine the gas propelled ICS grenades should be even safer to use. However, ICS should at least conduct the ballistic gel test to verify their safeness. You could make ballistic gel at home for $10! The homemade ballistic gel has similar property as the real one, although it spoils in a few days unlike the real one: How to Make Your Own Ballistic Gel
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Last edited by PMO Gordo; 04-05-2013 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:46 PM
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Well, it's June and ICS still hasn't give us a concrete date of release of their grenade system. They did post a video clip demonstrating the range of it not too long ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22sCy...jnV0x6DuQV3q9V

I am tired of waiting and I have doubt about their projectiles' effectiveness without their rifled grenade shell. So, I am on a quest of making my own. I came across a surplus store selling inert M781 practice round (see pictures below), and its size and design stroke me as a perfect model to copy. I am planning to use Alumilite products to mold and cast the round. For the the tip (the blue dome in the picture), I'm planning to use Alumilite Super Foam 320 to cast it so that it will break apart upon impact to prevent injuries in case of hitting a player. Another function for the foam tip is to release its content upon impact. The inside of the tip will be filled with food color powder, so that it will be safe if inhaled. The bottom of the round / pusher will be cast with Alumilite regular resins, so that it will bite the rifling of my grenade launcher upon release. The foam of the Nerf rockets also bites the rifling, but my experiments showed it provided too much friction that the rockets' flight became unstable.


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