40mm grenade shells are common issues to the U.S. Army. They originally appeared in the Vietnam war, fired with the M79 grenade launcher. Today, the M79 has been replaced with the M203 underbarrel grenade launcher. Because they are so iconic in the military world, there are a number of airsoft replicas available:
In fact, because the airsoft grenade launcher is just a tube with a trigger, there are actually a number airsoft grenade launchers that are not replicas of anything real:
S-Thunder grenade launchers are now re-branded and sold under 6mmProShop as Airsoft Pocket Cannon grenade launchers.
Although airsoft grenade launchers is really just a tube and a trigger, the 40mm airsoft grenade shell is really a lot more complicated than the airsoft grenade launcher. Therefore we are providing this article to help you understand the different types of airsoft grenade shells.
Most airsoft grenades shoot airsoft BB's. The idea is to launch a shower of BB's to simulate grenade explosion with a radius. However, there grenade shells that shoot other projectiles, such as paintballs, powder balls, color powder, rubber pellets, rubber ball, nerf rocket, or rubber projectile cap. Each type of ammunition serves a difference and can be used for different tactics and play style.
The BB shower grenades come in various capacities. The amount of BB's is only limited by the length of the grenade shell. Keep in mind that in many cases, the gas capacity are the same between the different length grenades, meaning that the more BB's in the grenade, the slower and shorter distance the BB's will fly.
Most grenades use green gas as the propellant. In this article, we are going to use the phase, "green gas" to mean red gas and propane as well. There are some grenades that that can handle CO2. The difference between green gas and CO2 when it comes to the propellant sense is the pressure. Green gas is approximately 150 PSI, while CO2 is approximately 800 PSI. That is quite a difference. That means a CO2 grenade will propel the same number of BB's faster and further than a green gas grenade.
There is a catch, because CO2 pressure is so much higher than green gas, most grenades made for green gas cannot handle CO2. Therefore, it could be dangerous to fill a green gas grenade with CO2 gas.
On the other hand, CO2 grenades could handle green gas just fine. You can use this understanding to change the distance and the speed with a CO2 grenade just by switching gas.
At the bottom of the airsoft grenade shell is a round button. When this round button is pressed, the gas is released into the BB chamber, launching the BB's. It's not hard to activate this button. Your finger can do it. The grenade launcher is just a formality. Unlike an airsoft gun, there is no safety on the grenade shell. Therefore, you should really be careful that you don't accidentally fire the grenade unintentionally.
After you fire the grenade shell, it will need to be reset. There are some grenade shells that self-reset after you fire it. Other grenade shells requires you to manually reset by pushing the button, all the way in, again. And there are grenade shells that requires disassembly to reset.
Before purchasing grenade shells, determine how it's reset. Then determine whether you want to deal with its method of reset. Personally, I prefer the self-resetting grenade shells over the manual reset ones, because the self-resetting saves you a lot of time and trouble.
Because the number of BB's and the type of gas you use effect the speed and distance of travel, it's wise to test out different length grenade shells to determine how far they shoot. In fact, it would be tactically advantageous if you get different capacity shells, fill them up, and use them for different situations on the field.
If you go to only one field, and the field layout ensure a bottleneck in the same location, then you may be able to get away with one type of grenade shell. However, if you frequent different fields, you'll need to be prepared on varying your distance and power of your grenade shell.
Sadly, the airsoft grenade shell doesn't translate well into the real world. After all a real world grenade shell can blow up walls and destroy bunkers. Your airsoft grenade shell can't do that. Nevertheless, there are some real-world tactics that can be used with airsoft grenade launchers.
One, you can still clear out a bunker using an airsoft grenade launcher. Angle the grenade launcher for the right distance and let the BB shower take out your enemy within a bunker.
Two, use the grenade launcher as a shotgun. Clear out a group of enemies with direct fire. Or suppress the enemy with it, while your team mates rushes them.