Vanaras 40mm 48rds POM grenade shell Full Photo Review
By Annun Cirith
Table of Contents
Real Steel History
Accessories and Modifications
Pros & Cons
The Final WordFirst Impressions
I placed my order for two of these shells from RSOV.com on 12/20/08. They arrived in PA on 12/22/08, and experienced an 'exception' due to weather in the UPS there. They were delivered today, on 12/23/08, and I tore into them with much enthusiasm.
RSOV shipped them in a swath of bubble wrap, inside a plastic UPS bag, with a packing slip attached to the front. It seemed a little... lacking, but they arrived in good condition, so I'm willing to bet it's pretty safe. Vanaras' packaging left a lot to be desired; just a plastic bag with the grenade and instructions inside. I have no pictures of those thanks to my rush to handle my new beauties.
First of all, I was amazed at how solid they feel. I've heard that they feel cheap and are probably all plastic. While this is mostly true, the plastic is POM, which is evidently another name for Delrin. This is, as some people I know will attest, an extremely strong plastic. I have faith in these shells. The shells are pretty hefty for plastic, I'd place them around the same weight as a deck of cards in-box. The weight is, in my opinion, a good thing. I like my gear to be hefty enough to know you have it, but not so much as to be tiring.
A quick once-over on the externals pleased me. All black except for the fill valve and the release button, smooth with no visible seams. There was a slight visible defect on the end of one of them, but it's purely aesthetic; it's just a minor scratch.Real Steel History
Taken from Wikipedia:
The 40 mm grenade is a military grenade caliber for grenade launchers in service with many armed forces. There are two main types in service: the 40x46mm, which is a low-velocity round used in hand-held grenade launchers; and the more powerful 40x53mm, used in heavier, mounted and crew-served weapons. The cartridges are not interchangeable.
The less powerful 40x46mm is used in hand-held weapons such as the M79, M203, the XM320, and the multi-shot M32 MGL.Appearance/Feel/Build Quality
This is the instruction sheet included with the shell:
Here's a photo of the shell itself:
And a photo with my iPod Touch for size comparison:
Number-wise, I'd give this a 95%. It's quite nice to hold. Smooth, silky, cool and solid. The release button goes a little deep, but that may be a characteristic of 40mm shells. It feels like it could really take a beating. I give it a 95% because there are minor defects on one of mine, but that may just be an oversight in the manufacturing process. Nothing that will impact performance.
Here's a photo of the business end, showing the defect I mentioned, the fill valve, and the BB tubes:
Finishing up externals, here's the bottom of the shell and the release button:Internals
I took apart one of my shells and much to my amazement, not counting gaskets, the shell is made up of SIX parts! Upper, lower, fill valve, release button, the spring to return the release button, and a valve-like assembly that I believe makes up the system that holds gas.
First photo is of the upper, showing the valve assembly and upper half of shell:
Here you see the BB tubes and how the valve is seated into the upper.
Next, a photo of the inside of the lower, showing the spring and the top of the release button:
According to the review of this shell done by Infected Airsoft, what I understand is that under pressure, the valve is supposed to rest on the small metal 'lip' in the bottom of the lower in this photo.
Next, I took all the internals out to get better pictures of them. First up is the valve:
Here you can see the o-ring that makes a seal with the upper. The other end has four ball bearings that appear to be crimped into place; they move freely but don't leave the valve. Infected Airsoft states that they are 4mm bearings.
Next is the release button/spring:
You may not be able to tell in the photo, but the release button is extremely well machined. It feels pretty hefty. I can't place the metal, it's either steel or aluminum.
Finally, a shot down the inside of the upper with the valve removed. The metal piece at the end is the bottom of the fill valve.Function
Function is, hopefully, obvious: To deliver a hail of BBs onto thine foes. Performance
Tests were performed outdoors, Jan 3 2008. Bellefonte, PA; ~30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Firing it sounds almost exactly like a roman candle when it takes off, but before it explodes. You know, like a fireworks show, when they shoot them out of those mortar things? That dull thud.
I filled and fired the grenade 10 times; two were test runs to ensure the shell fired and to check firing distance. The other 8 were trials, 4 on one coke can and 4 on another. The two test runs worked just fine and showed a fairly consistent effective range of approximately 30 feet. I'm certain this would increase as the temperature rose. At 30 feet, both test shots showed a spread of about two feet. Next, I moved on to test runs.
The first can was fired with a full fill of gas, approximately 2 seconds each fill, and fired through a 15mm hole cut through Mylar(plastic drumheads). The first can was only dented severely on one side, but I went on and finished firing on all sides of the can for consistency's sake. I'll estimate this run at about 265-275 FPS.
The second can also used a full fill and fired through the same hole. The second can showed similar results, a severe dent on one side. It was a little shallower than the first, however. I'll put this one about 260-270 FPS.
One obvious flaw is that there appears to be nothing holding the BBs into the shell. After loading, I tipped the shell downward to see if they were easily dislodged and more than half of them fell out. Just rolled out. I find this a major oversight in Vanaras' manufacturing; obviously, they cut corners to make it more economical, but still... One obvious fix is to just keep it upright. I plan to use a 40mm dual grenade pouch mounted upside down to carry them.
Finally, the fill valve seems to need to be reset every time you fire. I don't know if this is a fluke or not, but each time I filled and fired the shell, the valve was seated a little bit low and had to be reset. Fortunately, the valve sits low enough when filled that you can press the valve in far enough to fire with just a bare finger. I say this because the valve actually goes pretty deep when you try to reset.Accessories & Modifications
As it's a 40mm grenade shell, the only real accessory for it is a launcher. I'll be using mine with an ACM clone of Mosquito Molds' mini-launcher, on my JG G36c. Photos to come once it's delivered.Pros & ConsPros
* Solid feel
* Nice to look at
* Good machining, no burrs or bad edges
* Good assembly
* Easy to load
* Minor surface defects
* Plastics may fail quicker than metalOrdering
Ordering was a breeze! RSOV has a simple, straightforward cart system. I paid with my credit card through Paypal and overall, from order placement to receiving my shells was ~5 days. It amused me to no end that due to time zones, my shells arrived in the States before they shipped from China ;D $~50 for two shells shipped by UPS Global (Fastest shipping RSOV offers).The Final Word
Overall, I'd estimate a full fill of green gas to be sitting in the high 200's. It's pretty decent for a shell, IMO, especially one I paid $12 + S&H for. I'd recommend this to any beginning or veteran grenadiers. It's affordable, reliable, and the flaws are minor. 4/5 stars.
Props go to RSOV for prompt delivery, Vanaras for making a cheap alternative for grenadiers to pounce on, and to Infected Airsoft and Wikipedia for the bits and pieces of info I checked out.
Here is the review on Infected Airsoft that I got some of my Internals info from: Vanaras 40mm POM M203 Grenade