There are two kinds of grenades in airsoft — hand grenades and 40mm grenades that are essentially gigantic shotgun shells. Today, we’re getting in touch with our inner pitcher and taking a look at hand grenades, the ultimate tool for clearing rooms, blocking vision, and generally solving any task that a gun struggles to deal with. There’s a wide variety of throwable grenades out there. The question is, what’s your the best airsoft grenade for you? Timer? Impact? Explosive? Deafening? Distracting? Regardless of who you are, there’s something out there for you.
Short On Time? Here Is The Bullet List:
- Reusable Pellet Grenades: Airsoft Innovations Cyclone Impact Grenade
- Pyrotechnic Grenades: TAGINN Tactical Game Innovation R2Bs Pyrotechnic Hand Grenades
- Semi-Reusable Timed Sound Grenade: Thunder B CO2 Grenade
- Semi-Reusable Impact Sound Grenade: Airsoft Innovations XL Burst Banger Flashbang Grenade
- Smoke Grenades: Enola Gaye Airsoft WP40 Smoke Grenade
- Dummy Grenades: AMA M84 Dummy Grenade
**Below are our more detailed reviews. Click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
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Why Use Grenades?
In any given airsoft game, there’s plenty of situations where the odds just aren’t in an attacker’s favor when limited to just their trusty gun. If you encounter multiple enemies in a heavily-defended position, you’ll take losses. Maybe there’s a great position just a short sprint away, but you’re sure to be hit if you try it. Or just around the corner there’s a guy who you know has better aim or a better weapon than you. What’s a player in a pinch to do?
Where I play and on almost airsoft fields people play at, if you throw any grenade that isn’t a smoke grenade, everyone within a 5-foot radius of where it explodes, regardless of the type of grenade thrown, is automatically out. If you’ve got a good arm on you, you can often clear the fortifications ahead with a well-thrown grenade. If you’ve got some people bunkered down in cover ahead of you, you might want an impact or timed projectile grenade that sprays BBs everywhere on detonation.
If you’re trapped behind some logs and need to maneuver to a nearby gully where you can sneak behind cover behind enemy lines, smoke grenades are your answer. It’s hard to hit what you can’t see and with a light breeze in the right direction, a single smoke grenade can obscure a lot of vision. At some locations, certain colors of smoke even count as poison gas, so you might be getting even more utility out of a single grenade!
Alternatively, perhaps all you need is a good distraction to win. It’s pretty hard to put yourself out of the game with a sound grenade that has no projectiles, which is, embarrassingly, a thing that can happen when you whiff your throw through a window in close quarters. Trust me. I’ve been there. In this case, a grenade-like the Thunder-B, which produces a terrifyingly loud 130db blast of pressurized air, or a simple fake flashbang that clatters across the floor to your opponent’s feet might cause him to move from his position in fright, or at the very least, cause them to look down instead of at you. A fake grenade is the oldest trick in the book, but hey, it still works sometimes.
What’s Wrong With Grenades?
Grenades are added weight that you might not use every game. In addition, when you finally do throw them, you’re trusting in your throwing arm that that weight isn’t going to go flying into someone’s head or mask. No one wants to get clonked in the head by a thrown grenade, and knocking someone’s mask or goggles off could result in BBs to the eye.
Thunder-B grenades can be somewhat hazardous due to the way they function. Because they’re essentially a plastic shell that’s over-pressurized with CO2 until structural failure, they explode with incredible force. Should one go off in your hand, in someone’s face, or by someone’s ear, there could be injuries ranging from lacerations to tinnitus. Also noteworthy is that even if your grenade just sprays BBs and doesn’t explosively rupture, being hit in the body, face, and hand point blank by freezing gas and over one hundred BBs at once is quite painful, especially if you’re not wearing gloves.
