Thunder B Grenades
by Greg “Top” Teeuwen from Airsoft Extreme
As soon as these came to our store, a couple of us got some sets, thinking of what kind of nasty things we could do to them. We bought some CO2 cartridges, then “tested” them out.
For those that don’t know, Thunder B grenades are live action grenades that use CO2 to cause the grenade to pop… loudly. There are two kits for purchase- a beginner pack and a player’s pack. Both kits come with a “core” and a few outer shells. Beginner pack has a core and 3 shells, a player back has a core and 12 shells.
The way it works- insert a CO2 cartridge into the grenade core. When safety pins are pulled, and the spoon is released, a “hammer” system slams into the top of the CO2 cartridge. The punctured cartridge quickly (about 4-6 seconds) fills up the hollow shell of the grenade to bursting point, then pops… loudly.
Afterwards, simply unscrew the core from inside the ruptured grenade shell, replace the spent CO2 cartridge, then screw on a new outer shell. Reset the hammer and safety pins, and go at it again.
As advertised, they are LOUD. And a bit of smart thinking went into the shell design as well. We wondered if the grenade actually exploded hard enough to send bits and pieces everywhere, but by design, there are seams that are meant to burst open. No flying debris.
Since the outer shell is hollow and the core fits inside, we wondered if we might make the grenade more “effective” by putting stuff inside the grenade shell. That way, when it burst, there might be secondary effects. We thought of putting baby powder into it, thinking there would be a big poofy cloud to go along with the loud bang. Unfortunately, it didn’t work at all. As the CO2 was released into the shell, it mixed up the baby powder, which then gummed up all the works within the core, not allowing the air to release as explosively as expected. The grenade just swelled up and fizzled.
Then we thought about putting bb’s inside the hollow shell. With the designed seam-burst, bb’s won’t come out as explosively (or in a wide pattern), like we thought.
Ultimately, after testing about 8 grenades, we came to realize the grenades function best when utilized without extra stuff. I also took 2 cores and 15 shells to a big op today to get some battlefield testing.
Pros- very loud, economical, safe, and quite the attention-getter.
Cons- couple things:
-The core must be kept clean at all times. After using the same core 3 times in a dusty field, when I attempted to use it again, it merely fizzled in the same manner it did when we put powder inside of it. Dust must have gummed up the inner workings of the core.
-Part of the core is plastic. A vital part. When you throw the grenade, the spoon is released and the hammer strikes the CO2 cartridge. That whole part is plastic and is vulnerable to breakage. When you throw the grenade, you run the risk of the top of the grenade (where the plastic part is) of breaking when it hits the ground. I took two grenades to an op, and one broke the first time I chucked it. There’s no way to fix it, so now I must purchase another set just to get another core.
-There is no way to purchase just the core. There are large packages to buy replacement outer shells, but no way to buy just the core.
Final verdict- I like these. Whenever one of my grenades went off, people 100 feet away knew it. After the second or third grenade went off, whenever people saw me chuck another grenade, they went running for the hills! Terrifying in its own right! VERY EFFECTIVE. And with the lessons learned, I’ll be sure to keep the cores clean and try not to break any more. If they could be made with aluminum cores, I’d gladly pay a few dollars more for a core that won’t break as easily, and will keep buying replacement shells (very cheap, by the way). Oh, I recommend tying some kind of bright streamer to this- when you throw it into heavy scrub, you run the risk of never finding it again. A bright streamer might help you locate it…