Smoke grenades also require a lot of care in use, especially if you play in a forest environment. Smoke grenades burn extremely hot for long periods of time and it’s all fun and games until you set half the woods on fire. It’s also quite possible to burn yourself with them if you hold onto them the wrong way (seen that!) or if they accidentally go off while being carried (thankfully, I haven’t seen that). Because grenades can be dangerous when misused, they place added responsibility on the user not to risk others’ safety. Also, they can be quite pricey, especially if they’re not reusable!
How do You Take Care of Your Reusable Grenades?
Most grenades are fairly low maintenance. As a general rule, if it uses gas, all you need is to put silicone oil on the seals once every couple games. Someday in the future, you might need to replace seals or o-rings, but it’s the same maintenance that applies to all gas airsoft products.
Additionally, you might want to mark your reusable grenades with your name and a long, brightly-colored fabric strip for ease of discovery once thrown. It might not be super tactical but the quickest and easiest way to make a reusable grenade unusable is to throw it into the bushes and never find it again.
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How do You Choose a Grenade?
Because grenades are something of a novelty, and almost no one walks into a game with several hundred dollars worth of different grenades on their person, the best way to choose a grenade that suits your needs is to first figure out what your usual needs are. The right grenade for you varies wildly depending on what your field is like, what its rules are, and what your playstyle is. Do you frequently find yourself assaulting an unassailable position? Are you a ninja of the field, disappearing in a plume of colored smoke? Do you seek that sick, sweet satisfaction that comes from watching someone panic and scramble away from a fake grenade? It’s entirely up to you. I can’t tell you what’s best for you, but I can tell you what the best options are.
Best Airsoft Grenades on the Market
Best Reusable Pellet Grenades:
When it comes to pellet grenades, they’re all more or less the same general concept: charge it with propane, fill it BBs, prime it, throw it, the grenade spins and sprays, repeat. Airsoft Innovations has consistently been a top seller for reusable grenades over the years, especially with their Cyclone design. The Cyclone features swappable labels, so you can have it be either highly visible or black and hard to see depending on how good you think you are at finding thrown grenades. Like most Airsoft Innovations products, it also comes with a pretty sweet patch as well as everything you need to keep reusing their product for many games to come.
- Cheap and reliable!
- 140 BB capacity
- CNC aluminum construction
- Not the most realistic looking grenade on the market
- It explodes where it falls, including if you drop it at your feet
Best Pyrotechnic Grenades:
TAGINN always makes great products and are typically the best you can buy when it comes to novelty airsoft products. Unfortunately, with great quality comes great price tags and TAGINN is no exception, making some of the most expensive expendable products you can buy. Of note, though is the R2Bs hand grenade. This grenade is by far the most realistic grenade on the market. When thrown, it smokes ominously before exploding with a flash and a shower of 200 BBs with a very large area of effect. This grenade is simultaneously an offensive shower grenade and a distracting sound grenade (though, not as loud as dedicated sound grenades).
- The best offensive grenade as far as visual effect goes
- Great area of effect! Everyone within eight to ten meters of the blast is likely to be hit
- Two hundred BBs accompanying a pyrotechnic really makes people call hits
- Over $11 a throw – You’re literally throwing money away!
- They can cause fires
Best Semi-Reusable Timed Sound Grenade:
The classic Thunder B. It’s been used all over the world, but it’s not without its flaws. While deafeningly loud when it does explode, it’s not unknown to fail to fire every now and then. Regardless, it’s probably the most common type of grenade, you’ll find at an airsoft field, so if you run out of shells for it, you can probably find someone to borrow or buy from. The Thunder B has two shell types — a pineapple grenade style and a plain cylinder style. While the cylinders are less clunky, the pineapple design is both more realistic and slightly louder.
- Extremely loud! 130 decibels
- A great distraction tool and can take people out
- A timed grenade, so it’ll go off no matter what it lands on
- These operate via pressurized explosion. There’s potential for harm!
- They’re expensive!
- Might fail to pressurize and detonate
Best Semi-Reusable Impact Sound Grenade:
The Airsoft Innovations XL Burst Banger Flashbang is the new kid on the block when it comes to making obnoxiously loud bang sounds. However, unlike what its title might lead you to believe, this grenade does not flash. It merely bangs — extremely loudly. When playing in indoor areas where the ground is solid concrete, this grenade outdoes the venerable Thunder B in reliability and cost per throw. However, impact grenades are generally pretty terrible if you’re playing out in the woods where the ground is mostly dirt, so if you don’t solely play at indoor fields, it might not be the grenade for you.
- Cheaper to use than Thunder Bs
- Powered by cheap propane instead of CO2
- This is an impact grenade. It goes off where it lands!
- 5 decibels quieter than a Thunder B
- If this grenade lands on a soft surface such as dirt it might not go off
- Doesn’t look like a real grenade
Best Smoke Grenades:
Enola Gaye is a common brand of airsoft smoke grenade used all over the globe. They’re not always the cheapest smoke grenades you can buy, but they do have a reputation for quality, and the last thing you want is for your smokescreen to disappear because your grenade was a dud. Unlike most of the other grenades on the list, Enola Gaye WP40 smoke grenades are simply tubes that produce smoke when the chemicals inside are burned. There’s nothing fancy to them and they produce a huge cloud of lingering, colored smoke, as long as you don’t throw them burning-end-first into snow and use a sufficiently quick, strong yank when pulling the pin. If you don’t plan on throwing your Enola Gaye because you’re setting it up in a static position or using it for a photoshoot, they also make a larger “Massive Output” version. Find it here.
- Comes in a variety of colors! Also great for tacticool photoshoots
- Water Resistant
- 100 second burn time
- Maybe too inexpensive
- Might be a fire hazard or have special rules at your airsoft field, especially regarding colors
Best Dummy Grenades:
Have you ever wanted to bring a real grenade to an airsoft game? Well, you probably can’t get your hands on a real flashbang, and even if you could, it probably wouldn’t be allowed. However, you can get completely realistic looking flashbang replicas and throw them to your heart’s content! Even if you don’t throw your grenades that game, having a real-looking flashbang hanging off of your vest still counts when it comes to fashionsoft. Dummy grenades might not seem like much, but half of a timed grenade’s effect is making your opponents move. They don’t know if you’ve thrown a dud or not. If a grenade lands beside someone and it hasn’t gone off yet, the usual response is for them to either to ponder the grenade for a few moments, paying little attention to you, or to immediately try to get away from it (and into your firing arcs). If you’re looking for a durable dummy to toss around, the AMA M84 is an extremely realistic looking flashbang replica that has a nice weight in the hand and functioning pins. All it’s missing is the flash and the bang.
- Cheap and requires no consumable materials to function
- No maintenance! Works the same way every time
- Allows the user to be insufferably smug if they successfully trick someone with it
- You might have better luck throwing a broken timer grenade
- May make people angry if they get hit in the head by it
- It doesn’t even explode – It’s purely a distraction
Best Airsoft Grenade Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, grenades are a novelty. You don’t need grenades to be competitive, you’re probably not going to be using them in every game, and for some, they might be an added level of responsibility that isn’t what they’re looking for. That said, they’re a fantastic way to stand out on the field and incredibly fun to use. Of course, they’re also a great tool that can let you do things you otherwise probably wouldn’t succeed in doing. If you’ve been playing airsoft and already have a gun, pistol, and various tactical carrying solutions, you should definitely consider getting a grenade as your next airsoft purchase. Just don’t throw it away and lose it.
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C.S. Wilhelm has is a 28 year old ex-military guy who’s been playing airsoft regularly for over a year in the forests of west coast Canada. Less interestingly, he’s also a tremendous nerd. C.S. Wilhelm has a degree in both Creative Writing and English, is a former editor of Portal magazine, and is currently an IT student.